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External review of Microscopy Australia

Early in 2023 Microscopy Australia self-initiated an international review of our operations and outcomes, conducted by a panel of world-leading experts in microscopy.

The aim of the review was to consider the achievements, challenges and barriers in delivering a national research infrastructure, as well as to assess the quality of cooperation and support within and between the facilities, and with external research partners.

This panel consisted of five highly-regarded experts in microscopy research infrastructure from around the world who spent a week touring our facilities and talking to staff, users, industry clients and key government stakeholders. They included Prof. Odile Stéphan (Institut Universitaire de France), Prof. Kazuhiro Hono (President of the Japanese National Institute for Materials Science), Prof. Rafal Dunin-Borkowski (Director of the Institute for Microstructure Research, Forschungszentrum Jülich), Prof. Paul Verkade (Professor of Bioimaging, University of Bristol) and Prof. Rhonda Stroud (Director of the Buseck Center for Meteorite Studies, Arizona State University).

Their report had two key findings:

Finding 1: Microscopy Australia is an outstanding enabling research infrastructure for science and industry, which provides immeasurable added value to academic and commercial research in Australia. It meets and exceeds user needs and expectations and is a shining example of how a national research infrastructure should be designed, managed and operated.

Finding 2: Microscopy Australia achieves an excellent balance between more standard characterization and state-of-the-art research for the benefit of scientists and engineers working in numerous scientific and engineering disciplines. Its activities in methodology and instrumentation development are internationally leading. The online training tools that it has developed and made available internationally are a particular highlight.

Dr Lisa Yen, Prof. Odile Stéphan, Dr Greg Smith, Prof. Kazuhiro Hono, Prof. Rafal Dunin-Borkowski (Chair), Prof. Paul Verkade and Prof. Rhonda Stroud.

June 26, 2023