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Conducting research with the Department

High quality research and evidence based approaches and practices shape services, enhance outcomes for prisoners, detainees, offenders and the community.

Department's research priorities

The Department receives many research applications from graduates and researchers from within Australia and overseas. In assessing each application, the Department must consider its strategic priorities as well as whether the research focus will contribute directly to improving the service provision for prisoners, detainees, offenders and safety outcomes for the community.

Each year, the Department identifies three priority areas to guide its focus, and will only accept research applications which fall within these areas.

Research priorities for 2017 pertain to:

  • Reducing Aboriginal overrepresentation
    • Indicators of Aboriginal wellbeing
    • Cultural competency in the delivery of arts programs
    • Therapeutic and rehabilitative features of arts programs
  • Community corrections
    • Improving rehabilitation programs in community corrections
    • Assessment of program engagement and delivery
    • Rehabilitation of offenders with drug addictions
    • Drug treatment programs
  • Technology
    • Use of technology in custodial and community environments for the security, safety and rehabilitation of the Department’s clients
    • Incorporating technology into education and case management of detainees, prisoners and offenders in the community
    • Electronic monitoring programs

Researchers interested in submitting proposals should note it is necessary for the Department to limit the number of research activities undertaken at any one time that affect the daily routines of prisoners and detainees.

Research application process

To ensure an equitable and transparent process, where all proposals for research align with Departmental priorities, the following protocols apply:

  • All applications for research must come via a central process (outlined below)
  • No direct applications are to be made to any Departmental facilities
  • Research proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:
  1. alignment with priorities
  2. impact on operations
  3. value of the research.

There are 2 steps in the research application process:

  1. lodge a research proposal
  2. lodge a research application.

Step 1: Research proposal

The first step is to submit a research proposal, outlining the purpose of the proposed study along with provision of information relating to the research methodology, sampling, timelines, and any access to the Department that may be required.

The Department will accept research proposals twice each year. Please refer to the below table for submission and notification dates.

If the research proposal meets initial criteria and is accepted, the researcher will be invited to submit a detailed research application which will be assessed by the Department.

Please note that an invitation to submit a research application is not approval of the research project.

Step 2: Research application

Applicants who are invited to submit a full research application will need to complete the Application Form for the Conduct of Research Projects and attach all supporting documentation using the accompanying Attachments Form.

Assessment of full research applications occur twice each year.

Research Guidelines

Applicants who are interested in conducting research with the Department are encouraged to read the Research Guidelines for Applicants (Research Guidelines). The Research Guidelines provide:

  • information on how to apply for research approval from the Department
  • key points to consider when conducting research
  • research protocols to follow when conducting research.

Research intake dates

2017 First Intake

The 2017 First Intake for research is currently suspended due to Machinery of Government changes announced by the State Government.

Future Intakes

The Department is currently not accepting new research proposals or applications for assessment until further notice.

Data Requests

The Department produces statistical data which is released to the public on a regular basis. Data is made available through the Department’s website.

Applicants requesting access to the Department’s data must submit a research proposal/application as per the Department’s research application process. Applicants will need to provide details of their data request and complete a standard data variable list (where applicable) as part of the research proposal/ application form. The Department does not accept previous approvals or approvals from other Departments to provide information or data.


For all other research related enquiries, email to

Page last updated: 12-May-2017