University calls for integrity in research funding

The University of Melbourne has highlighted the importance of a transparent, robust academic peer review process in delivering research grants.

The University has concerns regarding reports from Senate estimates that some research grants previously recommended for funding by the Australian Research Council had been rejected by the government.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell said that academic rigour in the delivery of research grants is vital.

“This is the cornerstone in the award of competitive research grants and underpins Australia’s international reputation as a research powerhouse,” Professor Maskell said.

“The quality and rigour of research rests on the integrity of the process - this is the most trusted arbiter of excellence.

“I am equally concerned that all grants affected were from the humanities disciplines, where academic enquiry commonly overlaps with matters of fundamental importance for society and indeed politics.”

The University of Melbourne is a proudly comprehensive university, with outstanding researchers across all disciplines, Professor Maskell said.

“The University of Melbourne is Australia’s largest research-intensive university and we firmly believe that the academic peer review process is vital to the effective delivery of research grants and programs - now and into the future.”