HERDC is used in conjunction with the Higher Education Student Data Collection to determine annual research block grant funding

The Australian Government Department of Education uses the Higher Education Research Data Collection ( HERDC ) in conjunction with the Higher Education Student Data Collection to determine annual research block grant funding.

For the purposes of external and internal funding formulae, income and publications can only be considered if they fall within the Commonwealth Department of Education’s ‘definition of research'. For full details, including the definition of research, refer to the HERDC Specifications document.

Research income categories

Category 1: Australian competitive grants

Category 1 consists only of net receipted income received from funding bodies for those research schemes and programs that meet the Australian national competitive grant eligibility criteria as set by the Department of Education

Category 2: Other public sector research income

Category 2 relates to any other income for the purposes of conducting research received from the Australian Government, whether through programs, grants or contracts, that are not eligible for inclusion as Category 1 research income. Category 2 also includes income received from state or territory and local government departments or agencies for the conduct of research, whether through programs, grants or contracts.

Category 3: Industry and other research income

Category 3 income must be categorised in the following subcategories:

  • Australian private sector for profit, not-for profit charities and foundation
  • Australian philanthropy includes donations, bequests, crowd-funding and endowments
  • International private sector for profit, not-for profit charities and foundation
  • International philanthropy includes donations, bequests, crowd-funding and endowment
  • International government

Category 4: Cooperative Research Centre research income

  • Category 4 CRC research income comprises the following subcategories:
  • research income derived from Australian Government grants to CRCs
  • research income derived from non-HEP members of CRCs
  • research income derived from external parties contributing to CRCs.

Audits

The University must arrange for an audit of the Category 1, 2, 3 and 4 research income in its respective research income return and provide the Department with a Special Purpose Audit Report under the Auditing and Assurance Standard Board's Auditing Standard ASA800, which clearly certifies that the research income recorded is correct. An independent, external, qualified auditor should conduct the audit.

The Department's expectation is that the audit also ensures that research income:

  • is attributed to activities that comply with the definition of research, as outlined in the HERDC specifications
  • is attributed to the correct category of research income, and
  • is identified by transparent and explicit transactions.

Want to know more?

For more information on HERDC, email Dr Heidi Russo.