UCC maps research to the UN SDGs

30 Nov 2022
Vice President for Research and Innovation, Professor John Cryan; Director of Research Strategy and Projects, Dr. Siobhan Cusack; Project Research Support Officer, Julie O'Donoghue; Manager of the Environmental Research Institute and Chair of the Action 2.1.2. Group, Dr. Paul Bolger; Sustainability Officer, Dr. Maria Kirrane

University College Cork (UCC) has launched a report and website highlighting the action researchers are taking to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges. 

UCC is the first university in Ireland to undertake such a comprehensive mapping of its research to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The UN SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. Throughout 2022, the university undertook a mapping project to analyse how its research aligns to the SDGs, with more than 490 researchers engaging in 32 workshops. The findings are published in today’s report entitled ‘The contribution of UCC Research to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’.

Professor John O’ Halloran, UCC President, said: “By mapping UCC research to the UN SDGs through this framework, we can see the impact of our research on delivering on sustainable development goals. Now, more than ever, it is essential that universities continue to contribute to making the world a more sustainable place for all. As the government launches its new National Implementation Plan for the Sustainable Development Goals 2022-2024, UCC will continue increase Ireland’s ambition and commitment to achieve the SDGs. UCC will continue to prioritise our research and curriculum to enable our graduates and staff to deliver on these important global grand challenges.”

Professor John Cryan, Vice President for Research & Innovation, outlined how UCC researchers are at the forefront of pioneering research and innovation: “UCC researchers are addressing the most concerning sustainable development issues facing the world. This report demonstrates the huge commitment to the SDGs across all disciplines in UCC, in all 27 Schools and key Research Centres. Through our UCC Futures initiative, our researchers are building on this commitment to successfully translate research and innovation outcomes into tangible solutions that respond to the world’s greatest challenges, securing a more just and inclusive future.”


UCC President Professor John O'Halloran launches UCC report 










Research to protect the environment, to tackle poverty, and promote good health for all are among the research projects highlighted in the report from UCC.  The report acknowledges the pivotal role university research plays in tackling some of the world’s most urgent social, economic and environmental challenges. It aims to better understand the real-world impact of UCC research on a local, national and global scale and assess the progress made.

Promoting awareness and behavioural change around air quality in Cork

Dr Marica Cassarino, School of Applied Psychology, shared as a case study her involvement in the Cork Air Quality Partnership, a collaboration between the School of Applied Psychology UCC, the ERI Centre for Research into Atmospheric Chemistry, Cork City Council and Cork Healthy Cities. The partnership aims to develop strategies to enhance the public's awareness about the risk associated with air pollution and promote behavioural change for the improvement of air quality in Cork city.

The research developed will help to advance and enrich the Cork Clean Air Strategy, which is the first in Ireland, with potential for implementation at regional and national level.

Dr Marica Cassarino said: “Taking part in the SDG mapping exercise was for myself and colleagues an opportunity to reflect on the value of the engaged research we do in our community and on how our work can have a positive impact for the challenges that we face at a local and global level. The Cork Air Quality Partnership I am involved in is just one example of the numerous forms of community engaged and interdisciplinary activities led by researchers in UCC who are guided by a commitment to work together with relevant stakeholders for the promotion of a sustainable future.”

View the SDGs in UCC Research website.

Download the report.


Project Research Support Officer Julie O'Donoghue








In numbers: Mapping UCC Research onto the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

  • 5,128 number of SDGs-related publications
  • 497 researchers completed mapping
  • 119 SDGs impact case studies
  • 32 SDGs workshops
  • All 27 UCC Schools participated, across all Colleges
  • 8 participating research centres

Research and Innovation

Taighde agus Nuálaíocht

Office of Vice President for Research & Innovation 4th Floor Block E, Food Science Building UCC