Research Strategy for Osteopathy Australia
As a professional association Osteopathy Australia is engaged in a diverse range of activities from membership information, continuing education and services to guideline and policy development or lobbying; however, all activities have an overarching goal to enhance and promote the profession.
High quality university education and training provides academics, osteopathic practitioners and graduates who work in a variety of health care settings. The research areas included in our research priorities needs to be equally broad and encompass clinical issues beyond technique or treatment efficacy.
A description of clear priorities in research for Osteopathy Australia will inform the implementation of our research policy and the all future funding. In doing so, this ensures the direction of research supported by us is consistent with the broader aims of the Osteopathy Australia’s research strategy and supports the place of the osteopathy in higher education and health care.
To facilitate research that benefits osteopathy by:
- Enhancing and promoting the profession;
- Embracing the complex reality of osteopathic practice;
- Promoting rigorous and critical examination of practice;
- Building understanding of osteopathy’s role and place in the health system;
- Developing research maturity within practitioners, researchers and academics; and,
- Engaging osteopaths in research outcomes that would benefit practice, safety and/or effectiveness to facilitate best practice.
Additionally, Osteopathy Australia will invest in research capacity building by:
- Reviewing effective models of research engagement from other countries;
- Encouraging better collaboration between researchers and practitioners;
- Developing guidelines, training or workshops to build practitioner engagement with knowledge and skills in research; and
- Investigating how osteopaths may commence a career pathway in research to and engaging the osteopathic community to increase awareness of opportunities.
Whilst the overarching focus of our research priorities are osteopathy research, these have been placed in various sub-categories.
Broad Research Priorities
- Contemporary osteopathic practice - examines facets of professional, contemporary osteopathic practice in the health care systems.
- Treatment – examines clinical safety and effectiveness of osteopathic practice with approaches which respect the principles and philosophies underpinning osteopathy.
- Clinical outcomes of osteopathic practice – what are measurable changes in health, wellness or quality of life that result from osteopathic care.
- Osteopathy in the Australian health care system - understanding the osteopathy workforce, its role, and place within contemporary Australian health care.
- Consumers, consumption, and utilisation – examines aspects of osteopathy utilisation by the healthcare consumers and the reasons why they attend.
Osteopathy Australia’s Support
Osteopathy Australia will investigate options to directly support research within our priority areas by (but not limited to):
- Providing promotion and awareness raising of osteopathic research being completed within Australia and elsewhere;
- Providing direct funding for research projects with osteopath involvement;
- Calling for grant submissions;
- Commissioning research projects;
- Prioritising projects that utilise the infrastructure of ORION;
- Working collaboratively with other on projects and funding; and,
- Participating to support externally competitive funding applications, e.g. ARC Funding.
Additionally, we will work with key stakeholders and community to encourage participation in:
- Lodging abstracts and applications to a structured and competitive Osteopathy Australia grants scheme;
- Fostering research leadership in priority areas or to support budding researchers; and
- Investigate options that increase supervision opportunities for involvement of osteopathy academics
Research Committee Terms of Reference
As a professional association Osteopathy Australia is engaged in a diverse range of activities; however, all activities have an overarching goal to enhance and promote osteopathy.
High quality university education and training provides academics, osteopaths and graduates who work in a variety of health care settings. The research areas included in our research priorities needs to be equally broad and encompass clinical issues beyond technique or treatment efficacy.
With limited funds and multiple competing requests, clear priorities in research for Osteopathy Australia will inform our research policy and the all future funding. In doing so, this ensures the direction of research supported by us is consistent with the broader aims of the Osteopathy Australia’s research strategy and supports the place of the osteopathy in higher education and health care.
The Research Committee shall advise Osteopathy Australia on research policy and on the development of strategies to promote research and scholarship in osteopathy. In addition, it shall have delegated responsibility for reviewing the scientific worth, validity and proposed methodology of research proposals.
The Research Committee will recommend such research proposals to the Osteopathy Australia Board for consideration. The Research Committee shall report on its meetings and activities to the Board.
- At least one (1) and a maximum of two (2) members from the Osteopathy Australia Board (one to be Chairperson).
- At least one (1) and a maximum of two (2) members of the research community in a tertiary education environment outside of an Australian osteopathic learning institution.
- At least one (1) and a maximum of two (2) members with research experience within tertiary education environment in an osteopathic learning institution. These members must be willing to liaise with the other institutions and are not appointed as a representative of their university.
- The Osteopathy Australia Chief Executive Officer
Appointed members shall normally serve on the Research Committee for a term of two (2) years. Members may serve consecutive terms.
A quorum for meetings of the Research Committee shall be half the membership (at the time), plus one and an Osteopathy Australia Director must always be in attendance.
The Research Committee shall be directly responsible to the Osteopathy Australia Board and will have the following functions:
- Develop a comprehensive and transparent research funding policy and processes.
- Review the scientific worth, validity and proposed methodology of research proposals to be conducted by Osteopathy Australia, in collaboration with Osteopathy Australia, or using Osteopathy Australia’s resources
- Maintain a register of approved research projects
- Monitor the progress of approved research projects in accordance with the agreed requirements in order to ensure that research is conducted in accordance with the Osteopathy Australia’s approval of the research
- Make recommendations on future strategic planning and policy directions for research and the development funding models
- Recommend opportunities for liaison with external bodies, research funding bodies and Journal editors etc. for the advancement and recognition of research within osteopathy
- Develop an annual plan for research activity, particularly in relation to research proposals, and report on its activities in timeframes as set by the Board
- Provide advice to the Board on the development of the research culture and profile of osteopathy and Osteopathy Australia
Where requested by Osteopathy Australia, the Research Committee may also:
- Develop and review Osteopathy Australia’s research policies and procedures framework in line with the identified research priorities
- Make recommendations on budget and resource requirements to support research and scholarship activities of Osteopathy Australia
- Represent Osteopathy Australia’s research interests and/or liaise with external stakeholders on behalf of Osteopathy Australia
In the absence the Chairperson, the alternative Osteopathy Australia Director will act as an alternative Chairperson.
The Research Committee shall meet four (4) times a year, normally before meetings of the Board. Annual meeting dates will be scheduled in advance, with committee input, and planned around core grant dates and the academic year. Additional meetings may be scheduled on a needs basis to enable the Committee to discharge its duties.
For the purpose of this Committee policy and associated procedures, “meeting” shall include a meeting conducted face-to-face, by telephone (teleconference) or by audio visual means.
External stakeholders of Osteopathy Australia may request the opportunity to address the Research Committee at any time and this request will be considered and approved by the Chair.
Terms of Reference and the functioning of the Research Committee will be subject to review at least every two years by the Board to ensure that it is operating effectively, fulfilling its functions and reviewed for continuing relevance. Each year the Research Committee will undertake a self-evaluation of performance. Areas requiring further attention in the following year will be highlighted to the Board.