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.

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. Initial contact should occur at least two months prior to the closing date for response.

Suggested next steps are a meeting or discussion with the relevant 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.

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 Knowledge, Evaluation and Research team by email on

Review of draft proposals

If initial discussions result in a decision to potentially progress the partnership, the next step is for the CEC team and researcher to work through details about the proposed CEC support. This may involve exchange of the draft research proposal if the proposal includes information about what the CEC will do and potentially commit to.

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

Formal request for support

The next step is generally for the researcher to send the CEC a covering email or letter, and a draft proposal outlining the CEC's role and time commitment to the project. This must be sent no later than one month prior to the closing date for a CEC response.

Where the researcher is seeking support from the CEC as an organisation, 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 is required, this should be attached and included too.

Requests for CEC partnership/involvement will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Alignment with the CEC Strategic Plan
  • Alignment with specific priorities within the partnering directorate/program work plan
  • The capacity of CEC staff to offer support with the initiative
  • The planned research addresses a key gap in patient safety and quality improvement.

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 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. If researchers have any problems contacting the team they have established communication with, please contact the Knowledge, Evaluation and Research 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 Knowledge, Evaluation and Research team may request information on the progress of the project from the researcher.