Centering and Embedding Family Carers in the Co-Production of Carer Research, Supports and Policy

Project Aims

Underpinned by an engaged research approach, CARERENGAGE has an overall aim to coproduce in-depth, practically-oriented knowledge and evidence-based research impacting family carers in Ireland. Specifically, this will involve Institute of Social Science in the 21st Century UCC (ISS21) and Care Alliance Ireland (CAI) facilitating and delivering three national workshops addressing three key research and policy areas identified by CAI, in consultation with its 85 CVO members.

This aim is supported by the following action-specific objectives:

1: Develop a CVO-academic-policy-citizen-carer-service provider knowledge network to support family carers’ capacity to make informed decisions and achieve policy goals

2 Co-facilitate three national workshops to encourage knowledge exchange and coproduction dialogue between network members to bridge the gap between research, policy, practice and family carer requirements.

3 Co-develop, communicate and translate policy, academic, CVO provider, recommendations to maximise the value and impact of family carer research. 

Implementation Plan

Co-facilitated by ISS21 and CAI, the project plan prioritises the delivery of three roundtables, briefing and position papers on priority social policy issues impacting carer well-being in Ireland in relation to three themes:

1. Patient & Public Involvement (PPI) in Research with a Focus on Family Caring. Roundtable held on Tuesday 13th October 2020 (via Zoom)

Pre-recorded presentations from Dr. Jon Salsberg (University of Limerick) and Dr. Nikki Dunne & Jo Bergin (Family Carers Ireland) were made available prior to the event. Aisling Harmon (PPI participant expert and family carer) then provided the family carer perspective before participants broke into groups to discuss their experiences to date, what works well and how the sector can respond to increasing need for PPI involvement.
Dr. Jon Salsberg: 'Meaningfully Involving Patients, Carers and other Members of the Public in Health Research'
Dr. Nikki Dunne & Jo Bergin: 'A reflection on the development of the Family Carers Research Advisory Network'
Aisling Harmon: 'The Family Carer Perspective'.
For more information, the event flyer is available at

2. Implementing Evidenced Informed Changes in Family Carer Policy - February 2021

3. Engaged Research and Policy Priorities for the wider Family Carer Sector: Path to Delivery, Impact and Change - September 2021. 

Project Funding & Duration

Irish Research Council, New Foundations

July 2020 – December 2021

Project Team 

Dr Carol Kelleher, ISS21, Email 

Dr Jacqui O' Riordan ISS21, Email 

Zoe Hughes, CAI, Email 

Liam O' Sullivan, CAI Email 


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

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