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Barwon Health / Research

(03) 4215 0000

Regional Health Service Collaborations

Barwon Health supports our regional and rural partners in undertaking collaborative research projects. We recognise that regional and rural institutions sometimes face limitations in research ethics and governance oversight and can provide support for sites that need assistance.

Research Ethics

Barwon Health HREC is both registered with NHMRC, and our ethics review processes have been evaluated and certified by external assessors against criteria outlined in the Certification Handbook and guidance in the National Statement, 2023, and under the NHMRC National Certification Scheme.

Under the National Mutual Acceptance scheme, ethics review provided by certified HRECs can and should be accepted by other institutions participating in a research project.

This means that researchers only need to submit an ethics application to one HREC, consistent with Chapter 5.3 of the National Statement. Wherever more than one institution has a responsibility to ensure that a human research project is subject to ethical review, each institution has the further responsibility to adopt a review process that eliminates any unnecessary duplication of ethical review.

Barwon Health has relationships with the following institutions, who currently accept Barwon Health HREC multisite review/approval; 

  • Deakin University
  • Colac Area Health
  • South West Healthcare
  • St John of God (SJOG) Geelong
  • Geelong Private Hospital
  • Many Western Alliance Partner Sites

Other Victorian Regional and Metropolitan Healthcare Institutions may also choose to accept Barwon Health HREC approval. RDU advises researchers to contact other sites’ Research Offices to determine whether they will accept Barwon Health HREC review.

How to seek Barwon Health HREC Ethics Review in ERM

ERM does not currently facilitate Barwon Health HREC multi-site review. However, by way of a workaround:

For sites that will accept Barwon Health’s HREC review:

  • When preparing your submission in ERM, please select ‘single-site’. This will allow you to select Barwon Health HREC as your reviewing HREC.
  • Ensure you list the participating sites and site PIs elsewhere within your submission. For example, within your protocol.


Research Governance

Low and negligible risk multi-site Victorian regional projects may also be eligible for a regional streamlined governance process. Please contact [email protected] or call 4215 3373 to determine if your project is eligible. Please provide the following information;

  • Acting Sponsor (Institution responsible for Protocol, Grant Receiver, AND/OR funds administrator)
  • List of sites where you intend to conduct the project
  • Funding if any, and how funds will be distributed to sites
  • Summary of project/Protocol

Each site is responsible for its own research governance.

Regional collaborative research projects are otherwise advised to follow the multi-site submission requirements depending on ethical risk level (QA/Negligible Risk, Low Risk, Greater than Low Risk, Clinical Trial).

For any questions or advice regarding research agreements, please contact RDU at [email protected]

Last Modified: Friday, 08 March 2024