Dr Elaine Toomey is a Lecturer in Evidence Based Healthcare in the University of Galway. She is also a Health Research Board ‘Applying Research into Policy and Practice’ Research Fellow. She is a Cochrane Ireland/Evidence Synthesis Ireland Research Associate and a member of both the Centre for Health Research Methods and the Health Behaviour Change Research Group in the University of Galway. Elaine is a Chartered Physiotherapist and obtained her PhD from University College Dublin (2016) and her MSc (2012) and BSc (2010) from the University of Limerick. Until April 2020, Elaine was Associate Director of Cochrane Ireland within Evidence Synthesis Ireland and led the implementation of the Evidence Synthesis Ireland Fellowship Scheme. Previously, Elaine was a HRB Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2016-2019), where she co-led the development of a complex intervention to enhance infant feeding practices with a goal of improving childhood obesity outcomes, with a specific focus on process and implementation outcomes. Elaine was a Visiting Researcher at Hunter New England Population Health Service/Newcastle University (Newcastle, Australia) in 2018, the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine in Western University (Ontario, Canada) in 2018, and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (Ontario, Canada) in 2017 and 2018.
Elaine’s research has two main strands – 1) utilising health behaviour change for chronic disease prevention and management, and 2) enhancing the methods used for the implementation of health research into policy and practice. She has specific methodological expertise in evidence synthesis, implementation science/knowledge translation, process evaluation and fidelity/adaptation of behaviour change interventions. In 2016 Elaine was awarded a Leamer-Rosenthal Prize for Open Social Science for Emerging Researchers from the University of California Berkeley for her work in fidelity and transparency of behaviour change interventions. She is also a Catalyst for the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS), a member of the Health Research Board Open Research National Steering Committee and a keen advocate for open science.