Researcher and student looking at sutrode in lab

Goal 2: Research and Innovation Strategy

2020–2025 Research & Innovation Strategy

Creating knowledge for a better world

The University’s Research & Innovation Strategy is driven by the transformative agenda of the UOW Strategic Plan 2020-2025. It supports the achievement of all three goals in the UOW Strategic Plan, with a particular focus on Goal 2 “Creating knowledge for a better world”. Specifically, our vision for research and innovation at UOW is to be “recognised globally for delivering impactful research that drives positive change”.

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) underpinning the Agenda provide a shared framework to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges – “end poverty, foster peace, safeguard the rights and dignity of all people, and protect the planet”. The UN SDGs are embedded throughout our 2020 - 2025 Research & Innovation Strategy.

Strategic research objectives and performance targets through to 2025 will be achieved through our Research and Innovation Division (RAID) triple bottom line priorities of: performance, people and planet.  

The 2020 - 2025 Research & Innovation Strategy outlines our aspirations to grow and shape our impact through shared objectives, priorities and values that are people-focused, and inclusive.

2.1 Research excellence and diversity

We will invest in outstanding researchers drawn from a wide range of demographics, career levels and disciplines. We celebrate this diversity as a strength and are values-driven in all of our endeavours.


2.1 Strategic Objectives 

Address historical inequities by increasing the diversity of academic appointments (e.g. women, Aboriginal researchers and other under-represented groups).

This will be measured by:

  • Associate Deans Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in all faculties and champions in each School
  • A professoriate whose diversity better reflects the diversity of the broader university community
  • Training and governance structures that embed and uphold best practice principles of research integrity; equity, diversity & inclusion

Develop and champion a UOW-wide framework that values, measures and allocates resources for excellence in research leadership, integrity, mentoring and collegiality.

This will be measured by:

  • Revised research-active career development reward and recognition structures that value best practice mentoring and collegiality
  • Investment in early and mid-career researcher development programs
  • UOW-wide research mentorship program, including mandatory training and registration
  • Appointment of a Dean of Research with a focus on integrity and development

Implement strategies for recruitment and retention of excellent and diverse researchers whose research is aligned with our research priorities and who are recognised for their research impact.

This will be measured by:

  • Attraction and retention of high achieving and values-driven researchers
  • Delivery of a revitalised Vice-Chancellor’s Fellowship Program

2.2 Research with global impact

We will champion high-performing teams to tackle complex problems and global challenges. We will support innovative and impactful outcomes which cross conventional discipline and organisational boundaries.


2.2 Strategic Objectives 

Plan for succession by undertaking a comprehensive UOW research stocktake to identify gaps and opportunities, and highlight existing and emerging strengths.

This will be measured by:

  • Analysis of UOW research performance (income, publications, HDRs and esteem measures, i.e. ERA, EI assessments, FOR codes) and global university rankings (e.g. QS and THE discipline rankings)
  • Analysis of UOW staff research profiles and demographics
  • Benchmarking discipline performance against peers to identify gaps and opportunities, areas of research leadership and emerging research strengths
  • Identifying strategic priorities for research and research areas where there are likely to be future funding opportunities, from basic to translational research

Identify and develop areas of research expertise and themes that align with UN SDGs and generate outcomes that address global challenges and new/emerging priorities.

This will be measured by:

  • UN SDGs embedded in research, teaching and operational activities
  • Number of publications with UN SDG keywords
  • Number of publications co-authored with low-middle income countries

Build an engagement framework that is industry/government/community focused and enables translational research by cross-disciplinary and inter-organisational teams.

This will be measured by:

  • Challenge-led cross-disciplinary research teams addressing global problems
  • Number of research-industry/government/community collaborations

2.3 Best practice graduate research

We will sustain best practice graduate research training. We will ensure new generations are pre-skilled for diverse careers requiring knowledge, ideas generation and evidence-based decision making.


2.3 Strategic Objectives 

Transform our HDR programs to deliver world-class, innovative, equitable and impactful research training and socially responsible leaders.

This will be measured by:

  • Implementation of Graduate Research School Review recommendations
  • Establishment of HDR Supervisor Registration and Development Program
  • Number of academic staff formally registered and trained as supervisors

Reinvigorate resourcing of HDR scholarships, training initiatives, mentoring and facilities and student and supervisor support to ensure exceptional research training experience.

This will be measured by:

  • Increased investment in HDR scholarships, training and support
  • Establishment of Graduate Researcher Development Framework
  • Improved HDR attraction, retention and satisfaction rates

Build international and industry/government/community partnerships to produce highly skilled, flexible, independent innovators and future leaders in their chosen field.

This will be measured by:

  • Enhanced research training experience and transferrable skills training
  • Increased HDR placements with industry/government/community partners

2.4 Leaders in values-based research

We will continue our focus on research quality, engagement and impact. We will undertake research which generates prosperity for society, the economy and environment and continue to rise in international ranking tables.


2.4 Strategic Objectives 

Develop a UOW values-based research assessment to recognise and reward behaviours and practices that align with our three priorities of people, performance and planet.

This will be measured by:

  • An established and accepted values-based research metric within UOW and beyond

Embrace the UN SDGs as a guiding framework for our global and social impact.

This will be measured by:

  • Research projects and outcomes aligned to UN SDGs, with results publicly available on UOW Scholars and relevant web pages

Proactively identify, support and reward talented academics who increase the quality, international reputation, scale and impact of our research.

This will be measured by:

  • Improvement in research quality, engagement and impact rankings
  • UOW-wide research mentorship program, including mandatory training and registration

2.5 Transformative models and technologies

We will leverage Industry 4.0 to transform how we deliver, curate, analyse and track our research, innovation, and impact. In a rapidly changing world, we will offer opportunities to staff, students and stakeholders to build their skills and shape their futures.


2.5 Strategic Objectives 

Invest in modern technologies and processes to support UOW staff and students and enhance our research enterprise and capacity.

This will be measured by:

  • Investment in research data platforms, facilities and laboratories with smart technologies
  • Delivery and use of robust systems for data-informed decision making and pro-active performance monitoring

Leverage UOW domestic and global campuses and networks (e.g., UGPN, NUW Alliance) and embed data science and decision science researchers across the University in a virtual network to transform our research, innovation and impact.

This will be measured by:

  • Increased engagement in global funding partnerships and research networks
  • Increased staff capacity and diverse capabilities enabling industry engagement

Establish a leadership role focused on engagement, innovation and impact.

This will be measured by:

  • Established academic leadership role for engagement / innovation / impact
  • Number of research-industry collaborations and diversification of income sources