Sláinte Research Group


Sláinte Research Group

University of Limerick Research and Education Alliance in General Practice, Primary Healthcare and Public Health

Sláinte is an Irish word which translates as 'Health'.

Vision: Health and well-being optimised for all in regional, national and international community settings. 
Mission: To build capacity for research and education in general practice, primary healthcare and public health that has regional, national and international impact.
Aim: To promote inter-disciplinary collaboration in our research and education activities.  
Our specific objectives are to:
1.    Create a vibrant network of students and staff  focused on health and well-being in community settings.
2.    Build a culture that supports each other’s research through collaboration, discussion and mentoring. 
3.    Develop and disseminate (journal articles AND public facing online resources) impactful community-based research and research-led teaching. 
4.    Meaningfully involve community and health sector partners in our research and teaching.



We are an enthusiastic and ambitious group of clinicians, researchers and teachers who want to contribute to the development of general practice, primary care and public health in Ireland and internationally with research of international standing.  We are proud of the fact that our research impacts not only on individual patient care but also on regional and national health policy. We have a highly successfully funding and publication track record nationally and internationally and have numerous research awards including International Research Award BJGP Research Conference (2019); University of Limerick Award for Excellence in Service to the Community (2019); Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI) General Practice Research Award (2018); HSE Open Access Research Awards Mental Health Research (2018); WONCA Europe Vasco da Gama Junior Researcher Award (2018) and HSE Acute Hospital Research Award (2017).

Executive Summary of Research Outcomes for Academic Year 2019/2020
•    39 Peer-Reviewed Publications
•    8 National and International Research Awards
•    26 Peer-Reviewed Articles Under Review
•    31 National and International Conference Presentations
•    17 Successful Funding Applications As PI, Co-Applicant or Collaborator (Total Value = € 5,249,826)
•    5 Current Funding Applications Awaiting Outcome (Total Value = € 3,115,219)
•    29 Ongoing Research Projects


University of Limerick Education and Research Network in General Practice (ULEARN-GP)

Ireland’s newest medical school, the University of Limerick School of Medicine was established in 2007. A core component of clinical training for all medical students on the programme is an 18-week Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship in general practice which is unique on the island of Ireland. It is an extended placement that facilitates continuity of curriculum, setting and mentorship, as outlined by the Consortium of Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships. This presents an unprecedented opportunity for the teaching practices involved to work closely with a medical school over a continuous period in time. It provides unique educational benefits for students and the relationship with a wide network of GP tutors has far reaching research and education potential.

The LIC is founded on its network of GP tutors, known as the University of Limerick General Practice Education and Research Network for General Practice (ULEARN-GP). It currently consists of approximately 140 general practices distributed across the Republic of Ireland. The map below outlines the geographic distribution of the practices in the ULEARN-GP network which is now a national network. The ULEARN-GP practices are located in all four of
Ireland’s Health Service Regions. The network is organised into six regions. These are: Limerick/North Tipperary, Clare, Kerry, Cork/South Tipperary, South East and Midlands. Each is led by a GP Network Co-ordinator, with students attending a local teaching ‘hub’ for one day of formal teaching for each week of their 18-week LIC placement in general practice. The core teaching activity of this placement is ‘parallel consulting’, whereby students assess patients initially on their own followed by the opportunity to present, examine, diagnose and treat under the supervision of their GP tutor. Students are also encouraged to engage in all the routine clinical activity of the practice as well as research and audit. The school had its first intake of medical students in 2007 and this class graduated in 2011.

Read more about ULEARN-GP in our BMC Family Practice article.

ULEARN-GP Network with six geographic sub-regions or network hubs shown.


Current Research Projects

University of Limerick and Gorey-Malawi Health Partnership 
Collaborators: L Glynn, J Gallagher, P Harrington
Funding: Esther Ireland, HSE SHARP, ICGP, HSE Global Health
The Gorey Malawi Health Partnership links the Palms GP Surgery in Gorey, Ireland with St John's Hospital in Mzuzu, Malawi. The University of Limerick is the Irish academic partner led by Prof Liam Glynn. It focuses on the management of noncommunicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic it developed and disseminated education materials using social media in a collaboration involving the Irish College of General Practitioners, HSE and ESTHER Ireland. Read more about the partnership here.

