MHI Kevin Plunkett Award Application Form

Bursary Information

The primary focus of the Mental Health Ireland Kevin Plunkett Award is to recognise the contribution of mental health nurses who have distinguished themselves in their role and to further contribute to building nursing practice excellence and improving care and services for people using services and their families. In line with Mental Health Ireland’s strategy of co-production, the active involvement of people with lived experience, is paramount at all stages of the process.  

Mental Health Ireland wish to recognise the work of Mental Health Nurses working throughout Ireland. Kevin Plunkett award is named after the former Area Director of Nursing for Waterford/Wexford Mental Health Service who passed away in May of this year. Kevin was a dedicated mental health nurse and mental health volunteer who showed great courage and leadership throughout his career.

On Oct 10th, World Mental Health Day, Mental Health Ireland are introducing this new initiative and invite nominations for Registered Psychiatric Nurses working in Ireland. The Mental Health Ireland Kevin Plunkett Award will recognise and celebrate RPNs who have shown innovation in areas which may include; Mental Health Promotion, Co-Production, Facilitating Recovery, Service Quality, Innovation and Improvement Public Understanding or Community engagement.

We wish to recognise Mental Health Nurses who bring new thinking or fresh insights aligned to the recommendations of the new national mental health policy ‘Sharing the Vision’ and Mental Health Ireland’s own strategy. We also wish to acknowledge best practice, innovation, sustainable and impactful change being brought about by RPNs at all levels. Nominations will be accepted for nurses working in the public and private sector, hospital or community settings, NGOs, research, service improvement and the academic centres.

In keeping with MHI’s co-production principles, a Working Group has been convened which includes a Mental Health Ireland Board Member, an Area Director of Nursing nominee, a member of Kevin Plunkett’s family and a Person with Lived Experience. Nomination and application is made via mental Health Ireland’s website.

Closing date for applications is Wednesday, Dec 15th 2021.

Award Applications received after this date will not be considered. 

Criteria for Consideration of the Award

Applications for awards should be for the purposes outlined below which will take place within a year from the date of award being granted (2022).

Application needs to be for a well-defined purpose, which will make a clear contribution to building nursing practice and excellence as well as improving care and services for people using services and their families.

Must include a detailed budget explaining how the award is to be utilised and spent.

Applicants must indicate any other sources of funding they have applied for, and the amount of support (if any) received. Must indicate specifically what this award will be used for.

Awards cannot be awarded retrospectively.

Awards are for the following purposes:

  • Travel awards*.
    • Travel to conferences, research institutes, practice site visit, clinical practice placement to obtain further experience or to shadow a recognised expert,
    • Travel awards for undergraduate students participating in recognized conferences and or programmes associated with their degree or as a member of a recognised association/network—up to €200 (UK), €350 (Europe) and €500) (rest of world).
  • Awards to cover course fees, training and educational projects which are being undertaken within or as part of a recognised and accredited programme.
  • Awards to support publication of books by academic and other staff. Proof to show the book is being published must be produced before any award is released.
  • Mental Health Ireland will require acknowledgement of their support in the publication along with a copy of the book. Should the book be a commercial success, the applicant is expected to return the award. Maximum award: €1,500.
  • Awards to health care groups and or College Societies towards cultural and other educational events that are aligned with the aims of this award scheme. Note that the cost of accommodation or food and drink for receptions and similar occasions will NOT be covered.
  • ‘Seed’ money to develop proposals that might attract large grants from other bodies. The larger proposal must align with the aims of this award scheme.

*Travel grants for those including postgraduate students or postdoctoral fellows already in receipt of sponsorship from funding agencies such as HRB, IRC, IRCSET and SFI or other funding agencies will not be covered.

Nomination Criteria

Who can be nominated?
Registered Psychiatric Nurses working in Ireland in public or private health services, in education, research, recovery, mental health promotion, service improvement or the NGO sector.

Entries can be accepted from nurses nominating themselves/team or can be submitted on behalf of another nurse/team. The team may include other colleagues and services users. 

Non-nursing colleagues, such as managers or members of the multi-disciplinary team and service users may also nominate a nurse for this award. The nominee must agree to have their name go forward.

Nominees should demonstrate the potential to make a significant contribution in furthering the development of psychiatric nursing practice, leadership, management, education and or research.

This potential contribution may be achieved in many ways such as

  • through the conduct of a defined project,
  • attendance at a specific course, workshop, conference or congress,
  • undertaking travel to visit, work alongside or observe a recognised expert in the field
  • to publish work

A short explanation of why you are submitting this nomination must be provided

The nomination information will be considered by the adjudication panel as part of the adjudication process.  

Further Details

Awards may be utilised to advance; Further Education / Training / Research / facilitate Educational Travel / Study / Conference attendance / Innovate / Pilot projects (small scale). Partnerships and evidence of co-production with people who use mental health services, family members will be distinct advantage.

Mental Health Ireland does not accept funding from or work in partnership with the Pharmaceutical, Alcohol or Gambling industries, the awards will reflect this position.

Awardees must utilise the award within 12 months of allocation and will be expected to provide on the impact or success of their work so that the outcomes can be disseminated and shared. The continued ownership of the Intellectual Property would remain with the nominee, the support Mental Health Ireland Kevin Plunkett Award should be acknowledged in subsequent presentations.

Category Judging Criteria

Category judging criteria:

  • How creative/innovative is the initiative? How much has the project contributed to nursing knowledge, practice and service improvement?
  • How instrumental was the nominee in setting up and leading the initiative?
  • Consider the level of obstacles the nominee overcame to get the initiative up and running.
  • What level of evaluation has been undertaken/is planned?
  • How has the nominee disseminated their initiative? What impact has the initiative had? Consider the impact the initiative has had on service user experience, health outcomes and nursing practice.
  • In what ways does the nominee stand out as a nurse leader and ambassador for the profession?
  • How the findings can be replicated or brought to scale to the benefit of others

Fill out the application form below.

Please note when filling out the application form, the form will not save your details if you refresh or close the page. It can be helpful to note the questions down and type your answers elsewhere and then copy to the online application form when you are ready to apply. If you require any further information please contact scholarship@mentalhealthireland.ie .

When you click ‘Send’ we will get a copy of your application form. You will get an email receipt to let you know we have received your application form. 

The closing date for receipt of Kevin Plunkett Award Applications is Wednesday 15th December 2021. 


    You can also add up to three supporting files
    • Acceptable file formats are .doc, .docx, .pdf, .jpg, .png,
    • You can include case studies, evaluation reports, images, graphs – any information that will support your submission.
    • The maximum file size in total is 6MB (2MB per file)



    Thank you for applying for the Kevin Plunkett Award. We will be in touch in January 2022 to let you know the outcome of your application. If you have any questions please email us on scholarship@mentalhealthireland.ie