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Maternal and Child Health Research Cluster

Mission Statement

The Maternal and Child Health Research Cluster is dedicated to creating space for interdisciplinary and intersectoral collaborations to respond to important health and social care challenges and to establishing research-based insights that positively impact the lives of women, children, young people, and their families. We utilise a diverse range of established research methodologies, and have specialist expertise in trial methodology, evidence syntheses, and participatory methodologies that support the inclusion of the voices of women, children, young people and their families. Our focus is on supporting the next generation of researchers to achieve innovative and transformative research for healthcare practice and policy. 

Key Thematic Focus Areas

  • Maternal health (inclusive of paternal/partner and neonatal health)
  • Child, young people and family health

Theme Leads

Valerie Smith

Prof. Valerie Smith

Professor of Midwifery

Maternal Health Theme Lead

My Research Profile
Professor Maria Brenner

Professor Maria Brenner

Professor of Children's Nursing Associate Dean for Global Engagement

Child, Young People and Family Theme Lead

My Research Profile

Joint Research Network

As part of on-going development of maternity services at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) the Director of Midwifery and Nursing recognised that research links between the NMH and their education partners, University College Dublin, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health System should be formalised. The Joint Research Network (JRN) was thus established in 2007 by Mary Brosnan and Prof Michelle Butler to develop a research culture for midwives, student midwives and nurses. 

The vision and goals of the JRN were to translate evidence-based midwifery and nursing knowledge into practice. Since 2007, the JRN has expanded and evolved to include our Ireland East Hospital Group partners.

JRN Philosophy: Midwives, Nurses, Academics and Students Working Together in a Community of Practice and Research


Academics from UCD School of Nursing Midwifery and Health Systems.

Midwifery and nursing staff and students in the Ireland East Hospital Group.

National Maternity Hospital, Chair: Lucille Sheehy

University College Dublin, Chair: Dr Denise O’Brien

National Maternity Hospital, Vice Chair: Sarah Cullen

University College Dublin, Vice Chair: Dr Barbara Coughlan


Children's Research Network

Children's Research Network

The Children’s Research Network (CRN) of Ireland and Northern Ireland is made up of members with an interest in research and/or involved in the research community across the island of Ireland.

The network is inclusive, independent and works not-for-profit, engaging members across a variety of disciplines including research, policymaking and advocacy.

The Children's Research Network welcomes those who are outside academia or do not identify as 'researchers' but wish to stay informed and up-skilled in terms of research and evidence-informed practice or policy. Our membership spans a wide range of practitioners and service-providers, from NGOs; community, voluntary and social enterprise entities; to government/statutory bodies. As part of the network, members can stay up to date on ongoing research, participate and attend events and network with peers with similar interests.

Contact the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems

Health Sciences Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4
T: +353 1 716 6488 | Location Map(opens in a new window)