AAMRI Feedback on the Australian Synchrotron Access Model and Guidelines

AAMRI Feedback on the Australian Synchrotron Access Model and Guidelines

18th April, 2016

The Australian Synchrotron has released a new proposed Access Model, and Guidelines for Applicants, External Reviewers and Program Advisory Committee for comment.
AAMRI’s submission raises some concerns, particularly the introduction of a new selection criterion for merit-based Synchrotron access around National Benefit and Applications of the Propose Research (30% weighting). This new criterion refers to how much a research proposal aligns with one or more of the National Science and Research Priorities (NSRPs) and how much evidence there is that the research will create beneficial national impacts.

We recommend that:

  • National Science and Research Priorities (including the Health priority) should be applied in their broadest context, including discovery research, when scoring research applications
  • The weighting for the National Benefit & Applications of the Proposed Research criterion should be reduced
  • The securing of competitive, peer-reviewed funding for a research proposal should contribute to the score of merit-based applications for Synchrotron access
  • Clear and comprehensive guidelines should be provided to external reviewers regarding the scoring of track record ‘relative to opportunity’, with particular reference to early-career researchers and researchers with career interruptions
  • The Access Model and Guidelines should be re-drafted to ensure consistency and clarity with regard to how an appropriate balance of discovery and applied research will be achieved, and what this appropriate balance is
  • There should be clarity in the Access Model around the potential use of merit-based beamline time by industry.
Download the full submission below.