Postgraduate Research

eduCORE currently has MA research students funded under SETU Carlow’s President’s Fellowship Award.

  • Current Postgraduate Research Projects
  • Postgraduate Research Funding
  • President’s Research Fellowship Programme

Current Postgraduate Research Projects

Sandra Nolan: ‘Inclusive Pedagogy, Migrant Rights and Access to Higher Education. An examination of policies and pedagogies which affect access to Higher Education for migrant groups.’

Our education system recognises that social justice pedagogies are integral to creating and sustaining an inclusive society. However, immigrant persons and minorities may not feel included or represented in the Irish education system. This project is intended to examine existing Irish social and educational policy to ascertain the challenges for migrant students in Irish HE. The project’s objective is to clarify the manner in which existing policy facilitates access to education and the social justice pedagogies which may be employed thereafter to optimise migrant participation in Irish HE. It will thus highlight tensions and challenges in our educational policies and practices, which could be opportunities for educational innovation.

Martin Malone: ‘Mature Students’ Perspectives on Higher Education’

This project is intended to assess the experiences of mature students in Irish HE in order to expand the scholarship on this topic. Using a social justice approach to educational research, this project’s central question is in what ways can we support adult education to foster equality, diversity and inclusivity? Using case studies of mature students in SETU Carlow, this project will explore the challenges and affordances of lifelong learning in areas such as access to supports, educational experiences and inclusivity. It is intended to enhance our knowledge of mature students’ needs and wants so that we may enhance our current provision and attend to the social and cultural challenges faced by such students.

Andy O’ Connell ‘What do social care addiction workers need to support their work around mental health/emotional wellbeing with their service users?

‘Dual Diagnosis’ (or ‘co-morbidity’ or ‘co-occurrence’) is often used when a person has issues with both substance abuse and mental health.  There are no accurate figures on the scale and cost of dual diagnosis in Ireland.  However, research in other jurisdictions suggests that the scale and financial cost is substantial. Ensuring timely access to health and social care services where service users have a distinct say in their own rehabilitation is integral to achieving better outcomes. Ensuring that people with a dual diagnosis receive appropriate joined-up and recovery-focussed interventions is extremely important. Most mental health services and addiction treatment centres in Ireland are currently not organised to help such people holistically. Rather, services are planned to treat conditions not people; despite calls for ‘a culture of hope’, sustained by a knowledgeable (competent and confident) integrated workforce that keeps the individual at the centre (co-production).  Addiction services are not generally equipped to help with mental health issues, whilst mental health services will often not accept clients with active addiction issues; a classic ‘Catch-22’!  However, anecdotal evidence suggests that some services in Ireland (e.g. Tiglin) are seeking to address this ‘Catch-22’, but reactively rather than pro-actively; i.e. seeking to help individuals who come to the addiction service with co-occurring mental health issues, but without specific training/upskilling and/or remit for same. Consequently, research and development in the area of ‘dual diagnosis’ within the social care sector in Ireland is very timely.

Lara McElroy: “Investigating Experiences of a Long-term Residential Social Care Addiction Service in Ireland: a Qualitative Inquiry”

This project is intended to better understand former service users’ experiences of completing a long-term residential social care addiction programme in Ireland. Models of care and evaluation of addiction treatment services are highly variable; with ‘recovery’ being frequently conceptualised purely in terms of enduring reductions in substance use, improved personal health and social function. Information on the evaluation of the progress, results and impact of programmes is frequently limited. Yet, when service users have been consulted as to their experience(s) of treatment, they speak more about the benefits of connecting with a service, particularly one-to-one sessions within an ongoing relationship (e.g. ‘keyworking’), and the direct effect that this had on their lives. Also identified is the inadequacy of short-term (e.g. 28-day) treatment programmes and breaks in the continuum of care from residential to aftercare services. Service users feel that this is a particularly vulnerable period in their lives Consequently, further research evaluation within the social care addiction sector in Ireland that seeks to further investigate issues such as these is necessary.


Postgraduate Research Funding

The Irish Research Council (IRC) has a number of postgraduate scholarships suitable for high calibre graduates interested in pursuing a career in research. Schemes include the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme, the Enterprise Partnership Scheme and the Employment Based Programme. More information about these schemes can be found on the IRC website. eduCORE researchers can support you in developing your application.

President’s Research Fellowship Programme

SETU Carlow established the President’s Research Fellowship Programme in order to enable and promote academic excellence.  The programme supports new researchers seeking to work on exciting and challenging projects in a dynamic research environment under the committed and skilful supervision of established researchers.

Research projects are typically advertised during the second term of each academic year. Please check this page regularly or get in touch with the eduCORE director if you are interested in applying.

Current benefits

The 2-year Fellowship for a Masters by Research provides the following benefits (total for 2 years’ study):

  • Payment of tuition, capitation and examination fees valued at up to €10,000
  • A total stipend of €10,000 (paid in quarterly instalments)
  • An allowance for necessary materials / consumables associated with the project (amount set and varies with discipline area).
  • An allowance of €1,000 for travel associated with conferences / dissemination of research outputs)
  • Access to Postgraduate Conference support of up to €1500
  • Dedicated research space and facilities

Candidate requirements

The Fellowships will be of interest to the highest quality candidates and those eligible for funding as President’s Fellows will have a first-class or a 2.1 honours degree.

Students will also be expected to undertake two hours teaching per week. This will typically be to a first or second year class group. They will be supported by their supervisors/relevant module leader in this and are expected to undertake the 10-credit Level 9 module in Teaching and Learning to facilitate the development of their teaching skills.

Students are also expected to undertake other structured modules in research methods and analysis and project management, in order to build their research skills. Students will receive credit for these modules.

Application process

Approved Fellowships will be advertised on the SETU Carlow website, social media and other relevant channels. The filling of the Fellowship positions will be subject to open competition. The interview board will include supervisor(s), Head of Department / Head of Faculty, eduCORE director or member and Development Department representation. Candidates may be required at interview to do a presentation demonstrating their aptitude for facilitating a class group.

Receipt of the Fellowship will be conditional on successful registration with SETU Carlow and QQI for a Masters Degree by Research.