Research Management Process-Benchmarking Programme

Anecdotal evidence suggests that university research management processes are still in a state of evolution – and it is likely therefore, that much is to be gained by sharing experiences and good practice.

The ACU seeks to facilitate this process amongst universities by using a unique benchmarking process designed specifically for use in university management processes. Discussions are based on two in-person events (over two years) and, in each case, rely on considerable preparatory work by the participants to record their current processes and practice. Groups are deliberately kept small – with no more than 16 participating universities at a time – to ensure in-depth discussion, focussed on key issues. Each session produces a series of good practice statements, against which participants and the wider higher education community can evaluate their current provision.

Over the course of the ACU’s benchmarking exercises, we have developed a series of good practice statements in the following areas:

  1. Developing a university strategy
  2. Retention and support for research staff
  3. External promotion of university research capacity
  4. Submission and authorisation of externally funded work
  5. Project management and control
  6. Commercialisation and exploitation of research
  7. Dissemination to wider society

The ACU also runs an annual online benchmarking exercise – ACU Measures – which complements our process-benchmarking activities. It opens for data collection on 1 February every year.

Contact us for further information on joining or creating a process-benchmarking group at, and for further information on our online benchmarking exercise at