Pádraic Ó'Súilleabháin
Dr Páraic S Ó Súilleabháin, Lecturer in Psychology at the Department of Psychology at UL, has been awarded the APS Rising Star designation
Monday, 21 February 2022

A lecturer in psychology at University of Limerick has received a prestigious international ‘rising star’ award.

Dr Páraic S Ó Súilleabháin, Lecturer in Psychology at the Department of Psychology at UL, has been awarded the Association for Psychological Science (APS) Rising Star designation.

APS is the leading international organisation dedicated to advancing scientific psychology across disciplinary and geographical boarders. The Rising Star designation recognises outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research careers after getting their PhDs whose innovative work has already advanced the field of psychology and signal great potential for their continued contributions.

To be considered for the Rising Star award, individuals are evaluated on several criteria, such as significant discoveries, methodological innovations, theoretical and empirical contributions with broad impact they have made to the field and the promise of excellence in research into the future.

“I was honoured to be nominated for such an award, let alone receive it,” said Dr Ó Súilleabháin, who is also founder and director of the Personality, Individual Differences, and Biobehavioural Health Laboratory (PathLab), a Research Coordinator on the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology, and a member of the Health Research Institute.

“I am truly humbled to be awarded this incredible designation. This is particularly the case when I reflect on the incredible psychological scientists around the world who have been awarded this in the past, and how their research advanced and continue to advance the field of Psychology,” added Dr Ó Súilleabháin, who is from the small village of Loch Con Aortha in the Iorras Aithneach region of Connemara.

Head of Department of Psychology, Dr Eric R Igou, said the award was “well deserved”.

“Dr Ó Súilleabháin has infused our Department, and especially doctoral students on the Clinical Programme, with a strong research spirit, offering a novel, creative approach to study health behaviour,” said Dr Igou.

“As the Rising Star Award indicates, this is just the beginning. Dr Ó Súilleabháin’s research will continue to set new standards and we are delighted that he is one of us here at UL,” added Dr Igou.

Dr Ó Súilleabháin’s pioneering research is primarily focused on personality and individual differences in underlying health across the lifespan and risk of future death. More specifically, he is interested in how factors such as personality traits and loneliness can predict health processes across our lives, the underlying biological processes involved, and how they interact with other behavioural and biological factors leading to increased or reduced length of life.

Commenting on his approach to research, Dr Ó Súilleabháin said: “In my view, collaboration with scientists in other areas not just within Psychology but also other fields is critical to advancing rigorous and replicable research.

“That is why an award such as this is also a reflection of my collaborators and their contributions in helping to advance my research agenda and this is a group I am very fortunate to conduct research with. I am also very thankful to have such supportive colleagues at the Department of Psychology, and work in a university that strives for research excellence,” Dr Ó Súilleabháin added.