Congratulations to the 2020 mentees for the Writing for Communication Mentorship scheme, Dr Catherine Houghton and Dr Laura Heavey. Huge thanks to Dr. Marita Hennessy who piloted the scheme for us. Read more about the scheme, which will open again in 2023 here
Dr Catherine Houghton is a senior lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, National University of Ireland Galway and a Research Associate of Evidence Synthesis Ireland & Cochrane Ireland. Catherine is Co-Chair for QUESTS (Qualitative Research in Trials Centre), established in 2016 and embedded within HRB-TMRN. Catherine has been awarded two research grants to develop expertise in QES, particularly in the field of trial methodology. She has led and co-authored several qualitative syntheses for example in: dementia care, infant feeding, pulmonary rehabilitation and trial recruitment. Catherine has been involved in three ongoing Cochrane qualitative evidence syntheses including a recently published Cochrane rapid review in response to COVID-19.
Dr Laura Heavey is in the final year of her higher specialist training in public health medicine. She is currently working on the COVID-19 response in the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre. Her special interests include vaccine hesitancy, child health and global health. Before starting the public health training scheme, she worked for Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) in South Sudan and Nigeria. Both countries were dealing with measles and meningitis outbreaks due to the disruption of routine vaccination programmes in regions affected by conflict. Her time with MSF cemented her decision to specialize in public health medicine and become a vaccine advocate. Since returning to Ireland, she has also worked on outbreaks of measles and mumps that occurred due to rising vaccine hesitancy here.
Dr Marita Hennessy is a postdoctoral researcher at The Irish Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research (INFANT), UCC, working on a study of the impact of dedicated recurrent miscarriage clinics in the Republic of Ireland, led by Dr Keelin O’Donoghue and funded by the HRB. Prior to joining INFANT in January 2020, Marita was a HRB-funded SPHeRE PhD Scholar within the Health Behaviour Change Research Group at NUI Galway. She holds a BSc in Nutrition and a Diploma in Youth and Community Work from University College Cork, and a MA in Health Promotion, and a Specialist Diploma in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship from the University of Limerick. Marita’s research interests include maternal and child health, childhood obesity, health behaviour change, implementation science, commercial determinants of health, health inequalities and men’s health. She is experienced in a range of research methods including qualitative, mixed methods, systematic review, and creative approaches. Prior to commencing her doctoral studies, Marita held research roles with safefood, UCC, the Children’s Research Centre-Trinity College Dublin, the National Cancer Registry, and Waterford Institute of Technology.