Dr Frances Cunningham

Honorary research fellow


Doctor of Science (ScD), Johns Hopkins University, 1983; Bachelor of Arts, University of Queensland, 1971; Diploma of Education, Queensland University of Technology, 1967.

Approved level of HDR supervision at Charles Darwin University:

Principal Supervisor for PhD




Dr Cunningham is an honorary research fellow in our Wellbeing and Preventable Chronic Disease division. Formerly a senior health executive, consultant, policy analyst and health services researcher, Frances’ experience includes the public and private health sectors in Australia, the United States and the Pacific.

She has conducted a broad range of research, consulting and policy projects in the health, community and disability services areas, with a focus on the financing and delivery of services, quality improvement, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and preventive health. Her research at the University of New South Wales applied network methods to evaluate the effectiveness of state-based, clinical networks. At Menzies she has applied network methods to evaluate the ABCD National Research Partnership and the CRE in Integrated Quality Improvement, both addressing continuous quality improvement in primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Her research uses qualitative and mixed methods. Frances was the project lead for the Queensland B.strong Program, providing training in brief interventions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers to address smoking, poor nutrition and physical inactivity.  

She is a fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management and a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Frances has been a board director for St Vincent’s Private Clinic, The STaR Association, ACHSM-NSW and ACHSM-QLD.