Week 11 | Issue Based Reflection | Research Support

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    • #2431
      Michalina Lisik

      According to Knott (2015), Australia’s most prestigious universities have urged the federal government to fix the country’s “broken” research funding system by targeting taxpayer funds at research judged to be of high quality. This involves a push for $680 million in annual funding for PhD and master’s research to be restricted to institutions rated at or above world standard in selected fields. However, devoting these funds to strictly prestigious universities leads to a particularly devastating effect. A lack of funding for suburban and regional universities would lead to discouragement and missed opportunities for research.


      Debates surrounding the academic nation’s funding system display an evident dependency on access to existing research and associated support. This reflection will focus on the economic issue based aspects of academic funding and the critically important aspect of research support (RS).


      RS has a significant role within universities and associated research. Following the needs of academic researchers, seeking funding to further explore fields, research support assists in acquiring viable information and evidence beneficial to the goals of a project. Interestingly, MP Jamie Briggs suggests that ‘…research [funded] with Australian taxpayer’s money [should] be about the better future of our country.’ Naturally, national funding has a focus on generating economic benefits. Research funding in Australia has focused on the value of projects and their associated outcomes. Medicine and scientific outcomes are therefore prioritized by funding groups, leaving research into other fields questioned with fewer opportunities for financial support.


      So how would a stronger focus and development of RS impact and benefit the economic growth and discovery of Australia? Strengthened RS, namely increased availability of information and strong links between this information, would assist researchers in identifying the viability for further research. Further dependence on RS would also provide opportunities for a researcher in any university to develop a viable and credible proposal.


      Strengthened access to information would generate knowledge into specific fields and develop the viability of a project. Within an economic perspective, funding organizations, particularly public ones, focus on the money spent, the outcomes and whether the results have any direct benefits. Ultimately, a Return on Investment is expected. A stronger case generated with the assistance of RS leads to a developed grant application, expanding the opportunity for financial support.


      RS is therefore incredibly important when considering the limited financial support offered to researchers. RS offers economic viability and further confirmation of research areas, supporting academics with potentially beneficial interests.

    • #2570
      Kate McKelliget

      Hi there! I like the way that you presented your argument. I keep forgetting to focus on RS rather than the topic of research in general. Reading your post helped me to align my thoughts again! I would agree with you that yes,

      RS offers economic viability

      I think you succinctly summed up your argument well with those words.

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