Flinders Research NewsCOVID-19 Special Collection from Joanna Briggs Institute

Johanna Briggs Institute banner

This free access Special Collection provides health professionals and health organisations with the best available evidence on infection prevention and infection control measures.

The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) COVID-19 Special Collection includes JBI Evidence Summaries that provide a succinct summary of the best available evidence related to a clinical topic including best practice recommendations to help clinicians mobilise evidence into practice, and JBI Recommended Practices that provide standardised, detailed descriptions of best practice care procedures. These resources align with the WHO guidance on infection prevention and control principals for practicing health professionals and organisations.

This Special Collection will be updated regularly to include new evidence related to safe, effective practice for individual health professionals, as well as evidence related to organisational knowledge needs for service-wide evidence on current best practice with an emphasis on infection prevention and control measures. These can be used in conjunction with local policy requirements as set out by government agencies.

Access the Special Collection on the JBI website.

Flinders Research NewsMessage from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) - COVID-19 Research Information and Advice Update 4

Flinders University

Flinders continues to be committed to maintaining, as far as possible, normal research activities.

In order to ensure that we continue to meet our compliance obligations, all researchers must ensure that you are informed of these matters by reading the research information provided on our website and inform the students you supervise of changes relevant to their research.

The University continues to provide and update general information at the following websites: https://staff.flinders.edu.au/coronavirus-information; https://students.flinders.edu.au/coronavirus-information.

Flinders Research NewsCall for humanities expertise to inform policy directions - COVID-19

Australian Academy of the Humanities

To inform the Australian Academy of the Humanities’ policy advice in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Academy is compiling a database of humanities expertise in this space.

To develop as comprehensive picture as possible, the Academy would appreciate feedback on humanities expertise, across a broad range of disciplines, taking in cultural, social, historical, communications and linguistic expertise.

Areas of focus include but are not limited to past experiences of epidemics, pandemics and quarantine (including including SARS, HIV/AIDS); community responses to the COVID-19 crisis; social distancing challenges for Indigenous communities and other cultural impacts; bioethics and public health policy; access and equity to essential services, including digital communications and technologies; ethical decision-making; translation and analysis of information for multilingual populations; and the role of arts and culture in community building recovery and resilience.

The expert database will be used to inform policy and research development in Australia and internationally. Further information, including consent and privacy details, and to register for the database, visit the Australian Academy of Humanities website.

Flinders Research NewsHealth Translation SA – COVID-19 Research Register

Health Translation SA

Health Translation SA (HTSA) is undertaking a range of coordinating activities across South Australia to ensure that the SA COVID-19 response is well informed, effective and efficient. They are currently surveying the research landscape to promote collaboration and reduce duplication. HTSA are creating registers to capture COVID-19 Research and COVID-19 Capability in SA.

HTSA are interested in research capabilities and any on-going or proposed projects related to COVID-19, ranging from basic science, clinical trials and health service research to data projects, predictive modelling, medical technology and drug/vaccine discovery, mental health or other initiatives. Activities can be based in industry, health service or academia.

If you would like to be included in the register please contact Carmela Sergi, Flinders' Health Partnerships Director for further information.

Flinders Research NewsDraft Australian guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19

Tall Poppy

The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce (the developer) has released the draft Australian guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19 for ongoing public consultation.

The developer will be seeking NHMRC approval of the guideline under section 14A of the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992.

You can access the guideline and provide comment on the MagicApp here (you will need to set up a MagicApp account if you do not have one).

Flinders Research NewsCollation of Funding body responses to COVID-19

Flinders University

The Flinders' COVID-19 and research staff page now includes, all in one location, information on funding body responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.

To access the latest responses from funding bodies, click on Research funding bodies' responses to COVID-19 on the Flinders' COVID-19 and research staff page.

A link to all the latest responses, in date order, is provided under that section. If you are aware of any other responses that are not listed in that section, please contact us at inspiring.research@flinders.edu.au.

