Have you led research that has led to change in health policy or services? These Awards are designed to recognise your work and help bring it to a wider audience!

The Sax Institute’s Research Action Awards honour individuals whose research has made a significant impact on health policy, programs or service delivery. Up to two Awards will be granted and each winner will receive a certificate and prize of $5,000. Applications are open until 5pm, Monday, 22 August 2022 AEST.

Winners of this year’s Awards will be chosen by a committee of national and international experts chaired by Professor John Lavis, founder and Director of the McMaster Health Forum at McMaster University, Canada, and also Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Evidence-Informed Policy.

Award winners will be honoured at a special event in Sydney on Wednesday, 23 November 2022, attended by senior health policy makers and research leaders from across the country.

How to apply

Please contact us at communications@saxinstitute.org.au or call (02) 9188 9500 for an application pack.


Applications are open to early- and mid-career researchers who are employed by, or who study at, one of the Sax Institute’s Member organisations and have up to 15 years’ postdoctoral or equivalent experience. Applications must describe research that has had an impact on health policy, programs or service delivery, and demonstrate evidence of the impact.

Our Members are leaders in public health and health services research. If you work for an organisation that engages in a relevant research program but is not yet a Member, why not discuss applying for membership with your centre manager? Details of the eligibility criteria and how to apply for membership can be found here.

Closing date for applications

Applications must be received by 5pm, Monday, 22 August 2022 AEST.

Eligible researchers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the application requirements and to submit the application as early as possible to avoid missing the deadline.

The awards presentation

Award winners will be honoured at a ceremony in Sydney in November. Senior health policy leaders and members of the public health and health service research communities will be invited to attend. The Institute will interview the winners before the presentation event to prepare news items and other content designed to showcase their achievements to the media and wider community.

Thanks to our sponsors

We would like to acknowledge the NSW Ministry of Health and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for their generous support of the Research Action Awards 2022.


For all enquiries, please contact the Sax Institute:

Email: communications@saxinstitute.org.au

Phone: (02) 9188 9500

Previous Research Action Awards

Two public health researchers whose work achieved real impact in HIV prevention and the social and emotional wellbeing of young children were honoured at the Research Action Awards 2021.

  • Dr Benjamin Bavinton, Senior Research Fellow at the Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney, for world-leading research that for the first time proved HIV drug treatment effectively prevents sexual transmission of the infection between men.
  • Dr Claire Blewitt, Research Fellow at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, for a groundbreaking intervention to address social and emotional difficulties in early childhood.

Two public health researchers who achieved high impact in obesity prevention in Australian children and improving the death certification process in the developing world were winners at the 2020 Research Action Awards.

  • Scientia Associate Professor Rohina Joshi, School of Population Health, University of New South Wales and Head of the Global Health Workforce, The George Institute for Global Health – Improving the quality of death certification of home deaths in the Philippines
  • Associate Professor Luke Wolfenden, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle – Implementation of nutrition, physical activity and obesity interventions in NSW

Researchers whose work had a significant impact on dental health care for Indigenous populations; adolescents’ access to healthcare; and reducing unintentional drownings in Australia’s rivers were winners at the 2019 Research Action Awards.

2019 winners:

Three Australian health researchers whose inspiring work has had a major impact in childhood trauma, stroke prevention and homelessness were winners at the 2018 Research Action Awards.

2018 winners:

  • Associate Professor Anne Abbott, School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Monash University
  • Professor Kate Curtis, Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sydney
  • Associate Professor Lisa Wood, School of Population and Global Health, University of Western Australia

Researchers whose work is having a real impact on the ground in areas as diverse as alcohol-related violence and supporting people to gain driver licences were winners at the 2017 Research Action Awards.

2017 winners:

  • Professor Kypros Kypri, University of Newcastle
  • Ms Patricia Cullen, George Institute for Global Health

Researchers focused on making a real-world impact on vaccine safety, maternal and reproductive health, and strengthening the Medicare system were winners at the 2016 Research Action Awards.

2016 winners:

  • Associate Professor Kristine Macartney, National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS)
  • Associate Professor Kees van Gool, University of Technology Sydney
  • Associate Professor Angela Dawson, University of Technology Sydney

The 2015 inaugural Award winners conducted research that had an impact on diverse areas – from being pivotal in having commercial sunbeds banned, to changing the way health workers communicate about vaccination with hesitant parents. Read more about the 2015 Award ceremony and winners.

2015 winners

  • Dr Anne Cust, University of Sydney
  • Dr Santosh Khanal, NSW Ministry of Health
  • Associate Professor Julie Leask, University of Sydney
  • Associate Professor Farah Magrabi, Macquarie University.