Ian Olver

Professor Ian Olver

Professorial Research Fellow

School of Psychology

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Professor Ian Olver AM
Professorial Research Fellow, School of Psychology,
Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health

Trained as a medical oncologist, cancer researcher and bioethicist his current research interests are in psycho-oncology, supportive care in cancer and bioethics. Ian is author of over 330 journal articles and is a regular commentator on cancer issues in Australia and internationally.

Ian was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to medical oncology as a clinician, researcher, administrator and mentor, and to the community through leadership roles with cancer control organisations.

Ian Olver graduated MB, BS from the University of Melbourne in 1976, was awarded an MD in 1991 and completed a PhD from Monash University in bioethics in 1997. He also holds a Certificate of Ministry (Lay Preaching) form the Adelaide College of Divinity. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP), its Chapter of Palliative Medicine (FAChPM) and is was an Associate Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators (ARACMA) until 2020. He became a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science (AAHMS) in 2016.

He trained as a medical oncologist at Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne and the University of Maryland Cancer Centre in Baltimore. He practised at Peter MaCallum and then at The Royal Adelaide Hospital where he became Clinical Director of the RAH Cancer Centre, and the first Cancer Council SA Professor of Cancer Care at the University of Adelaide and set up tele-oncology links with Darwin, established an oncology clinic in Alice Springs and trained the first medical oncologist for the CMC Hospital in Vellore India. From May 2006 to December 2014 he was appointed CEO, Cancer Council Australia in Sydney and received their Gold Medal in 2104. He held an appointment as Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Sydney.

He returned to SA in 2015 and was Director of the Sansom Institute and then UniSA Cancer Research Institute until 2019. In 2020 he took up his current appointments at University of Adelaide.

He is a past chair of the Medical Oncology Group of Australia (MOGA) and received their Cancer Achievement award in 2008 and served on the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Council and then Board being awarded the Tom Reeve award for "outstanding contributions to caner care" in 2019. He currently chairs the Sax Institute Board in Sydney and the Youth and Young Adults Advisory Board to Canteen in Sydney.

He currently consults for Bellberry Ethics and Chairs the MOGA Ethics Committee.
He is a past chair of the Australian Health Ethics Committee of NHMRC and sat on NHMRC Council. He is a past President of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer.

Period Grant / Funding Title Total Value
2020 Hospital Research Foundation SA HN-RHLN - Aboriginal Cancer Healing Centres – facilitation to expand the roles and capabilities of existing cancer services $49,680
2019 ARC Discovery Project DP190103434 - Understanding middle-aged women’s responses to alcohol/breast cancer risks $460,000
2019 Research Themes Investment Scheme Grant (RTIS), University of South Australia - Choice experiments aiming to optimize the response to financial toxicity $38,300
2019 Research Themes Investment Scheme Grant (RTIS), University of South Australia - Developing biomarkers and therapeutics for primary and metastatic lung cancer $40,000
2019-2020 NHMRC App 1161502 - A new direction in end of life care? Assessing the impact and outcomes of the Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying Act $1,210,399.80
2019-2020 Envision Sciences Pty Ltd Translation Research Grant - Companion Diagnostics and therapeutics for cancer $3,626,666
2019 Health Translation SA Rapid Applied Research Translation for Health Impact Grant (MRFF) - Improving wait times between a positive faecal immunohistochemical test )+FIT) and diagnostic colonoscopy: <120 days for all. $200,000
2018-2019 UniSA Cancer Research Institute Strategic Funding Grant - Understanding the biology of lung cancer initiation and progression $20,000
2018-2023 NHMRC CRE - Targeted Approaches to Improve Cancer Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians $2,499,981
2018-2021 Cancer Council SA Beat Cancer Project Clinical Trial Enhancement Grant APP ID #CTEG0617 $400,000

Cancer Council SA Beat Cancer Project Translational Research Package APP ID #TRP0717 - Supporting primary care to increase participation in bowel cancer screening: a pilot study

2018-2019 ARC LIEF LE180100094 - Linked semantic platforms for social and physical infrastructure and wellbeing.  (Administering university Swinburne University of Technology) $1,361,651.00
2017-2022 NHMRC Centres for Research Excellence Grant APP1135048. Centre for Research Excellence in Implementation Science in Oncology (CRE-ISO) $2,495,783
2017-2018 Envision Sciences Pty Ltd - Prostate cancer Diagnosis and Prognosis $2,930,165
2017-2020 NHMRC Partnership Grant APP1133407 Investigating the inclusion of vulnerable populations in Advance Care Planning: Developing complex and sensitive public policy $379,367.60
2017 Beat Cancer Grant (CCSA and SAHMRI) App 1124968 - Improving the management of chemotherapy–induced nausea by assessing and treating nausea as a symptom cluster $71,000
2017 Research Themes Investment Scheme- Seed Funding. University of South Australia.  - Exploring the challenges and decisions faced by children who need to manage the aged and end-of-life care of elderly $38,480
2016-2017 NHMRC Translational Research Projects for Improved Health Care Grant APP1133042 - Eradicating preventable deaths from colorectal cancer – the Beat Bowel Cancer Project $100,000
2016-2017 Research Themes Investment Scheme – Development Funding, University of South Australia - 

Clonogenic Stem Cells in Head and Neck Cancer and Their Impact on Novel Treatment Approaches Based on Patient Stratification and Outcome Optimisation – Experimental and Modelling Investigation

