Scientists concerned about ARC funding cuts

Scientists around the nation are concerned by the Federal Government’s decision to reduce funding to the nation’s key independent granting body the Australian Research Council (ARC).

The government announced in its Mid Year Economic Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) statement that $61 million from the Discovery Program and $42 million from the Linkage Program would be removed over the forward estimates.

STA President Dr Ross Smith said:

“Cutting $103 million from the ARC’s budget will further limit its capacity to fund fundamental and applied research, when the success rates for world class grants bids are already below 25 per cent.

“Australian scientists are afraid this will lead to fewer jobs and training opportunities for our best and brightest. We are also concerned about funding for important humanities and social science research, given the cuts.

“Scientists and research funding agencies understand that Governments need to set priorities for research but priority setting is very different from political picking and choosing.

“Peer review is simply the best way of ensuring tax-payers dollars are invested in world class research every time.”

STA is the peak group for the nation’s 68,000 scientists and those working in technology. STA’s mission is to bring together scientists, governments, industry and the broader community to advance the role, reputation and impact of science and technology in Australia.

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