Practice-based research networks (PBRNs), such as VicREN, enable collaborations between community-based health care practices, community members and academic institutions.

VicREN is a practice-based research network (PBRN) managed by the University of Melbourne that enables collaboration between community-based health care practices, community members and academic institutions.

VicREN aims to encourage the conduct of evidence-based primary care practice by:

  • supporting collaborative practice-based primary care research that makes a difference to health outcomes and experiences of care
  • providing primary care providers and patients with opportunities to engage in research, access research expertise and other development opportunities available through the Department of General Practice and Primary Care and the University of Melbourne;
  • contributing to dissemination of research findings.

Opportunities to collaborate with VicREN

We encourage researchers planning general practice-related research (including use of Patron data) to contact us at least 4 weeks before their deadline, and earlier where possible.

Our collaborators benefit from our research expertise including designing studies for the unique general practice environment, providing methodological advice around recruitment of GPs/practices and patients, and creation of appropriate recruitment materials and advertisements. Further information is available here.

Collaborate with us

We welcome requests to collaborate with researchers and clinicians from across universities and research centres. Please complete the enquiries form via the button below and a Primary Care Trials Unit team member will be in contact to discuss your request further.

Enquiry form

VicREN is a practice-based research and education network that enables collaboration between the Department of General Practice and Primary Care at the University of Melbourne, primary care practices around Australia (mostly in Victoria) and other researchers. VicREN and Data for Decisions are not for profit.

VicREN members are provided with opportunities to learn more about research and teaching and contribute to research projects that make a difference to practice, public health, and policy. It links primary care practitioners and community members with researchers. Go to the Membership page to learn more.

Community members are also invited to join our Advisory Pool for potential opportunities to contribute to the development of University of Melbourne's Department of General Practice and Primary Care and education activities.

Researchers or others interested in utilising VicREN's research/trial consultancy and recruitment services can find more information on the Research Services page.

Many of the practices that supervise medical students (teaching and learning practices) are also involved in research, that is why VicREN combines research and education in the one network.

Data for Decisions

VicREN has an e-research network called Data for Decisions. Over 100 general practices partner with us to provide de-identified data and are organisational members of VicREN. Learn more on the Research Services page.

Please contact us if you are part of an Australian general practice interested in becoming a Data for Decisions partner.

We encourage staff and clinicians at Data for Decisions practices to become individual members of VicREN.


Since 2007, the VicREN team have developed expertise in implementing research in the primary care setting, and in recruiting both practitioners and patients for primary care research without compromising or interrupting clinical care.

Follow the links to articles in the Australian Family Physician, written by VicREN team members, about the establishment of VicREN and about practice-based research networks in Australia.


Our updated governance structure and strategic advisory group will be described here soon.

VicREN Advisory Groups

VicREN primary care provider or consumer Advisory Groups provide advice to academics so that research and education activities are developed in ways that are important to them and practical to implement. Please contact us if you are interested in being a part of the Advisory Group.

Our Team

  • Prof Lena Sanci: VicREN Chair, Head of Department
  • A/Prof Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis: Deputy Head of Department
  • Prof Meredith Temple-Smith: Director of Research Training
  • Jane Henty: Teaching and Learning Manager
  • Department Database Manager
  • Practice Liaison and Recruitment Officers
  • Research Assistants
  • Department Business Manager and administrator support
  • Last but not least, our active VicREN member advisors