Fulbright van Kampen
Dr Paul van Kampen (right) receiving his Fulbright Award from Professor Paul Donnelly, Fulbright Ireland Board Chair

Fulbright Scholarship Award for Dr Paul van Kampen

Dr Paul van Kampen, School of Physical Sciences, has been announced as one of 21 awardees of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship Awards 2024

The main research interest for Dr van Kampen lies in helping students develop conceptual understanding through research-based development and implementation of educational strategies and materials 

He has received the DCU President’s Awards for Teaching and Learning and for Research Impact, and the Irish National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning Award for teaching excellence. 

As a Fulbright Scholar with the University of Maine, Dr van Kampen and his hosts will use dual process theory to investigate students’ intuitive and analytical thinking as they solve physics problems and check their results. 

He will also study how students activate and co-ordinate elements of their physics and mathematical knowledge throughout the process. 

“My research focuses on improving physics education through non lecture methods,” said Dr van Kampen. 

“I’ll be working on something called dual-process theory which explains how people engage both fast and slow reasoning systems when solving problems.” 

“Intuition can help in problem-solving but an analytical check is necessary to avoid getting led astray and my goal is to help people to develop this ability without cues.”

“It’s important when approaching problems in physics to identify relevant information and avoid unnecessary details.” 

“Also it is important to understand the context of a problem to solve it effectively.” 

Elva Mulchrone, the Visual Artist in Residence 20022-23 has also won a Fulbright Award for work at the CUNY Graduate Centre where she will conduct archival and observational research on the nature and systems of inequality in the educational experience of New York City children. 

The Fulbright Programme in Ireland was established in 1957, and annually awards grants for Irish citizens and EU citizens resident in the Republic of Ireland for five years or more, to study, research or lecture in the US, and for Americans to do the same in Ireland. 

Since its formation, over 2,500 postgraduate students, scholars, professionals and teachers across all disciplines have participated in the programme between Ireland and the USA and is supported by the US Department of State and the Irish Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. 

The programme has a reputation for selecting exceptional candidates from across Ireland to study and work in disciplines including health, science, technology, business, culture, the arts, and the Irish language – and their innovative research will have a last impact for society. 

This year’s crop of students – whose programme runs from August 2024 to August 2025 – will attend University of Puerto Rico, New York University, University of Maine, University of Colorado, The New School, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The awardees will research an exciting range of fields including urban studies, literature, information science, public health, fine arts, political science, engineering, physics, pharmacology, journalism and genetics. 

Irish awardees will serve as cultural ambassadors in the US and share their knowledge, ideas and experience when they return home. 

The Fulbright Irish Awards open on 29 August 2024, while interested candidates should visit www.fulbright.ie for more information.