SPHeRE Research Priorities


The SPHeRE Programme aims to produce research excellence in its graduates, based on an awareness of current population health, policy and health services research priorities. The Programme is underpinned by the importance of working with stakeholders to identify relevant research questions and designing studies to address these questions.

Our aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of groups or populations through high-quality research, and stakeholder engagement, addressing current and emerging issues in population health, health policy and health systems.

Our vision is to embed a culture of research in population health, health policy and health systems, grounded in principles of scientific inquiry and inclusion.

Furthermore, the Programme provides a platform through the SPHeRE Network to influence research priorities that better reflect the needs of the network members which include the public, policymakers and service providers. With this in mind, a key focus for the Programme has been, and continues to be, the identification of national research priorities in Population Health, Policy and Health Services Research.

These research priorities* should guide SPHeRE Programme PIs, PhD Scholars and Network members alike and provide a framework for identifying pertinent research areas and research partners for future funding.

  • Employ evidence-informed approaches to mitigate the impact of inequities on health
  • Strengthen health systems to improve population health and provide quality and timely integrated care
  • Provide better access to and outcomes from health and social services
  • Examine population mental health, access to and outcomes from mental health services
  • Develop robust data infrastructure in Ireland
  • Examine current health and health system challenges such as climate, demographic and migration
  • Examine difficulties in recruitment and retention of health workforce
  • Strengthen analysis of, and for, policy in population health and health systems transformation


*Research priorities will be reviewed on an annual basis