About Us

We are the only centre in Ireland undertaking applied interdisciplinary mental health and well-being research across the lifespan and in a community context. We also investigate, in all of our research, the role of individual, familial, social, economic and environmental factors in shaping health outcomes. All of our work is unified by a focus on applied, methodologically rigorous, innovative, scientific research aimed at adding new knowledge, impacting policy and practice and ultimately making a difference to, and empowering the lives of, vulnerable/potentially vulnerable adults and children.

Currently, we have 15 research staff, postgraduate students and affiliate members and we collaborate extensively with fellow academics and community-based services/organisations both in Ireland and internationally.

What We Do

  • Develop, implement and scientifically evaluate new services and interventions
  • Measure and appraise outcomes across the lifespan
  • Employ and champion gold standard multiple methods & ‘technologies’
  • Create, disseminate and translate new knowledge to, for example, change attitudes/awareness and inform policy & practice
  • Analyse cost-effectiveness/value for money
  • Develop international collaborations
  • Deliver training & education

We have worked with over 50 scientist & practitioner collaborators/affiliates in an expanding international network including Australia, the USA, Canada, India, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, GB and NI.

We have produced over 200 mainly peer-reviewed publications including high impact journal articles, ‘gold standard’ systematic review articles, book chapters, books/volumes, commissioned reports and other scholarly articles, plus over 100 conference and other presentations.

Current Collaborators and Partners

Selection of current and recent community-based collaborators/partners:





Our current academic collaborators are affiliated with the following national and international universities/institutions:


  • Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)
  • University of Ulster, Northern Ireland (UK)
  • Northern Ireland Clinical Trials Unit (UK)
  • RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland)
  • Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • University College Cork, Ireland
  • NUI Galway
  • University College Dublin
  • York University (UK)
  • Oxford University (UK)
  • Lancaster University (UK)
  • Sheffield University (UK)
  • Plymouth University, UK
  • Bangor University (UK))
  • London School of Economics (UK)
  • Kings College London (UK)
  • University of Toronto (Canada)
  • University of British Columbia (Canada)
  • University of Missouri (USA)
  • University of Washington (USA)
  • University of Oslo (Norway)
  • University of Tromso (Norway)
  • Utrecht University (The Netherlands)
  • University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
  • University of Gothenburg (Sweden)
  • University of Coimbra (Portugal)

Since the centre was established in 2008, research funding of almost €10m has been won in open competition. We have secured national and international funding from a wide range of funding sources including the:

  • Health Research Board (HRB) in Ireland
  • Irish Research Council
  • Health Service Executive (HSE)
  • Atlantic Philanthropies
  • National Institute of Health Research (UK)
  • NHS (UK) National R&D programme
  • All Ireland Institute of Hospice & Palliative Care
  • Irish Cancer Society








We have created employment and career development opportunities for over 50 current and previous research staff, junior lecturers, undergraduate and postgraduate students, fieldworkers, placement students & research interns.  We have also recruited and supported high calibre, well qualified Doctoral students, research staff and Centre leaders across several disciplines.


The impact and benefits of our work include the following:


  1. We design and evaluate new and innovative services (together with community partners) that have been delivered to hundreds of families in Dublin, Dundalk, Drogheda and Limerick.
  2. We inform the implementation and scaling-up/roll-out of new services and interventions to communities through unique partnerships between academic scientists, statutory and voluntary service providers, community-based organisations and practitioners.
  3. We have demonstrated the importance of, and informed a significant policy shift toward, evidence-based prevention and early intervention for children and families in Ireland.
  4. We have contributed to the development of innovative thinking on new ‘wraparound’-inspired services for families most in need.
  5. We are internationally recognised for our work on the evaluation of group-based parenting interventions and in emergency mental health science.
  6. We have played a key role in helping to set up and work with five influential national research, policy and practice networks (e.g. Children’s Research Network for Ireland and Northern Ireland, Critical Incident Stress Management Network Ireland).
  7. We have informed national and international policy and practice (e.g. in the field of parenting support, end-of-life care, aging, occupational mental health and mentally disordered offenders).
  8. We promote and build capacity in training and education and we strongly support early career research excellence.
Some Recent Publications

Hickey, G., McGilloway, S., Leckey, Y., & Stokes, A. (2018). A universal early parenting education intervention in community-based primary care settings: Development and installation challenges. Educ. Sci. 8(4), 178.


O’Brien, M. and McGilloway, S. (2017) Evaluation of complex community change initiatives: ‘credible and actionable evidence is what counts’. Guerin, S. and Hayes, N. (Eds) Research and Evaluation in Community Settings: Experiences from Practice. (pp 17). (Routledge).


Cochrane, A, and McGilloway, S. (2017) The role of philanthropic funding in building research evidence to support an aging population: A case-study from Ireland. Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 29 (3): 262- 275. DOI: 10.1080/08959420.2017.1312207.


Quinn, P., Surgenor, P. and McGilloway, S. (2017) An exploratory service-based study of Deliberate Self-Harm (DSH) in Ireland: ‘A hidden population’? Irish Medical Journal ,110 (5) (online).


O’Toole, C., Furlong, M., McGilloway, S. and Bjorndal, A. (2017) Preschool and school-based mindfulness programmes for improving mental health and cognitive functioning in young people aged 3 to 18 years. (PROTOCOL). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue 1, The Cochrane Collaboration: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. DOI: 10.1002.14651.858.CD12518.


