Science & Technology Australia is urging that all future Australian Research Council rounds work to a fixed timetable to avoid losing Australia’s scientific workforce.
“This needs to be resolved,” said STA Chief Executive Officer Misha Schubert. “This year’s delays further highlight the urgent need for a fixed timetable for grants.”
“The current rounds of ARC-funded Discovery projects should have been announced six weeks ago – and Linkage grants for industry-partnered work should have been announced in October.”
“Typically in a Discovery grant round, around 800 to 1000 researchers are funded.”
“The lengthy delays in 2021 – coming on top of all the other stresses the research sector has carried this year – mean there will be many brilliant scientists and researchers who don’t know if they will have a job in 10 days’ time.”
“That includes senior researchers, as well as rising stars of Australian research early in their careers.”
“At a time when Australia is relying so heavily on science to save lives, it’s even more urgent that we safeguard our science talent.”
“The risk in grant delays is that our star researchers may give up on waiting and take job offers overseas – and Australia loses their talents.”
“The events of 2021 make an urgent case for a fixed timetable for all future ARC funding rounds.”
“Every ARC scheme should have fixed dates for applications, approvals and announcements to give both researchers and Australian industry certainty. Business absolutely needs clear and consistent timeframes.
“Fixed dates for grant rounds would be welcomed warmly by the research community – and eliminate that edge we otherwise hand our economic competitor nations to lure our best talent away.”
Media contact – Martyn Pearce: 0432 606 828