My personal research interests are in methods for measuring the equality and equity of health care and health outcomes, and the impact of health and health care on patient’s living standards. This includes assessing patient out of pocket costs, patient economic resources and the distribution of health outcomes across different socioeconomic groups using panel survey data and administrative data. I am leading a team of health economists who specialise in embedding these equity considerations, and patient perspective of healthcare costs and outcomes into the economic evaluation of health programs. I have strong quantitative analysis skills, with extensive experience in modelling health and healthcare costs using SAS. My team has expertise in administrative data analysis, data linkage and biostatistics.

My team currently consists of 1 postdoctoral researcher, 2 research fellows, 2 research assistants, 8 PhD students, and 1 Masters student.


I have published over 100 peer reviewed publications in highly regarded journals (such as Nature Reviews Rheumatology, Archives of Disease in Childhood, British Journal of Pyschiatry, International Journal of Cardiology, Arthritis and Rheumatology and Health Economics). I have attracted over $10 million in grant funding ($6.39 million from NHMRC). My work has been presented at the National Press Club, numerous addresses to national and international government agencies, and been cited in Federal healthcare policy statements.

  • Health inequality as an outcome in performance and efficiency measurement
  • Out of pocket healthcare costs
  • Cost measurement
  • Maternal and first 1000 days health economics
  • 2008 to 2015 - Research Fellow, University of Sydney (Sydney)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2012 - Geographical Research Prize Awarded for best publication in the journal Geographical Research, by a postdoc.
  • 2008 - Bachelor of Arts (Environment). Awarded to the student with the highest Grade Point Average at the end of the Bachelor of Arts (Environment) degree.
  • 2008 - Environmental Studies Medal Awarded to the student with the highest cumulative marks upon graduation in any Bachelor’s degree offered by the Griffith School of the Environment.
  • 2007 - Sinclair Knight Merz Award
  • 2017 - Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Award
  • 2006 to 2008 - Griffith Award for Academic Excellence
  • 2013 to 2017 - NHMRC Early Career Research Fellowship (APP1052742), ‘The role of health in poverty entrenchment: a new measure of long-term poverty for Australia’

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 110+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Emily Callander from 2009 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

National Health & Medical Research Council - Project Grant

Women's Action for Mums and Bubs (WOMB): A pragmatic trial of participatory women's groups to improve Indigenous maternal and child health

Indicative Funding
$1,786,415 over 5 years
There is strong evidence elsewhere that involving community women in decision-making about strategies to improve the health of mothers and babies is a cheap and effective way of improving health. The WOMB study tests whether community women's groups improve the quality of maternal and child health care and outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the cost-effectiveness and mechanism of action.
Sarah Larkins, Judy Taylor, Yvonne Cadet-James, Ross Baille, Jane Farmer, N Passey, Catrina Felton-Busch, V Matthews, Emily Callander and Rebecca Evans in collaboration with Priscilla Page, J Kelly, Adrian Esterman, Merrick Zwarenstein, Robyn Preston, Karen Carlisle, Lynore Geia, Elaine Williams and N Turner (College of Medicine & Dentistry, Indigenous Education & Research Centre, The University of Sydney, Swinburne University of Technology, Mt Isa Centre for Rural & Remote Health, Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, University of Adelaide, The University of Western Ontario, College of Healthcare Sciences, NT Department of Health & Community Services and Menzies School of Health Research)
Aboriginal Health; Torres Strait Islander health; Maternal & Child Health; Primary Health Care; Quality Improvement; Participatory women's groups; Community Participation

National Health & Medical Research Council - Partnership Projects

Collaboration and communication in Cancer Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People: The 4Cs Project improving patient-centred care and treatment outcomes.

Indicative Funding
$20,000 (administered by Menzies School of Health Research)
We aim to conduct the first health literacy intervention research among Indigenous cancer patients. More specifically, we will examine the feasibility and acceptability of innovative, culturally-appropriate strategies and resources for patients, their carers and health professionals to improve cancer support and education. In addition we will strive to translate the findings into clinical practice thus establishing a new standard of information provision.
Gail Garvey, Haryana Dhillon, Joan Cunningham, Michael Penniment, Sabe Sabesan, Georgia Halkett and Emily Callander (Menzies School of Health Research, The University of Sydney, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Townsville Hospital and Health Services, Curtin University of Technology and Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Cancer; Indigenous; Health Economics

National Health & Medical Research Council - Career Development Fellowship

Assessing value in maternal healthcare by harnessing the power of data linkage

Indicative Funding
$437,036 over 4 years
Little is known about the value - the outcomes produced and the cost of service delivery - of different types of maternity services across Australia. This project will fill a much needed gap in information to guide the decision-making of both policy makers and consumers (pregnant women). Using a novel linked administrative dataset of >186,000 births, this project will assess the value of different types of maternity services to individuals and to the health system.
Emily Callander (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Health Economics; Perinatal

