Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Society Vice-President announced as Chair of the new Australian Research Council Board

Professor Peter Shergold AC FRSN FASSA FAICDSociety Vice-President, Emeritus Professor Peter Shergold AC FRSN FASSA, has been appointed as Chair of the new, independent Board of the Australian Research Council (ARC).

The new ARC Board, the implementation of which arises from recommendations from the independent review of the ARC Act 2001, led by Professor Margaret Shiel, AO (Vice-Chancellor of the Queensland University of Technology), will be responsible for the governance and accountability of the ARC with functions and powers under the ARC Amendment (Review Response) Act 2024 that include setting priorities, strategies, and policies for the ARC.

The announcement was made on 26 June 2024 by the Minister for Education, The Hon. Jason Clare MP, who commented on the politicisation of research funding by previous government Ministers and his promise to ‘to end the days of Ministers using the ARC as a political plaything’.

The new ARC Board, instead of the Minister, will be responsible for the approval of most research grants within the National Competitive Grants Program, with the Minister being responsible for approving funding guidelines, subject to parliamentary scrutiny. The Minister retains the power to approve nationally significant investments, such as Centres of Excellence, and Industrial Transformation Training Centres and Research Hubs, that foster national research capability.

In making the announcement, Mr Clare noted that 'Peter Shergold has unparalleled leadership and expertise, having served as a Secretary in the Australian Public Service for two decades, including for the Departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Education, Science and Training and, more recently, as Chancellor of Western Sydney University.’

The Council of the Royal Society of NSW most warmly congratulates Professor Shergold on his appointment as Chair of the ARC Board and looks forward to positive outcomes for the research sector from its work.

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