Research governance

Research governance is the framework through which institutions are accountable for the research they allow to be conducted under their auspices. This framework demands compliance with laws, regulations, guidelines and codes of practice concerning the conduct of research in Australia. Good research governance encourages responsible conduct by researchers, promotes quality in research, and minimises the risk of harm for all involved.

Elements of research governance

  • Ethics approval
  • Site consideration of the investigator’s skills, training and experience
  • Site availability and suitability of facilities and resources for the proposed research
  • Compliance with legislation, regulations, guidelines and codes of practice
  • Legal and insurance (e.g.) consent, contracts, insurance and indemnity arrangements
  • Policies and procedures for responsible research conduct and managing research misconduct
  • Funding for the project, budgets, and financial management
  • Reporting

Why do we need research governance?

Research governance is needed to:

  • Safeguard participants in research
  • Protect researchers/investigators/institutions (by providing a clear framework to work within)
  • Enhance ethical and scientific quality
  • Minimise risk
  • Monitor practice and performance
  • Maintain a climate in which responsible and ethical behaviour in research is expected

Site Specific Assessment (SSA) form

The key document that assists good research governance is the Site Specific Assessment (SSA) form.

The SSA addresses the research governance associated with research applications including resources, study budget details, site-specific policies and declarations from departments. The SSA is used for assessing the suitability of a site at which the research is to be conducted.

The SSA is available via the Online Forms website. It is recommended that researchers access the Online Forms' help information for guidance on using the Online Forms website.

Principal Investigators are required to seek sign off from any department(s) providing support or services to the research project, as well as department head sign off.

In the advent of a conflict of interest, where the Principal Investigator is also the Head of Department, the REGI Unit will accept a signature from the relevant Clinical Director.

All research projects submitted to Barwon Health HREC receive simultaneous governance review.

Traditional Owners

We, Barwon Health, acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land, the Wadawurrung people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to the Elders both past and present.