About the project

There are concerns as to increased prevalence of mental illness among young people in Ireland. There has been chronic underfunding of young people’s mental health services and demand for services dramatically outstrips availability. Mental ill-health in young people is associated with increased stress within families and parents in particular. This can have a negative impact on a young person’s recovery. Frequently parents identify their lack of understanding of mental illness and a sense of lack of knowledge and powerlessness about how to best help their child as significant sources of stress. Providing information to parents about their child’s mental illness and how best to help (called ‘psychoeducation’) is known to be very beneficial to parents, empowering them, reducing stress and aiding their child’s recovery journey. This proposed research is to develop and pilot a psychoeducation package for parents covering the most common mental illnesses that occur in children and teenagers.

The Cycle Against Suicide Newman Fellowship in Youth Mental Health will be based in the UCD School of Medicine at UCD Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department, under the principal supervision of Assoc Prof Blánaid Gavin and Prof Fiona McNicholas.

UCD Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department has been delivering free psychoeducation to thousands of parents for over 20 years. Both Prof McNicholas and Dr Gavin have contributed to Cycle Against Suicide events designed to increase awareness of mental illness in young people. A parenting series was run last year (2022-2023) and there was huge demand from schools and parents to avail of the psychoeducation. This has lead the charity Cycle Against Suicide to prioritise the provision of high quality information to parents to aid with children’s recovery from episodes of mental ill-health. The aim of this study is to develop a bespoke psychoeducation package for parents in Ireland, based on international literature and to make this available in a standardised, accessible format nationwide.

Candidate Details:
Applications are invited from candidates who hold a doctoral degree in Psychology. The successful applicant will have a strong track record of high-quality research and publication. Candidates must have completed and passed their doctoral examination before commencement of the post. The Fellowship is designed for a creative thinker, writer and researcher with a strong interest in children’s mental health. Interest/experience in conducting empirical qualitative and/or quantitative research is desirable.

Competition Details:
The university adheres to a range of equality, diversity and inclusion policies, and we welcome applications from everyone, including those who identify with any of the protected characteristics that are set out in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy.

The Newman Fellowship comes with a tax-free stipend of €35k p.a. and is tenable for two years.

The Cycle Against Suicide Newman Fellow in Youth Mental Health will work under the supervision and mentorship of Assoc Prof Blánaid Gavin and Prof Fiona McNicholas

How to Apply:
The candidate must complete the Newman Fellowship Candidate Form and provide an updated and detailed CV. Candidates should also include a covering letter outlining how their qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position. All documents should be sent to: newmanfellowship@ucdfoundation.ie with ‘Cycle Against Suicide Newman Fellowship’ in the subject line.

Two nominated referees must separately submit their confidential reports using the Newman Fellowship Referee Form and send to: newmanfellowship@ucdfoundation.ie with ‘Cycle Against Suicide Newman Fellowship’ in the subject line.

Further Information:
Informal enquiries regarding this Fellowship may be directed to newmanfellowship@ucdfoundation.ie.


The call for applications to this Newman Fellowship has now closed.