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Trinity College Dublin

Personal Information
Name Doyle, Martha
Main Department Social Studies
College Title Visiting Research Fellow
College Tel  
Fax +353 1 896 2911
I am a Visiting Researcher in the School of Social Work and Social Policy and the Interdisciplinary Co-ordinator of the Irish Research Network in Neurodegeneration (IRNND). I hold a PhD in Social Policy, a Masters in Applied Social Research and a Higher Diploma in Statistics from Trinity College Dublin and a first class honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the National University of Ireland, Galway. From 2005 to 2013 I worked as a Research Fellow in the Social Policy and Ageing Research Centre (SPARC) in the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin. In conjunction with researchers from SPARC I conducted projects in the area of long-term care services, the affective components of care work, migrant care workers, the role of grandparents in divorced and separated families, identity in later life and, in conjunction with researchers from the Trinity Longitudinal Study on Ageing, examined the impact of both early and later life circumstances on depressive symptoms and loneliness of older individuals. I also acted as a PI on a community based participatory research project which sought to examine the service needs of older people in a Dublin suburb. I was a member of the Ideas and Practice of Ageing Polices: European and National Perspective Network (2011-2013) and the MILES (Migrant Labour in Elder Care Sectors) Network (2006-2008). I have over 30 publications which include articles in a number of high ranking peer-reviewed international journals such as The Gerontologist, Ageing and Society, Ageing and Mental Health, the Journal of Social Policy and Health and Social Care in the Community. My PhD, which I pursued on a part time basis (2007-2011), and have converted into a monologue 'The Politics of Old Age: older people’s interest organisations and collective action in Ireland' (Manchester University Press, December 2014) examined the mechanisms through which older people’s interest groups exercise their social and political rights. Since 2008 I have frequently engaged as a lecturer in the School of Social Work and Social Policy in the area of ageing, care and social policy.
Details Date
Interdisciplinary Scientific Co-ordinator of the Irish Research Network in Neurodegeneration 2014-
Member of the Ideas and practice of ageing polices: European and national perspective Network. Co-ordinated by Rune Ervik & Tord Skogedal Linden, Rokkan Centre, Bergen. 2011-2012
Member of the School of Social Work and Social Policy Research Committee 2007-2010
Committee Member School of Social Work and Social Policy Research Ethical Approval Committee 2009-2010
Committee Member Irish Social Policy Association 2008-2009
More Representations>>>
Membership of Professional Institutions, Associations, Societies
Details Date From Date To
International Sociological Association (ISA)Research Committee 11 (Sociology of Ageing)
Irish Social Policy Association
European Social Policy Association (ESPAnet)
Political Studies Association of Ireland
Research Interests
AGEING Action research Age related social policy Civic Engagement
Community services Community-based participatory research Critical gerontology DEMENTIA
DEMENTIA SERVICES Domicilliary care Intergenerational Solidarity International Social Care Systems
Long-term care workforce Migrant long-term care workers OLDER PEOPLE Older people's interest groups
Participatory Research Methods Politics of the welfare state Social Constructivism Social Services Planning/Policy
The life-course/life span perspectives
Research Projects
Project title Life histories of single older men and women
Summary This research study seeks to explore the pathways of non-marital status among older men and women in Ireland, the inter-relationship of earlier life events on individuals later social and economic situation, and the structural and social policy variables which impact upon the experience of growing older as a single person in twenty first century Ireland.
Funding Agency Atlantic Philanthropies
Type of Project
Date from 2011
Date to 2012
Person Months

Project title Living Independently at Home: Reforms in Organisation and Governance of European Home Care for Elderly and Disabled People
Summary The project will identify how 9 European countries have reformed their home help systems, by identifying the drivers of changes and responses in the organisation, provision, regulation and quality of home care/help. Hypotheses are that cross-national variation in reforms in home care policies 1) influence the involvement of different care sectors and the use of services vs. cash benefits, 2) shape the degree of formalisation/informalisation and the degree of professionalization, and 3) contribute to the quality of care. The study will be based on national legislation and statistics, national and international literature reviews, and on comparable OECD health data. The following countries participate: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Austria, UK and Ireland. PI for Irish strand of the study is Virpi Timonen, Co-Investigators Martha Doyle & Ciara O'Dwyer, Trinity College Dublin
Funding Agency Ministère de la santé, de la jeunesse, des sports et de la vie associative (France)
Programme European collaborative research project led by The Danish National Centre for Social Research
Type of Project
Date from January 2010
Date to December 2010
Person Months

Project title Grandparents' role in divorced and separated families in Ireland
Summary Divorce and separation impact upon relationships within nuclear and extended families, including relationships between grandparents, the divorced/separated couple and grandchildren. This study seeks to acquire a better understanding of how these inter-generational relationships are affected following divorce/separation. In particular, it seeks to explore some aspects of the experience and practical consequences of family break-up from the perspective of grandparents, a group rarely considered in discussions on divorce/separation. PI Virpi Timonen, Co-Investigators Ciara O'Dwyer and Martha Doyle.
Funding Agency Family Support Agency
Type of Project Research grant
Date from 2008
Date to 2009
Person Months

Project title Applying participatory research methods to improve community services for older people.
Summary The project examines service needs and utilisation among older people in the parish of Marino and Fairview in Dublin. It will provide an overview of the current levels of provision of supportive services for older people and shall make recommendations for better co-ordination of services at a local level. With the view to promoting the voice of the older people in the community, the research will identify priority issues and needs of the older people living in the area. The research will also seek to explore the opinions and concerns of service providers and informal care-givers in the area and address gaps in services, thus identifying how greater coordination of service activities can be achieved. PI Martha Doyle and Virpi Timonen
Funding Agency HSE and Northside Partnership
Type of Project Research grant
Date from 2007
Date to
Person Months

Project title MILES (Migrant Labour in the Elder Care Sector)
Summary This is a pan-European research network that focuses on migrant care workers employed in the elder care sector. The project is co-ordinated by Dr Leeson and Dr Hoff of the Oxford Institute on Ageing.
Funding Agency NORFACE
Type of Project Research network
Date from 2006
Date to 2009
Person Months

More Research Projects>>>
Publications and Other Research Outputs
Peer Reviewed
Martha Doyle, The Politics of Old Age: older people’s interest organisations and collective action in Ireland , Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2014
Anderson, S and Doyle, M , Student and staff mental health literacy and MindMatters Plus, Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, vol 15, (2), 2005, p209 - 221
Anderson, S and Doyle, M , Intervention and Prevention Programs to Support Student Mental Health: The Literature and Examples from the MindMatters Plus Initiative, Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, vol 15, , (2), 2005, p220 - 227
Non Peer Reviewed
Timonen, V., Doyle, M. and Prendergast , D. , No place like home: Domiciliary Care Services for Older People in Ireland, Liffey Press, Dublin., 2006
More Publications and Other Research Outputs >>>

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Last Updated:27-AUG-2014