Dr Elaine Toomey is a Lecturer in the School of Allied Health in the University of Limerick. She is a Research Associate of Evidence Synthesis Ireland and Cochrane Ireland and a member of the Health Behaviour Change Research Group (National University of Ireland 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 primarily focuses on methods used in the development, evaluation and implementation of health behaviour change interventions, particularly in relation to chronic disease prevention and management. She has specific expertise in evidence synthesis, implementation science/knowledge translation, process evaluation and exploring the 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. Stemming from this, she is also a Catalyst for the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS), a member of the HRB Open Research National Steering Committee and a keen advocate for open science.