The Faculty of Education & Health Sciences (EHS) boasts a vibrant research community. Research, alongside teaching, is a core activity. The aim is to advance the wellbeing of people by graduating effective and critically reflective scientists, education and healthcare professionals and creating and disseminating knowledge, through research and scholarship that impacts on the social, educational and healthcare needs of people locally, nationally and globally. The multidisciplinary structure and expertise of the faculty provide research agendas around active management of lifelong ageing, biomedical sciences, clinical therapies, education, food & health, health sciences, physical activity, sport and sport sciences, professional preparation and development, social issues and political identity – all areas of national challenge.
• Clinical Therapies (CT)
• Education & Professional Studies (EPS)
• Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS)
• Nursing & Midwifery (N&M)
• Physical Education & Sport Sciences (PESS)
• Psychology (Psych)
There are currently 207 research students in the Faculty of EHS. EHS provides a number of high-quality taught postgraduate programmes, including Structured PhD programmes, Professional Doctorates and Masters courses. Our postgraduate students are members of a wider research community – involving research-active academic staff and research specialists – within the faculty. Research interests and productivity are reflected in the increased number of EHS-housed research centres, units and groups that are national research leaders in their field. In addition, EHS has strong links with the new multi disciplinary Health Research Institute.
EHS has four prioritised research areas:
1) Physical activity, human performance and wellbeing
2) Influencers of societal participation
3) Professional practice and education
4) Optimising healthcare provision and interventions
Research clusters including research centres within EHS include:
• CPAHR – Centre for Physical Activity and Health Research
• PEPAYS – Physical Education, Physical Activity and Youth Sport Research Centre (PESS)
• Centre for Pre-Hospital Research (GEMS)
• CSI-R – Centre for Social Issues Research (Psych)
• Research Centre for Education and Professional Practice (EPS)
• Biomechanics Research Unit (PESS)
• Curriculum Evaluation and Policy Research Unit (EPS)
• 4i – UL's Centre for Interventions in Infection, Inflammation & Immunity
• Ubuntu; the Teacher Education for Sustainable Development Network; and the Irish
Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development (EPS)
• Limerick Hub of the National Physiotherapy Research Network (PT)
• The Human Science Research Unit (HRSU)
• Motor Cognition Research Network
• Rehabilitation in Acquired Brain Injury
Education & Professional Studies
The Department of Education & Professional Studies welcomes applications for research in a wide range of fields within education at both primary and second level. Current research interests include initial teacher education, action research in education, ICT in education, teacher education for sustainable development, school management and self-evaluation, curriculum and assessment in second-level education, gender issues in education, curriculum renewal and implementation, moral and emotional development, clinical and educational psychology, health promotion, and guidance and counselling in second-level education. The new Research Centre for Education and Professional Practice (RCEPP) will be a key infrastructure in the support of research interests across the university in teaching and learning.
Graduate Entry Medical School
The GEMS strongly supports the recent development of the Health Research Institute at UL, and many of its academic staff will contribute to cross-campus collaboration in healthcare research including other schools within the EHS faculty. Within the school itself, UL's Centre for Interventions in Infection, Inflammation & Immunity (4i) was formed to bring together like-minded researchers from across the University and distributed clinical campuses, in addition to the General Practice network affiliated with UL GEMS. The Centre provides the vision, sense of identity, support and guidance that will enable existing and new researchers as they continue to contribute to medical knowledge. The school has adopted an innovative approach to Medical Educational, and is actively involved in educational research.
Due to its strengths, namely a multidisciplinary approach, linking health science researchers with technology focussed researchers to create an effective platform for research collaboration and productivity, GEMS researchers have added substantially to the profile of UL research including publications in ISI and other journals, volume of citations, and participation at top-tier scientific & clinical conferences. Further, GEMS research links research and innovation activity of UL with clinical practice and improvements in patient care.
Nursing & Midwifery
The Department of Nursing & Midwifery offers a range of varied and exciting research opportunities to prospective postgraduate students. The department's research focus over the past five years mirrors various niche areas of research interest across the various disciplines of general, intellectual disability and mental health nursing and midwifery. Prospective postgraduate students at the Department of Nursing & Midwifery can register for level 9 specialist and advanced practice graduate diploma/MSc programmes and for a level 9 non-specialist graduate diploma/MSc programme in nursing and midwifery. Postgraduate masters programmes by research and PhD are also on offer. The annual Patricia Connor Gorman Graduate Scholarship is awarded by the department to encourage and support UL nursing graduates to engage in research activities.
The Department of Clinical Therapies includes the Disciplines of Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy. The Department organises its research activities into three research clusters that reflect our current research activity and enable is to be strategic in our research initiatives. The three CTs clusters are: (i) Youth, Disadvantage and Disability; (ii) Professional Learning, Theory and Practice; and (iii) Enhancing Participation and Activity for people with Chronic Conditions. Each cluster provides a focus for capacity-building and training of ethical and rigorous researchers. The Department annually offers postgraduate scholarships to encourage and support clinicians and therapy graduates who wish to undertake a postgraduate qualification at UL. With over twenty-five currently registered postgraduate research students, the Department of CT has a strong track record in successful postgraduate student research completions.
Physical Education & Sport Sciences
The Department of Physical Education & Sport Sciences (PESS) has growing and diverse programmes of research with priorities in: Food and Health; Physical Activity and Health; Sport and Human Performance; Sport Pedagogy and an emerging research programme in Golf Performance. The department currently hosts the Physical Education, Physical Activity and Youth Sport Research Centre (PEPAYS); the Biomechanics Research Unit the Human Sciences Research Unit and the Motor Cognition Research Network. The recently refurbished Physical Education and Sport Sciences building provides many well-equipped laboratories for biomechanics, exercise physiology, psychology and pedagogical research and the department has rapidly developing research ethos.
The Department of Psychology at University of Limerick is a vibrant department, with a research community, which has a focus on social psychology and social issues, making the department unique in Ireland. In fact, the Department led the development of a Centre for Social Issues Research to promote research on social issues across the university. The Department of Psychology has an excellent research profile underpinned by research in areas such as social identity, social development, minority/ majority relations, prejudice, social exclusion and crowd behaviour. In addition, the Department has developed research strengths in Clinical and Health Psychology, and Neuropsychology. The development of new, custom designed psychological research laboratories has provided an excellent environment for research.