Since 2002 the GGT UDRH has established an extensive research and evaluation program as part of its commitment to creating a 'network of excellence' in health service, public health and workforce research. 

In 2011, the Department was awarded an Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI) Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) to address primary health care quality, governance, performance and sustainability issues that were identified within the national health reform agenda. In 2015 the CRE extension: Towards Building Better Primary Health Care was granted to expand on the earlier work through three separate projects.

The Department has been involved in the development and implementation of a range of research projects that examine the clinical pathways for the co-morbidities of depression, diabetes and coronary heart disease, and has helped establish best practice for more efficient use of health service resources and improvements in quality of patient care.

The GGT UDRH's research strength is also in the areas of workforce and primary health care. Workforce research focuses on the recruitment and retention of allied health professionals in rural and regional areas, with new and emerging areas of interest including workload capacity measures and the translation of retention strategies to policy.