Centres And GroupsCentre for Social and Family Research

Centre for Social and Family Research

The Centre for Social and Family Research was established in 2003 and is chaired by Dr. Michael Howlett and co-ordinated by Fergus Hogan and Maire O’ Reilly. It is a practice minded research centre, committed to the pursuit of social care and social justice. The Centre brings together the teaching and research strengths of a strong multi-disciplinary team and benefits from a range of disciplines including; Sociology; Social Policy, Theology; Social Work; Early Childhood Studies and Psychology.

The centre draws on the Mission Statement of Waterford Institute of Technology which recognises the need to engage in research for the advancement of knowledge, the support of society and the enhancement of teaching. The centre’s core objective is to conduct applied social research which will critically address current debates in Irish social policy and make a contribution to the development of policy.

The Centre has developed very strong research links with key commissioning bodies and is committed to conducting applied social research, generating new knowledge of the societal context within which we all live and addressing core social problems. The Centre has real expertise in winning and publishing nationally commissioned research contributing to the development of public policy and practice. The centre is committed to enhancing good working relationships between the Institute and a variety of state and voluntary agencies and cultivating links with international academic partners.

The Centre has been very successful in attracting funding for post-graduate research, mainly through the Technology Sector Research Strand I programme. These awards have been very significant in the development of the Centre and have won the Centre national recognition. Dissemination of research through the presentation of postgraduate work at key national conferences has been central to this. Staffs in the Centre have displayed a strong commitment to  securing postgraduate funding in key areas of research interest and expertise. Key areas to secure funding include; racism and ethnicity; changing nature of Irish families; child-centred research, religion; fathering; men and masculinities; parenting; fostering.


Mr. Fergus Hogan,
Department of Applied Arts,
Waterford Institute of Technology,
College Street Campus,

Phone +353 51 845672
Fax + 353 51 302800
Email fhogan@wit.ie

CSFR Fulltime Faculty Members

  • Ms. Jacinta Byrne-Doran, B Sc. M Sc

  • Dr. Sinead Conneely, BA, LL.B, LL.M, PhD, BL

  • Mr. Jonathan Culleton, BA, MA

  • Mr. Fergus Hogan, B Soc, M Soc Sc, NQSW, Dip. Systemic Family Therapy

  • Dr. Michael Howlett, B Sc, BD, STL, ThD, PhD

  • Ms. Claire Nolan, BA, MA

  • Ms. Máire O’Reilly, B Soc Sc, M Soc Sc,

  • Ms. Jacqui Quinn, MA

  • Ms. Cathy Wells, RGN, RMN, MA, PG Dip

CSFR Postgraduate Research

In the 2007/2008 academic year, there were 5 registered postgraduate students in the Centre for Social and Family Research - all studying at Masters level.