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Dr. Carlos Bruen
Assistant Professor, Public Health & Primary Care


Carlos Bruen is Assistant Professor in Health Policy and Management and Course Director of the MSc in Health Policy and Management, Trinity College Dublin. Previously the Assistant Director for Academic Affairs on the SPHeRE Programme - an Irish structured PhD research programme in population health, policy and health services research funded by the Health Research Board (HRB) - he also worked as a researcher on a number of national and international projects, including StrokeCog and the development of an Irish stroke audit; knowledge brokering for medical workforce planning; the FP6 Global Health Initiatives in Africa project, and the Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives Network (GHIN). During this time he was an invited member of the World Health Organization Expert Consultation on Maximising Positive Synergies Between Health Systems and Global Health Initiatives. He completed PhD research on the policy processes of global health partnerships, with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance as the case study. His research and teaching focuses on different dimensions of health policy at national and international levels, including health policy and governance; health service intervention design to inform policy and practice; and knowledge translation and mobilisation for policy and practice.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Bruen C, Merriman NA, Murphy PJ, McCormack J, Sexton E, Harbison J, Williams D, Kelly PJ, Horgan F, Collins R, Ní Bhreacáin M, Byrne E, Thornton J, dummy-AUTHOR_name, Hickey A, Development of a national stroke audit in Ireland: scoping review protocol, HRB Open Research, 2021 Journal Article, 2021 DOI

Carlos Bruen, Ruairi Brugha, "We're not there to protect ourselves, we're there to talk about workforce planning": A qualitative study of policy dialogues as a mechanism to inform medical workforce planning, Health Policy, 124, (7), 2020, p736 - 742 Journal Article, 2020 URL

Hickey, Anne; Merriman, Niamh, A.; Bruen, Carlos; Mellon, Llsa; Bennett, Kathleen E; Williams, David J; Pender, Niall; Doyle, Frank, Psychological interventions for managing cognitive impairment after stroke (Protocol), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (8), 2020 Journal Article, 2020

Niamh A Merriman, Carlos Bruen, Ashleigh Gorman, Frances Horgan, David J Williams, Niall Pender, Elaine Byrne, Anne Hickey, "I'm just not a Sudoku person": analysis of stroke survivor, carer, and healthcare professional perspectives for the design of a cognitive rehabilitation intervention, Disability and rehabilitation, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 URL

Ruairí Brugha, Carlos Bruen, Politics matters: a response to recent commentaries, Int J Health Policy Manag, 3, (3), 2014, p157--158 Journal Article, 2014

Bruen, C., Brugha, R., Kageni, A., Wafula, F., A concept in flux: Questioning accountability in the context of global health cooperation, Globalization and Health, 10, (1), 2014 Journal Article, 2014

Carlos Bruen, Ruairí Brugha, A Ghost in the Machine? Politics in Global Health Policy, Int J Health Policy Manag, 3, (1), 2014, p1--4 Journal Article, 2014

