Current CARDI Grant Projects

CARDI has to date awarded funding to 7 ongoing research projects and networks through its grants programme. These projects cover a wide spectrum of research, reflecting the huge range of issues relevant to the ageing research agenda. They bring together researchers from many disciplines including medicine, gerontology, economics, psychology, physics, geography and sociology to work together in a cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary manner.

Details and results of the projects are available in this section.


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Diet, retinal microvascular health and cognitive decline and dementia risk

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Dr Charlotte Neville
  • Centre for Public Health, QUB

Mentor: Professor Jayne Woodside, QUB

For the CARDI Leadership Programme Dr Charlotte Neville will explore the impact of stress on the neurocognitive and cardiovascular health of older adults in the North and South of Ireland, using data from NICOLA and TILDA. The experience of severe or persistent psychological stress can alter immune mediators, trigger inflammatory processes and increase oxidative stress, damaging brain and cardiovascular health.

CARDI grant programme

Examining inequalities in health and health behaviours

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Dr Eibhlin Hudson, Trinity College Dublin

Researchers: 

  • Dr Irene Mosca, Economics, Trnity College Dublin
  • Professor David Madden, Economics, University College Dublin
Health behaviours are significant barriers to healthy ageing but little is known about how they differ by socio-economic status.

This study examines inequalities in Ireland, north and south, in health behaviours and outputs, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass index and physical activity. It also looks at changes over time.

Dr Hudson is developing a technique known as a concentration index – a single measure of inequality which can be decomposed to analyse factors underlying inequality.

CARDI grant programme

Frailty and disability in Ireland, North and South

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Dr Aisling O'Halloran

Frailty rates rise with age and 36% of people aged 80+ in Northern Ireland and 15% in the Republic of Ireland are frail. This research will raise awareness and deepen understanding of both the levels of frailty and frailty prevention in Ireland, North and South. The findings will be of interest to researchers, healthcare professionals, policy makers
and older people’s groups.

CARDI grant programme

Impact of stress on neurocognitive and cardiovascular health of older people in Ireland

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Dr Joanne Feeney

Researchers: 

  • Queen’s University Belfast

Mentors: Professor Ian Young and Professor Rose Anne Kenny

For the CARDI Leadership Programme Dr Joanne Feeney will explore the impact of stress on the neurocognitive and cardiovascular health of older adults in the North and South of Ireland, using data from NICOLA and TILDA. The experience of severe or persistent psychological stress can alter immune mediators, trigger inflammatory processes and increase oxidative stress, damaging brain and cardiovascular health.

CARDI grant programme

Social determinants of cognitive decline among Irish older adults

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Dr Joanna McHugh
  • Centre for Public Health, QUB

Mentors: Professors Frank Kee, Brian Lawlor, Rose Anne Kenny and Ian Robertson

The focus of Dr Joanna McHugh's research as part of the CARDI Leadership Programme is the social determinants of cognitive decline among older adults in Ireland, North and South. It will examine the causal links between loneliness, social isolation and cognitive decline, and aims to reveal the mechanisms behind these links studying and comparing longitudinal Irish population studies, TILDA and NICOLA.

CARDI grant programme

Understanding disability and its contribution to inequalities in health

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Dr Mark O'Doherty

Mark O'Doherty's research as a CARDI Fellow will explore differences in trends in work related disability and in the way people report disability between nations and across different national health and welfare service contexts. The aim of this research is to develop expertise in the evaluation and assessment of work-related disability among older adults through the use of disability vignettes which will supplement self-reported disability.

CARDI grant programme

Understanding disability in older heart disease patients in Ireland

CARDI Involvement

Project Lead

Professor Frank Kee, Queens University Belfast
  • Professor Frank Kee, Queens University Belfast
  • Dr Kathleen Bennett, TCD 
  • Dr John Hughes, NISRA
This research seeks to assess the extent to which disability associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) varies by age, gender and socio-economic status.

It will report on life expectancy free of CHD related disability and related inequalities and examine risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, obesity, physical activity and psycho-social factors.

It will also evaluate how differences in healthcare and welfare systems in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland impact on disability following CHD.

CARDI grant programme