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Personal profile

Research Biography

Dr Hutchinson is a Senior Research Fellow in the Health and Social Care Economics Group, at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. She is a mixed methods social scientist with research interests in:

  • social return on investment analysis of health and social care interventions
  • employment pathways for people with disabilities
  • the lived experiences and quality of life of social care recipients

In her pre-academic life Dr Hutchinson worked as an organisational psychologist, project manager and vocational rehabilitation specialist. 

Research Expertise

Dr Hutchinson has been a named Chief Investigator on over $3.3 million of competitive funding and has a strong track record of managing and delivering collaborative end-user focused research.

Dr Hutchinson is sought after nationally and internationally for her expertise on social return on investment analysis, reviewing international grant applications and journal paper submissions for several top-ranked journals, as well as being invited as Chief Investigator onto SROI grants in health and social care.

Her work in disability employment has been across all employment pathways (ADEs, open employment, microenterprise). Dr Hutchinson's current projects include an evaluation of a transition program to improve open employment outcomes for youth with disabilities, the development of a social impact framework for a social enterprise supporting the open employment of people with disabilities, and two projects focused on addressing employers attitudes to employing people with disabilities across several sectors.

Between 2019 and 2022 Claire was the project manager and qualitative lead for an ARC Linkage project developing new quality of life and care experience instruments with aged care consumers for quality assessment and economic evaluation. These tools - Quality of life-Aged Care Consumers (QOL-ACC) and Quality of Care Experience (QCE-ACC) - are now part of the new National Quality Indicators Program in residential aged care.

Full list of publications via Google Scholar


Full Academic Member, Caring Futures Institute

Associate Member, Centre for Social Impact

Full Member, Research Centre for Palliative Care, Death, and Dying

Research Interests

social return on investment, social impact, mixed methods, disability employment, quality of life, psychosocial well-being, lived experiences

Recent funding awarded:

2024-2026 - $57,750. Community Bridging Services & Office of the Chief Psychiatrist South Australia, An economic analysis and social return on investment of the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) program in Australian public mental health services. Milte, R., Dawson, S. & Hutchinson, C.

2023-2024 – $46,782. SafeWork SA. A model of care for SafeWork SA. George, S., Dawson, S. & Hutchinson, C.

2023-2025 - $100,000. Office for Ageing Well Impact Research Grant,Outcomes of home modifications for ageing well: social return on investment and case studies. George, S., Hutchinson, C., Laver, K., Xiao, L., Dalistan, R., Gough, C., Dymmott, A., Block, H. & Walker, R.

2022-2024 - $216,112. [consultancy project]. Measuring the social return on investment of a social enterprise providing open employment for people with disabilities. Hutchinson, C., & Alexander, J.,

2023-2026 - $57,000Southern Adelaide Local Health Network. What contextual factors influence in-hospital mobility, and how can an understanding of these factors improve health service delivery for in-hospital falls prevention practices and mobility, independence and quality of life for older patients? Hutchinson, C. & Conroy, T. 

2023-2024 - $524,000. Information Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) Program, Department of Social Services, Australian Government. Co-designing disability employment strategies with people with disability, industry mentors, and disability employment experts to diversify the workforce for people with disability in fashion and hospitality nationwide. Goodwin-Smith, I., Manoharan, A., Jones, J., Hutchinson, C. & Yoon, J.

2022-2023 - $200,000. Aged Care Research and Industry Innovation Australia (ARIIA), Interventions to support retention of female workers aged 50 + in the aged care workforce. Charlton, S., Hutchinson, C. & Van Agteren.

2022-2023 - $128,400. [consultancy project]. Developing a social impact measurement framework. Goodwin-Smith, I., Flatau, P., Tually, S., Coram, V.,Lester, L. & Hutchinson, C.

2022 - $73,304. [consultancy project] A comprehensive literature review of Best Practice Programs across the caring sectors.. Mills, C., Parker, D., Brown, D., Tieman, J. & Hutchinson, C.

2022-2023 - $80,335. Endeavour Foundation Disability Research Fund. Factors that support positive employment outcomes for intellectually disabled persons in hospitality. Manoharan, A., Hutchinson, C. & Jones, J.

2021-2022 - $151,902. Lifetime Support Authority. The impact of home automation: social return on investment and case studies. Laver, K., Hutchinson, C., Williams, P. & Manual, K.

2021-2022 - $25,000. Flinders Foundation. “ACTIVE-DAY’: helping older adults to move more, sit less and sleep well, from hospital to home (CIs) Baldwin. C., Lewis, L., Catcheside, P., Dumuid, D., Hutchinson, C. & Huxley, K. (AIs) Wallen, M., Hewitt, T. & Graham, L.

2021-2022 - $24,990. Flinders Foundation. CR4ALL – Cardiac Rehabilitation for All: Telehealth cardiac rehabilitation tailored to the needs and preference of disadvantaged populations living with coronary heart disease in rural and remote Australia. (CIs) Beleigoli, A., Hutchinson, C., Pinero de Plaza, M.A., Clark, R. & Tirimacco, R., (AIs) Hendriks, J., Tideman, P., Versace, V., Lynch, I & Keech, W.

2021-2024- $319,061. Australian Research Council Linkage. Choosing the way forward: addressing post-parental housing transition needs of adults with intellectual disability and their older family carersWalker, R., Bigby, C., Wiesel, I., Rillotta, F., Hutchinson, C., & Angley, P.

2021-2025 – $936,786. NHMRC Partnership Grant. Defining the economic and social return on investment of cancer information and telephone support services for all AustraliansMcCaffrey, N., White, V., Livingston, T., Mihalopoulos, C., Paul, C., Orellana, L., Engel, L., Hutchinson, C., Hutchinson, A. & Aranda, S. (CIs), Ratcliffe, J., Desilva, D., Fradgley, E. & Steiner, A. (AIs).

2021-2024 - $65,875 [Consultancy project] Evaluation of transition program promoting open employment for high school students with disability Hutchinson, C. & Alexander, J.

2021-2022 - $158,728. EuroQOL Research Grant. Unravelling the EQ-5D self-report proxy conundrum for older people. Ratcliffe, J., Engel, L., Mulhern, B., Milte, R., Hutchinson, C. & Khadka, J.

Supervised Students Successes

  • Jul 2022 Henry Bowen - PhD (UniSA)
  • Jun 2022 Jenny Cleland - PhD (Flinders)
  • Dillon Trepper - Hons (First Class), UniSA 2019
  • Meliisa Sharpe - Hons (First Class), Flinders 2021
  • Lisa O'Neill - Masters of Disability Policy & practice (Thesis - High Distinction), Flinders 2021

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, PhD in Psychology, University of South Australia

Award Date: 16 Jun 2016

Master of Science, MSc Occupational Psychology, University of Hertfordshire

Award Date: 16 Dec 1994

Postgraduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma in Psychology, The Open University, UK

Award Date: 12 Dec 1992

Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Humanities, Middlesex University

Award Date: 24 Aug 1990


  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Health and social care economics
  • Healthy ageing and aged care

Supervisory Interests

  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Disability, qualitative research
  • Outcome measurement
  • Quality of life
  • Consumer and carer perspectives
  • Palliative care


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