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About the research awards

The Programme partners with the Irish Research Council (IRC) to support research studies that are in line with the national strategic objectives relating to crisis pregnancy and sexual health.

Since 2011, the Programme has participated in different research funding strands administered by the IRC including the ‘Research for Policy and Society’ award and the current COALESCE research fund.

Funding these projects has expanded the Programme’s evidence-base on a range of subjects including sexual behaviour; contraception; and sexual consent. It has also provided the opportunity for secondary analysis of large scale databases to take place allowing for more nuanced assessments of primary results.

The recipients of these awards are listed below alongside outputs linked to these awards.

Recipients of SHCPP/IRC Awards to date

2016 Award: Dr Caroline Kelleher, Department of Psychology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Project title: ‘STIs and HIV in Ireland: Towards developing a national second generation surveillance system’.

This project aims to inform gaps in the current HIV/STI surveillance system in Ireland, using a collaborative approach with key stakeholders with a view to building national consensus on the design of a national second generation surveillance system in Ireland.

This project comprises three key elements: an assessment of current surveillance systems; engagement with key stakeholders in national consensus-building; a feasibility study of agreed STI/HIV behavioural indicators.

This project is due for completion in September 2018.

2015 Award:  Dr Pádraig MacNeela, School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway

Project Title: Smart Consent: ‘Evaluating an Intervention to Promote Active Consent on the Part of Young Adults’.

This project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the ‘Smart Consent’ workshop intervention in changing knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour relevant to consenting and non-consenting sexual activity; and ensure the sustainability of the Smart Consent intervention by developing training materials and working with stakeholders.

This research involved a randomised control trial of the workshops across four third level institutions in the Republic of Ireland.

Outputs from this award can be found here:

2013 Award:  Dr Gerard Molloy, School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway

Project Title: Adherence and uptake of hormonal and long acting reversible contraceptives in Ireland: Barriers and facilitators

This project aims to explore the experiences of, and attitudes towards, prescription contraception amongst samples of contraception users, general practitioners (GPs) and pharmacists.

This project comprised a quantitative and a qualitative study. The quantitative aspect analysed data from the 2010 Irish Contraception and Crisis Pregnancy study (2012) to identify the key determinants of prescription contraception use, including oral contraceptive pills and long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). The qualitative study included interviews with contraception users, GPs and pharmacists.

Outputs from this award can be found here:

2012 Award: Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhainn and Dr Honor Young, Department of Health Promotion, National University of Ireland, Galway

Project Title: ‘Adolescent sexual health behaviour in Ireland: data, dissemination and development (ASH-DDD)’.

This project aims to systematically analyse sexual health behaviour data collected by the 2010 Irish Health Behaviours in School-aged Children (HBSC) study, which is the first nationally representative and internationally comparable adolescent data in Ireland.

This project comprises of three elements: a systematic analysis of sexual health behaviour data collected by the 2010 Irish Health Behaviours in School-aged Children (HBSC) study; a secondary analysis of the Irish Contraception and Crisis Pregnancy-2010 (ICCP-2010) study, and Irish Study of Sexual Health and Relationships (ISSHR) datasets; and a comparison of Irish data with international data.

Outputs from this award can be found here:

2011 Award: Dr Karen Morgan, Department of Psychology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Project title: ‘Exploring trends in sexual activity, contraceptive use, and pregnancy experiences in Ireland: a secondary analysis of national survey data from the last decade'.

This project aims to identify social factors relating to the trends outlined in the title; highlight areas for future research; and inform future policy and health service development in the areas of sexual health and crisis pregnancy.

The project involved the secondary analysis of three national sexual health datasets: the Irish Contraception and Crisis Pregnancy Study-2003 (2004); the Irish Study of Sexual Health and Relationships (2006); and the Irish Contraception and Crisis Pregnancy Study-2010 (2012). 

Outputs from this award can be found here: