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About the CARE21 Research Cluster

Working closely with carer representative organisations, charitable and voluntary organisations and social and health care professionals, CARE21 (formerly the Caring Research Working Group) provides a forum for collaborative research, learning and mutual support for UCC staff and postgraduate students and national and international researchers involved in caring research. Research and contributions to date include analysis of supports and experiences of family carers, caring in particular contexts, and transitioning from caring roles as well as inputs to consultations on carers.

Within UCC, members are drawn from a range of disciplines across the university including the School of Applied Social Studies, Nursing and Cork University Business School (CUBS).

We meet on a regular basis each semester and welcome new members including doctoral students, external researchers, public bodies, CVOs and social care/healthcare professionals.

Aims and Objectives

  • To make a significant contribution and impact inter-disciplinarity research on caring – formal and informal - nationally and internationally
  • Work with carer stakeholders to meaningfully impact on carers’ lives and experiences, and to inform policy development and practice.
  • To identify participatory action research priorities, through stakeholder partnerships and collaborations, to highlight formal and informal carer voices in research and policy, and to foster ongoing partnerships and collaborations.
  • To obtain research funding to build multidisciplinary capacity in relation to caring research nationally and internationally.
  • To support the communication and dissemination of research findings to academics and policy makers, and raise public and societal awareness of carer issues.


Researching Care Workshop, 14 October 2022

The CareVisions research project and ISS21 hosted a workshop to showcase care-related research in UCC, discuss ideas for future research, and develop networks in care research, including through the ISS21’s CARE21 Research Cluster.

Bringing the Voice of the Elderly Onstage: an ethnodrama on everyday lived experience of living in a nursing home, October 2019

On 1 October 2019 the ISS21 Caring Working Group hosted a seminar with Dr Catharina Von Koskull on the use of creative methodologies in an ethnographic study conducted in a Finnish eldercare setting. Further details on this event are available here

Maximising the Potential of Carer Research and Knowledge, June 2018 

On June 19 the Caring Working Group and Care Alliance Ireland hosted a seminar with guest speaker Dr. Mary Larkin (Open University, UK) to discuss international developments in family care research and the launch of the Carer–related Research Evidence Exchange Network.

Post-Caregiving Workshop, November 2017 

In November 2017 the Caring Research Working Group held a half-day seminar on family caring in Ireland, with a particular focus on the experience of carers after their care-giving role had ceased. Reports from two IRC New Foundations research projects were officially launched at the event. Presentations from the project directors – Dr. Carol Kelleher and Dr. Jacqui O’Riordan – were followed by a panel discussion with Senator Colette Kelleher, Mick Barry (TD) and representatives from ISS21, Care Alliance Ireland, Family Carers Ireland and West Cork Carers Support Group.

Research Projects

ISS21-affiliated projects linked to the themes of care and caring research include:

FEMAgeCare Towards a Feminist Framework for Older Women and Care: implications for policy and practice (2023-2024)

CO-AGE (2022-2023)

CARE-VISION (2020-2023)

YOUNGCARERS (2021-2023)

CARERENGAGE (2020-2021)

Caring for Family Members with Dementia (2018-2019)

Post-Caregiving (2016-2017)


If you are interested in joining the CARE21 cluster, please contact the convenors Dr. Carol Kelleher ( or the ISS21 Research Coordinator, Dr. Margaret Scanlon ( New members are always welcome.

Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

Top Floor, Carrigbawn/Safari Building, Donovan Road, Cork, T12 YE30