Back to accessibility links


Informing and Shaping Best Practice.

The Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) targets the design, evaluation and implementation of innovative models of patient care. It operates through effective partnerships to produce innovative healthcare provided with operational excellence.

ACI Research Grant Scheme

Each year, the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) provides funding for selected research grants, allocating grant funds across several small to medium size projects.

The purpose of the Research Grant Scheme is to undertake and source relevant, high quality research that aligns with the ACI mandate, functions, strategic plan and research priorities.

NOTE FOR 2021-22: The ACI Research Grant Scheme will not be running in FY2021-22.

Research grants partnership request process overview

For each round of research grants (e.g. NHMRC, MRFF, OHMR TRGS), partnership requests follows a standard process.

  1. The scheme opens and applicants contact appropriate areas of ACI for advice as soon as possible
  2. Contact respective network/taskforce/institute/teams and determine alignment with their priorities and objectives
  3. Obtain partnership support from the key people within those networks/teams
  4. Finalisation of the proposal, and ACI’s role in that proposed project
  5. ACI will provide a letter of support outlining our involvement.

Alignment to ACI activities

Applicants are encouraged to identify at least one ACI network, taskforce or institute that aligns with the proposal. All applicants are encouraged to discuss their project with the relevant ACI network/s, taskforce/s, institute/s or team/s prior to submitting a proposal to determine how their project aligns best with which ACI network, taskforce or institute.

Each network webpage lists the relevant contact person (e.g. the network manager).

Research approach

The ACI’s translational research priority has implications for research design and method. Generating knowledge and putting it into practice require different theories and methods. Research studies submitted to the ACI are therefore expected to be multi-method studies, deploying realist evaluation and drawing on disciplines and theories from the health, organisational and social sciences.

Research conduct

All research undertaken in partnership with the ACI must adhere to relevant standards of research conduct. Proposals and research designs should be developed with reference to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australian Research Council (ARC) standards of academic conduct (i.e. the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018).

All research practices conducted in partnership with ACI must meet the following conduct:

  • obtain and maintain ongoing approval from a relevant human research ethics committee
  • disclose any potential, perceived or actual conflict of interest
  • be of excellent scientific quality
  • demonstrate excellent leadership
  • encourage collaboration
  • be appropriately resourced
  • protect participants
  • ensure confidentiality of information
  • establish a mechanism for appropriate record keeping
  • ensure the security of research data and information
  • maintain appropriate training of staff and researchers.
  • commit to regular reporting, including publishing results and disseminating research finding in an accurate and timely manner
  • support appropriate intellectual property
  • support appropriate authorship rights
  • support appropriate acknowledgements
  • meet internationally recognised research integrity standards.

Frequently asked questions

  • Are there any types of research that are excluded?
    The following types of research are excluded:
    • ‘bench to bedside’
    • basic research
    • drug trials
    • large infrastructure build projects, such as databases
    • pre-clinical studies
    • clinical efficacy studies.
  • Do I need to complete an Aboriginal Health Impact Statement?
    The purpose of the Aboriginal Health Impact Statement is to support NSW Health staff and organisations to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people by systematically applying an ‘Aboriginal health lens’ to all policies and programs.

    While the statement is not required for research purposes, AH&MRC ethics approval is required to ensure that the research is undertaken in the interest of Aboriginal people in NSW and that the research is undertaken in a culturally appropriate manner.
  • Where can I get more information about developing a research proposal?
    The NSW Health Translational Research Grants Scheme has appropriate resources.
  • How do I know who in the ACI to approach?
    See Get Involved to review information about the relevant network, taskforce, institutes. Each network page lists the relevant contact (e.g. the network manager). Please contact the manager from the business area that aligns with the topic of your proposal.
  • What are the ACI’s strategic priorities for research?
    Please see the Agency for Clinical Innovation Strategic Plan for details.
  • I am an ACI Research Grant recipient. What happens if I need to extend the deadline?
    The successful investigators sign an agreement for deliverables as outlined in the proposal. Challenges to completion are tracked via progress reporting, and any changes to deadlines must be negotiated with the ACI Research Grants Scheme team.
  • I am an ACI Research Grant recipient. Where do I send progress reports?
    Please send reports by email to:
  • I am an ACI Research Grant recipient. Where can I access report templates?
    Download the ACI Research Progress form  and ACI Research Final report  templates.
  • When is the next round of grants?
    ACI will not be running a grant round in FY 2021-22. ACI will review the research grants program around mid-2022, and make an announcement soon thereafter.
  • Who can I contact with questions?
  • For further information about research partnerships or the ACI Research Grant Scheme, please contact

ACI Research Grant Scheme funded projects

Current projects

The ACI Research Grant Scheme supported a total of 18 research projects in 2018, 4 projects in 2019 and 6 projects in 2020.

