Clinical research and investigator initiated clinical trials

Clinical research and investigator initiated clinical trials

Four steps of MQ Health Governance authorisation - new clinical research projects and investigator-initiated clinical trials

We encourage you to utilise the resources and guidelines available on this website to prepare your Clinical Research Governance application form, and to seek advice and assistance from the Clinical Research Manager early if you are not clear about the clinical research governance process.

Step 1: Determination of the nature of the project

Preparation of documents for clinical research governance review

  • Please refer to the detailed guidelines for CRG application form and associated documentation. To organise appointment with the Clinical Research Manager for assistance or advice, please send an email to or call +61 2 9850 2834.
  • Please note if you require services from Macquarie Medical Imaging (MMI), it is likely that it will incur a fee. For example, if you are requesting imaging data for a retrospective study, MMI has recently introduced a fee for this service. Please contact the Chief Research Facilitator for MMI via to obtain a quote prior to commencing your application.

Step 2: Initial MQ Health governance endorsement

Clinical Research Manager and Clinical Research Executive undertake feasibility assessment and provide initial governance endorsement after complete submission

The purpose of the feasibility assessment is to:

  • determine whether the research team has the capacity and capability (including hospital and other resources, expertise and participant pool) to carry out a specific clinical research within a given budget;
  • assess whether the proposed research project is in line with the MQ Health strategic priorities; and
  • ensure that the MQ Health Executive team is aware of and supports the proposed clinical research.

How does it work?

Upon receipt of all governance documents from you, the Clinical Research Manager will pre-review and determine the level of MQ Health governance endorsement required, which depends on the level of risk of the project. If any clarifications are required, the Clinical Research Manager will contact you for further details.

After a review by the Clinical Research Executive, a governance endorsement letter will be sent to you by the Clinical Research Manager, specifying the conditions of the governance endorsement.

Timeline: 5-10 working days after complete submission

Note: The MQ Health governance assessment and endorsement confirm MQ Health's support of the project, but are not the final authorisation to start the project.

Upon receipt of the governance endorsement letter you must proceed to Step 3 and seek relevant approvals specified in the letter.

Step 3: Ethics, insurance, contracts and service provider approvals

Following the governance endorsement letter from MQ Health, you prepare and submit documents for ethics review, as well as any other required documents (e.g. research agreements, service providers’ approvals, etc.)

Ethics review

You will need to complete and submit the following documents to the MQ Ethics Secretariat at

  • Ethics application using HRA form or MQ Prior-review Form (for clinical research projects with prior HREC approval from another site);
  • A research protocol following the template on the Human Ethics website – required for any clinical trial, interventional research or clinical research.
  • Participant materials – PICF using the templates on the Human Ethics website
  • Other project-related materials;
  • MQ Health governance endorsement letter.

Research agreement/contract review and execution

Some clinical research projects or investigator-initiated clinical trials would have funding agreement or other type of contractual agreements in place, associated with the grants obtained to fund the study. Please check your ten-digit IRIS reference number, e.g 92017XXXXX.

If you need any assistance with research agreements/contracts for your clinical research project or investigator initiated clinical trial, please contact the Clinical Research Manager.

Indemnity and insurance

For insurance purposes, the critical point is what the Macquarie University involvement in the research is, rather than the person who is conducting the research.

Current clinical trial insurance is a “no fault” insurance with a broad coverage of human research. All clinical research involving human participants (not only clinical trials) is covered under the policy. This includes projects using patient health data and observational studies.

The insurances vary depending on the University involvement in the research.

  • For Macquarie University sponsored research, the clinical trial will be insured after obtaining ethics approval from Macquarie University HREC.
  • For Commercially sponsored studies– the sponsor must hold appropriate clinical trial insurance policy coverage. NSW Health has published a Policy Directive which require commercial sponsored trials to maintain a limit of liability of no less than $20 million for any one occurrence in the aggregate and maximum $25,000 retention.

If you have any insurance related questions for investigator-initiated clinical trial and other clinical research study, you should contact the Clinical Research Manager, who will liaise with the MQ insurance if necessary.

Service provider approvals

  • The governance endorsement letter will specify what approvals need to be obtained. This could be from the Macquarie University Hospital (MUH), the pharmacy, Macquarie Medical Imaging (MMI), pathology, or the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences PC2 laboratory.
  • You should communicate via email and obtain required service providers approvals using this template.
  • Once approval is received, please forward it to the Clinical Research Manager at

Clinical Trial Notification (CTN) or Clinical Trail Exemption (CTX) to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (if applicable)

*   eCTN submission to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is required if:

  • A product for the trial is not entered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), including any new formulation of an existing product or any new route of administration; or
  • The proposed use of a registered or listed product is outside the conditions of its marketing approval.

eCTN submission if Macquarie University is the sponsor:

  • The eCTN submission for Macquarie University is done by the Ethics Secretariat at the Macquarie Research Office.
  • Macquarie Research Office has an institutional account with TGA and an authorised person to be the institutional administrator.
  • You need to liaise with the Ethics Secretariat and supply the full project details, including all site details before the CTN application can be lodged at the TGA portal.
  • Please note that HREC approval is required before CTN submission.
  • Credit card payment of the CTN is preferable.

For more details about the process, please contact the Ethics Secretariat at:

Timeline: Depending on the complexity of your project, you should allow at least 20-25 working days for obtaining the required approvals.

Step 4: Final governance authorisation

The Clinical Research Executive or MQ Health Executive provides final governance authorisation, so that the project may commence. The Clinical Research Manager will issue the final MQ Health governance authorisation letter when the following is in place:

  • Final MQ HREC approval;
  • Confirmation of executed research agreement/contract;
  • Evidence of required service providers’ approvals (if applicable);
  • Any other condition stipulated in the initial governance endorsement is met.

Timeline: 1-2 working days

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