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Clinical Research

The NHMRC has described clinical research as: 

“a range of different health professionals studying a wide range of matters, including disease prevention and causation, diagnostic methods, treatments, and effects of and response to illness. Such research can occur in a number of settings, including public and private hospitals and clinics, other institutions or organisations, community settings, and general or specialist medical practices”

National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research, 2007 (updated May 2015).

In keeping with this, NCCRED facilitates clinical research by conducting, mentoring and disseminating clinical trials, epidemiological studies, behavioural studies and other research methodologies relevant to the emerging drugs research community.

Fellowship Program

NCCRED has developed a multidisciplinary mentoring and training program. In the inaugural year, 1 to 3 Research Fellows will be selected from a competitive application process. Fellows can be clinicians of any multidisciplinary background (e.g. Nursing, Allied Health, Medical). Fellowships will be open to practicing Alcohol and Other Drugs Clinicians. The candidate will be partnered with a senior clinician-researcher. NCCRED will contribute to the Research Fellow’s salary in a 0.5 FTE “buy-back”, whereby they replace the candidate’s salary for the 1-year fellowship term. That is, the Fellowship represents a 0.5 FTE commitment for 12 months. The candidate will be required to negotiate / make arrangements with their primary employment institution / organisation to release them for the 0.5 FTE that they will be undertaking the fellowship. This can be done in a block, or ongoing throughout the year of the fellowship, and can be negotiated between NCCRED and successful applicants when the project is decided. A research project will be identified in collaboration between the Research Fellow, the Mentor, the NCCRED Director and the Chair of the NCCRED Board. This will be an iterative process that will be informed by the Research Fellow’s experience, interest, and career aspirations. If you would like more information about the program or application process please follow the link below.

Fellowship Program

Mentorship Program

NCCRED will facilitate mentorships and networking opportunities for clinical staff to access research staff / academics for further professional development. This will take the form of:

  • Clinical site tours for academic staff with brief presentations by the academics, followed by a networking / social event
  • NCCRED as a touch-point to facilitate mentorship for defined purposes (e.g. a clinician who would like advice on an abstract for submission to a conference)
  • The annual NCCRED symposium

These opportunities will be communicated with clinicians in line with the NCCRED Communications Strategy. To register your interest please contact us. If you would like to receive mentoring, or if you have the capacity to provide dedicated mentorship services, please contact us.

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Workforce Development Strategy

Engaging our consortium partner, the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) we developed a Workforce Development (WFD) strategy to provide a blueprint to enhance WFD among clinical researchers. The strategy is aligned with the National Alcohol and other Drug Workforce Development Strategy 2015-2018, other relevant policy initiatives, and NCCRED’s overall program of work.

More Information

Current Australian Studies

The S-Check Smartphone Application

This research project seeks to answer the question: Can a self-administered smartphone-based intervention, the S-Check App, motivate behavioural change among people who use methamphetamine? The S-Check App is a smartphone application based on this service developed collaboratively between ACON, the Albion Centre and St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney. It provides a structured assessment of methamphetamine use and its impact, as well as a tracking function to allow users to monitor their methamphetamine use and health over time. If you or someone you know would like further information about the S-Check App, please contact Quoc Nguyen. This study has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia (HREC/18/SVH/196).

The LiMA Study

A double-blind randomised controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of lisdexamfetamine in reducing methamphetamine use. The target sample is 180 participants with methamphetamine dependence. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive either a 15-week intervention consisting of induction (1 week of 150mg lisdexamfetamine [LDX] or placebo), maintenance (12 weeks of 250mg LDX or placebo) and reduction (1 week of 150mg LDX or placebo and 1 week of 50mg LDX or placebo). All participants will be given access to 4 sessions of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) as treatment-as-usual and receive a 4-week follow up appointment. The LiMA study is currently recruiting in Sydney,Newcastle, Melbourne and Adelaide. If you or someone you know would like further information about the study please visit the website to contact the research coordinator closest to you. This study has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia (HREC/16/SVH/222).


Substance use disorder treatment trials typically assess HIV and other sexually transmitted infection (STI) and blood-borne virus (BBV) transmission risk behaviours as secondary outcomes. Existing brief tools for measuring transmission risk behaviours have not evolved alongside HIV treatment and prevention innovations, nor accounted for emerging sexual contexts of drug use such as “chemsex” / “party and play”. While tools and methods for measuring behaviour change as a primary outcome do exist, they are lengthy and only address specific populations (such as gay and bisexual men). There are no relevant-to-date and brief tools for use in drug treatment studies that assess a range of populations and behaviours. The Substance Use and Sex Index (SUSI) seeks to address these issues and has been developed by a group of researchers at The University of Tasmania, The University of NSW and The University of Sydney. An advisory group made up of Australian community experts and clinicians provides expertise and guidance over the tool’s development. Version 1 of the tool was piloted in 2016 as an anonymous online questionnaire. Based on feedback and review of the piloted tool, version 2 is an online questionnaire to be completed anonymously. If you would like further information on the study, or would like to participate, please see the SUSI website by clicking here. This study been approved by St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee (reference number: LNR/18/SVH/31) and the ACON Research Ethics Committee (reference number: 2018/02).

If you don’t see your trial listed on our website and would like us to promote it or if you would like any more information, please contact us.

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Clinical Research Resources

If you are new to clinical research or if you would like a refresher on the process and guidelines we have compiled for some links to important guidelines and information sites for conducting Clinical Research in Australia.

Click here