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

Promoting the conduct of high quality research is a strategic priority for NHMRC. We have commenced the Research Quality Project, which 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.  

Release of the Research Quality Strategy

NHMRC has released its Research Quality Strategy (the Strategy), which has been developed with advice from NHMRC’s Research Quality Steering Committee. 

The Strategy aims to ensure the highest quality of NHMRC-funded research by providing guidance and supporting good research practices throughout the research cycle.

The Strategy builds on current and previous NHMRC initiatives to foster research quality and aligns with international initiatives in this area. It applies to all types of research funded by NHMRC including basic science, clinical medicine and science, health services and public health research.

NHMRC recognises the importance of partnership with researchers and research institutions in Australia to ensure high quality research and will actively consult and engage with the sector throughout the implementation of this Strategy.

Status update

Survey of research culture

Organisational research culture is critical to the conduct of high quality research. In October-November 2019, NHMRC conducted a survey to identify drivers, enablers and barriers to excellence in research quality. Views were sought from researchers (senior, mid-career and junior), research students (masters and PhD students), institutional representatives and ethics committee members (HRECs and AECs) at NHMRC-funded institutions. 

The survey results will be used to inform other activities being undertaken as part of NHMRC’s Research Quality Strategy. We anticipate that outcomes from the survey will be made available in early-mid 2020.

Research Quality Workshop

NHMRC held a Research Quality Workshop on 30 July 2019. The workshop provided sector representatives with an opportunity to discuss NHMRC’s Research Quality Strategy and its implementation. It also assisted NHMRC to identify connections between the Strategy and existing and proposed activities and initiatives occurring in the sector to ensure research quality. Outcomes from the workshop will inform NHMRC’s ongoing activities to ensure the highest quality in NHMRC-funded research.

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. 

All research

Australian code for the responsible conduct of research

Human 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

Use of animals 

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

Best practice methodology in the use of animals for scientific purposes

Use of Consumer and community involvement

Statement on consumer and community involvement in health and medical research 
Peer review 

Principles of peer review


Principles for accessing and using publicly funded data for health research

Publication and reporting

Open access policy

FAIR statement

Ensuring value in research

Presentations from the 7th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation - 'Ensuring value in research' (27-28 November 2018)

The Symposium explored how we can ensure that the right questions are being chosen from the start, that studies are necessary and well-designed, and that results are reported in a fashion that is unbiased and widely useable.


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


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