Funding Round: 2020

Ethnic differences in unwarranted clinical variation and evidence-based care for cardiovascular disease in NSW
Lead: Dr Fiona Stanaway

Let’s have a yarn about our bladder- partnering with Aboriginal people to deliver guideline recommended urinary continence and lower urinary tract symptom care that is culturally appropriate and safe
Lead: Dr Di Marsden

Using a rapid virtual health triage consultation and early intervention to more effectively triage and manage referrals to the RPAH Back Pain Clinic
Lead: Dr Christopher Needs

A pilot randomised controlled trial of virtual reality pain therapy for chronic neuropathic pain
Lead: A/Prof Alwin Chuan

“Staff experiences in using the Needs of Children’s Questionnaire at Liverpool Hospital, South Western Sydney Local Health District, New South Wales Health.”
Lead: Dr Mandie Foster and Lisa McCue

“Implementing a value-based model of care for improving quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness of care for inflammatory bowel disease.”
Lead: A/Prof Susan Connor

Funding Round: 2019

Exploring the use of Virtual Reality (VR) to manage distress in adolescent patients in Emergency Departments (EDs)
Lead: Prof Kate Steinbeck

A health self-management program delivered via text message to support women’s mental and physical health after breast cancer treatments (EMPOWER-SMS)
Lead: Anna Singleton

Prevalence and needs of individuals with chronic pain attending residential rehabilitation for alcohol and other drug problems.
Lead: A/Prof Toby Newton-John

Mitigating hospital acquired frailty in people over 75 year of age: implementing the Asia Pacific Clinical Frailty Guidelines in medical wards of Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital.
Lead: Prof Sue Kurrle

May 2018

Translating eating as treatment for head and neck cancer (TREAT).
Lead: Dr Ben Britton

Implementing structured continence assessment and management for inpatients (I-SCAMP) – SCAMPering across Northern NSW.
Lead: Dr Di Marsden

Technology assisted early allied health assistant home visits.
Lead: A/Prof Geoffrey Murray

Improving care for patients with low back pain in emergency departments: The SHaPED trial.
Lead: Dr Gustavo De Carvalho Machado

Severe burn injury patient reported experiences (PRE) of their treatment and recovery at RNSH (SBIU).
Lead: Julia Kwiet

Improving emergency discharge care practices for older people with cognitive impairment returning to the community.
Lead: Prof Margaret Fry

Implementing a new model of service delivery for knee and hip arthroplasty surgeries.
Lead: Dr Richard Walker

Investigating different methods of carbohydrate loading in elective colorectal surgery to improve post-operative outcomes.
Lead: Trang Soriano

Alcohol and drug cognitive enhancement (ACE) program study: validation of tools for use within an Aboriginal population.
Lead: Antoinette Sedwell

Rural implementation of best evidence for stroke therapy (BEST).
Lead: Dr Melissa Nott

November 2018

Short videos for patients to increase uptake of referral of pulmonary rehabilitation: a multi-centre randomised controlled trial.
Lead: A/Prof Sarah Dennis

Googling centres for endovascular clot retrieval in NSW geospatial modelling and optimisation analysis.
Lead: Dr Thanh Giang Phan

Implementation evaluation of an early activation hip fracture care bundle (eHIP).
Lead: Prof Kate Curtis

Reliability and validity of a 3D wound camera and predictive utility for diabetic foot ulcer healing.
Lead: Jill Featherston

While you're waiting: a waiting room-based educational program to improve cardiovascular health.
Lead: Prof Clara Chow

Clinician fatigue management in medical retrieval services.
Lead: Dr Benjamin Gladwin

A mixed methods study to explore the views of Aboriginal families on appropriate smoking cessation interventions in pregnancy.
Lead: Dr Parivash Eftekhari

Supporting type 2 diabetes (T2D) self-management in the context of multi-morbidity: a pilot project.
Lead: Dr Hassan Hosseinzadeh

ACI Research Grant Scheme documents


Dr Henry Ko, Research manager, ACI
Phone: 0427 379 886