James M. Flaherty Report – Visiting Professor Molly Byrne

October 30, 2017

Report of Professor Molly Byrne, School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway.

James M Flaherty Visiting Professor 2016/2017


Name of home University/Institution

National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway)


Name of Institutions visited

I visited three Canadian institutions during my Flaherty Visiting Professorship: one primary institution (8 week visit) and two secondary institutions (1 week visit to each).


  • Primary visit: Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre (MBMC) (http://mbmc-ca/). 19/05/2017 – 10/07/2017

The MBMC is based at Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal (HSCM, part of the CIUSSS-NIM (Le Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, http://ciusss-


My main contacts within the MBMC were Dr Simon Bacon (Full Professor at Concordia University) and Dr Kim Lavoie (Full Professor at the Université du Quebec a Montréal) who founded the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre in 2006, and are its current co-directors.



Here I visited Dr Justin Presseau, Scientist with the Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and met with Dr Jeremy Grimshaw, Senior Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Full Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Health Knowledge Transfer and Uptake.


17/07/2017 – 26/07/2017


I visited Dr Michael Vallis, Associate Professor, Family Medicine, Dalhousie University and Director of the Behaviour Change Institute, Capital Health Nova Scotia.


Purpose of Visit

The goal of my Flaherty Visiting Professorship was to build on and extend existing collaborations between Canadian and Irish Centres of Excellence in health behaviour interventions and trials, health psychology and implementation science. At the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre, I initiated a research prioritization research project to progress the work of the International Behavioural Trials Network. I delivered 6 lectures and seminars, to disseminate the research of the Health Behaviour Research Group and learn from those conducting similar research in Canada.


Visit Details

Research & development conducted

  • I initiated and will continue to lead on a Research Prioritisation Research Project to identify research priorities and develop the research agenda of the International Behavioural Trials Network. There were several meetings of the Research Prioritisation Project Team in Canada (Simon Bacon, Kim Lavoie, Molly Byrne, Jenny McSharry) and we will continue to collaborate as outlined


Lectures/talks given:

  • James M. Flaherty Lecture, Concordia University, 20th June 2017

Strengthening Research through Public and Patient Engagement: An Irish Example of Patient-Oriented Research in Diabetes. This lecture was supported by a number of Concordia academic and research units including the School of Irish Studies, Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science, the PERFORM Centre as well as The Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre and the International Behavioural Trials Network. The lecture was live- streamed and recorded, and is available at: A3P-YM


  • Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre Seminar, 29th June 2017

Molly Byrne and Jenny McSharry presented on the Research Prioritisation Project.


  • Departmental seminar at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 11th July 11th

A decade of behaviour change research: lessons learned

  • University of Ottawa Heart Institute, 12-1 pm, 13th July 2017

Sexual counselling for people with cardiovascular disease: Lessons learned from a decade of research


  • Dalhousie University, Halifax, Quality in Primary Health Care Seminar Series, Faculty of Medicine, Dept of Family Medicine, 21st July 2017

A decade of behaviour change research: lessons learned

  • Diabetes and Endocrine Research Group Seminar, Dalhousie University, Halifax, 25th July 2017

Strengthening Research through Public and Patient Engagement: An Irish Example of Patient-Oriented Research in Diabetes

 Conference presentations:

Attended the Knowledge Translation Canada Annual Scientific Meeting. 15th – 16th June 2017, Quebec City. Presented a poster with Dr Elaine Toomey and the CHERISH Project team on: The implementation fidelity of infant feeding interventions to prevent childhood obesity: a systematic review

Contacts made

In addition to frequent meetings with my main link colleagues (Simon Bacon, Kim Lavoie, Justin Presseau, Michael Vallis), I had the following contacts/meetings:

  • I made a number of contacts at the Knowledge Translation Canada Annual Scientific Meeting. 15th and 16th June 2017, Quebec City, which will be useful to me as I work with the Health Behaviour Change Research Group and the Health Research Board in Ireland to develop expertise in Knowledge Translation/Implementation Science in Ireland.
  • 4th July 2017: Met with Prof Kaberi Dasgupta, MD, MSc, Associate Professor of Medicine, McGill University, Director of Clinical Epidemiology, McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) & Associate Director of Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE), Research Institute of the MUHC at the Flaherty Lecture. Overlap in research in the area of young adults with Type 1 Diabetes. Have agreed to collaborate over establishment of young adult panels for research in young adults with Type 1 Diabetes.
  • 13th July 2017: Met with Jeremy Grimshaw who leads the Centre for Implementation Research at the Ottawa. He shared recently submitted and funded research funding applications to promote international implementation science networks, which will be extremely helpful in promoting this type of research in Ireland.Future Continuing Collaboration
  • I will co-facilitate a Synergy expert meeting in advance of the European Health Psychology Society Annual Conference with Dr Justin Presseau (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute) in Padova, Italy, 28th – 28th August 2017. This meeting will draw together 25 international experts in Implementation Science and we will collaborate at the meeting and in the months following to write a paper focusing on the current state and future directions for Implementation Science within Health Psychology, which we will submit to the journal ‘Implementation Science’.
  • I will continue to lead the Research Prioritisation Research Project which will run until early 2018. This will involve regular email contact and teleconference meetings with Dr Simon Bacon and Dr Kim Lavoie every 6 weeks. This work will be written up and submitted for publication in early 2018. I have been invited to present this work at a keynote presentation at the International Behavioural Trials Network Conference in Montreal 24th – 26th May 2018. • I have been invited by Prof Simon Bacon to join the Scientific Advisory Board for the Summer School which will be delivered as part of his Canadian Institutes for Health Research SPOR (Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research) Chair. I will also be one of the tutors for this summer school, which will be delivered in Montreal, 21st – 23rd May 2018.
  • I met a number of new colleagues during my visit to Canada, who were generous with sharing details of their research and research funding applications for future projects, particularly in the areas of self-management among young adults with Type 1 Diabetes, Implementation Science and Behavioural Trials. I will maintain communication with these colleagues as much as possible to promote the quality of future research.Conclusion
    Overall, the James M Flaherty Visiting Professor Visit was professionally and personally fantastic. I have no doubt that the networks established and strengthened, as well as the projects initiated, research disseminated and knowledge shared, will significantly increase the quality of research being conducted, and ultimately contribute to improving public health, in both Ireland and Canada.