Research Rankings & Performance

Download the UTAS Research Snapshot 2015 [PDF, 88kb]

At the University of Tasmania we are proud of the strong global reputation we have built based on the excellence of our research. Our outcomes are considered world-class, and have sustained our steady rise in major Australian and international university rankings. We are recognised leaders in our specialised thematic areas of research, and the depth and quality of our research has assured our position in the top ten research-led universities in Australia.

Our researchers are internationally esteemed leaders in their fields, and include outstanding scholars attracted to Tasmania from around the world. Our vibrant research community positions talented research higher degree students and high-calibre early career alongside elected fellows of preeminent academies, and research fellows supported through prestigious and highly competitive external funding schemes, including Australia Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Collectively, our researchers make major contributions to the creation of new knowledge, innovation, cultural and economic development, and national and international policy development and debate.

The University of Tasmania is the proud home to several key Australian research centres, Australia Government initiatives and distinguished university institutes, reflecting the true impact of our research and the rich connections we have established with government, industry and the community.

The University of Tasmania's excellence in research and the quality of our scholarship and teaching is reflected in our outstanding performance across the most influential Australian and international ranking metrics. In 2016, we continue to uphold our standing amongst the best universities for students and researchers in the world.

Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings

In 2016, the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings classified the University of Tasmania as one of the top 350 universities in the world at 317. Additionally, we secured 118th position in the THE '200 most outward-looking institutions', a result of our continued focus on international engagement.

QS World University Rankings

The University of Tasmania rose to 370 in the 2016 QS World University Rankings. In 2017, individual subject rankings have again placed us amongst the best in the world for academic reputation and research impact across a number of subject areas. The latest results reflect our growing level of accomplishment and expertise as a world-leader in Earth and Marine Science, ranking in the top 50 institutions in the world. We have maintained a strong position for Agriculture and Forestry, placing within the top 100 institutions in the world for a second year. The results also demonstrate the University’s growing reputation in the field of Art and Design, ranking for the first time and coming in amongst the top 150 institutions globally. Once again, the rankings are testament to our consistent yet exceptional research performance in Environmental Sciences, Law, Sociology, and Education, ranking amongst the top 250 internationally. We have also ranked amongst the best in the world for Medicine and Biological Sciences.

Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)

In 2016, the University of Tasmania continued its steady climb up the ARWU rankings, securing 292nd position - up from 305 in 2015. Life and Agricultural Sciences was ranked in the top 200 in the world. Widely considered to be one of the most influential international ranking systems, the ARWU ranks the top 1200 universities globally, however only the top 500 are published. The ARWU bases its rankings on: the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, the number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Reuters, the number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, the number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index - Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance of universities.

Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

The results of the Australian Government's 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment highlighted the University of Tasmania's rich portfolio of research excellence across a broad range of subjects. Through ERA, we received a rating of 'at or above world standard' in 18 broad fields of research – 86 per cent of submitted disciplines, and secured our place as head of the nation in geomatic engineering research, fisheries sciences, and journalism and professional writing.

Additionally, we achieved the highest possible rating, a 5, or 'well above world standard', in 16 specific discipline areas, up from 9 in 2012. These areas include: analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, geology, geophysics, oceanography, ecology, zoology, fisheries sciences, horticultural production, clinical sciences, human movement and sports science, neurosciences, nursing, ophthalmology and optometry, and agriculture, land and farm management.

A further 14 discipline areas were rated at level 4, or 'above world standard'. These areas include: philosophy, historical studies, sociology, law, applied mathematics, astronomical and space sciences, physical geography and environmental geoscience, ecological applications, environmental science and management, evolutionary biology, forestry sciences, geomatic engineering, materials engineering, and pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences.

The University of Tasmania continues to demonstrate depth and breadth in research strengths. In the Australian Government's ERA 2015 National Report:

  • 94% of University of Tasmania research was rated at or above world standard in specialised research fields
  • The University of Tasmania is #1 in Fisheries Sciences research and Geomatic Engineering research
  • The University of Tasmania is the only institution in the country to be ranked well above world standard for Fisheries Sciences, and above world standard for Geomatic Engineering
  • The University of Tasmania received the highest possible rating for 16 fields of research: Fisheries Sciences; Oceanography; Agriculture, Land and Farm Management; Horticultural Production; Analytical Chemistry; Inorganic Chemistry; Geophysics; Geology; Plant Biology; Ecology; Zoology; Ophthalmology and Optometry; Clinical Sciences; Neurosciences, Nursing; and Human Movement and Sports Science

The University of Tasmania's research contract and grant revenue for 2015 was $122 million.

This outstanding performance reflects the significance and competitiveness of our research across the breadth of our fields of enquiry.

The sources of this research grant and support income include competitive research grants, other government funding, industry grants and contracts, private, non-profit grants and contracts and donations.

As a research-intensive university, the University of Tasmania places a strong emphasis on research-led teaching and learning, and high-quality research training. We attract the brightest minds to our higher research degree programs and nurture our candidates to be the next generation of research leaders through mentorship and opportunities to work alongside world leaders in their fields of study.

In 2015, we welcomed nearly 400 new Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates, and celebrated with nearly as many completing HDR Completions.

Our world-class performance and broad scope of research endeavour underpins the University of Tasmania's consistent national and international achievement. We have enjoyed major accomplishments across our thematic areas of research strength, including:

  • Establishment of a $24 million Antarctic Gateway
  • Awarding of $1.1 million for Marine Sustainability research from the Fisheries Research and Development Cooperation (FRDC)
  • Establishment of a $14 million ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Forest Value
  • Launch of the $24 million National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Marine Biodiversity Hub
  • Awarding of $10 million in funding to strengthen research into Global Food Security

 Australian Research Council (ARC) Success

The University of Tasmania was awarded more than $6.5 million in Australian Research Council funding in 2015 across a range of research areas, including marine and plant science, social science and law.

Support included $2.94 million for eight Discovery Project grants, comprised of research to understand sea level rises, carbon recycling in the Southern Ocean, the reproduction of crop plants, how large herbivores changed native vegetation, genetic variation in eucalypts, climatic tolerance in conifers, and human decision making in complex situations.

Additional funding included five Linkage Projects, valued at over $2 million, a $310,000 project under the Discovery Indigenous program, and a prestigious Future Fellowship, valued at $660,751.

A further $600,000 was secured under the LIEF (Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities) program to purchase a field emissions electron microprobe.

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Success

The University of Tasmania was awarded $8.5 million in National Health and Medical Research Council funding in 2015 across a range of research areas, including blindness, dementia and cardiovascular health, and the potential for krill oil to delay the need for knee surgery.

Funding was secured from multiple schemes, including five Project Grants valued at $3.27 million, one Early Career Research Fellowship ($314,644), one Career Development Fellowship ($463,652), two Dementia Fellowship grants, worth more than $1.5 million, one Research Fellowship ($622,655), and one Practitioner Fellowship ($467,961).

ERA 2015