Research Projects

KT4D (Knowledge Technologies for Democracy)

Duration: 2023 - 2026; Role: External Ethics Advisor

AI and big data are fundamentally interwoven into our societies, culture and indeed into our expectations and conceptions of democratic governance and exchange. They can also, however, contribute to an environment for citizens that is distinctly anti-democratic. KT4D will harness the benefits of an understanding of these as knowledge technologies to foster more inclusive civic participation in democracy.

Ethics in Dementia (EDEM) COST Action

Duration: 2022 - 2026; Role: Working group leader

The main aim of the Ethics in Dementia (EDEM) COST Action is to reduce burnout and moral distress among caregivers and promote the dignity, autonomy, and quality of life of people with dementia, a health challenge on the rise. EDEM involves a multitude of stakeholders in developing an ethical framework, recommendations and an educational toolkit available for use across Europe. The project aims at improving dignity, autonomy and quality of life of people with dementia, as well as reducing burnout and moral distress among caregivers.

AURORA (Achieving a new European Energy Awareness)

Duration: 2021 - 2025; Role: Member of the Ethics Board

AURORA aims at an innovative long-term citizen engagement with energy sustainable behaviours empowering civil society to adopt a leading role in the energy cycle and to be real actors of a sustainable change via the promotion of citizen science practices. AURORA Energy Awareness rationale will be implemented as a demonstrator in 5 European countries.The final objective is to generate the first generations of Near Zero-Emission Citizens acting as ambassadors for sustainable energy behaviours. As a consequence of the activities performed by citizens, data collected AURORA will also be able to improve energy transition scenarios including citizens' behaviours and learning periods and generate reliable data on the impact of climate on energy infrastructures.

ADAPT II (Centre for Digital Content Platform Research)

Duration: 2021 - 2027; Role: Funded investigator and Challenge co-leader

The ADAPT Centre tackles the fundamental Global Digital Content challenge of how enterprises, institutions and individual users can easily assimilate, reuse and seamlessly interact with global digital content across different languages, media (speech, text, video) and usage contexts. ADAPT will create research breakthroughs in technologies to enable meaningful global conversations between organisations and users.

SkinTERM (Skin Tissue Engineering and REgenerative Medicine)

Duration: 2020 - 2024; Role: Member of the Ethics Advisory Board

SkinTERM aims to convert the normal mode of skin repair into skin regeneration by delivering excellently and multidisciplinary trained scientists able to take this research area to the next level. Furthermore, It aims to address wound healing in a completely different way, recapitulating regeneration rather than repair. The project aims to create a new generation of entrepreneurial, multidisciplinary and intersectorially trained scientists with excellent career prospects in either academia, industry or government.  Early stage researchers trained in this programme will be able to drive this research area further towards clinical translation in Europe.

PROTECT (Protecting Personal Data amidst Big Data Innovation)

Duration: 2019 - 2023; Role: Principal investigator and work-package leader

The overall goal of PROTECT is to grow a new generation of 14 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), as PhDs graduated via a unique multidisciplinary, inter-sectoral and international European Training Network ETN). The network will investigate the protection of rights and interests of individuals and groups impacted by the continuous large-scale analysis of personal data, while still enabling the economy and society to benefit from rapid innovation in digital applications that collect and use this data. The PROTECT ESRs will implement a Personal Career development Plan (PCDP) that will enable them to integrate and apply arguments, analyses and tools from across the fields of law, ethics and knowledge engineering, so that they can take on leading research and data scientist roles within digital services industry and public policy sectors too address challenges of data protection, data ethics and data governance. Horizon 2020: Call: H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018. (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks). Topic: MSCA-ITN-2018. Type of action: MSCA-ITN-ETN (European Training Networks). DCU’s share: €550,000.

INBOTS (Inclusive Robotics for a better Society)

Duration: 2018 - 2021; Role: Principal investigator

INBOTS provides a platform to establish a working synergy between four pillars that covers all stakeholders in Interactive Robotics: the technical expertise pillar, the business expertise pillar, the ethical, legal and socioeconomic expertise pillar, as well as the end-users, policy makers and general public pillar. Therefore, the project strives at coordinating and supporting actions aimed at building bridges among these pillars to promote debate and create a responsible research and innovation paradigm that will potentiate EU leadership on robotics. INBOTS CSA is relevant to the H2020 Topic ICT 28-2017: “Robotics Competitions, coordination and support”, scope a) “Non-technical barriers to robotics take-up”; b) “Standards and Regulation”; and c) “Community support and outreach”. Through a coordination and support action the INBOTS CSA consortium will build and support a strong European community based on the collaboration between all stakeholders. The project will serve as a platform for sharing experiences and accelerate the technology transfer, regulation and legislation in the field. (Horizon 2020, Call: H2020-ICT-2016-2017, Topic: ICT-28-2017, DCU’s share: €47,000). 

