Skip to main content

The CARE Collaboration Scholarship programme, founded in 2008, is a collaboration between the HSE’s Nursing and Midwifery Planning Development Unit (NMPDU) South East Office and the Department of Nursing and Health Care at SETU. The NMPDU provides funding to support full-time/ part-time MSc Scholarship stipends to support Clinically Focused Nursing and Midwifery Research within the South East of Ireland. The CARE Collaboration MSc Scholarship programme is administered by the Department of Nursing and Health Care, which provides registration and academic supervision of the Care Collaboration Scholars and their programme of research.

The Care Collaboration Oversight Group is responsible for the governance and oversight of the Care Collaboration scholarship programme with representation from academia (SETU), funding agency (NMPDU SE) and HSE (Clinical Partners).

 The Oversight Group terms of reference include the following:

  • Issuing an annual call to clinical services across the South East to submit research ideas for funding consideration
  • Collation and selection of project ideas for funding
  • Selection of applicants for Scholarship funding
  • Oversight of the progress of scholars across the trajectory of funded projects

What is an MSc by research?

Not a taught traditional MSc which consists of modules and assignments.

If you prefer the idea of intensive research and a more independent approach to working towards your Master’s degree without the constraints of attending timetabled lectures, then you may prefer to study for a research degree.

You will work under supervision of academic supervisors and carry out research, using detailed research methods.

With your supervisor(s) you will plan, complete and meet all required academic requirements such as ethics application, ethics approval, data collection, data analysis, write up and publication as following a scheduled time frame.

Research degrees are assessed entirely by a piece of individual research.

Why choose a MSc by Research CARE Collaboration Scholarship in SETU Department of Nursing and Health Care?

  • Support from the regional clinical and academic partners through meeting with the CARE Collaboration Oversight Group to share your project progress throughout the year.
  • Assigned academic supervisor(s) and clinical advisors (if required) who you will meet regularly.
  • The academic supervisor(s) will guide and support the potential candidate along the research process developing your research skills from proposal writing, literature review, choosing appropriate methodology, undertaking the research, analysing the data, preparation of thesis and scholarly publication.
  • Possibility of furthering your research studies to PhD on completion of MSc. Scholarship (subject to funding).
  • Access to the wider Department of Nursing and Health Care Team in SETU.
  • Access to School of Health Sciences Postgraduate Student Research Forum- where you will receive peer support from fellow scholars.
  • Access to Postgraduate Research library resources and facilities.
  • Networking opportunities across various academic and clinical settings.
  • Exposure to the academic setting and teaching experience.

What does the MSc CARE Collaboration Scholarship offer individual candidates?

The MSc Scholarship offers the successful candidate:

Flexibility: full and part time options (2 years full- time or 3 years part- time)

Financial: current funding programme for MSc CARE Collaboration Scholarships

Stipend (Bursary): €20,000 (Full-time) or €12,000 (Part-time) per annum

Fees: € 4,500 (Full-time) or € 2,250 (Part-time) per annum

Research Costs: €2,000 per annum

Further career opportunities: academic career advancement potential personal/professional skill development.

*Please note that all study leave is negotiated and arranged by the candidate with their Director of Nursing/Midwifery or Service Lead within their individual clinical area/service.

The objective of the CARE Collaboration is to develop Clinically focused Nursing and Midwifery Research within the South East of Ireland by transforming clinical practice research ideas into funded postgraduate nursing and midwifery research. The CARE Collaboration accepts research proposals from Registered Nurses and Midwives, Directors of Nursing and Midwifery, 

Service Leads working in HSE clinical healthcare settings located in the South East of Ireland. These proposals are put forward to the CARE Collaboration Oversight Group for their consideration and development when funding becomes available. Successful proposals are then developed into research topic(s) informed by clinical service which form the next round of recruitment for funded full-time and part-time postgraduate MSc Care Collaboration Scholarships.

We/I have an idea/problem/clinical practice issue - what do I need to do?

Submit a short research proposal using this form: CARE Collaboration Proposal Form 24 For individual nurses and midwives making an application, you must discuss your proposal with your Director of Nursing/Midwifery/Public Health Nursing and have their written support for the proposed research.

