Measuring Research Impact in Australia

Andrew Gunn, Michael Mintrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The implementation of the national Research Engagement and Impact Assessment in Australia provides a timely opportunity to review
attempts to improve the non-academic impact of academic research. The impact agenda represents a new phase in academic research
evaluation and funding, characterised by a heightened need to demonstrate a return on public investments in research. New imperatives
seek the reorientation of some academic research towards more directly driving national innovation, meeting the needs of business, and
contributing to improved social and economic outcomes. This paper reviews the policy journey of research impact in Australia from
the proposed, but never implemented, Research Quality Framework (RQF) to the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). Our
analysis of policy developments from the Howard to the Turnbull Governments highlights the controversial nature of research impact
assessment and the political and methodological challenges that have accompanied its implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Universities' Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Higher education
  • research funding
  • research evaluation
  • impact and engagement
  • innovation policy

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