Department of Health - Pharmacy Trial Program

Integrated Practice Pharmacists within Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services

Indicative Funding
$1,040,046 over 3 years (administered by Pharmaceutical Society of Australia)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience a much higher burden of disease due to heart disease, diabetes and other chronic health problems. Many deaths from these illnesses can be prevented if patients are better supported to take their medicines and prescribing quality is improved. This trial will explore if including a practice pharmacist in the primary health care team within Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCHSs) leads to improvements in the quality of care that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people receive. Our trial will tell us if prescribing by doctors is improved, if patients are more likely to take their medicines, and if indicators of their health are improving over time.
Sophie Couzos, Rhondda Jones, Emily Callander, Erik Biros, Deb Smith, Michelle Bellingan, Beverley Glass, Priscilla Page, Donald Whaleboat, Robyn Preston, Nicole Bates, Douglas Boyle, Vicki Slinko, Roderick Wright, Nadia Lusis, Elizabeth Moore and Kathryn Panaretto (College of Medicine & Dentistry, Division of Tropical Health & Medicine, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Queensland Aboriginal & Islander Health Council, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory and Gidgee Healing Mount Isa Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Ltd)
Aboriginal Health; integrated health care; continuing quality improvement; Primary Health Care; practice pharmacist; community based participatory research

National Health & Medical Research Council - Centres of Research Excellence

Australian Centre for Research Excellence in Stillbirth - Health economics - RA-16-261

Indicative Funding
$58,000 (administered by University of Queensland)
We propose the nation's first Centre of Research Excellence for the prevention of stillbirth and the optimisation of care for families when stillbirth occurs. Our team of clinicians, researchers and policy makers with strong community reach will generate new knowledge about causes and prediction of stillbirth as well as novel interventions for implementation of best practice in both stillbirth prevention and care after stillbirth. The main outcome of the CRE will be a reduction in the stillbirth rate after 28 weeks gestation and improved quality of care after stillbirth.
Vicki Flenady, David Ellwood, Philippa Middleton, Jonathan Morris, Euan Wallace, Sailesh Kumar, Fran Boyle, Adrienne Gordon, Christine East, Dell Horey and Emily Callander (The University of Queensland, Griffith University, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, The University of Sydney, Monash University, Mater Research Institute - University of Queensland, La Trobe University and Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Health Economics; Stillbirth; Perinatal

Department of Health - Contract Research

National Research Project on Remote Radiology Assessment Service Delivery

Indicative Funding
$378,906 over 3 years
This project will investigate outcomes of the BreastScreen Australia remote radiology assessment trial at sites through9out Australia. Engaging a remote radiologist may assist with overcoming many challenges associated with providing health services in a regional, rural or remote location. This project seeks to ensure that the alternative model of service delivery is appropriate for consumers, evidence-based and safe. Specifically, this project will assess how the new remote radiology model affects: - Patient safety - Patient acceptability - Staff acceptability of new model of service provision - The safe, efficient organisation of BreastScreen services
Sarah Larkins, Rebecca Evans, Robyn Preston, Emily Callander, Sabe Sabesan, Leila Murison, Karen Johnston and Nicole Bates (College of Medicine & Dentistry, Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine and Townsville Hospital and Health Service)
rural health services; breast cancer screening; Telehealth; Radiology; Health Workforce

Queensland Health - Queensland Genomics Health Alliance Project Fund

Bringing Modern Genomics to the Management of Lung Cancer in Queensland

Indicative Funding
$221,388 over 2 years (administered by QUT)
Our project will overcome many of the issues slowing the implementation of cancer genomics and personalised medicine in the state, including (and where relevant, in partnership with the QGHA capability projects): ? We will develop models of care covering all aspects from consent, sample collection and handling, genomic profiling, data analysis and reporting of both somatic and heritable variants, to enable clinical uptake. ? We will develop education programs for health care workers and patients. ? We will establish protocols for cancer genomics in Indigenous populations in consensus with Indigenous communities. ? We will perform a comprehensive analysis of the performance of all aspects of the upgraded model of care and compare it with the current standard of care to identify areas for improvement, and to establish the case for its broader implementation. A system of performance analysis and systems improvement will be built into the care pathways developed, to ensure continuous service improvement beyond the life of this project.
Paul Leo, Ken O'Byrne, Fong Kwun, Ian Yang, Stephen Fox, Jayesh Desai, Alan Baxter, Emily Callander, Sabe Sabesan, Jacinta Elston and Nick Graves (Queensland University of Technology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, The Prince Charles Hospital, The University of Queensland, Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, College of Medicine & Dentistry and Division of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Genomics; Lung Cancer; Clinical care

