Research reports

When working with government and industry partners, CPAS researchers often publish formal research reports outside the peer-reviewed literature to enhance their accessibility to stakeholders and publics. They are archived on this page.

For peer-reviewed literature, other publications and media, see our researchers' individual profile pages.

A graph showing trends in Higher Education Jobs in Australia, Jan 2019 to Jan 2024

Researcher demand: Exploring the demand for skilled researchers in Australia, February 2024

The research workforce in Australia has seen dramatic changes in the last few years.

Alongside the significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic within the academic environment, we’ve also see significant changes in the demand for researchers outside the university environment.

PostAc® has been tracking the demand for research workforce both inside and outside of the higher education sector.

This update presents data on the research labour market in Australia, covering Jan 2019 - Feb 2024.

Click through for more!


18 Months In - Exploring the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Australia’s research workforce - report graph

18 Months In - Exploring the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Australia’s research workforce

Authors: Will Grant, Inger Mewburn, Hanna Suominen, Ran Cui, Li’An Chen, Chenchen Xu

Australia’s research workforce has gone through a tough 18 months. Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, we’ve seen significant academic job losses, major changes to teaching practices, and a highly uncertain workforce horizon.

But more data is needed to properly understand these changes.

In this brief update we present data showing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the research labour market both inside and outside the Australian higher education sector.

By better understanding research labour force trends, we hope that students, educators and key decision makers can better plan for the future, and work towards a better fit between the higher education sector and Australia’s other users of highly skilled researchers.


The Australian Beliefs survey cover

The Australian Beliefs and Attitudes Towards Science Survey

Author: Rod Lamberts

This report was initiated by Dr Rod Lamberts of CPAS and funded by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS). It both updates and expands upon the ANU Poll Australian national survey of public opinion about science Dr Lamberts and colleagues published in 2010. It also provides original Australian data to allow for international comparisons on some key questions from a US national survey published by the Pew Research Center in 2015. Overall, these results show that the majority of people are positively inclined towards science (and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) more broadly) and are having some kind of science-related conversations regularly. Further information and data tables are available from here.


Tracking trends report

Tracking Trends in Industry Demand for Australia's Advanced Research Workforce

Authors: Inger Mewburn, Hanna Suominen and Will Grant

This report was created in collaboration between the Australian National University and Data61 within the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. It was funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, with raw data provided by SEEK Limited. The project aimed to produce data and methods to address the following two key challenges for Australia: 1) helping universities prepare graduates for workplaces outside academia, and 2) helping industry to recognise the value of the research skills developed by graduates of PhD and MPhil programs. The project successfully used Machine Learning to analyse job ads in order to better understand Australian industry demand for highly skilled researchers. Though further research and development work is required, The Machine developed in this project can be used to perform a longitudinal examination of Australian industry response to the innovation agenda.


Engage report cover

How do Australians Engage with Science?

Author: Suzette Searle

This report was commissioned by Inspiring Australia and authored by Dr Suzette Searle from CPAS. It provides a nationally representative baseline of Australian attitudes toward and behaviours related to science and technology that can be used to monitor any changes over time. Specific points of interest include understanding Australians’ awareness, interest and engagement with science and technology, understanding current and preferred sources of information about science and technology, and exploring attitudes towards a range of values associated with science and technology and whether science is regarded as a good career option.


Developing an Evidence Base for Science Engagement - report cover

Developing an Evidence Base for Science Engagement

Authors: Sue Stocklmayer and Sean Perera

This report was commissioned by Inspiring Australia and prepared by Professor Sue Stocklmayer and Dr Sean Perera from CPAS, with the Developing an Evidence Base for Science Engagement Working Group chaired by Mr Richard Eckersley. It offers a plan for identifying and sharing best practice for an evidence base for science engagement in Australia. It finds that much needs to be done to create stronger links between the constituent parts of Australia’s national innovation system, proposing ten recommendations divided into three main themes: The Australian Public, Science Engagement Enterprises, and Funding for Science Communication.


ANU Poll: Public Opinion about Science - report cover

ANU Poll: Public Opinion about Science

Authors: Rod Lamberts, Will J. Grant & Aaron Martin

This eighth ANUpoll, designed by CPAS researchers Dr Rod Lamberts and Dr Will Grant, looks at what Australians really think of science, scientists and, specifically, climate science. It also asks how Australians feel about science in comparison to topics like sport and religion. It shows that Australians have a diverse and complex relationship with science. Many of us are proud of our country’s scientific achievements and confident about their worth. However it also tells us that Australians are confused about climate science and unhappy when politicians ignore scientific advice.