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Why GenV is significant to research

Australia has world-class longitudinal studies and trial capabilities, many of which the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) has helped to build.

However, despite the immense value of these studies, traditional research designs are too cumbersome, expensive, piecemeal and inflexible to generate the necessary solutions at a pace that can benefit the coming generation.

Few children’s studies involve more than 5000 children; most are much smaller. Studies an order of magnitude greater are needed to discern important patterns from ‘noise.’

Only very large studies can effectively identify the normal range of health and take unbiased viewpoints of both uncommon and common conditions using metrics and population denominators.

Parallel birth and parent cohorts for long-term insights and effective interventions

GenV’s primary objective is to create large, parallel whole-of-state birth and parent cohorts for discovery and interventional research.

It is designed to address physical, mental and social issues experienced during childhood, as well as the antecedents of a wide range of diseases of ageing.

GenV will generate translatable evidence—including prediction, prevention, treatments, and services—to improve future wellbeing and reduce the future disease burden of all children and the adults they become.

Family and parental health are crucial aspects in the life of a child. Other paediatric research projects generally focus on the children but miss crucial information from their parents.

GenV aims to collect data from child participants as well as their parents or guardians, building parallel birth and parent cohorts filling in the current gaps in research.

A comprehensive snapshot of our collective development

Many research projects lack the resources to factor in diverse measure and populations, excluding families from non-English speaking backgrounds or families living in rural and regional areas.

Studying conditions separately—or separating clinical from community cohorts—gives an incomplete picture.

Open to the entire state of Victoria, GenV aims to involve families from all walks of life:

  • all ethnic backgrounds
  • all lifestyles, and
  • all levels of health and ability.

Every family matters, everywhere.


GenV will leverage Victoria’s infrastructure to collect, enhance and link existing records and services data, with minimal check-ins for information that is not routinely collected from participants.

GenV will build a more holistic view of childhoods while being low burden on families: an approach to enhance uptake and retention across the lifecourse.

The scale and inclusivity of GenV will not only give data much greater clarity, but greater opportunities beyond just being small research multiplied.

A population-level data set creates insights for precision health

From within a cohort the size of GenV, we can drill down to assess the overlap and comorbidity in any subgroups for precision health. We can access case-control and case-cohort comparisons. And we can capture long-term outcomes that are out of reach for most registries.

A lack of knowledge translation integration into research means many projects demonstrate little returns or translation of findings. It can take many years before information from research projects is analysed and outputs are implemented.

Through partnerships with practitioners, policy-makers, researchers and service providers, evaluation and research can more readily inform practice, policies and resourcing.

Ultimately, embedding research into usual practice across Victoria and beyond will transform how we solve our biggest problems in child and family health and wellbeing.

Learn more about the wider benefits of GenV.