Scientists who work for two of Victoria University's laboratories have won the right to be considered academics, allowing them greater freedom to speak about their work.
The scientists at the Ferrier Research Institute and the Robinson Research Institute became Victoria employees last December, when the Crown-owned labs were taken over by the university.
Contracts signed by scientists who are also academics essentially give them the right to speak freely about their field of work if it is for the public good.
The Tertiary Education Union said it was concerned the university wanted to put the scientists on its research fellows and assistants contract, which would have limited their rights.
It said the university had since backed down.