Community Engaged Scholars Programme

A new education and training initiative funded by the Health Research Board, the Community Engaged Scholars Programme (CES-P), is happening at University of Galway (2019/2020). The aim of the CES-P is to support the development of partnerships between researchers and community organisations interested in conducting research together that aims to improve the health of their community and that is driven by public and patient involvement (PPI) principles.

Project Objectives

The overall objectives is to build partnerships between three research teams and three community organizations, to faciliate ongoing research.  The partnerships will:

  • Complete a small research study, adopting PPI approaches across all phases
  • Drawing on that data and experience, work together to submit a grant application for new funding (from national or international funders), to conduct further, related research  

Who Is Involved?

Group Photo

Pictured CES-P Partnerships and PPI Ignite @ NUI 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). Missing from the photo: Prof Sean Dinneen, Director of PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway. 

Nature of Involvement

PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway invited applications from community/academic partnerships, with a community and academic co-lead. Members of the PPI Ignite Public Advisory Panel, as well as academic reviewers, reviewed the applications. The three partnerships funded are:

  • 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 Meade

The three teams have now completed a number of training modules in the CES-P. They are currently planning and conducting their research and planning their dissemination. The teams will share their progress in 2020. 


An evaluation of the pilot CES-P programme was completed. This included a process and an impact evaluation. It adopted a mixed-methods approach, including a documentary review, interviews with staff at PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway, focus groups with members of the community-academic partnerships participating in the programme, and analysis of evaluation forms completed by community and academic partners. The evaluation is available online to read here: CES-P Evaluation