Published: November 2017
While the Australian Constitution provides no explicit power to fund higher education, let alone the research activities within universities, in 2017 the best part of two billion dollars moved from the Treasury to just two organisations funding research in universities. How this funding initiative came to be, and how it has affected the nature of universities, are the central themes of this book. It is also a personal account of the formation and culture of the Australian Research Grants Committee and its successor, the Australian Research Council ? as well as the intellectual history of the author, who was the last Chairman of the ARGC and the foundation Chairman of the ARC.Proficiency in obtaining research grants has become a fast path to appointment and promotion within universities. Excellence in teaching is not nearly so well rewarded. The Commonwealth, the principal funder of university research, is never sure how valuable the work done actually is, and strives to make the system it has set up more efficient, a never-ending quest.Any attempt to change research-granting rules will be greeted with a mass of criticism, because the stakes for researchers are so high.