DCU Institute of Education PhD Studentship (Fee-only)
Dublin City University, Institute of Education is accepting applications for 6 part-time studentships. This is an opportunity to undertake funded (fee-only) part-time PhD studies over a six-year period commencing in September 2024. The six Schools of the Institute of Education will offer one part-time PhD studentship each. The Schools have individual application criteria which are listed below:
- School of Arts Education & Movement Ref No.: AEM/PTFW
- School of Human Development Ref No.: HD/PTFW
- School of Inclusive & Special Education Ref No.: ISE/PTFW
- School of Language, Literacy & Early Childhood Education Ref No.: LLECE/PTFW
- School of Policy & Practice Ref No.: PP/PTFW
- School of STEM Education, Innovation & Global Studies Ref No.: SEIGS/PTFW
Institute of Education PhD Studentship Details
The successful candidates will enjoy a range of supports within the University and the Faculty, including Graduate Training Elements as well as having the opportunity to interact with research students and staff members. In addition, the research students will be mentored by members of their supervisory panel to develop their capacities to teach at third level, particularly in the context of education. The research students are expected to commence their studies on or before 1st September 2024, and to attend the University Orientation and Induction Programme for Postgraduate Research Students and contribute to Faculty activities commensurate with their studies. In addition, for a growth in doctoral student numbers to be impactful, we also need to ensure that all our students have the necessary supports and supervision to publish during the doctorate journey, at a level reflecting good performance for their discipline.
An annual package of up to €2,942 per annum for a maximum of six years comprising:
- Fee contribution of up to €2,942 per annum
- Research expense fund of up to €2,500 over 6 years (to facilitate travel to conferences and purchase of materials, to be managed through your supervisor or their nominee.)
Postgraduate Research Study at DCU institute of Education
Committed to academic excellence and innovation, DCU Institute of Education provides a transformative student experience through its PhD Research Programmes. As a centre of excellence in post-graduate research, the IoE hosts internationally recognised experts in its research centres across all sectors of education, from early childhood right up to and including further and higher education. It has an ambitious programme of education research and provides a research environment that is student-centred and inclusive.
Belonging to an academic community is central to any research student’s experience here. Working with, and learning from, global leaders in education research, ensures our students participate in an active academic community. We are committed to a culture of career readiness, providing an education that will equip our research graduates to develop valuable transferable skills. In a world of new opportunities, today’s research graduates need to be adaptable, flexible and innovative. We are confident our research graduates will flourish in the challenging and complex contexts of 21st century societies.
Conditions of the Institute of Education PhD Studentship
Applicants should have a specialised interest in an area of education (early years through to further and higher education) and have developed a research proposal that will lead to a research degree of PhD. The successful candidate will be required to register for a part-time research degree (PhD) at DCU Institute of Education. This fee-waiver is open to EU fee eligible applicants only. You will be required to provide supporting documentation to confirm your EU status before a decision on your fee status can be confirmed. The successful candidate will be allocated a supervisory panel for the duration of their studies which will contain at least one primary supervisor and an Independent Panel member. The successful applicant will meet the eligibility requirements of Postgraduate Research students at IoE, Dublin City University as follows:
PhD: Candidates holding an appropriate Master’s degree obtained by research may apply for direct entry to the PhD register to conduct research in a cognate area.
PhD-track: Candidates with a taught Master’s degree in an appropriate discipline with first or second-class honours, and candidates with a primary degree in an appropriate discipline with first or second-class honours, grade one, may apply and be considered for entry to the PhD-track register with a view to proceeding towards a PhD. Such candidates will undergo a confirmation procedure, as outlined in the Academic Regulations, before being admitted to the PhD register.
Please email the following documents to each firstname.lastname@example.org. Closing date for receipt of application documentation is 5pm on Friday 2nd February 2024
- Cover letter
- Full Curriculum Vitae
- Copy of transcripts of qualifications
- Research proposal – please use Institute of Education Research Proposal Form available here
- Please put Institute of Education PhD Studentship (and corresponding reference number per School) in the subject bar of all email communications
All shortlisted applicants will be interviewed. Interviews will take place week commencing 26th February 2024.
