Sustainable Research Excellence (SRE) is part of an integrated suite of Commonwealth Government reforms to boost the competitiveness of Australian university research. The focus of the SRE program is to provide increased levels of funding to support the indirect costs of research. This requires an estimate of the relative levels of research ‘effort’ occurring in each institution. The SRE survey of staff hours is Government’s preferred means of achieving this.
ECU is required by the Commonwealth Government to administer a survey to determine the percentage of staff time spent on various work activities including Australian Competitive Grant(ACG) funded and other research, over a two-week period in June/July 2011, essentially a repeat of the same process as occurred in 2010. ECU has arranged for Voice Project, an independent survey group, to manage the data collection and to forward the summarised data to the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR). Data will only be provided in an aggregated form, however if required some identifying information may be provided to DIISR at a later date for audit purposes. Staff for whom research forms part of their contract will be asked to participate. The survey consists of a timesheet that you should update on a regular basis. You will be asked to nominate 2 weeks from within a 4 week period and to record the time spent on research, teaching and other activities during those 2 weeks. In 2010 staff were asked to complete the task during a fixed fortnight block, however, feedback indicated that this was too restrictive in terms of providing a reasonable account of research and other activities. The more flexible approach in 2011 may go some way towards dealing with this problem.
You will be asked, within the questionnaire, to nominate two of the four available SRE weeks in which to document your activity hours. The nominated weeks need not be contiguous.
|Week Beg Monday||ECU Pattern 1|
|20 June||Exam wk2|
|4 week SRE data collection period. (staff can nominate any 2 of these 4 weeks)||27 June||SRE wk1||Inter-Semester Break|
|4 July||SRE wk2|
|11 July||SRE wk3||School hols|
|18 July||SRE wk4||School hols||Orientation|
|25 July||Follow up||Orientation|
Invitation and regular reminder emails will be sent to all ECU research staff. These will contain a personalised link to the survey along with instructions on how to complete it. The timesheets will ask you to allocate the hours spent on various work tasks with the goal being to develop an estimate of ACG related research work at ECU relative to other work. An example of a timesheet template is displayed below.
Sample of timesheet
(for illustrative purposes only)
•who is being surveyed,
•what is research how to record your hours,
•dealing with leave,
Activity Categories This provides detailed guidance on which work activities should be allocated to which activity category in the survey.
Department of Innovation, Industry Science and Research – SRE website This is the official DIISR website for the SRE exercise.
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