The following analysis is drawn from an advice to the research community on 18 December 2012 by Professor David Day, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

In 2012, the Australian Research Council (ARC) conducted the second Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluation. The evaluation collected data regarding the quality of research activity undertaken at higher education research institutions within the ERA 2012 reference period. These data were then evaluated by eight Research Evaluation Committees (RECs), established at a discipline cluster level, and comprised of distinguished and internationally-recognised researchers with expertise in research evaluation.
ERA is included as a key measure of performance in the 2011–2013 mission-based compacts between the Australian Government and institutions and has already informed the development of the Government’s Research Workforce Strategy (RWS). ERA 2012 outcomes will also inform:

  • the 2014–16 mission-based compacts between the Australian Government and institutions;
  • the allocation of some funding through the Sustainable Research Excellence in Universities (SRE) initiative; and
  • the new minimum standards for higher education research and research training, to be administered by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

In the ERA2010 assessment, Flinders was assessed at 4-digit level in 44 disciplines, with 22 (50%) these 44 disciplines assessed as being at or above world standard. Although the total number of disciplines assessed fell in the ERA2012 assessment to 39 disciplines, the number of disciplines assessed at or above world standard increased to 29 disciplines (74%)./strong>

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Disciplines assessed as being at or above world standard in ERA2012 are shown below, with the ERA2010 assessment for comparison. Nine of the 29 disciplines assessed at or above world standard increased in rating in ERA2012, while four decreased in assessed rating. This was potentially partly due to a change in the discipline assessment methodology as well as changes in university staff between the assessments. Eight disciplines were assessed as being above world or well above world standard, including outstanding results for Nanotechnology, Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology and Ophthalmology and Optometry that achieved the highest rating of “5”.

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Thanks are extended to all researchers and professional staff for their contributions to the ERA2012 process, and congratulations to the university on recording a significant improvement in the number of disciplines assessed at being at or above world standard.

The full ERA2012 report can be downloaded at:


For any information regarding the ERA2012 process at Flinders University, please contact the Research Data and Systems team in the Research Services Office at: research data email