Council to assess Govt-funded research

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Council to assess Govt-funded research

Supporting IT system to be built.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) is seeking contractors to build an IT system that helps it assess the output of Government-funded research.

The so-called System to Evaluate the Excellence of Research (SEER) will collect information from higher education institutions as part of the Federal Government's Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative.

Announced in February 2008, the $35.8m ERA initiative aims to measure and improve research quality to support the Government's reform of university research funding.

Following a trial in 2009, ERA is expected to commence in June 2010 with evaluations of university research in at a discipline level, according to research quality and activity.

Research output will be evaluated by expert review committees and a combination of indicators, such as citation analysis, peer review, volume, commercialisation, and recognition.

An ARC spokesperson explained that SEER will allow research Australian higher education institutions to submit their research outcomes to be evaluated.

"SEER is being used to capture data for evaluation," she said. "The IT system will not undertake the evaluations, rather it supports the evaluations.

"Evaluation of the research outputs will be undertaken by Research Evaluation Committees comprising distinguished and internationally-recognised researchers with a wealth of expertise in research evaluation"

Applications close today (14 April) for ARC's five Canberra-based positions: java architect; java developer; business analyst; project manager; and test coordinator.

A majority of the contracts would end in September 2010, with the possibility of a 12 month extension, and ongoing maintenance and support of SEER would be performed by ARC's in-house staff.

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