Dr Rebecca Evans is a health services researcher at the College of Medicine and Dentistry (CMD) and the Anton Breinl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening (a centre of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, AITHM). She has experience in both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Rebecca's research interests are in health policy, addressing health inequities, health care workforce, innovative models of health service provision and implementation. Much of her research is conducted in the context of underserved populations (rural, remote, tropical, culturally diverse). Rebecca's PhD explored the interface between prevailing health policies and the provision of rural health services.   

Rebecca has been involved in research collaborations ranging from local to international.  She has worked with several health organisations on funded projects, research and evaluations (including Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, Queensland Health, Medicare Locals, Primary Health Networks - PHNs, training organisations, Tropical Australia Academic Health Centre).  Many of these projects have investigated service delivery models and health workforce issues (including medical education and training as they influence workforce supply).  

Rebecca is also active in research supervision, being on the advisory panel for a number of HDR candidates (PhD, MPhil) and MBBS Honours students.  As Associate Dean, Research Education and MBBS Honours Coordinator, she is committed to research education endeavours across the learning spectrum from undergraduate students through to Higher Degree by Research candidates. 

At CMD, Rebecca teaches into subjects throughout the MBBS program.  She teaches health systems sciences relevant to the medical profession which align with her research interests (e.g. health systems, health policy, interdisciplinary health care) and has co-coordinated a first year medicine subject 'Ecology of Health 1' (EH1).

  • MD1010: Introduction to Integrated Medical Studies Part 1 of 2 (Level 1; TSV & CNS)
  • MD2011: Integrated Human System Pathophysiology Part 1 of 2 (Level 2; TSV)
  • MD2012: Integrated Human System Pathophysiology Part 2 of 2 (Level 2; TSV)
  • MD5010: Integrated Clinical Practice Part 1 of 3 (Level 5; TSV)
  • MD5020: Integrated Clinical Practice Part 2 of 3 (Level 5; TSV)
  • MD5030: Integrated Clinical Practice Part 3 of 3 (Level 5; TSV)
  • MD5110: Integrated Clinical Practice (Honours) Part 1 of 3 (Level 5; TSV)
  • MD5120: Integrated Clinical Practice (Honours) Part 2 of 3 (Level 5; TSV)
  • MD5130: Integrated Clinical Practice (Honours) Part 3 of 3 (Level 5; TSV)
  • MD6010: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 1 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6020: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 2 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6030: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 3 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6110: Advanced Clinical Medicine (Honours) Part 1 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6120: Advanced Clinical Medicine (Honours) Part 2 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6130: Advanced Clinical Medicine (Honours) Part 3 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • RM8501: Research Planning (Level 8; CNS & TSV)
  • RM8502: Research Project (Level 8; CNS & TSV)
  • Peer review – national and international competitive research funding grant assessment. Rebecca regularly participates in grant assessment for leading national and international funders, including: Health Research Council of New Zealand – External Peer Reviewer (2020. 2021); NHMRC Investigator Grants - Peer Reviewer (2020, 2021); NHMRC Ideas Grants - Peer Reviewer (2023)
  • Peer review - scholarly journals. Provides peer review for a number of discipline journals including: Higher Education Research and Development; International Journal for Equity in Health; International Health; Australian Journal of Primary Health; BMC Public Health; Preventive Medicine Reports; Rural and Remote Health; Family Practice.
  • Comprehensive funding list of past and present grants, tenders and consultancies can be found on OCRiD profile.
  • health services research
  • health policy
  • health care systems
  • health equity
  • rural health services
  • maternity services
  • primary health care
  • health care workforce and training
  • health care systems
  • health policy
  • interdisciplinary health care
  • research methods
  • behavioural and social sciences
  • 2023 to present - Associate Dean, Research Education (ADRE), College of Medicine & Dentistry
  • 2019 to present - MBBS Honours Course Coordinator, College of Medicine & Dentistry
  • 2019 to present - Senior Lecturer, College of Medicine & Dentistry
  • 2018 to 2019 - MBBS Honours Site Coordinator (Townsville), College of Medicine & Dentistry
  • 2010 to 2018 - Lecturer, College of Medicine & Dentistry
  • 2009 to 2010 - Senior Research Officer, School of Medicine & Dentistry
  • 2006 to 2008 - Research Officer, School of Medicine & Dentistry
  • 2004 to 2006 - Research Assistant, School of Medicine & Dentistry
Research Disciplines
  • 2017 - JCU Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning. First Year Social Medicine Team.
  • 2010 - Emerging Researcher Award and presentation at the 2nd Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium
  • 2007 - Jill Thistlethwaite, Rebecca Stewart, Rebecca Evans Evidence Into Action Award for "Breast Examination and Pelvic Examination of Asymptomatic Women"
  • 2005 to 2007 - Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scholarship
  • 2005 to 2007 - Growing the Smart State PhD Funding Award (Department of Premier and Cabinet, Queensland Government)
  • 2022 - Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand (MDANZ) Research Educators' Network
  • 2018 - Australasian Association for Academic Primary Care (AAAPC) - (Academic Policy and Advocacy Sub-Committee member 2021-present; National Executive member - ECR Representative, 2018)
  • 2014 - Health Services Research Association of Australia and New Zealand (HSRAANZ)
  • 2014 - Tropical Centre for Telehealth Practice and Research - Member, Development Committee
  • 2016 to 2021 - Kirwan State High School Council - member
  • 2022 to 2023 - TropiQ Townsville Research Symposium – organising committee member, scientific committee, judge
  • 2013 to 2023 - Academic Project Lead – Journal of Rural and Remote Health.
  • 2014 - Global Community Engaged Medical Education Muster 2014 – scientific committee
  • 2014 - Primary Health Care Research Conference – scientific committee.
  • 2008 to 2011 - Academic Project Lead - Northern Clinical Training Network.
  • 2010 - Facilitator and Co-Chair panel “Health Workforce Development in the Tropics”. 2010 Fulbright Symposium (60th anniversary symposium).

