ERA confirms research boost
And it will only get better from here, says Professor Lee Astheimer.
Deakin’s performance in the latest round of ERA rankings is a positive sign that the University’s research footprint is growing both locally and globally – and at pace.
“Over the past few years, we have been building on our existing research strengths, and developing new ones with schemes like the Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Fellowships, and by recruiting established researchers from around the world,” said Deakin’s DVC (Research) Professor Lee Astheimer.
“We’ve had some fantastic performances in this ERA round and I expect that by the next round, as our development and recruiting activities really begin to flow through into ERA, the results will be even greater."
The performance of the Faculty of Health was one of the stand-out achievements.
Deakin was the only non-Group of Eight university to achieve a ranking of 5, well above world standard, in Medical and Health Sciences.
“That is an outstanding effort, the Medical School is only four years old,” Professor Astheimer said.
“What it is showing is that research at Deakin across all the disciplines has the ability to grow quickly and to do that to the highest international standards.
“From its earliest days Deakin established a strong record for its world-class standards of teaching.
“The same concentration on research activities is a relatively new thing at the University.
“So I am particularly proud that in this round of ERA, Deakin has achieved world standard or above in 74 per cent of our Broad Fields of Research compared with 40 per cent in the 2010 round and world standard or above in 69 per cent of our specific discipline fields, up from 44 per cent in 2010.
“Chemistry is also well-above world standard along with Medical and Health Sciences.
“Our research in the broad disciplines of Engineering and in Technology was also found to be above world standard.
“This is research that is contributing directly to national productivity as we play our leading role in helping Australian industries remain competitive.
“There are very real impacts from our research, not the least the creation of new jobs, new products and new industries for Australian workers and their employers.”
In other highlights, Deakin received the highest rating possible for its research in Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry, Materials Engineering, Human Movement and Sports Science, Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences and in Medical Physiology.
The university's research was also found to be above world standard in Physical Chemistry, Environmental Science and Management, Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Nanotechnology, Zoology, Nutrition and Dietetics, Public Health and Health Services and Performing Arts and Creative Writing.
“We’re not where we want to be yet,” Professor Astheimer said.
“But our researchers and the hard working people who support them, particularly those in Deakin Research, are really focussed on the job ahead.
“So we have every reason to look forward to the next round of ERA when, as we are required to do in the University’s strategic plan, I believe we will have well and truly developed an ‘impressive international research footprint’.”