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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.

Winners will be announced at an invitation-only event on Wednesday, 8 December.


Applications are open to early- to midcareer researchers who work for one of the Sax Institute’s Member organisations and have up to 15 years’ postdoctoral or equivalent experience. Applications must describe their public health or health services 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.

The awards presentation

Award winners will be honoured at a ceremony in Sydney on Wednesday, 8 December. 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 Commonwealth Bank of Australia for their generous support of the Research Action Awards 2021.


For all enquiries, please contact the Sax Institute:

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (02) 9188 9500

Previous Research Action Awards

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.