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 52+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Rebecca Evans from 2005 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Commonwealth Department of Health - Medical Research Future Fund - Cardiovascular Health

Improving clinical pathways for abdominal aortic aneurysm through incorporating biomarkers

Indicative Funding
$1,000,000 over 3 years
20 million people worldwide have weakening of their main abdominal artery (abdominal aortic aneurysm; AAA) and are at high risk of both major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) and AAA related events (AAA repair and rupture-related death). Most AAAs are identified at a small size when their risk of rupture is low. Management of small AAA focuses on repeat aortic imaging every 6 months to identify when the threshold diameter (50mm in women and 55mm in men) is reached for elective surgical AAA repair. Most small AAAs continue to grow in size and eventually undergo repair. No drugs have been shown to limit AAA growth and the clinical pathway focuses on identifying those needing surgery rather than medical management. There are no established means to individualise care. Our interviews with patients and health professionals indicate that the number one deficiency in current AAA management is the lack of individualising medical management to reduce the high incidence of MACE and AAA related events. Our international AAA alliance is uniquely placed due to our resources (biobank-registry) and IP (bioinformatics, clinical, engineering software, genomics, biomarkers, machine learning and pathogenesis) to addresses this unmet clinical need.
Jon Golledge, Clare Arnott, Thomas Gasser, Rebecca Evans, Joseph Moxon, Matt Field, Jenna Graffini, Aaron Drovandi, Dylan Morris, Svetha Venkatesh, Truyen Tran, Catherine Rush, Aletta Schutte, Robyn Clay-Williams and Geoffrey Jones (College of Medicine & Dentistry, The George Institute for Global Health, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Townsville Hospital and Health Service, Deakin University, University of New South Wales, Macquarie University and University of Otago)
Prevention; Complications; Peripheral artery disease; Risk Factors

Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) - Consultancy 2

Proposed development of revised framework for operational and implementation research in health and disease control programmes.

