School of Physical Sciences
Head of School
Academic biographyEilish McLoughlin is an Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the School of Physical Sciences at Dublin City University (DCU). She is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and a Chartered Physicist. She is a founding member of DCU’s Research Centre for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning (CASTeL) and has served as Centre Director from 2008-2021. She is a member of the Faculty Management Board and Faculty Research Committee in DCU Faculty of Science and Health. She also serves as a member of the national advisory boards of CTYI, STEAM in Youth Work, Gender Balance in STEM and as co-chair of the Institute of Physics in Ireland Education group. She is a current member of several international boards, including GIREP International Research Group on Physics Teaching, IUPAP International Commission for Physics Education and Science on Stage Europe.
She obtained her PhD in Experimental Physics (Surface Science) and since starting her academic career in DCU in 2000 her research interests have evolved to focus on Physics Education, including the development of curriculum, instruction and assessment models in STEM education and promotion of equity and inclusion in STEM at all levels of education. She has led on several pan-European projects, including: Remote Inquiry in Science Education (Erasmus+:2021-2023), STEM Digital Distance Learning in University Teaching (Erasmus+:2021-2023), Supporting Transitions Across Mathematics and Physics Education (deputy Coordinator) (Erasmus+:2020-2023), ENERGE (Interreg: 2018-2021), Three Dimensions of Inquiry in Physics Education (Erasmus+:2017-2020), Open Schools for Open Societies (H2020: 2017-2020), SAILS (deputy Coordinator) (FP7:2012-2015) and ESTABLISH (Coordinator) (FP7:2010-2014).
Eilish is actively involved in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate physics modules for both students and STEM teachers. She has served on the management committee of the BSc Science Education since 2000 and received funding from the HEA in 2020 to coordinate a new national upskilling programme for physics teachers. She believes passionately that science is for everybody and has led several large-scale national initiatives to widen participation, including, Physics Busking, Science on Stage, Improving Gender Balance, STEAM in Youthreach and the STEM Teacher Internship programme. She has received recognition for her leadership in STEM education and engagement across formal and informal contexts: including Science Foundation Ireland Communicator of the Year (2019), Institute of Physics Lise Meitner Medal (2018), Dublin City University’s President Award for Engagement (2017), NAIRTL National Award for Teaching Excellence (2010), Institute of Physics Young Professional Physicist of the Year (2006) and Dublin City University’s President Award for Teaching and Learning (2005).
Research interestsEilish's research is focused on STEM education, and in particular STEM teacher education at both pre-service and in-service levels and pedagogy and assessment at second and third level. Her research interests are in the implementation of innovative pedagogies, such as inquiry based learning and interdisciplinary approaches and the effective use of digital learning to enhance learning and engagement in STEM.
Selected funded research projects
Energe - Energizing Education to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Interreg NWE, 2019-2022, National partner 3DIPhE- Three Dimensions of Inquiry in Physics Education, Erasmus+, 2017-2019, National partnerOSOS - Open Schools for Open Societies project H2020, 2017-2019, H2020, National CoordinatorImproving Gender Balance, Science Foundation Ireland, 2017 - 2019, Coordinator Smartclass, Intel, 2011 - 2018, Coordinator
SAILS, FP7, 2012-2015, Deputy CoordinatorINSTEM, Lifelong learning, 2012-2015, CoordinatorESTABLISH, FP7, 2010-2014, CoordinatorOther research projects
Scientific Literacy at second level, 2014 - present.Interdisciplinary Science at University level, 2005 - present.Physics Education research at University, 2002 - present.