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We provide quality social and behavioural research which makes a difference. We help build up and maintain the evidence base, evaluate health promotion programmes, and support postgraduate students.

Our main areas are:

If you would like to collaborate with us or like supervision as a student in any of these areas, please do contact us by email on

Social and Behavioural Research Unit Staff Photo x 1 copy
The SBRU team.

Our team has expertise across qualitative, quantitative, biostatistical and Māori-centred research.

At the Social and Behavioural Research Unit (SBRU), we received core funding from the Cancer Society of New Zealand and University of Otago from 1990 to 2019. We continue to work with the Cancer Society through the Cancer Society Research Collaboration (CSRC). SBRU has a director role on the CSRC, and the majority of our work is with the CSRC. We have other funding from the Health Research Council, the Marsden Fund, Cancer Research Trust NZ, and Lottery Health.

Our research priorities are based on criteria including:

  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • Prioritisation from the CSRC contract
  • Our ability to provide timely and high-quality research to inform the health promotion efforts of the Cancer Society and other agencies
  • Conducting research of an applied nature to inform health promotion practice and health systems
  • The possibilities of building research alliances

All SBRU cancer prevention and health promotion work is carried out within the frameworks of the Ottawa Charter, and the Treaty of Waitangi.

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