Successful HRB Applied Partnership Award for I-PARC and Active Cities Research Project

Successful HRB Applied Partnership Award for I-PARC and Active Cities Research Project

A total of €238,860 in funding has been awarded to the I-PARC team to continue with a new phase of research between 2024 and 2026. Details of the award are as follows:

Host institution: University of Limerick

Lead Researcher: Professor Catherine Woods

Lead Knowledge User: Dr Fiona Mansergh (Department of Health)

Award total: €238,860 (including HRB contribution of €198,860 and knowledge user (Department of Health) contribution of €40,000)


The high and growing burden of physical inactivity continues to have a negative impact on the national health economy. In Ireland, 13.5% of children and 46% of adults are meeting the public health recommendations for physical activity. Achievement of such guidelines across a population has the potential to address several sustainable development goals, including improved “health and well-being” and “sustainable cities and communities”. To address this, focus has been placed on identifying effective physical activity programmes and embedding them into routine practice. However, despite the identification of effective programmes (e.g. Men on the Move, Active School Flag etc.), there remains a challenge to embed them into routine practice across different geographical, socio-economic and cultural contexts. Instead of using resources to focus on the development of “new” programmes, there is now a need to understand how current effective programmes can be successfully implemented across different contexts.

To increase the success of embedding physical activity programmes into routine practice, we need to understand the strategies used to overcome common challenges across different contexts. This research will be a collaboration between I-PARC and the Active Cities Network working across five sites including Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford to 1) adapt and tailor effective physical activity programmes for their context, 2) identify strategies to aid delivery of programmes in routine practice, and 3) assess the usability and usefulness of the I-PARC implementation platform. The I-PARC implementation platform will consist of strategies to help stakeholders in different contexts identify, adapt, deliver, maintain and scale-up effective physical activity programmes. The platform will be shared across practice, policy and research as a resource to help formulate tailored implementation plans to embed evidence-based physical activity programmes into different contexts. This should enhance the reach and effectiveness of these programmes and contribute to increased population levels of physical activity, leading to the associated health and economic benefits.

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