As part of the CRN program, VU worked alongside the University of Melbourne (UoM), Deakin University, Edith Cowan University and the CSIRO in three major areas or elements of research:
- Water management
- Clinical exercise and active living.
Across these research ‘elements’, the VU CRN project supported; 6 PhD scholarships, 6 Postdoctoral Fellowships, 3 Senior Research Fellowships, and teaching relief to more than 25 VU academics.
Immediate expected outcomes of this investment were a measurable increase in the level of joint research activities with our partners including"research publications, applications for competitive grants, supervision of HDR students, and increases in the number of ‘research active’ staff.
VU has raised research capacity in the three research elements and across the University as a whole, as seen by measurable increases in:
- joint publications - 90.77% increase in journal publications with main partners (UoM and Deakin) in the 3 years during CRN (average 82.67 total publications) versus the 3 years before CRN (average 43.33 total publications)
- joint applications for competitive grants - over 319 external applications submitted with successful applications attracting external income to VU of $5.67m (to date) directly attributable to CRN projects and ~$12m (2012-2014 data) indirectly attributable to the ‘CRN associate’ staff involved in the CRN (i.e. broader VU capacity building)
- increased supervision of HDR students - steady increases (7.25%) in HDR enrolments at VU in 3 years during CRN versus the 3 years before CRN
- increased research activity of CRN staff across the 3 research elements - VU activity index average increases for CRN associates of 2-3 fold increases from previous calculations (2.94 fold for Water Management; 2.55 fold for Clinical Exercise and Active Living and 2.23 fold for Education).
VU has exceeded our contracted CRN key performance indicators. We have achieved longer term outcomes including sustainable research partnerships, increases in broader institutional capacity in focussed research areas, and real-world contributions to the national research and innovation priorities.