University of Limerick staff member Dr Elaine Toomey has been recently awarded the Stan Maes Early Career award from the European Health Psychology Society (EHPS). Dr Toomey is a Lecturer in the School of Allied Health and a member of the Health Research Institute in UL. The Stan Maes Early Career award recognizes outstanding research excellence, contributions made to the EHPS and/or contributions to professional practice made by EHPS early career members.
Dr Toomey was nominated by Professor Molly Byrne (Director of the Health Behaviour Change Research Group based in the National University of Ireland Galway), for her research and society contributions. Dr Toomey is an active member of the EHPS since 2016, and has presented her research regularly at the annual conference, as well as participation on conference committees and organisation and delivery of symposia, workshops and roundtable sessions. She is the current Co-chair of the EHPS Open Science Special Interest Group.
Dr Toomey’s research predominantly focuses on how we can improve the methodology and transparency of health research to maximise research impact and its implementation into policy and practice. She has particular expertise in health behaviour change interventions, particularly in relation to chronic disease prevention and management. For example, she recently co-led the development of the CHERISH intervention, a childhood obesity prevention intervention focusing on promoting healthy infant feeding behaviours in primary care practice. She was recently awarded an Applying Research into Policy and Practice Fellowship from the Health Research Board, where she will lead a five year programme of research to explore and enhance the transparency of how research is used in healthcare decision-making in Ireland.