Annual Reporting and Five Yearly Reviews of Designated Research Centres

Document Currently Under Review

Current Status: Sent for endorsement to publish 21 September 2017

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

Policy Code: RS1346

Purpose

This procedure describes the University process for the annual reporting and five-yearly reviews of Designated Research Centres at the University. This procedure provides a clear process to guide regular reporting and review processes for Centres.

Scope

This procedure applies to all staff involved in the establishment and review of formal research systems associated with Designated Research Centres, at the University.

Definitions

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.

Actions

Annual Reporting

  1. Annual reporting is to be completed using a standard proforma (attached).
  2. Annual reports are to be submitted through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) to the Vice-Chancellor.
  3. Copies of annual reports completed by DRCs are also to be submitted to the IRRR Advisory Board.
  4. Annual reports will be reviewed by a formal review group. This group comprises of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and other persons, as appropriate, appointed by the Vice-Chancellor.
  5. Review of Annual Reports will involve an assessment of the report content against a set of established criteria. The criteria for assessing the performance of Designated Research Centres include the following:
    • Key performance indicators and targets specified in business plans; (which must include the standard DEST research performance indicators).
    • Performance trends by the Centre over previous year/s.
    • Stage of development of the Centre.
    • The Centre's demonstrated utilisation of its endorsed business plan; and,
    • Performance relative to the University's overall performance and comparable research centres in other universities.
  6. Annual reports, together with the comments and recommendations of the review group are to be submitted to Research Committee and then to Academic Board and the Vice-Chancellor for their consideration and assessment.
  7. The decision to continue or close a University Research Centre will be made by Council acting on advice from the Vice-Chancellor who will include with his/her recommendations the views and recommendations of Academic Board.

Five-yearly Reviews

  1. Five-yearly Reviews will occur at the end of each five years and are conducted by a panel established in line with the specifications detailed in the policy documentation relating to the review of Designated Research Centres.
  2. The Five-yearly Review process must commence with the formulation of a DRC self- study, which is to be submitted, through the Institute for Regional and Rural Research (IRRR) to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), by the DRC undergoing the review.
  3. The DRC self-study (up to 20 pages) is to address the Terms of Reference outlined in policy documentation and to contain any recommendations that the DRC may wish to make with respect to its future activities or directions.
  4. The self-study should include (in the form of appendices) the following data and documents (both qualitative and quantitative specific performance indicators should be used):
    • DRC Business Plan and relevant School/s Statement of Strategic Intent and Operational Plans (current and next 3 years).
    • Report against the DRC Business Plan and the Statement of Strategic Intent of relevant School(s) (previous 5 years).
    • Staffing management plan/profile.
    • Research grants and contracted research, and publications.
    • Higher Degree by Research students (enrolments, progress, completion, quality of supervision).
    • Staff and Higher Degree by Research students participation at research conferences, forums and other professional development activities relevant to research.
    • Overview of the DRC budget, including funding sources (last 5 years).

Review Panel Process

  1. The self-study will be sent to panel members four weeks before the visit. Panel members will be asked to indicate any additional information they wish the DRC to prepare before the visit.
  2. At least one month before the Review visit, the secretary will call for submissions from members of the University interested in conveying their views to the Review Panel. The DRC's self study will be made available to the University community for this purpose. Submissions will be collated and provided to the Review Panel one week before the visit takes place.
  3. Where appropriate, external groups or individuals may also be invited to make submissions to the Review.
  4. The Panel will conduct a one day site visit to the DRC, during which it will normally meet with the Director of the DRC, Committee of Management members, members of academic and general staff of the DRC and the Higher Degree by Research students. It may meet with such other groups or individuals as deemed appropriate.

Review Program

The program for the visit will be developed by Panel Chair in consultation with the Director of the DRC.

Costs

The costs of the Review will be met by the DRC.

Review Assessment

  1. The Review Panel will complete a formal report assessing the DRC's performance against a set of established criteria which include the following:
    • Key performance indicators and targets specified in business plans (which must include the standard DEST research performance indicators).
    • Performance trends by the Centre over five year/s.
    • Performance relative to (1) the University's overall performance and (2) comparable research centres in other universities.
    • Financial viability of the Research Centre.
    • The Centre's demonstrated utilisation of its endorsed business plan.
    • Endorsement of the current three year business plan.
    • The appropriateness and effectiveness of the Research Centre's structure, governance and management, including the relationship to the host School, and quality assurance processes.
    • The proposed program of research 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.
  2. The Review Panel's report, together with the comments and recommendations of the review panel are to be submitted to the Vice-Chancellor in line with established reporting procedures.

Reporting Procedures

  1. Following the Five-yearly Review, and the submission of a report from the Review Panel to the Vice-Chancellor, the following reporting procedure will be followed:
    • The Vice-Chancellor will invite the DRC to respond in writing to the Panel's Report.
    • The Vice-Chancellor will invite the Academic Board to respond to the Panel's report.
    • In formulating its advice to the Vice-Chancellor, the Academic Board will also consider the DRC's response to the Panel's report.
    • The Vice-Chancellor's response to the Review will take account of the Panel's report, Academic Board's advice and the DRC's response.
    • The Vice-Chancellor's response is reported subsequently to Academic Board and to Council
    • The Director of the DRC will report to the Vice-Chancellor through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) on the implementation of the outcomes of the review within the first 12 months and, as appropriate, in the subsequent 2-3 years.
  2. 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 and recommendations from Academic Board, together with supporting arguments.

Responsibility

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) has the responsibility for the maintenance of this procedure with specific responsibilities relating to implementation of this procedure outlined under Actions.

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