Research Quality

NeuRA has undertaken a review of research reproducibility and quality and established a formal Reproducibility & Quality Sub-Committee.

The members of the committee include both junior and senior scientists at NeuRA.

The current members are:

  • Dr Gabrielle Allen
  • Dr Annie Butler
  • Dr Andrew Cartwright
  • Mr Aidan Cashin
  • Dr Michael Green
  • Dr Martin Héroux
  • Dr Matthew Jones
  • Dr Kim Kiely
  • Dr Euan McCaughey
  • Dr Jasmine Menant
  • Prof Simon Gandevia (convenor)
  • Dr Michael Wewege
  • Mr Rohan Kougious (student member)

The foundation members are:

  • Mr Andrew Affleck
  • Dr Annie Butler
  • Dr Andrew Cartwright
  • Mr Aidan Cashin
  • A/Prof Kim Delbaere
  • Dr Michael Green
  • Dr Martin Héroux
  • Dr Euan McCaughey
  • Prof Simon Gandevia (convenor)
  • Prof Stephen Lord

Previously serving members: Prof Stephen Lord, A/Prof Kim Delbaere and Dr Emma Wallace. On leave member Dr Kim van Schooten.

There is a growing recognition that reproducibility of scientific results is not as robust as previously accepted.  This has wide implications for all forms of research, but especially health and medical research. Initiatives have been undertaken in the United Kingdom (e.g. by the Academy of Medical Sciences, Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council) and in the USA (e.g. by the National Institutes of Health) to address the reproducibility and quality of research.

In 2018, the Committee investigated the state of work on reproducibility and quality at different levels within Australia and overseas.  In December 2018 its report was accepted by the NeuRA Research Committee and its recommendations will be implemented during 2019.  The general recommendations are given below.

The recommendations propose changes that drive improvements in clinical and non-clinical medical research by NeuRA staff and thereby enhance NeuRA’s reputation as a research organisation.

The Committee would like to receive comments on this broad topic.  Please send them to Simon Gandevia (s.gandevia@neura.edu.au).

The general recommendations:

  • Raise awareness about the importance of research reproducibility and quality and how this can be achieved.
  • Educate and train researchers at all levels to improve research quality and the use of appropriate statistical methods.
  • Foster an environment at NeuRA in which robust science and the validity of all research findings are prioritised.
  • Promote open discussion of research reproducibility and quality with those at all levels within and outside NeuRA. 
  • Promote a culture of open high-quality science by encouraging strategies such as pre-registration of plans, making data available, and putting unpublished work in a publicly accessible location.
  • Seek broad adoption of improved research quality and reproducibility at a national and international level.

The Research Quality Committee has made available two videos to indicate the importance of Research Quality. 

  • Professor Simon Gandevia (on behalf of the Committee): Research Quality and Reproducibility:  Why you should be worried
  • Professor Geoff Cumming: Improving the trustworthiness of neuroscience research.