PPI Ignite @ University of Galway Seed Funding Award 2023/2024

The PPI Ignite Network @ University of Galway is proud to announce the three winners of the 2023/2024 round of PPI Seed Funding Awards. The overarching goal of this seed funding pilot initiative is to support and foster new or existing relationships between University of Galway health and social care researchers and PPI contributors.  

The assessment panel highlighted the incredibly high standard of proposals, with ambitious and innovative plans for incorporating PPI in research activities, and the selection of awardees was incredibly difficult. Thank you to everyone who applied for a seed funding award in October. 

The quality of applications by PhD students, researchers, academic staff and PPI contributors was very impressive and highlights the depth and appetite for PPI across University of Galway. 

The winners are.... 

Saoirse Lally 

Brendan Dolan Postdoctoral researcher in the PPI Ignite Network @ University of Galway standing with awardee Saoirse Lally

Saoirse’s research, Polska Harp, strives to develop tools for multilingual assessment of Polish-English bilingual families and children in Irish Speech and Language Therapy Practice. In Ireland, Polish is the second most spoken language daily. Therefore, it is vitally important for Speech and Language Therapists working with this population to understand their perspectives, in order to provide proper and culturally relevant services. A PPI panel of 3 children and 3 adults has already worked closely with Saoirse to conduct her research. As Saoirse progresses towards disseminating her findings, the PPI Seed Funding Award will facilitate PPI sessions to co-author an academic paper exploring the process of incorporating multi-lingual PPI into a project. The collaborative nature of this work can be clearly seen in the fact that the paper abstract will be published in English and Polish, for access by the Polish-English speaking community, a suggestion by PPI contributors.  

Yvonne Fitzmaurice  and her co-applicants Mary Kelly, John Kelly, and Michael Griffin Brendan Dolan Postdoctoral researcher in the PPI Ignite Network @ University of Galway standing with awardee Yvonne Fitzmaurice

Yvonne’s PhD project focuses on improving the delivery of communication partner training (CPT) to student health and social care professionals engaging with people with stroke acquired communication difficulties. During CPT, student professionals learn to modify their behaviour and employ techniques to optimise interactions with people with communication impairments. Yvonne’s project, Knowledge Beyond Words, aims to raise researchers’ confidence and insight around communicating with people with communication impairments. PPI has been a key element of Yvonne’s work to date, co-applying for the award with her PPI contributors who have lived experience of such difficulties. The seed funding award will fund the co-development of a video resource to promote collaborative research with people with stoke acquired communication impairments, providing tips for researchers and highlighting potential benefits of collaboration. Funding will also provide remuneration to her PPI contributors in recognition of their important contribution.  

Dr Sally Whelan and her co-applicants Dr Jamie Reilly and Professor Geraldine Leader.

Seed Funding Awardee Sally Whelan standing with her co-applicants

Sally’s project, Collaborative Autistic Research Empowerment (CARE), will establish a community panel of 7-10 PPI contributors to create new and long-lasting research partnerships within the Irish Centre of Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research (ICAN).  To date, ICAN’s work has been informed by members of the autistic community on a regular but ad hoc basis. With the PPI seed funding award, the research team seeks to establish a panel of PPI contributors to inform current research, becoming co-researchers on a current ICAN research project exploring the experience of autistic students in University of Galway. PPI Contributors will also be in discussion with ICAN researchers to set the agenda and process of future ICAN research. The funding will go towards remunerating PPI contributors for their contribution to this important work.  


A huge congratulations to our winners, we wish them every success as they continue their PPI journeys with these innovative and important research projects.


To find out more about how the PPI Ignite Network @ University of Galway can support your research see our supporting researchers page.