Disparities in Health Outcomes of Chronic Kidney Disease between Men and Women in the Irish Health System (2019-2021)
Principal Investigator: Austin Stack
Co-Applicant: L Glynn
Collaborators: R Galvin, C Walsh, L Browne, H Mahdi, J Salsberg, D McGrath, G Burke, P Burke, H McCormack, CEOUL Hospitals, D Crews 
Funding: HRB Secondary Analysis Projects 2019 €249,235

Injury surveillance and focus on IRFU’s interest to examine S&C interventions with structured warm-ups and injury relation (IRIS). PhD research scholarship grant (2019-2022)
Principal Investigator: T Comyns
Collaborators: L Glynn, I Kenny, C Yeomans, T Leahy, A Griffin, R Cahalan, M Lyons, M Campbell, D Harrison, G Warrington, H Purtill, J Mulvihill
Candidate: Mr Patrick Dolan, S&C specialist at New York’s Red Bull Soccer Academy 
Funding: Health Research Institute, UL €107,640

Rugby injury epidemiology and relation to psychological factors IRIS (2019-2021)
Principal Investigator: I Kenny
Collaborators: L Glynn, I Kenny, C Yeomans, T Leahy, A Griffin, R Cahalan, M Lyons, M Campbell, D Harrison, G Warrington, H Purtill, J Mulvihill
Funding: EHS/HRI Succeed and Lead Postdoctoral Fellowship €100-200,000
Consultation for next steps in IRIS (2019) Consultation with Dr Pierre Viviers M.D. (Stellenbosch University South Africa) leading medic in Rugby injury prevention and treatment, having worked with South Africa Springbok national team and international Rugby advisory boards.
Principal Investigators: M Campbell, T Comyns, I Kenny
Collaborators: L Glynn, I Kenny, C Yeomans, T Leahy, A Griffin, R Cahalan, M Lyons, M Campbell, D Harrison, G Warrington, H Purtill, J Mulvihill
Funding: One-week Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility Travel Grant €2,700

Transitions of care in advanced chronic kidney disease (2019-2022)
Principal Investigator: Austin Stack
Co-Applicants: L Glynn, C Walsh
Collaborators: L Browne, R Saran, L Plant, H Mahdi, H Johnson, J Salsberg, National Renal Office, A MacFarlane, P O’Hara, L Casserly, M Gaffney, C Cronin, NRO clinical director HSE, N Rios Burrows
Funding: HRB Investigator Led Project Population Health Research €369,212

IMPlementation of osteoarthritis Clinical guidelines Together (2019-2022)
Principal Investigator: Clodagh Toomey
Co-Applicant: L Glynn, A MacFarlane, N Kennedy, J Forbes
Funding: HRB Emerging Investigator Awards for Health 2019 €750,000

Strengthening the adolescent reproductive health information system in West Bank (2019-2022)
Principal Investigator: N Abu-Rmeileh
Collaborators: M Nemer, K Elmusharaf
PhD candidate: Aisha Shalash
Funding: IDRC €509,080   

Physical activity for health (2019-2021)
Principal Investigator: A Donnelly
Collaborator: L Glynn
Funding: Health Research Institute Research Cluster Awards €300,000

Funding for the establishment of a sustainable general practice network structure for research in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, coordinated by the Institute of General Practice in Düsseldorf. Part of the ‘Masterplan Studying Medicine 2020’ (2019-2022)
Principal Investigator: D Kotz
Collaborator: L Glynn
Funding: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research €1.5 million

ULCAN: UL cancer cluster (2019-2021)
Principal Investigator: Pat Kiely
Co-applicant: Liam Glynn
Funding: Health Research Institute Research Cluster Awards €296,726

Development and evaluation of an adaptive mobile health physical activity intervention post-stroke: a sequential multiple assignment randomised trial (2019-2021)
Principal Investigator: S Waters
Co-Applicant: L Glynn and colleagues from NUIG
Funding: Health Research Board DIFA €699,789

