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Social Sciences Connexions

Social Sciences Connexions

Social Sciences ConneXions is a collective of 5 research groups located in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at Limerick Institute of Technology. Founded in September 2013, the collective is comprised of: Loss and Grief research group, Engage, ASCEND, Genders and Sexualities research group, and HEALR (Health, Education And SociaL Research) To date, Social Sciences ConneXions has leveraged more than €300,000 in funding for post-graduate research projects.

The aim and vision of Social Sciences ConneXions is to promote social inclusion, provide a voice for those who are not heard, and enrich the body of academic knowledge informing social and community practitioners from a variety of disciplines. With this in mind, we are engaged in collaborative efforts with organisations supporting those who are vulnerable through graduate research projects, media appearances, conference and workshop presentations, publications and community research events.

Loss & Grief Group

The Loss and Grief Research Group promotes research around traditional topics in loss such as death, bereavement, and suicide, but also focuses on non-death related losses across the lifespan. The group takes a unique multidisciplinary approach towards the examination of grief and loss as it is encountered in various life events, and aims to increase public awareness of the effects of loss and encourage the effective emotional understanding and management of these experiences. Current research projects include: loss and grief for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren; cultural grief for migrants in Limerick; the experiences of people who have a family member who identifies as transgender, and how students in higher education manage bereavement.

Principal Investigator: Jennifer Stritch - Email:

Genders & Sexualities Research Group (GSRG)

The Genders and Sexualities Research Group investigates a broad range of topics related to the ways in which genders and sexualities impact on people in contemporary society. Genders and Sexualities are described in the plural as an acknowledgement of the many ways in which these aspects of identities can be expressed and defined. Post graduate research at GSRG focusses on a range of topics including performance of masculinities among male identifying members of contemporary LGBTQI* communities in Ireland; social networks of older never married childless women; masculinities and homeless men; and interventions for intimate partner violence. Principal investigator Dr. Lisa ORourke Scott has a wide range of interests in the fields of psychology and gender. She is particularly interested in topics relating to motherhood, single motherhood, family interactions and intergenerational work.

The Genders and Sexualities Research Group carries out independent commissioned research for organisations most recently in the area of child custody and access in the Irish court system following Domestic violence. The group is also involved in pan European funding bids.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Lisa O'Rourke Scott - Email:

HEALR (Health, Education and SociaL Research)

HEALR (Health, Education And SociaL Research) conducts research incorporating health, education and social contexts. In addition to the range of commonly-used qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, HEALR utilises a diverse range of data collection methods in its projects, including GIS systems, participant-selected photographic observations, and content analysis of marketing materials. Current research projects include: an examination of smoking advertising in Ireland; training and community based learning for people in marginalised areas; mapping children’s experiences of the city; and the relationship between alcohol and advertising in sport.

Principal Investigator: Frank Houghton - Email:


The objective of Engage is to pursue collaborative research with communities in the areas of Critical Youth Community Education and Training. The centre will contribute to the development of new thinking, new paradigms and new ways of measuring progress within the sector.

Principal Investigator: Paul Keating - Email:


This group is dedicated to identifying research priorities across the Social Care professions and opportunities for research collaboration with other Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) and Social Care organisations with a view to providing a significant resource in seeking to enhance the research capacity of Social Care Professionals. Enhancing this research capacity only enriches the lives of the people we work with through having an evidence base to work from similar to other caring professions. At ASCEND, it is our aim to research in a positive and collaborative manner the work carried out by dedicated Social Care professionals and widely disseminate that knowledge.

Principal Investigator: Geraldine Maughan - Email: