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Centre of Clinical Research Excellence

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General Course Information


The CCRE offers two accredited subjects in Neuroscience Clinical Research & Neuroimaging, especially designed to teach clinicians how to understand research, learn the necessary research methods, and improve their skills to conduct quality clinical research in neuroscience.

The multi-disciplinary postgraduate course is open to clinicians and professionals from the medical, nursing and allied health disciplines, or anyone interested in developing or improving their skills to conduct clinical research.

Each subject is taught face-to-face in small groups, in 4 and-a-half -day week blocks:

Clinical Neuroscience Research - Week 1

Neuroimaging for Clinical Research - Week 2


Each subject can be taken as either

  • a short professional development course (no assessment, no award, GST applies),


  • an award course, including assessment (no GST applies).

Both subjects taken together as award courses form the Specialist Certificate in Clinical Research (Neuroscience).
[Check this link for course fees, entry requirements and application forms.]

These master-level award subjects can be used as electives in and are creditable towards other postgraduate courses. Check with your postgraduate course coordinator for details.



The course is held at the Melbourne Brain Centre on the Austin Hospital campus (new building), 245 Burgundy Street, Heidelberg VICTORIA 3184



Week one: July 15th - 26th, 2019

Week two: July 22nd until 26th, 2019

This CCRE course is in partnership with the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and The University of Melbourne's Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

Course description

Clinical Neuroscience Research - Week 1

Developing a high level of competency in clinical research relies on two main capacities:

  • being able to read, understand and interpret the research literature, and
  • asking the 'right' questions in order to formulate adequate research hypotheses and answer them appropriately.

By exploring a range of specific research methodologies applicable to neurological disorders, you will develop the skills to pose the relevant questions to produce quality clinical research. Through stimulating discussions of the current research questions with expert researchers in clinical neuroscience and your peers, you will develop the ability to critically appraise the literature and formulate new research questions. You will build confidence to communicate your research and interact with basic neuroscientists, as well as researchers in other health disciplines.

Areas covered here will be genetics, mechanisms of disease, clinical trials, epidemiology, health economics, rehabilitation and translation into clinical practice.


Neuroimaging for Clinical Research - Week 2

Developed in partnership with the Brain Research Institute, this more advanced subject builds on clinical research methodology and skills acquired in Part 1. A major emphasis is on cutting-edge human brain imaging techniques. Through face-to-face interaction with multi-disciplinary researchers, you will develop the understanding and confidence to design your own research project involving neuroimaging or other advanced techniques in clinical neuroscience. Through individual feedback, you will be able to write a good research proposal, an essential skill for preparing research projects and grant applications.

Advanced neuroscience research techniques in brain imaging and neurophysiology will be discussed here in the context of current research in major functional disorders of the brain and mind.

Learning Outcomes

Clinical Neuroscience Research - Week 1

On completion of Week 1, you will:

  • have developed a high level of competency in clinical research methodologies applicable to neurological disorders.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the current research questions in neuroscience and be able to discuss any clinical research topic or idea.
  • have gained the essential skills to be able to formulate good research hypotheses and pose the ‘right’ questions in order to answer them appropriately.
  • be able to read, understand and interpret the research literature critically.
  • be able to generate new ideas and interact with experienced clinical researchers, as well as basic neuroscientists and research peers from other health disciplines.
  • be able to communicate your research findings effectively.


Neuroimaging for Clinical Research - Week 2

On completion of Week 2, you will:

  • achieve a high level of competency enabling you to create and conduct quality clinical research from the original concept through to submission of competitive research proposals in a neuroscience area.
  • demonstrate a high level of understanding of advanced clinical research techniques in neuroimaging and neurophysiology, with broad applications in neuroscience.
  • be able to design research projects using cutting-edge brain imaging techniques as a research tool or other advanced techniques.
  • have developed the skills to write research proposals and prepare grant applications.
  • be able to establish multi-disciplinary collaborations with experts in the field of clinical neuroscience to conduct innovative clinical research.

Contact hours and time commitment

Each subject comprises 24 hours of lectures, seminars and workshops. In addition, students should expect to undertake a minimum of one hundred twenty hours research, reading, writing and general study to complete each subject successfully.

Course Assessment

Clinical Neuroscience Research - Week 1

  • Oral team presentation (total 20 mins + 10 mins discussion) based on published clinical neuroscience research topics discussed within multi-disciplinary teams (20 percent).
  • A comprehensive literature review in a chosen clinical neuroscience research area leading to explicit conclusions and new research questions to pursue (max. 5,000 words) (80 percent).


Neuroimaging for Clinical Research - Week 2

  • A short oral presentation of a proposed research plan (30 percent), a comprehensive clinical neuroscience project proposal formatted as a grant submission, including potential multi-disciplinary collaborations and drawing on the course content (and previous professional experience, if relevant) (3,000 words) (70 percent).


Course Presenters

The course is led by an Academic Coordinator, Laureate Professor Sam Berkovic AC.

All presenters are leading experts in their respective areas of neurosience and experienced clinical/basic researchers.

The course is an excellent environment to exchange ideas and discuss them with peers from your own and other disciplines, as well as course presenters.

The course gives an opportunity to network and find a good research mentor or supervisor for future research collaborations.


Contact Course Coordinator

Dr Kathy Lefevere
CCRE Course Coordinator/PhD Neuroscience Course Convener, Melbourne Brain Centre and Postgraduate Coordinator, Department of Medicine Austin Health

Office locations:
Melbourne Brain Centre Austin Health, Level 2 (Thursdays)
245 Burgundy Street, Heidelberg VIC 3084 Australia

Melbourne Brain Centre Parkville, Level 5 (Tuesdays & Wednesdays) - 30 Royal Parade, The University of Melbourne, VIC 3010 Australia

Email: lefevere@
Phone: 61 3 9035 7082
Fax: 61 3 9496 4183 (Austin) or 9035 3102 (Parkville)


How to enrol?

Prospective neuroscience students and Fellows already based at Austin Health, as well as the current students should contact the Course Coordinator for details of short course application.

Prospective students who are not based at the Austin and wish to enrol in the short courses should contact Melbourne School of Professional and Continuing Education (MSPACE).

All prospective and current students wishing to enrol in the award courses should contact Melbourne School of Professional and Continuing Education (MSPACE).

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