The Australian Government Department of Education and Training uses 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 and Training’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 registered on the 2016 Australian Competitive Grants Register. The ACGR is available through the Department of Education and Training's website.
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: contracts; grants; donations, bequests and foundations; HDR fees for domestic students
- International A: competitive, peer-reviewed research grant income
- International B: other income
- International C: HDR fees for international students
Category 4: Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) 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.
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.