EnTIRE (Mapping Normative Frameworks for EThics and Integrity of REsearch)

Duration: 2017 - 2021; Role: Principal investigator

The aim of the EnTIRE project is to create a platform that makes the normative framework governing Research Ethics and Research Integrity (RE+RI) easily accessible, supports application in research and evaluation, and involves all stakeholders in a participatory way, thus achieving sustainability. The platform will foster uptake of ethical standards and responsible conduct of research, and ultimately support research excellence and strengthen society’s confidence in research and its findings (Horizon 2020 Call: H2020-SwafS-2016-17 (Science with and for Society), Topic: SwafS-16-2016), DCU's share €486,000.

Values and Decisions at the End of Life

Duration: 2017 - 2021; Role: Partner

The main objective of this research project is to conduct a study of decision-making related to the end of his life in intensive care units in Croatia in hospitals at the tertiary level health care (clinics, clinical hospitals, clinical hospital centres) and propose guidelines on these issues. The project is funded by the Croatian Science Foundation; HRZZ Research Projects (IP-06-2016).

CANVAS (Constructing an Alliance for Value-driven Cybersecurity) 

Duration: 2016 - 2019; Role: Principal investigator

The CANVAS project has the following objectives : 1. Structure existing knowledge in ethics, law, empirical and technological research related to cybersecurity with a particular focus on three reference domains of application (health, business, police/national security) and by involving insights gained in previous EU projects. 2. Design a network for exchanging knowledge and generating insights across domains using several procedures, among others by workshops and a summarizing conference. 3. Disseminate the insights gained through various means. Those include briefing packages for policy stakeholders, a reference curriculum for value-driven cybersecurity with a particular focus on industry-training, and a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) (Call: H2020-DS-2015-1 Digital Security: Cybersecurity, Privacy and Trust; Topic: Value-sensitive technological innovation in Cybersecurity - DS-07-2015; € 114,000).

GAP (Gaming for Peace) 

Duration: 2016 - 2018; Role: Advisory board

The GAP project launches an iterative process of curriculum development and refinement through end users (military, police and civilian personnel) evaluating the game and embedded base curriculum by playing the game and in doing so, bringing their own experiences to the game, thus further developing the curriculum of CPPB relevant soft skills (Horizon 2020 Call: H2020-BES-2015 Topic: BES-13-2015). 

ADAPT I (Centre for Digital Content Platform Research)

Duration: 2015 - 2021; Role: Funded researcher

ADAPT I has successfully created research breakthroughs in technologies to enable meaningful global conversations between organisations and users (Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centres Programme 2014).

ASSISTID (The Ethics of Assitive Technologies)

Duration: 2015 - 2018; Role: Principal investigator

The ASSISTID fellowship is co-funded by the charity RESPECT and the EU. The research addresses what ethical issues are raised by the use of three selected cutting-edge assistive technologies – namely lifelogs, AAL-technologies, and brain-computer interfaces – in aiding people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.  Some ethical dilemmas have been identified and discussed in relation to these technologies in general but the academic debate regarding the ethics of these technologies in relation to people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, intellectual disabilities and the problems of aging is still in its infancy.  These technologies have been chosen as they are still in the early stages of development and roll-out.

ENDCARE (Harmonisation & Dissemination of Best Practice, Educating & Alleviating concerns of Healthcare Professionals on the proper practice of End Of Life)

Duration: 2015 - 2018; Role: Principal investigator 

The purpose of this project is to: 1) Provide a new appraisal of where we are with the moral teachings of various normative values by bringing together expert scholars in this field of study. 2) Understand why health care professionals fear using appropriate moral care pathways at the end of life. 3) Provide a basis for teaching and educating the general public and health care professionals in this regard. 4) Clearly define and identify that care that might normally be considered as ‘ordinary care’, such as artificial nutrition and hydration’, can easily become disproportionate and extraordinary due to the discomfort caused to patients, not recognising that the patient’s dignity and comfort should be the goal of any treatment at this stage of life; the clear purpose of the health care professional should be to treat the patient and not one’s own (unclear) conscience and/or the fear of s lack of understand on the part of relatives (Erasmus+ Programme). 

SeaBioTech (From sea-bed to test-bed: harvesting the potential of marine biodiversity for industrial biotechnology)

Duration: 2012-2016; Role: Advisory board

SeaBioTech is a 48-month European Community's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) project designed and driven by SMEs to create innovative marine biodiscovery pipelines as a means to convert the potential of marine biotechnology into novel industrial products for the pharmaceutical (human and aquaculture), cosmetic, functional food and industrial chemistry sectors. To achieve its goals, SeaBioTech brings together complementary and world-leading experts, integrating biology, genomics, natural product chemistry, bioactivity testing, industrial bioprocessing, legal aspects, market analysis and knowledge exchange.

