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Top stories of 2023: Australia

ARC overhauls, the Accord and more—the biggest research policy news from Australia this year

In 2023, developments at the Australian Research Council and with the Universities Accord produced some of our most-read Australian news.

Selected by our editorial team, these are the Research Professional News stories that defined Australian research this year.

1. Australian Research Council to get governing board (4 December)

The Australian Research Council will get a governing board and more clarity on its role in the research community, under new legislation.

2. Universities Accord prompts worries among research sector (28 July)

Interim report lays out options, but Australian universities say there’s a long road yet.

3. Zielke in shock exit from ARC (6 December)

The Australian Research Council is searching for a new chief executive, following the unexpected resignation of Judi Zielke. 

4. Researchers will be told to prioritise gender and sex issues (6 December)

Australia’s medical researchers will need to consider issues of sex and gender in project design, under new guidance on research approaches.

5. Closing the door at CSIRO (30 June)

With Larry Marshall, chief executive of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, closing his office door for the last time, he was set to leave behind a very different CSIRO to the one he joined in 2015.

6. Australia’s medical researchers face high harassment risk (1 November)

Medical research is a “high-risk sector” for sexual harassment, the sector peak body said.

7. Research sector welcomes ARC review recommendations (24 April)

Australian research organisations expressed their support for the recommendations of the Sheil review of the Australian Research Council.

8. Universities told to prioritise research oversight (26 July)

Australia’s regulator wanted training and systems to be designed to prevent misconduct.

9. Changes to Australian Research Council confirmed (23 August)

The Australian Research Council was to be overseen by a government-appointed board in a major structural shake-up.

10. Higher education bodies respond to Accord (11 October)

Australian academics demanded more research funding, better job security and a more equitable education system in their final submissions to the national Universities Accord process.