Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham

Conjoint Associate Professor

School of Medicine and Public Health (Public Health)

Career Summary

Biography

In the early 1970s, I completed the first environmental psychology research masters at the University of Hawaii examining human-environment interaction in the context of Japanese perceptions and use of residential space. My doctoral fieldwork (community/clinical psychology) in Southeast Asia critically analysed the role of western-oriented psychiatric institutions in the context of non-western cultural values and healing practices and pioneered the concept of culture-accommodation of mental health care (Third World Challenge to Psychiatry (1984)). The theme of linking individual human action with broader social, cultural and political-economic contexts has dominated the inter-disciplinary and transdisciplinary research programs and publications I have developed over the past 21 years at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics. With a 5-year NH&MRC program grant in the 1990s, I designed a community development strategy aimed at reducing the epidemic of heart disease in the Upper Hunter coalfields. This experience taught us that cross-disciplinary perspectives are required to gain a comprehensive understanding of health problems in a dynamic bio-social ecosystem. Working through the Coalfields material, Albrecht, Freeman and I constructed the first transdisciplinary analysis of heart disease, informed by complexity theory, which became a central case study in our pioneering 2001 research text, Health Social Science (Oxford Uni) and a companion volume, Applying Health Social Science (Zed Books). All of the 26 research theses that I have supervised over the past 18 years integrate inter-disciplinary design components linking human action with the dynamics of context. The ARC Discovery Grant (Open Cuts to Land and Culture, 2005-2007) has furthered my extensive collaboration with Connor and Albrecht in which my career-long experience in developing and empirically testing models of human action is being applied to explain Upper Hunter community members responses (perceptions, appraisal, social behaviour) to massive environmental transformation. Furthermore, I have taken substantial responsibility internationally for establishing the newly emerging perspective of transdisciplinary health social science. I authored the first two textbooks published in this field and have delivered a number of keynote lectures outlining the fields theoretical and methodological underpinnings, including: 2005 World Congress, International Forum for Social Sciences & Health, Istanbul, Turkey; 5th Asia Pacific Social Science & Medicine Conference, Kunming, China, 2002; INCLEN 18th Global Scientific Meeting, Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, 2002; 4th Asia Pacific Social Science & Medicine Conference, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 1998; 3rd Asia Pacific Social Sciences & Medicine Conference, Perth, 1996; International Conference on Capacity Enhancement for the Social Sciences in Health, Ontario, Canada, 1995; INCLEN Twelfth Annual Scientific Meeting, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 1994; 2nd Asia Pacific Social Sciences & Medicine Conference, Manila, 1994; International Epidemiology Association Global Conference, Sydney, 1993. In order to develop research capacity in health social science, I have contributed to the following international organisations: " Founder & Coordinator, INCLEN (International Clinical Epidemiology Network) Social Science Committee " Member, INCLEN Pharmaco-Epidemiology Committee " Member, INCLEN Capacity Building Committee " Founder & Steering Committee Member, International Forum for Social Sciences in Health " Founder & Secretary, Asia Pacific Network of International Forum for Social Sciences in Health " Associate Editor, Kluwer Book Publishers Series, International and Cultural Psychology: Topics, Issues and Directions.

Research Expertise
The theme of linking individual human action with broader social, cultural and political-economic contexts has dominated the inter-disciplinary and transdisciplinary research programs and publications I have developed over the past 21 years at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics. With a 5-year NH&MRC program grant in the 1990s, I designed a community development strategy aimed at reducing the epidemic of heart disease in the Upper Hunter coalfields. This experience taught us that cross-disciplinary perspectives are required to gain a comprehensive understanding of health problems in a dynamic bio-social ecosystem. Working through the Coalfields material, Albrecht, Freeman and I constructed the first transdisciplinary analysis of heart disease, informed by complexity theory, which became a central case study in our pioneering 2001 research text, Health Social Science (Oxford Uni) and a companion volume, Applying Health Social Science (Zed Books). All of the 26 research theses that I have supervised over the past 18 years integrate inter-disciplinary design components linking human action with the dynamics of context. The ARC Discovery Grant (Open Cuts to Land and Culture, 2005-2007) has furthered my extensive collaboration with Connor and Albrecht in which my career-long experience in developing and empirically testing models of human action is being applied to explain Upper Hunter community members responses (perceptions, appraisal, social behaviour) to massive environmental transformation.

