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Research Project opportunity for Hons / Masters students in the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence on the Social Determinants of Health Equity

3rd April 2018

More information

Sharon Friel

Sharon joined RegNet as Professor of Health Equity in May 2014 and became Director in July 2014. She also serves as the Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the Australian National University.

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National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre for Research Excellence on the Social Determinants of Health Equity

Many Australians will live shorter lives than others not because of their genetics or the lifestyle choices they make but rather because of the conditions in which they live and the opportunities they have to lead a healthy life. There is increasing concern among politicians, policy makers and the Australian public about the growing financial, social and health inequities in a country that prides itself on having a ‘fair go’.

The power of the social determinants to improve population health and its social distribution has been demonstrated through a series of international (including the World Health Organisation through its Commission on the Social Determinants of Health) and national level commissions and evidence reviews. However the translation of this evidence into equity-focused multi-sectoral policy development and implementation has been slow.

The goal of the CRE is to provide evidence on how to navigate the political and policy processes more effectively in order to operationalise the social determinants of health and health inequity.

We will do this in four thematic areas: macroeconomics and infrastructure, land use and urban environments, health systems and Aboriginal people. These themes will be operationalised through four work programs which reflect the policy cycle of agenda setting, formulation, implementation and evaluation.

In each work program we will use case studies to examine policy and regulatory processes and health equity in detail. The CRE will also develop formal processes of capacity building and knowledge exchange relating to effective policies and practices to achieve better and more equitable health outcomes.

The outcome of the work of the CRE will be much improved understanding of the regulatory and governance mechanisms associated with how policies can be changed to achieve health equity and thus contribute to more equitable health outcomes.

Expressions of interest

Expressions of interest are invited for a Hons / Masters student who wishes to undertake their research project with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre for Research Excellence on the Social Determinants of Health Equity (CRE- HE), at the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the ANU.

The aim of the CRE-HE is to examine how political and policy processes in Australia could more effectively address the social determinants of health equity. The CRE is a collaborative project involving lead researchers from Flinders University, the ANU, University of Sydney and University of Ottawa.

The available research project for the Hons / Masters student will involve conducting a case study of recent policy debates over Australia’s Medicare system. Research skills required include some experience with documentary analysis and qualitative research methods. The research project will be a collaboration with CRE researchers and the findings of the research will be co-published in an academic journal.

To be eligible the student must be currently enrolled in a Hons / Master’s program that requires a research project for completion.

For further information please contact Dr Belinda Townsend, agenda setting work package lead researcher at

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet