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The publication metrics of Future Fellows

The ARC’s Future Fellowship scheme has opened. As with all Discovery Program fellowship schemes the candidate’s capability as a researcher is the most heavily weighted of the assessment criteria. While there is a lot that goes into demonstrating that you are an outstanding mid-career researcher, one simple way to compare researchers is by considering their publication metrics. Over the last two years, when the results are announced, we have collected the publications metrics for all Future Fellows. In our recent blog on Laureates we examined the trajectory of h-indices across the schemes, here we present our data on the number of publications, citations and h-index of the 2020 and 2021 Future Fellows.

The number of publications that the 20-21 Future Fellows have produced ranged from 8-623. The average was 122, median was 100 and the standard deviation was 89:

The number of citations their work had received was even more varied with a range from 4 - 122,255 an average of 5,570, median of 3,036 and standard deviation of 10,333:

Finally, h-index of the 20-21 Future Fellows ranged from 1-107 with an average of 30, a median of 27 and a standard deviation of 15.5:

Clearly there is a lot of variation and we suspect that a lot of this is to do with the differences in publication and citation conventions across disciplines. Have a look at our blog on the successful DECRAs to see how their metrics vary across disciplines. There is a lot more to demonstrating your excellence as a researcher than simply your publication metrics. You also need to show that you are the right person to do the innovative and significant research you have proposed to do. While we are now booked up for Future Fellow strategic reviews for this round, if you are thinking of applying in the next round contact us at for strategic advice on career development or to book in a review or workshop for next year.


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