Profile image for Richard Osborne

Distinguished Professor Richard Osborne

NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and Distinguished Professor in Health Scienc


Richard Osborne is Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences and Director, Centre for Global Health and Equity. He holds a prestigious NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship (2019-23), is an adviser to the World Health Organization (WHO), and is a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher (2021 and 2018 top 1% most influential researcher globally). He holds Honorary Professor positions at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed papers and has been cited over 50,000 times. He has been awarded over $30m in competitive funding.

Professor Osborne and his team have an exceptional track record in building new methods and tools that are implemented globally to serve Public Health, Healthcare, Digital Health and Policy sectors. These outputs include measurement tools (e.g., HLQ, eHLQ, heiQ, MAPT, CHAT) that enable improvements in health and community services to reduce health inequalities. He led the development of the Ophelia (Optimising Health Literacy and Access) process which is applied in many parts of the world, including within WHO National Health Literacy Development Projects (NHLDPs), and the European Commission Joint Action on Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (Jacardi) which include a Health Literacy Work Package with 15 countries and 25 projects.

He developed the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) which is one of the most widely used health literacy tools in the world. It is being applied in government-sponsored National Health Surveys, clinical trials, multi-national evaluations, and numerous quality improvement initiatives. He also developed the Influenza Intensity and Impact Questionnaire (FluiiQ; which is used in global vaccine and antiviral trials for influenza and influenza-like illnesses, including COVID-19 and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

He has completed a wide range of assignments for the WHO. He was the health literacy consultant for the Independent High-Level Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases-WG1 (Health Literacy). He is the lead author of the report WHO Health Literacy Development for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases which has been classified as a Global Public Health Good.


  • Established the first WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Literacy (at Deakin University).
  • Developed, implemented and scaled public waiting list reform for hip & knee replacement surgery in Victoria.
  • Led the development of the NSW Mental Health Commission's state-wide Mental Health Literacy Development Initiative.
  • High-impact health literacy projects in cancer screening, social and public housing, digital health, OneHealth in the Mekong, and others.
  • Commissioned by WHO to deliver health literacy capacity building in Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania. 

He has mentored numerous PhD scholars to completion and welcomes applications from scholars and fellows seeking to become public health leaders. Current PhD projects include health literacy development projects in: Cambodian villages, prisons, refugees, and communities of practice. New opportunities will soon be announced for rural health, psychometrics, Ophelia implementation and others.

Research interests

Health Promotion; Public and Environmental Health; Epidemiology

Fields of Research

  • Health Services And Systems - 420300
  • Public Health - 420600


Also published as: Osborne, Richard; Osborne, R.; Osborne, R. H.; Osborne, Richard H.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Media images

There are no media images to display