In November 2016, the Irish Research Council, at the request of the Assembly secretariat, issued a call for proposals for a research leader. The purpose of this was to secure a suitably qualified academic with relevant and applicable research experience to assist the secretariat in gaining a better understanding of the perceived deliberative quality of the Assembly and its modus operandi. It was also intended to provide a mechanism where by the secretariat can receive feedback from the members to contribute towards ongoing development and improvements.
The call was issued on the Irish Research Council's website. The documentation issued and application details are available here. The closing date was 11 November 2016.
On the 23 November 2016, the evaluation team awarded the contract to Professor David Farrell from University College Dublin. Professor Farrell is working in collaboration with Dr Jane Suiter from Dublin City University on this research.
The research is carried out through the use of surveys which are completed by the Assembly members, typically at the start and end of each weekend meeting.