Application procedure to conduct research

Outline of the application process

In March 2011, Juvenile Justice revised its procedures for applying to condu​ct research. All research applications are now processed through Juvenile Justice's Research and Information Unit.

All researchers are strongly advised to read this document, in conjunction with the Juvenile Justice Research Agenda, the Juvenile Justice Research Policy (pdf icon 338kb) and Juvenile Justice Conditions of approval documents prior to applying to conduct research in Juvenile Justice.

Researchers are also encouraged to read documentation provided on this site regarding previously completed and current projects in Juvenile Justice when considering an application to conduct research. This is to ensure that possible project areas will not overlap with existing, or recently completed projects.

Steps in the application process

Step one: Initial application

After reading all Agency information on research, contact the Research and Information Unit (RIU) Manager on (02) 9219 9515 or Research Psychologist on (02) 9219 9458. You will need to provide an outline of the proposed area for investigation. You are advised to have formulated your specific research questions prior to contacting the Agency.

Step two: First screening

The Agency will then assess whether your area of interest meets its priorities for research. If the research area is assessed as not being within the Agency's priorities, then the application will not proceed past this point.

Step three: Supplementary information

If the area is within the Agency's priorities and is seen as potentially offering some benefit, then you will be required to answer a short checklist so that Juvenile Justice can assess costs and benefits to the Agency, and the impact on the young people under the Agency's supervision.

Step four: Second screening

The Agency will then assess the benefits of the research, and the viability of conducting the research i.e. can the Agency support it and what is the potential impact on resources and provision of service? If the research is not deemed viable, or the benefits are not realisable/attainable, then the application will not progress further.

Step five: Invitation to submit a full application

If the research is seen as viable and beneficial, then the Agency will invite the submission of a full research application. The application forms to conduct research in the Agency will then be provided.

Step six: Submission of full research application

The researcher will need to submit the research application for review by the Agency's Research Steering Committee, ensuring the following areas are addressed:

  • Detailed explanation of the benefits of your research to the Agency.
  • Details of all operational and Central Office resources required to assist the research project including staff assistance and infrastructure.
  • Details of all potential costs that may be incurred by the Agency.
  • A proposed schedule for data collection, including estimated time frames at each data collection site.
  • A copy of all instruments/data collection tools to be used.
  • A sound rationale for each data item to be collected or analysed.

A copy of ethics approval from a recognised Ethics Committee will need to be provided with your application. You may also need to seek ethics approval from the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AHMRC) if the research is concentrating on Aboriginal young people. Applications without evidence of ethics approval will not be processed.

Further information regarding ethics approvals for human research can be accessed through the following sites:

Step seven: Consideration by the Juvenile Justice Research Steering Committee (RSC)

The Juvenile Justice RSC will consider the research application and if it believes the research is of significant benefit to the Agency, then the application will be sent to the Juvenile Justice Chief Executive with a recommendation for approval. The Chief Executive makes the final decision on the research- without this approval in writing the project cannot proceed.

If the Juvenile Justice RSC does not recommend approval, then the researcher will be notified of this decision.

Step eight: Coordination/implementation of approved research

The Research and Information Unit (RIU) will coordinate the administration for research projects within the Agency. The researcher will be required to sign an agreement accepting the conditions for conducting research in the Agency. These conditions are provided in the document Conditions of approval for conducting research, which is available on this site.

Step nine: Completion of research

The researcher undertakes and completes the research project, abiding by the conditions set out in the research agreement. At the completion of the project, the researcher must provide information back to Juvenile Justice regarding their findings, as specified in the research agreement.

No data can be released or presented publicly without the prior approval of Juvenile Justice. This condition applies to all releases, including those being considered after the main study has been concluded.

The Research and Information Unit is available to answer questions regarding all aspects of the application process. Please contact the Research and Information Unit Manager on (02) 9219 9515 or Research Psychologist on (02) 9219 9458.

Conditions for approved projects

The conditions of receiving approval to conduct research in Juvenile Justice are detailed below. Researchers will be required to sign a written contract agreeing to abide by the conditions.

The agency reserves the right to terminate research at any time, especially if the researcher acts unethically or compromises the security of the agency/confidentiality of the participants.

Please carefully consider the following conditions in your project design if you are invited to submit a research application.

Conditions relating to participants

  • That the confidentiality of research participants is strictly maintained at all times.
  • That all young people participating in research are treated with dignity and respect.
  • That all participants understand and sign participant consent forms. Any age of consent restrictions must be adhered to, especially with young people under the age of 14 years.
  • No audiotaping, videotaping or photographing of either research participants or juvenile justice sites is permitted. You may seek special approval from the Chief Executive to access these modes of data recording, if it is considered critical to the research, however this would only be granted in exceptional circumstances. If the Chief Executive grants approval, in addition specific consent will need to be obtained prior to the research occurring from both the participant and the guardian.
  • No incentives will be used to promote research without prior review and approval by the agency. Where approval is granted, all participants will receive the same incentive.​

Conditions relating to the use of data collected

  • That all data is to be stored according to National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines and disposed of after a period of five years.
  • Information that may identify participants cannot be stored with any data collected. In the event that a master list is required (i.e. for follow-up purposes), this will need to be detailed and approved during the application process, and stored separately to the data. All master lists will be forwarded to Research and Information Unit upon completion of the project.
  • All participant consent forms will need to be stored separately to any paper based data collected.
  • That the data collected is not used for any other purpose except for the production of thesis/research report.
  • All other uses of the data will need prior approval from the agency i.e. publication of results in peer-reviewed journals or books, publications of reviewed/unreviewed reports on the Internet or in other forms of electronic/paper-based media, or presentation of results at conferences/workshops.
  • Strictly no linking of data to other data sources that are held. You may seek permission for this from the Chief Executive, however any analysis proposed through the linking of databases will be treated as a new application to conduct research.
  • Agreement regarding intellectual property of the data.
  • That the researcher agrees to provide the agency with a copy of the database collated, along with any data dictionaries created prior to the conclusion of the research. This should be provided on compact disc.

Conditions relating to reporting and/or publication of results

  • Work in progress will be provided to the Department of Justice - Juvenile Justice on a six monthly basis.
  • That the final results of the research are communicated to the agency in a timely manner, through the following avenues:
    • A copy of the completed research will be provided to the agency.
    • A summary of the pertinent results will be provided to the agency for dissemination to policy and operational personnel.
    • Young people or Juvenile Justice employees who are participants in the research receive timely feedback. This can be through the summary provided.
    • If the research involves conducting testing of any kind (for example psychometric testing or medical tests), then the researcher is required to provide feedback of individual results to participants. This can be arranged through the Research and Information Unit.
  • If the researcher terminates the project prior to completion, all data collected is returned to the Department of Justice - Juvenile Justice. Written notification of the reasons for termination and an assurance that all data has been returned will need to be provided. The agency will then store the data for a period of five years according to National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines, after which time it will be destroyed.
  • Any publication or conference presentation resulting from this research will need to contain an acknowledgement of the Department of Justice - Juvenile Justice as the data source and acknowledgement to the Juvenile Justice Research Steering Committee for approving the research.

Other conditions

  • If there are any substantial changes to your research project, you will need to inform the Juvenile Justice Research Steering Committee in writing.
  • Compliance with the above conditions is necessary before any subsequent research applications will be considered.
  • If at any stage the researcher is found to be in breach of these conditions, the project will be terminated. All data will be required to be returned to the agency.