The opening and closing dates for the receipt of proposals for the CARE Collaboration will be advertised here, through email communication, and on social media platforms

The CARE Collaboration Oversight Committee will advertise the MSc Care Collaboration Scholarships. These scholarships will be advertised via SETU Funded Research Opportunities:

The MSc CARE Collaboration Scholarships are open to nurses and midwives and they will be advertised via email communication and social media platforms on SETU and NMPDU SE accounts.

Candidate Selection Process:

Once the recruitment campaign is closed, shortlisted candidates are invited to attend for an interview. All candidates will be emailed after the interview to let them know if they have been successful, panelled or unsuccessful.

Commencement Dates:


Current Scholarship Opportunities


Who can apply?

Registered nurses and midwives. The Care Collaboration Scholarship programme is a Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development Unit South East initiative developed in collaboration with the Department of Nursing and Health Care SETU.

When can I apply?

All funded CARE Collaboration opportunities will be advertised here:

How long is the scholarship?

The scholarship is offered over a full- time (2 years) or part-time (3 years) basis. To facilitate the successful candidate to continue working in clinical practice a monthly stipend is on offer for the duration of the research programme.

What is a stipend?

This Scholarship offers a monthly stipend for the duration of the programme (2 years full-time or 3 years part-time) which allows candidates to focus on their project without some of the financial worry of a full-time or part-time job, this in turn facilitates the advancement of the research project to successful completion. The successful candidate will also have their University fees paid as part of the stipend.

Can I work full time and apply for a scholarship?

Candidates can continue to work in clinical practice with successful candidates working full-time encouraged to apply on a part-time basis (over 3 years). A key benefit of this option for candidate is that it facilitates clinical settings to release candidates whilst meeting the needs of the individual clinical service and encourages the advancement of candidates personal and professional development.

What is expected from candidates?

Attendance at CARE Collaboration Steering Committee with their supervisors max 3 times per academic year. Candidates will submit a written 2-page update on their project progress one week before each CARE Collaboration Steering Committee Meeting.

This will outline:

  • Project title, aim, objective (please identify completed objectives), supervisors name
  • Recent progress
  • Successful output and planned output
  • Challenges/ threats to the project
  • Students are also expected to attend CARE Collaboration Steering Committee Meetings to provide oral updates on their progress.

Who are supervisors and what is their role?

Academic supervisors are assigned from the Department of Nursing and Health Care Staff (and /or another department or school within SETU if required for the MSc project). Academic supervisors are expected to attend all CARE Collaboration Oversight Group meetings to provide and discuss feedback from the supervisory perspective. 

They will be advised of their allocated time and it provides an important opportunity for supervisors to discuss any supports you may need in relation to the supervision of students. Academic supervisors comply with SETU Research. See SETU code of Conduct for the responsible Practice or research Policy for more details.

Clinical advisors may be assigned to the project team to provide students with clinical support, administrative support, and work-related issues. Clinical supervisors will also have the opportunity to attend the CARE Collaboration Oversight Group Meetings to discuss any supports required in relation to the clinical requirements of students.

What outputs are expected?

The student is expected to have completed a number of research outputs by the end of the programme which are intended to lead to academic publications of the results of the scholarship demonstrating the student’s career progression and the impact of the MSc within health service delivery. Any publication in a scientific/academic journal shall give acknowledgment to SETU, NMPDU SE, and HSE for their contributions in accordance with standard scientific practice.

Further Information:



PhD Student: Ms. Layla Hughes 


Layla is a Registered Nurse in Intellectual Disabilities (R.N.I.D), she has spent the last three years working as a Clinical Nurse Manager for an organisation that provides respite, residential, and day services for children and adults with an intellectual disability and / or autism.  Her role and responsibilities included overseeing the day to day management of a residential service for individuals with high support and complex needs, providing a high level of professional leadership, supervision, and support to staff, monitoring the quality of service delivery and ensuring compliance with national standards and regulations. Prior to working in residential care, Layla spent three years working as a staff nurse at a community-based respite service.