Informal enquiries for:
- PhD study at the DCU Institute of Education, Dr Gillian Lake – IoE Chair of Postgraduate Studies by Research: email@example.com
- School of Arts Education & Movement, Dr Una McCabe – Head of School: firstname.lastname@example.org
- School of Human Development, Dr Sandra Cullen – Head of School email@example.com
- School of Inclusive & Special Education, Dr Aoife Brennan – Head of School firstname.lastname@example.org
- School of Language, Literacy & Early Childhood Education, Dr Geraldine French – Head of School email@example.com
- School of Policy & Practice, Dr Martin Brown – Head of School firstname.lastname@example.org
- School of STEM Education, Innovation & Global Studies, Dr Margaret Leahy – Head of School email@example.com
NOTE: Qualifications/eligibility may not be verified by Dublin City University until the final stage of the process. Therefore, those candidates who do not possess the eligibility requirements, and proceed with their application, are putting themselves to unnecessary effort/expense and will not be offered a position from this campaign. An invitation to interview or any element of the selection process is not acceptance of eligibility.
Arts Integration will be the focus of the co-funded PhD in the School of Arts Education and Movement. The candidate will research the use of the arts as a foundation for integrated teaching and learning in the classroom. The purpose of the study will be to explore the potential of the arts to enrich learning experiences and to develop new knowledge in the field of arts based interdisciplinary pedagogies.
In education, boundaries between practices and disciplines are increasingly blurred. Arts integrated teaching makes a particular contribution to a multi-modal approach to pedagogy. As a result, arts integration is a field of research which attracts increasing interest and further research is needed to lead knowledge and practice in this field. The successful candidate will undertake research in the national context of a new Primary Curriculum Framework which emphasises an integrated approach to teaching and learning both in the arts and across the curriculum, as well as in an international context of interest in creative, collaborative, equitable methods of teaching.
The candidate will be supervised by staff within the School of Arts Education and Movement. Scholarship and research in School AEM addresses the unique knowledge found in experiences that are aural, visual, kinaesthetic, somatic and embodied within education contexts, and considers them from multidimensional perspectives. Staff supervision capacity offers knowledge which is based on extensive practitioner and research-based experience. As a result, the successful candidate will be expertly guided and supported in a study which will explore the possibilities and potentialities of arts integrated pedagogy.
For further information please contact the Head of School: firstname.lastname@example.org
This PhD will give you the opportunity to explore the new curricular emphasis on wellbeing, student agency and active citizenship in Irish schools, and their relationship to broader policies regarding the futures of education by international policy actors such as UNESCO and the OECD. Specifically, it examines how these curricular developments shape teachers’, children’s and parents’ understandings of themselves, affect teachers’ professional identities and practices, and influence teachers as they make sense of what it means to educate and prepare children and young people for futures that are unknowable and uncertain.
The School of Human Development brings together researchers in the foundation disciplines of education – sociology, psychology and philosophy - to inform national and international policy, research, scholarship, and practice. As a School we are interested in focusing our research outputs on questions relating to the Visions of the Future(s) of Education. Today’s education systems find themselves grappling with a convergence of intersecting trends, crises and developments that will define the 21st century. Student agency, active citizenship and individual and collective wellbeing are at the forefront of efforts to re-imagine education for a future characterised by increasing uncertainty, complexity and precarity. Meanwhile, international organisations such as the OECD and UNESCO play a major role in shaping educational policy and reform at the national level. Elements of the OECD’s Learning Compass 2030 – a learning framework which “sets out an aspirational vision for the future of education” (OECD, 2023) and identifies a number of “transformative competencies” that students need in order to contribute to our world and shape a better future – are clearly reflected in the Curriculum Framework for Primary Schools (2023), and in the reform of Senior Cycle education. Competencies such as agency, wellbeing and active citizenship increasingly feature as part of the Irish educational landscape, however, little is known about how they shape day-to-day life in educational settings. The proposed PhD research will examine how these curricular developments shape teachers’, children’s and parents’ understandings of themselves, affect teachers’ professional identities and practices, and influence teachers as they make sense of what it means to educate and prepare children and young people for futures that are unknowable and uncertain.
For further information please contact the Head of School: email@example.com
In this call, we invite applications in inclusive and special education with a focus on professional learning for inclusion and/or leadership for inclusion. Possible themes could include:
- professional learning for inclusion to support existing teachers in the system at scale,
- professional learning to support inclusive school leadership,
- an exploration of flexible models of support for inclusion.
