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Insight Excellence – Outstanding contribution to Public Health

Submitted on Wednesday, 03/05/2023

From the beginning of the pandemic, the work of a number of Insight researchers quickly became integral to Ireland’s Covid-19 response. This happened across many areas and levels. As the pandemic continued into 2022, so too did these contributions of Insight researchers to the national response.

Our Principal Investigators and Funded investigators who are members of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group (IEMAG) reporting to the Irish National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), continued that work, which has gone on to include a ramping up of the work of the new IEMAG sub-group on data engineering and continued representation on the Expert Advisory Group for the HSE’s Covid Tracker App.

As the immediate urgency of the pandemic abated somewhat, Insight PIs and FIs were able to translate their work into further research outputs. This included multiple scientific publications, for example, (Meagher et al 2022, Siebert et al 2022), a full time Insight Senior Research Fellow seconded to the HSE for 18 months, a collaboration between two Insight sites and the Health Intelligence Unit which led to the submission of the RECONNECT Proposal under the SFI Digital Resilience Challenge and our ongoing global leadership in preparing for future pandemics through Insight’s leadership of the Pandem-2 EU-funded project that aims to develop new solutions for efficient, EU-wide pandemic management.

This cross-centre programme of work has helped Insight to become a trusted source of expert advice for the HSE and a number of government departments (Dept of Health, Dept of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, etc). For example, in April 2023, Insight was invited by the Dept of Health and HSE to provide input on the refresh of the national Digital Health Strategic Framework.

Investigators involved are: Norma Bargary (UL), Paul Buitelaar (UG), Máire Connolly (UG), James Duggan (UG), Nial Friel (UCD), James Gleeson (UL), Thomas Brendan Murphy (UCD), Mark Roantree (DCU), Michael Scriney (DCU), Cathal Walsh (UL)