ERA 2018: RUN’s outstanding STEM and health research drives regional development

27 Mar 2019

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The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2018 outcomes for the Regional Universities Network (RUN) showed the outstanding, world-class and innovative research being undertaken in RUN universities, benefitting regional communities, particularly in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health.  

The Chair of RUN, Professor Helen Bartlett, said that the ERA results demonstrated that RUN’s regionally-relevant research effort continues to grow and is of global significance. 

“As anchor institutions embedded in regional Australia, RUN research is a fundamental part of our contribution to regional economic growth and social development,” Professor Bartlett said. 

“The ERA 2018 outcomes showed that RUN universities do both excellent fundamental and engaged research.  

“RUN has experienced remarkable growth in the excellence of the research conducted by our members. Compared to ERA 2015, ERA 2018 showed about a two and a half-fold increase in disciplines rated, well above world standard,” Professor Bartlett said. 

“As well as benefitting rural and regional Australia, RUN research contributes to the international links that makes regional universities the most internationally-connected organisations in their communities.  

“It gives our undergraduate students broad exposure to career options that they would not otherwise see.  

“It is vital that our research effort continues to grow for the benefit of all Australians and our international neighbours,” Professor Bartlett said. 


CQUniversity achieved the highest possible five rating for research in mathematical sciences, horticultural production, electrical and mechanical engineering, and psychology and cognitive sciences, and the four, above world standard rating in agricultural science, nursing and public health.  

CQUniversity is also undertaking research at world standard in environmental sciences, biological sciences, zoology, information and computing sciences, artificial intelligence, human movement and sports science, and specialist studies in education. 

Federation University: 

For the first time, Federation University Australia has achieved the highest possible rating in seven research areas, including nursing, human movement and sports sciences, environmental sciences, applied mathematics, civil engineering and environmental science. In these areas research ranges from preventing injuries in Australian football to using genetic codes to tailor treatments for high blood pressure and heart disease. The university’s research in medical and health sciences, artificial intelligence and image processing, was rated as above world standard. 

Southern Cross University: 

Southern Cross University’s achieved fifteen ERA five results—a dramatic increase from nine in ERA 2015. The well above world standard rating in earth sciences, environmental science, ecology and forestry sciences reinforced the university’s standing as a national and international research leader in these areas. The rise of civil engineering and resources engineering to a five rating is particularly notable as these are new areas of research for the university. 

University of New England (UNE): 

The approach used by UNE to help tackle the major challenges that face rural and regional Australian businesses and farming communities is characterised by industry-led research. Regional health and wellbeing, education, environmental stewardship and agricultural productivity have all been boosted by this innovative research, and half of UNE’s research disciplines now have the top five star rating. 

University of Southern Queensland (USQ): 

USQ received the ultimate accolade of five in eighteen research fields, including in numerical and computational mathematics, astronomical and space sciences, chemistry, environmental science, agriculture, engineering, health, sports science, and psychology. The university’s Mount Kent observatory is enabling its astrophysicists and students to work with international partners such as NASA, and play a critical role in the ongoing search for new planets. 

University of the Sunshine Coast: 

All of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s research flagships in agricultural and veterinary sciences, nursing, ecology, zoology and environmental sciences achieved the highest possible rating. Well above world standard was achieved in technology and neurosciences, fields that have been underpinned by the establishment of the Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience Thompson Institute to improve regional mental health. 

View all the ERA 2018 results at: 

Contact: Dr Caroline Perkins, Executive Director, RUN, 0408 482 736 

RUN website:    

Twitter: @RegUniNetFacebook: @RegionalUniversitiesNetwork   

Issued by: Bernadette Smon, Media Adviser, RUN, 0478 495 457 

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