Professional learning (PL) for inclusion is a key policy focus internationally, arising from a growing commitment to the goal of a rights-based approach to education for all. While policy in the Republic of Ireland (RoI) highlights the importance of PL for inclusive schools, there are limited PL opportunities for teachers. Research indicates that newly qualified and experienced teachers lack confidence and competence in implementing inclusive practice (Hick et al., 2019; Rose et al., 2015). This presents a challenge to the RoI meeting its obligations under the UN (2006) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Ratified in the RoI in 2018, the UNCRPD requires states to ensure that the education system is inclusive at all levels. While Irish policy focuses on inclusive education, there has been a simultaneous and exponential increase in special classes. A recent evaluation by the Department of Education Inspectorate points to concerns about practices in these classes, in particular at post-primary, and Whole School Evaluation reports also provide evidence of shortcomings. Furthermore, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has raised concerns about the lack of linkage between special classes and mainstream classes and there is evidence of a reluctance among schools to open special classes. At a policy level, Ireland's signing of the UNCRPD raises questions about the future role of special classes and the need to develop more flexible models of support (Travers, 2023). Overall, the evidence suggests that there is a need to build further capacity in the system in meeting the needs of all learners both in special and mainstream classes. Teachers must develop positive beliefs and attitudes towards inclusion, efficacy for inclusive practice, and effective approaches to collaboration in meeting the needs of all learners (Florian, 2014). This is a complex process that starts with initial teacher education and continues across the stages of induction and continuing teacher education and must be supported by inclusive school leadership (Óskarsdóttir et al., 2020). Given this current context, we welcome applications that focus on the following themes: PL for inclusion, inclusive school leadership and flexible models of support for inclusion.
For further information please contact the Head of School: firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposals for a part-time PhD will be accepted in relation to the broad areas of Language, Literacy and Early Childhood Education. Research can be conducted in the range of early childhood settings (including homes) and schools. Potential areas include:
- research through Irish or aspects of education in Irish
- literacy development
- early numeracy
- the role of education in the development of intercultural competencies in early childhood
Proposals will be accepted for research through Irish or aspects of teaching and learning Irish in immersion and non-immersion settings, inclusion and inclusive practices, e.g., children with special educational needs learning through Irish.
Proposals will be accepted in relation to research in early literacy; the development of English as an additional language learner, reading comprehension, creative approaches to literacy teaching, and writing instruction.
Proposals will be accepted in relation to research in early childhood in the areas of play, early numeracy and the inter-relationships between cultural, language and communication, identity and belonging and the role of education in the development of intercultural competencies in early childhood. Other foci include children’s personal play worlds; child-led play in junior and senior infants; the importance of real-life play experiences; the role of family play experiences; intergenerational play/fun and the development of humour in early play. Playful teaching and learning in early childhood (playful inclusive pedagogy, transformative pedagogy); early numeracy; autism and neurodivergent challenges including rare diseases. The teaching of early mathematics through play for children with autism in early intervention classrooms
For further information please contact the Head of School: email@example.com
In line with DCU’s commitment to transforming lives and society and the government of Ireland’s Shared Island initiative, the purpose of this PhD research application proposal is to recruit a part-time PhD student to explore via the publication of a series of research papers in high impact Scopus ranked journals, the challenges, opportunities, hindering and facilitating factors for an aspect of culturally responsive education such as culturally responsive assessment, evaluation and leadership on the island of Ireland. Please see additional information in Appendix A for information on PhD by Publication.
Those who identify as having a migration background, including non-European Union (EU) and EU citizens, account for more than 12% of the total population living in the EU (European Commission, 2021). The number of refugees in Europe has also increased considerably as a result of the Ukrainian crisis, where it is estimated that there are approximately 7.8 million individual refugees from Ukraine throughout Europe (United Nations, 2023). As a result, issues abound regarding how best to cater to the educational needs of students from a migration background at a policy and practice level.
To further enhance the PhD student’s profile and in order for the student to further publish in high-impact Scopus-ranked journals with a network of internationally renowned researchers in the field of Culturally Responsive Education, the successful applicant will also be provided with existing data sets derived from, for example, the Government of Ireland’s Shared Island CRiTERiA project.
