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Research Structures Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy provides principles for the development, establishment, management and closure of research structures. QUT’s research structures framework is based on principles of critical mass, programmatic research and sustainable funding, high quality and impactful research, and strategic international and industry partnerships that enhance the University’s standing and brand.

(2) QUT's strategies and priorities in relation to research, research training and commercialisation are outlined in Connections - the QUT Strategy 2023 to 2027 and supported by QUT and Faculty Academic Plans.

(3) This Policy should be read in conjunction with the QUT Research Structures Criteria and Operating Protocol (QUT staff access only).

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Section 2 - Application

(4) This Policy applies to all of QUT’s research structures - University Research Centres, Faculty Research Centres and Faculty Research Groups. These structures can reside within or across faculties. Some centres may be associated with others.

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Section 3 - Roles and Responsibilities

University Research Committee
Endorses QUT Research Structures Criteria and Operating Protocol.
Head of Research Portfolio
Approves QUT Research Structures Criteria and Operating Protocol.
Provides an annual summary level report to Council on all University Research Centres and externally funded Faculty Research Centres, through University Research Committee and University Academic Board.
University Research Centre and Faculty Research Centre Director
Provides an annual report to the Executive Dean of the host faculty and the Head of Research Portfolio.
Research Group Leader
Provides an annual report to the faculty executive dean.

Approval Responsibilities

University Research Centres
Faculty Research Centres
Research Groups
Establishment and closure and material change to title, mission, objectives or structure, including appointment of centre directors and research leaders
Vice-Chancellor and President or delegated authority
Vice-Chancellor and President or delegated authority
Executive Dean of Faculty
Non-material change to title, mission, objectives or structure
Head of Research Portfolio
Executive Dean of Faculty
Executive Dean of Faculty
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Section 4 - Tiered Structure

(5) The tiered structure framework supports the University’s research goals as outlined in Connections - the QUT Strategy 2023 to 2027 and Research Plan by:

  1. establishing and building critical mass in disciplines or across multiple discipline boundaries;
  2. enabling targeted capacity building through both internal and external investment;
  3. creating an intellectual, physical and virtual environment that enables research quality, translation of outcomes and social, economic and environmental impact;
  4. identifying and supporting research leadership;
  5. supporting Indigenous researchers and research and aspirations for gender equity in research;
  6. aligning with sectoral, thematic or funding priorities (regional, national and international);
  7. enhancing the research component of the university’s “real-world” focus to enable the conversion of research outcomes into research impact;
  8. growing and sustaining investment in research across a variety of funding sources – nationally competitive, commercial, industry and philanthropic;
  9. creating knowledge that contributes to the development of educational programs especially at the intersection of disciplines or in new emerging professions; and
  10. promoting engagement with the wider community to establish and build mutually beneficial relations and address "real world" problems.

University Research Centres

(6) A University Research Centre is a University-level entity established to build and develop high-quality, critical mass in research capabilities that are nationally and internationally leading. A University Research Centre will be built on strong multidisciplinary foundations and is expected to contribute to a significant advance in knowledge at the national and international level. Centres will be a strong focal point and facilitator for impactful research with end-users.

(7) A University Research Centre is expected to foster programmatic research that will position the university to attract long-term, sustainable funding. This will be achieved in collaboration with other faculties, centres, collaborators and end-users.

Faculty Research Centres

(8) Faculty Research Centres are established to provide a focus to support and grow research capability consistent with the faculty strategic plan/s. A Faculty Research Centre strengthens QUT's reputation for high-quality and high-impact research and has a primary focus of the conduct of high-quality research and research training. The Research Centre can also engage in consulting activities, continuing education and the provision of other services related to its research activities.

(9) Research Centres are of larger scale than Research Groups.

Research Groups

(10) Research Groups have the primary purpose of representing a cohesive discipline-based group or multidisciplinary group of researchers to deliver high-quality research of sectoral or emerging significance, and supporting the development of QUT’s researchers, including early career researchers.

(11) Research Groups will be of a small scale and will be established by a faculty according to faculty requirements.

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Section 5 - Establishment, Approval, Operation and Closure of Research Structures

(12) Research structures are to be approved, established, operated and closed in accordance with the roles and responsibilities outlined above, Register of Authorities and Delegations (QUT staff access only), Organisational Structure Policy and the QUT Research Structures Criteria and Operating Protocol (QUT staff access only). The QUT Research Structures Criteria and Operating Protocol outlines the establishment, funding, governance, reporting, review and disestablishment requirements for each tier of research structure.

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Section 6 - Delegations

(13) Refer to Register of Authorities and Delegations (VC075 and C168) (QUT staff access only).