School of Human Development

Assoc. Prof

Primary Department
School of Human Development
Academic Staff
Phone number:
01 700
St Patrick's Campus
Room Number
SPC M 209

Academic biography

Dr. Paul Downes is Associate Professor of Psychology of Education, Director of the Educational Disadvantage Centre, Institute of Education, Dublin City University, Ireland and Affiliate Professor, University of Malta, Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health. He has been involved in various expert advisory roles for the European Commission, including for its School Policy Working Groups and was a member of the Irish Senate and Parliament Expert Advisory Group on early school leaving. A Visiting Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (2017) and University of Cambridge, Lauterpacht Centre (2011), he is currently a member of the Coordinating Committee of the European Commission’s Network of Experts on the Social Aspects of Education and Training (NESET) and Chairperson of the Steering Committee for the Grangegorman Area-based Childhood (ABC) Programme, funded by Irish Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA).

With over 100 publications of books/research monographs, research articles in international peer reviewed ranked journals and book chapters in areas of education, psychology, philosophy, law, anthropology and social policy, Dr. Downes has given keynote lectures and invited presentations in 29 countries. His contribution to international policy and practice includes invitations from 15 different countries’ official ministries (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden) to present his research on various aspects of wellbeing, mental health, poverty and social inclusion in education, as well as from the EU Parliament Working Group on Quality of Childhood, EU Parliament Intergroup on Children’s Rights, European Network of Education Councils (EUNEC), UNICEF, Cedefop, 
CNESCO (Conseil national d’évaluation du système scolaire) & CIEP Sorbonne Universities Paris, International School of Analytical Psychology, Zurich, Latvian Human Rights Committee and President’s Foundation of Malta.

He is an invited member of the Standing Review Board (2015-23), Humanities and Social Sciences Panel of the Research Grants Council, University Grants Committee, Hong Kong, China, and has been an invited EU Commission FP7 Evaluator and Rapporteur to chair evaluation meetings for funding proposals for the EU Commission’s Horizon 2020 research programme.  

Designer of Familiscope, Ballyfermot child and family support service, he has led the establishment of two national research/policy networks on Quality Development of Out of School Services (QDOSS) and Hunger Prevention in School, as well as a 12 country comparative research study on access to education in Europe. He has been an advisor to the Irish Department of Education and Skills (DES) for its DEIS Action Plan 2017 on social inclusion, to the DCYA and DES for the National School Age Childcare Action Plan 2017 and is a member of the DCYA 
Working Group on Standards for School Age Childcare .