Priorities in our policy work

We contribute to whole-of-system policy development through reports such as the Mapping the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences in Australia, which complements the Health of Australian Science report undertaken by the Office of the Chief Scientist.

Much of our recent work has focused on facilitating knowledge exchange between Australia and the Asia and Indo-Pacific region.

Higher education & research policy

We have long been engaged in contributing a humanities perspective to national research infrastructure development. We completed a digitisation scoping study in 2008 and continue to work with humanities researchers, cultural sector partners and affiliate organisations to advance our collective thinking on humanities infrastructure needs and capabilities.

Another area of focus has been the development of sound principles for research evaluation, including research impact and engagement. We endorse the responsible use of metrics in research assessment as set out in the Leiden Manifesto. We also support principles of open access to research publications and data.

Languages & cultural literacy

A strategic focus in recent years has been the development of policy for languages education in universities. We have convened national symposia, produced policy papers, undertaken two research projects, and helped establish the Languages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities (LCNAU).

We recently partnered with four of the world’s leading Learned Academies – the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia –  in calling for urgent action to protect and promote language study globally. It’s the first time national peak bodies in the humanities and social sciences have collaborated to issue a public call on behalf of language diversity to meet the growing communications challenges of the 21st century. The full statement can be found here.

Digital humanities

We have been active in supporting the development of the digital humanities bringing participants and conversations together through conferences, workshops and funding of early career researchers.

We are a founding sponsor of the Australasian Association for the Digital Humanities (aaDH). The digital humanities are a strong component of our policy advocacy around the sector’s research infrastructure needs, including training in digital methods and data management.

Early & mid-career researchers

We support the next generation of humanities teachers and researchers in a variety of ways. Many of our programs are designed to encourage and reward excellence, build research capacity and facilitate the career development of early career researchers: the Max Crawford Medal, the Hancock Lecture, the McCredie Musicological Award, the Publication Subsidy Scheme, and our Humanities Travelling Fellowships. We engage early and mid-career researchers in our policy work and encourage their participation at national events, workshops and symposia.

Multidisciplinary capabilities

We support collaborative research and the exchange of best practice approaches with colleagues in Australian and internationally. The Securing Australia’s Future program has demonstrated the vital ways in which the humanities come together with the sciences and social sciences to tackle big issues bearing on Australia’s future — such as building an innovative workforce, developing deeper links with the Asia region through research and cultural diplomacy, and capitalising on technological developments with a view to wider social and community need.