The Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) joins peak academic bodies in expressing strong concern over revelations that former Federal Education Minister Birmingham vetoed 11 applications, which the Australian Research Council had recommended for funding in 2017.
The intervention disregarded, and undermined the integrity of, a world-class peer-review process in favour of a politicised agenda.
‘Research outcomes based on merit and peer-review are the lifeblood of academic progress,’ ABDC Deputy President, Professor Mike Ewing, says.
‘When those projects have passed this exacting test, it is a serious and retrograde step to veto them because of their titles, topics, and themes.’
‘Such actions affect everyone committed to research excellence in Australia, not only the specific grant applicants,’ Professor Ewing says.
The ABDC calls on the Australian Government to reiterate its commitment to funding research excellence on the basis of advancing new frontiers of knowledge and innovation.
‘The Government must clearly repudiate political interference in research funding outcomes that is based on prejudice against certain themes and specific disciplinary areas,’ Professor Ewing says.