HSE / ICGP General Practice Academic Fellowship Programme (2019-2022)
Supervisor: Liam Glynn
PhD Candidate: Michael O’Callaghan
Funding: HSE / Irish College of General Practitioners €219,000

TASMN5S: Towards An Integrated Self-Monitoring SolutIoN for Stroke/TIA: TASMIN5S (2018-2022)
Principal Investigator: L Glynn
Co-Applicants: R McManus, P Hayes, A Murphy
PhD Candidate: Róisín Doogue  
Funding: Health Research Institute, UL / NISE PhD Scholars Programme €54,000

Health Research Board Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Award (2015-2020)
Principal Investigator: A Murphy, NUI Galway
Collaborators: L Glynn and colleagues from RCSI
Funding: Health Research Board €2,500,000

INCLusilver: Innovation in personalised Nutrition through Cluster cooperation in the Silver economy (2016-2021)
Principal Investigator: J Walsh, NUI Galway
Collaborator: L Glynn
Funding: H2020 (€4.1 million) Received €420,540

MedExUL cardiac rehabilitation programme. Establishing a multidisciplinary educational programme for undergraduates,  and Referral Toolkit for GPs (2019)
Principal Investigator: R O’Connor
Collaborators: C Woods, Irish Heart Foundation
Funding: Irish Research Council ‘New Foundations’ Scheme 2018 €11,710  


News, Events and Awards


School of Medicine News

School Newsletter



The WONCA World Rural Health Conference will be held at the University of Limerick from June 17th to 20th, 2022 inclusive (Friday and Monday half days, Saturday and Sunday full days). This will be hosted jointly by the UL School of Medicine; the Rural, Island and Dispensing Doctors and the Irish College of General Practitioners. Save the date!  




Khalifa for GP PH news 2020.jpgPresident’s Staff Excellence Awards Leadership 

Dr Khalifa Elmusharaf, Senior Lecturer in Public Health at the School of Medicine has received well deserved recognition of his exceptional leadership as the winner of the President’s Staff Excellence Awards in Leadership. Dr Elmusharaf has steered the new School of Medicine MSc Public Health Programme to a very successful beginning in August 2020 and has made a significant contribution to enhancing education in UL to a model that is student centred, competency and project based, and experiential with collaborative on-campus learning. He designed an innovative curriculum that equips students with marketable and transferable skills which was the first in Ireland to be accredited by European Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation APHEA. 



Liam Mike.pngPresident’s Staff Excellence Awards Contribution to the Campus Community 

Professor Liam Glynn and Dr. Michael O’Callaghan were the joint recipients of the President’s Staff Excellence Award: Contribution to the Campus Community. In conjunction with colleagues from the School of Medicine, they founded #COVIDWATCHIRL, the social media and web presence, which has tracked the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland. They have been publishing daily/weekly comparative data since the beginning of the outbreak on #COVIDWATCHIRL and on the University of Limerick website The focus of this endeavour has been to attempt to drive the behavioural change required of our campus community and country to combat COVID-19.

Read more here. 

Aidan.jpgFellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners 

Professor Aidan Culhane has been elected a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners. RCGP Fellowship (FRCGP) is the highest grade of membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners and is the ultimate honour and achievement for GPs who have made a significant contribution to general practice. 







University of Limerick 2019 Award for Excellence in Service to the Community

Dr Patrick O’Donnell, Clinical fellow in Social Inclusion, was nominated for his voluntary work which focuses primarily on addressing health inequalities and on improving healthcare for those on the margins of society. He engages with many community stakeholders on issues of homelessness, addiction and social exclusion. He is committed to promoting a deeper understanding of these issues and their health consequences at local, regional and national levels. This is an outstanding achievement which recognises the impact of his work on the most vulnerable people in our communities. Patrick was presented with his award at the Autumn 2019 conferring ceremony. 


