[ASA] Input to Australian Government process: Research infrastructure survey

mita.brierley at astronomyaustralia.org.au mita.brierley at astronomyaustralia.org.au
Fri Jun 18 14:57:07 AEST 2021

Dear Australian Astronomers,


The Australian Government is currently undertaking a process to renew its national research infrastructure strategic roadmap for the next five years. The process is run by the Department of Education, Skills & Employment (DESE).

As part of the process, DESE are seeking to directly engage researchers to understand their priorities and needs via an online survey. This survey closes on Wednesday 30 June:



This survey aims to cover national research infrastructure across multiple areas of research, and there may be limitations around how some of the questions are applied to the astronomy case. While I do not wish to influence your answers to the survey in any manner, given the potential for confusion in responses from the astronomy community, the following points may be helpful:

- AAL considers Astronomy National Research Infrastructure as facilities that are accessible by all Australian-based astronomers, irrespective of their institutional affiliation, that is, not university-level access to facilities. This includes facilities located within Australia and overseas, and the following list includes the majority of these facilities:

- ESO La Silla & Paranal telescope facilities (not ALMA as that is not covered by the current Australia-ESO agreement)

- ATNF facilities (Parkes, ATCA, ASKAP)

- Murchison Widefield Array

- Anglo-Australian Telescope

- Supercomputing facilities (NCI, Pawsey, OzStar)

- Data centres and support facilities (ADACS, Optical Data Centre, Gravitational Wave Data Centre)

- You may also wish to consider whether you are involved in the development of new facilities, including the SKA, CTA or GMT.

- If you are presented with a question listing multiple ‘facilities’, several of which are related to astronomy, please note:

- The list may mention the “Australian Astronomical Observatory”. The AAO no longer exists as a facility in the manner that the NRI form is considering – AAL has therefore interpreted this box as meaning the “Anglo-Australian Telescope”.

- The list may then have specific boxes available for the ATNF, ESO and AAO[AAT]. We suggest all other astronomy-specific national facilities (ESO, etc, as above) are listed under the “Astronomy National Research Infrastructure” box.

I would prefer to have simply been able to forward the survey link and encourage you to complete the survey. While the survey is not perfectly designed, I do note that DESE will consider the survey as one input into the process, and therefore please consider taking the time to complete the survey.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions on this matter.

(Roadmap website: https://2021nriroadmap.dese.gov.au/)


Kind Regards,



Mark McAuley
Chief Executive Officer
Astronomy Australia Ltd.


T: 0407 529 290
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