Our commitment to quality research
St Vincent’s Private Hospitals are at the forefront of research, clinical education and training in the private health sector. We’re committed to quality research in the areas of acute and chronic care, innovative healthcare delivery, translational research, and vulnerable communities.
We draw on the expertise of our people and form collaborative research partnerships with experts who share our vision and values. Like us, our partners believe in holistic care informed by the latest evidence, and they continuously strive to improve and ensure best practice.
St Vincent’s Private Hospitals work in partnership with several universities and research institutes, where many of our specialists are actively involved in clinical hospital research. This is part of our continued commitment to expand the evidence base in healthcare.
We also have access to a number of grants from funding bodies including, but not limited to:
- The St Vincent's Curran Foundation
- St Vincent's Clinic Foundation
- The National Health and Medical Research Foundation
- The Heart Foundation
- Australian Research Council
- Medical Research Future Fund
Our partnerships and funding grants provide significant support for both staff and infrastructure costs. They have enabled our research profile and programs to grow considerably over the years.
The Kinghorn Cancer Centre
The Kinghorn Cancer Centre focuses on the translation of cancer research findings into new diagnostic, prognostic and treatment options, with an emphasis on breast, prostate, gastrointestinal (pancreatic and colorectal) and haematological cancers. Their research aims to produce outcomes that are targeted, effective and suitable for integration into larger nationwide cancer treatment services.
Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
Research at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute covers all forms of heart disease, with a particular focus on those that affect the heart’s muscle tissue. Research programs address issues including heart development and congenital heart disease, inherited heart diseases, the potential application of adult stem cell technologies in cardiovascular care and how heart function is regulated in response to stresses like high blood pressure and ageing.
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Research at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research is focused on understanding the role of genes and molecular and cellular processes in health and disease as the basis for developing future preventions, treatments and cures.
For over 50 years, significant breakthroughs have been achieved by Garvan scientists in the understanding and treatment of diseases such as:
- Diabetes and obesity
- Neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, hearing loss, mental illnesses and eating disorders
- Immunological diseases such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and Sjogren’s syndrome
The O’Brien Institute
The O'Brien Institute (OBI) merged with St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research (SVI) in 2015, and is now known as the OBI Department. Since its establishment in 1970, the OBI made outstanding advances in replantation surgery and the transfer – by microsurgical techniques – of body parts and tissue to reconstruct people affected by trauma, cancer, burns and congenital deformity.
Now, the OBI Department conducts internationally recognised scientific research into clinical problems typically treated by plastic surgeons. These problems include impaired healing and deficits of soft tissue or tissue injury following trauma, cancer treatment, or congenital deformity.
Victorian Breast & Oncology Care
Victorian Breast and Oncology Care is a unique group of medical specialists who offer coordinated multidisciplinary care in the diagnosis and treatment of all breast conditions and many cancers, in particular lymphoma, gynaecological cancers, bowel and lung cancer.
The Patricia Ritchie Centre for Cancer Care and Research
The Patricia Ritchie Centre for Cancer Care and Research houses a busy clinical chemotherapy service, research office, and multidisciplinary teams in breast cancer, gynaecological cancer and head and neck cancer. These are closely linked to surgical, radiation oncology and diagnostic services within the Mater hospital.
The Patricia Ritchie Centre offers a range of clinical trials of promising new therapies to patients with cancer. These trials offer patients access to revolutionary medications years before they are readily available.
Working closely with national and international academic groups, the centre has been involved in practice-changing cancer research over the past 10 years, most notably in relation to HER2 positive breast cancer treatment.
Melanoma Institute Australia
The world’s largest melanoma treatment and research centre, The Poche Centre is home to the Melanoma Institute Australia. Made possible through a generous donation of $40 million from philanthropist Mr Greg Poche AO, the purpose built centre is a world class, integrated cancer treatment centre.
The Poche Centre expands existing cancer services at the Mater hospital and its establishment enables the very best possible care for melanoma patients.
Dedicated to minimising the devastating impact of melanoma on the community, Melanoma Institute Australia is affiliated with St Vincent’s Health Australia as well as the University of Sydney.
Research application process
We welcome applications to conduct research at, or in collaboration with, St Vincent’s Private Hospitals.
The first step is to make an application to our research committee to consider whether the proposed project is appropriate for the hospital. The application is then considered by the research committee which meets on the first Tuesday of each month.
- The committee may approve the project at this meeting if it is a simple quality assurance (QA) project.
- The project is identified as needing ethics approval and you will be notified to submit the project to the Human Research and Ethics Committee (HREC).
- The project is identified as already having ethics approval for other sites and you will be notified to seek an extension to the existing ethics approval to include St Vincent's Private Hospitals.
- The project is rejected as not being appropriate for the hospital.
Once approval from the HREC is received, the project comes back to the research committee for sign off. The application then finally goes for approval by the hospital executive.
Please note that the application to the hospital is not an ethics application.
Fees will apply when you undertake a commercially sponsored trial and service charges are applied to all trials. Principal investigators of the trials are also required to submit an annual report.
For more information regarding commercially sponsored trials, please contact us.
Human Research Ethics Committee
Human research is research conducted with or about people, or their data or tissue. St Vincent’s Health Australia understands the vital role that research plays in improving health outcomes across the service. Supporting research initiatives is part of the organisational strategic plan to achieve exceptional care.
It’s a requirement for institutions like St Vincent’s to have a process in place for the ethical and governance review of human research. All research projects being conducted at, or recruiting participants from St Vincent’s Health Australia facilities, require ethics approval by the St Vincent’s Health and Aged Care Human Research Ethics Committee (SVHAC HREC).
