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Curtin University
Office of Research & Development

Research Performance Index (RPI)

The Research Performance Index (RPI) is an initiative run annually to reward researchers for research excellence. The RPI scheme allocates funds based on both performance inputs (external research grants) and outputs (publications, non-traditional outputs, successful postgraduate research supervision etc.) in the preceding year. Reward is targeted particularly to research quality.

The RPI also provides a mechanism for collecting data that must be submitted by Curtin to the Commonwealth Government under the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC), and submissions under future rounds of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative.

All Australian universities report research performance to the Australian Government in order to access Commonwealth research block grants. In 2014, $1.72 billion will be provided to eligible higher education providers as block grants for research and research training, through several performance-based schemes.

Login to the SCRIPT Database for the RPI System.

RPI Updates

RPI Update is a publication from the Office of Research and Development to keep staff up to date with progress regarding the Research Performance Index. Alerts to RPI Updates are emailed to staff and are available from RPI Update section of the ORD Publications webpage.


The RPI is open to Curtin researchers who have made a quantifiable research contribution in the preceding year in an area of eligible activity, who are part of a RPI Group. Only activity that can be classified as research, and which meets all the eligibility criteria outlined in the Specifications, can be claimed under RPI.

Research is defined as comprising creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humanity, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications. Such activity necessarily involves an appreciable element of novelty (innovation), uncertainty with respect to outcomes, potential for publication of outcomes in peer-reviewed scholarly media and/or a high level of technical risk.

Staff participating in the RPI should read the RPI 2014 Specifications. These specifications should be read in conjunction with the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) specifications.

The 2014 Round of RPI will open in February 2014 and closes on 31 March, all submissions must be finalised by this date.

Staff can enter publications into SCRIPT throughout the year in preparation for this and future RPI Rounds. Research Projects associated with income claims should already be entered into SCRIPT and can be imported against the research team.

Training Guides for the Research Groups/RPI, Research Project and Publications modules are available.

The RPI System

The RPI functionality was transferred fully to the SCRIPT Database for the 2008 round onwards. The SCRIPT Database can be accessed here. Only registered users may access the system, and information will be restricted based on permission levels.

Spending RPI Funds

All funds generated by RPI points will be allocated to special RPI cost centres (Fund type RP) which will be confirmed by the Office of Research and Development prior to allocation of funding. RPI groups should endeavour to expend all funds allocated under the RPI within the calendar year that they were awarded.

Under the 2014 RPI Specifications, RPI funding may be used for: hiring of research-only personnel (research assistants/administrators/technicians); covering the gap between ARC/NHMRC funded fellowships and actual cost; research equipment and consumables; attendance at internationally prestigious research conferences; research related travel; conducting research workshops (NB costs associated with convening a conference are not eligible); direct publication costs in quality outlets; supporting Visiting Researchers; and teaching buy-out for research purposes.

Curtin Expectations

Historically the results of each RPI round has informed the Curtin Expectations for Academic Performance. However, this is no longer the case.

For reference, the link to the old Curtin Expectations 2006 - 2012 RPI Performance table can be found here.

RPI Helpdesk

Please contact the RPI Helpdesk if you have any queries or problems:
Telephone: xtn 3231.

Any feedback or issues with regards to criteria, or suggestions for future modifications should be discussed with your Dean of Research or the Manager Research Operations.