About theresearch foundation


The HCF Research Foundation continues to be a leading funder of high-quality health services research in Australia for the benefit of HCF members and all Australians. Financial Year 2021 was productive for the Foundation – we funded seven exciting new research projects through our cornerstone Health Services Research Grants program and supported two new GP-led research projects with our partners at the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, a partnership now in its tenth year.

This year, a timely and clear theme emerged from the health services research undertaken by the seven teams we funded – telehealth. The research projects covered various aspects of telehealth, with studies on digital cardiac rehabilitation and telehealth monitoring, telerehabilitation for rotator cuff-related shoulder pain, preventing hospital admission for back pain using a virtual hospital model, and a blended digital mental health intervention for anxiety and depression. Other funded studies are looking at innovations such as virtual reality therapy for chronic neuropathic pain, improving patient selection for knee replacements, and optimising rehabilitation following elective hip and knee replacement surgery. In September 2020, the Foundation hosted an invaluable webinar featuring Professor Adam Elshaug, following the completion of his work as the HCF Research Foundation Professorial Fellow. During the well-attended and informative session, Professor Elshaug illustrated the highlights and outcomes of his work on low-value care during the seven-year fellowship.

The year has also been one of major transition for the HCF Research Foundation, with the Board finalising a new strategy. The new Foundation strategy has two major objectives. The HCF Research Foundation aims to increase the evidence base in the delivery of healthcare services and support the translation and uptake of effective healthcare models and services.

We also had a change in management of the Foundation and I am very pleased to welcome Dr Christopher Pettigrew as the Head of the HCF Research Foundation, who will be leading the implementation of the new strategy. Transition also occurred on our Board. I wish to acknowledge the leadership, support and hard work of Lisa McIntyre, who stepped down as Chair in March 2021. We also welcomed Michael Bassingthwaighte to the Foundation Board. Finally, I would like to thank the Research Advisory Committee and Professor Helen Lapsley for their contributions and guidance throughout the year.

We continue to be proud of our researchers and their work, which supports the vision of the Foundation to improve healthcare outcomes for all, particularly in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Claire Jackson
Chair, HCF Research Foundation

Board of directors

Full information and bios of our HCF Foundation Board of Directors.

History of the Foundation

The HCF Research Foundation was established in 2000 as The HCF Health and Medical Research Foundation to fund health and medical research for the benefit of all Australians. In 2008 the focus was moved towards health services research, an area of research which does not receive large funding dollars from other sources. In 2013 the name was simplified to HCF Research Foundation and in 2015 a Corporate Trustee was established to manage the Foundation’s affairs. The HCF Research Foundation was originally established with a donation from The Hospitals Contribution Fund of Australia Limited (HCF). While HCF has donated money, the HCF Research Foundation operates independently and with specific focus on funding health services research that can benefit all 23 million Australians.

Health services research examines how people get access to health care, how much health care costs, and what happens to patients as a result of this care. The objectives of the HCF Research Foundation’s health services research program are to improve the prevention, treatment and cure of diseases in the general community by funding research and study proposals that enhance and utilise current knowledge to improve health and health services; and improve the quality, efficiency, access to and equity of provision of health services.

The HCF Research Foundation’s research program therefore addresses the main dimensions of the health system that are of concern to HCF, the HCF Research Foundation and the community at large: achieving better health outcomes and access to affordable, high quality health care when and where needed.

Mission & vision


The HCF Research Foundation’s mission is to improve the delivery of health services in Australia for the benefit of all Australians. We do this by funding research projects that focus on new ways to provide high quality care to improve patient outcomes.


To be known as a leading independent funder of high quality research that leads to the improvement of health care services for all Australians.

To facilitate easy-to-access funding so researchers can focus their efforts on delivering the benefits of their research projects.

To drive more research by providing transparent and fair funding opportunities for all Australian researchers, institutions and organisations.


HCF funded the corpus of the Foundation by donation from the net surplus of the health fund. Since the Foundation’s inception, HCF has made contributions to the Foundation of $50 million.

Media releases

Media releases in relation to our HCF Foundation work.

Year in Review

Our recent projects and research outcomes in the HCF Research Foundation Year in Review.

How to contact us

Email: hcf_foundation@hcf.com.au

Phone: Belinda Bahram, Senior Coordinator, HCF Research Foundation - 02 9290 8811

HCF Research Foundation Privacy Policy