University of Limerick

UL was awarded prestigious 5-star rankings for graduate employability, innovation and knowledge transfer, teaching, engagement, internationalisation and infrastructure by QS Stars independent assessors. With close to 12,000 students, including more than 2,000 international students each year, UL is a young and enterprising university with a proud record of innovation in education and scholarship.

A survey of Irish students recently voted UL Ireland’s most popular university with a satisfaction rating of 85%. UL offers more than 70 undergraduate programmes across Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Education and Health Sciences, Science and Engineering and the Kemmy Business School.  UL also delivers a strong postgraduate offering with more than 100 taught postgraduate programmes to Doctoral and Post-doctoral level.

UL has particular expertise in both Assistive Technologies as well as research relating to the perspective of individuals with disabilities. We are keen to accept fellows that are interested in evidence based service provision for children, young people and families; supporting families who care for those with intellectual disability living in the community; fellows interested in the impact of Assistive Technologies on lived experience including both positive and negative consequences, and in particular projects that attend to the perspective of individuals with disabilities on the therapeutic process and the contribution of individuals to goal planning and outcomes.We have expertise in design, Human-Computer Interaction, Ubiquitous computing, Sensors and Electronics, large assisted living projects, expertise in the area of movement analysis, physical behaviour monitoring, app development and sensor integration.

Interested candidates are strongly encouraged to contact the UL contact person or any potential collaborator

University of Limerick researchers in Lero – the Irish Software Research Centre and ARCH – Applied Research for Connected Health Technology Centre have conducted research on Connected Health in a variety of healthcare contexts such as radiography, geriatric and maternity services.  They focus particularly on understanding models of healthcare, and how the use of technology and processes can support clinicians in providing patient-centric care.

The Faculty of Education and Health Sciences (EHS) has a primary research goal in creating and disseminating knowledge through research that impacts on the social, educational and healthcare needs of people locally, nationally and globally. The Health Sciences Building provides research office space, ITD facilities and support. The Department of Nursing and Midwifery, provides a rich environment which can support post-doctoral researchers. The Department of Clinical Therapies (CTs) was formed in 2012 by merging three existing allied health disciplines at UL; Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy.

The Physical Education and Sport Sciences (PESS) department hosts a range of modern and well equipped laboratories catering for research in physical education, exercise physiology, biomechanics and psychology/motor skills. These include biomechanics laboratory, two physiology laboratories, anatomy and kinesiology laboratory, biochemistry laboratory, pedagogy and resource laboratory, psychology laboratory. In addition, each laboratory contains specialist research equipment including, but not limited to motion analysis systems, Field Testing Equipment, stabilometers, EMG/ECG analysis and muscle stimulation.

The Graduate Entry Medical School at UL houses a dedicated research area comprised of biomedical laboratories, core specialised equipment areas, and dedicated write-up space. In addition, the GEMS at University of Limerick has formed a partnership with the Health Services Executive to establish resources that enable interventional studies. Included in this is space for patients/study participants to interact with clinicians in a dedicated, purpose-appropriate facility, thus ensuring dignity and confidentiality for those participating in the studies.

UL has connections with the Inclusive Research Network; founding members of the Irish Disability Studies Association; members of professional bodies Psychological Society of Ireland; Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland and the Irish Nursing Board.

Intellectual Disability Studies at UL (IDS@UL) includes multiple disciplines, offers a balanced number of abled and disabled members, and provides mentorship to people engaged in intellectual disability studies. Our work attends to social justice and human rights, health and well-being of people with intellectual disabilities and their families, effective and responsive service provision, and inclusive research practices.

  • Key Contacts

    Prof Orla Muldoon ( Professor of Psychology, Director, Centre for Social Issues Research. Research interests include the application of the social identity approach to real world social issues, understanding inter-group conflict and the role of identity in such conflicts, examination of the social and psychological impact of adversity (e.g. poverty and political violence)

    Dr Ita Richardson (ita.richardson@ul.iePrincipal Investigator in Lero and ARCH. Research interests include the understanding, development and evaluation of processes for the correct and innovative use of software and technology within the healthcare setting.  She is a member of the Health Research Institute at the University of Limerick and collaborates in health research with University College Dublin and Dundalk Institute of Technology.  

    Dr Barry Coughlan ( Expertise: Mental health & emotional wellbeing in intellectual disability, Complex Learning Difficulties & disabilities, ageing and disability, Deinstitutionalisation & community integration & Special Educational Needs (SEN).

    Dr Stephen Gallagher ( Expertise: Impact of stress on health and well-being of carers; mixed methods research.

    Owen Doody (owen.doody@ul): Expertise: Intellectual disability nursing practice; community living for persons with an intellectual disability; supporting families of persons with intellectual disability

    Eileen Carey ( : Expertise: Person centred planning, health action planning and consent.

    Anne O’Byrne ( Expertise: Early Years Inclusion for Children with SEN; Curriculum Differentiation for Children with SEN in the Primary School; Collaboration with Parents of Children with SEN; National Inclusion Policy, Guidelines and Legislation; The Inclusive Society; Teacher Education

    Orla Slattery ( : Expertise: Inclusion studies and research ; Teaching and learning strategies which address the needs of non-traditional learners in a third level setting; the philosophy of education.

    IDS@UL team members represent 4 departments in UL, 3 Irish universities (UL, Mary Immaculate College and TCD), a community based service organisation (Daughters of Charity, Limerick) and at least 12 self-advocates who participated in the pilot programme of the Research Active Programme. The Inclusive Research Network is a national group of self-advocates with intellectual disabilities who have completed several research projects. The research team includes 2 international experts: Dan Goodley, Professor of Psychology and Critical Disability Studies (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Michael Leahy, Professor, Rehabilitation Counselling and Disability Studies (Michigan State University). These mentors connect the group to broad international networks for research, funding, and publishing opportunities. Details of recent work is available on blog: