Photo credit: Chris Stacey
Photo credit: Chris Stacey

Black belts and beyond

Professor Sakkie Pretorius, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), presented the 2016 Research Weather Report on Thursday last week. Titled The ERA of Black Belt Performance, Professor Pretorius thanked Macquarie’s academics, professional staff and higher degree research (HDR) candidates for three years of work that have translated into a rapid acceleration of Macquarie’s research performance and quality.

“No other university in Australia has achieved what we have in the past three years,” said Professor Pretorius. “Our academic black belts, our professional staff and our HDR candidates – they are the ones who made this possible.”

Macquarie’s external research income has improved from $48 million in 2013 to approximately $67 million (unaudited) in 2015. Macquarie’s HDR completions have increased from 297 in 2013 to 594 in 2015. While Macquarie’s weighted publications have remained relatively unchanged at 1849 in 2013, 1833 in 2014 and approximately 1830 (unaudited) in 2015, the quality of this work has greatly improved.

The increase in Macquarie’s research quality was demonstrated through the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2015 evaluation. One hundred per cent of Macquarie’s research at the 2-digit Field of Research Code (FoRC) level was rated ‘at or above world standard’ by ERA 2015. No discipline areas at Macquarie received a rating of ‘well below world standard’ at either the 2-digit FoRC or 4-digit FoRC level.

“Macquarie has already achieved the 2024 targets we set ourselves for ERA in the Strategic Research Framework,” said Professor Pretorius. “It is now time to defend our areas of strength and build capability and quality across the University.”

Professor Pretorius and Professor Peter Nelson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Performance and Innovation), will be visiting the faculties and MGSM for town hall meetings this week, providing an opportunity for all staff and HDR candidates to ask questions.

If you missed the presentation, or if you would like to view it again, it is available to watch online: