We work to ensure our policies, programs and services are informed by rigorous and robust evidence. We therefore support research that strengthens evidence-based decision-making and contributes to effective policy and practice.

Our participation in commissioned and collaborative research is designed to ensure that:

  • research is relevant and managed in accordance with legal and administrative requirements
  • our risk is minimised
  • the risk to clients, staff or stakeholder safety is minimised
  • research preserves the dignity of research participants
  • we optimise our return on investment in research
  • research contributes to our goals, policy and priorities
  • research meets community expectations and is conducted to high standards of ethical conduct and probity.

Support may be provided to research projects through in-kind assistance such as providing access to data, clients and staff.

Research agenda

The department values quality research. We work hard to ensure our policies, programs and services are informed by rigorous and robust evidence. In fact, stronger use of evidence to support our work is one of the department’s commitments in the Strategic Plan 2018-2022.

The department’s research agenda (PDF, 393 KB) research agenda (PPTX, 769 KB) aims to encourage the delivery of research projects and outputs that we can use to plan and deliver better services to children, young people and families in Queensland.

The department has identified 6 priority areas of inquiry that will optimise service outcomes and facilitate the achievement of the Queensland Government Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities plan.

These are as follows:

  • trials of new/evidence-based programs for key outcome areas in Queensland
  • widening the lens on domestic and family volence
  • culture in youth justice practice
  • children and families with complex needs
  • identifying core components of effective practice
  • user-centred design.

Applying to conduct research

It is important that research with the department and its clients:

  • benefits children, young people and families in Queensland
  • uses an appropriate methodology that’s likely to produce valid and reliable results
  • protects the wellbeing and privacy of staff and clients
  • has no negative impact on service delivery.

Researchers must apply to conduct research with the department or service centres, or to access departmental data. If you wish to submit an application, please complete a research application form (DOCX, 112 KB). When you submit your application will determine which round we will assess your application in. Final approval of all projects is at the discretion of the Director-General.

Requests to involve staff or clients in research

Any research request that involves staff or our clients must first be approved by the Director-General. You should not go directly to service centres or youth detention centres for research approval. Applications for research projects are assessed by a research panel and final approval of all projects is at the discretion of the Director-General.

Research proposals are assessed on, but not restricted to, the following key attributes:

  • quality of the proposed methodology
  • identified advancement of research objectives with our and/or the service area’s cross-cutting research priorities
  • feasibility of the research
  • capacity of the researcher/s to complete research as proposed
  • operational impost and burden to us
  • risks for us, our staff and clients, identified and mitigated by researcher
  • requests for in-kind and financial support (departmental and other sources) are clearly articulated
  • research presents value for money, including impost on us
  • ethical, legal, privacy and confidentiality implications are identified by the researcher
  • ethical clearance proposed or obtained from an NHMRC registered HREC
  • accompanying documents are included in proposal e.g. consent forms, participant information sheets, data collection instruments.

All research must conform to privacy provisions under the Information Privacy Act (Qld) 2009, the Privacy Act (Cth) 1988, and the ethical standards outlined in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) - Updated 2015. We must assess all research proposing the involvement of clients of Youth Justice services to ensure compliance with research provisions under the Youth Justice Act (1992).

Please note: The panel is not an ethics committee and approval from a registered human research ethics committee is a requirement of any approval.

We encourage you to discuss and resolve any potentially contentious issues or unforeseen problems with the panel as early as possible.

Application review rounds

Research applications may be submitted at any time throughout the calendar year. The date of submission will determine the round in which they will be assessed.

Review round dates

RoundSubmission periodReview periodAnnouncement of Director-General approved proposals
1 January February to April May
2 May June to August September
3 September October to December January

Review round process

Review round process

How proposals are assessed

Submissions are appraised using the following key criteria:

Terms and conditions for conducting research

Researchers who complete and submit a research application will be required to agree to, and will be bound by, the department’s research partnership agreement (PDF, 347 KB) research partnership agreement (DOCX, 191 KB). You should also refer to the research policy and procedure (PDF, 473 KB) research policy and procedure (DOCX, 191 KB).

Research translation and implementation

Conducting high-quality research is important, but it’s also important to make that research accessible, relevant and usable.

The department’s research agenda seeks to increase focus and effort on identifying expected outcomes and impacts and planning for translation and implementation of research findings.

Research translation is about bridging the gap between knowledge and action. Implementation science is about how we use evidence, as well as evidence-based practices and programs, in everyday policy, program and practice environments to maximise positive outcomes for our clients.

How to effectively translate research and undertake implementation planning

Translation and implementation planning aims to support researchers and our staff to ensure that:

  • research findings are translated into products that meet decision-makers’ needs and preferences and assist decision-makers to implement research findings
  • research-informed products are used by decision-maker to inform strategy policy, programs and practice by policy, program and practice decision-makers (end-users)
  • impact arising from the translation and implementation research can be monitored and evaluated
  • departmental research findings and impact are disseminated and communicated to audiences other than direct end-users, such as:
    • the general community
    • other government and non-government social services providers
    • academic community
    • specific sectors within those broad groups.

Translation and implementation plans can be detailed and updated over the life of the project and also recorded at a high-level in the research application form. The translation and implementation planning guide (PDF, 801 KB) translation and implementation planning guide (PPTX, 344 KB) can be used to complete the translation and implementation plan (PDF, 631 KB) translation and implementation plan (PPTX, 179 KB). Projects with a high level of investment and significant expected impacts require more detailed translation and implementation planning. This will be informed by a facilitated translation and implementation planning workshop.

Frequently asked questions

Resubmitting and appeals process

Is there an appeal process if my application is denied?

The department is very interested in working with researchers, but unfortunately do not have capacity to support all proposed research applications. If you wish to resubmit an application please do so completing another research application form (DOCX, 360 KB). The date of submission will determine the round in which your application will be assessed.

Ethics clearance

Is ethics approval required prior to submitting an application to the department?

You do not require ethics approval prior to submitting your application to the department. However, before finalising research approvals, the department requires that a research proposal has relevant human research ethics committee (HREC) approval, unless the data being used is publicly available. The department will also need to ensure the research meets Queensland legislative requirements related to privacy and confidentiality as outlined in the Youth Justice Act 1992 and the Right to Information Act 2009. The department does not provide support in principle letters prior to Director-General approval.

Contact us

For further information: