Increasingly, there is recognition of the importance of the use of research to inform policy. Changing or creating policy is not easy; it involves many factors and can be a very complex process. Research is critical to the process as it provides the mechanism to understand the key factors associated with policy and how to influence the policy-making process. The ‘research to action’ paradigm has become necessary given the demand for an evidence-based approach to planning and decision-making (1–3). The paradigm also includes the collaboration between academic disciplines and sectors responsible for policy.