Southside Partnership DLR: Spaces and Connections Research Opportunity

In 2022, Southside Partnership secured funding for a research and development award, Spaces and Connections, as part of the Arts Council Creative Places initiative. Creative Places is an opportunity for places which had not benefitted from sustained arts investment in the past to build local arts programmes which will benefit the people who live in these places. The approach is inclusive and diverse and rooted in socially engaged practice and community development principles. It builds on existing cultural strengths and led by community participation and ideas and supported by artists. Our Spaces and Connections Initiative will build artistic and creative responses in our local communities of Loughlinstown and Ballybrack. We are now looking for experienced individuals or organisations to research, consult and to map the learning of this initiative.

Purpose of the Research

As part of this new initiative Southside Partnership invites proposals / applications from suitably experienced researchers from the following sectors cultural, social policy sociology or geographical to work alongside the Creative Places initiative mapping and investigating the impact of the Creative Places award has in the communities of Loughlinstown and Ballybrack.

Our Spaces and Connections award is in response to how Covid 19 has played a vital role in building new interconnections and communication in a wide range of public spaces that have grown during this time between the Loughlinstown and Ballybrack community organisations and local residents. This new award will support the building of new creative and artistic practices in and between local communities and across local public spaces.

This research process hopes to look at public spaces, where are they located, who uses them and how they are used. It will include how accessible they are, does their use change over time and how the use of such spaces shapes the creative practices, collaboration and ultimately the shared identity of a community. Previous research has shown that socially engaging a community with an artist in residence has the ability to transform public places and enhance community interaction with these public areas, which are expected to increase community cohesion, inspire community members and celebrate cultural richness of the community (Jagannath, 2017). Exploring community engagement with a socially engaged artist may allow us to better investigate creative practice with community members and build interest and collaboration in public spaces, that can continue to play a role in the synthesis of the communities of Ballybrack and Loughlinstown.

Research Question

How might Southside Partnership via Creative Places work to inspire the community members of Loughlinstown and Ballybrack to increase interaction with their public spaces and explore community relationships through creative practice, and therefore shape their sense of community identity?


  • Develop a social and economic profile of Loughlinstown and Ballybrack and draw comparisons to the rest of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County.
  • Map how the socially engaged artist works with the communities to identify needs and issues.
  • Capture these needs and issues and identify key areas for change locals want to address about public spaces in their communities.
  • Explore and identify creative practice models in Ireland and internationally.
  • Present key findings of research and develop a set of key short-, medium- and long-term recommendations for Southside partnership, their partners and key stakeholders to focus on going forward.

Target groups potentially impacted by the work

The whole life cycle in the community including children, young people at risk, families, women, men, older people and people with disabilities, the men’s shed, Ballybrack centre, Holly House participants, and all directly involved in shaping their public spaces.

Potential indirect impact for other groups

Those living in Ballybrack/ Loughlinstown that have historically not engaged with community engagement programmes can experience a ripple effect of artistic involvement and participation when utilising public spaces. This impact can also be felt by neighbouring communities and a model of best practice can be shared with other communities across the DLR county.

Deliverables and Timeframe

Mid-February 2023 - Proposed start

April 2023 - Initial research methods in place and general overview / interim report

May / June 2023 - Research gathering

July -- September 2023 - Research gathering

October --December - Analysis and presentation of findings

Lines of Communication

  • Bi-Weekly check in meetings with the SSP Community Manager
  • Coordinated onsite meetings with the Socially Engaged Artist
  • Ongoing telephone and Email support and communication


The closing date for a response to this tender is 5pm Friday 3rd February 2023. The assessment committee may request a zoom interview to explore parts of your tender application.

Commencement of Role

The role will commence in Mid-February 2023.


The researcher will be based in Holly House Community Resource Centre, Loughlinstown and remote working where needed.

Tender Requirements

The proposal should provide the following information:

  • Outline of research approach (please outline proposed qualitative and quantitative methods and project plan).
  • Provide 3 examples of relevant previous experience (please include the names of referees for each example).
  • Quoted price with breakdown of costs, maximum budget for Consultation Project is €10,000, excluding VAT, should this apply. The breakdown should provide the daily rate and total estimated number of days.
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance confirmation.
  • Application to include a Tax Clearance Certificate.

Criteria for submissions

Southside Partnership will form a selection panel that comprises of research, community development, youth and arts expertise. The panel will apply the following criteria and it will be weighted accordingly:

  1. Demonstrated understanding of requirements and approach to this research opportunity. (35/100)
  2. Evidenced research experience in similar contexts (50/100)
  3. Value for money (15/100)

Applications should be submitted to the attention of:
Sandra King, Manager for Community Resource Centre Programmes via email to:
Email applications should include the following subject line: Spaces and Connections Research Opportunity.

Suitable applications that meet the following criteria will be shortlisted and contacted on or before 10th February 2023.

To discuss proposals in greater detail please contact Sandra King,

This Research opportunity is supported by the Creative Places Research and Development grant, Southside Partnership and their partners.

Southside Partnership DLR is an Equal Opportunities Employer. No late applications will be accepted, and canvassing will lead to disqualification. Any offer will be subject to satisfactory references and Garda vetting as appropriate. All data collection must be compliant with GDPR protection.

Southside Partnership DLR

Southside Partnership DLR is a local development company working towards an inclusive and just society, where each person is encouraged and enabled to reach their full potential and live with dignity in active, healthy and safe communities. We provide a comprehensive range of supports and services to people and communities throughout Dún Laoghaire Rathdown (DLR)

Creative Places

A programme for places around Ireland that have not had opportunities to benefit from sustained investment in the arts and creativity.

Southside Partnership

General Info

Date Entered/Updated
9th Jan, 2023
South Dublin
Expiry Date
3rd Feb, 2023