The Northern Sydney Local Health District Research Office has been hard at work throughout the pandemic, helping researchers take their vision from concept to a potentially life-changing reality.
Research Manager Jodi Humphreys said her team has been helping researchers across the district to deliver all the approvals they need.
“Before human research is conducted all applications must undergo a two-step review process; ethics and research governance,” she said.
“We provide advice to researchers to assist with the preparation of an application that meets ethical principles and policies and then continues with facilitating the management of the application.
“It is then the role of the research governance officer to minimise risk in the delivery of the research with the aim of ensuring optimum patient and staff safety.”
However, just because the approvals have been given, the work for the office doesn’t end there, with researchers required to submit regular updates to the office.
“There are currently 1359 active projects authorised to be conducted at a NSLHD site which means post-approval project monitoring is a significant responsibility for the Research Office,” Jodi said.
That number could grow substantially, with COVID-19 resulting in a boost in applications, including the Smelly Study by Professor Rory Clifton-Bligh which has generated a lot of interest across the country.
“Like many in the community, our team hope to see an increased understanding of this illness so it has been a privilege to be able to make a difference by expediting applications for COVID-19 research,” Jodi said.
“Our governance team have approved four COVID-19 research applications with another 10 applications in progress.