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Research Students

There are currently 25 PhD students in the School. Profiles of some of the students are given below.

Sarah AnglimSarah Anglim

  1. Supervisor: Dr Erna O’Connor
  2. Nationality: Irish
  3. Working title of PhD: Exploring the uptake of health promotion advice among head and neck cancer patients
  4. Description of research:  The purpose of this study is to explore and examine the behaviours associated the uptake of health promotion advice including alcohol and tobacco use following a head and neck cancer diagnosis. The research participants will have a head and neck cancer diagnosis linked to a history of tobacco and/or alcohol consumption. The research participants will narrate their cancer journeys. In facilitating this study, I hope to help healthcare workers to understand this patient group using their experiences of their head and neck cancer diagnosis and gain a greater understanding of this group’s health related behaviours following their diagnosis.
  5. Funder of the research: St Luke’s Hospital Cancer Research Fund

Eavan Brady 

  1. Supervisor: Prof Robbie Gilligan
  2. Nationality: Irish
  3. Working title of PhD: 'Educational trajectories of children and youth in care: An exploratory study'.
  4. Description of the research: Considerable research points to the low educational attainment of children and youth who have spent time in care. In recent decades this issue has become of great concern internationally. Using qualitative, biographical methods, this research will explore the nature of educational trajectories of young adults who spent time in the care of the Irish state as children and youth. This research seeks to examine: 1) the progression of events in the lives of participants; and 2) connections and links between events and outcomes, in order to gain an understanding of participants' educational pathways. Research objectives relate to identifying key experiences over the life course that have affected participants' educational trajectories and exploring the existence of common or shared experiences among participants. It is expected that the findings of this research will inform policy and service provision with the intention of promoting the educational outcomes of children and youth in the care of the state.

Sorcha Farrell

  1. Supervisor: Dr. Trish Walsh and Prof Virpi Timonen
  2. Nationality: Irish
  3. Working title of my PhD: 'The lived experience of a brain tumour diagnosis'.
  4. Description of the research: The literature supports the fact that the diagnosis of a primary malignant brain tumour can shatter ones understanding of, and meaning that they ascribe to life and the reality that they inhabit, as well as invoke with feelings of grief and loss. This can result in a multitude of challenges with adaptation, adjustment and coping. The objectives of this study will involve exploring the subjective lived experience of individuals with a primary malignant brain tumour diagnosis and the experiences of their primary caregivers, along with examining the processes related to adaptation and meaning-making that individuals undertake in order to cope throughout the illness journey. The study aims to discover if it is possible to generate a theory that describes the lived experience of a brain tumour diagnosis.

Eva Garcia Albarran

  1. Supervisor: Dr. Edurne Garcia Iriarte and Dr. Michael Feely
  2. Nationality: Spanish
  3. Working title of my PhD: 'Learning and experiences of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), in junior primary mainstream school in Ireland: A multiple case study'.
  4. