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ERA 2015 Results

Introduced in 2010 by the Australian Government (through the Australian Research Council), Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) is a research quality evaluation program for Australian universities.

ERA 2015 assessed the research quality of all 41 Australian universities. In total, 96% of Macquarie's research activity was rated as performing at world standard or higher.

The five point scale

The quality of research for each discipline and sub-discipline is evaluated on a 5-point scale:
5 – Outstanding performance well above world standard
4 – Performance above world standard
3 – Average performance at world standard
2 – Performance below world standard
1 – Performance well below world standard

Macquarie University and ERA 2015

Macquarie University had an outstanding level of success in ERA 2015, where we were assessed in 21 two-digit Fields of Research (FoRs) and 55 four-digit FoRs.

Two-digit fields of research

Macquarie currently places in the top eight institutions in terms of the proportion of research at the two-digit level rated at world standard or above. We are the only non-Group of Eight university to have all (100%) two-digit fields of research codes (FoRCs) rated at 3, 4 & 5 (Adelaide placed outside the top eight, due to a rating of 2 received for 13 Education).

We have established long-term excellence in 05 Environmental Sciences, where Macquarie is one of two universities to be rated 5 in all three ERAs.

Our first assessment in 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences (rated 5) places Macquarie among the top five universities in the country in this discipline

Four-digit fields of research

Macquarie increased the proportion of its four-digit FoRCs rated at 3 (performance at world standard) and above from 85.7% in 2012 to 96.4% in 2015—surpassing the target of 95% (by 2024) outlined in our Strategic Research Framework.

We have established long-term excellence in 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience, where Macquarie is the only university to be rated 5 in all three ERAs.

In addition to being in the top three institutions for 0603 Evolutionary Biology, Macquarie is the only non-Go8 university to be rated 5 in all three ERAs.

Macquarie is also in the top three (and the only non-Go8 university) to be rated 5 for 0206 Quantum Physics in all three ERAs.

Other significant national results include:

  • top six (and the only non-Go8 university) to be rated 5 for 0101 Pure Mathematics
  • top seven for 0802 Computation Theory and Mathematics
  • top eight for 0604 Genetics and 1112Oncology and Carcinogenesis
  • top nine for 2001 Communication and Media Studies and 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies
  • top 10 for 0605 Microbiology

National strengths

The Australian Research Council's State of Australian University Research 2015–16: Volume 1 ERA National Report identifies 43 areas of "National Research Strength".

This is defined as specific disciplines (four-digit FoRs) where ten or more Australian universities were rated at above world standard or higher, including four or more Australian universities rated at well above world standard. This is consistent with the method used for previous rounds.

These areas of National Research Strength align strongly with Macquarie's results, with 80% of our research rated "above world standard or higher" (ERA 4 and 5 ratings) contributing to 23 (54%) of the identified strengths. Of particular significance are the following six areas of National Research Strength where Macquarie received a 5 rating, which placed it among the top 10 institutions:

  • 0101 Pure Mathematics
  • 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences
  • 0205 Optical Physics
  • 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience
  • 0604 Genetics
  • 1112 Oncology and Carcinogenesis