About NZACRes

About Us

The New Zealand Association of Clinical Research (NZACRes) was formed from the clinical research focus group to foster and promote clinical research, and is the professional association for clinical researchers in New Zealand. NZACRes holds regular meetings to bring together members of the clinical research community, to discuss issues and create collaborative solutions for our industry.

NZACRes organises events encouraging networking opportunities amongst our peers within our industry. Currently regional meetings are held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. NZACRes holds the annual NZACRes Clinical Research Conference where invited speakers from New Zealand and overseas present on topics of interest to researchers.

NZACRes is a non-profit scientific educational organisation. It is run by an elected team of volunteer officers from amongst its members.

Our Goal

Our overarching goal is to promote and support clinical research in New Zealand by:

  • acting as a conduit for networking within the industry;
  • providing information and resources for the industry in New Zealand;
  • educating stakeholders on issues pertinent to clinical research in New Zealand
  • supporting and encouraging training opportunities for our members;
  • promoting New Zealand as a preferred location for clinical research.
Our Members

NZACRes membership is open to all those who have an interest in clinical research. Membership fee for 2020 is set at $75.00 (including GST) or $50.00 for student membership. To become a member please apply to register here.

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Members Include
  • Investigators, Study Coordinators, Physicians, Clinical Research Nurses, University and Hospital based research personnel
  • Clinical Research Managers, Clinical Research Associates, Regulatory Specialists and personnel from research institutes
  • Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Medical Device research personnel
  • Pharmacists and Laboratory personnel
  • Health Economists, Biostatisticians and Data Managers
  • Medical Writers and Industry Consultants

Julie Jones


Julie has 17 years of experience across a variety of roles within the clinical research industry and is currently working with MRINZ in quality compliance. She previously established the GMP facility at the Malaghan Institute and spent 7 years within the European pharmaceutical industry; in clinical trial management, strategic development and relationship management positions.
Julie Jones

Jenny Sparks


Initially I studied Molecular Microbiology at Canterbury University and was a Research Scientist in Pathology before moving into Science Communication for the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Sydney University where I organised Innovation Challenges and Conferences. Coming back to work after having children, I started in regulatory affairs for the medical device industry in Australia and moved into Clinical Trial Co-ordination and Management when I moved back to New Zealand 7 years ago. I have completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Research from Victoria University and currently work for the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand.
I would like to volunteer for the NZACRes committee as I feel I can contribute skills in co-ordinating events and I would like to help medical professionals who want to do research by finding tools and training resources to support them. It would be great to see New Zealand be attractive to overseas pharmaceutical companies to conduct research trials here by supporting NZ researchers to measure up to international regulatory standards and deliver high quality timely data.
Jenny Sparks

Meghan McIlwain

I am a CRA at Syneos Health. Originally a pharmacist, I completed my PhD in Pharmacy in 2014; my doctoral studies focused on neuroimaging biomarkers of treatment resistant schizophrenia. I published research articles on topics ranging from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to the endocannabinoid system in addiction and ``party pill`` drug-drug interactions. After a post-doc in California I returned to New Zealand where I now enjoy working in the pharma industry as a CRA and occasional guest lecturer at the School of Pharmacy, University of Auckland.
Meghan McIlwain

Ruth Lucas

Ruth Lucas is a clinical research professional with almost 20 years of experience working within the clinical trials industry. Starting out in the UK Ruth gained experience conduct clinical trials across all phases from working in a phase I unit to multi-centre phase IV studies. Ruth moved to New Zealand in 2006, working for both CRO and Pharmaceutical companies. During this time Ruth was also involved with training and mentoring of research professionals and enjoyed coaching and motivating other professionals to participate in high quality research. Ruth then continued to work as an independent contractor on a number of differing projects from Investigator-Led studies to large industry sponsored trials, with a focus on quality improvement within NZ.
In March 2019 Ruth took up the post as Research Manager for Cancer & Blood Research at Auckland District Health Board, broadening her industry experience into the DHB.
Ruth Lucas

Valerie Fletcher

After studying Social Research and Pharmaceutical Medicine at University I have been working in various industry project management roles in clinical trials across Europe, Asia Pacific, Australia and New Zealand for 20+ years.

Work experience has been both directly for global pharmaceutical companies and global CROs. I currently work across Asia Pacific for PPD as Associate Director in clinical trial start up.

I am passionate about both clinical trials and GCP compliance and am proud of New Zealand’s contribution to global clinical trials. My professional goal is to increase New Zealand clinical trial activities that reflect New Zealand’s strengths.

Regionally based near Christchurch, I feel privileged be a part of our industry, to participate in the high calibre NZACRes executive committee, and to work with NZACRes members and NZACRes stakeholders.

Valerie Fletcher

Julia Mathieson

Following a career in nursing and management and, in collaboration with my business partner, we started Southern Clinical Trials Ltd in 2007. In 2011 we identified a need for support services for clinical trial units and established Southern Clinical Trials Group (SCTG) which is a clinical trial network providing management services to 5 clinical trial units in New Zealand. Our sites conduct industry trials for global and local sponsors. SCTG also has an alliance with Lakeland Clinical Trials (NZ) and Paratus (Australia) who combine under the banner of Pacific Clinical Research Network (PCRN).
As a business owner I believe I bring a commercial focus to the challenges experienced by clinical trials sites, whether in the private or public sector. I also have a strong interest in the development of career pathways for study co-ordinators.
Julia Mathieson

Zoe Breeze


I have spent the last 20 years in a variety of clinical research roles within the Pharmaceutical and CRO industry, from monitoring local clinical trials to global study lead roles. Over this time I have developed a passion for the quality aspects of clinical research and started my move into this area 10 years ago.
In my current role as Quality Manager (GCP/GVP) for Roche New Zealand, I am able to further expand this interest and passion whilst still remaining close to our clinical trials.
I have previously volunteered and have served as an executive committee member from 2016 to 2017 and in 2019. I believe that through volunteering and committing to NZACRes, we can change and improve the research environment for all.
I am originally from the UK and love to travel. I have been lucky enough to live and work in 4 different countries including, of course New Zealand. Since moving here in 2010, my husband and I have adopted ex-racing greyhounds which keep us busy and ensure we continue to enjoy the great outdoors that New Zealand has to offer.
Zoe Breeze

Michelle Sullivan


My name is Marie-Michelle Sullivan. I have more than 25 years of experience in research administration, having worked overseas and in New Zealand.
I am a member of NZACRes and the Society of Research Administrators International. I am presently employed by the University of Otago, Dunedin School of Medicine, where I hold two half-time positions. I am the research administrator for the Gastroenterology Research Unit and administrative assistant for Health Research South. My work experience allows me to have a broad knowledge of all the processes in implementing research trials. I am a strong believer in the importance of training and supporting all staff involved in clinical trials to strengthen the research environment. Thank you for allowing me to share my vast experience in supporting our association and its membership.
Michelle Sullivan