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 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.

VicREN links primary care practitioners 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.

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.


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 practices with the opportunity to engage in research, access research expertise and other development opportunities available through the Department of General Practice and the University of Melbourne;
  • providing Department of General Practice researchers with access to practitioners’ expertise and a practice base; and
  • contributing to dissemination of research findings.

VicREN information flyer

Why do we need VicREN?

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

Evidence-based medicine generated in these other settings is often inappropriate or not relevant to primary care clinical practice. To be applicable and meaningful, research about primary care must be designed for and undertaken within the primary care environment.

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Why should primary care professionals get involved?

Are you:

  • Interested in Cancer, Diabetes & Cardio-metabolic Conditions, Children and Young People’s Health, Mental Health, Abuse & Violence, Sexual Health, Data quality and technology or other primary care issues?
  • 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 who share your interest in research, new knowledge and better practice?
  • Interested in networking with other teaching practices?

Member Eligibility

VicREN accepts membership applications from all primary health care practitioners working in a general practice or community health setting.

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. Around 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 comprises a group of lead research practitioners (VicREN Committee) along with others who have expressed an interest in participating in research (VicREN Members).

VicREN Committee

The VicREN Committee provides operational guidance to the network and advice on many issues including the network’s membership and research agenda. It is composed of University of Melbourne academic staff, primary care practitioners and primary care stakeholders and meets quarterly at the Department of General Practice.

The Committee will comprise the Chair of VicREN, the Director of Research Training, the VicREN Manager, up to 12 practice-based and community health members including GPs, Practice Nurses, Practice Managers, allied health and up to 3 University of Melbourne academic staff.

An annual report on network activities (including research outcomes), will be provided on the website.

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