Cliona Murphy


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Dr Cliona Murphy has been lecturing in the area of science education at tertiary level for 20 years.  She has developed and implemented a range of pre-service, post-graduate and continuing professional development programmes in science education. She has conducted and published research and developed educational resources in the areas of Nature of Science, Science Education, STEM EducationInquiry- Based Science Education, Education for Sustainability and Climate Change Education. Dr. Murphy has collaborated in a number of National and International projects in Science Education, STEM Education, Education for Sustainable Development and Climate Change Education. Most recently Dr Murphy chaired ALLEA’s working group on climate change education that conducted research and published a report on Climate Change Education throughout Europe. Dr. Murphy is currently an investigator on the Physics in Action Project, that was funded by Science Foundation Ireland. 

Dr Murphy’s Current Roles Include: ·        
  • Chair of ALLEA’s Science Education Working Group ·      
  • Chair of the scientific and pedagogical committee of the international Office for Climate Education.
  • Associate Director of the Centre for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning (CASTeL).  
  • Chair of the Irish Association for Primary Science Education (IAPSE) 

Dr. Murphy welcomes queries from prospective Masters and PhD students who are interested in researching the following areas:  STEM Education; Science Education; Science and Technology Education; Nature of Science; Teacher Professional Development; Climate Change Education: Education for Sustainability


Year Publication
2013 Cliona Murphy (2013) It is vital that we do better in Science. Dublin: NEWSA

Commissioned Report

Year Publication
2019 Cliona Murphy, Nicola Broderick, Benjamin Mallon (2019) Royal Dublin Science and Technology Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023 Report. COMMREP

Other Journal

Year Publication
2015 Cliona Murphy, Greg Smith,Janet Varley, Ozge Razi (2015) 'Changing Practice: An Evaluation of the Impact of a Nature of Science Inquiry-Based Professional Development Programme on Primary Teachers' 2 (1) .


Year Publication
2020 Cliona Murphy (2020) ALLEA (2020) ' A snapshot of Climate Change Education Initiatives in Europe: Initial Findings and implications for future Climate Change Education' - its Relevance for Ireland. Dublin: PAMP Link


Year Publication
2016 Cliona Murphy (Editor), Nicola Broderick, Greg Smith. (2016) SUSTAIN Energy Teacher Resource Book. France: La main à la pâte Foundation.
2015 Cliona Murphy, Nicola Broderick, Lydnsay Kenny (2015) Real Science for Young Scientists. Drumcondra: St Patrick's College.
2016 Nicola Broderick, Cliona Murphy (2016) Scientist's Apprentice - Energy and Resources. Stillorgan Road, Belfield, Dublin 4: University College Dublin.

Guidelines for Practice

Year Publication
2014 Murphy, C. Smith G., Glynn, M., Kavanagh, R., Losty, S. and Butler, D. (2014) Exploring Our Energy. Dublin: GFP Link


Year Publication
2012 Murphy, C., Smith, G. and Varley, J. (2012) Developing an understanding of the nature of science investigations. France: BOOKLET

Conference Publication

Year Publication
2017 Murphy, C. (2017) African European Mediterranean Academies of Science Education ( AEMASE) III . In: Macchi, O. & Lageat, S eds. Teach teachers to teach about Nature of Science

Audiovisual material

Year Publication
2012 Cliona Murphy, Greg Smith, Janet Varley (2012) The Nature of Science in Action: A Look at Fibonacci Project in action in Irish primary schools. Dublin: ADVS
2012 Cliona Murphy, Greg Smith, Janet Varley (2012) The Nature of Science in Action: A Look at Fibonacci Project in action in Irish primary schools. Dublin: ADVS

Published Report

Year Publication
2020 Cliona Murphy, Gabriela Martínez Sainz, Maija Aksela, Gerd Bergman, Michael Jones, Pierre Léna, David Wilgenbus. B (2020) A Snapshot of Climate Change Education Initiatives in Europe: Initial findings and implications for future climate change education. ALLEA, .
2015 Murphy, C. , Humby, P. & Losty, S (2015) An Evaluation of the Impact of the DPSM / ESERO Programme and Ancillary Resources on Primary Teachers' APprocahes to and Confidence in Teaching Science. Science Foundation Ireland, .
2012 Doherty, A., Murphy, C., Smith, G., Varley, J., McCullagh, J. and Murphy, C. (2012) Final report of the SELECT project, funded by SCoTENS. Scotens, . Link
2012 Cliona Murphy (2012) Building Expertise In Science Teaching, NAIRTL Grants Initiative: Evaluation of Impact. NAIRTL, .
2011 Kavanagh, R., Murphy, C., Oberman, R., Ruane, B., & Waldron, F. (2011) An Evaluation of SEAI's Education Programmes. (A report by the Centre for Human Rights and Citizenship Education. Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland, .
2009 Waldron, F., Pike, S., Greenwood, R., Murphy, C., O, Connor, G., Dolan, A., & Kerr, K. (2009) Becoming a teacher: Primary student teachers as learners and teachers of history, geography and science: An all-Ireland study. ScoTENS, . Link
2008 Varley, J., Murphy, C., & Veale, O. (2008) Science in Primary Schools ( Phase 1. Final Report). NCCA, . Link
2008 Varley, J., Murphy, C., & Veale, O. (2008) Science in Primary Schols ( Phase 2. Final Report). NCCA, . Link

