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Procedure: Centres and Institutes


To outline procedures for the establishment, management and disestablishment of Centres and Institutes at ANU.


Establishment – Development of Proposal

  1. The Host School of a proposed Centre or Institute, other than an Externally Funded Research Centre, will develop a comprehensive written Proposal for a Centre or Institute addressing each of the issues below, in consultation with other stakeholders in the university:
  1. Title (if the title includes ‘National’ or ‘Australian’, include in the Proposal a justification based on the activities and focus of the Centre or Institute)
  2. Centre Type
  • Internal ANU Centre
  • Joint ANU-External Partner Centre
  • ANU Institute
  1. Mission and Objectives consistent with University strategic plans
  2. Research Plan (including staffing arrangements, HDR supervision)
  3. Education Plan (including postgraduate)
  4. Other Activities (including policy, outreach, commercialisation)
  5. Review and reporting schedule, including Key performance targets aligned with mission and objectives
  6. Management and Governance Arrangements (including Director reporting, oversight committees)
  7. Administrative Arrangements (including accommodation and utilities, administrative support including websites, and facilities or equipment requirements)
  8. Budget: demonstrate a clear and sustainable funding model for the proposed term of the centre, showing key revenues, expenses and in-kind contributions from other areas
  9. Status as an AOU – based on scope, requirements, revenue streams and independence of the proposed Centre or Institute. Note: the size and scale of an Institute as defined is commensurate with having an AOU.
  1. The approval process for the finalised Proposal for a Centre or Institute is as follows:
  1. recommendation by the Host School Director and Host College Dean
  2. endorsement by the University Research Committee (URC), which includes representation from all Colleges
  3. endorsement by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
  4. approval by the Vice-Chancellor
  5. Establishment of a new Centre or Institute is reported to Planning and Performance Management, and to Academic Board for noting.
  1. Externally Funded Research Centres such as Cooperative Research Centres, ARC Centres of Excellence, NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence and others are established as per the relevant funding agreement. Establishment of Externally Funded Research Centres is notified to Planning and Performance Management by Research Services upon execution of the funding agreement.

Management, Staffing and Governance

  1. The management and governance structure is determined on a case-by-case basis and includes consideration of the need for an External Advisory Board comprising a mix of high-profile external and internal stakeholders. Externally Funded Research Centres and Joint ANU-External Partner Centres meet any additional governance and accountability requirements arising from funding agreements or external partners.
  2. Each Centre and Institute has a Director, reporting to the Head of the Host School.
  1. For all Internal Centres with AOUs, Institutes with AOUs and Joint ANU-External Partner Centres, the Director is at least a 0.5FTE appointment employed from Centre/Institute funds.
  2. For Internal Centres without an AOU, the Director is substantially employed within the Host School, contributing time to the Centre.
  3. For Externally Funded Research Centres led by ANU, the Centre Director role, reporting lines and financial accountability are in accordance with funding agreement requirements. In other cases, there is a nominated ANU Node Director.
  1. All members of staff are formally employed by an Academic Organisational Unit.


  1. Centres and Institutes develop an individual brand, however the relationship to ANU and ANU logo must be clear on websites, letterheads and other materials. Branding and advertising (including websites) comply with the ANU Internal Advertising policy.


  1. Externally Funded Research Centres are reviewed in accordance with funding agreement obligations, and may be additionally reviewed under the provisions below by decision of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
  2. Under the Academic School or Department Accreditation Procedure, Centres and Institutes can be reviewed separately or as part of the review of a school or department. However, Centres or Institutes with AOUs will be subject to separate review, in place of or in addition to reviews of relevant Schools and Departments.
  3. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor endorses and the Vice-Chancellor approves the Centre and Institute review schedule.
  4. Each of the University’s Centres and Institutes is reviewed at least every five years, although the Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Dean may trigger a review at any time. The review:
  1. Assesses whether the Centre/Institute is meeting its mission and objectives;
  2. Assesses the overall research performance, added value to ANU, and ongoing need for the Centre;
  3. Makes recommendations as the review panel sees fit that may improve the outcomes, governance or standing of the Centre or Institute; and
  4. Recommends whether the Centre/Institute should be renewed for a further term, and any conditions of renewal.
  1. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor endorses and the Vice-Chancellor approves the Centre and Institute review schedule.
  2. Reviews are conducted by a panel in line with the Academic School or Department Accreditation Procedure sections 11-23, replacing references to schools and departments with Centres or Institutes as appropriate.
  3. The Centre/Institute Director may appeal against the outcomes or recommendations of the review on the basis of procedural irregularity only. Appeals are conducted in line with sections 28-29 of the Academic School or Department Accreditation Procedure.


  1. Renaming a Centre or Institute administratively is approved by the Vice-Chancellor. Renaming is not used to change the scope or direction of activity; significant changes to scope or direction are approved through the full consultative approval process above.


  1. A proposal to disestablish a Centre or Institute, based on review outcomes, or other factors is developed by the Host School and College, and includes:
  1. Transitional arrangements for staff, HDR students, or courses taught
  2. Winding up or transfer of budget, facilities, administration and operations
  1. College executives recommend, the Dean of the Host College and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor endorse, and the Vice Chancellor approves disestablishment of a Centre or Institute. Planning and Performance Management (PPM) and Academic Board are notified.
  2. Disestablishment of an External Centre at the conclusion of project funding is an administrative decision only, notified to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Planning and Performance Management by Research Services Division.

Reporting and Organisational Structure Management

  1. Planning and Performance Measurement maintain a register of Centres and Institutes, and the schedule of reviews of Centres and Institutes.
  2. Planning and Performance Measurement lead commissioning, renaming and decommissioning of Centres and Institutes on the organisational structure according to the Organisational Arrangements Change Procedure.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Centres and Institutes
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_012010
Version 4
Purpose To outline procedures for the establishment, management and disestablishment of Centres and Institutes at ANU
Audience Staff-Academic, Staff-Academic-Research, Staff, Staff-Professional
Category Governance
Topic/ SubTopic Governance & Structure
Effective Date 1 Jul 2015
Next Review Date 29 Jun 2018
Responsible Officer: Director Planning and Service Performance
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area Planning and Service Performance Division

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.