Samb, B., Evans, T., Dybul, M., Atun, R., Moatti, J.-P., Nishtar, S., Wright, A., Celletti, F., Hsu, J., Kim, J.Y., Brugha, R., Russell, A., Etienne, C., De, S., Mwase, T., Wang, W., Wright, J., Daré, L., Delfraissy, J.-F., Boillot, F., Miege, P., Zhang, X., Rhatigan, J., Weintraub, R., Pun, S., Abé, C., Caceres, C., Camara, M., Coriat, B., D"Almeida, C., Aleshkina, J., Murzalieva, G., Kadzandira, J., Hammami, N., Mwapasa, V., Chkhatarashvili, K., Buch, E., Miti, K., Kamenga, C., Elouma, M.S.E., Schwalbe, N., Greenberg, A., Frehywot, S., Markus, A., Goeman, L., Khan, A., Amati, J., Mwaura-Muiru, E., Ivers, L.C., Ellner, A., Shakow, A., Kley, N.C., Irwin, A., Sullivan, E., Baker, B., Cohn, J., Davis, P., Headley, J., Siplon, P., Dickinson, C., Pearson, M., Waddington, C., Boyer, S., Eboko, F., Orsi, F., Larouzé, B., Le Loup, G., Ndubani, P., Simbaya, J., Boelaert, M., Cavalli, A., Ooms, G., Pirard, M., Polman, K., Van Damme, W., Van Dormael, M., Vermeiren, P., Teokul, W., Dlodlo, R., Fujiwara, P., Ruppol, S., Vella, S., Semigina, T., Corbett, E., Godfrey-Faussett, P., Spicer, N., Walt, G., Kanchanachitra, C., Philips, M., Riva, G., Kabuayi, J.-P., Kiputsu, A.K., Ndongosieme, A., Koulla-Shiro, S., Samake, S., Bamba, S.I., Coulibaly, Y., Traore, M.N., Berthé, I.B.I., Wibulpolprasert, S., Chunharas, S., Jerome, G., Mukherjee, J., Nguini, M.E.O., Rao, K.D., Reddy, S., Nyirenda, L., Biesma, R., Bruen, C., Dicker, P., Walsh, A., Cailhol, J., Parsons, A., Mathole, T., Sanders, D., Raghavan, S.S., Mwanza, F., Michael, E.B., Richard, W., Banati, P., Blakley, M., Ingenkamp, N., Lansang, M.A., Low-Beer, D., Shakarishvili, G., Kayongo, A., Buse, K., Martineau, T., Dehne, K., Pett, I., Salama, P., Chilundo, B., Ndumbe, P., Atashili, J., Sow, P.S., Hill, P.S., Brenzel, L., Babaley, M., Dayrit, M., de Zoysa, I., Dyrhauge, J., Evans, T., Galichet, B., Kadama, P., Porignon, D., Russell, S., Tata, H., Van Lerberghe, W., An assessment of interactions between global health initiatives and country health systems, The Lancet, 373, (9681), 2009, p2137-2169 Journal Article, 2009

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Bridget M. Johnston, Fódhla Ní Chéileachair, Sara Burke, Regina McQuillan, Peter May, Lucy Davis, Sarah Barry, Eimir Hurley, Steve Thomas, Charles Normand, Carlos Bruen, Review of the Implementation of the 2001 Report of the National Advisory Committee on Palliative Care as it relates to Adult Palliative Care, Department of Health, Government of Ireland, February, 2022 Report, 2022 DOI

Niamh A. Merriman, Carlos Bruen, Joan McCormack, Joseph Harbison, Eithne Sexton, David Williams, Peter J Kelly, Frances Horgan, Ronán Collins, Máirín Ní Bhreacáin, Elaine Byrne, John Thornton, Collette Tully, Anne Hickey, Maximising the quality of stroke care in Ireland - Development of a national stroke audit, European Stroke Journal;, European Stroke Organisation Conference, Helsinki, Finland/Online, 2021, 6, (suppl 1), 2021 Poster, 2021

Sexton E, Shumba J, Heaume F, Merriman N, Bruen C, Hickey A, Williams D, Bennett K, Prevalence of cognitive impairment and dementia in community-dwelling adults with stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis (Protocol: CRD42019141431), Prospero, 2019 Journal Article, 2019

Understanding Global Health Policy in, editor(s)Garrett W. Brown; Gavin Yamey; Sarah Wamala , The Handbook of Global Health Policy, New York, John Wiley & Sons, 2014, pp19 - 45, [Ruairí Brugha, Carlos Bruen, Viroj Tangcharoensathien] Book Chapter, 2014

McCoy, David;, Bruen, Carlos; Hill, Peter, & Kerouedan, Dominique, The Global Fund: What Next for Aid Effectiveness and Health Systems Strengthening?, Nairobi, Kenya, Aidspan, 2012 Report, 2012

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation in, editor(s)Thomas Hale; David Held , Handbook of Transnational Governance: New Institutions and Innovations, London, John Wiley & Sons, 2011, pp384 - 394, [Andrew Harmer, Carlos Bruen] Book Chapter, 2011

Bruen, Carlos., Brugha, Ruairi, and Biesma, Regien, GHIs & National Health Systems: A Review Report for WHO-Harvard Maximizing Positive Synergies Research Group, RCSI, Dublin, 2009 Report, 2009

Research Expertise


I have been lead or contributing researcher on projects and publications broadly in the area of health policy, governance and services research, both nationally and globally and from a social science perspective. I supervise MSc or PhD research projects in these areas, and am open to discussing related research projects with potential applicants.


