Annual Reporting and Five Yearly Reviews of Designated Research Centres

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Current Status: Under Review - With Editor 28 July 2017

Annual Reporting and Five Yearly Reviews of Designated Research Centres (DRC) Policy

Policy Code: RS1345


As part of its quality assurance procedures, the University requires annual reports and five-yearly reviews of Designated Research Centres (DRC) for the purposes of:

  1. Providing advice to the Vice-Chancellor on the internal organization and management of Designated Research Centre and its relationship to the University; and
  2. Enabling the Vice-Chancellor to assess the performance of the DRC and its research program within the context of the University's Mission, Goals and Statements of Strategic Intent.


This policy applies to all Designated Research Centres.


Annual Reporting: is defined as the formal process requiring a submission of an annual report that documents performance indicators, attainment of business targets and detailed feedback relating to Centre development.
Designated Research Centres: are defined as an area of research strength within and/or across schools and represent the final developmental stage of a research area within the University.
Five-yearly Reviews: are defined as the formal process of review of performance of DRCs. It occurs every five years and aims to identify Centre performance during the preceding five years, map research program proposals for the following five years and make recommendations regarding the long-term development potential and/or viability of each DRC.

Policy Statement

To achieve the stated purpose, the review of Designated Research Centres will be conducted according to the following criteria and the corresponding Annual Reporting and Five Yearly Reviews of Designated Research Centres (DRC) Procedure.

Authority and Timing

  1. Formal reporting is required on an annual basis with reports submitted through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) to the Vice-Chancellor.
  2. Reviews are conducted normally on a 5-yearly basis and report to the Vice-Chancellor. Reviews may be conducted earlier at the instigation of the Vice-Chancellor.
  3. A DRC may also request the Vice-Chancellor to initiate a DRC Review out of the normal review cycle.
  4. DRC Reviews are conducted as determined by the Vice-Chancellor.
  5. The Vice-Chancellor will notify Council and Academic Board that a review has been commissioned.

Review Panel for Five-yearly Review

  1. The Panel members will be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor. Advice will be sought from the DRC on suitable external participants to serve on the Review Panel.
  2. The panel members will be:
    • Chair: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).
    • Three external members with wide experience in a cognate area, including where appropriate, members from the professions and senior staff from research centres at other universities.
    • One senior active researcher, from the University, but from another DRC.

Terms of Reference for the Review Panel

  1. The contribution of the DRC through its strategic direction and operational plans to the University's strategic direction.
  2. The appropriateness and effectiveness of the performance of the DRC with respect to:
    • The extent to which key performance indicators and targets specified in business plans have been achieved.
    • Performance trends by the DRC over five year/s.
    • Performance relative to (1) the University's overall performance and (2) comparable research centres in other universities, and
    • Financial viability of the DRC.
  3. The Centre's demonstrated utilisation of its endorsed business plan.
  4. The submission of a proposed program of research and Centre development for the next five years and an explanation of how this aligns with the strategic directions of the University and current/emerging national research priorities.
  5. The appropriateness and effectiveness of the organisation and management of the DRC, including:
    • The appropriateness and effectiveness of governance, leadership, planning, administration, and consultative and collaborative processes in the DRC.
    • The role of the DRC within the University; its relationship with the Institute for Regional and Rural Research and its inter-relationships with its host School/s and other DRCs across the University.
    • The membership profile of the DRC (age, qualifications etc) and its approach to human resource management, professional development and capacity-building; and,
    • Quality assurance processes.
  6. To advise the Vice-Chancellor on areas of excellence, areas of potential, and opportunities for improvement.
  7. To provide advice on any other matters referred to the Panel.
  8. Additional Terms of Reference may be identified in response to particular circumstances.

Reporting and Review Outcomes

  1. The Review Panel will report to the Vice-Chancellor, who will seek the advice of the Academic Board in formulating a response.
  2. The Vice-Chancellor will advise Council and Academic Board of his/her response to the Review.
  3. The DRC will report on the implementation of the outcomes of the review as required by the Vice-Chancellor.
  4. The decision to continue or close a Designated Research Centre will be made by Council acting on advice from the Vice-Chancellor who will include with his/her recommendations any recommendation/s from Academic Board together with supporting arguments.


The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) as nominee of the Vice-Chancellor, has overall responsibility for the implementation and review of this Policy.