World Health Organization Collaborative Cross-National Study

Principal Investigator 

Prof. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn

Saoirse Nic Gabhainn is a senior lecturer in Health Promotion, School of Health Sciences, National University of Ireland, Galway. Educated in University College Galway (BA, MA) and the University of Nottingham (PhD), she has been Principal Investigator of HBSC Ireland since 1994. Within the international HBSC study, Saoirse is the former chair of the Sexual Health Focus Group and sat on the Scientific Development Group and the overall study Co-ordinating Committee. 


Co-principal Investigators

Dr. Colette Kelly 

Colette Kelly is a lecturer in the Discipline of Health Promotion and a project leader in the Health Promotion Research Centre.. Colette is a Registered Public Health Nutritionist and has previously worked as a nutrition consultant and in public health nutrition. Educated in the University of Reading (PhD) and University of Aberdeen (MSc), Colette is also a graduate of University College Galway (BSc).

Colette chairs the Eating and Dieting Focus Group, and is a member of the Obesity Writing Group and the Policy Development group within the international HBSC network. Colette is actively involved in youth participation within the HBSC project, both at a national and international level. Research interests include child and adolescent nutrition, food environments and health behaviours. 

Dr. Michal Molcho

Michal Molcho is a senior lecturer in Children’s Study and the Programme Director of the BA in Children Studies. She has been involved in HBSC Israel since 1996 and is the Chair of the international Policy Development Group and a member of the study’s Coordinator Committee. She is particularly interested in violence and injury prevention in adolescence, immigrants and inequalities. 


Senior Researcher

Dr. András Költő

András Költő is a postdoctoral researcher within the Health Promotion Research Centre. He earned his MA degree in Psychology in 2008. He also completed post-graduate training in Psychology of Health Promotion, and holds a PhD in Experimental Psychology. He is an alumni of Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Budapest, Hungary. He was a member of the Hungarian HBSC Team since 2010, and is the Chair of the Sexual Health Focus Group within the international HBSC Network since 2016. His research interests include hypnosis, hypnotic susceptibility, and psycho-social factors related to hypnotic responsiveness; health psychology and psycho-neuro-immunology; and adolescent mental and sexual health. From 2015 he served as a Senior Lecturer at ELTE, teaching various subjects, including affective psychology, research methods, and counselling in health psychology. 



Ms. Aoife Gavin

Aoife Gavin is a researcher within the Health Promotion Research Centre.  She is a graduate of Brock University in Ontario, Canada with a BA in Community Health Sciences as well as NUI Galway with a MA in Health Promotion.  Her current research interests include: the health and well-being of young people particularly children with disability or chronic illness.  

Ms. Aisling Harrington

Aisling Harrington is a research assistant with the Health Promotion Research Centre. She is a graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Limerick with a BA in Early Childhood Care and Education and the National University of Ireland, Galway with a MA in Health Promotion. Aisling’s interests surround young people’s health particularly physical activity, eating and diet, bullying and their perceptions on their school and family.

Ms. Aileen Kavanagh

Aileen Kavanagh is a part-time researcher at the Health Promotion Research Centre and is currently assisting with the Health Behaviour in School Aged Children (HBSC) study.  She is a graduate of NUI Galway and has a BA in Psychology and an Msc in Health Psychology.  Her current research interests include parents’ and children’s dietary patterns and eating behaviours.

Ms. Leah Tyrrell

Leah Tyrrell is a part-time researcher at the Health Promotion Research Centre and is currently assisting with the Health Behaviour in School Aged Children (HBSC) study. She is a graduate of Griffith University Australia and Queens University Belfast, and holds a BA and MSc in Psychology. Her research interests include social and emotional development, the role of play in education and intervention, the Arts in health and wellbeing as well as positive mental health promotion in children and youth. 

Research Assistant 

Ms. Larri (Lorraine) Walker

Larri Walker has worked within the Department of Health Promotion since 1996.  She has provided support on various research projects including HBSC 2010, HBSC 2006, Childrens Understanding of Health and Well being, General Healthcare Study of the Irish Prisoners Population, The Impact of Alcohol Advertising on Teenagers in Ireland ,  SLAN & HBSC 1998 and the National Survey of General Practitioners 1996. 


Ms. Geraldine Nolan

BSc, Msc Lecturer 
Geraldine Nolan is a lecturer in the Departments of Health Promotion, and Biochemistry at the National University of Ireland, Galway.  She previously worked as a nutritionist in both clinical and public health settings. Geraldine's research interests include effective nutrition interventions; best practice for community nutrition and dietetic services in delivery of service or clients with eating disorders and nutrition needs of asylum seekers. 


PHD Students

Ms. Lorraine Burke

Lorraine Burke is a researcher within the Health Promotion Research Centre. She is a graduate of the National University of Ireland, Galway with a BSc in Physiology and also a MA in Health Promotion. Her current research interest is in adolescent sexual health. 

