Research and approval procedure

Scope is committed to research that leads to practical benefits for the people we support, their carers, volunteers and the community.

Scope will support some external research by assisting with recruitment. An application should be made using the Application to Conduct Research at Scope form. You must speak with Dr Stella Koritsas (Head of Research; 0488 541 443) to discuss your research before submitting an application. Scope will not distribute invitations to participate in research if the application form has not been submitted.

Review of Applications

All applications will be reviewed by an internal Committee. Due to the volume of research applications received, Scope is unable to support all research requests.

Applications will be prioritised and assessed against a number of criteria including alignment with the Strategic Plan and the Research Plan, benefit and relevance of the research to Scope (customers, staff, volunteers etc.), impact, risk, feasibility, and the resourcing required to support the research.

In addition to the criteria outlined above, attention will be given to the following elements of an application:

It is essential that the information (e.g., participant information sheets/ explanatory statements, consent forms, recruitment advertisements) distributed to potential participants are written in a way that will be understood. Scope expects that researchers avoid the use of technical and academic language, especially when potential participants are children or people with cognitive impairment or intellectual disability.

Information about how consent will be sought from participants should be clearly articulated. It is not sufficient to say that consent will be obtained using standard procedures.

The risk associated with participating in research is often underestimated. Eliciting information about sensitive topics (e.g., violence, abuse, physical health, mental health, satisfaction with services) could lead to distress in participants. It is expected that researchers provide information about the risk/s associated with participation, and implement strategies to manage these (e.g., access to counselling). Details of risks should be included in any information distributed to potential participants (e.g., participant information sheets/ explanatory statements).

Assisting with recruitment often means that a Scope employee (e.g., therapist, support worker, manager) is being asked to pass on information about the research to people who they already have a relationship with (e.g., therapist to client, manager to support worker). In these situations, there is a power relationship that needs to be acknowledged and addressed to ensure that participation is free and voluntary.

At times, in the information provided to potential participants, there is a lack of information about the aims of the research and what participation involves. Scope expects that the participation requirements are clearly articulated to participants (e.g., interviews, surveys, time commitment required, examples of questions that will be asked).

Submitting your Application

Your application should be submitted to

When submitting your application, a copy of the letter of approval from a HREC should be attached, as well as copies of the information that will be distributed to potential participants (e.g., the participant information sheets, consent forms, brochures, flyers) and all the data collection instruments (e.g., surveys, interview/ focus group questions).

Applications must be submitted as one single PDF file that includes all attachments.

The outcome of the review will be communicated within four weeks of submission.

Applications with less than three months between commencement and completion will not be accepted.

Please note that the Committee may request changes to your application.

Contact us

For enquiries about research approvals, please contact or 03 9843 3000.