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COMPASS is a National Health and Medical Research Council Capacity Building Grant in Population Health Research, awarded in October 2006 to Mother & Child Health Research at La Trobe University, in partnership with the Primary Care Research Unit in the Department of General Practice at The University of Melbourne and the Healthy Mothers Healthy Families Research Group at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.

The focus of COMPASS is building public health research capacity for

  • conceptualising complex questions
  • working with populations who are often excluded from research, including Indigenous communities, immigrants/refugees and women experiencing intimate partner violence, and
  • designing and evaluating complex interventions in diverse settings ranging from hospitals to primary care and communities.

COMPASS has a major interest in the health and care of mothers and children.

Navigating complexity in public health

COMPASS team investigators published a special issue for BMC Public Health in 2011 (Volume 11, Supplement 5), which showcases methodological and other issues explored during the COMPASS capacity-building period:

  • Taft A, Bandyopadhyay M. Introduction to COMPASS: navigating complexity in public health research [Editorial]. S1
  • Koolmatrie T. Finding my ground in public health research: lessons from my Grandmother’s kitchen. S2
  • Palmer VJ, Yelland JS, Taft AJ. Ethical complexities of screening for depression and intimate partner violence (IPV) in intervention studies. S3
  • Small R, Taft AJ & Brown SJ. The power of social connection and support in improving health: lessons from social support interventions with childbearing women. S4
  • McDonald K, Amir LH & Davey M-A. Maternal bodies and medicines: a commentary on risk and decision-making of pregnant and breastfeeding women and health professionals. S5
  • Bandyopadhyay M. Tackling complexities in understanding the social determinants of health: the contribution of ethnographic research. S6
  • Bruinsma FJ, Rayner J-A, Venn AJ, Pyett P & Werther G. Looking back in time: conducting a cohort study of the long-term effects of treatment of adolescent tall girls with synthetic hormones. S7
  • Forster DA, Newton M, McLachlan HL & Willis K. Exploring implementation and sustainability of models of care: can theory help? S8

Further information

Lead investigators

Lead Investigators of the COMPASS project are from a variety of backgrounds.

Team investigators

The Team Investigators of the COMPASS project contribute immense collective knowledge and experience.

Selected COMPASS research programs

Selected research projects within COMPASS

Capacity building activities

COMPASS has provided us with the opportunity to develop a program of continuing education and development for postdoctoral staff.