What is RAP?

A man and a woman sitting at a table shaking hands and smiling.The Research Active Programme (RAP) is a module where people with disabilities, service providers and health professionals can learn to do research together.  RAP is delivered at the University of Limerick and at Trinity College Dublin.

University of Limerick logoAt UL, RAP is a stand-alone module that is taught to enable people with disabilities and their allies to become co-researchers with other. RAP creates an informed group of co-researchers who can work with ids@ul. RAP has been taught over 12 weeks and in 2014 will be tried in a 3 week format.

Trinity College Dublin LogoAt Trinity, RAP is a module in the Certificate in Contemporary Living. This programme teaches a range of independent living skills. Learning about research is one of these skills. The Certificate takes two years to complete in full and the RAP module is taught over 12 weeks.

A full overview of the 12-week plan is available to download here:

RAP Module Handbook

Why was RAP developed?

People with intellectual disabilities are increasingly involved in research projects on their life experiences. They often enter these projects with limited knowledge of research. However, there is no standard research training for people with intellectual disabilities which results in a reproduction of very similar training materials by different research teams, delays in the implementation of projects, and unnecessary use of resources (e.g., staff, time).  The Research Active Programme (RAP) was designed to address this gap.

groupThe main aims of RAP are:

  • To enable individuals with intellectual disabilities to become critical consumers of research
  • To establish a core group of people with intellectual disabilities interested in becoming research partners with members of IDS@UL (Intellectual Disability Studies at University of Limerick)
  • To provide people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to learn how to do data collection (e.g. interviews, focus groups, photography)
  • To create innovative approaches for knowledge translation with, for, and by people with intellectual disabilities.


For more information about the Research Active Programme, contact:

Dr Nancy Salmon, Department of Clinical Therapies, University of Limerick, Ireland.

Link to Nancy’s profile page at the University of Limerick.

Funded by the European Commission Marie Curie Actions

The Research Active Programme was funded by a European Commission Marie Curie Action.


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