Flinders Research NewsFlinders University Institutional Biosafety Committee extraordinary meeting - 21 April 2020

Flinders University

To assist in supporting rapid approvals for COVID-19-related research, the Flinders University Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) will be holding an extraordinary meeting on 21 April, with an application closing date of 14 April

Those wishing to undertake research activities using any unfixed specimen sourced from patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection are reminded that approval is required from the IBC. A guidance document detailing the information required for inclusion in such applications will be made available on the Flinders University Biosafety Website shortly

Approval is also required for those wishing to undertake molecular studies involving gene technology applications. For assistance with these, please contact the IBC directly at ibcadmin@flinders.edu.au.

Flinders Research NewsAustralian Academy of Science COVID-19 Expert Database

Australian Academy of Science banner - expert panel

Led by the Australian Academy of Science, Australia’s learned academies, representing the nation’s best and most eminent researchers across all fields, are launching a national COVID-19 Expert Database. The database is championed by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO.

The Academy is calling on experts from a broad range of fields who can contribute to the national and global effort to tackle and recover from COVID-19 to register on this database.

In this rapidly evolving situation, the database is designed to be a national resource used by decision-makers including governments, parliamentarians, the federal and state and territory medical officers, chief scientists across Australia, the research sector, the business sector, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, the National COVID-19 Coordination Committee, and the media.

Now, more than ever, decision-makers must be enabled to readily access the expertise they need to make the best possible decisions. This includes consulting with experts in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, health, humanities, arts, and social science.

As we each do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19, there is a need to enlist experts across all fields to combat COVID-19 and address its profound social, cultural and economic impacts. To guide our immediate response, the development of a vaccine, and to inform the national reconstruction effort, we will look to scientists and other experts to inform our decisions.

The national COVID-19 Expert Database is the mechanism by which decision-makers can connect with researchers and other experts who have registered their willingness to contribute to leading the nation to recovery.

The database recognises the critical underpinning role of science in responding to and resolving the pandemic, and illustrates the expertise and convening power the learned academies bring to the nation.

If you have expertise to lend to this global fight, please register on the database today. We encourage you to share this database with your networks and colleagues, and encourage them to register, to ensure the AAS capture as many of the nation’s experts to tackle COVID-19 as possible.

The development of the national COVID-19 Expert Database is one of a suite of initiatives the Academy has undertaken to respond to the pandemic. To assist the public better understand the changing situation, the Academy is producing articles and videos based on the most current information. In addition, the Academy has called on governments to make public the data and evidence supporting decision-making so as to allow all scientific knowledge to be brought to bear to solve this global crisis.  

Science has never been more critical to securing our health and wellbeing and restoring our way of life. The Australian Academy of Science is placing science at the service of the nation.

Seminars Conferences and WorkshopsNew date for the inaugural Child & Adolescent Mental Health Conference

Child & Adolescent Mental Health Conference

The Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association, are inviting clinicians and professionals to join them at the inaugural Child & Adolescent Mental Health Conference, which has been rescheduled to Wednesday 25 – Friday 27 November 2020 at Mantra Legends, Gold Coast.

The conference will provide a platform for professionals to connect and gain insight from industry experts, as well as develop a greater understanding of mental health in children and adolescents from ages 3-19 years.

The target audience for attendees are clinicians, counsellors, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, therapists, case managers and mental health professionals.

During the two-day event, the aim will be to focus on early diagnosis and prevention, as well as treatment and recovery of mental health for children, young people and their families.

The program will feature table top discussions, key note speakers, panel discussions, oral and poster presentations, workshops and networking.

Sam Stewart, CEO of the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association said about the decision:

"Earlier this week we made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Child & Adolescent Mental Health Conference. In the interest of public safety and the enforced restrictions surrounding COVID-19, we felt this the only responsible course of action.

Our team have been working around the clock to ensure a smooth transition to a rescheduled date. I am pleased to announce that the 2020 Child & Adolescent Mental Health Conference will now take place from Wednesday 25 – Friday 27 November at Mantra Legends Hotel, Surfers Paradise.

With the continued support of keynote speakers, concurrent presenters and our valued sponsors and exhibitors, I am confident that this event will provide valuable insight and practical tools for you to continue your work in child and adolescent wellbeing.

On behalf of the Association, I would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all health professionals, leaders, workers and volunteers working tirelessly throughout this challenging time. Your work is a humbling reminder of the importance of continued advancement, education and awareness for our mental health industry.

