Community Engaged Scholars Programme (CES-P) PPI Ignite Network @ University of Galway Call Announcement 13th May 2024

PPI Ignite Network @ University of Galway are delighted to announce the launch of the Community Engaged Scholars Programme (CES-P) Call 2024. The purpose of the Programme is to increase the capacity of community-academic partnerships to conduct research, underpinned by principles of Public and Patient Involvement in Research (PPI), to improve the health of our communities. CES-P provides formal training and pilot study seed funds for partnerships comprised of Community and Academic Partners interested in embedding PPI in a collaborative research study.

The call is open to community and academic partnerships, either new or established. A Community Partner is defined as an individual/patient/member of the public who maintains a primary affiliation, whether employed or volunteer, with a community organisation, e.g. community-based organisations, community-based health provider organisations, patient organisations, charitable organisations, schools and/oradvocacy groups. An Academic Partner is an individual(s) with a permanent, temporary or honorary appointment with the University of Galway, or one of its partner institutions (e.g. Saolta group). The call is open to all University of Galway researchers and community partners, regardless of experience level. 

To learn more about the programme, a hybrid Information and Q&A Session will take place on Friday May 31st (1pm-2pm). To register in advance click here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing details about attending/joining the information session. 

The Information/Q&A Session will also be recorded and made available online afterwards at

The CES-P call follows the completion of a pilot CES-P programme in 2020. The three funded partnerships from this round of funding were:

  • Irish ME/CFS Association, represented by Orla Ní Chomhraí and Tom Kindlon, partnering with Dr John Cullinan, a health economist; 
  • Irish Heart Foundation, represented by Martina Greene and the Ballinasloe Stroke Support group, partnering with Dr Ruth McMenamin, a lecturer in speech and language therapy;
  • Croí, represented by Irene Gibson and Denise Dunne, partnering with a group of health psychologists, led by Dr Oonagh Mead

CES-P Partnerships and PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway Staff

Pictured CES-P Partnerships and PPI Ignite Network @ University of Galway Staff: Dr Oonagh Meade (University of Galway), Irene Gibson, Denise Dunne (both Croi Heart and Stroke Centre), Dr Ruth McMenamin, Orla NíChomhraí (ME/CFS), Martina Greene (Irish Heart Foundation), Dr Chris Noone (University of Galway), Prof. Carolyn Jenkins, Medical University of South Carolina, Leeanne Black (ME/CFS,) Dr John Cullinan, Sharon Conway and Edel Murphy (all University of Galway). 
For more information, including application details, call documents, etc, visit

For queries and questions relating to this call, please email CES-P programme coordinator Dr Brendan Dolan:

PPI Ignite Network @ University of Galway Seed Funding 2023/24 Award Announcement

Seed Funding Awardee Sally Whelan standing with her co-applicants

A huge congratulations to the winners of the PPI Ignite Network @ University of Galway’s Seed Funding Award 2024, Saoirse Lally (Polska Harp - Multilingual PPI), Yvonne Fitzmaurice, Mary Kelly, John Kelly, and Michael Griffin (Knowledge Beyond Words), and Dr Sally Whelan, Dr Jamie Reilly, and Professor Geraldine Leader (Collaborative Autistic Research Empowerment - CARE). The quality of applications by PhD students, researchers, academic staff and PPI contributors was very impressive and highlights the breadth and depth of PPI across University of Galway. A huge congratulations to our winners, we wish them every success as they continue their PPI journeys with these innovative and important research projects. 

Learn more about the projects awarded here. 


Population Health and Health Services Research Joint Seminar Series

The Health Behaviour Change Research Group, the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland, the Health Promotion Research Centre and PPI Ignite Network @ University of Galway are running a joint seminar series to highlight research in the area of Population Health and Health Services Research.    

The seminars will take place on March 8th, April 12th, April 21st and May 10th  at 1pm on zoom. 

All are welcome to attend, just click on the registration links below. 

