The INPRES Partnership is a collaboration between institutions around the world, leading and undertaking research in the field of perinatology.

The Partnership, founded in 2021 by two world-leading paediatric clinical trials unit: Melbourne Children’s Trial Centre (MCTC) and the University of Oxford’s National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU) Clinical Trials Unit, aims to support clinicians and researchers in developing and facilitating clinical trials and observational research projects in the perinatal, neonatal, and paediatric population.

The goal of INPRES is to enable the world’s experts in the perinatal, neonatal, and paediatric clinical research field to work together to improve diagnosis, implement personalised treatment decisions, and develop new treatment strategies that will benefit newborn infants and their families around the world.

The cross-border sharing of expertise, knowledge and leveraging of scientific and clinical strengths between leading perinatal clinician scientists and clinical trial teams, will accelerate and advance the development and execution of collaborative, international, investigator-led research.

Through the Partnership, collaborations are facilitated to promote and foster clinical research, combining research efforts already underway in addition to developing new research proposals. This involves cooperation at multiple levels including the individual project level, as well as partnering to develop the infrastructure required to support programs of research.

All members will work together to lay the groundwork for future networking prospects, with the intent of expanding to include additional perinatal, neonatal, and paediatric research groups globally, in order to further accomplish its mission.

Current Partners

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute:

Melbourne Children’s Trial Centre (MCTC)


The University of Oxford:

National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU) Clinical Trials Unit



Current Research Activities:


The Partnership’s flagship project, the POLAR trial, aims to establish how to best, and safely, support the fragile lungs of premature babies at birth.

This trial will compare two commonly used respiratory strategies that both use gentle pressure to open the lungs. The trial will assess whether a brief period of higher oxygen pressure at birth, called PEEP (positive end expiratory pressure), which is adjusted to the oxygen and breathing needs of the baby, helps premature babies immediately after birth, and improves their survival without chronic lung disease, compared with the current typical newborn resuscitation practice of a using a lower, unchanging level of PEEP (commonly referred to as static PEEP).

Through this we hope to give guidance to clinicians that can be easily, rapidly, and cheaply be translated into everyday practice.


The James Lind Alliance (JLA)
Priority Setting Partnership in the Tiniest Infants

The James Lind Alliance (JLA) is a non-profit making initiative, established in 2004. It brings patients, carers, and clinicians together in Priority Setting Partnership’s (PSPs). These PSPs identify and prioritise evidence uncertainties, or unanswered questions, that patients, carers, and clinicians agree are the most important.

The aim of this exercise is to help ensure that those who fund health research are aware of what really matters to the people who need to use the research in their everyday lives.

The specific aim of our PSP exercise is to prioritise the most important questions for the most premature of infants born <25 weeks of gestation.








About one in seven babies born in the Australia each year need specialist neonatal care in a hospital because they are born too early, are born very small or have a medical condition. Ensuring these babies have enough nutrition is a key part of their care.

Premature babies are fed milk every few hours through a soft plastic tube into their stomach, called a ‘gastric tube’. Because their stomachs and digestive systems are not yet ready for lots of milk, the amount of milk given each feed is increased slowly. Some doctors and nurses regularly check how much milk is left in a baby’s stomach, called ‘routinely measuring gastric residual volumes’. They check because they believe it will help them know how the baby is coping with the milk feeds and they also think it may help to identify a severe disease called necrotising enterocolitis. However, others think measuring gastric volumes may be bad for babies and that it is inaccurate, uncomfortable for the baby and may actually be harmful.

We want to answer the question:

Is routinely measuring gastric residual volumes good or bad for babies?

How will we do this?

To do this we will test whether not routinely measuring gastric residual volumes, compared to routinely measuring them, helps premature babies to get to full milk feeds quicker without more necrotising enterocolitis.

The trial will involve babies born more than 6 weeks early and will recruit about 7000 babies across the UK and Australia.



Additional research projects are in the early phases of development.


Further Information

For further information regarding the INPRES Partnership or requests to join the international partnership, please contact 


For access to templates, toolkits, guidelines and more information regarding trials please visit the Research Launching Pad