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The Economics of Bereavement in Ireland

The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF), as part of its programme of research, invites applications to carry out an exploratory investigation of the economics of bereavement in Ireland. The research is supported by a grant from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). More can be read at the Government press release: ‘Minister Doherty Partners with Irish Hospice Foundation to Carry Out Research into the Cost of Bereavement in Ireland’.


Amongst emerging themes in international bereavement-related research in recent years are the range of determinants and the impacts of economic disadvantage owing to bereavement. These can include difficulties paying for funerals or burials (funeral poverty), bereavement-related barriers to finding or returning to work, and increased use of health services by bereaved individuals, often with associated out-of-pocket costs. A variety of studies has used mixed and innovative methods, including comparison of administrative data, longitudinal datasets, census and welfare data, national and regional polling and qualitative, interview-based research, to estimate the prevalence and nature of economic impacts of bereavement and its effects, individually or on society and the macroeconomy. The issue not yet been the object of study in Ireland, and represents a knowledge gap. 


  • Review the international and local literature, analysing the potential for further research in Ireland
  • Identify potential sources of quantitative (especially population-level) data to help address core questions
  • Assess knowledge, attitudes, behaviour and experience of the Irish public and core stakeholders around economic aspects of bereavement, through collecting and analysing primary data. 
  • Assess the possible economic impacts and experiences of bereavement in different situations or for different cohorts through conducting relevant qualitative research 
  • Estimate the prevalence and nature of economic impacts of bereavement and its effects
  • Assess any implications for health or social policy or for those involved in support of the bereaved or in addressing economic hardship
  • Disseminate the findings of the research via a final, integrated report and two draft communications/short papers (c. 500-1000 words) for inclusion in sectoral communications (non-peer-reviewed) 


The available budget is €60,000 (inclusive of VAT) and the research must be completed by early December 2020

Interested applicants should send a CV and short covering letter, along with a proposal detailing how they intend to meet the requirements of the request for tender, to include a statement of all costs inclusive of VAT, to: mary.cleary@hospicefoundation.ie

Deadline for receipt of completed proposals: 1pm GMT Monday 9th March 2020 

Further enquiries: amanda.roberts@hospicefoundation.ie 

The full request for tender document is available here.

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