  • March 8th Dr. Catherine Anne Field will present on ‘Eye of the storm: promoting staff well-being during the COVID pandemic through Team Time’.   Please register here 
  • April 12th Dr. Barbara Clyne will present on ‘Perspectives on the production and use of rapid evidence synthesis in decision making during the COVID-19 pandemic’.  Please register here 
  • April 21st Dr. Lisa Hynes will present on 'The role of health-related non-profit organisations in facilitating Public & Patient Involvement in research: The Croí-University of Galway experience.' Please register here.  
  • May 10thProf. Molly Byrne, Dr. Maria O’ Brien, Dr. Oonagh Meade and The Health Psychology Public Advisory Panel will present on Making MECC Work – working collaboratively with key stakeholders to enhance the implementation of the Making Every Contact Count brief behavioral interventions programmePlease register here.   


Our Next Seminar of the Spring series

Dr. Lisa Hynes, Mary Lillis, and Irene Gibson will deliver a virtual seminar on Thursday 21st April 1pm, on “The role of health-related non-profit organisations in facilitating Public & Patient Involvement in research: The Croí-University of Galway experience”. Please register here. 

Dr. Lisa Hynes is a health psychologist and Head of Health Programmes with Croí, the West of Ireland Cardiac & Stroke Foundation. Lisa has been involved in PPI in research for many years, as well as research and service delivery related to self-management support for people living with long-term conditions.

Mary Lillis has been a member of the Croí PPI Group since its establishment. Mary is retired and living in Galway, having spent most of her career as a teacher in special needs education.

 Irene Gibson is a PhD trainee within the HRB Collaborative Doctoral Programme in Chronic Disease Prevention, and cardiovascular nurse specialist. Her research focuses on user centred design for the development of digital cardiovascular disease prevention tools. 


In this webinar we will describe the Croí-NUIG partnership as a positive and successful example of a collaboration with a non-profit health organisation to facilitate community based Public and Patient Involvement in applied academic research. Non-profit organisations have been at the forefront of PPI in Ireland over the last decade. Through our experience, we will raise topics for consideration for researchers and community organisations around roles, responsibilities and opportunities related to PPI activities.

Previous Seminars in the Spring Series

Dr. Catherine Anne Field Eye of the storm: promoting staff well-being during the COVID pandemic through Team Time'

Working in a healthcare setting can be challenging for all staff due to long hours, sick populations and high turnover of staff which can lead to healthcare staff becoming emotionally exhausted and burn out. The COVID-19 pandemic has brough additional challenges to healthcare staff. Staff were faced with a rapidly evolving pandemic for which there was no evidence base to work with, they faced large volumes of incredibly sick populations, shortages of staff, scarcity of equipment and a general disruption to work and family life. Due to COVID-19 restrictions many outlets and initiatives for staff support such as Schwartz Rounds were suspended due to social distancing guidelines.  

To watch/re-watch the seminar, click here

Dr. Barbara Clyne  'Perspectives on the production and use of rapid evidence synthesis in decision making during the COVID-19 pandemic'

Evidence based decision making is central to population health and clinical care, particularly during a pandemic. Few studies examine the production and use of evidence in decision-making during crisis management. This study describes and evaluates the provision of rapid evidence products by two national bodies to support national decision making.

To watch/re-watch the seminar, click here


PPI Ignite Network @ University of Galway

We are delighted to announce that a new team is in place to guide the PPI Ignite Network @ University of Galway.

Dr Ruth McMenamin and Professor Martin O'Halloran now co-lead the PPI Ignite Network @ University of Galway and Martha Killilea is the new programme manager. Follow their activities @PPI_Galway

Former lead, Professor Sean Dinneen, now leads the PPI Ignite Network, a national network of 7 Universities, 10 national partners and 53 local partners and Edel Murphy, previously the programme manager at University of Galway is now the national programme manager. Follow the PPI Ignite Network @PPI_Ignite_Net


NUI Galway PPI in Research Awards Winners

PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway are delighted to announce the three winners of the inaugural University of Galway Awards for Public and Patient Involvement in Research Excellence. Our Public Advisory Panel co-developed this award scheme with the PPI Ignite @University of Galway team and our selection panel consisted of four PPI contributors and two reseachers.   

Our selection panel was very impressed with the high standard of the entries both from PhD students and from research and academic staff working with PPI contributors in very different and innovative ways.

 And the winners are.... 

