Featured News JCU’s world-class research report card

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Wed, 27 Mar 2019

JCU’s world-class research report card

exterior of JCU's The Science Place building
JCU's The Science Place

A comprehensive report card of Australian university research quality has rated James Cook University “world class or better” in 38 areas of research – JCU’s best result to date.

Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluates the quality of research in each field at every Australian university.

Universities are rated on a scale of one to five for each research field, with a rating of three representing “at world standard”, a rating of four is considered “above world standard”, and a rating of five represents “well above world standard”.

83% of JCU’s research fields (38 of the 46 research fields evaluated) were rated world-class or above, the highest rating the University has received, up from 78% in 2015, the last time the ERA ratings were evaluated.

Of the 38 fields of research in which JCU is rated world class or above, the University received the highest possible rating (“well above world standard”) in 8 research areas:

  • Environmental science and management
  • Ecology
  • Geology
  • Ecological applications
  • Plant biology
  • Medical microbiology
  • Fisheries sciences
  • Organic chemistry  

The University was found to be “at world standard or above” in another 30 areas including public health and health services, immunology, physical geography and environmental geoscience, and archaeology.

JCU Provost Professor Chris Cocklin said the results confirm the University’s research excellence, particularly in the fields of environmental science and management, ecology, geology, and public health.

“JCU is the only university to receive the top rating for environmental science and management in every ERA evaluation.

“It’s also pleasing to note that, for the first time, every field of research in medical and health sciences at JCU has been rated world-class or above, reflecting the significant investment the University has made in medical and health sciences over the past decade.

“And the University’s Internet of Things program (electrical and electronic engineering) has been rated above world standard in its first assessment – a fantastic result,” Prof. Cocklin said.

The Australian Research Council administers the ERA ratings, which identify excellence across the full spectrum of research activity in Australia’s universities.

The ratings compare research produced in Australian universities against international benchmarks, creating incentives to improve the quality of research and identifying emerging research areas and opportunities for further development.


For more information please contact:

Richard Davis

Head of Media and Communications, JCU

0413 451 475