  • Title
    • Review of the implementation of the 2001 report of the National Advisory Committee on Palliative Care as it relates to Adult Palliative Care
  • Summary
    • This external review will address the terms of reference, which are: 1. To assess progress achieved to date in the implementation of the recommendations of the NACPC 2001 Report and the respective 2009 and 2017 HSE Palliative Care Service Development Frameworks. 2. To identify gaps in the implementation of the policy, including any barriers to progress, and how such issues could be addressed by the policy update. 3. To comment on the relevance of the recommendations in the 2001 Report in the current context. 4. To comment on whether the approach to service delivery in Ireland is cost effective having regard to existing international evidence on cost effective palliative care services. 5. To make recommendations, in light of the above, on priority areas that should be addressed in the policy update, including areas of evolving and emerging need, having regard to international developments as outlined in the International Evidence Brief conducted by the Health Research Board on behalf of the Department of Health. PI: Dr Bridget Johnston, TCD
  • Funding Agency
    • Department of Health, Government of Ireland
  • Date From
    • Sep 2021
  • Date To
    • Feb 2022
  • Title
    • Health Workforce Policy Dialogues & Knowledge Exchange Research Project
  • Summary
    • Proposal contributor and lead researcher on a study of policy dialogues as a brokering mechanism to inform medical workforce planning in Ireland. (PI: Prof Ruairi Brugha, RCSI)
  • Funding Agency
    • Health Research Board
  • Date From
    • 2017
  • Date To
    • 2018
  • Title
    • Study Within a Trial - to test the effectiveness of using different communication methods for follow-up for the purpose of improving trial retention
  • Summary
    • The Study Within a Trial (SWAT) will test the effectiveness of using different communication methods for follow-up for the purpose of improving trial retention. This SWAT is embedded in a larger project pilot testing a cognitive rehabilitation intervention aimed at improving/preventing further decline in cognitive function post-stroke. PI: Prof Anne Hickey (RCSI)
  • Funding Agency
    • HRB
  • Date From
    • 2022
  • Title
    • Global Health Initiatives & Accountability Project
  • Funding Agency
    • Aidspan, Kenya
  • Date From
    • 2013
  • Date To
    • 2013



Article reviewer for journals that include: The BMJ; BMC Human Resources for Health; Frontiers in Public Health; Qualitative Studies in Psychology; Globalization & Health; International Journal of Health Policy and Management; Irish Studies in International Affairs; Policy & Practice: A Development Education Review; and Third World Quarterly.

Visiting Lecturer on the Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology Research Masters (Health Systems & Prevention stream) delivered by the University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Netherlands. 2020

Member of the consultancy team leading an evaluation of Ireland's 2001 national palliative care policy to inform a 2022 Department of Health update of this policy. 2021

Steering Group member, 'Applying a sanitation approach to the problem of Household Air Pollution in Malawi' Project (2020-2022). PI: Dr Debbi Stanistreet (RCSI) 2019

Workshop Rapporteur, Joint Research Council (JRC) "Strengthening and connecting eco-systems of science for policy in Europe" workshop series. 2020

Membership of and contributing to a commissioned literature review for the WHO Maximising Positive Synergies Collaborative Group Project. 2008

Distance Mentor, Emerging Voices for Health programme, Institute for Tropical Medicine, Antwerp/World Health Organisation 2011

Editorial Board member, Policy & Practice: A Development Education Review, 2007

Group facilitator, Irish consultative process for the World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul 2016. 2015


Cochrane 2019 – present