Projects initiated under the Skilled Workforce Discovery Activities aim to understand the bigger picture around supply and demand of research support professionals, such as data stewards and research software engineers, with a focus on the benefits of improving career pathways.

The Skilled Workforce Program is part of the ARDC’s second strategic theme People and Policy: Transforming culture and communityDiscovery projects conducted under the Skilled Workforce Program aim to contribute to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the current size of the research support professional workforce in Australia?
  2. What is the future demand for the research support professional workforce in Australia?

Two reports are now available that address these issues:

  1. Surveying the scale of the research-IT support workforce [PDF, 269 KB], by Dr Markus Buchhorn. This report analyses the result of the first national survey on the workforce involved in supporting digital data, software and associated infrastructure in the research sector. These statistics on the current size of the research support professional workforce in Australia will be invaluable in supporting planning on future workforce needs.
  2. The Current and Future States of the eResearch Workforce [PDF, 833 KB], by Natalie Mast, with an overview by ARDC. The document provides insight into the approaches that can be taken to forecast the future demand of the research support professional workforce in Australia, illustrating the complexity of the issue.

The Discovery projects initiated in this theme were completed by consultants commissioned by ARDC. Outputs of the projects will inform the eResearch Skilled Workforce Summit organised by the ARDC, CAUDIT and Universities Australia in Sydney, 29-30 July.

This Summit will focus on the development of the digitally skilled workforce essential for research in the 21st century. It will bring together stakeholders involved or interested in developing an Australian research workforce composed of both digitally skilled researchers, and research support professionals to maximise research impact.

Read more about the open invitation to the Summit and you can also register for the Summit.

Start date 1 April 2019
Expected completion date 31 December 2019
Investment by ARDC $300,000
1 Projects conducted via targeted engagement
Discovery projects initiated in this theme, during the first two weeks of April, are being conducted via targeted engagement.
2 Skilled Workforce Summit
ARDC's Skilled Workforce Summit will be held in Sydney on July 29 and 30. The Summit will bring together stakeholders involved or interested in developing an Australian research workforce composed of both digitally skilled researchers, and research support professionals to maximise research impact.
3 Completion of projects
Projects are due to be completed by 31 December 2019.

Core features

Community support and involvement
Broad involvement of stakeholders to engage and build a collective vision of a data commons.
Deep dive into research support professionals
Gaining a deeper understanding of the supply and demand of research support professionals and benefits of improving career pathways.

Who is this project for?

  • Research ICT Infrastructure providers
  • Universities
  • Publicly Funded Research Agencies
  • NCRIS facilities
  • Research Institutes
  • Medical Research Institutes 
  • Infrastructure providers

What does this project enable?

Broad involvement from eResearch sector to help identify and solve the challenges required for Australia to excel in the new digital economy.  The projects themselves should provide meaningful outcomes for research communities and organisations as well as broader learnings for ARDC and the sector. Outputs from these activities will guide key discussions in the future capital and operational investment programs of the ARDC.

Handy resources