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​A strong focus o​​​n ​research

Western NSW Local Health District aims to deliver world-class health care, at the right time, closer to home, to people living in Western NSW. To achieve this a vibrant rural health research culture needs to be at the heart of core business. ​

It is an exciting time for our District as we build research leadership and excellence across the continuum - from the research laboratory to the patient’s bedside. The challenges involved in health care service delivery in the bush create unique opportunities for health research and innovation to develop solutions appropriate to our rural context.

The Western NSW Local Health District Research Strategy 2018-21​ maps our vision for embedding a robust research culture across our organisation, to ensure healthier rural people and thriving communities.

Building capacity for meaningful exchange and co-creation between researchers, policy makers, health managers, clinicians, patients and communities underpins all components of the strategy. This is important in helping to achieve our strategic priorities, including a strong focus on improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people living in our region. 

The strategy complements a range of NSW Health initiatives and builds on their commitment to support high quality research, evaluation and translation with the overarching aim of keeping people healthy. We are committed to driving innovation, to ensure we make a real difference to the health of people living in our region. We believe this strategy will foster research translation and strategically position Western NSW Local Health District to become even more proactive in regards to research opportunities and continue to be a leader in the delivery of high quality rural health research.


Undertaking health research in our District

We encourage health research being conducted in our region. Our Research Office should be the first point of contact for researchers seeking advice and ethics approval for health-related research projects being conducted in Western NSW, including clinical trials.  

Contact Us

Research Capacity Building Manager - Dr Alice Mun​ro

Executive Director of Allied Health & Innovation - Richard Cheney

Manager Research Ethics and Governance - Mr Phil Sanders​

Current research & opportunities 

There are also a number of current research opportunities and grants available for our staff to access. 

Current research opportunities:
  • HETI Rural Research Capacity Building Program
  • CEC Clinical Leadership Program
  • Sax Institute Research Action Awards

Current grants:

  • ​​NSW Health Translational Research Grant Scheme

The Translational Research Grants Scheme (TRGS) funds research projects that will translate into better patient outcomes, health service delivery, and population health and wellbeing. Grants ranging from $50,000 to $1 million will be provided to successful applicants for projects of one to two years’ duration. While TRGS research projects must be led by one of our employees, partnerships with other research organisations such as universities and medical research institutes are strongly encouraged.

For more information visit the TRGS pages on the NSW Health websi​te or contact our Research Manager, Dr Alice Munro.​

Health Research Conferences

Greater Western Human Research Ethics Committee (GWHREC)

The Greater Western Human Research Ethics Committee is constituted and operates in accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007​ and has been accredited by the NSW Ministry of Health as a lead committee to provide the single ethical and scientific review of research proposals within the NSW public health system.

GWHREC oversees all research ethics for Far West LHD and Western NSW LHD, and also has Service Level Agreements with Murrumbidgee LHD and Southern NSW LHD. 

Each research project is reviewed by a Human Research Ethics Committee who considers whether it is scientifically and ethically sound to proceed.

Download the GWHREC Guide for Researchers for more information about how to obtain ethics approval and conduct research in Western NSW.

The Committee meets on the first Wednesday of each month, except for January. There is also a sub-committee which meets in between full committee meetings to review Low or Negligible Risk (LNR) research proposals. In 2017/18, the average length of time for a full ethics review was 35 days and for an LNR review 19 days.

For details of upcoming meeting dates, download the Schedule of Meeting Dates​. 

For all GWHREC ethics and governance queries, phone (02) 6330 5948 or e-mail

Complaints process 

Complaints about the conduct of an approved research project or the conduct of the Human Research Ethics Committee are governed by standard operating procedure SOP 037 and SOP 038 in the Greater Western Human Research Ethics Committee Operations Manual.  These procedures are publicly available by contacting the GWHREC at the email address above.

Complaints about the conduct of the Human Research Ethics Committee may be submitted to:  The Chief Executive, PO Box 4061, Dubbo NSW 2830.  Phone: 02 6809 8600 

Our partnership with the Western NSW Health ​​Research Network (WHRN)

In April 2018, we signed a three year agreement with the Western NSW Health Research Network (WHRN), to drive innovation in health research across our Health District.

Formed in 2013, WHRN is the peak body for health research in Western NSW and now has over 250 members. The Network is a collaboration between four universities, Western NSW Local Health District, Western NSW Primary Health Network, Hospitals, community managed organisations and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs).

The network aims to improve health and wellbeing and reduce the health inequalities of people living, studying and working in western NSW through research. The focus of WHRN’s activities is to: 

  • Promote and facilitate local health research.
  • Provide opportunities for people interested in health research to meet, support, mentor and collaborate with each other.
  • Support the training and education needs of local researchers.

For more information about WHRN please sign up to their newsletter here.

WHRN Research Appreciation Groups

Are you interested in dipping your toe into research, but not sure where to start? Monthly Research Appreciation Groups are for you!

The Western NSW Health Research Network host monthly Research Appreciation Groups in Dubbo, Bathurst and Orange. Virtual Research Interest Groups will be commencing in March 2019. These groups aim to bring together local clinicians and novice health researchers with academics in each region.