Consumer and community roles

At The George Institute, Australia we follow the guidance of, and observe the definitions outlined in, the National Health and Medical Research Council and Consumers Health Forum of Australia’s Statement of Consumer and Community Involvement in Health and Medical Research (2016).

We are looking to work together with consumers and community members further in the following ways:

Consumer and Community Advisory Committee member

Provide advice, guidance and oversight of The Institute’s research and research-related activities at an organisational level. Members help us ensure our research is meeting community needs by:

  • representing and communicating the needs of health consumers and the community;
  • contributing to the direction and development of our projects and programs of work, and
  • focusing on the interests of consumers, carers and communities – ensuring they are at the centre of research planning and processes.
Consumer and Community Advisory

Consumer Panel member

consumer panel

Contribute to a particular area of health at the research program level, e.g. kidney health, nutrition and lifestyle, neurological and mental health - click here for more. Panel members assist by:

  • helping to ensure that research activities are relevant, useful and meaningful to the people who the research affects;
  • offering their perspectives and lived experiences within the context of the research program of interest, and
  • providing advice, feedback and input into various aspects of the research program and the associated projects that are undertaken within it.

Project Steering Committee or Reference Group member

Contribute across the entire research project lifecycle. Steering Committees and Reference Groups are integral to the research project and team and meet periodically to:

  • provide guidance and advise on practicalities that impact on participation in research;
  • make key decisions for the direction of the project, and
  • contribute to the development of research documents and assist in communicating the research results to the wider community.
Project Steering Committee

Health Consumer Partner or Co-Investigator

Health Consumer Partner

These people are key members of the research team, i.e. they have active roles in the conduct of research projects. People in this role usually:

  • have experience in health research;
  • have strong connections and relationships with The Institute and/or our stakeholders and affiliates, and
  • work with us in determining if this approach is best suited for the research project.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health research advisors

The George Institute, Australia has specific mechanisms in place for research that involves Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and communities to ensure cultural safety. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members and organisations can be involved in multiple ways including:

  • being a member of a reference group or steering committee for a project;
  • being a co-investigator or partner organisation, or
  • providing input in whatever way is most appropriate via direct liaison with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program team at any time.
Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander

Consumer and Community Network


There are other ways of becoming involved that don’t involve a formal role. Examples include:

  • community consultations and conversations, including research priority setting, product development and testing, and discussing research results;
  • voluntary anonymous surveys to inform ongoing programs of work, and
  • community networking events.

Join our Consumer and Community Network

Join our Consumer and Community Network and tell us about the areas you are interested in and how you might want to be involved, now or in the future. We will factor this into our plans for future Consumer and Community Involvement and keep you informed about potential opportunities.

More about consumer and community involvement in health research

Consumer and Community network