Professor Gabriele Bammer

Professor, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health
College of Health & Medicine
T: 02 6125 0716

Areas of expertise

  • Research, Science And Technology Policy 160511
  • Decision Making 170202
  • Higher Education 130103

Research interests

Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S) – Developing a new discipline.

Tackling complex problems needs improved theory and methods for:

1.     synthesis of a range of knowledge and perspectives (from relevant disciplines and stakeholders) to improve understanding of the problem

2.     more comprehensive understanding and management of unknowns, as action usually needs to occur in the face of incomplete knowledge

3.     using the improved understanding of the problem plus the improved grasp of unknowns to support decision makers and practitioners in government, business and civil society.

Relevant theory and methods are being developed in a range of projects across population health, policing and security, as well as environment.

See and 



Gabriele Bammer is developing the new discipline of Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S) to improve research strengths for tackling complex real-world problems through synthesis of disciplinary and stakeholder knowledge, understanding and managing diverse unknowns and providing integrated research support for policy and practice change (see This is described in Disciplining Interdisciplinarity: Integration and Implementation Sciences for Researching Complex Real-World Problems (ANU E Press, 2013; She curates the popular Integration and Implementation Inisghts (i2Insights) blog (

She is an ANU Public Policy Fellow, an inaugural Fulbright New Century Scholar alumna and has held visiting appointments at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (2001-14), the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center at the University of Maryland (2015-2018) and Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany (2019-20), along with short-term appointments at ETH-Zurich (2007) and the Universitaet fuer Bodenkultur in Vienna (2012). From 2007-2013 she was the convenor of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security’s Integration and Implementation research program.

She co-convened (with Michael Smithson) an edX Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on ‘Ignorance!’. 

Between 2011-13 she was Director of the ANU's Research School of Population Health, Director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health and co-Director and then Director of the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute.

Researcher's projects

Her projects aim to: 

  • refine the conceptualisation of Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S)
  • gather and organise concepts and methods for application by i2S specialists
  • build expertise in Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S), including bridges between related approaches, such as interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, systemic intervention, action research, complex systems science, implementation science, participatory system dynamics etc
  • foster networks and alliances to increase the influence of i2S and its component approaches on research funding, as well as research and education policy.

1. Integration and Implementation Insights blog (i2Insights blog)

This is a community blog about concepts and methods for understanding and acting on complex societal and environmental problems (problems such as global climate change, effective health care and inequalities). Anyone with relevant expertise and experience is invited to contribute. One ot two new concepts or methods are described every week. The blog has two main aims. One is to build a collection of tools and ideas to complement the i2S resources repository - see below. The second is to build a community of researchers involved in improving ways of tackling complex real world problems, by facilitating connections across countries, problems tackled and approaches used.

Two associated projects are:

  • developing primers to introduce key aspects of i2S. The first, a 10-post series on stakeholder engagement was published in 2021 
  •  developing a comprehensive index of key terms used in the blog posts, along with definitions of how those terms are used in Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S).

2. Building resources for Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S)

This repository of resources has:

  • tools (concepts and methods) for (i) synthesising knowledge across disciplines and stakeholders, (ii) understanding and managing diverse unknowns and (iii) providing research support for policy and practice change
  • journals where new tools can be published and found
  • professional associations and networks where like-minded researchers can band together
  • conferences for exchanging ideas and expanding networks.

New resources are added regularly and publicised bi-monthly in i2S News.

Additional resources are available on the i2Insights blog - see above.

3. Building a network of leaders in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research organisations

The aim of building network of leaders in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research organisations is to:

  • Foster interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and education within and across organisations
  • Inspire and support researchers to achieve transformational impact on global challenges by:
    o Creating supportive environments and infrastructure
    o Developing effective metrics for excellence, impact and return on investment
    o Improving funding availability and outcomes
    o Supporting next generation organisational leaders
    o Providing effective career paths and role models for interdisciplinarians and transdisciplinarians at all levels, and especially to support early-career researchers
    o Developing workable transition pathways to implementation of new metrics and effective career paths.

There is an active Oceania region network, the Network for Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Research Organisations (NITRO) - Oceania.

There is also a global network and the following report: Palmer, L. (2018) Meeting the leadership challenges for interdisciplinary environmental research. Nature Sustainability, 1, 330-333. (Online):

4. Building research integration and implementation expertise

Expertise in research integration and implementation is an essential but often overlooked component of tackling complex societal and environmental problems. This research:

  • examines tasks essential to developing a more comprehensive understanding of complex problems, and for taking action on them by using that research evidence to support government policy, community practice, business innovation, or other initiatives. Specific elements include managing lack of clear problem limits, contested problem definitions, unresolvable unknowns, and real-world constraints on action, all of which make solutions partial and temporary.
  • explores where expertise in research integration and implementation can currently be found, especially in: 1) specific approaches, including interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, systems thinking, action research, and sustainability science; 2) case-based experience, independent of these specific approaches; and 3) research considering unknowns and fostering innovation. Currently fragmentation precludes clear identification of research integration and implementation expertise.
  • explores whether and how a knowledge bank could be a conduit to building expertise.

This project was developed by a core group of plenary speakers from the 2013 First Global Conference on Research Integration and Implementation, who collaborated on an article Expertise in research integration and implementation for tackling complex problems: when is it needed, where can it be found and how can it be strengthened?

This has become the foundation for a special article collection (Expertise in integration and implementation for transformative research) for the journal Humanities and Social Sciences Communications (formerly Palgrave Communications) 

5. The Population Health Xchange

The Population Health Xchange (PHXchange) at the Australian National University’s National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health provides resources for fostering partnership and knowledge co-production among researchers and diverse stakeholders in order to achieve better health outcomes through evidence-informed policy and practice change.

The tools on the i2S website and the i2Insights blog provide the key resources for the PHXchange

There is an active partnership between the PHXchange and the Integration and Implementation Insights blog, with blog posts regularly contributed by PHXchange members.


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Updated:  01 October 2022 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers