Non-Traditional Research Outputs (NTRO)

Guidelines for Non-Traditional Research OutputsResearch reporting have traditionally recognised scholarly outputs in the form of academic journal publications and their scholarly impact.  Today, research has expanded beyond journal publications to include screenings, software applications, licenses and patents, performances, architecture and exhibitions, all collectively known as 'non-traditional research outputs' (NTRO).

The Non-Traditional Research Outputs Guideline provides the principles that underpin the collection and assessment processes of NTROs, including detailed criteria and output ratings by type of NTRO in order to formally recognise, encourage and reward academic researchers.


Submission process

Each NTRO submitted to the University must be accompanied by a research statement and include:

  1. Research background: field, context and research question;
  2. Research contribution: innovation and new knowledge; and
  3. Research significance: evidence of excellence.

A research statement of no more than 250 words/2000 characters as per the Australian Research Council (ARC) guidelines is required upon submission of each NTRO for assessment. The Research Statement should also include where possible evidence of engagement and potential for future impact.

Other supporting documentation or evidence of peer review should also be attached at the time of submission including:

  • Print or electronic critical or scholarly essays or citations, articles, reviews conference papers etc., acknowledging the research output and written by peers;
  • Recognition through shortlisting, prizes, awards or honours, reviewed and judged by a panel of peers, selection for further exhibitions, events or publications;
  • Commissioning through a peer review process; and
  • Competitively funded grant schemes.

Researchers are encouraged to submit NTROs in NURO at any time throughout the year.


Assessment process and the NTRO Committee

The NTRO Committee provides expert advice to colleagues and the broader University on the nature and value of NTROs. The NTRO Committee includes academic staff who have multi-disciplinary expertise across textual, creative, built and software work types.

The NTRO Committee comprises:

  1. Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic Excellence (Chair);
  2. Head of School Architecture and Built Environment (or equivalent);
  3. Head of School Creative Industries (or equivalent);
  4. A representative from the disciplines of Humanities and Social Science;
  5. A representative from the discipline of Computing and IT;
  6. A representative from Research Services with expert knowledge of NTROs; and
  7. Additional Committee members at the discretion of the Chair to provide expert knowledge and advice on the assessment of a non-traditional research output.

The NTRO Committee will convene on a quarterly basis as per the below schedule.

Submissions Due NTRO Committee Meeting
15th February Last week of February
15th May Last week of May
15th August Last week of August
15th November Last week of November

The role of the NTRO Committee is to:

  • Peer review all NTROs produced by the University of Newcastle to ensure they meet the criteria for research assessment;
  • Seek further evidence and information as required from the researcher to support their submission; and
  • Recommend an ERA Research Quality Standard rating.

Support for Researchers

Research Advantage

Research Advantage

Research Advantage provides training and development opportunities for researchers who produce NTROs. This support includes:

  • Assistance in writing a research statement;
  • Assistance submitting NTROs for assessment and peer review;
  • Facilitating the provision of workshops that educate on the agreed NTRO guidelines and process at our University;
  • Facilitating the provision of workshops that educate on agreed research statement proforma and exemplars at our University; and
  • Facilitating the provision of shut up and write NTRO research statements sessions.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.