Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    Employment relationships in health and social care
    Line management / HR roles
    Workforce planning, work design and skill mix
    Change management, including scaling and sustaining

    Personal profile


    My research interests concern the role of human resource management and change management in supporting service delivery and improvement through people, especially in health and social care contexts. I am particularly interested in employment relationships and experiences of work and work design, the wellbeing and retention of staff, employees’ responses to change and the role of the HR function in shaping/responding to these. Current research is exploring job quality and the retention of primary care and hospital staff.

    I was founding programme director of the MSc/Diploma in Healthcare Planning commissioned by Welsh Government and NHS Wales. Prior to this, I coordinated Cardiff Health Organisation and Policy Studies Group (CHOPS) from 2013-2019. My work has been published in Human Resource Management, the International Journal of Human Resource Management, the British Journal of Management, Public Administration and the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.

    Scholarship and Fellowship

    I am a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, an Academic Fellow of the CIPD. I was a 2022-23 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. 

    I received a BA (mod) in Business & Sociology from Trinity College Dublin, where I was awarded a gold medal. I completed my PhD as a Trinity Scholar and Government of Ireland Research Scholar. 

    Research Interests

    • People management in healthcare, including employees experiences at work and staff retention
    • Work design and its implications, including the benefits and burdens of changes in skill mix, use of technology etc.
    • Human resource management and line management roles
    • Health and social care service organisation and delivery

    Key research projects

    • 2022-2023The Commonwealth Fund. Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice, UC Berkeley. Strengthening primary care through clinical staffing. A. McDermott.
    • 2017-present, Health Research Board (Ireland). Hospital doctor retention and motivation. N. Humphries, A. Matthews, L. Prihodova, R. Costello, and A. McDermott.
    • 2012-2015, National leadership and innovation agency for Wales. An academic collaboration to develop workforce research. D. Kelly, P. Donnelly, B. Hunter, A. Jones, A. McDermott, C. O Brien, S. Pratt, Z. Radnor, D. Watkins.
    • 2012, Health Research Board (Ireland). Knowledge exchange and dissemination for: From policy to practice: An international comparison of approaches to systemic quality and safety. P. Flood, A. McDermott, L. McKee and L. Hamel.
    • 2010-2012, Health Research Board. From policy to practice: An international comparison of approaches to systemic quality and safety. P. Flood (Dublin City University), A. McDermott and L. McKee (University of Aberdeen).
    • 2009-2010, National Centre for Partnership and Performance. Line management as a resource for change. Submitted by K. Monks, A. McDermott and M. Heffernan.
    • 2009-10, Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. The HR-Performance link: Identifying key HR practices in Irish hospitals as a precursor to exploring effective delivery mechanisms. Submitted by P. Flood (DCU), A. McDermott and E. Conway (DCU).
    • 2007-2010, Health Research Board. Implementing Service-improvement in Hospitals: Roles, clinical directorate structures and the HR function. Submitted by M. Keating (Trinity College Dublin), A. McDermott and L. Fitzgerald, (DeMontfort University, UK).

    Visiting Appointments

    I am a current visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and an Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing, Griffith University, Australia. 

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    • SDG 13 - Climate Action


    Dive into the research topics where Aoife M. McDermott is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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