I look forward to meeting you in November and again extend my thanks to you for your patience and understanding."

For more information, and to register, visit the conference website - https://www.camh.com.au/.

Flinders Research NewsMessage from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) - COVID-19 Online Forum

Flinders University

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Robert Saint, has released the following information on the College of Medicine and Public Health online forum, Thursday 2 April, 1:00-2:00 pm SA time.

"In recent weeks Professor Jonathan Craig, Vice President and Executive Dean of the College of Medicine and Public Health, has hosted a number of online College forums for staff and students to discuss the COVID-19 epidemiology, and the University’s response and plans. As an internationally recognised clinician and scientist with past experience on the WHO expert review panel for global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property, Jonathan is well positioned to deliver authoritative and insightful analysis of COVID-19 as it evolves. 

Given the thirst for knowledge and information about the virus, Professor Craig’s future weekly presentations will be made available for viewing more broadly by our staff and students. Of particular interest will be an analysis of the pandemic’s current status, sources of transmission, and testing data in Australia and around the world. 

This Thursday 2 April from 1:00-2:00pm SA time, Professor Craig will host a livestreamed Forum. It will include an opportunity for live questions, which can be submitted at www.slido.com using the event code (detail on accessing the Forum and the event code for questions are detailed in the 1 April email from Professor Saint). If you’re unable to join this important conversation at that time, it will be recorded and posted on our COVID-19 information pages for students and staff

In the meantime, please stay safe, stay healthy, and stay informed."

Flinders Research NewsMessage from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) - COVID-19 Research Information and Advice Update 3

Flinders University

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) (DVCR) has provided, below, information and advice on changes to the grant submission dates for a number of ARC and NHMRC grant schemes.

The major research funding bodies, the ARC and NHMRC, have changed their grant submission dates for a range of grant schemes as follows:


  • Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) 2021- 29 April 2020
  • Linkage Projects 2020 Assessment Round 1 - 22 April 2020
  • Special Research Initiative (SRI) for Australian Society, History and Culture - 6 May 2020

The updated Flinders’ internal dates and ARC closing dates are now available on the ARC schemes page.

The full ARC communique can be found here.


  • Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Scheme (CTCS) - delayed, the closing date for the CTCS scheme will be extended to 25 November 2020.
  • Ideas Grant Scheme - extra time, the deadline will be extended by 5 weeks, with a new closing date of 10 June 2020
  • Investigator Grants 2020 - the outcomes from the 2020 Investigator Grant round to be available soon.
  • Synergy Grant Scheme - cancelled for 2020. NHMRC will consider whether it is possible to run an expanded Synergy Grant round in 2021.
    The NHMRC would like all applicants to export application previews from Sapphire before their Synergy Grant application is no longer accessible. This will assist in future application rounds and, if applicable, assist with applying in other NHMRC schemes currently available. Applicants will have until COB 6 April 2020 to complete these exports. If applicants require any assistance with this process please email the Research Help Centre via email at help@nhmrc.gov.au

The updated Flinders’ internal dates and NHMRC closing dates are now available on the NHMRC schemes page.

The full NHMRC communique can be found here.


This information and further updates have been posted to: https://staff.flinders.edu.au/coronavirus-information.

Flinders continues to be committed to maintaining, as far as possible, normal research activities. In order to ensure that we continue to meet our compliance obligations, all researchers must ensure that you are informed of these matters by reading the research information provided on that site and inform the students you supervise of changes relevant to their research.

The University continues to provide and update general information at the following websites: https://staff.flinders.edu.au/coronavirus-information; https://students.flinders.edu.au/coronavirus-information.

Flinders Research NewsList of information and resources on digital health and the COVID-19 pandemic from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Doctor working on a digital tablet

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences Care Informatics and Technologies website now includes detailed list of information and resources on Digital Health and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The information and resources are aimed at those with an interest in the use of information and communication technologies to improve healthcare delivery, lives and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The site is available at https://www.nhsprojects.com.au/cit/information-resources/

Flinders Research NewsImportant update about building access restrictions at Flinders Medical Centre

The College of Medicine and Public Health have provided the following advice regarding access restrictions at Flinders Medical Centre (FMC).

