Health research

Research is central to the achievement of the Department of Health's goals. 

 Northern Territory (NT) Health staff conduct research in a range of capacities:

  • as part of their standard work 
  • as staff on specifically identified research projects
  • as students.

People external to the department are occasionally commissioned to undertake research projects, while sometimes external researchers or students also seek permission to conduct research using NT Health data.

The main focus of research in the NT Health has been on evaluation and applied research that explores effective and efficient approaches to promoting health.

NT Health research

Most internal departmental research can be found on these pages:

Collaborative research

In recent years an increasing proportion of NT Health research has been conducted in collaboration with staff from other organisations.

The department is one of six core partners that comprise the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Tropical Health (CRCATH). 

Other partners include:

  •  Menzies School of Health Research
  •  Charles Darwin University
  •  Flinders University of South Australia
  •  Danila Dilba Medical Services
  •  Central Australian Aboriginal Congress. 

In addition, NT Health is increasingly committed to exploring opportunities to collaborate with other organisations at a national level. 

It can provide data from its collections for service provision information, epidemiological analysis and health related research at a detailed level (while meeting privacy requirements) to researchers to support a better understanding of the health of Territorians and measures which can assist in improving that health.

Research and evaluation guidelines 

The Guidelines for Research and Evaluation outline the process that must be followed to gain approval in or with NT Health. 

The NT Health Research Coordinator can help identify the relevant people with whom contact should be made.

As the Research Guidelines state, all research must ensure that it remains within ethical guidelines. 

Ethics approval for research in the Top End of the NT is considered by the Top End Human Research Ethics Committee (TEHREC) and in Central Australia by the Central Australian Research Ethics Committee (CAHREC).

Statistical reports from the Health Gains branch are available online. Statistics regarding service provision information can also be found through the Business Information Management Branch.

Further information regarding statistics can be found on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

NT Health Research Committee

The NT Health Research Committee oversees the NT Health research agenda to target priority health research needs in the NT.

The committee has the following role:

  • considers NT Health's strategic priorities and progress the research agenda
  • ensures there is appropriate governance over all human research occurring within NT Health through an effective and efficient system of review, approval and authorisation
  • provides specific direction in regard to policies and processes for the consideration and approval of research proposals
  • ensures a central repository of research being undertaken in NT Health is maintained.

Strategic agenda

The committee identifies research priorities linked to the NT Health Strategic Plan and government policy as well as the following:

  • acts as a conduit for key research and research-related partners including:
    • National Health and Medical Research Council
    • Charles Darwin University
    • Menzies School of Health Research
    • Lowitja Institute
    • Centre for Remote Health
    • Baker IDI Central Australia 
    • SA NT Data Linkage Consortium.
  • maximise opportunities to lever external research funding with partners, in those areas of agreed priority for the Department of Health
  • develop and implement administrative systems to support the department research activity including guidelines for staff conducting research and the process for departmental approval for research grant and ethics application approvals by external researchers.
  • support an effective process for ethics review of human research within the NT, including the maintenance of administrative systems for department-sponsored ethics committees
  • promote research translation including processes for reporting and disseminating completed NT research findings and relevant national and international research.
  • promote a research culture across the department.

Last updated: 16 November 2018