The Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) is an annual government reporting requirement for Australian higher education providers.

Research income data is collected and used to assess the relative performance of providers in research and research training. Each year, the Department of Education and Training releases specifications outlining what income can be included. Income that meets these rigorous eligibility requirements are then included in the submission.

Why is HERDC important?

The data reported in HERDC and the Higher Education Student Data Collection (HESDC) informs the allocation of research block grants from the Department of Education and Training to the higher education sector. In 2020, $1.96 billion will be provided, based on the data reported, to higher education providers. Funding is provided through two performance-based schemes: Research Support Program and Research Training Program. Details can be found on the Australian Department of Education website.

The HERDC Definition of Research

There are many eligibility prerequisites that guide the reporting of research income, but the underlying requirement is that the activity in the funded research project must comply with the HERDC definition of research:

For an activity to be an R&D activity it must satisfy five core criteria:

  1. To be aimed at new findings (novel),
  2. To be based on original, not obvious, concepts and hypotheses (creative),
  3. To be uncertain about the final outcomes (uncertain),
  4. To be planned and budgeted (systematic), and
  5. To lead to results that could be possibly reproduced (transferable and/or reproducible).

The HERDC specification then details the types of activities that can meet the definition of research, and how they should be classified.

The Research Income Categories are as follows:

UQ Competitive Grants Register

To make a request for inclusion on the UQ 2020 Competitive Grants Register, please complete the online form. UQ R&I will assess your submission and notify you of the outcome.

Submit a UQ CGR request