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Public Health Research Advisory Group

Public Health Research Advisory Group


PHRAG was originally constituted by the 1997 Board to provide a specific resource to deal with public health research issues in the absence of a research SIG. The group is dynamic in that it convenes periodically to achieve certain goals within delineated timeframes. Members are coopted according to nominated objectives.

The first inception of PHRAG ran from 1997 until 2000. It was then reconvened in 2001, and continued until 2004. In both periods PHRAG had considerable achievements and the Terms of Reference remained substantially unchanged.

In 2007 the then Vice President (Policy) Jane Freemantle re-established PHRAG in 2007 to 2008.
Since July 2014, PHRAG has been reconvened by Professor Fran Baum.


The broad goal of the PHRAG is to promote and advocate for public health research and development so that members, stakeholders and the Australian community will benefit from a sound, strategic and shared research base in public health.

Specifically, the Committee will:

  • Identify, promote and advocate opportunities for training and continuing professional development in public health research for PHAA members
  • Contribute to informed public and professional debate about public health research
  • Encouraging the monitoring of public health research funding in Australian and contribute to efforts to increase funding in absolute terms
  • Encourage more effective links between public health policy, research and practice
  • Encourage PHAA representation on research and other relevant groups and working parties of the NHMRC and advocate for increased representation.
  • Liaise with the Population Health Division of the Commonwealth Department of Health & Aged Care Services, other government health bureaucracies and non-government organisations with an involvement or stake in public health research and development.
  • Maintain a 'watching brief' over developments in medical and public health research at national level.
  • Advocate for increased representation and offer support to public health representatives.
  • Encourage best practice in research through recognised awards, including liaison with and enhancement of PHERT, dissemination through the Journal and other strategies

The Committee:

  • Professor Fran Baum (Chair)
  • Associate Professor Peter Sainsbury
  • Associate Professor Sharon Friel
  • Ms Vanessa Lee
  • Dr Jonathan Wardle
  • Dr John Marrone
  • Dr Fahad Hanna

The membership of PHRAG will be developed as is appropriate to the projects it undertakes, but will include both senior and more junior members of the public health research fraternity. Invitations to join PHRAG will be extended to nominated research-active younger Fellows of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine and to a head of an academic Public Health Institution