Our Vision

SPHeRE is Ireland’s national research training programme for population health and health services research (PHHSR) and is funded by the Health Research Board in Ireland. SPHeRE means ‘Structured Population and Health-services Research Education’.

The SPHeRE concept captures our approach to the inter-relationship of research, translation and practice.

Our aim is to create a national facility for students, regardless of their discipline or institution, qualifying at various academic levels for both academic and non-academic settings.

Our vision is to provide an excellent education and training programme that delivers a sufficient quantity of high-quality population health and health service researchers, qualified at various academic levels for both academic and non-academic settings, thereby expanding the national skill base in PHHSR.

The programme

The programme is ‘structured’ because we want all our scholars to receive the same training, regardless of their previous experience. This is because improvements in population health and health service delivery can’t be achieved without co-operation across disciplines. SPHeRE connects scholars from diverse backgrounds and gives them a common language to work together.

We aim to develop the research leaders of tomorrow: a cadre of networked academics with a common training but diverse skills. We match excellent scholars with the best supervisors to carry out research of strategic importance to the Irish population. To do this we have developed a wide network of academics from disciplines such as biostatistics, economics, nursing, psychology, medicine, occupational therapy, sociology, speech and language therapy, management, geography and physiotherapy.

Our scholars bring a diverse range of life experiences to each class and many have worked as clinicians, managers or policymakers in the Irish health system. Their research is conducted to the highest standards and has been widely published in prestigious international journals.

Every year we showcase their research at our annual Network Conference and work to connect their findings with policymakers. The SPHeRE Network is growing, and we hope that you will join us!

Our Team