May 2023: Reaction to ARC review report

The report of the Review of the Australian Research Council (ARC) has been released and is available at:

Given that the review was focused on the legislative underpinning of the ARC, it is not surprising that interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research are not mentioned. Regrettably only one of the 14 case studies presented (Case study 10: the Australian origins of global wifi) comes even close to illustrating what working across disciplines can do, mentioning the “highly collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to solving a profoundly stubborn engineering problem”, bringing together “mathematics, radioastronomy and electrical engineering” (p. 45). None of the cases describe the benefits of bringing in the expertise of stakeholders affected by the problem under investigation, which is a hallmark of transdisciplinary research.

In the Executive Summary (p. 3) the report mentions: “Unsurprisingly, the Panel has received extensive and detailed feedback from a wide range of individuals and stakeholders in relation to both the activities of the ARC and research in Australian universities more generally. The submissions we received, which will be published along with this report, include valuable advice and suggestions outside the scope of this review.” We trust that there will be an opportunity for these submissions, especially those supporting interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, to be considered as changes to the ARC are implemented.

For more on the review and the NITRO-Oceania submission, see