Dr. Stephanie Topp is an A/Prof. in Global Health and Development in the College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences and an Associate Research Fellow at the Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne.  She has 15 years’ experience working as a health systems practitioner and researcher in low-income settings, including PNG, India, South Africa and Zambia.  She has a Masters in International Public Health (University of Sydney); a MPhil Development Studies (Oxford University), and a PhD in Global Health (University Melbourne). 

Steph is the Associate Editor for Health Systems with BMJ Global Health and current co-chair of the Health Systems Global thematic working group on social science research (SHAPES).  She is also a regular contributer to the International Health Policies Blog.  She is a member of the Australian Institute for Tropical Health and Medicine and the Anton Breinl Centre for Health Systems Strengthening.  She was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Health Care Organization and Policy unit, School of Public Health, University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB). Steph currently holds a Career Development Fellowship with the Hot North Collaboration.


  • TM5502: Tropical Public Health (Level 5; TSV)
  • TM5506: Social Science in Public Health (Level 5; TSV)
  • TM5552: Global Health and Development (Level 5; TSV)
  • Associate Editor, Health Systems (2016-ongoing): BMJ Global Health
  • External Advisory Group (2017-2020): Optimizing Momentum Toward Sustainable Epidemic Control program, ICAP at Columbia
  • Elected Chair (2017-2019): Social Sciences Thematic Working Group, Health Systems Global
  • Expert Panel (2015-2018): STOP TB Key & Vulnerable Population Guides / and Guides to Effective Case Finding
  • Reviewer (2014-ongoing): UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre
  • Publication Mentor (2018): WHO Alliance for Health Systems and Policy Research - Women in Publication mentorship scheme
  • Health Systems
  • Human Resources for Health
  • Governance & Accountability
  • Global health
  • Health policy
  • Health systems
  • 2019 - Associate Professor, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2017 to 2019 - Consultant, University of North Carolina (UNC) (Townsville / Malawi)
  • 2015 to 2018 - Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2017 - Consultant, World Health Organisation (Townsville / Myanmar)
  • 2012 to 2015 - Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Alabama (Birmingham) (Zambia)
  • 2008 to 2010 - Program Manager, Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (Zambia)
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2018 - (Co-Investigator) Learning & Teaching Grant - $9814 - Embedding Career Development in Post Graduate Public Health
  • 2018 - JCU Rising Star Award
  • 2017 - (Co-Investigator) Learning & Teaching Grant - $9500 - Mapping the Post Graduate Journey
  • 2017 - (Co-Investigator) Learning & Teaching Grant - $2650 - External Peer Review of Teaching, TM5502 Tropical Public Health
  • 2017 - (Lead) Research Consultancy - USD50,000 - WHO Myanmar, Development of Health Workforce Strategy 2018-2021
  • 2017 - (Co-Investigator) Learning & Teaching Grant - $9857 - Transforming Assessment Practices In Public Health
  • 2004 to 2006 - NSW Rhodes Scholar
  • 2019 - Hot North Career Development Fellowship
  • 2013 - Emerging Voices for Global Health, Institute for Tropical Medicine (ITM), Antwerp.
  • 2011 to 2012 - Doctoral Fellowship, Population Council Zambia
  • 2007 to 2008 - HIVCorps Fellow, Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia
  • 2012 to 2018 - Health Systems Global
  • 2008 to 2018 - International AIDS Society

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 59+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Stephanie Topp from 2010 onwards.

Current Funding

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

The Global Fund - Contract Research

Allocative efficiency modelling to support National TB programs

Indicative Funding
Tuberculosis (TB) has now been unequivocally identified as the world's leading infectious killer, with global control failing to make significant inroads into the huge burden of disease. TB in Australia is driven by this huge global burden, with around 60% of all TB cases occurring in our region and nearly 90% of Australia's cases occurring in the overseas born. Our group has an established track record of undertaking country-level simulations to better understand TB epidemiology and predict the effectiveness of programmatic interventions in the local context. These applications are linked to a program of theoretical and epidemiological research to improve understanding of TB transmission and strengthen model underpinnings. Recently, we have been working to develop our model into a flexible and robust platform by using principles of software engineering, including object-oriented and modular programming. This approach allows rapid adaptation of our tool ("AuTuMN") to new objectives without the need to modify many of the constituent modules. In this project, we will extend the AuTuMN structures to undertake country implementations in up to six additional countries, funded by The Global Fund Against AIDS, Malaria and tuberculosis (TGF). These countries are: Myanmar Timor L'este The Kingdom of Bhutan Cambodia The Philippines Sri Lanka This RFAF is an indicative budget, as airfares and other direct costs will only be paid upon submission of receipts. Additionally, TGF produces contracts in US dollar amounts so amounts below are subject to change. Which of the above countries elect to undertake this work has not yet been determineJCU will administer the grant but University of Melbourne and Monash University will send invoices for work undertaken as part of this grant.
Emma McBryde, R Ragonnet, Nhut Tan Doan, James Trauer and Stephanie Topp in collaboration with Ross McLeod, Damon Eisen, Jennifer Ho, Tanya Diefenbach-Elstob, Kathryn Snow and Bosco Ho (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Monash University, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, College of Medicine & Dentistry and Queensland Health)
Tuberculosis; mathematical modelling; international health; disease simulation

