School of Language, Literacy & Early Childhood Education header
School of Language, Literacy & Early Childhood Education


Primary Department
School of Language, Literacy & Early Childhood Education
Academic Staff
Sinead McNally
Phone number:
01 700
St Patrick's Campus
Room Number
SPC M 219

Academic biography

Sinéad McNally is Assistant Professor in Psychology (birth to six) at the DCU Institute of Education where she teaches developmental psychology and research methods in early childhood.

Sinéad is Research Convenor for the School of Language, Literacy and Early Childhood Education, and leads the Early Language and Learning Lab investigating young children's development in inclusive early education. Her research on early play, reading and STEM learning has been funded through Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council, the Standing Conference on Teacher Education North and South, and the Childhood Development Initiative. 

Sinéad is an Associate Editor at Autism and Developmental Language Impairments (Sage Publications) and member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Early Years Education (Routledge Publications). She is the external academic member of the Research Ethics Committee at St Michael's House services for people with disabilities.

In 2018, Sinéad was awarded a Boston University Faculty Fellowship for her research in child development and a DCU Institute of Education Fellowship in 2019. She is a recipient of the Irish Research Council Research Ally Award (2021) in recognition of her mentorship and supervision of postgraduate and early career researchers.

In 2022, Sinéad received the President's Award for Research Impact for her research in early childhood education.

She welcomes proposals for doctoral and post-doctoral research on early child development, shared reading and play.

Research interests

Developmental Psychology; Play in Early Child Development and Learning; Language Development and Learning; Socio-emotional Development; Autism Spectrum Disorder