Commissioned Discussion Piece for the Review of Indigenous Higher Education Access and Outcomes
The Review Committee asked for critical comment on how this Review could best approach the building of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researcher capacity and what can be learnt about the challenges in developing Indigenous research capacity (including training, grant rounds, recruiting Indigenous researchers and barriers to employment).
This paper examines the broad role of AIATSIS within the Research and Innovation sector and its support role within the Higher Education sector. The paper examines the standards applied by AIATSIS in relation to its own research activities and its Research Grants program to foster Indigenous research involvement. The bulk of the paper provides a detailed analysis of the Indigenous Visiting Research Fellowship Program, which has emerged over the past six years as a vital incubator for Indigenous researchers. This program has played a small but critical role in transitioning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into research careers and supporting completions of Higher Degrees by Research (HDR). The paper reflects on the rationale and needs analysis that led to the introduction of the program, the structure of the program, the key learnings from its administration and the outcomes achieved.