Our mission is to develop and implement high-quality, person-centred health systems research that will improve individual and population health and well-being for Australians and the global community.

Contemporary health systems face considerable challenges impacting both access to, and the quality of health care. The ever-increasing demand for services, burgeoning costs and significant resource constraints result in disparities in health care delivery and outcomes that continue to grow. The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted the need for resilient health systems, with capacity to respond quickly and innovatively to address complex system challenges.

Health systems research plays a pivotal role in responding to these challenges.


We are committed to identifying, developing, and evaluating innovative solutions that address significant challenges in health systems and healthcare delivery. Through rigorous research and evaluation, we seek to continuously improve the value and quality of health systems and services, while ensuring that they are accessible and equitable for all people and communities.


To achieve this, the HSR Theme brings together the critical mass of internationally recognised and emerging health systems researchers at UNSW. Our researchers are engaged in interventional and observational research that improves health system performance and health outcomes. Our members are healthcare professionals and scientists who bring expertise from disciplines including health services leadership and management, big data analytics, epidemiology, digital health, implementation science and health economics.

We partner with community, policy makers and clinicians to identify and co-design innovative responses to the most pressing and contemporary health systems challenges and critically analyse and evaluate these responses. Our research spans all health care sectors (from primary to tertiary care), public health and multi-sectorial approaches outside of health.

Matching the expertise of the UNSW HSR community with key issues facing policymakers, funders, and health care providers, we have identified and prioritised three flagship research programs:

●       Community and primary care: relates to people’s first contact with care, including health promotion, preventive care and management of acute and chronic conditions.

●       Integrated care: relates to connecting community- with hospital-based care (vertical integration) and care organised around healthcare needs across different organisations and sectors (horizontal care).

●       Evidence development for policy and practice: relates to knowledge generation about the use, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and safety of health care delivery and technologies. 


We have a long-standing record of excellence and impact in health systems research. Our researchers have delivered and are currently engaged in many projects focusing on the quality, value and safety of health systems and care delivery. 




Transforming health systems through high-quality, person-centred research

The Health Systems Research Theme has been featured in the latest edition of the Research Australia's INSPIRE Publication.

This issue of INSPIRE focuses on the role of medical innovation through the healthcare system. Our article, "Transforming health systems through high-quality, person-centred research," can be found on pages 84-86 of the publication. 

To read the full article and publication, please visit the Research Australia's website here: https://researchaustralia.org/inspire-magazine/

  • Health Systems Research Theme Collaborative Grant 2024 is Now OPEN

    We are excited to announce that the Health Systems Research Collaborative Grant Scheme is now open for applications.

    This is an excellent opportunity for UNSW researchers who are interested in strengthening health system performance, leading to improved individual and population health and wellbeing. 

    Four grants of up to $50,000 each are available.

    Chief Investigator A

    • Academic Level A or B and hold a PhD or equivalent (as per NHMRC Investigator Grant Guidelines); and
    • UNSW Medicine & Health academic staff or have a formal conjoint/adjunct appointment with UNSW Medicine & Health. 
      The team must:
    • Include no more than five other chief investigators (CIB-F);
    • Include a minimum of two distinct UNSW units and/or affiliated medical research institutes. e.g., schools and centres within UNSW Medicine & Health, other UNSW faculties/schools, and/ or affiliated medical research institutes. For a list UNSW Medicine & Health’s schools, research centres and institutes, and affiliated medical research institutes – click here.

    The funds must be expended by 31 December 2024. Therefore, applicants should carefully consider the scope and feasibility of the proposed research activities (including Human Research Ethics requirements).  

    The application is a two-stage process: Stage One is an Expression of Interest and Stage Two a Presentation. 

    Download the guidelines and EOI form template.

    Completed applications (using the EOI Application template) must be submitted by email to medicine.themes@unsw.edu.au  and received by 24 Nov 2023 (5pm). Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted. If you have any questions regarding the scheme, please email HSR Research Development Manager at medicine.themes@unsw.edu.au

    Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity to further your research and contribute to improving health systems. We look forward to receiving your applications.

  • The Health Systems Research theme is governed by the UNSW Health Systems Research Executive Committee.

    Executive Committee Members

    Prof Sallie Pearson (Theme Lead/ Chair)

    School of Population Health

    Ainslie Cahill AM (Co-Chair) Consumer

    Dr Ben Bavinton

    The Kirby Institute

    Prof Henry Brodaty

    Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing

    Prof Georgina Chambers

    Centre for Big Data Research in Health

    Prof Ken Hillman

    School of Clinical Medicine (Discipline - Critical Care)

    Prof Lisa Keay

    School of Optometry and Vision Science

    Prof Raghu Lingam

    School of Clinical Medicine (Discipline – Paediatrics & Child Health)

    Steven Marsh Consumer

    A/Prof Belinda Parmenter

    School of Health Sciences

    Prof David Peiris

    The George Institute for Global Health

    A/Prof Natalie Taylor

    School of Population Health

  • Prof Sallie Pearson

    Principal, Health Systems Research Theme

    E: sallie.pearson@unsw.edu.au

    Recruitment underway

    Research Development Manager

    E: medicine.themes@unsw.edu.au