For further information please contact the Head of School firstname.lastname@example.org
PhD by Publication:
The PhD thesis by publication should consist of: a. a set of published papers and/or papers accepted for publication; and b. an accompanying set of chapters no less than 10,000 words in length which sets the papers in the context of existing literature, gives a detailed overview of the theme(s) common to all papers included in the thesis, argues the coherence of these publications, and justifies the methodology adopted. This overarching critical document should evaluate the contribution that the research in the submitted publications makes to the advancement of knowledge in the research area. The maximum word length of the thesis, including the accompanying set of chapters, selected papers, references and notes is 90,000. Only peer-reviewed book chapters or papers (published journal papers, or papers accepted for publication) in reputable peer-reviewed outputs for the discipline(s) in question can be considered for inclusion when a thesis is submitted for examination.
A minimum of three papers is required, however the number of papers may be higher and vary across disciplines, vary in length of individual papers and vary in terms of the extent of the candidate’s contribution thereto.
Proposals for a part-time PhD will be accepted in relation to the broad areas of STEM Education Innovation and Global Studies.
Climate change poses a huge threat to humanity (IPCC, 2014) and climate change education is placed at the core of strategic targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Schools have a significant role to play in supporting learners in developing the ‘knowledge, skills, values and behaviours needed for sustainable development’ (UNESCO, 2018). The STEM disciplines of knowledge enable citizens to measure, analyse, design and advance the physical environment (DES, 2016) and therefore STEM education now more than ever has a crucial role to play in ensuring our young people develop the requisite disciplinary knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to work and live in a way that 'safeguards environmental, social and economic wellbeing, both in the present and for future generations’ (UN, 2005).
The empirical base, while still relatively small, demonstrates that providing students with an integrated STEM education develops students’ awareness of crosscutting concepts and real-world applications in a holistic manner and strengthens the transfer of knowledge acquired to different contexts such as CCE. However, a key and critical caveat is that STEM education provision is premised on teachers having the necessary content knowledge and confidence across the STEM disciplines and the ability to integrate the STEM disciplines to provide meaningful learning opportunities for their students. Several studies note that this condition is poorly met at pre-primary and primary levels and that at primary and post-primary levels, the emphasis on traditional subject areas makes integrated STEM more difficult. Across primary and post-primary levels, the evidence points to the need for clear communication of the rationales and motivations for integrated STEM education, and a longitudinal approach to pre- and in-service teacher professional development that includes the provision of curriculum and teaching materials and resources to support STEM teaching and learning. However, the evidence also indicates that there is a global shortage of continuing professional learning (CPL) programmes that are aimed at supporting teachers in implementing effective integrated STEM pedagogies. It is also apparent that there is a dearth of pedagogical tools, strategies, and exemplars of what effective integrated STEM education looks like in practice.
Alongside this, gender inequity issues in relation to STEM exist in terms of the low numbers of females opting to continue STEM studies to Leaving Certificate level, and the percentage exiting as higher education STEM graduates. Studies repeatedly show early that girls start losing interest between 13 to 15 years old and the gender gap becomes progressively more pronounced through later post primary schooling and third level (DES, 2016; SFI, 2015). To increase diversity in STEM, there is a need for equity of access to high-quality STEM education in schools at all educational levels from early childhood onwards. It is critical that all students have access to teachers who are appropriately qualified to teach these subjects. Teachers have great potential to foster students’ STEM interest and identities through innovative classroom practices, as well as providing access to role models and information about the diverse careers that exist within STEM industries.
The proposed doctoral research seeks to explore approaches to environmental issues, tackling the climate breakdown and biodiversity crisis through integrated STEM education. The researcher will work with academics/teacher educators in the School of STEM Education, Innovation & Global Studies to design, implement and evaluate innovative professional learning to (i) develop teachers’ competence and confidence in implementing innovative integrated STEM in their practice, (ii) support teachers’ and students’ understanding of STEM education's role in addressing the climate and sustainability challenges. As part of their doctoral journey, the research will be expected both to publish work emanating from the research and to apply for external funding to broaden the scope of the research programme.
The proposed research aligns the national STEM Education Policy Statement (DES, 2017a) and Implementation Plan (DES, 2017b), is on reviewing, with a view to enhancing, the supports in place to ensure our teachers feel confident to embrace STEM (p.11). The proposed research also targets three of the goals in the published DCU plan; it will grow DCU’s doctoral community, it will address impact of a social challenge and impact international research debates on approaches to integrated STEM education, girls in STEM education and climate change education.
For Further information please contact the Head of School: email@example.com