Joint winners of the inaugural PPI Excellence in Research (click on the links to find out more): 

  • My Comrade+ PPI panel (Ms Nan McCarron, Ms Katie Baxter, Dr Morris Brown, Mr John McCosker) and the research team (Collette Kirwan, Lisa Hynes, Emma Carr, and Andrew Murphy)
  • COB MSembedded patient researcher Robert Joyce, Patient Advisory Panel (Ruth Court, Claire Lyons, Deirdre Dolly, John Dolly, Finbarr Dillon) and research team (Dr Sinéad Hynes, Dr Christopher Dwyer, Fionnuala Rogers, Anusha Moses, Eimear Bane, Robert Joyce)

The winner of the PPI Excellence in postgraduate research is:

A huge congrats to the winners! Check out the case studies and hear from the teams themselves. 

Details of the PPI Excellence in Research award scheme is available here.

Publication: Irish ME/CFS Association parnter with a University of Galway health economist

We are delighted to announce the first output from our pilot Community Engaged Scholars Programme has been published. 

Cullinan J, Ní Chomhraí O, Kindlon T et al. Understanding the economic impact of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome in Ireland: a qualitative study [version 1; peer review: 1 approved]. HRB Open Res 2020, 3:88 (

PPI Seminar: Five positive outcomes from integrating PPI in our research - Experiences from a feasibility trial in multiple sclerosis (COB-MS)

On November 24th Dr Sinéad Hynes and Robert Joyce delivered a seminar as part of the Public Health and Health Service Resarch seminar series. During this presentation Sinéad and Robert also discuss emplying a PPI contributor as part of the resarch team for the COB-MS project.

Watch the seminar back here.

Appointment of Derek Stewart as Honorary Professor at University of Galway

‌The College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences in University of Galwayappointed Professor Derek Stewart OBE an Honorary Professor for his work as a patient advocate involved in health research. Derek Stewart has made significant contribution to Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in research in the UK, holding many important roles over the years and was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to health, in particular cancer care. Prof Stewart is recognised internationally as a public involvement champion and brings meaning and insight into the value of PPI for research. In recent years, Prof Stewart has played a key role supporting the development of PPI in  University of Galway, running workshops and presenting at our PPI conference in 2019, as well as working directly with the PPI Ignite @ University of Galway team.

Look back at Prof Stewar's inaugural lecture, a series of personal tributes and a stimulating Q&A, recorded on Wed 4 Nov 2020 to celebrate the appointment. You may also like to read a press release about this appointment.

The Patient Effect

We are delighted to announce that the world preimere of the The Patient Effect, selected as the Science on Screen commission for 2019,  was a great success.

The documentary tells the story of Public and Patient Involvement in Research - how tapping into the lived experience of patients, their families and carers, has the potential to hugely enhance the quality and relevance of health and medical research.

Directed by Mia Mullarkey, this Irish documentary follows three personal stories, which reflect the power of including public and patient voices in planning and conducting researchPaul Ryan, father to Sophia who was born premature at 25 weeks, is contributing to a majorresearch programme called NEPTuNE – exploring the most effective methods to monitor and manage babies with neonatal brain injury.  Cameron Keighron lives with type 1 diabetes and has been heavily involved in developing a new way of delivering healthcare to young people with diabetes. Connecting up with Margaret Devaney and the Swinford Arthritis Walking Group has provided first-hand insight of the impact of chronic pain on their day-to-day life to medical device developers at University of Galway, inspiring the latter in their research endeavours

Previous Screenings:
  • Joint North Rare Disease Conference Day, Belfast 
  • Documentary Premiere, Pálás Cinema Galway
  • Community screening at ARD Family Resource Centre, Doughiska
  • Grand Rounds, Galway University Hospital, University of Galway
  • Human Biology Building, University of Galway
  • D1 Now Young Adult Panel PPI meeting, University of Galway
  • Doughiska Active Retirement Group, ARD Family Resource Centre, Doughiska
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, University of Galway
  • Clinical Research PPI Working Group meeting
  • Health Research Board seminar
  • Institute of Lifecourse and Society, University of Galway
  • Retired Staff Assocation, University of Galway
  • Health Research Charities Ireland (HRCI) PPI in Industry-led Research
  • Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Person Centred Care Symposium

If you are interested in co-hosting a screening of The Patient Effect  contact Martha Killilea.

Recent PPI Ignite @ University of Galway Newsletter

Catch up on the latest PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway activities in our recent newsletter.

You will find all previously published newsletters here.