Programme 3.5 Investment in Higher Education Research

Higher education providers contribute knowledge to fuel the national science and research system, and the skilled people that drive it.

Programme 3.5 aims to help Australia achieve a strong research capacity in the higher education sector by developing and implementing a policy framework and financial support arrangements for university research and training that:

  • expands the capacity of Australian universities
  • renews and expands the skilled research workforce
  • enhances the provision and maintenance of research infrastructure
  • builds the innovation potential of our workplaces and workforce.

Universities support domestic and international research students through several schemes funded by the Australian Government. The Research Training Scheme supports students undertaking higher degrees by research at the masters and PhD level. In addition, Australian Postgraduate Awards provide living allowance stipends to postgraduate research students and International Postgraduate Research Scholarships cover the costs of research tuition fees.

The department also provides funding to universities through the Sustainable Research Excellence and Research Infrastructure Block Grants to support the indirect costs associated with conducting research funded by Australian competitive grants and through the Joint Research Engagement scheme to support elements of research infrastructure.

Two sub-programmes of Programme 3.5 contributed to achieving the objectives in 2013–14― Postgraduate Student Support and Research.

The components of Programme 3.5 that contributed to achieving the objectives during 2013–14 are:

  • Research Training Scheme
  • Australian Postgraduate Awards
  • International Postgraduate Research Scholarships
  • Joint Research Engagement Scheme
  • Research Infrastructure Block Grants
  • Sustainable Research Excellence.

Performance information

Table 15: Programme 3.5 Investment in Higher Education Research performance information

Provision of support and funding to higher education providers for research and research training

Deliverables 2013—14 estimate 2013—14 actual
Value of funds provided to higher education providers 1,685,898 1,685,659

Provision of support for new and existing higher degree by research places

Deliverables 2013—14 estimate 2013—14 actual
Number of Australian Postgraduate Awardsa 3,500 3,500
Value of Australian Postgraduate Awards ($’000) 266,287 266,287
Number of International Postgraduate Research Scholarshipsa 330 330
Value of International Postgraduate Research Scholarship Scheme ($’000) 22,039 22,039
Value of funds provided under Research Training Scheme ($’000) 671,783 671,783

Support for research infrastructure

Deliverables 2013—14 estimate 2013—14 actual
Value of funds provided under Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme ($’000) 39,600 40,000

Improved research performance, transparency and accountability of Australian higher education providers

Key performance indicators 2013—14 estimate 2013—14 actual
Ratio of funding for indirect costs of research (i.e. 2013 RIBG and SRE funding / 2013 Australian Competitive Grants income)a 0.22:1 0.23:1
Total value of higher education providers’ receipt of funds from sources other than competitive grants, including industry, community partners and public sector research agencies ($’000)a 1,846,896 1,875,565

Sustained number of students completing higher degrees by research

Key performance indicators 2013—14 estimate 2013—14 actual
The Equivalent Full-time Student Load ( EFTSL) supported by the Research Training Schemea 21,500 25,782
Number of higher degree by research student completionsa 7,400 9,193

Increased access to research infrastructure to facilitate and support collaborative research activities

Key performance indicators 2013—14 estimate 2013—14 actual
Number of institution-based research infrastructure projects supported through CRIS over timea 16 16

a The data for this indicator is by calendar year (e.g. the 2013–14 data relates to the 2013 calendar year).