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Photo: metamorworks, Shutterstock.com

Photo: metamorworks, Shutterstock.com

New Direction of CEPR emphasises research impact

9 April 2019

Associate Professor Ben Phillips has been named as the new Director of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR).

With nearly 20 years of experience in economic and public policy analysis work, Associate Professor Phillips is well-positioned to guide CEPR forward at a time when research engagement and impact are in the spotlight for governments and institutions.

Ben Phillips

The Centre began in the Research School of Social Sciences at ANU in 1980, and it is now based out of the Research School of Economics. The late Professor Fred Gruen founded the Centre on account of a major gap in Australian universities between research and economic policy debate. CEPR was the first institution in Australia to seek to bridge this gap, and Associate Professor Phillips aims to continue to inform research-led policy.

Campus collaboration

One aspect of CEPR’s mission is to bring economists from different areas of the University together and encourage collaborative, unified research and public engagement.

Associate Professor Phillips says, “There are a lot of economists across ANU; such as in the College of Business and Economics, College of Arts and Social Sciences, and the Crawford School. We probably don’t communicate enough about what we’re all doing, so it would be great to publicise that.”

Aiming for impact

There is a shift throughout universities to put more emphasis on the impact that comes about as a result of research, and as Director, Associate Professor Phillips hopes that CEPR can help to bridge the gap between research and policy.

“There has been a long interest with being published in journals, and that of course is still bread and butter, but we need to be doing more than that. I think there’s an important drive for ANU to go beyond that—to get the message out to government departments, industry, the media and the general public. There’s a role for universities to be explaining why it is this kind of research, even the more pure research, has relevance.”

Associate Professor Ben Phillips is also leading a new initiative to engage with young economists through monthly talks from leaders in the field. Read more here.

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Updated:   9 April 2019 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team