Professor of Alcohol Policy
By developing new partnerships between areas of research and different countries, sharing ideas and identifying common priorities, we will be able to effectively grow and diversify the strength of the vital research in this area.
Niamh Fitzgerald, Professor of Alcohol Policy at Stirling’s Institute for Social Marketing and Health, said: “Despite historically being the domain of clinicians, alcohol is embedded in and affected by a range of cultural, social and societal influences that need to be considered if we’re to successfully reduce its harms among populations. This new network will be open to researchers from all disciplines, working across Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
“By developing new partnerships between areas of research and different countries, sharing ideas and identifying common priorities, we will be able to effectively grow and diversify the strength of the vital research in this area.”
Joe Barry, Adjunct Professor of Population Health Medicine at Trinity College Dublin, said: “Culture, norms and consumption patterns around alcohol in the UK and Ireland are very similar. In the globalised world of 2021 international collaboration on policy and research in relation to alcohol is essential. From this ACORN initiative we hope to build capacity in these islands and we will publish internationally to show the benefits of between country collaboration. This way of engaging has been borne out by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ní neart go cur le chéile.”
The network will run a series of public events focused on its four themes including a research conference. Internal network activities will include capacity building events and small grants for selected early career researchers to visit experienced alcohol policy research teams in other nations for a short placement, when permitted under COVID-19 regulations.
The network’s steering group includes Dr Catherine Darker (Trinity College Dublin), Professor Niamh Shortt (University of Edinburgh), Colin Angus (University of Sheffield), Dr Pat Kenny (Technological University Dublin) and Dr Helen McAvoy (Director of Policy at the Institute of Public Health in Ireland). Founding members of the network come from five universities in Ireland and seven in the UK. The network is also supported by research users across the four nations of the UK including government and public health partners.
For more information visit www.alcoholresearch-uk-irl.net