An independent Australian Government assessment of research excellence has placed the University of Newcastle equal 7th for research that is ‘well above world standard’.

Under the 2012 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment 90 per cent of research at Newcastle is rated world standard and above.

Newcastle achieved a ‘5’ rating of ‘well above world standard’ for 18 areas of research.  Newcastle is the only university in Australia to achieve a ‘5’ rating for social work research and one of only two universities in the country to achieve a ‘5’ rating in applied mathematics, biochemistry and cell biology, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mike Calford, said the outstanding ERA results acknowledged Newcastle’s place in the top research universities in the country.

“This assessment is proof that bringing together major research groupings and investing strategically in research support delivers world-class results,” Professor Calford said.

“It is particularly wonderful to see our Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment rated in the top five in the country.”

Fields of research for Newcastle that received a ‘5’ rating for the first time included earth sciences, psychology, nutrition and dietetics, human movement and sports science, neuroscience, and mechanical engineering. 

Under the review, a ‘4’ rating is ‘above world standard’; and a ‘3’ rating is ‘at world standard’.  The University received a ‘4’ rating in a further nine fields of research including physical chemistry, zoology and nursing; and ‘at world standard’ with a ‘3’ rating in 17 fields including public health and health services, architecture, performing arts and creative writing, and building.

University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, said she was delighted to see the excellence of the University’s research acknowledged in this independent exercise.

“Our NeW Directions Strategic Plan sets a clear vision for the University to take a global leadership role in each of its spheres of achievement.

“Today confirms our tremendous strength across a range of fields, and we will build on these great results to ensure the University takes its place on the world stage and deliver world class innovation to build strong regional communities.”

For more information on the University’s ERA performance visit and

For more information on ERA visit