Avril Deegan


Avril Deegan was awarded an IRC Enterprise Partnership Scheme in conjunction with Breakthrough 2022.  Avril will work with supervisor Dr. Simon Dunne in Dublin city University (DCU)

Her PhD is focused on “A Longitudinal, Mixed Methods Study Investigating Resilience, Social Support and Quality of Life Amongst Childhood Leukaemia Survivors and their Parents” At the age of five Avril was diagnosed with acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

Avril says “As a childhood Leukaemia survivor, I feel I have a lot to offer to the research and, more importantly, it is a topic I have great interest in.”  In tandem with the growing recognition and importance of patient and public involvement in research, there is an increasing recognition of the value for investing in “expert-by-experience researchers” to ensure that research on a particular topic of inquiry is relevant and reflects the experience of these experts. ‘Experts-by-experience’ are more likely to a) ask more appropriate research questions, which are grounded in their life context, than lay researchers, b) ensure the research has a practical and relevant focus, c) understand the relevant healthcare context, and d) have a network of fellow “experts-by-experience” [1].  Avril says “For this reason, I feel I have a lot to offer to the field of Leukaemia research and with over 80% of children surviving Leukaemia nowadays, it is inevitable that more research is needed into survivorship care.”

You can hear more about Avril’s research by playing the video below

Start year
End year
Principal Investigator
Dr Simon Dunne
Avril Deegan
Dublin City University
IRC Enterprise Partnership Scheme 2022 PhD Award
Linked To Research Priorities
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