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Dr Sheena McHugh named as a Health Research Board Research Leader

31 Mar 2020

Dr Sheena McHugh has been named as one of five new Research Leaders by the Health Research Board

Sheena’s research programme will generate evidence on the process and impact of tailoring strategies to support the implementation of evidence-based interventions. Tailoring is an effective process whereby implementation strategies are chosen specifically to address identified determinants of practice (1). However, currently it is not clear how best to tailor implementation strategies (2). Sheena’s research programme will focus on tailoring implementation to improve care for older people and people with diabetes, two groups prioritised in the national healthcare strategy, Sláintecare. Both are ideally suited to studying implementation gaps as there is a wealth of research on effective interventions to improve quality of care and health outcomes for these groups. With the Research Leader Award, Sheena will also build much-needed capacity among researchers and practitioners in implementation science through training, network activities and knowledge exchange. This work will act as the foundations for a national hub and internationally recognised centre for implementation research in Ireland.

Sheena has developed strong partnerships with different parts of the health sector to conduct her research programme that will deliver evidence to inform changes in health policy and practice. She will work closely with stakeholders from the National Clinical Programme for Diabetes and HSE Services for Older People, as well as the Sláintecare Programme Implementation Office and HSE Office for Research and Development. She will also collaborate with international experts in implementation science from the US and Canada.

This prestigious award, with a value of over €1M Euro, will support a team of researchers over five years, including PhD students, research assistants, and postdoctoral researchers. You can read more about her project, ‘Comparing and Understanding Tailoring Methods for Implementation Strategies’ (CUSTOMISE) here.


  1. Baker R, Camosso‐Stefinovic J, Gillies C, Shaw EJ, Cheater F, Flottorp S, Robertson N, Wensing M, Fiander M, Eccles MP: Tailored interventions to address determinants of practice. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015(4).
  2. Powell BJ, Beidas RS, Lewis CC, Aarons GA, McMillen JC, Proctor EK, et al. Methods to Improve the Selection and Tailoring of Implementation Strategies. The journal of behavioral health services & research. 2017;44(2):177-94.

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