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Tasmania's research excellence celebrated

The University of Tasmania’s research community is celebrating its achievements following the release of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2018 outcomes, and Engagement and Impact (EI) assessment.

ERA is led by the Australian Research Council and evaluates the quality of research undertaken in Australian universities against national and international benchmarks.

Disciplines are defined as two-digit Fields of Research (FoR) representing broad subject areas or research disciplines and four-digit Fields of Research, which represent more detailed analysis in the field of research categories.

ERA utilises a five-point rating scale, where a rating of five is recognised to be Outstanding Performance Well Above World Standard.

For the first time, the University of Tasmania has received an ERA rating of 5 in four two-digit Fields of Research – Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences and Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences.

At the four-digit FoR level, the University now has 21 FoR rated as Well Above World Standard, compared to 16 in the 2015 round of ERA.

Overall, the University increased the number of FoR at/or above World Standard from 48 in 2015 to 60 in 2018.

The University's ERA outcomes were also met with another research success with the release of the Engagement and Impact (EI) assessment.

The EI assessment looks at the engagement of researchers with end-users and how universities are translating research into economic, environmental, social, cultural and other impacts.

The assessment used a 3-point rating scale of High, Medium or Low and is part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA).

The University exceeded the national average for a High rating receiving 47.8% for Impact (national average was 43%) and 38.1% for Engagement (national average was 34%). 

“This is an exceptional achievement for our University’s research community,” University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black said.

“Our unique island setting enables us to produce world-class research which delivers significant social and economic benefit to Tasmania, and beyond.

“The success of our research, as measured by these outcomes, is testament to the dedication and commitment of our academics and supported in collaboration with the hard work of our Research Division and broader University community.”

The University performed exceptionally well across a number of disciplines in the ERA outcomes including receiving all 5s across all assessed FoR in the Biological Sciences and Environmental Sciences.

Significant improvements were also seen in Engineering, where two FoR received a 5 this year, and other areas including Neurosciences, Maritime Engineering and Cognitive Sciences also increasing to a 5 rating.

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Anthony Koutoulis said the ERA outcomes further underpinned the University’s reputation for producing research excellence with a global reach.

“All of our researchers, and the broader University community, should be extremely proud of today’s results,” he said.

“The results reflect our commitment to research excellence which continues to be nationally and internationally renowned in driving innovation and economic impact.”

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