Research partnerships

About the CEC

The CEC provides leadership in safety and quality in NSW to improve healthcare for patients. We are safety specialists committed to continuous improvement of patient safety and the experience of care for the people of NSW. Our partners are key to our success. To learn more about our strategic direction and focus, please refer to the CEC Strategic Plan.

Each year, the CEC receives a number of requests from research institutions, universities, NSW health organisations and other organisations to partner on proposed research projects. This includes requests for staff to contribute as co-investigators or associate investigators on projects.

To facilitate meaningful engagement, review and support of proposals in a timely manner, an early and ongoing dialogue is required with the relevant CEC directorate/program team.

Note: The CEC maintains confidentiality through limited sharing of proposal information to only those necessary to comment on support and endorsement.

Initial contact and liaison

Researchers seeking CEC partnership or involvement in their research proposals should discuss their proposal with the relevant CEC directorate/ program team while the proposal is in draft form. This initial contact should occur as early as possible and clearly communicate the timeframe the CEC has to respond.

A meeting or discussion allows the CEC team to learn more about the proposed research project and why the researcher has come to the CEC for support. These discussions are necessary to establish the nature and extent of CEC support requested.

This is a good time to establish whether the proposed partnership is likely to be mutually beneficial to both teams. The proposed project needs to align with a CEC program(s) and strategic priorities for partnership to be considered.

If researchers do not have an existing relationship or knowledge of which CEC directorate/program team may best align with the planned research project, please contact the Research, Evaluation and Knowledge team by email on

Researchers will be informed as early as possible if there is no alignment to CEC programs or priorities, and advised on which other state-level agencies or organisations may be more closely aligned.

NOTE: Any request made within a very short timeframe (i.e. less than four weeks) may be refused at this stage.

Review of draft proposals

As a next step, the research team should provide a draft research proposal including information about the proposed role of the CEC in the research project. CEC staff may also ask for supplementary information to properly assess the proposal. This allows the CEC to make a preliminary decision to proceed based on the following two considerations:

  • the project aligns with and benefits the CEC, and
  • sufficient CEC resources are available to participate in the project.

In-depth review

If the research partnership request progresses to this stage, the CEC then considers the request in more detail. The CEC will review:

  • the research team's expectations about the CEC's role
  • authorship and intellectual property considerations
  • estimated CEC resource commitment.

Please note that in general, support will be in-kind and calculated based on the number of hours per year that CEC staff can commit to the project.

Formal request for approval

To request formal approval for the proposed CEC partnership or involvement, researchers will need to supply a detailed research proposal outlining the CEC's role and time commitment to the project.

Where the researcher is seeking support from the CEC, and requires a letter from the Chief Executive (or their delegate) confirming support, researchers are asked to send through a draft letter in the format required for the research funding application. If other documentation from the CEC has been requested, this should be attached and included too.

The CEC staff member that will potentially contribute to the project will need to submit a Research Partnerships Proposal Form. Researchers can facilitate this process by providing relevant information where needed to complete this form.

Please note that researchers should factor in allowing sufficient time to obtain formal CEC approval. Dependent on the type of support requested, approval may be required from CEC Senior Managers, CEC Directors and the Chief Executive which could take up to two weeks.

A decision on CEC partnership or involvement will be provided to applicants in writing prior to the requested due date for response.

Follow up and ongoing correspondence

The CEC should be informed of the outcome of research applications as soon as feasible. As we are a small organisation, we have interest but limited capacity to support research projects. Keeping us informed of whether a research project is going ahead ensures that we maximise this capacity.

Where an application is successful, CEC staff from the relevant team will be the primary contact for researchers. At this stage the research team must formalise arrangements with the CEC in writing. This may be through a contract or letter of agreement.

If researchers have any problems contacting the team they have established communication with, please contact the Research, Evaluation and Knowledge team by email on

Progress on research involving CEC staff is reported to a Board Subcommittee every three months. If a researcher has not been in contact with the CEC staff from the relevant team for several months, the Research, Evaluation and Knowledge team may request information on the progress of the project from the researcher.

Role of the Research, Evaluation and Knowledge team

The CEC Research, Evaluation and Knowledge team support CEC staff with, and assist with the governance of, research partnership requests. Any general research enquiries can be directed to the team via email on