What is the NDRP?
NDRP stands for National Disability Research Partnership. At the moment, it is in an establishment phase. The vision is for NDRP to facilitate a collaborative and inclusive disability research program that builds the evidence for successful innovation in policy and practice. The establishment phase is led by Anne Kavanagh and Bruce Bonyhady, who together with the NDRP working party guide the deliverables. The establishment phase is building the foundations of a longer-term Partnership, including guiding principles, a governance model, a research agenda, guide to research, capability mapping and one round of research funding.
How is it funded?
The establishment phase is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services who recognises the opportunities presented by disability research funding. The Melbourne Disability Institute at University of Melbourne received the funding for the establishment phase. We are exploring options for funding the longer-term NDRP through our governance consultation.
What has happened so far?
We started work in July 2020. The first thing we did was set up a working party. Then we started our research into governance models to support our governance issues paper. We also released a tender to help us shape a national disability research agenda that will see research significantly advance the rights of people with disability through policy and practice. We set up a newsletter to keep everybody up to date. The governance consultations have started and the research agenda project which is led by the University of Sydney is well underway. We worked with the APO to set up a Disability Research Collection. In March 2021 we released our Guiding Principles which we continue to adjust as we receive feedback.
Soon we will invite proposals for disability research projects. We are also working on mapping research capability in Australia and a plan to build this. We are planning to write a practical guide to NDRP research - these are all parts of the establishment phase but we haven't started work on them just yet.
Who are the partners of NDRP?
There are no official partners yet. Many of our working party members are from leading universities around Australia but this does not make those universities official partners. One of the deliverables is a governance model which we will draft in consultation with the disability community. Part of the governance model is to think about the partnership; how to become a partner and who. If you'd like to join this discussion please complete the form here: governance consultation.
How is the University of Melbourne involved? What about the University of Sydney?
The Melbourne Disability Institute at the University of Melbourne received the seed funding to establish the NDRP. Directors Anne Kavanagh and Bruce Bonyhady are also professors at the University of Melbourne.
The University of Sydney is leading the consortium that was awarded the tender to deliver the national disability research agenda. This project involves three phases: research mapping, consultations and prioritisation. You may have received a research agenda survey from the University of Sydney and the NDRP.
How is the NDRP Working Party managing conflicts of interest?
We have developed a conflict of interest policy which can be accessed at this link: Conflict of Interest policy. For any project that is likely to be put out to tender or involve an open funding round, Working Party members are asked to declare real, perceived or potential conflicts of interest. Any Working Party member who has declared a conflict of interest will not hear, read or otherwise learn of any detail of the project. Working Party members who are directly involved in shaping funding rounds or tendered projects will not be involved in any funding proposals, in any capacity. They will also not discuss any part of the project nor give general or specific advice to anybody. This exclusion applies only to the NDRP Working Party. Colleagues or direct reports of Working Party members may be considered for tenders or submit funding proposals without the involvement or support of the Working Party member.
What will be the governance model in the longer term?
At this stage we do not know which governance model will be best for NDRP beyond the initial two-year period for which we have funding. We have done some research into governance models of Australian research institutes and partnerships that have a similar purpose as the NDRP. This information has informed our Governance Issues Paper which sets out the context for the establishment of the NDRP, future governance options, critical success factors, key issues and questions for consideration.
How will the consultations work?
We will hold consultations in a few ways: individual discussions, meetings with organisations and group webinars. Where possible we will meet in person but given the pandemic we will also meet by phone or videoconferencing. We are starting our outreach in late April; if you'd like to be involved please complete the form here: consultation.