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National Study on the Impact of Gambling on Individuals and Society Wins Research Competition at UCD

Wednesday, 24 October, 2018 


Associate Professor Crystal Fulton, overall winner of the 2018 UCD Research Impact Case Study Competition, with Professor Orla Feely, Vice-President for Research, Impact and Innovation, UCD

Associate Professor Crystal Fulton, overall winner of the 2018 UCD Research Impact Case Study Competition, with Professor Orla Feely, Vice-President for Research, Impact and Innovation, UCD

Associate Professor Crystal Fulton, UCD School of Information and Communication Studies, has been declared overall winner of the 2018 University College Dublin (UCD) Research Impact Competition.

Harmful gambling can devastate individuals and their families financially and socially and Assoc. Prof. Fulton won this competition for her first national study on the social impact of problem gambling in Ireland.

Her study has helped to drive the conversation regarding an issue that negatively impacts many thousands of people in Ireland. The research is being used by the Department of Justice and Equality to inform new regulations around gambling, and also by service providers, such as addiction counsellors, in helping those affected by addition.

Now in its second year, the research impact case study competition was established by UCD Research and Innovation to build capacity throughout the university in the area of capturing and articulating research impact. The competition offers UCD researchers an opportunity to develop a short written case study to highlight the impact of their research to predominantly external and non-specialist audiences.

The case studies are judged by a panel, composed of internal and external experts, on three main criteria; capture and articulation; scale and significance and beneficiaries and reach.

Pictured (l-r) are winners of the 2018 UCD Research Impact Case Study Competition: Associate Professor Margaret McGee, Eve O’Reilly, Dr David Hughes, Associate Professor Ann Sheridan, Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, Associate Professor Crystal Fulton, Dr Niamh Howlin, Professor Orla Feely, Vice-President for Research, Impact and Innovation, UCD and Dr Amirhossein Jalali

Assoc. Prof. Crystal Fulton, said, “When I began this research, I discovered I had uncovered the tip of a very large iceberg.  As I spoke to addiction counsellors, recovering gamblers, and their families and friends, the wide-ranging impact of an invisible social issue became evident.  Participants spoke of multiple means of addressing harmful gambling in Ireland, and legislative reform and regulation policy development, and education were central to this process.”

Further evidence of the impact that Assoc. Prof. Crystal Fulton has had is demonstrated by the direct application of her research to the content of new legislation in Ireland, with the Gambling Control Bill 2018, which has passed Stage 2.

Additionally, her research is being leveraged by addiction counsellors, researchers and others, in Ireland and across the EU, to increase awareness and to develop services to assist people affected by harmful gambling.  

Funding for her research has come from the Department of Justice and Equality and from the Irish Research Council with support from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “I would like to congratulate Associate Professor Crystal Fulton on winning the 2018 UCD Research Impact Case Study Competition. Her research has had a significant impact on influencing Government policy on addressing the costly social issue of harmful gambling.”

She added, “She has completed the first national study on the social impact of gambling in Ireland, which has provided foundational information for policy and legislative development in Ireland.”

She concluded, “The annual research impact competition aims to encourage researchers, regardless of their discipline, to consider the impact of their research and to outline and share this impact with a wider audience through a short case study.”

The overall winner receives a €2,500 grant to assist with future research and 9 runner-ups receive a €500 grant each.

The title of Assoc. Prof. Crystal Fulton’s case study is Playing Social Roulette: The Impact of Gambling on Individuals and Society in Ireland.

For further information and reports on Associate Professor Crystal Fulton’s research are available as follows:

  • Fulton, C.  (2015). Playing social roulette: The impact of gambling on individuals and society in Ireland. Dublin: University College Dublin. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10197/6796 
  • Fulton, C. (2016). Developments in the gambling area. DublinIreland: Department of Justice and Equality. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10197/8612

The 9 runner-ups in the 2018 UCD Research Impact Case Study Competition and the titles of their case studies are:

  1. Dr T.J. McIntyre, UCD School of Law, Challenging mass surveillance in Ireland and Europe.
  2. Dr Niamh Howlin, UCD School of Law, Man pardoned 136 years after being hanged for murder.
  3. Professor Ian O'Donnell, UCD School of Law, Surviving solitary confinement.
  4. Dr Antoinette Perry and Eve O’Reilly, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, UCD Conway Institute, epiCaPture: A urine test to catch prostate cancer.
  5. Dr Amirhossein Jalali and Professor Bill Watson, UCD School of Medicine and UCD Conway Institute, Irish prostate cancer risk calculator – reducing unnecessary biopsies.
  6. Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, UCD School of Mathematics & Statistics, Improving the teaching and learning of maths through lesson study.
  7. Associate Professor Margaret McGee, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, UCD Conway Institute, Taking control of cancer by metastasis prevention.
  8. Dr David Hughes, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, UCD Conway Institute, Selenium, named after the Greek goddess of the moon, lights up a link to cancer prevention.
  9. Associate Professor Ann Sheridan et al, UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, ‘Supported Socialisation’ - friendship promoting recovery for people with mental illness.