Ministerial vetoing of 11 humanities-based research projects recommended for funding by the Australian Research Council.
CEO Chris Walton said “There is no room for political interference in Australia’s world-renowned peer-reviewed funding application process. While projects can be aligned with national priorities and strategic objectives, the assessment of scientific merit as identified by peer-review should remain absolutely central to the funding process and at arms’ length from Government. The principles of transparency, rigour, integrity, independence, merit-based funding and intellectual and academic freedom are not optional extras – they must continue to underpin the research grants allocation process in this country.”
Senator Kim Carr revealed the Ministerial interference in Senate estimates hearings and said it was the first-time grants had been vetoed by a minister since Liberal Brendan Nelson rejected applications in 2004/05.
The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations, National Tertiary Education Union, the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations, the Innovative Research Universities group, the Australasian Association of Philosophy, Universities Australia, the Group of 8, the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, the Academy of the Humanities and the Australian Academy of Science have all condemned the veto.