Professor Gabriele Bammer

Professor, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Research School of 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 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 runs the Integration and Implementation Inisghts (i2Inisghts) blog ( and convenes the Global Network for Research Integration and Implementation:

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) and the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center at the University of Maryland (2015-2018), 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-convenes (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

My projects aim to: 

  • refine the conceptualisation of Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S)
  • gather and organise concepts and methods for application by i2S specialists
  • bring together different disciplinary and practitioner perspectives on unknowns and on change
  • build 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 real-world problems – problems such as global climate change, effective health care and inequalities. Anyone with relevant expertise and experience is invited to contribute. A new concept or method is described every week. As well as building a repository of tools and ideas, the blog aims to connect a community of researchers involved in improving approaches for tackling complex real world problems both internationally and across a wide range of problem domains.

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
  • approaches, which are different ways of tackling complex real world problems, including interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, systems thinking, action research and more
  • case studies of the successful application of approaches and/or tools
  • journals where new tools can be published
  • 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.

3. Building a Leadership Group of Heads of Inter- and Trans- Disiciplianry Organisations

Building a leadership group of heads of inter- and trans- disciplinary organisations involves a series of planned and completed workshops held at either regional or global levels.

The initial 3.5 day global workshop - Interdisciplinary Research Matters: Pathways to Successful Organizational Models - was held in March 2018. It brought together 18 leaders of interdisciplinary organisations from around the world to share learnings from an organizational perspective about fostering interdisciplinary research. The aim was to  improve understanding of how different institutional models successfully catalyze interdisciplinary scientific advances, innovative thinking and durable practices, as well as to form an influential leaders group to advise research funders and research and education policy makers.

This was a collaborative project with the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) and the workshop was held at SESYNC in Annapolis, Maryland, USA. It resulted in the following report: Palmer, L. (2018). Meeting the leadership challenges for interdisciplinary environmental research. Nature Sustainability1, 330-333. (Online):

Follow-up global meetings were held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, USA in November 2018 and at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, USA in November 2018.

In addition, the first regional meeting, for the Oceania region, was held in Brisbane Australia in May 2019. The meeting was co-hosted by CSIRO Land and Water and James Cook University and led to the formation of the Network of Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Research Organisations (NITRO)-Oceania with a website at

4. Frameworks for Transdisciplinary Research

This is a commissioned series for the journal GAIA, where leading transdisciplinary researchers briefly describe the frameworks they use for their research. Starting in mid-2017, one framework is described in each issue of the jounal. It follows on from the successful "Toolkits for Transdisciplinarity" series.

5. Testing the i2S Framework

The Collaboration Lab programme (PDF: 823Kb), which is part of the New Zealand Our Land and Water National Science Challenge, is testing the usefulness of the i2S framework against a number of case studies. It is also providing training in using the i2S framework to other programmes in the Challenge.



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Updated:  20 July 2019 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers