ERA3 Rankings Demonstrate The Value Of Research With Focus

 

4 December 2015

The 2015 Excellence In Research Australia rankings have been released and the Institute has continued to achieve world-class excellence in national research rankings in five key areas of research. Since the last ERA round in 2012, the Institute has maintained and improved its position in important fields of research.

ERA2 Rankings
Western Sydney University was ranked highly in several key research areas in the most recent (2015) Excellence In Research Australia rankings.

ERA is a comprehensive quality evaluation of all research produced in Australian universities against national and international benchmarks. The ratings are determined and moderated by committees of distinguished researchers, drawn from Australia and overseas. The unit of evaluation is broadly defined as the Field of Research (FoR) within an institution based on the Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification (ANZSRC).

ERA is based on expert review informed by a range of indicators. The indicators used in ERA include a range of metrics such as citation profiles which are common to disciplines in the natural sciences, and peer review of a sample of research outputs which is more broadly common in the humanities and social sciences.

The Institute has performed exceptionally well in 2015, with five fields of research rated at '5' - Well Above World-Standard. The rankings for major areas of speciality have remained high or improved to a high level, indicating a growing body of excellence...

The set of discipline-specific indicators has been developed in close consultation with the research community. This approach ensures that the indicators used are both appropriate and necessary, which minimizes the resourcing burden of ERA for Government and universities and ensures that ERA results are robust and broadly accepted.

The first full round of ERA occurred in 2010 and the results were published in early 2011. This was the first time a nationwide stock take of discipline strengths and areas for development had ever been conducted in Australia. There have been two subsequent rounds of ERA in 2012 and 2015.

Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment Continues Its Record of Research Excellence

The Institute has performed exceptionally well in 2015, with five fields of research rated at '5' - Well Above World-Standard. The rankings for major areas of speciality have remained high or improved to a high level, indicating a growing body of excellence.

Director of the Hawkesbury Institute, Professor Ian Anderson explains: "These results, together with our outstanding grant ARC Discovery successes put us in the best possible position we could have hoped for as the year draws to a close. We have maintained our research excellence and improved in other areas."

Of the eleven ratings of '5' secured by Western Sydney University in this ERA round, five were from the Hawkesbury Institute.

Pleasingly, 2015 saw us achieve a top ranking in a new field of research, "Ecological Applications". 

We thank our researchers, professional staff, students and colleagues across the University for their support in achieving this superb result.


The chart below demonstrates that the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment has held its top fields of research consistently between the 2012 ERA2 round and this year's 2015 ERA3 round. Importantly, several areas such as Ecology, Soil Sciences and Microbiology have strengthened further.

In the chart below, the contribution made to these top-performing fields from the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment is significant. This indicates that the Institute's focus on key research fields delivers the results needed to demonstrate excellence and speciality.