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Be at the forefront of tropical health research in northern Australia.


Northern Queensland’s five hospital and health services have strong translational research partnerships with James Cook University (JCU) to address the health issues in tropical, Indigenous, rural and underserved communities.

The north is home to Australia’s leading health research institute in and for the tropics, the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, and other research collaborations that welcome participation from medical students and doctors in training.

Cohort Doctoral Studies Program

James Cook University’s Cohort Doctoral Studies Program is aimed at practising health professionals working in the broad areas of medicine, dentistry, allied health, public health and biomedical, molecular or veterinary sciences.

The program, one of the first of its kind in Australia, is designed to provide additional support and networking opportunities to postgraduate research candidates enrolled at JCU within the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine. 

The Cohort Doctoral Studies Program supports and nurtures doctoral students through their studies by providing workshops, seminars, coursework, peer learning facilitation and writing workshops in a cohort model where students commence and progress through their program as a group. The JCU Higher Degree by Research (HDR) professional development requirements can be completed in block weeks, which is useful for busy health professionals.

Research facilities

Health and medical research at James Cook University responds to priority health needs, chronic disease and infections, tropical health systems strengthening and tropical health security.

  • Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre (TAAHC) is a collaboration between northern Queensland’s five hospital and health services, the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network, James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine. Through an emphasis on translational research, the TAAHC partnership is designed to enhance collective capability in health service delivery, health and medical research and workforce development. 
  • Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) is Australia’s only dedicated health and tropical medicine research institute. Based at JCU, AITHM focuses on diseases of high burden in the tropics, tropical health security and strengthening health systems. ATHM has research facilities in Cairns, Townsville, Thursday Island and Mackay.
  • James Cook University College of Medicine and Dentistry conducts internationally recognised research in tropical medicine and public health care in underserved populations. It contributes to the work of AITHM. Connect with JCU research and researchers here.
  • Anton Breinl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening at JCU in Townsville is dedicated to building strong and equitable health systems for rural, remote, Indigenous and tropical communities. The Centre’s highly collaborative program of translational research has a strong social justice focus, progressing health equity in partnership with the region’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, rural and remote populations, our near tropical neighbours and other underserved groups.
  • Queensland Research Centre for Peripheral Vascular Disease (QRC-PVD) in Townsville is an innovative translational research program dedicated to improving management of peripheral vascular disease (PVD). The group is interested in the full range of PVD problems (including but not limited to arterial occlusive, aneurysmal and venous disease) as well as the whole range of associated complications, including myocardial infarction, stroke, renal impairment and other complications common in these patients. A large range of skills and techniques are used and sought in the group including those involving in vivo pre-clinical models, in vitro studies, genomics, genetics, bio-informatics, molecular biology, epidemiology, clinical trials, health economics and complex statistical analyses.


North West and Central West

  • Murtupuni Centre for Rural & Remote Health (MCRRH) aims to build a healthy community and a skilled workforce in and for rural and remote Queensland through education and research. It is the foundation University Department of Rural Health in Queensland and spans more than half of Queensland, including the Central West.


  • Mackay Institute of Research and Innovation (MIRI) facilitates research and drives innovation for the delivery of evidence and value-based, patient-centred care across Mackay Health and Hospital Service. MIRI supports clinical trials and is active in the new TeleTrial concept involving regional and rural hospital and health services in northern Queensland.

>   Medical Research Fund research grant opportunities

NQRTH is an initiative of the Australian Government's Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) and is facilitated by James Cook University in partnership with public and private hospitals, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), health services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and GP clinics.

Cairns region
(07) 4226 8187

Central West region
(07) 4764 1547

Mackay region
(07) 4885 7122

North West region
(07) 4764 1547

Torres and Cape region
(07) 4095 6103

Townsville region
(07) 4781 3424