Centre for Assessment Resarch, Policy and Practice in Education (CARPE) header
Centre for Assessment Research, Policy and Practice in Education (CARPE)

Graduate Students

Conor Scully

Conor Scully is the Prometric PhD candidate at CARPE (2019 - 2022). He holds a BA in philosophy, political science, economics, and sociology from Trinity College Dublin and an MSc in sociology from the University of Amsterdam. His masters thesis research was on the presentation of heterosexuality in Irish secondary school aged boys. His research interests include gender, sexuality, education, and their intersection. Conor is completing this first year of his doctoral work. His thesis will focus on the issue of inter-rater reliability in the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations. He will work with the School of Nursing in DCU in order to carry out his research.

PhD Working Title: Inter-rater reliability and validity in the Objective Structured Clinical Examination
Supervisors: Prof. Michael O'Leary, Mary Kelly & Zita Lysaght
Progress on the Thesis: 3rd year


Deirdre Dennehy

Deirdre Dennehy is a part-time PhD student at CARPE. She holds a Bachelor of Education in Education and Psychology and a Masters of Education from Mary Immaculate College (University of Limerick). Deirdre is currently in the third year of her doctoral work and her thesis focuses on the assessment of emotional intelligence within a problem-solving and technological environment. Her research interests include the use of digital assessment tools, standardised assessment and the assessment of well-being. Deirdre works as a primary school teacher and has taught a range of classes across the primary sector. 

PhD Working Title: Embedding the Assessment of Emotional Intelligence within Collaborative Problem-Solving Tasks: An Exploratory Study
Supervisors: Prof. Michael O'Leary, Dr. Zita Lysaght
Progress on the Thesis: 3rd year 


Sylvia Denner

Sylvia Denner is a part-time PhD candidate at CARPE.  She holds an M.Soc.Sc. from University College Dublin and a Higher Diploma in statistics from Trinity College Dublin.  Sylvia works in the Educational Research Centre, where she is currently working on PISA 2018.  She was also one of the authors on the PISA 2015 report.  

PhD Working Title: What is the impact on student performance in reading, mathematics and science in PISA when students in age-based samples are tested at different times of the year (i.e. autumn vs. spring testing), and what variables can explain the impact?  
Supervisors: Prof. Michael O'Leary and Dr. Gerry Shiel 
Progress on the thesis: 4th year 

Paula Lehane

Paula Lehane was previously the 2018 Prometric PhD candidate at CARPE. Her research was then funded by the Irish Research Council under the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Programme (2019 - 2021). She graduated from Mary Immaculate College (University of Limerick) with a first class honours degree in Education and Psychology in 2011. She completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs (SEN) at University College Dublin in 2015 and completed her Masters in Education in Additional Support Needs (ASN) there in 2016. She was previously the SEN and IT Co-Ordinator of a large urban primary school and has taught all class levels within the primary sector. Alongside her studies and work as a teacher, Paula has been employed as a research supervisor and guest lecturer in UCD, delivering inputs on topics including collaborative instruction, response to intervention approaches and the use of statistics and digital tools in schools. Her research interests include SEN, school-based assessment practices and technology-based assessments. In August 2021, Paula submitted her PhD thesis and her viva took place in October 2021. Since submitting her PhD, Paula has been working as an Assistant Professor in Inclusive and Special Education in the Institute of Education, DCU.

PhD: The impact of test items incorporating multimedia stimuli on the performance and attentional behaviours of test-takers
Supervisors: Prof. Michael O'Leary, Prof. Mark Brown and Dr. Darina Scully 
Completed October 2021


Vasiliki Pitsia

Vasiliki Pitsia was a PhD candidate working in collaboration with CARPE and the IoE for the period 2017 - 2020. Her research was funded by the Irish Research Council under the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Programme. She holds a Bachelor of Education (BEd) from the University of Ioannina, Greece and an MSc in Quantitative Methods and Statistical Analysis in Education from Queen's University Belfast, UK. Her broader research interests include research methods, statistical analysis, and educational assessment, with a focus on large-scale international and national studies. Vasiliki has published her research in peer-reviewed academic journals and has presented at various national and international conferences.

PhD: Investigating High Achievement in Mathematics and Science in Ireland: An In-Depth Analysis of National and International Assessment Data
Supervisors: Prof. Michael O'Leary, Dr. Gerry Shiel and Dr. Zita Lysaght  
Completed December 2020


Anastasios Karakolidis

Anastasios Karakolidis was the first Prometric PhD candidate at CARPE (2016-2019).  He holds a B.A. in Primary Education Teaching from the University of Ioannina, Greece, and an M.Sc. in Quantitative Methods and Statistical Analysis in Education from Queen's University, Belfast. He was also a member of the research team responsible for the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) reports for Greece. Anastasios has given a series of lectures on research methodology and advanced statistical techniques (e.g. multilevel modelling) to Master's students and academic staff. His research interests include research methodology, statistical analysis, measurement, assessment, testing and large-scale international studies. Anastasios has published papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented at various international conferences.

PhD: Animated Videos in Assessment: A Comparison Study of Validity Evidence from and Test-Takers’ Reactions to an Animated and a Text-Based Version of a Situational Judgement Test
Supervisors: Prof. Michael O’Leary and Dr. Darina Scully   
Completed July 2019


Marie Darmody

Marie Darmody is a secondary teacher who completed an EdD at the Institute of Education. Her doctoral work focused on secondary school teacher’s conceptions of assessment. In 2015 Marie was awarded a bursary from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) to support her research.

Completed November 2018


Lorcan Coyle

Lorcan Coyle is a primary teacher who completed an EdD at the Institute of Education. His doctoral research sought to capture the chronological narrative of Assessment for Learning (AfL) implementation in an Irish primary school. 

Completed November 2019