Overview   Contribute   Definitions   Terms of reference   Working group


The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences is conducting a project to improve healthcare for Australians by better enabling research to be conducted within the health system.

A woman looking in to camera, while two nurses adjust an IV in the background.
Professor Claire Rickard. Photo: The University of Queensland.

To do this, we need to learn more about the barriers to conducting research within healthcare services, and find the best ways to overcoming them. The Academy’s major project, Harnessing research for better health: A vision for integrating research into healthcare, will explore the value of research in health services and hospitals, and the roles that key stakeholders – healthcare services, research organisations, patients, consumers and governments – can play to make research happen.

It has been eight years since the 2013 McKeon Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research, which explored how Australia could use research to get better outcomes for patients. Many of the McKeon Review’s recommendations have been actioned, however, there is more that can be done. The Academy’s project will build on the findings of the McKeon Review by looking at how far we’ve come and what new challenges we face. This project will focus on research conducted within the healthcare system – places such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, and allied health organisations – to identify ways research can be better integrated to improve patient care.

We know that there are still significant barriers to integrating research into patient care. The Academy is leading this project to address this major challenge, bringing together perspectives from health practitioners, patients, researchers and policy-makers to define what is needed and how we can all play our part to ensure the best evidence-based care for Australians.

Learn more about the Academy on our About us page.



During 2021, the Academy asked a broad range of groups and individuals to share their experiences via a short survey. The survey has now closed, and findings will be shared in 2022.

Throughout this project, the Academy will continue talking to key stakeholders in the health and research sectors, including through a series of roundtables and interviews. Findings will be shared on our website in 2022.


Professor Caroline Homer with a woman and her newborn baby.
Professor Caroline Homer celebrates with Meta and newborn Klara.

Research refers to investigation or studies involving people, their tissue or their data but not routine and diagnostic tests. This includes: biomedical science, epidemiology, clinical trials, public health, operational research, social sciences and health services research.

Healthcare refers to the Australian health system (public and private) – everything from physiotherapy to dental check-ups to emergency room entry to surgery. This includes health professionals and researchers operating in medicine, dentistry, public health, nursing, midwifery, allied health professions (occupational therapists, dieticians, podiatrists etc), pharmacy and health services management.

Terms of reference

The Harnessing research for better health: A vision for integrating research into healthcare project will describe a high-level vision for strategically embedding research – and its effective and efficient translation – into the health system. To do so, we will:

Professor Ian Frazer.
Professor Ian Frazer. Photo: The University of Queensland.
  • Bring together national and international evidence on the value of integrating research in the health system, to mutual advantage, to inform an Academy position on the place of research in the delivery of health in Australia.
  • Describe the current stakeholder roles and responsibilities associated with integrating and translating research in the health system, and identify how the current landscape should be developed to improve the process of integrating and translating research.
  • Identify the most significant barriers to effective interaction and partnership between academia and the health system, and solutions to address those barriers.
  • Identify targeted recommendations, and the associated key stakeholders, to deliver the Academy’s vision, including priorities for action and timelines for implementation.

Working group

Professor Christina Mitchell AO FAHMS – Chair

Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences, Monash University 

Dr Teresa Anderson AM

Chief Executive, Sydney Local Health District

Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite FAHMS

Foundation Director, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University

Professor Michael Berk FAHMS

Alfred Deakin Professor of Psychiatry

Professor Jonathan Carapetis AM FAHMS

Director, Telethon Kids Institute 

Professor Sandra Eades FASSA FAHMS

Associate Dean (Indigenous), Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne

Professor Ian Frazer AC FRS FAA FTSE FAHMS

Professor, University of Queensland and Chair, TRI Foundation Board

Professor Jane Gunn FAHMS

Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne

Professor Caroline Homer AO FAHMS

Co-Program Director, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, Burnet Institute

Associate Professor Sebastian King

Paediatric Surgeon / Senior Research Fellow, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Professor Don Nutbeam FAHMS

Executive Director, Sydney Health Partners

Scientia Professor Vlado Perkovic FAHMS

Dean of Medicine, UNSW Sydney

Professor Claire Rickard FAHMS

Conjoint Professor of Infection Prevention and Vascular Access at the University of Queensland and Metro North Hospitals and Health Service

Professor Sir John Savill FRS FRSE FMedSci

Executive Director, Melbourne Academic Centre for Health 

Professor Paul Scuffham FAHMS

Director, Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University

AAHMS contact: Dr Amanda Rush, Policy Manager ([email protected])

Professor Christina Mitchell.
Working group chair Professor Christina Mitchell.