Skip to main content

Research Advisory Committee

Our Research Advisory Committee (RAC), a committed group of volunteers, serves as our leadership. The Research Advisory Committee assumes responsibility the Research aspects of CDI’s activities.    

We appreciate the enthusiasm and dedication our committee members bring to CDI. Their priceless efforts enable us to make a significant difference in the neighbourhoods we serve.

Primary Role

The primary role of the Research Advisory Committee is to advise and support the development, implementation, review and dissemination of all research and evaluation activities within CDI.

Functions of the Research Advisory Committee are to:

  • Provide advice and support on the commissioning and implementation of research and evaluations;
  • Support oversight of the research / evaluation programme;
  • Review emerging results from CDI research and evaluations;
  • Advise on changes to, or augmentation of, research and/or evaluations if the need arises;
  • Provide observations on design and review of services;
  • Advise on the dissemination of research and evaluation findings and conclusions, particularly in relation to its utilisation as a mechanism to influence policy, practice and training.

Reports of meetings of the RAC and any reports prepared by the RAC will be transmitted to the Board of CDI for its consideration and action as it deems appropriate.


Melissa Boyle

Melissa graduated from IT Tallaght (now TU Dublin), and later qualified as an accountant. She undertook her Masters by research, which examined the effectiveness of the Irish policy response to over-indebtedness to increase an individual’s financial well-being. After many years working in debt management and financial advice, she moved to the education sector and now lectures in TU Dublin. She continues to have a keen interest in the subject of financial well-being and provides workshops and coaching to women on this topic. She is a qualified life coach and mentor and enjoys using these skills, both personally and professionally. 

Dr John-Paul Byrne

Dr. John Paul Byrne

Dr. John-Paul Byrne, a Lecturer at RCSI Graduate School of Healthcare Management, hails from Fettercairn and attended St. Anne’s primary school near CDI. With a PhD in Sociology from Maynooth University, he received the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship (2012). His research focuses on working lives and organisational environments in healthcare, collaborating with various stakeholders and contributing to projects funded by the Health Research Board, the European Union, and the European Research Council.

Dr Suzanne Guerin

Suzanne is Associate Professor in Research Design and Analysis with the School of Psychology at University College Dublin. She teaches in applied psychology and research methods and is involved in the delivery of modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Suzanne is Deputy Director of the UCD Centre for Disability Studies and jointly coordinates the MSc in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies. Her research interests include Disability & Health, Teaching & Learning, and Applied Research. Suzanne serves on several Boards and Committees in UCD and other organisations. Suzanne was the Chair of our Board for a number of years.

Dr Helen Johnston

Helen Johnston is a Senior Social Policy Analyst at the National Economic and Social Council in Ireland, where she has worked on projects on well-being, quality and standards in human services, the social dimensions of the economic crisis and jobless households.  She is also the Chairperson of the Centre for Cross Border Studies.  Helen previously worked at the Combat Poverty Agency.  A native of Northern Ireland, Helen worked in the Northern Ireland civil service in the early years of her career.  She has qualifications in Environmental Science, Town and Country Planning, Business Administration, and has a doctorate on the determinants of implementation in the Irish policy system.  Helen has a strong interest in tackling disadvantage, especially through prevention and early intervention.

Aine McAdam

Dr Aine McAdam has lectured and tutored in both Maynooth University and University College Dublin. She holds an interdisciplinary Masters in Sociology and Spatial Geography. Aine has a special interest in housing and domestic violence issues. She obtained her PhD from Maynooth University in Sociology. Aine is a resident of West Tallaght and is committed to bettering the community.

Elizabeth Nixon

Elizabeth Nixon

Elizabeth Nixon is an Assistant Professor in Developmental Psychology in the School of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin. She is the director of the undergraduate degree program in psychology. She is a graduate of University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin. Her research and teaching interests lie in parenting and family as a context for children’s development. She is a Co-Investigator of Growing up in Ireland, the first national longitudinal study of children’s development in Ireland. She established and co-directs the Infant and Child Research Lab at Trinity, where she researches parent-child interactions.

Anita Nolan

Anita Nolan

Anita Nolan is a qualified Social Worker and a proud member of the Tallaght West Community. She is a graduate of the Liberties College Dublin, and the University of Dublin, Trinity College. Anita has worked with children and families since 2012, in Ireland and abroad. Her work experience to date includes early years childcare, working with women and children fleeing domestic violence, child protection social work, and working with young people at risk. Anita is particularly interested in programmes and approaches that empower people, increase resilience, and create better outcomes for children and families.

In Attendance: CDI CEO.