Background: Practice based research networks comprise research academics and primary care practitioners who have the mutual goal of supporting the development and implementation of research that is necessary to build the evidence base that informs both primary healthcare practitioners and policy makers. This article describes the establishment of the Victorian Primary Care Practice Based Research Network (VicReN), which was established in 2007 and has grown to over 100 members.
Method: The aim of this article is to discuss the key factors in the development of the organisational structure of VicReN, and to describe the outcome measures used to evaluate the network.
Results: VicReN has a diverse primary care membership. Members' different research needs have been addressed through numerous capacity building activities. The absence of core funding beyond the development phase has led to an innovative funding model.
Discussion: This article outlines a viable and sustainable background practice based research network model in the Australian environment that may assist other academic departments of general practice and rural health interested in establishing a practice based research network.