Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Annual SPHeRE Network Conference opens in RCSI

12 January 2017

The third SPHeRE Network Conference opens in RCSI today bringing together over 180 researchers, policy-makers and practitioners under the theme of "Supporting solutions: Connecting Research, Policy and Practice".

Key note speakers include Professor Mike Kelly from the University of Cambridge; Professor Ella Arensman, Director of Research at the National Suicide Research Foundation; and Professor Mark Petticrew from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. With over 40 presentations across keynote and parallel sessions, and 40 poster presentations detailing a range of research projects, this conference provides an opportunity for an exclusive focus on the key issues relevant to population health and health services (PHHS) on the island of Ireland.

Opening the conference, SPHeRE Programme Director Professor Steve Thomas welcomed delegates and added that the next academic year is a milestone year for the Programme: "Ten years ago next October our colleagues and alumni in RCSI, Trinity College, Dublin and University College Cork launched the first structured PhD programme in health services research in Ireland. SPHeRE continues to build on its success, has expanded to incorporate population health research topics, now encompasses all universities in Ireland, and continues to grow as a network connecting research, policy and practice. We invite anyone working in the area of population health and health services to also join us later in the year to celebrate this milestone and to become more involved in the SPHeRE Network". Details of events will be made available through the SPHeRE Network mailing list.

Details of speakers and abstracts are listed in the Conference Book of Abstracts. People can follow the conference through the SPHeRE Twitter account where participants are tweeting using the conference hashtag #sphere17.

Funded by the Health Research Board (HRB), the SPHeRE Programme is a national level programme involving three core institutions (RCSI, TCD and UCC) and five partner universities (UCD, NUI Galway, Maynooth University, DCU, University of Limerick). The SPHeRE Programme provides a key national infrastructure to support health research in Ireland through its unique and innovative PhD programme; an expanding SPHeRE Network of more than 900 members across research, practice and policy; as well as a forthcoming jointly-awarded online Diploma in Population Health & Health Services Research to be delivered online by RCSI, TCD & UCC. More information on the SPHeRE Programme and on joining the Network is available at