2015-2017 NHMRC Project Grant  APP1080673 - Improving decisions about the funding of high cost cancer medicines in Australia $549,492
2014-2016 Cancer Australia Grant CA-ITA-1314/01 - Develop and disseminate resources to aid cancer survivors in successfully returning to work $79,454
2014-2016 NHMRC Project Grant. 1059732 - Addressing conflicts of interest in public health and biomedicine: enhancing professional integrity and safeguarding the public’s health $564,553
2014-2016 NHMRC Project Grant.1067062 - Should I take low-dose aspirin. The Optimise decision aid study $424,115
2013-2015 NHMRC Partnership Grant APP1059760 - Who decides and at what cost? $247,653
2013-2014 Sydney University Catalyst Grant Development and phase 1 testing of a web-based intervention to reduce anxiety and depression in survivors of testicular cancer $50,000
2012-2013 SAHMRI Grant Development of a prototype, internet-delivered decision support tool for primary and secondary prevention of colorectal cancer $60,000
2012-2015 ARC Linkage Grant LP120200175 Public and ethical responses to mandated alcohol warning labels about increased long term risk of cancer $116,609
2012-2013 Sydney Catalyst Grant Should I take low dose aspirin? Development of the ‘Optimise’ decision aid for cancer chemoprophylaxis $50,000
2011-2013 NHMRC APP 1010536 The role of individual patient, social support and treatment centre variables in the psychosocial outcomes of cancer patients $ 494,604
2009-2011 Cancer Australia Priority Driven Collaborative Cancer Research Grant ID 570961 - Understanding the psychosocial sequelae of surviving testicular cancer $130,150 year 1 and 60,650 year 2
2009-2010 International Program Development Fund University of Sydney - Building a cancer prevention partnership for women in Tamil Nadu, India – linking the Faculty of Medicine University of Sydney, Weill Cornell Medical College (USA), Cancer Council Australia & Christian Medical College Vellore, India $55,000
2009 MASCC Grant - Patients’ perceptions of chemotherapy induced nausea $US 1000
2006-2007 Commonwealth Govt RHSET grant - Enhancing palliation in patients with advanced cancer $165,555
2006 The Cancer Council SA - The effects of chemotherapy on cognitive function in patients with testicular cancer $53,500
2006-2007 The Cancer Council SA - Enhancing cancer Patients Participation when discussing clinical trial enrolment: Evaluation of a Question Prompt List 2006 2006 $36,300 2007 $36,300
2005-2006 Australian Rotary Health Research Fund/ Rotary Club Adelaide - Mind body stress reduction to alleviate psycho-social distress post cancer treatment: A randomised controlled trial for patients diagnosed with lung cancer $26,994
2006 The Cancer Council SA - The Experience of the Patient Pathway by Patients of the Royal Adelaide Hospital Receiving Treatment for Cancer $100,000
2005 The Cancer Council SA - End of Life Decision-making Informing Policy Using “Maximum Variety” Sampling and Patient-Derived Qualitative Data $68,342
2003 The Cancer Council SA Improving informed consent to chemotherapy: Written information versus an interactive CD-ROM $47,800
2002-2003 NHMRC The Investigation of an Innovative Tele-medicine Model to Support Palliative Care Delivery in Rural and Remote Australia $30,000 (2002, 2003)
1999-2000 NHMRC - Randomised trial of smoking cessation support for patients with cancer. $50,583 (1999) $55,777 (2000)
1999 B3 Grant University of Adelaide. Patients’ Experience of Mucositis $5,000
1999 Anti-Cancer Foundation, South Australia - Anticancer active peptides from Australian Amphibians $25,000
1998 South Australian Health Commission Pilot study of telemedicine to support home cancer treatment services $39,000
1997 University of Adelaide Research Fund End of Life Decision Making $5,000
1997 NHMRC National Breast Cancer Centre Associated Centre Grant -  $100,000
1997 Special Purpose Fund, Royal Adelaide Hospital Combined modality therapy for locally advanced breast cancer $10,000
1996 NHMRC National Breast Cancer Centre Grant to establish and evaluate a telemedicine link between Royal Adelaide Hospital and Royal Darwin Hospital $90,000
1996 Faculty of Medicine Research Committee (University of Adelaide) Cell Migration and its role in haemopoietic stem cell mobilisation $10,000
1995-1996 Anticancer Foundation Universities of South Australia - A phase II study of prolonged ambulatory infusion carboplatin and oral etoposide in patients with metastatic hormone resistant prostate cancer

1995 $45,274

1996 $36,000

1991-1992 NHMRC - Studies of prolonged ambulatory infusion anticancer chemotherapy $70,000
1989-1991 NHMRC - 

Studies of drug radiation interactions in cancer


1988 ACCV - Development of a murine model based on gastric distension to study the emetic and antiemetic potential of drugs (The Packenham Opportunity Shop Research Award, Ellen Margaret McBain Research Award, JB Rae Research Award, BS Robbins Nurseries Pty Ltd Research Award) $25,000
1988-1989 ACCV - Studies of high dose as an antiemetic for cancer chemotherapy induced emesis $18,000
1987-1988 ACCV - Phase I and II Evaluation of new anticancer drugs (McDougall Research Award) $50,000


  • Position: Professorial Research Fellow
  • Email: ian.olver@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Hughes, floor 7
  • Org Unit: School of Psychology

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