Funding delay thwarts research (Australia)

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s ambition for Australia to be among the world’s top 10 countries for research and innovation is being undermined by the government’s failure to provide staffing and costs for a A$2 billion (£1.3 billion) investment in research facilities, universities have claimed. Dwindling resources mean that critical research infrastructure may be closed or run at sub-capacity, The Australian reported. The situation forced university vice-chancellors to stump up A$60 million from their own research block grants until mid-2014. However, university leaders said this stop-gap was undermined when the government delayed A$500 million in Sustainable Research Excellence (SRE) funding to cover indirect costs for three years. Belinda Robinson, chief executive of Universities Australia, said the delay has been “a slap in the face” as universities had assumed that the SRE would offset the cost of providing the stop-gap funding.

Source: Times Higher Education