SAGE has long argued that the Australian Research Council should utilise the power of funding at its disposal to build greater equity in the Australian research landscape.

The ARC recently conducted a consultation on the policy review of the National Competitive Grants Program. In our submission, we make three key recommendations:

Use funding as a mechanism to improve equity in research. Utilise the power of grant funding to shape more equitable opportunities and outcomes for marginalised and underrepresented groups. Specifically, ARC can link all research and grant funding to a commitment to gender EDI; and set concrete diversity targets and/or quotas.

Improve data and reporting transparency on EDI. ARC should position Australia as world a best-practice leader in EDI by improving collection of data and reporting transparency beyond gender. This includes ethical tracking and reporting of metrics.

Remove barriers to support a strong and diverse research sector. This will strengthen the researcher pipeline and improve access for underrepresented groups, by revising merit-related assessment criteria to reduce potential bias and barriers against
researchers from underrepresented groups, and revising peer review practices.

Read our full submission here.