Teaching Expertise
For over twenty years I taught postgraduate courses in health social science, health survey design, transdisciplinary approaches to public health research, and social program evaluation and planning. I have taken substantial responsibility internationally for establishing the newly emerging perspective of transdisciplinary health social science. I authored the first two textbooks published in this field and have delivered a number of keynote lectures outlining the fields theoretical and methodological underpinnings, including: 2005 World Congress, International Forum for Social Sciences & Health, Istanbul, Turkey; 5th Asia Pacific Social Science & Medicine Conference, Kunming, China, 2002; INCLEN 18th Global Scientific Meeting, Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, 2002; 4th Asia Pacific Social Science & Medicine Conference, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 1998; 3rd Asia Pacific Social Sciences & Medicine Conference, Perth, 1996; International Conference on Capacity Enhancement for the Social Sciences in Health, Ontario, Canada, 1995; INCLEN Twelfth Annual Scientific Meeting, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 1994; 2nd Asia Pacific Social Sciences & Medicine Conference, Manila, 1994; International Epidemiology Association Global Conference, Sydney, 1993.

Administrative Expertise
I served as a senior member of the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle taking on such roles as: Head of Discipline; Deputy Director of the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics; Chair, Postgraduate Education Program; Member of School of Medicine & Public Health Executive; Member, Faculty of Health Board. In order to develop research capacity in health social science, I have contributed to the following international organisations: " Founder & Coordinator, INCLEN (International Clinical Epidemiology Network) Social Science Committee " Member, INCLEN Pharmaco-Epidemiology Committee " Member, INCLEN Capacity Building Committee " Founder & Steering Committee Member, International Forum for Social Sciences in Health " Founder & Secretary, Asia Pacific Network of International Forum for Social Sciences in Health " Associate Editor, Kluwer Book Publishers Series, International and Cultural Psychology: Topics, Issues and Directions



Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Hawaii - USA
  • Master of Arts, University of Hawaii - USA
  • Bachelor of Arts, United States International University

Keywords

  • environmental distress
  • environmental psychology
  • health psychology
  • health social science
  • program evaluation
  • survey design methods

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified 55
160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified 30
170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified 15

Professional Experience

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/11/1987 - 1/07/2005 Associate Professor University of South Australia
School of Medicine and Public Health
Australia
Edit

Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 15
Total funding $1,992,241

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20082 grants / $218,000

Climate change, place and community: An ethnographic study of the Hunter Valley, New South Wales$135,000

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Professor Linda Connor, Conjoint Professor Glenn Albrecht, Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham
Scheme Discovery Projects
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2008
Funding Finish 2011
GNo G0187498
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y

Climate change, place and community: An ethnographic study of the Hunter Valley, New South Wales$83,000

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Professor Linda Connor, Professor Glen Albrecht, Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham
Scheme Discovery Projects
Role Lead
Funding Start 2008
Funding Finish 2011
GNo G1000060
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y

20052 grants / $131,421

Open Cuts to Land and Culture: Rural Community Engagement with Large-Scale Industrial Development.$122,000

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Professor Linda Connor, Conjoint Professor Glenn Albrecht, Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham
Scheme Discovery Projects
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2005
Funding Finish 2007
GNo G0184379
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y

The effect of drought on rural and remote Australian communities$9,421

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Professor Brian Kelly, Associate Professor Helen Stain, Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham, Conjoint Professor Glenn Albrecht
Scheme Project Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2005
Funding Finish 2005
GNo G0184757
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20042 grants / $288,806

Changing diets, levels of activity and environments and their relationship to the emergence of adolescent overweight and obesity in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam$273,806

Funding body: Nestle Foundation

Funding body Nestle Foundation
Project Team Dr Hong Tang, Doctor Michael Dibley, Mr Kim Nguyen, Conjoint Professor David Sibbritt, Dr Thanh Phan Nguyen, Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2004
Funding Finish 2009
GNo G0184894
Type Of Funding International - Non Competitive
Category 3IFB
UON Y

