Professor Gabriele Bammer

Professor, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health
ANU College of Health and 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 societal and environmental problems needs improved theory and methods to enable diverse disicplines and stakeholders (those experiencing the problem and those in a position to do something about the problem) to work together to:

  1. develop a more comprehensive understanding of the problem, both what is known and what is not known
  2. generate ideas about addressing the problem, including what may and may not work
  3. support improved policy and practice responses to the problem by government, business and civil society.

This requires expertise in understanding and managing (in alphabetical order): Change, Communication, Context, Decision-making, Diversity, Integration, Research implementation, Stakeholder engagement, Systems, Teamwork, and Unknowns. Strengthening the theory and methods underpinning expertise in these 11 areas is the core of her work.

To find out more: see and 



Gabriele Bammer is developing the new discipline of Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S) as described above. This builds on her foundational book Disciplining Interdisciplinarity: Integration and Implementation Sciences for Researching Complex Real-World Problems (ANU E Press, 2013; To help achieve this aim she convenes a global community in producing the popular Integration and Implementation Insights (i2Insights;, which is a community blog and repository of theory, methods and other tools underpinning i2S.

She was an ANU Public Policy Fellow and is an inaugural Fulbright New Century Scholar alumna. She 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 the 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 theory, methods and other tools 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 and repository (i2Insights)

i2Insights is a repository of blog posts about theory, methods and other tools 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. Established in late 2015, i2Insights attracts readers from 190 of the 193 nations that are members of the United Nations. To the end of December 2022 there were 449 contributions by 565 authors from 47 countries. The median lifetime views of contributions was 800, with the upper end of the range at more than 300,000 views. As well as building a repository, i2Insights is also building a global 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:

2. 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):

3. 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) 



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Updated:  22 May 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers