Research Impact Podcast Series Launched

UL’s first podcast series is now available on the UL Research Impact podcast channel.

The series explores the tremendous contributions UL research is making in the real world. From rehabilitating mining sites, helping voters make informed choices at the ballot box, strategies to combat physical inactivity in Ireland and improving the quality of life for people with MS, the series brings our research stories to a global audience.

Dr Mary Shire, Vice President Research, University of Limerick said; “The UL Research Impact Podcast series provides a forum for our research community to discuss the great impact their research is having across society. UL was the first Irish University to roll-out a research impact case study programme in 2014, since then we have built up a body of high quality, evidenced-based impact case studies.“

The series includes an introduction Research with impact - why bother? with Prof Helena Lenihan, UL Research Impact Working Group Chair. In this podcast Helena, provides insights and tips to achieve real impact in your research and how it is achievable across all disciplines.  Drawing from her own experience of enterprise policy evaluation Prof Lenihan explains the great possibilities, from collaboration to ambition, which are achievable through the research impact ethos.

Case Study:  Improving the quality of life for people living with MS, Prof Susan Coote. Twenty years ago people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) were advised to “take it easy”. Today, there is a growing body of evidence showing that exercise is beneficial for a number of key symptoms like walking and fatigue.  Prof Coote and her team are making significant contributions to this U-turn, her research has had direct positive impacts on the health of thousands of people, and on clinical practice and national programmes of care.

Case Study: Helping voters to make an informed choice, Dr Rory Costello. Elections are about many things, but arguably their most important function is to give voters a say in how their country is governed. In this podcast, Dr Costello talks about why elections often do not perform this function very well, as many voters are not sufficiently informed about the policy choices on offer. He also discusses how his research seeks to improve the quality of democratic representation, particularly for young voters.

Case Study: Ecologically engineered solutions to rehabilitate mining waste and mine sites, Dr Ronan Courtney. More than 30 million jobs in the EU and many key economic sectors are dependent on a sustainable supply of raw materials, such as aluminium and zinc. However, the extractive operations to process and refine such raw materials generate approximately 300 million tonnes of potentially hazardous waste per annum. In this podcast Dr Ronan Courtney talks about how his research applies ecological solutions to rehabilitate mine waste and mine sites. His research has had significant impacts on the environment, standards and industry practice and sustainability.

Case Study: A nation of couch potatoes? Physical activity in Ireland, Prof Alan Donnelly and Dr Ciaran Mac Donncha. Low levels of physical activity are attributed to 6-10% of coronary heart disease, type 2  diabetes, breast and colon cancer and over 20% risk of Alzheimer’s disease in Europe. In their research Prof Donnelly & Dr Mac Donncha seek to objectively measure  the health risk behaviours of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour (time sitting, lying down) and also understand the impact on health and why individuals make these behaviour choices. This work is helping Ireland and Europe develop policy, guidelines and identify the most effective strategies for combatting these ever-increasing threats to health, and thus to promote health for citizens of all ages.

Calling all future Research Impact Case Study Authors: We are always on the look-out for new research impact case studies across all disciplines. Anyone interested in getting involved or finding out more can contact, Research & Innovation Projects Officer. Ext 4318. Criteria and guidelines are available on our website here