Indicative Funding
$51,762 over 1 year
The overall goal of the QAIHC Sexual Health and Wellbeing Project is to improve Sexually transmissible infection (STI) and blood borne virus (BBVs) services in QAIHC Member Services and to work towards reducing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander positive notifications. To help achieve this, support is provided for Member Services to implement models of care aimed to increase client engagement, education opportunities, as well as improve screening, notification and treatment rates. Tools, resources and support are provided to participant health services to implement sexual health and wellbeing activities that are culturally safe, led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and tailored to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander model of care. The aim of this work is to evaluate the implementation, impact and outcomes of the QAIHC Sexual Health and Wellbeing Project.
Karen Carlisle, Rebecca Evans, Sarah Larkins, Alice Cairns, Shaun Solomon, Kris Vine, Talah Laurie and Nishila Moodley (College of Medicine & Dentistry and JCU Murtupuni Centre for Rural & Remote Health)
Sexual Health; Atsi Health; Quality improvement

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 6 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, Catrina Felton-Busch, Yvonne Cadet-James, Ross Baille, Jane Farmer, N Passey, Judy Taylor, 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, JCU Murtupuni Centre for Rural & Remote Health, Indigenous Education & Research Centre, The University of Sydney, Swinburne University of Technology, Monash University, University of Adelaide, Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, 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

Implementation of quality improvement in Indigenous primary health care: Leveraging Effective Ambulatory Practices (LEAP)

Indicative Funding
$1,144,570 over 4 years, in partnership with North Queensland Primary Health Network ($315,000); Northern Territory Department of Health, Top End Health ($20,000); Northern Territory Primary Health Network (NTPHN) ($38,700) and Western Queensland Primary Care Collaborative Limited ($210,000)
Despite increased policy attention and funding, not all primary healthcare (PHC) services for Indigenous Australians show the desired improvements in quality of care. Practices which provide PHC services are complex systems and emerging evidence indicates many things affect quality improvement. There remains a knowledge gap regarding what is required for Indigenous PHCs to succeed in improving the quality of their services and, subsequently, health outcomes for their patients. This project will capitalise on emerging research and existing strong partnerships to provide a solid evidence base for interventions to improve quality of priority health services in Indigenous PHC settings.
Sarah Larkins, Ross Baille, Catrina Felton-Busch, Paul Burgess, Emma McBryde, Kerry Copley, Rebecca Evans, V Matthews and Karen Carlisle in collaboration with Judy Taylor, Karla Canuto, Donald Whaleboat, S Thompson, Christine Connors and Roderick Wright (College of Medicine & Dentistry, The University of Sydney, JCU Murtupuni Centre for Rural & Remote Health, Department of Health (NT), Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, Aboriginal Medical Service, Apunipima Cape York Health Council, University of Western Australia and Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council)
Learning community; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander; Primary Health Care; Quality Improvement

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.

  • An Exploration of Australian Undergraduate Dentist Gerodontology Education to Support a Growing Frail and Care-Dependent Population (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Implementation and evaluation of referral pathways for people with Lung Cancer in Townsville Health Service District (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Development and Implementation of a Breast Cancer Care Pathway in Townsville Region - A Study Looking into Feasibility, Governance, Patient Centred Outcomes and Economics (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Can an Implementation Science Framework Enable Emergency Clinicians at a Major Referral Emergency Department in North Queensland to De-implement Low-value Care in Adult Patients? (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Maskhelper Project - using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning based facial recognition technology to create a multi-level scalable health system solution that drives efficiency in selection and reduction in wastage for the mandatory fit testing (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • ADAPTTS – App-based Diet And Physical Activity Tools for the Torres Strait (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Measures of Cultural Capability in Primary Care Consultations (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Anal Intra-epithelial Neoplasia Surveillance and Management: Translating 10 years of Australian data and experience into practical recommendations and revolutionising current practices in Colorectal Surgery (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • International Approaches to Rural Medical Generalism (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Enhancing the involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients in Goal-setting as part of General Practice Chronic Disease management planning through the development of a Cultural safe Goal-setting tool (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Self-reported auditory and non-auditory effects of noise on members of the dental team – an Australian perspective (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • Anal Intra-epithelial Neoplasia Surveillance and Management: Translating 10 years of Australian data and experience into practical recommendations and revolutionising current practices in Colorectal Surgery (Masters , Secondary Advisor)

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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