The CRC Contribution to Research Training report

The CRC Contribution to Research Training

Report of a Scoping Study for the Cooperative Research Centres Association

Nigel Palmer, December 2012

This report summarises findings from a scoping study conducted for the Cooperative Research Centres Association (CRCA) by the Centre for the Study of Higher Education. The purpose of the scoping study is to inform the research training activities of Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs). While previous studies have focussed on the outcomes supported by the CRC research training activities, the focus of this report is on the inputs and processes invested by Cooperative Research Centres in supporting quality research education outcomes, and the measures of performance in which they are reflected. Findings from the scoping study reflect a diverse range of research training activities supported by CRCs.

Key findings include:

  • Supporting quality research education in partnership with universities is among the central objectives of the CRC program;
  • CRCs are the 12th largest provider of research training nationally by overall research student load;
  • In partnership with universities, CRCs represent the 9th largest provider of doctoral completions overall;
  • When compared with universities CRCs rank 8th nationally in supporting doctoral completions; and
  • When compared with university groups, CRCs perform among the best nationally in supporting doctoral completions, second only to the Group of Eight.

Findings from this study are intended to inform the collection and dissemination of information on CRC research training activities, assist in identifying markers for distinctiveness in the CRC contribution to research education, inform related benchmarking activities and inform recommendations for future development.

Key areas highlighted for future development include:

  • Improved metrics to reflect the CRC contribution to research training;
  • Improved data collection around CRC research training activities;
  • Possible improvements to the Management Data Questionnaire (MDQ); and
  • Improved resource sharing among member CRCs.

The report is structured as follows:

  • Section 1: The CRC program and research education summarises developments to date around the CRC contribution to research training in research, policy and practice;
  • Section 2: Measures of quality and scale in research training summarises available measures for the CRC contribution to research training, and opportunities for future development;
  • Section 3: Markers for quality and distinctiveness outlines broad domains for research education, and provides an overview of CRC research education activity and areas where CRCs are able to make a distinctive contribution; and
  • Section 4: Strategies for sustainability and opportunities for future development outlines opportunities for future development.

Final report

Adobe PDF fileDownload The CRC Contribution to Research Training (2.6 Mb)

Related materials

Adobe PDF fileDownload the Briefing prepared as part of the scoping study (178 Kb)

Adobe PDF fileDownload the Good Practice Appraisal Tool prepared as part of the scoping study (536 Kb)