Dr Kathy McLoughlin, Maynooth University Psychology Graduate has recently been announced as the winner of the European Association of Palliative Care ‘Early Researcher Award’ 2015. Dr McLoughlin graduated with a PhD in 2012 under the supervision of Dr Sinéad McGilloway in the Department of Psychology.
According to the EAPC the standard of applications was very high, with a small group of outstanding candidates. Applications were assessed on the published criteria; namely evidence of sustained engagement with research in palliative care, evidence of emerging grant capture, an increasing portfolio of published research papers and other factors that indicate international esteem. The accompanying statements of support were also scrutinised.
The panel are delighted that there are so many excellent emerging researchers who will contribute to the development of palliative care research and practice.
Dr Kathleen McLoughlin is a Psychologist with a special interest in the field of palliative and end of life care from a public health perspective. Her interest in this area dates back to 2002 when she was involved in conducting a palliative care needs assessment, noting in particular the fear and stigma associated with palliative care. In 2005 she secured the Health Research Board / Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) Building Partnerships for a Healthier Society Research Award to further investigate attitudes toward palliative care, a study that subsequently formed the basis of a PhD in Psychology. This research, together with Kathleen’s passion for health promoting palliative care, served as the catalyst to the development of Ireland’s first Compassionate Communities project at Milford Care Centre (MCC).
Kathleen has held senior posts in research and education in the Irish healthcare service, the IHF and MCC. In 2014 Kathleen was recognised for her passion and commitment to palliative care and named Irish Healthcare Person of the Year. She currently holds the 2014 All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care / Irish Cancer Society Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and is working with an international team of researchers to investigate social and practical supports for people living at home with advanced life-limiting illness.