Guest Lectures

Year Publication
2013 Cliona Murphy (2013) Science Education, Current Challenges and Opportunities. Dublin: GL
2012 Cliona Murphy (2012) A snapshot of some of the issues surrounding science education in primary initial teacher education in Ireland. Dublin: GL

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2014 Cliona Murphy (2014) 'Science Items: Context and curriculum' In: Dublin : Education Research Centre. Link

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2020 Gilligan, T., Lovett, J., McLoughlin, E., Murphy, C., Finlayson, O., Corriveau, K., Mc Nally, S. (2020) '‘We practise every day’: parents’ attitudes towards early science learning and education among a sample of urban families in Ireland'. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, .
2020 Cliona Murphy, Greg Smith, Benjamin Mallon, Erin Redman (2020) 'Teaching about sustainability through inquiry-based science in Irish primary classrooms: the impact of a professional development programme on teacher self-efficacy, competence and pedagogy'. Environmental Education Research, .
2020 Cliona Murphy, Nicola Broderick, Benjamin Mallon (2020) 'Primary science in Ireland – 17 years on'. Irish Teachers' Journal, 8 (1):141-156. Link
2019 Cliona Murphy, Greg Smith, Nicola Broderick (2019) 'A Starting Point: Provide Children Opportunities to Engage with Scientific Inquiry and Nature of Science'. Research in Science Education, :1-35.
2013 Varley, J., Murphy, C. & Veale, O. (2013) 'At the Crossroads: The impact of New Irish Science Curricula on First Year Post- Primary Students'. RESEARCH IN SCIENCE EDUCATION (PRINT), .
2012 Murphy C., Varley, J., & Veale, O. (2012) 'I'd rather they did experiments with us… than just talking: Irish children's views of primary school science'. RESEARCH IN SCIENCE EDUCATION (PRINT), 42 (3):415-5-438.
2012 Murphy, C., & Smith, G. (2012) 'The impact of a curriculum course on preservice primary teachers' science content knowledge and attitudes towards teaching science'. Irish Educational Studies, .
2011 Murphy, C., Murphy, C., & Kilfeather, K. (2011) 'Children making sense of science'. RESEARCH IN SCIENCE EDUCATION (PRINT), 41 (2):283-298.
2007 Murphy, C., Kilfeather, P., & Murphy, C. (2007) 'An exploration of issues surrounding teaching the nature of science to pre-service primary school teachers'. Irish Educational Studies, 26 (1):27-7-38.

