Australian educational research funding trends report

A national stocktake and review of category 1 funding in education

20 Sep 2017

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report presents a stocktake and review of Category 1 grants in educational research in Australia from 2009-2017. The focus of the review centred on the Field of Research (FoR) codes, which are most successful in terms of securing Category 1 grants in educational research, the amount of funding provided, common themes and gaps and the extent of transdisciplinary and collaborative research in education. The stocktake and review revealed the following significant findings:

• The Australian Research Council is the principal funding source for Category 1 educational research projects in Australia;

• 130313 (Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators) is the most successful Field of Research code at the six-digit level and 1303 (Specialist Studies in Education) at the four-digit level. However there has been a downward trend since 2015 in success (in obtaining Category 1 funding) across all education and closely related education Fields of Research codes;

• The Group of Eight (Go8) Universities are the dominant administering universities of Category 1 funding in educational research. The Regional Universities Network has performed particularly poorly revealing a substantial gap between metropolitan and regional universities; • Connections with Australia’s national research and science priorities and global megatrends are weak, identifying a significant gap in educational research in Australia;

• There is a significant correlation between an academic’s gender (as the lead chief investigator or project leader) and their university grouping in obtaining Category 1 funding in education. Male academics at Go8 universities have the most success, whereas women who either work at Go8 universities or have no university grouping are less successful in obtaining and leading Category 1 grants. Again this signals a significant metropolitan-regional divide; and

• Nearly one third of all projects had no partners, which, given the new emphasis on university and industry focused research, is a concern for educational research in Australia. The results revealed the Victorian Department of Education and Training as the leading non-university partner across all projects, demonstrating a significant commitment of the Victorian Government towards educational research in Australia.

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