ANZSA response to political interference in research funding

The Australian and New Zealand Shakespeare Association expresses in the strongest terms that it is vital for Australian Humanities research to be funded appropriately, through a transparent and rigorous peer-review process. We are deeply concerned by the revelation that, without explanation of his motives, the former Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, disregarded the expert recommendation of the ARC reviewers after months of evaluation and vetoed eleven grant applications for research in the Humanities that had been recommended for funding. These actions appear to represent a direct attack on Humanities research and a disregard for its value, and an arbitrary intervention in a rigorous peer review process that is the gold standard in the international research community. We call on the ARC and the Morrison government to articulate their commitment to these values of transparency and expert peer review in the future allocation of ARC funding.