Ms. Mary Callaghan

Mary Callaghan is a part-time PhD student within the Health Promotion Research Centre.  She is a graduate of the National University of Ireland Galway with a BA in Geography and Irish, and a postgraduate diploma in Health Promotion.  She has also completed a MSc in Geographic Information Systems at the University of Ulster, Coleraine.   She is a member of the Violence & Injury Prevention Group and the early career group within the international HBSC network.  Her research interests include the effects of the environment on health, the nutritional environment of schools, electronic media contact and school bullying. 

Ms. Christina Murphy

Christina Murphy is a graduate of NUI Galway with a BA in English and Political Science & Sociology and a MA in Culture and Colonialism. She worked as a youth justice worker on a Garda Youth Diversion Project in 2007-2008. Her current research interests include school-based sexuality education, sexual health promotion, and young people and education.    


Placement Student

Ms. Eadaoin Farragher

Eadaoin is in her final year studying Human Nutrition in the Institute of Technology, Sligo. She has a big interest in Health Promotion and would like to further progress down this line once graduated.  She undertook a research project titled ‘Nutrition and Health Claims: an investigation into the use of claims on recipes’. From this she is keen to further develop her research skills in all areas while gaining new ones along the way.

Ms. Hannah Ferguson

Hannah Ferguson graduated with a degree in Psychology from Maynooth University in 2017 which led to the opportunity to study in Canada for a year at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.  Her current research skills are in quantitative research, and she hopes to further develop these skills and gain new experiences within qualitative research also. Hannah's interests surround mental well-being and mental health, with a focus on adolescent health. She is also interested in the role social media plays within adolescent daily life, and how it can contribute to health outcomes.

HBSC Collaborators

Kieran Walsh completed his PhD in psychosocial ageing in the University of Limerick, where he remained as a lecturer until joining HBSC Ireland in November 2005. Kieran worked as a senior researcher in the HPRC with responsibility for translating the 2002 findings into policy and practice. His research interests include health care inequity, social inequality and adolescent health and well-being. Kieran is currently working in the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUIG.

Dr. Brian McGrath is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway and the Programme Director of the MA in Community Development. He holds an MA from NUI Galway and PhD from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.  He has previously worked as a principal researcher on international collaborative research in the area of rural youth and development policy. His main interest is in exploring the rural-urban dimensions of young people's behaviour and experiences.

Cecily Kelleher is Professor of Public Health Medicine and Epidemiology and Head of Ireland’s first School of Public Health and Population Science at University College Dublin. Prior to this she was foundation chair of Health Promotion at National University of Ireland Galway and Scientific Staff member at the Medical Research Council Epidemiology and Medical Care Unit. She has researched and published widely on the social and life-course determinants of heart disease and has participated in numerous population surveillance projects and settings based evaluations of health promotion action research in schools, workplace and primary care.


Previous HBSC Ireland team members:

Mr. Graham Brennan, Ms. Mary Callaghan,  Ms. Natasha Clarke, Ms. Pauline Clerkin, Mr. Simon Comer, Mr. Greg Conlon, Ms. Mary Cooke, Ms. Helen Corrigan, Ms Gail Cummins, Ms. Katie Cunningham, Ms Maureen D'Eath, Ms. Aingeal de Roiste, Ms. Priscilla Doyle, Ms. Amanda Fitzgerald, Ms. Cliona Fitzpatrick, Ms Kathy Ann Fox, Mr. Jakub Gajewski, Ms. Marie Galvin, Ms. Martha Higgins, Mr. Martin Javornicky, Ms. Emer McCarthy, Mr. Trevor Moylan, Ms. Katie Murphy, Dr. Siobhan O'Higgins, Ms. Catherine Perry, Dr. Mariane Sentenac, Dr. Kieran Walsh, Dr. Honor Young, Dr. Eimear Keane.   


Previous Placement Students:

Ms. Damilola Awobiyi, Ms. Aisling Beckwith, Ms. Catriona Boyle, Ms. Patricia Brien, Ms. Nathália Cerca, Ms. Clare Conte, Ms. Lydia Courtney, Ms Sarah Courtney, Ms. Ciara Forde, Ms. Diana Frasquilho Guerreiro, Mr. Jakub Gajewski, Mr. Huthaifa Kazim, Ms. Skye Keene-Babcock, Ms. Samantha Loughrey, Ms. Sonja-Mareike Freiling, Ms. Aoife Gavin, Ms. Helena Keller, Mr. Peter Manley, Ms. Brenda Murphy, Ms. Linda O'Keefe, Ms. Ailbhe Spillane, Ms. Susan Spillane, Ms. Lindsay Sullivan.