Overview of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) Initiative
The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative is a research quality and evaluation system developed by the ARC in conjunction with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and replaces the Howard Government's Research Quality Framework (RQF).
The Objectives of ERA are to:
Establish an evaluation framework that gives government, industry, business and the wider community assurance of the excellence of research conducted in Australia's higher education institutions;
Provide a national stock take of discipline-level areas of research strength and areas where there is opportunity for development in Australia's higher education institutions;
Identify excellence across the full spectrum of research performance;
Identify emerging research areas and opportunities for further development; and
Allow for comparisons of Australia's research nationally and internationally for all discipline areas.
ERA assesses research at the discipline level and uses the ABS Field of Research (FoR) Codes at the 4-digit level to categorise research. Data submitted at the 4-digit level will also be rolled up and assessed at the 2-digit level for a broader assessment.
The ARC has grouped the FoR codes into the following 8 disciplines clusters:
- Physical, Chemical and Earth Sciences (PCE)
- Humanities and Creative Arts (HCA)
- Engineering and Environmental Sciences (EE)
- Education and Human Society (EHS)
- Economics and Commerce (EC)
- Mathematics, Information and Computer Sciences (MIC)
- Biological and Biotechnical Sciences (BB)
- Medical and Health Sciences (MHS)