NHMRC promotes the highest quality in the research that it funds.

High quality research that is rigorous, transparent and reproducible contributes to scientific progress, is essential for the translation of outcomes into practical and clinical applications and evidence-based policy, delivers the highest possible value for research investment and promotes community trust in scientific findings.

Research Quality Project

Ensuring the highest quality of NHMRC-funded research is a priority for the agency and aligns with NHMRC's strategy for health and medical research. We have commenced the Research Quality Project which aims to provide guidance for the sector on ensuring research quality throughout the research cycle.

This project is being overseen by an expert working committee, the Research Quality Steering Committee, established under Section 39 of the National Health and Medical Research Act 1992. Information about the committee's terms of reference and membership is provided below.

Status update 

Date Activity

23 July 2018,

29 August 2018,

12 October 2018

 

Meetings of the Research Quality Steering Committee (RQSC)

  • Development of a draft NHMRC Research Quality Strategy and Actions Plan underway.
  • RQSC subgroups established to progress several initiatives identified during the development of the draft strategy. 
4 December 2018 Fourth meeting of the RQSC scheduled. 
Late 2018/early 2019

Anticipated finalisation of the draft NHRMC Research Quality Strategy and Action Plan by the RQSC, for consideration by NHMRC's CEO. 

Finalisation of the Strategy and Action Plan will include consultation with NHMRC's Research Committee and Council. 

Further information will be provided as the project progresses. 

Research Quality Steering Committee 

Terms of reference

The Research Quality Steering Committee will: 

 1. Advise NHMRC’s CEO on mechanisms for enhancing quality in NHMRC-funded research through rigour, transparency and reproducibility, including:

   (i) identification of factors that enable or hinder rigour, transparency and reproducibility in research

   (ii) short and long-term strategies for improving rigour, transparency and reproducibility in NHMRC-funded research, and

   (iii) measuring and reporting on the effectiveness of any strategies implemented.

 2. Ensure that advice outlined in Point 1 is based on international best practice and takes into account the outcomes of previous work conducted by NHMRC.

 3. Perform other functions related to enhancing quality in NHMRC-funded research as requested by the CEO.

Membership

See details below. 

Useful resources

To assist researchers and institutions, we have brought together a number of existing resources on how to ensure the highest quality in research.

Australian code for the responsible conduct of research

National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research

Guidelines for ethical conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research and Keeping on track: A guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about health research ethics

Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes

Best practice methodology in the use of animals for scientific purposes

Statement on consumer and community involvement in health and medical research

A framework for NHMRC Assessment and Funding of Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies

Principles of peer review

Relationship between peer review and ethical review 

Principles for accessing and using publicly funded data for health research

Open access policy

FAIR statement

Enquiries 

For further information, please contact ethics@nhmrc.gov.au. 

Membership

Chair,
Professor
Paul
Glasziou

  • Director
  • Centre for Research in Evidence Based Practice
  • Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine
  • Bond University

Declaration

  • Member of Board of Therapeutic Guidelines (unpaid)
  • CI on NHMRC Program Grant and Centres for Research Excellence

Professor
Virginia
Barbour

  • Director
  • Australasian  Open Access Strategy Group

Declaration

I am Director of the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (which is supported by 10 Australia and a coalition of New Zealand Universities) and Adviser to the Office of Research Ethics & Integrity and the Library at QUT I have an honorary (unpaid) appointment at Griffith University

I am involved with many Open Access, publishing, reporting and ethics initiatives, currently including HIFA and Evidence AID. Other activities include: Editorial Board member Research Integrity and Peer Review Australian Academy of Science National Committee for Data in Science Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines Coordinating Committee Bond University Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice Advisory Board NHMRC 2018 Symposium on Ensuring Value in Research Program Committee Cochrane Library Oversight Committee (Chair, beginning Feb 2018) SCOAP3 Governing Council Australian Representative UniTec (NZ) ePress Editorial Committee Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) 15 Working group Vivli’s External Advisory Committee OA2020 Advisory Committee.

I am often reimbursed for travel if invited to speak. Otherwise travel is paid for by my employers. In 2018 travel thus far includes: My travel to the 2018 APRI meeting was paid for by the Taiwanese organisers Travel to CERN for a SCOAP3 meeting was paid for by CERN in March 2018 Travel to specific universities is paid by those universities eg La Trobe in March 2018.