 BJGP International Research Award for General Practice at the School of Medicine

Dr Raymond O'Connor, UL General Practice Research Fellow, presented a paper entitled "Attitudes and Knowledge of Irish General Practitioners to Abortion following its Legalisation" at the British Journal of General Practice Research Conference in London on 29th March 2019. The paper won the BJGP International Research Award. 
Dr O'Connor with colleagues from the School, also published 2 papers on attitudes to antibiotic use for acute respiratory infections among patients attending out of hours facilities. The research showed that patients have much lower expectation of receiving antibiotics than doctors think, preferring instead explanation, advice and symptomatic treatment. This research has been reported by the Irish and UK medical press. It has also featured on several prominent media platforms including "This Week" on RTE Radio 1 and the health supplement of "The Irish Times". The original research papers were published in "BMJ Open" and "BMC Family Practice". The literature review for this research which was published in the Irish Journal of Medical Sciences was a finalist in the 2018 Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI) awards.

Shannon Region Ambassador for Successful WONCA World Rural Health Conference Bid for 2022 (Dec 4, 2019)
Liam Glynn, Peter Hayes, Monica Casey, Rural, Island and Dispensing Doctors and the Irish College of General Practitioners

Royal Academy of Medicines Ireland (RAMI)
Runner up medal for RAMI Student Research Awards for best platform presentation of the Med-Well Programme. (Oct 2019)

Aubree Worobetz (Y2 Med Student), Liam Glynn, M Casey, P Hayes, PJ Retief, S Loughran, J Walsh, E García Bengoechea, A O’Regan, C Woods, D Kelly, R O’Connor, D McGrath

Irish Healthcare Awards (Nov 2019)
•    Shortlisted for Student Project of the Year category General Practice Interest Group Mina Dawood (Y4 Med Student) 
•    Shortlisted for Epidemiology & Public Health Medicine category ‘Legislation targeting head shops selling new psychoactive substances and changes in drug related psychiatric admissions’. B Smyth, Khalifa Elmusharaf, W Cullen    

Capas Cite, Spain Conference Best Oral Presentation for Move for Life Study( Nov 2019)
Enrique Garcia, C Woods, Liam Glynn, A O’Regan, M Casey et al


Prof. Liam Glynn
Professor of General Practice (UL)

Dr Khalifa Elmusharaf
Senior Lecturer in Public Health (UL)

Prof. Anne MacFarlane
Chair of Primary Healthcare Research (UL)

Prof. Pat O'Dwyer
Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor of General Practice (UL)

Prof. Aidan Culhane
Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor of General Practice (UL)

Dr Griphin Baxter Chirambo
Head, Department of Nursing & Midwifery and Senior Lecturer (Mzuzu University, Malawi)

Dr Louise Crowley
Senior Lecturer in Clinical Skills (UL)

Mohamed Elhassan Abdalla Elsayed
Senior Lecturer in Medical Education (UL)

Dr Sarah Harney
Senior Lecturer in Medical Education (UL)

Dr Peter Hayes
Senior Lecturer in General Practice (UL)

Dr Sarah Hyde
Senior Lecturer in Clinical Education (UL)

Dr Lisa Moran
Senior Lecturer in Clinical Skills (UL)

Dr Andrew O'Regan
Senior Lecturer in General Practice (UL)

Dr Niamh Cummins
Lecturer in Public Health (UL)

Dr Joe Gallagher
Adjunct Senior Clinical Lecturer (UL)

Dr Peter Harrington
Adjunct Senior Clinical Lecturer (UL)

Dr Nuha Ibrahim
Lecturer in Public Health (UL)

Dr Dervla Kelly
Lecturer in Medical Education (UL)

Dr Steve Macdonald
Lecturer in Public Health (UL)

Dr Siobhán Neville 
Senior Lecturer in Paediatrics (UL) 

Dr Ray O'Connor
Senior Research Fellow (UL)

Dr Mike O'Callaghan
Clinical Lead Research Hub (ICGP) and PhD student (UL)


Dr Jon Salsberg
Senior Lecturer in Primary Healthcare Research (UL)

Dr Elaine Kolshus
Clinical Skills Tutor (UL)

Dr Marese Mannion
Problem Based Learning Tutor (UL)

Monica Casey
Senior Administrator, ULEARN-GP Network (UL)

Jane O'Doherty
Research Assistant (UL)

Sonika Raj Goel
Research Assistant (UL)

Róisín Doogue
PhD Candidate (UL)

Aisha Shalash
PhD Candidate (UL)


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