Research and Innovation

Research Priorities

A strategic priority for IUIH is building the evidence base in Urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Research at IUIH is focused on transfer of evidence into practice and developing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research capacity The IUIH research targets four key areas

  • Health Service Improvement
  • Chronic Disease Prevention and Management
  • Data and its Best Use
  • Tobacco.

Projects Underway

Health Service Improvement - designed to generate evidence to improve health services

  • Economic Impact Studies: The IUIH commissioned a leading international health economist to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the IUIH Model of Care.
  • Social Health Project: A research plan and ethics protocol was developed and approved to examine the process and evaluate the effectiveness of integrating a comprehensive model of drug and alcohol and mental health care into routine primary health care across five IUIH member services.
  • Vulnerable Families Project: A research plan and ethics protocol was developed and approved to implement and evaluate a sector-wide approach for improving the identification, management and referral of vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
  • Student Placement Evaluation: Ongoing evaluation using qualitative and quantitative methods of a student placement program.

Chronic Disease and Prevention Management:

  • Deadly Choices Program Evaluation: Pre-post evaluations of a school-based and community day chronic disease education program.
  • Work It Out Evaluation: Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of a Chronic Disease Rehabilitation Program (health education and physical activity program) designed to improve self-management and health outcomes in peoples with chronic disease.

Data and its Best Use - focusing on improving health data: Analysis of Chronic Disease Patient Data and Shared Electronic Client Records

  • Say No to Smokes Evaluation: Practitioners who smoke have completed the Say No to Smokes Evaluation.
  • Murri Smoke Free Workplaces: A survey examining health staffs’ attitudes to workplace tobacco policy and smoking behavior administered across five organisations in the south east region. The survey provides baseline data for an evaluation of a workplace tobacco policy implemented in Community Controlled Health Services in SEQ.
  • Smoking, Tobacco, Mind, Body and Spirit: A survey examining knowledge of, and confidence and practices in, delivering tobacco cessation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients, administered to 89 healthcare practitioners and health promotion staff.
  • Community Day Smoking Survey: A smoking survey with 448 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people participating in community or sporting events across 8 locations in the South East corner. The survey explores Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ knowledge, use of and attitudes to tobacco.


  • Tobacco Research: Four tobacco research projects including a pre-post evaluation of existing IUIH tobacco programs and a community survey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ knowledge, attitudes and behavior in relation to tobacco.

Applying to Conduct Research

Our research program is a critical part of the Institute - linking research findings, emerging expertise and proven methodologies with the practical delivery of our services to ensure optimal results.

The Institute is committed undertaking and collaborating in high quality research and evaluation. Our focus is moving from ‘best intention’ or descriptive research to ‘best practice’ or evidence generating in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health settings in South East Queensland.

IUIH encourages researchers looking for engagement and input from IUIH to make contact as early as possible, even at conceptual stages. See the Research Project Plan for more information   


Conducting research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We recommend the following from the Lowitja Institute website

These resources were developed from understandings that support:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research being driven by priorities set by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • an accessible approach which allows for the practical application of resources in the health sector
  • an intention to develop the research capacity within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

These resources include guides for researchers and research supervisors, case stories on research projects and information about the development and implementation of research.

Workforce Mapping

The development of a workforce for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health delivery in South East Queensland (SEQ) is a key strategic priority of IUIH.

IUIH's Workforce development strategy aims to:

  • Equip the existing primary health care workforce to roll out the IUIH Model of care
  • Build the workforce of the future through traineeships and student placements.

IUIH works closely with member services to systematically map the roles and functions of current primary healthcare staff.  

This enables staff roles to be aligned to the IUIH model of care and clear direction for staff training needs.

Student Placement

IUIH works with universities to coordinate and support the placement of health students within our vices programs and clinics.

The Community Controlled Health Sector drives the demand for student placements leading to a diverse range of disciplines available to our members.

  • average 200 student placements each year, from 19 disciplines and 5 universities
  • has employed 6 non-Indigenous graduates and 4 Aboriginal graduates
  • supports an Aboriginal cadet studying medicine
  • has employed 10 Indigenous university students as part-time mentors with the Indigenous youth sports program.

We experience a continued high level of interest from students (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) to undertake placements in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Sector.

All student placements (within IUIH and our member organisations) are centrally coordinated through IUIH Workforce Development team to account for appropriate orientation and organisation.

School Based Traineeships

IUIH employs Indigenous trainees to work across a range of settings and to train as allied health assistants.

Trainees complete one or two days a week of work experience and rotate each term through the Deadly Choices health promotion team, the Work it Out chronic disease rehabilitation program and children's therapy services.

Trainees receive a comprehensive introduction to work as an allied health assistant, and are mentored by Allied Health and Health promotion staff.

IUIH is committed to mentoring trainees through their traineeship and into work and/or further study after training. Over half of the 2013 trainee graduates are currently enrolled in the University of Queensland Tertiary preparation program.

IUIH is partnering with University of Queensland to launch Deadly Pathways. This program provides intensive support for Indigenous children from disadvantaged families to access practical pathways into secondary and tertiary education.

Work Based Traineeships

Work-based traineeships provide additional employment and tertiary education pathways for school-leavers, job seekers and single mothers returning to work part-time. These traineeships are supported by member services or covered through other government and industry funding and form a key part of the workforce development strategy.