Queensland Health - Tender

Developing a companion handbook to the Midwifery Continuity of Care Handbook

Indicative Funding
$10,200 (administered by Griffith University)
A number of cost modelling examples will be produced that will assist service managers to identify the cost benefits that can be realised with redesign that are relevant in their service setting. These may be unique / dependent on service setting, volume, maternal demographic, health issues, resourcing requirements and funding model.
Roslyn Donnellan-Fernandez, Emily Callander and Hazel Brittain (Griffith University, Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine and Gold Coast Hospital)
Midwifery; Costs; Health Service Delivery; Productivity

Cancer Council NSW - Strategic Research Partnership Grant

Identifying the Out of Pocket costs of cancer care and the impact on healthcare access and patient outcomes - STREP Ca-CindaA

Indicative Funding
$121,160 (administered by Menzies School of Health Research)
AIM 1: Quantify the out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure of individuals who are diagnosed with cancer and compare it with their clinical outcomes. This will be done by building Australia?s first model of the out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure of cancer patients using administrative data. AIM 2: Identify the impact of out-of-pocket costs on decisions about health care utilisation. This qualitative research component will be undertaken, which aims to explore and explain how out-of-pocket costs (both anticipated and unanticipated) affect the health seeking decisions and behaviours of cancer patients and their families.
Sabe Sabesan, Emily Callander, Sarah Larkins and Stephanie Topp (College of Medicine & Dentistry, Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Health Economics; Patient costs; Cancer; Indigenous; Rural Health; Access

National Health & Medical Research Council - Project Grant

My Baby's Movements: A stepped wedged cluster randomised trial of maternal awareness and reporting of decreased fetal movements to reduce stillbirth. HEALTH ECONOMCS COMPONENT

Indicative Funding
$103,360 over 3 years (administered by University of Queensland)
Stillbirth is devastating for parents and families. Many stillbirths occur late in pregnancy due to deteriorating health of the baby that can be detected by the mother through a decrease in the baby?s movements. 'My Baby's Movements? is a personalised, user-controlled and interactive mobile phone tool provided as part of routine care to pregnant women to promote general awareness of their baby?s movements. This trial aims to reduce stillbirth rates by early reporting of decreased movements. A health economics analysis will also be conducted to determine the cost effectiveness of this intervention compared to current practice.
Vicki Flenady, G Gardener, P Middleton, Michael Coory, David Ellwood, C Crowther, C East, Emily Callander, J Norman and F Boyle (Mater Medical Research Institute, Mater Health Services, University of Adelaide, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Griffith University, Monash University, Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, Medical Research Council and The University of Queensland)
Stillbirth; Home Economics

North Queensland Primary Health Network - Contract Research

Health Economics and Statistics Consultancy Services to NQPHN (Dec 2016 - Feb 2017)

Indicative Funding
$76,950 over 2 years
Consultancy services to be provided: Health economics research services, including but not limited to the development and validation of evaluation tools, the analysis of patient reported outcomes, analysis of costs associated with different models of care. Population based statistical analysis, including but not limited to the analysis of health service use datasets, indicators of population health.
Emily Callander and Daniel Lindsay in collaboration with Haylee Fox (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Health Economics; Health Systems; Statistics

National Health & Medical Research Council - Early Career Fellowship - Australian Public Health and Health Services Fellowship

The role of health in poverty entrenchment: a new measure of long-trerm multidimensional poverty for Australia

Indicative Funding
$130,685 over 3 years
This project will document the long term relationship between developing a chronic health condition and an individual's overall health status; assess the long term relationship between developing a certain health condition and an individual's education participation and level of education attainment; quantify the long term relationship between developing a certain health condition and an individual's household finances; model the long term benefits that health prevention initiatives could have.
Emily Callander (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Health; Poverty; economic models; Health Economics

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Measuring Person-Centred Healthcare (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Psychological intervention for reducing emergency department (ED) representations – A randomised controlled trial (RCT) (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Patient preferences and perspectives; and clinical considerations in motion monitoring during prostate radiation therapy treatment (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Gender Equity in Health Services and the Economics of Childbearing (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Quantification of the Cost of Injury to the Health System in Queensland, Australia (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Evaluation of a University based, Student-Led Health Clinic (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Disparities in experiences of access to care for Australians with mental health conditions (2020, PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Quantifying the cost of cancer in Australia, and the distribution of these costs by Indigenous status, remoteness, and socioeconomic disadvantage (2019, PhD , Primary Advisor)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit the JCU Research Data Catalogue.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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  • 48.218, AITHM (Townsville campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Primary Advisor

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