ACU Research

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Collaborative Research Networks Program

Building Collaborative Research with a Particular Focus on Cardiovascular Health

CRN logos Enhancing ACU Research through Collaboration - O'Brien Institute, The University of Melbourne, ST Vincents hospital Melbourne, CVRC Cardiovascular Research Centre

Enhancing ACU Research through Collaboration

On 31 July 2012 the Vice-Chancellor announced that ACU, in partnership with the University of Melbourne, St Vincent’s Hospital (Melbourne) and the O’Brien Institute, was awarded $7.9M for a Collaborative Research Networks (CRN) Program (total funding value $22M from ACU and Partner contributions). The funding application was developed by ACU and partners through the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

The federally-funded CRN Program grants were introduced to enhance the research capacity of smaller, less research-intensive and regional higher education institutions. The aim is to encourage these institutions to adapt to a research system driven by performance outcomes by teaming up with other institutions in areas of common interest.

The ACU CRN program objectives relate to:

  • Research collaboration
  • Research training and development
  • Research enhancement and sustainability.

Read about the latest progress of the CRN program, including information about applying for collaborative research funding through the Australian Catholic University Research Funding process.

This project is supported by the Australian Government’s Collaborative Research Networks (CRN) program.



  • CRN Program Objectives

    The focus of the CRN Program will be on health and well-being collaborative research including cardiovascular health and other areas of ACU research strength indicated in the tables below:

    Health and well-being FOR code
    Cardiorespiratory Medicine and Haematology 1102
    Clinical Sciences 1103
    Human Movement and Sports Science 1106
    Nursing 1110
    Public Health and Health Services 1117
    Social Work 1607
    Psychology 1701
    Other FOR code
    Education 1301, 1302, 1303
    Historical Studies 2103
    Philosophy 2203
    Theology 2204


    The experience gained through successful research programs and projects will act as capacity builders and exemplars of quality research in action to drive and sustain future collaborations in other areas of ACU research (see Research enhancement and sustainability).The program will support the establishment of new research collaborations and further development of existing partnerships through the competitive Collaborative Research Networks Funding Scheme. As part of this, the CRN Alliance will further develop collaborative cardiovascular research projects and components. These will include clinical outreach programs that focus on cardiovascular disease among the disadvantaged, vulnerable, displaced and indigenous members of the community.

    Research training and development

    An integral part of building research capability is research training and development. In collaboration with the University of Melbourne, online state-of-the-art training programs for higher degree research students will be licensed to ACU.

    Customised career development programs aimed at early and mid-career researchers will also be designed and made available to ACU staff through train-the-trainer programs and additional workshops. Graduate Programs in Indigenous research and research leadership programs are also planned.

    Research enhancement and sustainability across ACU

    During the three year CRN Program, a Program for Research Enhancement and Sustainability will be developed and implemented as an integral part of the ACU Research Intensification Strategy. Successful research collaboration in health and well-being will drive and sustain future collaborations in other ACU research areas.

    It is anticipated that the success of the CRN will be realised across ACU faculties and centres by:

    • an advancement of collaboration in research
    • an increase in quality of ACU research output
    • an increase in the rate of submission and success of external competitive research grant applications
    • attracting high quality research staff and students to ACU.

  • Management, administration and infrastructure

    CRN Management and Governance

    The CRN Program is an initiative of the DVC Research and is a significant component of the University Research Strategy. Operation of the Program is the responsibility of the Program Manager within the Office of the DVC Research.

    Program Governance

    The CRN Management Committee (CMC) ensures that CRN Program objectives are implemented and contractual obligations are met as directed by the interim CRN Steering Committee. The CMC will oversee and report on the administration (operation and finance) of the CRN Program.

    On-going CRN Program Management

    Various working parties of the CGC will be established to ensure specific elements of the Program are managed and progressed between meetings.

    The success of the CRN Program will also depend on contributions of other business units across the University including OPSM, Human Resources, IT and Marketing.

  • Progress Summary

    Execution of the CRN Funding Agreement

    The CRN Program Funding Agreement was executed by the Department of Education and Training on 15 June 2013. Partner Participation agreements are now being developed between ACU and the CRN Partners to ensure Program objectives and reporting requirements are clear and achievable.

    Research Funding Applications

    A significant proportion of CRN Program funding is available for collaborative research programs and projects (including collaboration development activities). Funds from the CRN Program will be allocated through the ACU Research Funding (ACURF) process.

    In order for programs and projects to be eligible for funding from the CRN Program, they must meet the CRN objectives (see CRN Program Objectives).

    Applications for ACURF will be submitted on a competitive basis through each Faculty to a panel of senior internal and external assessors. Successful applications will be funded by the CRN for a maximum of three years. Larger programs may include requests for postdoctoral fellows and HDR student scholarships. Research Programs may also attract funding from the University’s General Research Funding Allocation for up to five years.

    Refer to the ACURF Guidelines for more information, instructions and to download the templates.