Message from the Vice-Chancellor: Health and Medical Research Strategic Review - next steps

13 June 2013

I am pleased to let you know that I have received the recommendations arising from the Health and Medical Research Strategic Review.

Peter Wills AC and his advisory committee have delivered an exciting report. It suggests how we might make the most of our very considerable strengths in health and medical research so that researchers and students in those disciplines continue to rank among the world's best, and so that we can increase the impact of their work in the communities we serve.

It also explains why we need to act if we are to be optimally placed to respond to major government changes to health and medical research funding and priorities. If we do not act, we risk missing out on significant opportunities resulting from those reforms in an environment where competition for funding is growing rapidly.

The review also contributes to the wider changes we have been making to how we work as a University. We will always be a place where individual researchers are free to pursue their own lines of enquiry, but, as we agreed in our strategic plan, we need to enhance our institutional ability to invest strategically in research and education projects of national, regional and international importance - by developing better governance, encouraging more cross-disciplinary activity, and providing greater support and career development.

In coming weeks we will invite an independent chair to lead a committee that will consider the report in depth and develop an implementation plan. I have also asked the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Jill Trewhella, to work with the deans of the health and medical faculties to organise a series of town hall meetings where staff in those faculties can discuss the report's recommendations. In the meantime, you can read the executive summary and download the full report from the University's website.

I would like to thank the advisory committee - including experts from within and outside the University - for all their work, not least their extensive consultation with staff across the University and Australia's health and medical sectors. It is now time for us to take up the challenge they have set us.

Yours sincerely

Michael Spence