The ARDC Institutional Underpinnings program is uniting 25 Australian universities to develop a framework for managing research data.

This program is developing a coordinated approach to research data management across Australia’s universities. Participating institutions are creating a jointly-agreed framework for the management, sharing, retention and disposal of data. Each institution is undertaking activities to validate and test an aspect of the framework and release outputs that can be reused by other institutions.

Read the launch article about the program for further information.
This Institutional Underpinnings program is part of the ARDC’s larger National Data Assets initiative.

Program description

In this program, participating universities are working together to develop an Institutional Research Data Management Framework. The framework will be developed, tested and validated by participating institutions, but should be able to be applied across all of Australia’s universities.

The framework will include:

  • A joint statement of the principles underpinning effective institutional research data management
  • A collective outline of the policies, procedures, services and infrastructure needed for effective research data management
  • A shared profile of the archival principles appropriate to the management of research data
  • A model of the common decisions and events that occur as research data interacts with each of these elements, including where possible a description of the information needed to feed into these decisions and processes (acknowledging that this may vary depending on discipline and

As part of the development of this framework, each institution (or groups of collaborating institutions) will create a Framework Implementation, which is an activity that tests or validates an aspect of the framework. Feedback from these Implementations will be used to inform the final version of the framework, and wherever possible reusable outputs will be shared for adoption by other institutions.

Partner contributions

As part of the development of the joint framework, each participating institution will develop an implementation that tests or validates an aspect of the framework. In-scope implementations can cover a wide range of activities, but must:

  • have ongoing value beyond the duration of the project
  • involve improvement or change at the institution (not just business-as-usual)
  • be specifically related to the joint framework
  • produce some output that can be of value to other institutions.


Each participating institution received a $65,000 co-investment from ARDC towards their contribution to this project, matched 1:1 by the participating university.

Participating universities

25 of Australia’s 42 universities are participating in Institutional Underpinnings.

Australian National University
Bond University
Charles Darwin University
Curtin University
Edith Cowan University
Federation University Australia
Griffith University
Macquarie University
Monash University
Queensland University of Technology
Swinburne University of Technology
University of Adelaide
University of Canberra
University of Melbourne
University of New England
University of New South Wales
University of Queensland
University of Southern Queensland
University of Sydney
University of Tasmania
University of Technology Sydney
University of Western Australia
University of Wollongong
Victoria University
Western Sydney University

Contact us

Get in touch with our team with any questions about Institutional Underpinning.

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