Centres of Research Excellence Round 3


Description of a CRE

The APHCRI Centres of Research Excellence in Primary Health Care will provide support for teams of researchers to pursue collaborative research and develop research capacity in primary health care services. The scheme provides funding for innovative, high quality primary health care research. Originality will be a hallmark of the CRE. It is aimed at established investigators with a strong track record of research and of knowledge translation and exchange in a domain of primary health care research who will collaborate with emerging researchers in the area.

The APHCRI CREs may be actual (i.e. comprising a physical entity or Institute) or virtual (i.e. geographically disparate, linking a collaborative research effort from several organisations). They will be multi-institutional with at least two institutions (universities and/or non-government organisations) collaborating in a Centre. To expand research capacity building, a requirement is that at least one collaborating organisation of a CRE will not have received primary APHCRI funding in the past. It is also a requirement that teams will be multidisciplinary, representing the range of disciplines that deliver primary health care services in Australia and that contribute to policy analysis.

Researchers should show any participation in, and collaborations with international research studies. Proposed international collaborations should be indicated in the application and all funding for either a physical or virtual Centre of Research Excellence must be administered through an Australian administering institution. APHCRI funds cannot be used for research that is conducted outside Australia.



The aims of the APHCRI Centres of Research Excellence in Primary Health Care proposal are closely aligned with the National Primary Health Care Strategy and the health care reform agenda. The proposal therefore aims to support the national reform agenda by providing evidence for reform and key directions for change in primary health care policy and systems delivery. The key directions for change are identified as:

  • Improving access and reducing inequity;
  • Better management of chronic conditions;
  • Increased focus on prevention, and
  • Improving quality, safety, performance and accountability.

The building blocks as listed in the National Primary Health Care Strategy are: regional integration; information and technology including e-Health; skilled workforce; infrastructure and financing and system performance. To support these directions, the aims of the proposed Centres are to:


  • Generate quality primary health care research which informs policy and practice and leads to improved primary health care services and health outcomes for the Australian community.
  • Enhance knowledge exchange between the APHCRI Network and the wider primary health care sector (including but not limited to State and Commonwealth Governments) which will enable effective translation of research outcomes into policy and practice.
  • Facilitate multi-disciplinary collaboration across the Australian primary health care research community.
  • Build Australian primary health care research capacity through enhanced career development of research leaders and new researchers.
  • Develop positive impacts for the Closing the Gap initiative to improve the health and well being of Indigenous Australians.
  • Develop internationally renowned Centres of Excellence in primary health care research.


Research Themes

In this call, applicants are invited to focus on the following sub-themes to generate information and inform future policy.

1.      Finance and economics of primary health. Examples can include the policy implications of  financial incentives to providing quality primary care and other associated mechanisms of providing cost effective  primary health care services – including ‘efficient price’ of primary health care

2.      Best practice models for Medicare Locals, including effective linking to the broader health systems, i.e. hospitals, state based health departments and NGO services etc.

3.      Contribution of primary health care towards prevention and management  of alcohol abuse and associated conditions

4.      Contribution of primary health care towards prevention and management of overweight and obesity

5.      Contribution of primary health care towards prevention and management of oral health care. Issues that might be considered include the availability of oral care services, who actually accesses the services and the implications in the primary care context, oral health care management plans and outcomes, the training and education of the oral health workforce for the primary care setting, and a national dental care program, i.e a dental model of Medicare or similar and the issues surrounding cost, implementation, oral care outcomes and legislation?   

6.      The primary health care workforce of the future. Issues that might be considered are numbers, mix of skills and the various new roles and how they relate to each other, as well as training requirements (medical, nursing, and allied), inter-professional learning and how they relate to each other in primary care. 

7.       Child and Adolescent Primary Health Care. For example, currently primary health care has gaps in addressing health of the two age groups (children and adolescents) as they transition from one age group to the other. How can primary health care better focus to address conditions associated with the gaps? In addition there are issues about the social and economic factors that affect childhood development and adolescent health and there are gaps in evidence around interactions between social (including NGO) and primary health care services and polices in the Australian context.

The RAB draws focus on these themes because they are not adequately covered by the awarded CREs. Therefore, this focus will ensure balanced coverage of research around the national primary health care agenda


Funding structure

The APHCRI considers that a key aim of each of the Centres is to build on established excellence by developing research capacity which would enable alternative funding through grants to be sought in future years. The funding structure is designed to support this core principle. Upon successful completion and submission to APHCRI of each of the agreed items of contracted material, each of the successful applications will receive the following:

Year 1 –2012:   $250,000

Year 2 – 2013:  $750,000

Year 3 – 2014:               $750,000

Year 4 – 2015:   $500,000

Year 5 – 2016:               $250,000

Total:              $2,500,000


Variations to this indicative funding will be considered including additional $500,000 over the period of the Grant for CRE with a rural focus. However, tapered funding in year one and in year five must be maintained, recognising that CRE funding will not continue beyond year five.

A single administering institution must be identified for each proposal. The administering institution is either required to be NHMRC registered institution or, in the case of organisations not registered with the NHMRC, must ‘self assess’ according to NHMRC criteria (which can be found at the following linked site: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/file/grants/policy/policy02.pdf) and submit their assessment to APHCRI for consideration.

Periodic progress reports as well as yearly progress and financial statements will be required at the end of each calendar year and all funds must be acquitted in Australian dollars by June 2016.

Application date

31 Oct 2011

Program duration

2 Jul 2012 – 30 Jun 2016


 Dr Dagmar Ceramidas  Send mail  6197 0075

Updated:  20 September 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, APHCRI/Page Contact:  Web Admin, APHCRI