All research requests will be reviewed and approved by an internal Committee. Due to the large 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. Scope will prioritise applications which it has had the opportunity to provide input to during the conceptualisation and design phase.
An application should be made using the Application to Conduct Research at Scope form. Before submitting your application, you must contact Dr Stella Koritsas (Manager, Strategic Research) to discuss your application (9843 3000).
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).
Please note that the Committee may request changes to your application.
Also note that a requirement of approval is that researchers inform Scope of the results of the research by providing a copy of the final report (or publications).
In addition to the criteria outlined above, attention will be given to the following elements of an application:
Complexity of language
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. Instead, researchers should use lay language (e.g., plain language).
Obtaining consent from participants
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.
Identifying and managing risk/s associated with participation (including adverse reactions and distress)
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).
Management of dependent / unequal relationships
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 and the potential for coercion needs to be acknowledged and addressed to ensure that participation is free and voluntary.
Lack of information about the research
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).
The Application to Conduct Research at Scope should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications must be submitted as one single PDF file that includes all clearly labelled 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.
For more information about organisational approval, please email email@example.com.