The creation of knowledge through research underpins improvements in Australia's health service delivery and intervention. This research can be of the most fundamental nature or can be applied, directly addressing clinical problems, public health issues or how health services are provided.

The creation of knowledge does not, of itself, lead to widespread implementation and positive impacts on health. The knowledge must be translated into changes in practice and policy for the benefits to flow to Australians.

It can also take many years for research evidence to reach clinical practice. In response to the challenges of research translation, NHMRC aims to accelerate the transfer of research into policy and practice through a number of translational initiatives.

NHMRC’s role in research translation

NHMRC is charged by its legislation, the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992, with raising the standard of individual and public health throughout Australia and fostering the development of consistent health standards, research and training, and the consideration of ethical issues. It achieves this end by making recommendations, issuing guidelines and funding research.

The functions of the CEO are to inquire into, issue guidelines on, and advise the community on, matters relating to:

       (i)  the improvement of health
       (ii)  the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease
       (iii)  the provision of health care
       (iv)  public health research and medical research, and
       (v)  ethical issues relating to health.

What NHMRC is doing

One of NHMRC's primary responsibilities is supporting the effective and rapid translation of research findings into health care policy and practice. Specific measures include:

Initiatives

Funding schemes

Guidelines

The Cochrane Collaboration

More information on NHMRC's involvement with the Cochrane Collaboration