Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Suzanne Cullen-Smith


Personal Description

My passion for justice, fairness, and equality has fed a lifetime of volunteering and an interest in promoting diversity and inclusion in society. After earning a Bachelor of Social Science degree from University College Dublin, Ireland, I travelled to the U.S.A. where I worked in mental health, addictions treatment, and health education for fifteen years, and engaged in postgraduate studies in intercultural relations. Returning home in 1997, I developed an extensive background in intercultural and anti-racism training before completing a Higher Diploma in Business for Small Enterprise Support (2012) followed by an MSc by research from Dundalk Institute of Technology (2016).

In addition to teaching Healthcare in the adult education sector, I have worked on a range of ageing and digital health research projects including Horizon2020 projects ProACT and SEURO (evaluation of a digital intervention for use by older persons self-managing multi-morbidity) and as part of a European research team exploring Social Innovation in Ageing initiatives. My research has included examining the experiences of older people with GP out-of-hours, exploring the vocational challenges of home healthcare assistants, and evaluating stakeholder experiences of online delivery of care activities for community-dwelling older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I currently lead the NetwellCASALA Living Lab at Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland, where I support multiple research initiatives in digital health, wellbeing, and ageing. My present research interests are in the areas of equality, diversity and inclusion in the provision of digital health interventions and the experiences of underrepresented groups, including older adults. I am currently undertaking a PhD through the Dept. of Media and Communications at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, examining factors influencing access and use of health and wellbeing interventions by older persons.