Independent Researchers Group

About the Independent Researchers Group

The Independent Researchers Group (IRG) represents independent researchers who are working as consultants or freelancers.

The Group aims to:

  • provide a forum for networking among independent researchers so that they can share ideas, experiences and problems
  • provide opportunities for collaboration and shared workload when required
  • facilitate professional development through information exchange, discussion and education about market and social research issues, latest techniques and skills
  • keep members abreast of business issues affecting the industry and industry guidelines
  • address issues specific to independent researchers
  • promote the value of independent researchers to research buyers
  • provide a resource for larger research agencies needing freelance help
  • represent the special needs of independent researchers to the Research Society and other relevant forums.

Membership is open to all members of The Research Society who are research consultants operating independently, freelance or in small alliances to service clients. It is expected that these independent researchers are either sole traders or work in a group of no more than 2-3 consultants, under the definition of a micro business (1-5 EFT employees) where the balance of staff may include support staff, full, part-time or casual. Membership of the IRG is not open to research buyers or suppliers of support services such as recruiting, fieldwork or data processing, whose needs are met by membership of other sub-groups of the Society.

Click here to join

Independent Researchers Group

IRG Grapevine

The IRG has an online forum, known as the Grapevine, where dissemination of information and discussion amongst members can operate on an on-going basis. Subscription to the Grapevine is free and when you join the IRG you will be sent an invitation to opt into it, making an agreement to abide by the IRG Grapevine rules. (For Guidelines on participation in the Grapevine, please click here.)

The IRG has also established a regular fortnightly IRG Forum (currently undertaken on Zoom) that is open to all IRG members and attracts members from all States. Each session is a mix of a social catchup and a focus on a particular research technique or issue or business building process. Attendance is free for all IRG members across Australia and New Zealand and the sessions are currently held every second Wednesday, for an hour, from 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm (AEST/AEDT). Details of upcoming Zoom sessions are emailed to IRG members by the IRG Committee.

General enquiries: Helen Bartley, email or phone +61 408 594 961

Membership enquiries and Grapevine help: Philip Derham, email or phone (+61) 0414 543 765.

We would like all members of the IRG to be involved in its organisation and development. If you have any ideas about issues you would like discussed, suggestions for meetings, information to share, or you can help the group in other ways, contact Helen (as above) or better still, get on the Grapevine!

Other IRG Networking and Communications

LinkedIn: The Research Society Independent Researchers Group (IRG) LinkedIn Subgroup is another avenue through which current members of the IRG can communicate and exchange ideas. Information about joining the LinkedIn subgroup is supplied to new IRG members at the time they join, or can be provided by the IRG Grapevine help: Philip Derham, email or phone (+61) 0414 543 765.

IRG Events

A regular monthly IRG Forum (on Zoom) is open to all IRG members and attracts members from across Australia and New Zealand. Each session is a mix of a social catchup and a focus on a particular research technique or issue or business building process, and attendance is free for all IRG members.

Sessions are held each month, on a Wednesday, and run from 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm (AEST/AEDT).

Any IRG members wishing to be attend an upcoming Zoom session should contact Philip Derham at and he will ensure you receive the link.

In addition, the IRG holds regular TFIF (This Friday Is Fun) social catch-up sessions on Friday evenings, from 5.30 pm AEST/AEDT. These TFIF sessions are hosted by Seán McNally, who will provide the dates, times and links for those – and contact him at

When feasible, the IRG may also organise face-to-face events designed to cater for the needs of IRG members. Attendance at IRG events is generally restricted to members of the group only, but some are also open to guests. Details for each event will include information about the nature of the content and who is welcome to attend, and you can contact Philip Derham or Seán McNally for details.