COST – Disaster Bioethics  (Addressing ethical issues triggered by disasters)

Duration: 2012 - 2016; Role: Working group chair

This COST (intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action (ISCH COST Action IS1201) aims to improve ethical decision-making for disasters by gathering knowledge of the ethical dilemmas and issues, carefully examining them, and developing training materials and published resources to address disaster ethics. These outputs will assist policy-makers, humanitarian organisations, healthcare professionals, researchers and the public. The Action will benefit European citizens, organisations and States who already provide extensive resources for disaster relief. Thereby, the Action will benefit those affected by disasters, which disproportionately impact lower income countries and the more vulnerable within regions.

DEM@CARE – Dementia Ambient Care (Multi-Sensing Monitoring for Intelligent Remote Management and Decision Support)

Duration: 2011 - 2015; Role: Partner

Dementia Ambient Care: Multi-Sensing Monitoring for Intelligent Remote Management and Decision Support is a 4-year European Community's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) project focused on the development of a complete system providing personal health services to persons with dementia, as well as medical professionals, by using a multitude of sensors, for context-aware, multiparametric monitoring of lifestyle, ambient environment, and health parameters. Multisensor data analysis, combined with intelligent decision making mechanisms, will allow an accurate representation of the person's current status and will provide the appropriate feedback, both to the person and the associated medical professionals.

In-MINDD (Innovative Midlife Intervention for Dementia Deterrence)

Duration: 2012 - 2015; Role: Advisory board

This project, funded by European Community's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), seeks to design and test a state of the art electronic system for use in primary care to profile individuals’ dementia risks and respond to those risks with a combination of the best available on-line strategies and locally sourced options. This will be achieved through advanced web search and aggregation technologies. This will enable comprehensive state of the art assessment, multi-use of programmes already designed for such risk modification, flexibility for the end user, and ease of use for primary care staff. The intervention is aimed at people in their sixth decade.

REVERIE (Real and Virtual Engagement in Realistic Immersive Environments)

Duration: 2011 - 2015; Role: Partner

REVERIE is a 3.5-year European Community's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) funded project, aiming to provide the means for building a mixed reality space in which real and virtual worlds engage and seamlessly interact in real-time, generating compelling and highly realistic immersive environments. REVERIE envisages an ambient, content-centric Internet-based environment, highly flexible and secure, where people can work, meet, participate in live events, socialize and share experiences, as they do in real life, but without time, space and affordability limitations. In order to achieve this goal, the integration of cutting-edge technologies related to 3D data acquisition and processing, sound processing, autonomous avatars, networking, real-time rendering, and physical interaction and emotional engagement in virtual worlds is required.


Duration: 2011-2014; Role: Advisory board

StudioLab was inspired by the merging of the artist’s studio with the research lab to create a hybrid creative space. The project proposed the creation of a new European platform for creative interactions between art and science. It brought together major players in scientific research with centres of excellence in the arts and experimental design and leverages the existence of a new network of hybrid spaces to pilot a series of projects at the interface between art and science including Le Laboratoire (Paris), Science Gallery (Trinity College Dublin), Royal College of Art (London), Ars Electronica (Linz) and MediaLab Prado (Madrid). StudioLab involved activities along three key dimensions: incubation of art-science projects, education and public engagement.

NAMDIATREAM (Nanotechnological Toolkits for Multi-Modal Disease Diagnostics and Treatment Monitoring)

Duration: 2010-2014; Role: Advisory board

NAMDIATREAM: Nanotechnological Toolkits for Multi-Modal Disease Diagnostics and Treatment Monitoring was a 4-year interdisciplinary researc project funded by European Community's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7). It involved 22 partners from 8 European Countries (Ireland, Spain, Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, UK) and 1 associated country (Switzerland). The Pan-European consortium was built around 7 High-Tech SMEs, 2 Multinational industries and 13 academic institutions. It aimed to develop a cutting edge nanotechnology-based toolkit for multi-modal detection of biomarkers of most common cancer types and cancer metastases, permitting identification of cells indicative of early disease onset in a high-specificity and throughput format in clinical, laboratory and point-of-care devices. The project was built on the innovative concepts of super-sensitive and highly specific “lab-on-a-bead”, “lab-on-a-chip” and “lab-on-a-wire” nano-devices. This offers groundbreaking advantages over present technologies in terms of stability, sensitivity, time of analysis, probe multiplexing, assay miniaturisation and reproducibility.


Duration: 2008-2011; Role: Principal investigator

Tiss.EU was a 3-year European Community's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) funded research project, coordinated by the Department for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Göttingen (Germany). Its aim was to evaluate legislative and regulatory documents in relation to the procurement, storage and transfer of human tissue and cells for research in the European Union. The project ended on 1 April 2011.

GLEUBE (Globalising European Bioethics Education)

Duration: 2008-2011; Role: Principal investigator

GLEUBE (Globalising European Bioethics Education) was a 3-year European Union-funded project aimed at increasing the international profile of European bioethics. The project was a collaboration between the University of Central Lancashire (Co-ordinating institution, UK), Cardiff University (United Kingdom), Dublin City University (Ireland), University of Helsinki (Finland) and the University of Oslo (Norway). The project ended on 31 October 2011.