Layla graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology with a BSc (Hons) in Intellectual Disability Nursing in 2017.  As an undergraduate student, Layla published a peer-reviewed paper on the ethical, legal and political issues related to the use of physical restraint, and her work was showcased on the international arena with the presentation of her research at the International Health Promoting Hospitals Conference in Vienna.  Layla holds a Diploma in Health Services Management from the University of Limerick and recently completed a Fellowship with the Golisano Institute for Intellectual and Developmental Disability Nursing, at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, New York.

"My research interests centre on promoting ethical nursing practice for the most vulnerable and marginalised people in society, primarily in the area of restraint.  I am delighted to have the opportunity to learn and develop as a researcher at doctoral level at SETU in Waterford. 

This PhD Scholarship will enable me to continue contributing to the body of evidence to support best practice in the governance and surveillance of restrictive practices.  I am excited about undertaking postgraduate research which aims to generate new ideas, help inform clinical decision-making, lead to safer environments and be instrumental in influencing change at multiple levels.”

Supervisors: Prof. Martina Gooney, Dr. Heather Jennings, Dr. Frances Finn, 

Title: Restrictive Practice in Healthcare: Co-designing an Educational Intervention for Best Practices and Decision making. 

MSc Student: Mr. James Doyle


I completed my BSc in Psychiatric Nursing in Waterford Institute of Technology and began working as a staff nurse in the Wexford Mental Health Services where I worked in Psychiatry of Later Life, Rehab, & Mental Health Intellectual Disability. During this time, I trained as a tutor in the Therapeutic Management of Violence & Aggression, through the GSA.

In 2019, I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychosocial Interventions for Mental Health Nurses in University of Limerick, and the Prescription of Medication with Advanced Health Assessment in University College Dublin in January 2021.

I have also completed a postgraduate diploma in cognitive behavioural psychotherapy at Trinity College Dublin. During this time, I was promoted from Staff Nurse to Clinical Nurse Manager 2 and in January 2023 completed a professional certificate in Management for Nurses and Healthcare Professionals. Why I applied

“During my time working in Mental Health Intellectual Disability, I got the opportunity to develop a care plan that looked at restrictive practices. Along with the well documented restrictive practices such as seclusion, physical, chemical, and mechanical restraint, we also looked at an area termed as psychosocial restrictive practices. This looked at areas such as locked doors and presses, access to cigarettes, treats and various other areas, many of which were implemented as a result of PPPGs associated with COVID 19. 

When the opportunity arose to undertake the CARE Collaboration Masters looking at restrictive practices, I felt it was too good an opportunity to let pass. This MSc Scholarship will not only improve my understanding of the area of psychosocial restrictive practices, I also hope that it will provide me with the resources to create a piece of work that will inform practice in a manner that maintains the safety of service users and staff, but also ensures that no unnecessary restrictions are in place on the lives of service users”.

Supervisors: Prof. Martina Gooney, Dr. Frances Finn, Ms. Lorraine Dillon, Ms. Eleanor Kirwan. Clinical Advisor: Ms. Ursula O, Neill, ADON Wat/Wex MHS.

Title: An exploration of psychosocial restrictive practice in Irish Residential Care Settings and Nursing Homes

MSc Student: Ms. Michelle Banville - Roche


I originally qualified as a computer programmer, I worked in insurance services for years, but I always dreamed of studying to be a nurse.  I fulfilled this dream and I graduated with a BSc in general nursing in 2022. I am employed by the HSE and I am nursing within Wexford Older Persons Services (OPS).

Why I applied for MSc scholarship:

“I enjoy studying and I love my new chosen career.  I saw this Masters as an opportunity to marry the two together and simultaneously take an active role in expanding the nursing evidence-based bank of knowledge. This research will inevitably improve health and social care services for all stakeholders into the future I believe this Care Collaboration Masters will certainly help pave the way towards that worthy goal.

 It is an old but true saying that knowledge is power.  More than any other time in modern nursing history, we, as nurses, have the power to promote change within nursing locally, nationally and internationally. For myself, I recognise that change is necessary to advance care provision, positively.  Changing clinical practice and cultures in evidence-based ways is good for healthcare consumers and workers alike”. 

