Research News

Project promoting safe staffing in the healthcare system wins UCD Research Impact Competition

  • 26 January, 2024


UCD Interim Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact Professor Helen Roche has announced the winner and runners-up of the 2023 UCD Research Impact Case Study Competition. The annual competition encourages researchers of all disciplines to write a case study that tells the story of how their work has made a positive difference on wider society.

This year’s winner, ’Right nurse, right place, right time: promoting safe staffing in the healthcare system’ was led by Professor Jonathan Drennan, UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems.

Professor Drennan’s team has implemented and tested safe nurse staffing frameworks in Ireland. These have now become national policy and are currently being implemented in every hospital in the country, resulting in improved patient care, reduced patient mortality, reduced staff turnover and burnout, and increased job satisfaction.

For the first time, an additional "Engaged Research impact prize" was awarded to the runner-up whose case study most strongly demonstrates research involving meaningful collaboration with publics and stakeholders. Dr Mark Coen, UCD School of Law & Professor Katherine O’Donnell, UCD School of Philosophy were the recipients of this award for their project ‘Correcting state narratives on the Magdalene Laundries’. 

Professor Roche commented, “This year’s finalists are working in key research areas improving health systems, supports and outcomes, working to build societal trust, increasing all-island research collaboration, influencing policy, enriching lives and inspiring the next generation. I congratulate them and thank them for their commitment to ensuring that people benefit from their research and helping to steer Ireland and the world towards a sustainable, inclusive, prosperous future.”

She continued: “I encourage UCD researchers from every College to explore the UCD Impact Toolkit and apply for this year’s Research Impact Competition when it opens in Spring. These tools provide great support for academics who wish to explore, articulate and share how their work is making a positive difference to people's lives. There is so much important research taking place across the university, we are delighted to acknowledge the depth and breadth of its impact in this way.” 


The 2023 UCD Research Impact Case Study Competition winner and runners-up are: 


Professor Jonathan Drennan, UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems
Right nurse, right place, right time: promoting safe staffing in the healthcare system


Dr Mark Coen, UCD School of Law & Professor Katherine O’Donnell, UCD School of Philosophy
Correcting state narratives on the Magdalene Laundries - *Winner of the new Engaged Research impact prize*

Christina Seery, Professor Jessica Bramham, Ken Kilbride, Fiona O’Riordan & Margo Wrigley, UCD School of Psychology
The Adult ADHD App: helping people understand and manage their ADHD

Professor Maria Baghramian, UCD School of Philosophy 
PERITIA: understanding and fostering trust in experts and expertise

Irish Critical Care-Clinical Trials Network (Prof Alastair Nichol, UCD School of Medicine)
Improving outcomes of critically-ill patients with acquired brain injury

Professor William Gallagher, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science & UCD Conway Institute
OncoMark: avoiding unnecessary chemotherapy in breast cancer patients

Professor Dympna Devine & Dr Seaneen Sloan, UCD School of Education 
Safe Learning: improving girls’ literacy and wellbeing in the Global South

Dr Orla Kelly, UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice
The 4-day week: making work healthier and more sustainable

Dr Victoria Durrer, UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy
Building cross-island capacity in theatre and dance

Professor Ronan McNulty, Associate Professor Luis Leon-Vintro, Dr Sean Cournane, Bill Kamtchou, UCD School of Physics
Redeploying particle physics detectors for health and medicine