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2020 Cliona Murphy (2020) Can Climate Change Education save the planet? Euroepan perspectives International webinar on climate change education Dublin - Online Webinar, 22/11/2020-.
2019 Cliona Murphy (2019) United Nations Conference on Climate Change: COP 25 A snapshot of some preliminary findings from the ALLEA European Survey on Climate Change Education Madirid, .
2017 Murphy, C. & Smith, G. (2017) University of Limerick Symposium The Fibonacci Project University of LImerick, .
2019 Cliona Murphy (2019) Iris Science Teachers' Association ( ISTA) Conference What is this thing called science? Helping children to understand science and inspiring them to work like scientists Dublin, .
2017 Murphy, C. (2017) La main à la pâte summer school on Climate Change Education How to teach Controversial Topics Erice, Sicily, 01/09/2017-08/09/2016.
2017 Murphy, C. , Smith, G. Broderick, B. (2017) University of Limerick Symposium The SUSTAIN Project University of LImerick, .
2016 Humby, P. & Murphy, C. (2016) SMEC III An Evaluation of a National CPD Programme in Science Education for Irish Primary School Teachers Dublin City University, 01/11/2017-01/11/2017.
2016 Murphy, C. & Smith, G. (2016) Limerick Symposium on Nature of Science Education Using an Innovative form of Professional Development to teach about the Nature of Science in Irish primary schools University of LImerick, 01/11/2016-01/11/2016.
2019 Cliona Murphy, Greg Smith, Benjamin Mallon, Orla Kelly (2019) European Conference on Educational Research The Impact Of Teacher Professional Development On Irish Primary School Children’s Sustainability Competencies And Engagement With Scientific Inquiry Hamburg, .
2018 Cliona Murphy, Benjamin Mallon, Greg Smith (2018) Science and mathematics Education Conference (SMEC) Education for sustainable development through inquiry-based science: Exploring a programme of professional development for Irish primary teachers Dublin, .
2018 Cliona Murphy, Greg Smith, Benjamin Mallon (2018) The 8th Science and Mathematics Education Conference (SMEC) Education for Sustainable Development through Inquiry-Based Science: Exploring a Programme of Professional Development for Irish Primary Teachers Dublin City University, .
2017 Sheeran, K., Austin, S., Finlayson, O., Liston, M., mc Cloughlin,T., Murphy, C., Smith, G (2017) European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) The RDS STEM Learning programme: Challenging science facilitation Dublin, .
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2021) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Association Function From / To
All European Academies (ALLEA) Chair of Science Education Working Group 06/06/2019 -
Centre for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning Associate director 01/08/2018 -
Irish Association of Primary Science Education Chair 01/09/2019 - 31/12/2021
Educational Studies Association of Irleand Member 01/01/2021 -

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/05/2012 Excellence in Teaching and Learning Teaching and Learning Committee, St Patrick's College, Dublin


Committee Function From / To
All European Academies (ALLEA) Science Education Working Group 02/06/2019 -
CASTeL Management Committee 05/08/2018 -
Office for Climate Education 20/06/2018 -
Irish Association for Primary Science Education Executive Committee 14/10/2019 -
Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research (AMBER) Centre Education and Public Engagement (EPE) Advisory Committee To provide strategic overview and assessment of the AMBER EPE programme ensuring that the EPE programme will inspire, facilitate and celebrate engagement between researchers, students, teachers, members of the public, industry partners and advocacy organisations, so as to encourage authentic involvement in materials science research, and the wider STEM sector. 03/09/2018 -
ESERA Conference Organising Committee 01/03/2017 - 31/08/2017
Centres for Education to Science in Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe ( CESAME) The aim of the CESAME network is to support the renewal of school science education (education in mathematics, natural science, technology and engineering) in the African, Mediterranean and European region. The initial phase of the project will see the establishment of three CESAME centres (of which at least one in Europe). It is anticipated that additional centres will follow when conditions permit, ultimately leading to the establishment of CESAME networks in all regions of Africa 01/01/2017 -
N STEP Advisory Committee 01/09/2013 - 30/06/2018
Teaching and Learning Committee 01/09/2012 - 31/08/2016
Inservice Education Programme Board 03/09/2012 - 31/08/2016
Inserive Education Programme Board 01/09/2009 - 31/08/2010
SMEC 3 Conference Committee 03/10/2005 - 31/08/2006
SMEC 2 Conference Organising Committee 01/10/2004 - 31/08/2005
M.Ed Programme Board 23/09/2002 - 31/08/2016

Other Activities

DCU Mentoring Programme
Primary Science Subject Co-ordinator
Year Head: 3rd year Bachelor of Education

Enterprise Engagement

Year Engagement Type Client Description
2021 Consultancy Sustainable Energy Association Ireland ( SEAI) Member of Advisory Panel
2021 Consultancy Office for Climate Education Chair of Science and Pedagogical Committee
2021 Consultancy ALLEA Science Education Working Group Chair
2017 Consultancy H2 Learning Policy Analysist to aid the develoment of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths ( STEM) Education Policy of Schools
2017 Continuous Professional Development/Training Royal Dublin Society Consultancy on professional development in Science Education
2017 Consultancy Royal Dublin Society Judge at the RDS Primary Science Fair
2016 Consultancy Royal Dublin Society Consultancy on professional development in science education
2016 Consultancy Young Scientists Apprentice, University College Dublin Young Scientists Apprentice
2015 Invited talk/presentation Royal Irish Academy Invited speaker at an international forum in science education: “Academia – Industry – Joint efforts in Science Education”
2015 Invited talk/presentation Bayside Junior School Invited keynote speaker at meeting for parents of incoming Junior infants.
2014 Continuous Professional Development/Training Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland Development and facilitation of workshops to support SEAI facilitators in implementing the new Exploring Our Energy Education CPD programme
2014 Consultancy SFI Discover Advisory group for development of SFI's Framework for Inquiry for Primary Schools
2014 Continuous Professional Development/Training SFI Discover CPD with SFI Discover facilitators
2013 Consultancy Royal Dublin Society RDS STEM Learning Project
2012 Consultancy Royal Dublin Society Programme Development Group: RDS STEM Learning Programme

