Overview and governance

The Illawarra and Southern Practice Research Network (ISPRN) was originally established with a Primary Health Care Research Evaluation and Development Strategy Research Capacity Building Initiative grant from the Department of Health and Ageing in 2011 and is now supported by the University of Wollongong’s Graduate Medicine (GM). Today, the network has grown to include 50 practices and in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven through to locations such as Bega, Griffith, Leeton and Huon Valley.

ISPRN is a member research group of the Health Impacts Research Cluster (HIRC) which sits within the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health (SMAH) at the University of Wollongong. The HIRC’s aim is to improve the health of whole communities by research that informs and transforms clinical practice and health policy. HIRC brings together researchers from a wide range of disciplines to address the complex challenges that impinge on the health of communities. HIRC research includes investigating new initiatives in interdisciplinary care, identifying areas of high need for services and novel approaches to understanding chronic disease and its management.

How ISPRN supports academics and clinicians

ISPRN supports projects and provides a framework for other academic and clinician researchers to partner with GP practices in research.

ISPRN researchers have been in receipt of over $2M of research funding and undertaken over 30 research projects since ISPRN’s inception in 2011. This has resulted in at least 40 primary care clinicians being actively involved in research, where limited opportunity previously existed.

ISPRN currently supports early and mid-career primary care researchers in the network by:

  • providing high-quality research supervision, support and mentoring by creating equal partnerships between clinicians, research academics, community members and local health providers in order to improve health care outcomes
  • providing access to the University of Wollongong’s library academic resources, including online journals supporting the development of high-quality research skills among primary care clinicians by providing research training. ISPRN has run workshops on:
    • literature reviews
    • critical analysis of the literature
    • research methodologies
    • qualitative analysis
    • basic statistics
    • report and grant application writing
  • Convening an annual Research Development Conference which aims to workshop research ideas and develop them into functional research projects.


ISPRN is directed by its Director Professor Andrew Bonney and by Deputy Director A/Prof Judy Mullan.

ISPRN is also governed by two working groups:

  1. Strategic Planning Working Group
  2. Advisory Working Group


Alyssa Horgan, ISPRN Program Assistant,
T: +61 2 4221 5819
F: +61 2 4221 4341
E: amunkman@uow.edu.au