We have recently submitted an open letter to the Australian Research Council (ARC) following reports from several of our members that their funding applications were returned to their institutions with requests to modify their National Interest Test (NIT) statements.
The applications affected were for those for the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) and Future Fellowship. As a result, the announcement of outcomes for these awards have been delayed.
Unexpected delays negatively impact the early- and mid-career researchers for whom these awards are targeted – especially the former, who rely on clear timelines for career planning.
The NIT statements, which are a short summary of the research project proposed, is excluded from the peer-review process. There is currently no avenue for the applicant and their host institution to respond to the NIT assessment in their rejoinder.
In the letter we published on 17 August, we express our willingness to support the ARC through consultation and feedback on the peer-review process since we believe a clear and transparent process is essential.
Read our open letter here.
AIP President Professor Sven Rogge was also recently interviewed by Campus Morning Mail regarding pre-prints, the role of the ARC, NIT statements, research translation and more. Listen to his interview (Expert Opinion: Episode 11) here
Read The Guardian's coverage of the issue, which also quotes Prof Rogge, here.