Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

What is ERA?

Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) is a federal government initiative that evaluates the quality of research being conducted by Australia’s higher education institutions. It replaced the Research Quality Framework (RQF). In ERA, research disciplines are evaluated against national and international benchmarks and this information is released as an ERA National Report by the Australian Research Council.

ERA began with a pilot in 2008, followed by a trial submission of some research clusters in 2009. The first full ERA evaluation of all research disciplines took place in 2010 and the most recent round was conducted in 2012.

The University of Sydney’s ERA2012 outcomes are available on the ARC website.

How is ERA different to HERDC?

Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) is an annual report of the University’s research publications and research income that we submit to the Department of Education. The Commonwealth Government uses HERDC data to determine the University’s allocation of research block grants and other government funding.

Where HERDC is based around the quantity of our outputs and income, ERA is focused on the quality of our research. In addition to providing us with a benchmark of our research against a world standard, ERA data is also used to inform research funding from the government.