Who we are

RECOVER Injury Research Centre is a joint initiative of the Queensland Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) and The University of Queensland. RECOVER is a leading research centre based in Queensland, Australia.

RECOVER is located at The University of Queensland Herston campus, sitting within the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences. The Centre conducts research, education and service activities in three key areas:

  • Technology-enabled rehabilitation
  • Improving health outcomes after musculoskeletal injury
  • Optimising recovery after compensable injury

RECOVER is associated with two other major research activities; the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre for Research Excellence in Recovery Following Road Traffic Injuries and the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Telehealth.


The mission of RECOVER is to optimise the physical, psychological, communication, social and vocational recovery of people following injury, especially when caused by road traffic crashes.

Our research focuses on developing, validating, and translating client-centred interventions to reduce disability for individuals who sustain a personal injury in a road traffic crash.


    RECOVER’s history dates back to the early 1990s, when the then Queensland Insurance Commissioner, Mr Graham Hughes, pursued his ambition to invest in research aimed at improving road safety and recovery after a road traffic crash. His vision and determination led to the Motor Accident Insurance Act, which the Queensland Parliament passed on September 1, 1994. This important Act established the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) and guaranteed funding for road safety, injury rehabilitation and medical research. In 1996-97, two centres were established: The Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (CONROD) (renamed RECOVER Injury Research Centre in 2016), and the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland (CARRSQ).

    Both centres are funded by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission, which is a government regulatory authority responsible for the ongoing management of the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme in Queensland. Since the commencement of the Motor Accident Insurance Act, the Commission has emphasised research initiatives in accident prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. Mr Neil Singleton is the current Insurance Commissioner.

    Mr Hughes was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy from The University of Queensland for his central role in conceiving and establishing CONROD. Mr Hughes was also awarded an Honorary Doctor of the University from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) for his central role in conceiving and establishing CARRSQ. In 2004, he was appointed Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his contribution to research initiatives into road accident prevention, trauma treatment and rehabilitation, and public administration of insurance and workers’ compensation.


    Professor Rod McClure was Director of CONROD from 1997 to 1999. Professor Bellamy was appointed Director in 1999 and led the centre for 13 years. Professor Justin Kenardy, a leading expert in the psychology of traumatic injury, led the centre from 2012 to 2014. Emeritus Professor Gwendolen Jull, a world-leading researcher in the evaluation and management of neck pain, took on the Interim Directorship from 2014-2015. Professor Michael Sullivan, a renowned expert in the psychology of pain and disability, was Director of the centre in 2016, returning to McGill University, Canada in 2017. Professor Deborah Theodoros was the Director of RECOVER from 2017-2019 and has recently been replaced by Professor Trevor Russell, both of whom are world leaders in the field of telerehabilitation.

    Through the years, other leading researchers at CONROD and RECOVER included: Professor Michele Sterling, Professor Heidi Zeeman, Professor Elizabeth Kendall, Professor Luke Connelly and Professor Kevin Tetsworth.

    Structure and research

    CONROD evolved from a school centre based at The University of Queensland’s School of Medicine, into an increasingly influential research organisation spread over two Universities and three campuses. The centre was formally established in 1997, through a partnership between the Motor Accident Insurance Commission, the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) and The University of Queensland. In 2000, Griffith University became a research partner of CONROD, adding increased depth and breadth to the research conducted at the centre.

    Since its inception, CONROD was involved in research, educational and service activities in five key areas, namely: acute trauma-care; injury rehabilitation; health economics and health systems; the psychology of traumatic injury and recovery; and vocational and community reintegration.

    CONROD was renamed RECOVER Injury Research Centre in 2016.


    In 2019 a new contract was negotiated between The University of Queensland (UQ) and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC). The new contract came into place on January 1, 2020. The focus of RECOVER’s research, educational and service activities remains the same, however, the research programs have been renamed to more accurately reflect the program objectives:

    • Technology-enabled rehabilitation
    • Improving health outcomes after musculoskeletal injury
    • Optimising recovery after compensable injury