Health Research Framework 2021-2025

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) Health Research Framework 2021-2025 was developed in consultation with internal and external stakeholders. The framework aims to maximise Defence capability by shaping the path from health research knowledge to action.

The framework aims to:

  • implement a process to identify health research that meets the strategic priorities of Defence
  • work with key partners and develop model/s for streamlined and systematic engagement
  • implement a health research governance policy and an oversight committee
  • strengthen pathways for translating research findings to the Defence health system and into policy and practice.

Health research priorities

Defence health research priorities are a result of examining available evidence, stakeholder input, and available data on the health of the force. The impact of research supports Defence and members by:

  • preserving the force to support ADF capability
  • optimising members’ health over the course of their lives.

Defence strategic health research priorities fall within the following themes:

  • Measuring and monitoring the health of the force 
    • A program of surveillance and monitoring to quantify the health of members. Priorities for action can be produced and included in Defence wide strategies including evaluation processes. 
  • Musculoskeletal injuries 
    • The prevention and management of injuries due to causes that affect serving members, supported by epidemiological data. 
  • Occupational and environmental health 
    • Understanding and managing Defence’s unique occupational environment and the impact on members’ health. 
  • Mental health 
    • Whole-of-life focus on the mental health and wellbeing of serving members. 
  • Health system performance and efficiency
    • Ensuring the Defence health system is underpinned by the provision of evidence-based care to support the health of the force. 
  • Health of the future war fighter
    • A focus on the health needs of Defence members in the future, exploring technological advance and emerging technologies. 
  • Gender and health 
    • Reducing differences in health outcome by gender by ensuring robust evidence bases, safe access to care, and targeting prevention and treatment strategies. 
  • Infectious diseases
    • Continuing a strong research program on the prevention, control and treatment of infectious diseases and their importance in ADF operations. 


Health Research Framework 2021 - 2025 (PDF, 3.02 MB)