The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations welcomes any new money to public research funding. However, the current amount is still a far cry away from what is needed to take Australia’s public spending on R&D to the levels of other OECD countries.
CAPA National President Errol Phuah said it is great that research is getting some attention. The current amount can help create a few extra opportunities for new PhD students, and some job opportunities for recent graduates.
“The issues are that it is not enough and whether some of the money will be put back to areas where funding has been cut”, says Mr Phuah. “The money lost from the sector would have been dispersed more evenly across more areas of research.”
The push towards commercialisation and national priorities has put a focus on some research areas, whilst neglecting others. It represents a bright future for some careers and moves towards ending the careers of others.
“The people affected are researchers, supervisors, and our lecturers who may have dedicated their entire careers to becoming experts in their field. Yet someone has decided their research is not of public interest and does not deserve funding.
Was coronavirus or mRNA vaccine research of public interest five years ago? These research areas are definitely of public interest now, but nobody could have predicted this back then. This is why we should not try to pick winners.”
CAPA’s pre-budget response includes our independent research that recommends an overall increase in public research funding by 4 billion dollars between the ARC, NHMRC, CSIRO and CRC initiatives.
The industry-engagement side of research funding has mostly been addressed by this announcement and CAPA echos the NTEU’s recommendation that the ARC and NHMRC be funded 1 billion dollars each.
CAPA National President Errol Phuah
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