Outreach Activities

Year Engagement Type Organisation Description
Advisory Work ALLEA Science Education Working Group Chair
Educational Outreach/Public Engagement AMBER Trinity College Member of Amber's Education and Public Engagement Board
Advisory Work Royal Irish Academy Science education advisor
Educational Outreach/Public Engagement Royal Dublin Society Member of STEM Learning Project Development Team Science Blast Evaluator

Research Interests

Dr. Murphy's research interests include:
  • Science Education (Initial Teacher Education, Post Graduate Education, Continuing Professional Development)
  • Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE)
  • STEM Education 
  • Nature of Science
  • Nature of Science and Inquiry
  • Sustainability
  • Climate Change
  • Action Research

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date
Physics in Action Co-Investigator 01/01/2021 31/12/2021
Let's Talk about STEM Investigator 01/01/2019 31/12/2019
SEAI Panel of Experts Education Expert 01/10/2020 31/05/2023
Supporting Science Teaching Advancement through Inquiry (SUSTAIN) Principal Investigator (Ireland) 01/01/2014 31/12/2016
Interactive Teaching materials Across Culture and Technology (INTACT) Project Investigator 01/01/2013 31/12/2016
Teacher Education in Science and Technology and Mathematics (STEM) Project Investigator 01/02/2012 31/07/2016
The Science Enhancement and Learning through Exchange and Collaboration among Teachers ( SELECT) Project Principal Investigator (Ireland) 01/09/2011 30/06/2012
Fibonacci Project Principal Investigator (Ireland) 01/01/2010 31/12/2013
Building Expertise in Science Teaching ( BEST) Project Principal Investigator 01/09/2009 31/10/2010
Science in the Primary Schools (Phase 1 & 2) Co-Investigator 01/09/2007 31/08/2008
IASSEE longitudinal All Ireland Study of Pre-service Primary Teachers Investigator 01/09/2004 31/08/2005
International study on students' knowledge in and attitudes towards teaching science Investigator 01/09/2020 31/12/2021

Contract Researchers

Researcher Name Project Funding Body
Ozge Razi Fibonacci Project
Orla Veale Evaluation of the Primary School Curriculum (NCCA)
Sarah Losty Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Exploring Our Energy Project

Current Postgraduate Students

Student Name Degree Supervision
Boyle ,Mary PhD Supervisor

Internal Collaborators

Type Name Company Role
Internal John White DCU Institute of Education Academic
Internal Sinead Mc Nally DCU Institute of Education
Internal Bernadette Dwyer Dublin City University Academic
Internal Nicola Broderick Dublin City University Academic
Internal Rowan Oberman DCU Institute of Education Academic
Internal Orla Kelly Dublin City University Academic
Internal Ben Mallon Dublin City University Academic
Internal Greg Smith Dublin City University Academic

External Collaborators

Type Name Company Role
External Stephanie O Neill SFI Discover Industry
External Andrea Doherty Stranmillis University College Academic
External Laoise Ni Chleirigh Maynooth University Academic
External Karen Sheeran Royal Dublin Society Industry
External Sandra Austin Marino Institute of Education Academic
External Evelyn McClaren Glasgow University Academic
External Miriam Hamilton Mary ImmaculateCollege Academic
External Karen Kerr Queen's University College Academic
External Eric Guilyardi LOCEAN IPSL Academic
External Pierre Lena Office for Climate Education Academic
External Aoife Cannon Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland ( SEAI) Industry
External Rachel Kavanagh AMBER, Trinity College Dublin Industry
External Anne Lejeune La main à la pâte Academic
External Erin Redman Global Consortium for Sustainable Outcomes Academic
External David Wilgenbus La main à la pâte Academic

Teaching Interests

Science Education
Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE)
Nature of Science
Nature of Science through inquiry
Sustainability Education 
Controversial topics in science 
Climate Change
Teacher as a reflective Practioner
Action Research 

Modules Coordinated

Term Title Subject
2022 SESE/Teacher as a Person ED1023
2022 Science Ed 2 & Early Childhood Education ED2032
2022 Nature of Science SG302