Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide
WCHN Research Publications

Research at the WCHN

Research News

SA Health announces a new Research Management System called GEMS (posted 10 September 2020)

SA Health announced the purchase of a new Research Management System called Governance and Ethics Management System (GEMS).  The system is still being finessed and will be rolled out later this year. 

In the interim, you may have queries about what this means for you and your research. Hence we provide the following initial advice:

  • You can continue using OnLine Forms until 28 October 2020

  • There will be a “transition period” where we will revert to Word documents of the HREA and SSA Applications from 29 October to 18 November 2020; these will be made available in mid-October. 

  • We envisage providing training in the use of GEMS in mid/late October – late November after the Research Secretariat staff have been trained in mid-October.

  • We will then transition to the use of GEMS for HREC and SSA applications by 1 December 2020 (TBC). 

Please Note: These dates are only guides at this stage and may change with short notice.  We thank you for your patience and understanding during this transition period. More information will be made available as it comes to hand from SA Health and F1 Solutions.



Below are messages posted for researchers in relation to COVID-19.

Updates will be provided if and when there are any changes that impact on research at WCHN. Please check this webpage regularly for updates.

Changes to NHMRC’s 2021 grant schedule and policies in response to COVID-19 (posted 10 August 2020)

NHMRC has released a communique regarding changes to the 2021 grant program in response to COVID-19 pandemic as below.



Application Period*

2021 CTCS Grants


July-August 2021

2021 Ideas Grants


March-April 2021

2021 Investigator Grants


February-March 2021

2021 Synergy Grants


February-March 2021

2021 PGS


April-May 2021

*Exact dates will be finalised later this year in consultation with RAOs and the ARC.

For more details, please refer to the communique.

WCHN Research – opening up research at WCHN (posted 27 May 2020 and updated 3 June 2020)

Please note, the principles below apply to researchers and anyone associated with the research.

As noted in the NHMRC document, COVID-19: Guidance on clinical trials for institutions, HRECs, researchers and sponsors, HRECs, researchers and sponsors, “The safety and well-being of patients, research participants and their families, and health care professionals, researchers and other staff involved in patient care and research are paramount”.

Staff are advised of the following updated (additional) principles governing research at the WCHN:

  1. If research participants residing in South Australia must attend the WCHN, they will be required to complete the same health screening questionnaire as any other visitor to the WCHN.
  2. Any interstate research participants will need to have the approval of the COO to enter the hospital.

In addition to the above:

  • Studies should adhere to all social distancing and hand washing/sanitising directives from SA Health.
  • Where possible, interactions with research participants should continue according to the HREC/RGO approved alternatives. E.g. studies that require focus groups, questionnaires, or where recruitment can occur by electronic means, should continue to be undertaken electronically.
  • Studies where the scope of risk (due to COVID-19) does not change over and above standard clinical care, are to continue as per the previous guidelines; examples include interventions where participants are i) also in-patients or patients attending outpatient clinics, and ii) the duration of the research visit does not increase exposure over and above clinical care.
  • Studies which require research interventions (eg. blood draws) but the participant is not scheduled to attend WCHN for clinical care, may continue, providing that the scope of risk (due to COVID-19) can be managed by social distancing or wearing of PPE, adhering to hand washing/sanitising directives from SA Health, and ensuring minimal interaction.

Frequently Asked Questions on NHMRC processes during COVID-19 (posted 23 April 2020)

NHMRC has released FAQs on changes to the processes for NHMRC applications for funding, peer review, grant management and other changes since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Details are available on NHMRC's website.

Research Secretariat staff working from home (posted 6 April 2020)

All WCHN Research Secretariat staff will be working from home as of Tuesday, 7 April 2020. As a result, our office will be closed until further notice.

All enquiries and documents should be emailed to the relevant person as detailed on our webpage.

All of our services will still be available as usual so please do not hesitate to contact us via e-mail.

Stay safe everyone (#STAYATHOME)!


last modified: 11 Sep 2020