Build Research Productivity and Output Plan - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Build Research Productivity and Output Plan


The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) Strategic Plan 2011-2015 establishes the following vision for the University:

The University of the Sunshine Coast is regionally relevant and recognised, nationally and internationally for excellence in teaching, research and engagement.

Research outcomes and outputs will increase in both quantity and quality. Existing areas of research concentration will be strengthened through collaboration with the best researchers in these fields in Australia and internationally.

Strategic partnerships will be expanded with related government agencies, industry and business. In addition, there will be substantially more applied research conducted with, and for the benefit of, the wider community.

One of four top level University plans, the focus of this plan is to build research productivity and output significantly.

Strategic Priorities

This plan has four areas of strategic priority, based on the requirements and directions of the Strategic Plan.

The strategic priorities are to:

  1. Strengthen research capability
  2. Develop research groups in disciplinary and cross-disciplinary areas
  3. Focus research on regionally relevant and strategic areas
  4. Leverage research outputs to enable productive partnerships
Strategic Priority 1: To strengthen research capability
Key strategies
  1. Develop institutional infrastructure, systems and services to strengthen research capability
  2. Develop and provide research infrastructure including equipment, facilities and accommodation
  3. Develop research leadership and the research workforce through targeted recruitment, creation of research career pathways and retention with a focus on early and mid career researchers
  4. Attract, develop and retain high quality higher degree research (HDR) scholars, particularly with alignment to existing and emerging areas of research strength, through scholarships and fellowships
Strategic Priority 2: To develop research groups in disciplinary and cross-disciplinary area
Key strategies
  1. Formulate USC research centre and emerging groups policy to support existing collaborative research groups and to identify emerging disciplinary and cross-disciplinary areas of research concentration
  2. Implement a strategic research funding model to enable concentrations of high performing researchers to collaborate productively
  3. Support identified USC research groups through strategic recruitment, seed funding, mentoring, scholarships etc.
  4. Collaborate with other universities (e.g. CRN) and external research providers (e.g. DEEDI and CSIRO) to strengthen research connections, joint ventures and resource sharing where appropriate
Strategic Priority 3: To focus research on regionally relevant and strategic areas
Key strategies
  1. Consolidate the University's research agenda through building on current areas of research strength (genecology, sustainability, health, education) and identifying emergent niche areas
  2. Maintain linkages and engage closely with regional organisations to deliver applied research opportunities and benefits
  3. Direct research funds and make strategic appointments to enhance research productivity and outputs in areas of institutional focus
Strategic Priority 4: To leverage research outputs to enable productive partnerships
Key strategies
  1. Link USC research capability to similar activities at research intensive institutions
  2. Develop high level plans with external research organisations
  3. Develop USC research capacity in the Health field through the skills and academic research centre (SARC)
  4. Mobilise the USC research community to respond to partnership opportunities, tenders, CRCs and enhanced marketing of the outcomes of partnerships including translation of research benefits, graduate destinations and funding leverage
  5. Collaborate with the Innovation Centre to promote research through student projects, joint research projects and co-location of staff across research aligned areas
Performance Measures by 2015
  • Research grants income
  • Weighted publications
  • Higher degree research students:
    • load
    • proportion in selected areas of research strength
  • Category 1 grants: $2.5m pa including ARC and NHMRC grants
  • Category 2, 3 and 4 grants: $ value
  • Execution of three (3) high level collaboration agreements with external research partners
  • Four (4) research centres