Stokes, A., Hickey, G., Leckey, Y., Leavy, S. and McGilloway, S. (2017) Promoting and supporting the health and well-being of Irish parents and their infants: Some preliminary baseline findings. Children’s Research Digest 4(1).


Fleming, P., McGilloway, S. and Barry, S. (2016). The successes and barriers associated with implementing individualised funding and supports for people with a disabling impairment: An Irish perspective. Disability and Society, 31 (10): 1369 1384. DOI: 10.1080/09687599.2016.1261692.


Hickey, G., McGilloway, S., Furlong, M., Leckey, Y., Bywater, T. and Donnelly, M. (2016) Understanding the implementation and effectiveness of a group-based early parenting intervention: A process evaluation protocol. BMC Health Services Research, 16:490. DOI: 10.1186/s12913-016-1737-3.


McGilloway, S. (2016) Health equity in the early years: Empowering parents. In Improving health and wellbeing outcomes in the early years: research and practice. Dublin: Institute of Public Health in Ireland and the Centre for Effective Services.


Bracken-Scally, M., McGilloway, S. and Mitchell, J. (2016) Retirement policies and support for emergency service personnel: The transition to retirement. Canadian Journal on Ageing, 35(2):161-74. DOI: 10.1017/S0714980816000210.


Fleming, P., Furlong, M., McGilloway, S., Keogh, F., Hernon, M. and Stainton, T. (2016) Personal budgeting interventions to improve health and social care outcomes for people with a disability: A systematic review (PROTOCOL) The Campbell Collaboration Library, (Education/Disability), pp.1-73.


Hickey, G., McGilloway, S., O’Brien, M., Leckey,Y. and Devlin, M. (2015) A theory-based evaluation of a community-based social funding scheme in a disadvantaged suburban city area. Evaluation and Program Planning, 52, 61-69. DOI: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2015.03.011.


McLoughlin, K., Rhatigan, J., McGilloway, S., Kellehear, A., Lucey,  M., Twomey, F., Conroy, M., Herrera-Molina,  E., Kumar, S., Furlong  M., Callinan, J. Watson, M., Currow, D. and Bailey,  C. (2015) INSPIRE: INvestigating Social and PractIcal suppoRts at the End of life. A pilot randomised trial of a community social and practical support intervention for adults with life-limiting illness – Study protocol. BMC Palliative Care,14:65. DOI: 10.1186/s12904-015- 0060-9.


McGilloway, S., Ni Mhaille, G., Bywater, T., Leckey, Y., Kelly, P., Furlong, M., Comiskey, C., O’Neill, D. and Donnelly, M. (2014) Reducing child conduct disordered behaviour and improving parent mental health in disadvantaged families: A 12-month follow-up and cost analysis of a parenting intervention. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 23(9), 783-794. DOI: 10.1007/s00787-013-0499-2.


Our Centre leaders, staff and students (both current and previous) have won a number of awards and distinctions since the Centre’s inception including:


  • European Association of Palliative Care (EAPC) Early Researcher Award, 2015 (Dr Kathy McLoughlin  – 1st prize; the first ever awarded to an Irish researcher)
  • Young Forum Gastein Scholarship in Health Policy, 2014 (Padraic Fleming)
  • Awarded the Journal of Aging and Society Annual International Award for Excellence, 2013 –  for new research and thinking in the field of ageing and society (Dr Andy Cochrane, Professor Sineád McGilloway, Dr Mairead Furlong and Professor Michael Donnelly)
  • Irish Health Care Person of the Year, 2013 (Dr Kathy McLoughlin)
  • International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) Co-Founders’ award for ‘Collaborative Outreach in the field of Crisis Response’ – won by the (former) CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) team (2011) in recognition of their “ground breaking research and support activities in emergency  mental health” and for reaching out “to a wide range of organisations and universities in Ireland, Europe and the United States…to enhance the world’s knowledge of emergency personnel to develop effective programmes to assist frontline personnel.” (Sharon Gallagher, Dr Mairead Bracken-Scally and Professor Sinead McGilloway)
  • Associate Lectureship with the Cochrane Centre, Oxford University, 2015 (Dr Maireád Furlong).

10 prestigious doctoral Fellowships and 3 undergraduate student research awards including:

  • HRB-funded doctoral research, 2015 (Siobhán O’Connor)
  • Two HRB SPHeRE (PhD) scholarships, 2013 (Padraic Fleming) and 2014 (Siobhain O’Doherty (RIP))
  • Two Irish Research Council Postgraduate Employment-Based award, 2012 (Nuala Whelan) and 2017 (Fiona Flynn)
  • Two doctoral awards supported by funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies, 2008 (Dr Lynda Hyland) and 2009 (Dr Maireád Furlong)
  • Two IRCHSS (Government of Ireland Research Scholarship Scheme) awards, 2009 (Dr Mary Quirke and Dr Ciara Wynne)
  • Therese Brady scholarship (PhD), Irish Hospice Foundation, 2008 (Dr Amanda Roberts)
  • HRB Summer Student Scholarships 2009 (Mairead Bracken) and 2016 (Christine Mulligan)
  • The Maynooth University Summer Programme for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) awards, 2008 (Ciara Brennan)

Our Centre leaders and other staff also receive numerous national and international invitations to author/co-author book chapters, papers and editorials and to deliver keynote papers, guest lectures, seminars, workshops at national and international conferences and other public fora.