Menzies School of Health Research - HOT NORTH Fellowship

Rhetoric to Reality: how the governance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers impacts chronic disease prevention and care in Northern Australia

Indicative Funding
This project will explore the governance arrangements that shape the work practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers (A&TSIHW) in two government services in far North Queensland and the Northern Territory respectively. As the first systematic work relating to A&TSIHW governance the project aims to characterize both the formal and informal rules and norms that influence A&TSIHW roles, and develop new insights into the influence of different geographic, social and administrative structures on A&TSIHW performance. The outcomes are expected to support efforts to strengthen Indigenous health workforce planning across Northern Australia.
Stephanie Topp (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander He; Health Systems; Remote and rural health areas; Governance; Accountability

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

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Grant

Differentiated care for improved health systems efficiency and health outcomes in Zambia (Efficient Health)

Indicative Funding
$118,491 over 3 years (administered by Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia)
Over the last decade, successful roll out of antiretroviral theraph (ART) for HIV infected individuals in Zambia has resulted in over 600,000 adults and children accessing treatment. However, continued scale-up of treatment services is severely straining already overburdened health centres and hospitals. Working with the Government of the Republic of Zambia, this project will conduct formative and operations research to build a body of evidence on the needs for preferences perceptions and feasibility of further decentralised, community-based ART services.
Charles Holmes, Izukanji Sikazwe and Stephanie Topp in collaboration with Carolyn Bolton, Crispin Moyo, Bushimbwa Tambatamba, Mwanza wa Mwanza, Arianna Zanolini, Richard Mutemwa, Elvin Geng, Nancy Padian, Monika Roy, Henry Epino and Nancy Czaicki (Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, Ministry of Health, GRZ, University of California - San Francisco, Harvard University, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
HIV care and treatment; Health Services; Service delivery; Antiretroviral therapy; Engagement in care

Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia - Contract Research

Treatment as Prevention in Correctional Facilities in Southern Africa (TasP Prisons)

Indicative Funding
$72,176 over 3 years
Limited data from Southern Africa suggest that concentration of HIV-infected individuals and high-risk sexual behaviours in correctional facilities may be driving HIV transmission in incarcerated populations. Despite the implications of incarceration - related HIV transmission on individual and public health, little evidence exists to guide implementation of HIV prevention strategies in these settings. One such strategy, Treatment as Prevention (TasP), offers promise to: (1) prevent HIV transmission among incarcerated men having sex with men and people who use drugs; and (2) improve inmate health and tuberculosis control. In this project we will implement TasP in three correctional facilities - one in Zambia and two in South Africa - and evaluate TasP implementation as a strategy to coordinate the HIV care continuum and assure appropriate TB assessment among HIV-infected inmates.
Stephanie Topp, Stewart Reid and Monde Myoyeta in collaboration with Michael Herce, Crispin Moyo, Chileshe Chisela, Sisa Hatwiinda, German Henostroza, Salome Charalambous and Katherine Fielding (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, Ministry of Health, GRZ, Zambia Prisons Service, University of Alabama - Birmingham, The Aurum Institute and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
HIV Care & Treatment; Prison Health Services; Service Delivery; Antiretroviral Therapy; Anti-Tuberculosis Therapy

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.

  • Gender Equity in Health Services and the Economics of Childbearing (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Measuring performance in mental health care with a focus on vulnerable groups in Australia (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Variance in Policy Adoption in the Pacific: The case for Context-Specific NCD Prevention and Control Measures and the role of the NCD Best Buys (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • The role of Academic Health Science Centres in driving translational research to improve the health of underserved populations worldwide (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Health management practices tha empower high performing residential aged care facilities (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Strengthening community empowerment approaches to Aedes species mosquito management in a high-income country setting: comparative case studies within Queensland, Australia. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Assessing primary health service capacity to prevent and control non-communicable diseases in the Kingdom of Bhutan; a healthy policy and systems analysis (PhD , Primary 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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