About our Nursing and Health Research

Our overall research objective is to conduct high quality, strategic and applied research relevant to the health and social wellbeing of people, through a range of creative and appropriate methodologies.


Our vision is to be world-leading in research and development in nursing, midwifery, public health and allied health professions.

Our overall research objective is to continue to conduct high quality, strategic and applied research relevant to the health and social wellbeing of people, through a range of creative and appropriate methodologies;

We are the largest Nursing and Health Research Institute on the island of Ireland, in terms of the number of researchers, research projects, doctoral students and research output. In the last UK Research Excellence Framework, 96% of our research was recognised as international in terms of originality, significance and rigour (REF, 2014).

Research themes

Our research falls into the following main areas, organised via 5 Research Centres:

Health and Rehabilitation Technologies

Sub-themes: Technology for enablement; Physical Activity for Health and Rehabilitation

Intellectual & Neuro-Developmental Disabilities

Sub-themes: Health, Social Inclusion, Communication, and challenging Behaviours

Managing Chronic IIlness

Sub-themes: Cancer, Diabetes and Palliative Care

Maternal, Fetal and Infant Research

Sub-themes: Midwifery; Perinatal Epidemiology

Person-Centred Practice

Sub-themes: Developing and Evidencing Person-centered Practice; Caring for Older People and their Families; Education for Practice

Our Impact

Our focus is on making people’s lives better by conducting cutting-edge research to inform policy and practice.

Below are some examples of the tangible outcomes of our research:

Cancer Focus NI

An interactive, evidence-based e-Learning module to educate and equip healthcare professionals to support parents to communicate their cancer diagnosis with their dependent children.


A clinical decision support smartphone application (ANALYSE ECG reporting) to assist with ECG interpretation competency, hosted on IPhone and Android platforms. This is used by educational institutions in Ireland, UK, Europe, USA, the Philippines and Pakistan.

Global Birth Defects Description and Coding (GBDDC) app

The Global Birth Defects Description and Coding (GBDDC) app is designed for use in areas where local expertise in congenital anomaly diagnosis is scarce.

The purpose of the app is to improve the description and coding of major externally visible congenital anomalies for surveillance and research.

Find out how to use the global birth defects app.

Prostate Cancer Support

Three online resources (https://prostatecanceruk.org/about-us/projects-and-policies/truenth) have been developed to provide men and partners with personalised sexual wellbeing support, following treatment for prostate cancer.

These resources have global reach, are sustainable, and are also adaptable for different populations.

  • An e-learning resource for healthcare professionals.
  • A tablet-based Engagement and Support programme used during routine appointments.
  • A self-management resource for people living with prostate cancer.

Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority Guidelines

Our research findings also contribute to the development of practice guidelines such as the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA)

Guideline for Admission to Midwife-led units in Northern Ireland (2016, revised & updated 2018).

These guidelines are currently being translated into 7 other languages, including Spanish, Catalan, Italian and German.

Research collaborations

We work with a number of international researchers across the globe. For example our EUROmediCAT Consortium (Medication safety in pregnancy) includes partners from:

  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • UK

We also have collaborators in the USA, Australia, Asia and Africa.