Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) is designed to assess research quality in Australia’s higher education institutions. Conducted by the Australian Research Council, ERA measured the research performance of universities over the period 2003-08.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mike Calford, said today’s results were evidence that the University’s strategy to direct investment towards its research strengths was delivering significant dividends.
“In the past five years the University has embarked on a concerted strategy to focus its investment into the engineering, science and health fields. This approach is paying off with ERA awarding Newcastle the top rating in areas of biological, engineering and medical research.”
Under the ERA assessment, a 5 rating is considered 'well above the world standard'; a 4 rating is ‘above the world standard’; and a 3 rating is ‘at a world standard’.
“The strongest research area for the University of Newcastle relative to the Australian average is applied mathematics. This reflects our considerable recent efforts in this area with the appointment of world leading researchers and the establishment of a priority research centre,” Professor Calford said.
“Other fields of research for Newcastle that received a 5 rating were plant biology, civil engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, cardiovascular medicine and haematology, immunology, and oncology and carcinogenesis.
“The University rated 4 in a further 10 fields of research, including physical geography and environmental geoscience, biochemistry and cell biology, and cognitive sciences.
“Our emerging research strengths in 34 other fields of research, including human movement and sport sciences and sociology, were awarded a rating of three. This provides the University with a blueprint of those areas for further development.”
For more information on ERA visit www.arc.gov.au
For interviews with Professor Calford please contact Kate Robinson, Manager – Media and Public Relations, 02 4921 5061 / 0408 115 467.