Posted: 8:56 am on 19th January 2015

research-paper-writing1-300x200Ah, WasteWatch loves the smell of Australian Research Council grants in the morning!

The ARC is supposed to support projects that have “cultural, economic, social and environmental benefits for all Australians.”

Perhaps encouraged by reading our previous coverage of ARC grants, the incoming Abbott government promised to evaluate grant applications more thoroughly than previous governments.

We think they still have a way to go.

Not only must someone in the Abbott government have a Renaissance fetish, they also have some other strange tastes in research.

One of WasteWatch’s favourites is the study of doctoral and master’s graduates conducted by… doctoral and master’s graduates! It’s a steal, at only $313,000. No doubt that will buy many coffees, as academics congregate on campuses around the country to ponder the “wasteful attrition” of their research degree candidates, and mull over the reasons for their own conspicuous success.

The project claims it will contribute “theoretically, methodologically, and substantively in order to advance understanding of researcher development.” In other fields, that’s called ‘navel-gazing,’ isn’t it?

Or what about the $42,000 of your money that one lucky historian received to do some First World War research, on the basis that “1915’s battles are little known”? Such a claim probably comes as a surprise to anyone who has heard of the Second Battle of Ypres, or the Battle of Loos, or this little place called Gallipoli.

Some of the academics are becoming surprisingly ‘meta’ too. One lucky one will receive $180,000 worth of grant money to research ‘grantsmanship’. Yes, that’s the practice of applying for grants.

Struggling to see the cultural, economic, social or environmental benefits? Join the club.

William Shrubb

That’s funny lookin': How to turn ARC funding outcome documents into comedy gold | Benjamin Wilkie says:

[…] paying particular attention to ARC grants since sometime in 2013. Their most recent posts are here, here, and […]

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