The Department of Youth Justice supports research that strengthens evidence-based decision-making and contributes to effective policy and practice.

Our participation in commissioned and collaborative research is designed to ensure:

  • it contributes to our goals, policy and priorities
  • it is relevant and managed in accordance with legal and administrative requirements
  • it protects the dignity, wellbeing and privacy of staff, clients and research participants
  • research questions are of sufficient value, purpose or significance for Youth Justice to justify the expenditure of any necessary time and effort required of Youth Justice's young people and/or staff
  • the research methodology is appropriate and feasible, and aligns with research questions and intended outcomes
  • the research meets community expectations and is conducted to high standards of ethical conduct and probity
  • research findings will have practical application
  • it is conducted in a culturally safe way, upholds the principles of data sovereignty and enables self-determination for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities and peoples.

Youth Justice research agenda

Our Youth Justice research agenda 2023–2024 (PDF, 199KB) or (PPTX, 376KB) aims to encourage the delivery of research projects and outputs that we can use to plan and deliver better services to children, young people, and families in Queensland. Your research application should demonstrate alignment to our future directions and objectives, as outlined in the research agenda.

All research must conform to:

Research involving the clients of Youth Justice must comply with the research and confidentiality provisions under the Youth Justice Act 1992.

Involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

As Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and families are disproportionally represented in the youth justice system, all research proposals must comply with the AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research.

Researchers should apply the principles of the Indigenous knowledge lens (PDF, 971KB) and respectful language guide (PDF, 15.4MB) to their research design and rationale.

Ethics applications should demonstrate how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and experiences have been considered and responded to in project development and design.

HREC approval for applications

Applications can be submitted prior to Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) or equivalent approval, however, approval of the research application will be contingent on HREC approval or evidence that a HREC application has been lodged. Research cannot commence until the HREC approval is finalised.

Researchers who have been approved to conduct research in collaboration with our department will be bound by our research deed of agreement.

Research application process

You must submit an application to conduct research if you are requesting access to:

  • Youth Justice clients (young people in detention, on community-based orders, or involved in departmentally-funded programs) whether directly (via our department) or indirectly (via a community organisation or other department)
  • Youth Justice staff
  • Youth Justice facilities (detention centres, Youth Justice service centres)
  • Youth Justice data.

You do not need to apply if your research involves data already in the public domain.

Researchers must apply via the Youth Justice Research and Evaluation team to:

  • conduct research with our department (including service centres)
  • access departmental data.

Do not go directly to service centres or youth detention centres to seek research approval.

Research applications will be accepted during 3 rounds (as outlined below) per year. We will approve a maximum of 10 projects per round.

Round 1 Mid-March End-April June
Round 2 Mid-June End-July September
Round 3 Mid-September End-October January

To apply to conduct research in collaboration with us:

  1. Email the Youth Justice Research and Evaluation team, via, to schedule your initial project meeting.
  2. Prepare and submit your application prior to the closure of the research round:
  3. Email your supporting documentation to the Youth Justice Research and Evaluation team, via
    • completed risk management plan (DOCX, 589KB) or (PDF, 307KB)
    • HREC ethics application form (or most recent draft)
    • HREC ethics approval (if approved before submitting this application)
    • participant materials and consent forms
    • research data collection tools such as surveys, interview schedules, or standardised instruments
    • blue card(s) (scanned copies) for all researchers having direct contact with young people.

We note that the new research partnership process is a 12-month trial commencing September 2023 and will be reviewed to determine continuation.

The assessment and approval process (PDF, 38KB) takes approximately 8 weeks following the closure of the research round.


Applications should meet the following criteria to progress to the assessment stage:

  1. One or more planning meetings have been held with the Youth Justice Research and Evaluation team.
  2. Project methodology and timeframes are feasible.
  3. Any data requested is available.
  4. Aligns to at least 1 priority area in the research agenda 2023–24.
  5. Demonstrated benefit to our department, young people and their families, and the community.
  6. Consideration of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples in project design (e.g. cultural training, ethics approval, data sovereignty, consultation, culturally appropriate outputs).
  7. All required documentation has been submitted.

For applications that do not meet the qualifying criteria, the researcher will be provided an opportunity to modify proposals with support from the Youth Justice Research and Evaluation team. Researchers will be given 3 business days to submit an amended application.

Shortlisting and endorsement

A review panel will assess applications against the following criteria, weighted accordingly:

  • 30% – Alignment to research agenda
  • 20% – Clear and robust methodology
  • 20% – Demonstrated cultural capability and consideration
  • 15% – Achievable benefits, practical outputs and positive impact
  • 15% – Makes a valuable and unique contribution to the evidence base.

The review panel will shortlist applications for endorsement by internal stakeholders and, subsequently, approval by the Research Governance Group.


You will be advised of your outcome of your application by email. If your application is approved, you will be emailed a Letter of Approval and asked to complete the Deed of Agreement (PDF, 1.4MB) or (DOCX, 536KB) with us which outlines the conditions of project approval.


The signed deed of agreement, ethics approval and blue cards (if applicable) must be received by the Youth Justice Research and Evaluation team prior to project commencement. We will advise you when your project may commence.

Research translation and implementation

Conducting high-quality research is important, but it is also critical that the research is accessible, relevant and usable. Research translation is about bridging the gap between knowledge and action.

Implementation science is about how we use evidence, as well as evidence-based practices and programs, in everyday policy, program and practice environments to maximise positive outcomes for our clients.

Translation and implementation planning aims to support researchers and our staff to ensure:

  • research findings are translated into products that meet decision-makers' needs and preferences and assist decision-makers to implement research findings
  • research-informed products are used by decision-makers to inform strategy policy, programs and practice by policy, program and practice decision-makers (end-users)
  • impact arising from the translation and implementation research can be monitored and evaluated
  • departmental research findings and impact are disseminated and communicated to audiences other than direct end-users, such as the general community, other government and non-government social services providers, academic community and/or specific sectors within those broad groups.

Researchers will be asked to undertake translation and implementation planning as part of their project. Researchers can use our translation and implementation guide (PDF, 352KB) or (PPTX, 786KB) and translation and implementation plan template (DOCX, 576KB) or (PDF, 271KB).

Youth Justice translation and implementation plans can be detailed and updated over the life of the project and recorded at a high level in the research application form. Projects with a high degree of investment and significant expected impacts require more detailed translation and implementation planning, which is expected to occur within a translation and implementation planning workshop facilitated by us.

Contact us

Contact the Youth Justice Research and Evaluation team via

Last updated 28 February 2024

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