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Collaborative research

Zoos Victoria welcomes collaborative research proposals. These could involve the use of Zoos Victoria resources, active collaboration with Zoos Victoria staff or independent research at one of Zoos Victoria's three properties: Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo or Healesville Sanctuary.

Considerations for prospective researchers

All research proposals require consultation with, and approval by, the Senior Property Managers of the relevant Zoos Victoria property. Proposals with animal welfare considerations also have to be approved by the Zoos Victoria Animal Ethics Committee

In the first instance, researchers seeking to collaborate with Zoos Victoria should contact the Senior Research Manager (Biological Science), Wildlife Conservation and Science for biological research or the Senior Social Science Research Manager, Wildlife Conservation and Science for social science research (contact details below), to outline the research proposal. If the project is likely to be in line with Zoos Victoria's research priority areas, researchers will be encouraged to submit a research application.

Simply download and fill out a Research Application Form or Social Science Research Application Form. 

Animal Ethics Committee review

Zoos Victoria is licensed by the Department of Primary Industries for the use of animals in research and teaching under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986. Part of the requirement of this license is that all proposed research involving animals is overseen and approved by an Animal Ethics Committee (AEC).

The Zoos Victoria AEC is made up of a range of representatives as required by the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes who meet on a bi-monthly basis to assess and review the ethical considerations of each proposal.

Any proposals involving the use of animals must justify to the AEC that alternatives are not available and that the proposed work has relevant scientific value. Consideration must be given to the three 'Rs':

Replacement - techniques that replace the use of animals must be sought and used where possible

Reduction - each project must use no more than the minimum number of animals necessary

Refinement - projects should actively investigate alternative techniques and procedures that are designed to avoid pain and distress in animals

Further information is available from the Department of Primary Industries.

Please note

All  forms need to be submitted electronically in MS Word (.doc) format to the relevant person (details listed below) and must be fully signed. 

All researchers must read and agree to comply with the Zoos Victoria Code of Conduct for Scientific Research Practice (PDF 21 KB) and Zoos Victoria's Occupational Health and Safety procedures. Scientific procedures using animals must be carried out in accordance with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and Regulations 2008, and the current version of the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes.

Zoos Victoria may withdraw from a project at any time if resources or circumstances change.

Submission dates 2018

There are six rounds of applications considered every year. In order for your research proposal to be considered in a timely manner, please ensure all application forms and supporting documents are submitted by the following deadlines for 2018. Applicants will be informed within 6 weeks of the outcome of their application.

Research/Ethics Application Form Due

Friday 18 January 2019
Friday 29 March 2019
Friday 17 May 2019
Friday 19 July 2019
Friday 20 September 2019
Friday 15 November 2019


Contact details

Senior Research Manager (Biological Science), Wildlife Conservation & Science – Dr Michael Magrath
Phone: +61-3 9340 2752

Senior Social Science Research Manager, Wildlife Conservation & Science – Emily McLeod
Phone: +61-3 9340 2739

Support Officer, Wildlife Conservation & Science – Stephanie Jenkins
Phone:  +61-3 9340 2723

Mail: Research at Wildlife Conservation and Science
Zoos Victoria
PO Box 74
Parkville VIC 3052