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UC academic appointed to ARC’s College of Experts

Kalyx Jorgensen

22 February 2022: Congratulations are in order for University of Canberra academic Dr Michael de Percy FCILT, who was recently appointed to the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) College of Experts.

A Senior Lecturer in Political Science, Dr de Percy is the first from the University’s Faculty of Business, Government and Law (BGL) on the list of 213 leading academics from across Australia.

The appointment will see him join the ARC College of Experts for a three-year term.

Dr de Percy and his colleagues will ensure there is a robust peer review process in place for ARC funding, through their work to identify research excellence, provide recommendations for funding, moderate external assessments, implement peer review reforms, and provide assistance in recruiting and assigning assessors.

Dr de Percy says that the thing he is most looking forward to is having a front row seat to some of the most innovative and exciting projects coming from Australian researchers.

“In assessing the proposals, we get to help select and have access to the best of the best in emerging research. We’ll get a first-hand look at what some of the most ground-breaking researchers are coming up with, and that’s really exciting and inspiring,” he said.

This is not Dr de Percy’s first encounter with the ARC, for which he has been working as a detailed assessor since 2018. This work has given him a unique understanding of the ARC and its processes, before he begins his tenure in the College of Experts.

“I’m also looking forward to how we can assist with the peer review process. Previously as an assessor, I had a lot of time to ponder and be challenged on my concept of scholarly independence. I agree it’s absolutely something researchers can and should have, but the ARC College of Experts is a great administrative function that helps to find the balance between public researching funding, national priorities and researchers’ interests through its recommendations,” he said.

Dr de Percy’s areas of expertise include comparative politics, historical institutionalism, government-business relations, transport, and telecommunications policy and leadership.

He is also currently Acting Program Director of the Bachelor of Politics and International Relations with the Faculty’s Canberra School of Politics, Economics and Society, a research partner with the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

His qualifications span various institutions including degrees from Deakin University, the University of Canberra and the Australian National University. He is also a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, where he received the Royal Australian Artillery prize.

These varied experiences and the cross-disciplinary skills and expertise he has gathered from them, he says, is likely to be thanked for his appointment to the ARC list.

“It’s very humbling, and I’m quite conscious that I’m sitting among a very esteemed field on this list. At the same time, I have experience across the board and my strength is that I bring a strong multidisciplinary background to the ARC, that sits across a number of programs,” Dr de Percy said.

“I take the role very seriously – it’s such an important function and quite a challenge, but I’m up to it – it will be a steep but satisfying learning curve.”

Find out more about the Australian Research Council College of Experts via their website.