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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 2016 are limited to:

  • Women's Estate
  • Aboriginal Youth
  • Reducing Re-offending

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

The Department has recently changed its approval process for research applications.  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 Statement of Intent (SOI)
  2. lodge your research application.

Step 1: Statement of Intent

The first step is to submit a SOI, outlining the purpose of the proposed study along with a general summary of the research methodology, timelines, and any access to the Department that may be required.

The Department will accept SOI submissions twice each year. Please refer to the below table for submission dates.

An initial assessment of the SOI will be made based on alignment to the Department’s Research Priorities and the Department's capacity to support/facilitate the proposed research.

If the SOI 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

Assessment of full research applications occur twice each year. Please refer to the below table for submission dates.

Application steps 2016 key dates
SOI submission dates To be confirmed
Department's response to SOI sent out To be confirmed
Research application submission dates To be confirmed
Department's response to research application sent out To be confirmed

Data Requests

Note - as part of a whole-of-government review of data linkage capabilities in Western Australia, the Department is currently not accepting any new data linkage requests.

Further information regarding the review is available on the Department of the Premier and Cabinet’s Data Linkage Review page.


For 2016 key dates and other research related enquiries, email to

Page last updated: 17-Oct-2016