Research personnel located in FMC are able to continue to work, but will need to use their FMC access card to gain entry.

The following access restrictions will apply at Flinders Medical Centre, effective Saturday 28 March:

  • Entry to Level 4 South and Level 5 East will be locked (FMC access card entry only)
  • Internal thoroughfares to FCIC and Margaret Tobin Centre within the building will be closed off
  • Main entrance doors on Level 2 (western entry) and northern entry Level 3 (Emergency Department) will remain open and will be manned by security staff to validate the need for entry
  • Student study spaces and lecture theatres on Level 5 will be closed, and the Level 4 Seminar Room will also be closed.

Further information is available at the College of Medicine and Public Health: COVID-19 information and resources webpage.

Flinders Research NewsNew Zealand Ministry of Health - The COVID-19 Emergency Response & Ethical Review Operating Procedures (eSOP)

HDEC logo

The New Zealand Ministry of Health, Health and Ethics Disability Committees (HDEC) Secretariat provided the following information (dated 24 March 2020) for researchers who would be submitting a COVID-19 related application or amendment through the Ethics Secretariat.

"The COVID-19 Emergency Response: Ethical Review Operating Procedures (eSOP) is now live to guide and assist in the ethical review of research specific to or affected by the COVID-19 response. 

We ask all researchers who submit a COVID-19 related application (new study or a post approval form related to a currently approved study) through Online Forms to also notify us of submission via the HDEC email (hdecs@health.govt.nz) with the following wording in the subject line ‘COVID -19 new study’ or ‘COVID-19 Amendment’.

This will allow the Secretariat to easily identify and triage applications to the correct pathway. 

The eSOP will not apply to research not related to or impacted by COVID-19. 

To assist with the expected increase in workload the Ethics Secretariat will no longer be providing the scope of review service. However, this policy will be reviewed monthly. If you are not sure if your research sits within the scope of HDEC review, please consult your institution’s research office or complete and submit an ethics application via the Online Forms portal for HDEC consideration. 

For all other correspondence please limit email and phone calls to urgent queries only. Please contact the Ethics Team on 0800 4 ETHIC (08004 38442 or +64 4 819 6877 from outside New Zealand). HDEC email: hdecs@health.govt.nz 

Please be aware that the Ethics Secretariat will not be working in the office for the foreseeable future, given that we are now at Level 3 of the COVID-19 Response.

Please be patient when waiting for a response. Our 0800 number is operational but will be diverted to a cell phone.   

Thank you for your patience and understanding at this time. 

Stay well and look after yourselves

The Ethics Team
Quality Assurance and Safety
Health System Improvement and Innovation
Ministry of Health"

New OpportunitiesAccessing SPSS Statistics on Staff/Students Personal Devices - COVID-19 Special Arrangements


The Flinders Library has provided the following update on special arrangements for accessing SPSS Statistics on staff and student personal devices.

In addition to the Flinders Library local arrangements for remote access to IBM SPSS, IBM Inc. put forward a supplementary initiative for accessing SPSS Statistics on staff/students personal devices. The details from IBM are listed below:

"In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting disruption that Universities across the world are facing, IBM over the weekend announced that they will be extending the SPSS Statistics Subscription Trial for active and new accounts through to June 15, 2020. 

  1. Academic Faculty Members and Students who require SPSS Statistics on their personal devices can download the free trial via: http://ibm.biz/spsstrial2020 
  2. As part of the process, Academic Faculty Members and Students will need to individually create an IBM ID and password to access the free trial. 
  3. Please note that the IBM SPSS Statistics Subscription Trial has the same feature set as the version of SPSS Statistics available under your SPSS Statistics site license.

IBM are making these changes out of concern and compassion for those who are affected by the global situation and to help universities to make the transition to online learning tools easier."

Flinders Research NewsDepartment of Health statement on Guidance on clinical trials - COVID-19 - 24 March 2020

Department of Health

The Department of Health Clinical Trials Project Reference Group have published a national statement in relation to COVID-19. This is a joint statement that reflects the shared views of all state and territory Departments of Health, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Clinical Trials Project Reference Group (CTPRG).

