The Royal Melbourne Hospital is investing in expanding our clinical trials capacity and is strengthening partnerships with sponsors, contract research organisations and collaborators.

Clinical trials capacity

The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) currently has conducted over 300 commercially sponsored trials in the last 5 years - with 67 new trials approved in the last year. We have a longstanding track record in conducting clinical trials across many health disciplines, particularly in:

  • oncology
  • neurosciences
  • gastroenterology
  • endocrinology
  • urology
  • haematology
  • colorectal medicine
  • hepatology
  • cardiac-electrophysiology
  • respiratory medicine
  • infectious disease
  • nephrology
  • dermatology
  • cardio-thoracic 
  • ophthalmology

In addition, we have the capacity to undertakes trials in all phases - ranging from first in human through to phase IV. 

The success of our clinical trials have led to improvements in health practice and policy both here at RMH and elsewhere. We work with an array of multinational pharmaceutical companies and contract research organisations to provide information to regulatory bodies such as the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Food and Drug Administration.

Download: Clinical Trials at the Royal Melbourne

Why partner with the Royal Melbourne Hospital?

RMH's large recruitment pool

The RMH is one of Victoria's leading public healthcare services, serving more than 1 million Melburnians as well as regional and rural Victorians and interstate patients.

  • 86,926 people discharged from the RMH in 2014/15

  • 173,516 outpatient appointments  in 2014/15

  • 66,155 people presented to the RMH emergency department in 2014/15

  • 13,663 elective surgeries performed in 2014/15

  • 12 operating theatres at RMH City Campus

  • Around 20 to 25 helicopters land each month at the RMH City Campus

  • RMH is the only accredited level 1 Trauma Centre in Victoria - benchmarked against major trauma centres around the world

  • RMH provides the fastest emergency stroke treatment in Australia - door to needle time treatment in 25 minutes


RMH is a leading player in the development of research entities and groups through partnerships with foundations, research institutes, universities, health services and government to foster and promote medical research locally.

ACRF Centre for Translational Research - Established with a $1 million grant from the ACRF, the Centre will provide a seamless link between the Bone Marrow Research Laboratories and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, and The Royal Melbourne’s Diagnostic Haematology Laboratory and clinical services.

ACRF Centre for Therapeutic Target Discovery - Lead by the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and located at RMH City Campus, this centre is a collaboration designed to maximise shared resources for the purpose of conducting highly innovative cancer research. The consortium in the initial phase included the Royal Women's, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and the University of Melbourne.

BioGrid Australia Limited - BioGrid Australia operates a federated data sharing platform for collaborative translational health and medical research providing a secure infrastructure that advances health research by linking privacy-protected and ethically approved data among a wide network of health collaborators including major partner, the RMH.

Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance - Together, the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Royal Children’s Hospital, the University of Melbourne, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, the CSIRO, the Australian Genome Research Facility, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Austin Health and Monash Health are forging a path forward for patients, clinicians and researchers to benefit from the enormous potential of genomics.

Biomedical Research Victoria - Representing universities, teaching hospitals, medical research institutes, CSIRO and other research organisations, Biomedical Research Victoria seeks to develop shared vision, long term plans and better links between government, industry and the biomedical community. Formerly known as the Bio21 Cluster, Biomedical Research Victoria was established in 2001 as an initiative of the three Founding Members, the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Health and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, and the State Government of Victoria to support the development of Victoria’s fledgling biotechnology industry.

MSBase Registry - The MSBase Registry is an international online registry for Multiple Sclerosis researched and operated through the Melbourne Brain Centre at the RMH. The Registry is a free tool for electronic data collection, substudy management and online research investigator collaboration. The platform provides a fully customisable substudy functionality and electronic case report form to allow for the collection of data for studies of MS regionally, nationally and globally and is used for communication and data sharing whilst assuring investigators retain ownership of de-identified data. 

Western & Central Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service - Commonly known as WCMICS, the service is a partnership between six public health care organisations - the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the Royal Women's Hospital, St Vincent's Hospital, Werribee Mercy and Western Health - directed by the vision outlined in the WCMICS 2012-15 Strategic Plan and the Victorian Government's Cancer Action Plan.

Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration - Also known as MARC, Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration aims to improve the lives of older people through the rapid translation of research into policy and practice to influence practice and systemic change.  MARC is a unique consortium of partners, bringing together health and aged care services, universities, research and advocacy organisations, and the broader community.

Clinical research facilitation service

The Clinical Trial Facilitation Service at RMH provides guidance and support to researchers, sponsors and contract research organisations (CROs) to promote efficient start-up of clinical trials. The team provides assistance with governance submissions and can act as an intermediary for negotiation of the study budget to minimise delay. 

RMH seeks to forge strategic alliances with study sponsors, CROs and collaborators to achieve successful outcomes for all parties particularly with respect to start-up timelines and participant enrolment.

Contact the Clinical Research Manager to discuss clinical trial opportunities.

Fast approvals for ethics and governance submissions

The team in the Office for Research continue to improve processes to ensure that all ethics and governance submissions are approved quickly and efficiently. Currently the RMH approval times are as follows:

  • 84% of valid ethics submissions for clinical trials are approved in under 30 days.
  • 87% of valid governance submissions for clinical trials are approved in under 5 days (50% of total within 1 day).
Research excellence (REx): an initiative to streamline ethical & governance reviews for multicentre studies

As part of our strategy to support clinical trial activities, RMH has signed up with 11 partner organisations to lead and coordinate the streamlining of ethical and governance reviews of human health research projects - this project is called REx, Research Excellence.

The outcome of our streamlining initiative will see faster approval times for both ethics and governance submissions. 

Find out more about the streamlined ethics and governance review for multicentre studies.

Participation in study recorded on patient's medical records

Developed by the Office for Research, this research performance initiative aims to improve the safety of patients and to measure the performance of research projects undertaken by RMH staff. 

RMH will be able to report on the number of patients involved in research and assess how we actually perform against proposed recruitment targets set in the planning stages of a research project. 

In addition, this initiative will ensure that every patient’s involvement in a research project is centrally and electronically recorded so that any staff member who may be involved in the care of the patient is made aware of their participation in a research project. 

Dedicated clinical trials research unit and high quality research services

Facilities for clinical trials exist within all departments of the RMH. Planning is underway for a dedicated clinical trials research unit within the city campus.

In addition, the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, linked to the RMH by an airbridge, will include 24 phase I beds for cancer clinical trials, a facility which will accommodate 83% of all cancer patients entered on clinical trials in Victoria. 

Other facilities and services:

Good practice process

RMH was invited by the NHMRC, alongside 15 other health organisations nationwide, to be a part of an initiative to have quicker and more efficient research governance authorisation. The Good Practice Process for Site Assessment and Authorisation Phases for Clinical Trial Research Governance (the Good Practice Process) aims to streamline the site assessment and authorisation process of clinical trials by:

  • Outlining a set of principles and critical success factors for site assessment and site authorisation;
  • Detailing a set of planning and preparation activities that can made a site more responsive to commencing clinical trials; and
  • Proposing a streamlined workflow for site assessment and authorisation.


Contact us if you need an accessible version of a download.