Dr Elaine Toomey
Dec 19 2016 Posted: 09:56 GMT

The prestigious international award is presented by the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences, University of California, Berkeley

NUI Galway post-doctoral researcher Dr Elaine Toomey has been awarded a prestigious Leamer-Rosenthal Prize for Open Social Science in the Emerging Researcher category. This year, the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) awarded ten prizes to researchers working to forward the values of openness and transparency in research at the recent annual BITSS meeting in California.

Based in the Health Behaviour Change Research Group at NUI Galway’s School of Psychology, Dr Toomey’s research focuses on developing methods that enhance reporting and improve the transparency of research within the area of behaviour change. She was recently selected to lead on the implementation component and ensure transparency of an intervention to prevent childhood obesity.

Explaining her research in everyday terms, Elaine said: “My research is in implementation or intervention fidelity within behaviour change interventions, where fidelity relates to how well an intervention or treatment or programme was actually put into practice as intended by the interventions’ developers. For example, without knowledge of fidelity, we are mostly assuming that an intervention such as a psychological smoking cessation programme is delivered by the providers as we the researchers designed it to be, which can reduce our confidence in the research findings. Essentially, this work aims to increase the transparency of what actually happens within these types of behaviour change interventions, leading to greater understanding and better reproducibility within this research field.”

The BITSS, supported by the John Templeton Foundation, launched the Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science in order to promote transparent research, and to offer recognition and visibility to scholars practicing open social science.

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