27th March 2019

QUT’s position as a leading research institution has been confirmed by the Australian Government’s latest assessment of university research quality.

The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment shows 80 per cent of QUT’s research is rated at above world standard, up from 60 per cent in the previous assessment released in 2015.

Professor Arun Sharma

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Arun Sharma said the rankings reflected the university’s commitment to undertaking world-class research in collaboration with globally leading universities and external partners. 

The assessment system, which evaluates the quality of research conducted at Australian universities, rated 21 QUT research areas in four-digit Fields of Research (FOR) with the highest rating of five, meaning the performance is ‘well above world standard’.

“This is a substantial increase over the 11 research areas that achieved the highest rating in 2015,” Professor Sharma said.

“QUT has performed exceptionally well ranking 10th in Australia overall. We are eight in the country for disciplines rated 4 or 5 at the 4 digit level and ninth in the country for disciplines rated 4 or 5 at the 2 digital level.”

Professor Sharma said research areas to now be recognised as being well above world standard included mathematics, agricultural biotechnology, genetics and nanotechnology among others.

Professor Patsy Yates

He said the university’s research success aligned with QUT’s ability to attract external investment in areas of institutional strength such as the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in End of Life Care led by Distinguished Professor Patsy Yates and the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre in Additive Biomanufacturing, led by Distinguished Professor Dietmar Hutmacher. 

“These types of initiatives provide the platform required to build research capability and world-class infrastructure critical to generating quality research outcomes,” Professor Sharma said.

 “QUT’s continued focus on quality publications had also contributed to our improved ERA performance.” 

Professor Dietmar Hutmacher

There are now six Highly Cited Researchers at QUT, three in mathematics – Professor Kevin Burrage, Professor Ian Turner and Adjunct Professor Fawang Liu -  Professor Dmitri Golberg (Australian Laureate Fellow) in Materials Science, biomedical scientist Associate Professor Dale Nyholt and Distinguished Professor Dietmar Hutmacher in the new cross-field category.



QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil said QUT’s reputation as a quality research institute has been enhanced through the establishment of significant international partnerships in areas of research strength, for example, with The University of Tokyo around development of next generation fuels.

QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil

“Our ERA ratings are also reflective of a concerted campaign to attract leading researchers such as Australian Laureate Fellows nanotechnology professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik and molecular geneticist Professor Peter Waterhouse who in turn attract other high-calibre researchers to their teams.

“From a teaching perspective these results are also reassuring for our students as they can be assured their learning programs are based on quality research,” she said.

QUT top performing ERA (2018) research areas:

5 (well above world standard) 

  • Agricultural Biotechnology
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Cognitive Sciences
  • Communication and Media Studies
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Ecological Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Genetics
  • Geology
  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Information Systems
  • Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry
  • Materials Engineering
  • Nanotechnology
  • Numerical and Computational Mathematics
  • Nursing
  • Oncology and Carcinogenesis
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Other Physical Sciences
  • Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

Media contact: Rose Trapnell, QUT Media team leader, 07 3138 2361 or 0407 585 901, media@qut.edu.au

Find more QUT news on

Media enquiries

For all media enquiries contact the QUT Media Team

+61 73138 2361

Sign up to the QUT News and Events Wrap

QUT Experts

Before we make your booking

We just have a few questions before booking you in for a 30-minute appointment with us.

Please note that we can only call Australian phone numbers.

What option best describes you?