This set of six discipline-specific case studies has been compiled to inform the development of a research workforce strategy for Australia.
The Australian Government outlined its intention to develop a research workforce strategy to cover the decade to 2020 in Powering Ideas: An Innovation Agenda for the 21st Century. The development of the strategy recognises a need to better position Australia to meet expected shortfalls in the supply of research qualified people and to address concerns regarding the availability of clear career paths for research students and the adequacy of the research training system in preparing them for varied career outcomes.
The purpose of the discipline-specific case studies is to understand variations in how these issues present at the level of individual disciplines. The six disciplines examined – chemical sciences, education, engineering, health, history and archaeology, and mathematical sciences – were selected by a high-level reference group established to support the development of the research workforce strategy. The disciplines were chosen for their capacity to identify a cross-section of issues and potential pressure points across the research workforce.