Professor Richard Osborne is an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, Director of the Health Systems Improvement Unit and Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Health Literacy. He is also Professor (Hon) at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2012, his research program, based on an NHMRC Career Development Award, was recognised by the NHMRC as 1 of the Best 10 Research Projects of 2012 in Australia. He has over 200 publications and has an H-index of 47 and cited over 27,000 times. He is among the top 1% most cited researchers in the world (Thomson-Reuters highly-cited researcher).
An epidemiologist and health services researcher, he has initiated and maintained successful collaborative projects across multiple disciplines and has a strong track record of innovation, implementation and embedding service and system change that improves health and health equality, not only in Australia but internationally.
As a chief investigator, he has received over $20 million in research funding. He has had continuous NHMRC funding since 2004 and has also received funds from World Health Organisation (WHO), Australian Research Council, Australian Government, Victorian Department of Health, beyondblue, RACGP, German Ministry for Health & Education, Thai Ministry for Health, Canadian Institute of Health Research.
With the Victorian Government, he led the development of the Ophelia (OPtimising HEalth LIteracy and Access) Process, now used in several parts of the world, including in WHO National Health Literacy Demonstration Projects. He led the development of the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) been taken up in over 20 countries across 250 users in only 3 years. The HLQ is in the upcoming Australian and New Zealand National Health Surveys. In 2015, with the WHO South East Asia Regional Office, he published the Health Literacy Toolkit for Low- and Middle-income countries. At the invitation of the WHO, he has undertaken health literacy capacity building in several regions. In 2016 he was appointed Facilitator of WHO's Global Coordination Mechanism for Noncommunicable Diseases Global Health Literacy Working Group, and is facilitating a global Community of Practice on health literacy (members from 86 countries).
He initiated and led the reform of public waiting lists for hip and knee replacement surgery in Victoria in partnership with the Victorian Government and with senior clinical colleagues. Osborne is a chief investigator on self-management trials in arthritis, psoriasis, HIV, diabetes, stroke, people with multiple complex conditions, and users of health technology.
Under Prof Osborne's leadership, his teams have invented and published several tools that are widely used and are having substantial international impacts on health: heiQ, MAPT, HLQ, FluiiQ, CHAT, Org-HLR, eHLQ, ISHAQ.
One prominent tool is the Influenza Intensity and Impact Questionnaire (FluiiQ™) www.fluiiq.com which has been translated to over 50 language variants and is used in global trials of influenza vaccines and anti-virals as a primary or secondary outcome measure assisting with decisions about product effectiveness in trials costing 100s of $millions. As with all his questionnaires, this tool meets or exceeds the stringent FDA requirements. This tool is the primary patient reported outcomes tool used globally and is managed by Measured Solutions for Health P/L an independent private company established by Prof Osborne.
Supervision and mentoring: Osborne has supervised 20 higher degree students, including 9 PhDs to completion and currently supervises 3 PhD scholars. He mentors future public health leaders in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Europe.
He welcomes approaches from highly skilled and ambitious individuals seeking to impact on health inequalities either through Fellowships or PhD research scholar programs.