My husband has grants from NHMRC. The topic of the grants are unrelated to my work.

I have applied for NHMRC grant funding.

I speak regularly on open access, and transparency in research. I am not paid for these talks.

I regularly write on open access, transparency and related topics. All my publications are listed at my ORCiD profile https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2358-2440 

Dr
C. Glenn
Begley

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • BioCurate Pty ltd

Declaration

Employed as CEO, BioCurate Pty Ltd. Owns shares in several biopharma companies.

Scientific Advisory Board for drug discovery (Pierre Fabre).

Numerous public presentations on the issue of scientific integrity including to President Obama's Science Council, meetings of the Wellcome Trust, the US Academies of Science, and numerous universities.

Numerous scientific publications, including those focused on research quality.

History of involvement in clinical trials for over 20 years, but not involved in clinical trial activity at this time.

Professor
Edna
Hardeman

  • Chair (Research) and Head, Anatomy & and Cell Biology
  • Head, Cellular and Genetic Medicine Unit
  • School of Medical Sciences
  • University of New South Wales

Declaration

  • Employed by UNSW Sydney that administers NHMRC grant monies, uses animals in research, and contributes to the discussion on the use of animals for biomedical research.
  • Chief Investigator on NHMRC Project Grants.
  • Past, current and future application to NHMRC for research and people support.
  • Member of NHMRC Assigners Academy and Grant Review Panels; Science Assessor for Development Grants.
  • NHMRC Guideline - Guidelines to AECs on Xenotransplantation (2010)
  • Australian Government/NHMRC/ARC Guideline – Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition (2013)
  • NHMRC Guideline - A Guide to the care and use of Australian native mammals in research and teaching (the Guide) (2014) (Chair of approval committee)
  • NHMRC Guideline - Principles and guidelines for the care and use of non-human primates for scientific purposes (2016) (Chair of NHP working committee)
  • NHMRC Guidance - Best practice methodology in the use of animals for scientific purposes (2017) (Member of working committee)

Professor
David
Howells

  • Professor in Neurosciences and Brain Plasticity
  • School of Medicine
  • University of Tasmania

Declaration

Ongoing (research only) appointment at Level E at the School of Medicine, University of Tasmania, Hobart. Honorary (no salary) appointment as Principal Research Fellow at the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health.

Act as panel member on Heart Foundation fellowships assessment panel and act as chair of New Zealand Health Research Council neuroscience grant assessment panel. For both of these I receive an honorarium and have my expenses covered for attendance at meetings. 

In most years I am provided with support to give lectures at scientific meetings, in 2017 this included travel and accommodation for the 4th International Symposium on Systematic Review and Mata-Analysis of Laboratory Animal Studies (4th-ISSRMALAS) held at Research Triangle Park, NC, USA and in 2018 for the Herrenhauser conference in Hanover, Germany.

A member of the ARRIVE guidelines committee. AIrfares and accommodation provided by the UK NC3Rs for me to attend the ARRIVE guidelines preparation meeting in 2017.

Professor
Dianne
O'Connell

  • Senior Epidemiologist
  • Cancer Research Division
  • Cancer Council NSW

Declaration

Over last three years as a chief investigator: Project grants from NHMRC, PCFA, NHMRC CRE grant on cancer outcomes for Indigenous people, Cancer Council NSW STREP grant on cancer outcomes for Indigenous people.

Received sitting fees for NHMRC SToRE Committee and grant review panels; Received sitting fees for MSAC Evaluation Subcommittee meetings until December 2014.

Meals provided when attending NHMRC committee meetings; Meals provided when attending MSAC Evaluation Subcommittee meetings until December 2014.

Received travel and hotel accommodation when attending NHMRC committee meetings in Canberra; Travel and accommodation to attend MSAC Evaluation Subcommittee meetings until December 2014.

Peer-reviewer for a number of national and international journals; Assessor for NHMRC and a number of international research funding bodies.

Member of Expert Advisory Groups for development of a number of clinical practice guidelines on prostate cancer, prostate cancer screening, colorectal cancer and colonoscopy surveillance.