Supervisors: Dr. Sara Kennedy, Dr. Heather Jennings, Mr. Jamie Hurley. Clinical Advisor: Ms. Carmel Lonergan, ADON, SECH OPS.

Title: Exploring the relationship between risk impact and restrictive practice using the HIQA database.

MSc Student: Ms. Veronica Mukwashi


I completed my nurse training in Zimbabwe and I worked in Zimbabwe for 15+ years, mostly in Emergency Department and Acute Care. I am currently working as a staff nurse in a long-term care facility for the elderly, since 2021, older persons care was a new experience for me and I have fell in love with it. I completed a BSc. Hons. Nursing Studies for Clinical Practice in SETU in 2022 and as part of that course, I did some research in restrictive practices.

Why I applied for MSc scholarship:

“When I saw the CARE Collaboration Masters being advertised, I knew I had to do it as it was looking into safeguarding, autonomy and restrictive practices and it is an area that I have done some research in and I am really interested in. I hope to understand more on what is already known by those reporting restrictive practice so as to find out any knowledge gaps and what would need to be done to cover those gaps, if any. Any new information discovered will help us as health care workers in older persons care and intellectual disability services to provide care that is safe and relevant to our residents”.

Supervisors: Dr. Louise Bennett, Dr. Brian Sharvin, Ms Ruth Maher. Clinical Advisor: Ms. Michelle Davitt, ADON, WRIDS.

Title: An analysis of residential services staff ‘working knowledge’ of reporting restrictive practices within Intellectual Disability and Older Person Care settings in Ireland.

MSc Student: Ms. Danielle Wykes (Clinical Nurse Manager, Intellectual Disability Service)

Supervisors: Dr. Sara Kennedy, Dr. Heather Jennings

Title: “Exploring experiences of maternity services in the South-East of Ireland in the context of mothers with an intellectual disability”.

Aim: This study is exploring the support women with intellectual disabilities currently receive while accessing maternity care in Ireland through the perspectives of student midwives, registered midwives and public health nurses.

Outputs to date:

  • Oral Presentation at the Lunch and Learn Positive Choice Online Webinar November 2021.
  • Poster presentation at The CONF, Trinity College Dublin Nursing and Midwifery Conference in March 2022.
  • Poster presentation at Sláintecare: Nursing Challenge - All-Ireland Nursing Festival March 2022.
  • Oral Presentation at the Shaping the Future of Intellectual Disability Nursing in Ireland Office of the Nursing and Midwifery Services Director (ONMSD); National Disability Quality Improvement Office Webinar: Registered Nurse in Intellectual Disability (RNID) Exemplars in Practice May 2022.
  • Oral Presentation: ‘The Challenge of Digital Recruitment of Healthcare Professionals for Research’ at the first Intellectual Disabilities Post Graduate Research Seminar May 2022.

MSc Student: Ms. Sarah Egan (Assistant Director of Nursing, Intellectual Disability Service)

Supervisors: Dr. Sara Kennedy, Dr. Louise Bennett, Ms Mary Moylan

Title: “An exploration of risk feeding within Intellectual Disability Services in Ireland: A ‘Soft Systems’ study”.

Aim: The overarching aim of this research is to explore and analyse the experiences of key multidisciplinary health care providers in relation to risk feeding in ID services and also develop a guideline for use by the multidisciplinary team.

Outputs to date:

  • Poster presentation Trinity international research conference 8th & 9th March 2023.
  • Oral presentation at shaping the future of Intellectual Nursing Conference on 24th May 2023.

For any queries, please contact:

Ms. Tracey Dermody, RANP, RPHN, RNP, RGN, MSc, BSc (Hons), Post Graduate Research Support Officer, Room 108, O'Connell Bianconi Building, SETU Waterford Campus, Cork Rd, Waterford. [email protected] or on mobile 087- 2105828.  

General queries can be mailed to: [email protected]

NB: Completed proposal forms are to be forwarded to [email protected]  and [email protected]

Latest News

Latest News

Collaborative project aims to improve the provision of safe care 

The Health Service Executive (HSE) along with South East Technological University (SETU) and the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) have launched a new collaborative research project, providing an opportunity to enhance lives and improve the provision of safe care