Pillar 1: Using collaborative groups to make the business of health research translation easier

28 June 2023

The first pillar of Health Translation Queensland’s (HTQ) Strategic Plan 2023-25 is to make the work of translational research easier in Queensland.

Two project areas fall under HTQ’s strategic pillar of making the work of translational research easier:

  • Harmonise and streamline translational research processes
  • Promote and facilitate collaboration across disciplines and institutions.

Under the first area, the HTQ team continues to administer and refine the HTQ Research Passport Agreement, a collaborative agreement that streamlines research approval processes across the HTQ partnership. Another major initiative is HTQ’s work to support clinical trials in Queensland.

In the second area, HTQ continues to nurture collaboration, bringing together diverse stakeholder groups, including researchers who may not otherwise have crossed paths, to explore and address Queensland’s health research needs.

Collaborative groups

HTQ continues to build on its collaborative groups that began with the establishment of the Human Research Ethics and Governance (HREG) group in 2016. These collaborative groups include representatives from HTQ partner organisations and specialist advisors from partner and non-partner organisations.

HTQ’s collaborative groups are:

Spotlight: Research Integrity Group

In March 2022, the Human Research Ethics and Governance (HREG) Advisory Group suggested the formation of a new collaborative group to share experience and expertise dealing with complex issues around research integrity.

HTQ Research Governance Manager Sara Gottliebsen explained the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research sets out expectations for the conduct of research in Australia, noting the onus on the organisation to provide a framework for high-quality research.

“Some organisations are more advanced than others, and several HREG members identified that duplication of effort across the HTQ partnership led to lengthy and time-consuming processes,” she said.

The HREG Advisory Group proposed a community of practice in research integrity where members could seek advice, share knowledge and best practice, and develop skills and resources to support a robust research framework.

In May 2022, HTQ’s Research Integrity Group met for the first time. The group is chaired by Dr Gordon McGurk, General Manager, Research Governance and Funding at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, and meets quarterly. The meetings allow time for the group members to discuss issues and how they can lift their organisation to the next level of maturity in research integrity.

The group’s first initiative was to develop a maturity model so that each organisation could evaluate where they are on a scale of research integrity maturity. This understanding helps to inform areas for action to improve research integrity within their organisation.

In 2023, the group held its first Research Integrity Advisor Showcase to encourage more researchers to become research integrity advisors – a vital role in the administration of health research. The event was well received by the translational research community with 255 people registering from all over Australia.

A second training event, Research integrity in the real world, is scheduled for 18 July 2023. Sara Hubbard, Research Governance Officer from the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service, will present a hypothetical case study, and the group will tease out issues that arise when HR and operational policies intersect with the code of conduct.

If you would like to join the Research Integrity Group or would like details about upcoming research integrity events, please email

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