Psychological and social monitoring of Hunter environmental change.$15,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham, Professor Linda Connor, Conjoint Professor Glenn Albrecht, Conjoint Professor Wayne Smith, Doctor Craig Dalton
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2004
Funding Finish 2004
GNo G0183538
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20031 grants / $14,000

Relating Ecological and Human Distress Syndromes: a Pilot Investigation in Upper Hunter Communities Exposed to Large Scale Industrial and Mining Activity$14,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham, Professor Linda Connor, Conjoint Professor Glenn Albrecht, Conjoint Professor Wayne Smith
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2003
Funding Finish 2003
GNo G0182454
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20012 grants / $19,000

School-Based Education Program to Prevent the Uptake of Smoking by Male Junior High School Students in Yogyakarta, Indonesia$10,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2001
Funding Finish 2001
GNo G0179983
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Impact of electronic information on patient health seeking behaviour, decision-making & wellbeing.$9,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Dr Anni Dugdale, Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham
Scheme Project Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2001
Funding Finish 2001
GNo G0180029
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20002 grants / $101,840

Anthropometric status of adult men and women in Vietnam and the relationship between levels of body mass indicator and risk of morbitity in adults(Scholarship)$89,840

Funding body: Wellcome Trust

Funding body Wellcome Trust
Project Team Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham, Doctor Michael Dibley
Scheme Senior Research Fellowship in Medical Science
Role Lead
Funding Start 2000
Funding Finish 2002
GNo G0179014
Type Of Funding Donation - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFD
UON Y

Conceptions of Nourishment During Pregnancy Among Primiparous Australian Women of English-Speaking Backgrounds: Influence of Social Class and Sources of Health$12,000

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham, Professor Linda Connor, Doctor Michael Dibley, Conjoint Associate Professor Andrew Bisits
Scheme Small Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2000
Funding Finish 2000
GNo G0178954
Type Of Funding Scheme excluded from IGS
Category EXCL
UON Y

19952 grants / $168,173

International Forum for Social Sciences in Health$94,500

Funding body: Ford Foundation

Funding body Ford Foundation
Project Team Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham
Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1995
Funding Finish 1995
GNo G0175412
Type Of Funding International - Non Competitive
Category 3IFB
UON Y

Social Science Twinning Project$73,673

Funding body: International Clinical Epidemiology Network

Funding body International Clinical Epidemiology Network
Project Team Emeritus Professor Richard Heller, Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 1995
Funding Finish 1995
GNo G0176109
Type Of Funding International - Non Competitive
Category 3IFB
UON Y

19941 grants / $51,000

Planning proposal to set an initial agenda for Asia and the Pacific Regions of the International Forum for Social Sciences in Health.$51,000

Funding body: Ford Foundation

Funding body Ford Foundation
Project Team Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham
Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1994
Funding Finish 1994
GNo G0173361
Type Of Funding International - Non Competitive
Category 3IFB
UON Y

19901 grants / $1,000,001

Implementation and Evaluation of Various Strategies to prevent Heart Disease$1,000,001

Funding body: NHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council)

Funding body NHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council)
Project Team Emeritus Professor Richard Heller, Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham, Emeritus Professor Annette Dobson
Scheme PHRDC Project Grant (Defunct)
Role Investigator
Funding Start 1990
Funding Finish 1995
GNo G0175454
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y
Edit

Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed3
Current0

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2006 PhD Smoking Inoculation Program to Prevent the Uptake of Smoking Among Junior High School Students in Yogyakarta Municipality, Indonesia PhD (CommunityMed & ClinEpid), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
2003 Masters Veteran satisfaction with a home based preventive care intervention Public Health Not Elswr Classi, The University of Notre Dame Australia Principal Supervisor
2002 PhD Home hazards and falls prevention in home-based health assessments for older people in the community Public Health Not Elswr Classi, University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
Edit

Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham

Position

Conjoint Associate Professor
Public Health/CCEB
School of Medicine and Public Health
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Focus area

Public Health

Contact Details

Email nick.higginbotham@newcastle.edu.au

Office

Room HMRI Building W-4 John Hunter Hospital
Building HMRI Building
Location John Hunter Hospital Campus

,
Edit