Victorian primary care practice-based Research and Education Network

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

What is VicREN?

VicREN is a practice-based research and education network (PBRN) that enables collaboration between the Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne, and primary care practices around Victoria.

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

Community members are also now invited to join our Advisory Pool for opportunities to contribute to the development of University of Melbourne's Department of General Practice research activities.

Since 2018 we have been developing an ePBRN through the Data for Decisions research initiative. Over 100 general practices contribute data to this e-research network. We encourage staff and patients of these practices to become individual VicREN members.

VicREN links primary care practitioners and community members who have a research and education interest with academic staff with experience in primary care research. Members are provided with the opportunity to learn more about research and teaching, and contribute to research projects that make a difference to practice, public health, and policy. Many of the practices that supervise medical students (teaching and learning practices) area also involved in research, that is why VicREN combines research and education in the one network.


To encourage the conduct of evidence-based primary care practice in Victoria 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 the University of Melbourne;
  • providing researchers with access to the network's expertise and a practice base; and
  • contributing to dissemination of research findings.

VicREN information flyer

Why do we need VicREN?

Primary care is the healthcare setting people use and attend most frequently; however, most health care research is conducted in the hospital or laboratory setting.

Research generated in hospital and laboratory settings may not be relevant to primary care clinical practice. To be applicable and meaningful, research about primary care should be designed for, and undertaken within, the primary care environment. VicREN helps this to happen.

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Why should primary care professionals and community members get involved?

Are you:

  • Interested in primary care research? Perhaps aged care, cancer, chronic illness, children and adolescent health, complementary medicine, data driven quality improvement, education, mental health, abuse & violence, sexual health, or other areas?
  • Looking for something to complement your clinical work?
  • Keen to be part of the ‘bigger picture’ of primary health care?
  • Wanting to acquire research skills?
  • Interested in meeting colleagues and other community members who share your interest in research and new knowledge?
  • Interested in networking with other research and teaching practices?

Member Eligibility

VicREN accepts membership applications from all primary health care practitioners working in a general practice or community health setting, and community members are invited to join the Advisory Pool.

Membership Benefits

  • Membership is free with no obligations.
  • Introduction to research and the wider research community
  • Links with other network members and access to academic research staff
  • E-bulletins about current research projects, training opportunities, conferences & University events
  • Regular newsletters
  • Access to research training, events and other educational opportunities

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Get involved!

For information about research projects and short courses that GPs, practice manager, practice nurses and other primary care providers can get involved in, please follow this link.

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. When individual patient records are de-identified, and combined with thousands of other medical records, they create a powerful tool with potential to improve health care and services through research. Please let us know if you're an Australian general practice interested in becoming a Data for Decisions partner.


VicREN is changing. A new strategic advisory group will soon be established.

VicREN Advisory Group

The VicREN Advisory Group provides advice so that research and education activities are developed in ways that are important to primary health care providers and consumers, and practical to implement. Please contact us if you are interested in Advisory Group membership.

Contact Us

VicREN Manager
Department of General Practice
Level 3, 780 Elizabeth Street
The University of Melbourne
Victoria, 3010, Australia

Telephone: +61 3 8344 3392