The SVHAC HREC is registered with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (NHMRC Registration No: EC00324). It is constituted in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007.
Being part of a Catholic health and aged care organisation, it’s also required that all research submissions comply with the Code of Ethical Standards For Catholic Health and Aged Care Services in Australia – Catholic Health Australia (cha.org.au).
How to lodge a research submission
HREC staff have extensive experience preparing and reviewing submissions to the SVHAC HREC, and are able to provide advice and assistance with submissions to the committee, as well as site-specific applications for governance review.
We encourage all researchers wishing to undertake projects involving humans across the network to contact the SVHAC HREC Research Ethics and Governance Officer at email@example.com
The SVHAC HREC Research Ethics and Governance Officer will help you determine the specific documentation required for your research project, all of which will need to be submitted by email. Some important resources are listed below.
Once the submission has been received, it will be reviewed and categorised as either low/negligible risk or greater-than-low risk. Low/negligible risk research may qualify for expedited review outside of the scheduled HREC meeting times. Any research that is determined to be more than low risk will require full ethics review. The SVHAC HREC conducts full ethics reviews at its bi-monthly meetings.
Please contact us to find out more about HREC submissions and meeting dates for 2020/2021.
The SVHAC HREC is committed to fulfilling Section 5.6 of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and ensuring that research is conducted according to the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research by ensuring that all complaints are handled appropriately.
All complaints will be handled promptly with due sensitivity and in recognition of principles of natural justice. The SVHAC HREC will efficiently, effectively and ethically deal with complaints made to the HREC irrespective of the source or nature of the complaint.
Research participants, their families and other concerned parties have the right to communicate their concerns about any aspect of the services provided and are encouraged to do so. To facilitate this process, the HREC will ensure that all information sheets for research participants contain the contact information for the HREC Chair:
St Vincent’s Health & Aged Care Human Research Ethics Committee
Phone: (07) 3435 1615
What to do if you have a complaint
In the first instance, you can contact the researcher directly to resolve your concerns. If for any reason you don’t feel comfortable talking with the researcher, or if you’re not satisfied with their response, please contact the Research Ethics and Governance Officer by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our research studies and publications
- A sequential multiple assignment randomised trial (SMART) of nursing interventions to reduce pain associated with chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropath.
- Immune and parenchymal cells in lung disease: Accelerating diagnostic and therapeutic discovery – IMPALA study
- COLOR III: A multicentre randomised clinical trial comparing transanal TME versus laparoscopic TME for mid and low rectal cancer
- Outcomes of Transanal Total Mesorectal Excision (TaTME) in Australia
- A collaborative initiative to improve wound management, knowledge and practice in an Aboriginal Medical Service within Toowoomba
- Exploring the impact of Buccal Mucosal Graft harvesting for urethroplasty on oral quality of life: A prospective study
All research projects being conducted at or recruiting participants from SVHA facilities in Queensland require ethics approval by the St Vincent’s Health and Aged Care Human Research Ethics Committee (SVHAC HREC).
The SVHAC HREC is registered with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (NHMRC Registration No: EC00324). It is constituted in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (updated 2018). SVHAC HREC is not credentialed to consider multi-site studies through the National Mutual Acceptance (NMA) scheme.
The SVHAC HREC Research Ethics and Governance Office has extensive experience preparing and reviewing submissions to the SVHAC HREC and can provide advice and assistance with submissions to the committee, as well as site-specific applications for governance review.
We encourage all researchers wishing to undertake projects involving humans across Queensland sites to contact the SVHAC HREC Research Ethics and Governance Officer at email@example.com.
Studies at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Melbourne (SVPHM) will need to undergo HREC review via the St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne (Public) Human Research Ethics Committee.
St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne (SVHM) HREC is a fully NMA-credentialed HREC that is fully constituted and operates in accordance with the NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (updated 2018), and Good Clinical Practice guidelines.
The SVHM HREC meets twice a month and review studies such as:
- Clinical research involving drug-devices, including both experimental agents and those approved for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
- Non-standard clinical interventions, including both experimental agents and those approved for use by the TGA
For more guidelines and information, please refer to the SVHM Research Directorate.
Studies at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney (SVPHS) and Mater Hospital (North Sydney) will need to undergo HREC review under the St Vincent’s Health Network (SVHNS) HREC.
St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney HREC is a fully NMA-credentialed HREC that is fully constituted and operates in accordance with the NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (updated 2018), Good Clinical Practice guidelines, and NSW Health policy directives and guidelines.
The SVHNS HREC meets once a month to review new research projects. Projects that are no more than Low Risk do not require review by the full HREC.
All new applications (single or multisite projects) to the SVHNS HREC (full Committee or HREC Executive Committee) must be submitted via REGIS. REGIS is a web-based platform in NSW and ACT that will be used to manage existing and new human research studies, except for private sites SSAs and private site governance amendments.
For all studies at SVPHS and Mater Hospital, the SVHNS Research Office (SVHS.Research@svha.org.au) must be contacted to obtain the SVHNS-unique SSA application form for Private sites only, and for guidance on submission requirements. SSAs for Private sites cannot be lodged via Online forms, REGIS or ERMs and must be submitted to the SVHNS Research Office via email.
All early phase clinical trials to be conducted in NSW must be submitted to the Bellberry Ltd HREC. SVHNS HREC no longer accepts early phase clinicals for HREC review.
For more guidelines and information, please refer to the SVHNS Research Office.