HRI researcher to lead major project to involve public participation in health research

The Health Research Board and Irish Research Council have announced a new €1.75million initiative to help researchers involve the public at the very start of the health research process. It is the first of its kind in Ireland.

Professor of Primary Healthcare Research, Anne MacFarlane is to receive a €350,000 PPI Ignite Award under this scheme. Based at the Health Research Institute and the Graduate Entry Medical School, Prof MacFarlane’s research will further integrate Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) into the Institute and the University, and allow us to support researchers across a range of disciplines to mainstream PPI in their research.

Critical Appraisal Skills Programme 2017

CASPIR is the Irish branch of the internationally recognised Critical Appraisal Skills Programme. CASP developed workshops and tools for critically appraising a wide range of research including systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials, qualitative studies, cohort studies or case-control studies. These workshops and resources e.g. checklists, help participants put knowledge into practice.
CASP is for anyone that wants to use research evidence in their professional practice, professional and personal decision making, and in development of policy and guidelines.
CASPIR is a collaborative programme between University of Limerick, UL Hospitals Group and the Department of Public Health in the Mid-West and it is coordinated through the UL/UL Hospitals Clinical Research Unit.

Second Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) Summer School

The HRI is delighted to launch our second Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) Summer School which takes place at the University of Limerick on Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd June 2017.

The Summer School is designed for individuals who wish to develop their knowledge and access resources for Public and Patient Involvement in health research. We welcome participation from community organisations, patient groups, researchers, health service providers and policy-makers.

2017 Summer School Information

Eventbrite registration is now open  - CLICK HERE

UL researcher awarded prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie global fellowship

A University of Limerick, Clinical Therapies and Health Research Institute researcher has been awarded a prestigious global fellowship to further her research into lower back pain.
Physiotherapy researcher Dr Mary O’Keeffe is the first UL graduate to receive the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellowship from the European Commission. The award will enable Dr O’Keeffe to attend the George Institute for Global Health at University of Sydney, Australia, one of the top ten research institutions in the world for scientific impact. There, she will be hosted for two years by Professor Chris Maher who is the world leader in lower-back-pain research.

DOCTRID V Conference

The DOCTRID V Conference will take place at the University of Limerick on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 April 2017.

Who should be there?

Researchers (social, technological, behavioural and life sciences), Health
care professionals, People with Intellectual Disability or Autism, their families and carers.

What will you learn?

The DOCTRID V conference will include presentations from international experts, panel discussions and workshops aimed at fostering collaborations and innovations to make a real difference in the lives of those with ID and Autism.

Key themes to be discussed:

Dr Michael Walsh among those awarded in Science Foundation Ireland programme

HRI Member and Technology Enhanced Health Outcomes theme leader, Dr Michael Walsh, was one of five UL awardees of the Science Foundation Ireland investment to develop future research leaders.  The funding is distributed through Science Foundation Ireland’s Starting Investigator Research Grant (SIRG) and Career Development Award (CDA) Programmes.  Dr Walsh's project is titled "Targeting the temporal gradient of wall shear stress as the key mediator of vascular tissue response to implanted medical devices using in silico, in vitro and in vivo approaches".

Nearly 100 researchers across 40 Irish research projects are to be awarded a total of €22.3m over the next four years to boost areas including medical, ICT and renewable energies.  The funding announced by Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan, TD.

Irish researchers work on soft exoskeleton to aid mobility

Researchers working on a wearable-robotics project, aimed at improving movement for people with reduced mobility, plan to build the first fully-functional prototype of ‘intelligent’ trousers by 2019.

The soft, biometic exoskeleton would allow older people or people with disabilities to move their legs by detecting movement intention.

A group from University of Limerick is part of the European team of researchers, led by the Italian Institute of Technology, which has begun work on the wearable soft-robotics intelligent-clothing system.

The Design Factors Research Group based in UL’s School of Design is part of the ground-breaking health-robotics project to develop the soft, modular, lower-limb exoskeleton.

Population-level impact, herd immunity, and elimination after human papillomavirus vaccination: a systematic review and meta-analysis of predictions from transmission-dynamic models

A HRI researcher, Professor Cathal Walsh, was involved in an international mathematical modelling collaboration published in Lancet (Public Health) to examine the impact that different vaccination strategies would have on the spread of human papilloma virus (HPV) among both men and women. It was shown that female only vaccination provides a degree of protection through herd immunity to males, provided coverage is high. When coverage rates were lower (as is the case in the United States) male vaccination in combination with female vaccination provides additional substantial benefit. An editorial in the same issue highlights the growing problem of HPV head and neck cancers in males.  The full paper can be viewed through the link below:

Special Issue on Software Engineering for Connected Health

Special Issue: Software Engineering for Connected Health (SECH)

Guest Co-Editors
Dr. Noel Carroll, ARCH - Applied Research for Connected Health Technology Centre, University of Limerick (
Prof. Craig Kuziemsky, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa (
Prof. Ita Richardson, Lero - the Irish Software Research Centre, University of Limerick (



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