Dr Claire Hutchinson

Senior Research Fellow

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

place Sturt North (N314D)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Dr Hutchinson is a Senior Research Fellow working across the Caring Futures Institute and the Centre for Social Impact. 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

Dr Hutchinson has been a named Chief Investigator on over $3.3 million of competitive grant 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 a project manager and qualitative lead on 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. http://www.qol-acc.org/

Full list of publications via Google Scholar

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


2016 PhD Psychology, University of South Australia

1994 MSc Organisational Psychology, University of Hertfordshire, UK

1992 Graduate Diploma in Psychology, Open University, UK

1990 Bachelor of Arts, Middlesex University, UK

Honours, awards and grants

Recent Funding:

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

2023-2025 – $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.

2023-2024 - $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 - $57,000. Southern 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.

Key responsibilities

Full Academic Member, Caring Futures Institute (Health and Social Care Economics Group)

Associate Member, Centre for Social Impact

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

Supervisory interests
Consumer and carer perspectives
Disability, qualitative research
Outcome measurement
Palliative care
Quality of life
Vocational rehabilitation
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Mobility - older adults (1)
Associate supervisor: Housing Transitions for older adults with ID (1)
Higher degree by research student achievements
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 -

Jenny Cleland

PhD (Flinders) - JUN 2022

Henry Bowen

PhD (UniSA) - JUL 2022