Call for comment on review of research income impacts
The Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research has called for responses to a consultation paper it released on its 2011 Review of HERDC Category 3 Income.
The review, which began in July, is assessing allowable inclusions of the Industry and Other Income (Category 3) component of Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC), and the Joint Research Engagement (JRE) scheme.
The HERDC plays an important role in driving the allocation of research block grants, and the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research regularly examines features of the collection.
The JRE replaced the Institutional Grants Scheme (IGS) from 2010 to provide greater emphasis to end-user research by encouraging and supporting collaborative research activities between universities, industry and end-users. Competitive research income was removed from the calculation formula to more substantially reward universities that diversify their sources of research income while also recompensing universities for the indirect costs of their Australian Competitive Grant (ACG) research through the Sustainable Research Excellence in Universities (SRE) initiative. The review is examining sources of income currently reported under Category 3, and the relevance and weighting of the various elements in the JRE formula to ensure the intention of the policy is being met.
The terms of reference of the review are:
- Compare and analyse the sources of income reported by higher education providers (HEPs) under Category 3 income over the period 2006 - 2010; including to inform a review of the JRE scheme;
- Examine the validity of the current Category 3 allowable items as an appropriate indication of research income in the HERDC;
- Consider the relevance of Category 3 income inputs to the policy intent of the research block grants, particularly in relation to the JRE scheme which is intended to support collaborative research activities between universities, industry and end-users by examining HEPs expenditure patterns of JRE funding;
- Consider the relevance and weighting of the various elements in the JRE formula, including student load; and
- Provide advice to the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research on outcomes from the review.
The review is being conducted by the Department with the assistance of a working group of the Higher Education Research Data Advisory Committee (HERDAC), comprising representatives from the Australian higher education research sector. The review is expected to be finalised by November 2011.
The consultation paper is available here. Responses are required by COB 7 September 2011.