PPI Ignite Award – University College Dublin

The UCD PPI Ignite Connect Network will fundamentally embed PPI in health-related research, education and training, professional practice and administration in UCDs institutional structures and procedures. The co-design of health research training between academic and practice partners with PPI as an integral part will systematically develop cohorts of undergraduate and graduate students in the health and related sciences and equip them with the awareness, knowledge and skills set as well as opportunities to establish contacts with public and patient partners. UCD PPI Ignite Connect will be an opportunity to extend well established patient involvement programmes at UCD such as the Patient Educator and Patient Voice programmes in the areas of cancer, and excellence in hospital and community based research activities of the health systems group in the area of public health with strong PPI components. We have built in targets for PPI in health-related grant applications, which encompass institutional bids, investigator initiated proposals, PhD and Master’s research fellowships and postdoctoral and early career research programmes. Conversely, the UCD PPI Ignite Connect will empower community partners to develop their own research capabilities and capacities, which will facilitate community-led research and evaluation applications. UCD PPI Ignite Connect will particularly engage with those who traditionally may not have a voice or leadership role in defining and addressing health related priorities. The open knowledge sharing approach of UCD PPI Ignite Connect also means that the network will share insights, best practices, and collaborative approaches with other national PPI Ignite teams and incorporate national and international lessons for the benefit of continuously developing PPI expertise. The clear articulation of measurable and agreed KPIs in relation to PPI and the institutional commitment to monitoring and achieving the stated outcomes will provide evidence of impact in areas of research, capacity and capability building and knowledge development. 

UCD PPI Ignite Champions

  • SAGE Advocacy: Bibiana Savin
  • Spinal Injuries Ireland: Naomi Fitzgibbon
  • IPPOSI – The Irish Platform for Patient Organisations, Science and Industry: Dr Derick Mitchell
  • Cystic Fibrosis Ireland: Philip Watt
  • Disability Federation of Ireland: Dr Meredith Raley
  • Family Carers Ireland: Dr Nikki Dunne
  • Dublin Simon: Sharon Keogh
  • Ireland East Hospital Group: Mr Paul Gallagher
  • Health Experiences Research Group, University of Oxford: Professor Sue Ziebland
  • UCD Conway Institute: Prof Liam Gallagher and Prof Amanda McCann
  • School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems: Dr Deirdre O’Donnell, Dr Carmel Davies, Prof Eilish McAuliffe. Dr Éidín Ní Shé, Prof Thilo Kroll
  • School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science: Prof Catherine Blake and Assoc Prof Brona Fullen
  • School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice: Dr Sarah Donnelly, Judy Walsh & Dr Naonori Kodate
  • School of Medicine: Dr Rachel Crowley & Dr Marie Therese Cooney


1. Ní Shé É, Morton S, Lambert V, et al. Clarifying the mechanisms and resources that enable the reciprocal involvement of seldom heard groups in health and social care research: A collaborative rapid realist review process. Health Expect. 2019;00:1–9. https://doi.org/10.1111/hex.12865

2. Ní Shé É, Davies C, Blake C et al. What are the mechanisms that enable the reciprocal involvement of seldom heard groups in health and social care research? A rapid realist review protocol [version 1; peer review: 3 approved]. HRB Open Res 2018, 1:7 https://doi.org/10.12688/hrbopenres.12790.1