A new research roadmap

A message from Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor Abid Khan:

I am pleased to share some highlights as we finalise a comprehensive roadmap to chart our research future in line with ACU’s Vision 2033 and Australia’s higher education sector reform.

ACU and the Accord

ACU welcomed the Universities Accord recommendations for long-term reforms to ensure Australian universities meet the future needs of the workforce. As a mission orientated university ACU stands to benefit from the Accord’s focus on external engagement, national priorities and societal impact, which also dovetail with strategic growth areas identified in ACU’s Vision 2033.

Benchmarking success

Our research roadmap seeks to align with the sector’s standards for success. We are seeing a growth in research income, from $8.3 million in 2022 to $13.2 million in 2023, as well as an increasing volume of grant applications. ACU’s almost 40 per cent success rate for Stage 1 applications to the current Australian Research Council Discovery funding round, is significantly higher than the sector average, and I congratulate our researchers and support staff on this great effort.

Commercial opportunities

We are also developing a commercialisation framework and advisory committee for knowledge and IP commercialisation to diversify our revenue beyond public sector funding and competitive grants.

Our Enterprise Clinic is steering a pipeline of new commercial opportunities, including Jessie Technology for the aged care workforce. We are expanding our stakeholder base through the Blacktown Exercise Sports and Technology (BEST) Hub, which recently hosted a breakfast for government, industry and community partners in Western Sydney.

The official opening of ACU’s human metabolic chamber at our Melbourne campus last week was another opportunity to leverage our surrounding precincts in tackling issues of national and commercial significance that meet community needs. You can see images of the metabolic chamber at the bottom of this article.

International outreach

Director of the Graduate Research School Michelle Lopez recently joined a senior delegation to India and Nepal in March. The delegation met key stakeholders, including ACU alumni, with a series of PhD scholarship packages announced by Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Skrbis to support ongoing collaboration and joint supervision with our key partners in the region.

The Graduate Research School will also host an upcoming information session with Fulbright Australia for eligible researchers and HDRs to develop collaborations with US universities.

Last month, we hosted a German university delegation from Hessen to explore other international opportunities for our PhD and early career researchers. Applications are currently open for the Australia-Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme to support these exchanges between Australian and German universities.

As we expand our international networks, we are also developing a whole-of-university framework to combat foreign interference in line with the national UFIT Guidelines. This includes formal training as well as other informal awareness raising. The DVCRE portfolio recently held an informal workshop, which was recorded and shared in Workplace.


Finally, ACU has retained the top rank in Australia and is now 28th worldwide for Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies in the 2024 QS World University Rankings by Subject. In other subject rankings we are 14th in the world for nursing, 32nd in education and in the top 100 for sport science.

As our research roadmap evolves to address strategic areas of need in our communities, our relationships and reputation will expand our reach to a growing network of partners globally and on the ground.

ACU human metabolic chamber

 human metabolic chamber internal


 human metabolic chamber internal


 human metabolic chamber internal


 analysing metabolic chamber readings

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