This guidance provides general information and advice to institutions conducting or overseeing research, Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs), researchers and sponsors in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is directed towards those involved in clinical trial research and other relevant clinical research, but also may be of use to institutions, HRECs and researchers in other fields.

The advice represents current thinking and best practice at the government level and will be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect changes in government policy, public health advice and the needs of those conducting and participating in clinical research in Australia.

To view the statement, visit the Department of Health website.

Flinders Research NewsSALHN Office for Research - now working remotely due to COVID-19 pandemic

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN)

The Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN) physical Office for Research space in Flinders Medical Centre (room 6A219) is currently being used for clinical purposes by the Allied Health directorate.

The SALHN Office of Research is still be responsive to both emails and phone calls, which have been diverted to personal mobile phones. There may be some minor delays to processing times due to the disruption working remotely causes.

The SALHN Office of Research drop-in sessions usually conducted on Wednesday morning from 9-11 have therefore been cancelled until further notice.

To contact the SALHN Office of Research:

Phone: (08) 8204 6453

Email: Health.SALHNOfficeforResearch@sa.gov.au

Website: http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/SALHNresearch

Seminars Conferences and WorkshopsFlinders' 2020 Researcher Training and Development - virtual workshops and webinars

Proactively Supporting our Research

Researcher training and development will continue throughout 2020.

Interactive online workshops and webinars will be offered and accessible to Flinders’ research community. This will allow participants to actively engage in learning and connect with others.

How can I participate?

Please enrol in workshops at ienrol-research.

Participants who are enrolled in that session will receive a hyperlink and quick reference guides to support interactive participation.

Who can I talk to?

If you have any questions, please contact Flinders’ Researcher Training, Development and Communication team at researcherpd.rds@flinders.edu.au

Seminars Conferences and WorkshopsDigital Health CRC hosts COVID-19 National Panel Discussion

Digital Health CRC

More than 2000 people tuned in this week to watch a critical national panel discussion on the use of telehealth in a crisis like COVID-19 - convened by the Digital Health CRC in conjunction with Curtin University and La Trobe University.

The panel was chaired by the ABC’s Dr Norman Swan, and included an impressive group of guest panellists – ranging from health academics to an infectious disease clinician.

The panel considered issues like the use of remote triaging and online consultations to manage situations like COVID-19; engaging technology to support infection control and protect staff and patients; clinical governance; building a health workforce that is confident in using telehealth; and selecting patient settings where telehealth might be most valuable.

The webinar can be viewed on the Digital Health CRC's website.

Seminars Conferences and WorkshopsCollaborate Innovate 2020 postponed to 2021 but the Early Career Researchers Showcase moving to online

Collaborate Innovate 2020

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, the CRC Association have made the decision to postpone Collaborate Innovate 2020 to 2021.

The CRC Association don’t believe the full speaker program can be successfully transferred to an online presentation that would deliver the high-quality interaction that is expected from Collaborate Innovate conferences. 

They have also decided to defer the CRC Innovation Showcase and most of their speaking program to 2021, at a similar time of the year: late May, depending on venue availability.

However, their Early Career Researchers Showcase, sponsored by CQ University, is too important to defer and they don’t want to disappoint the scholars that have bravely submitted their 30-second videos. The submission deadline for the videos will be extended to May. The live Early Career Researchers Showcase event will be hosted online in June. Inspiring Research will provide the updated information when it is available.

The CRC Association will send out details on how to join, and how to vote for your favourite, well ahead of time. We still want you to see the brilliant presentations from the talented early career researchers that make such an important contribution.

Everyone who had registered for Collaborate Innovate 2020 will receive a copy of Collaborate Innovate magazine (formerly KnowHow), promoting the extraordinary achievements of the CRCs, CRC-Projects and their partners.

The CRC Association is offering all registrants a 100% refund on registration fees. Alternatively, registrants can opt to roll-over their registration to 2021 and those who choose to do this will receive a copy of Dr Ruby Campbell’s Scientists in Every Boardroom: Harnessing the Power of STEMM Leaders in an Irrational World.

The CRC Association will be in contact with registrants shortly. 

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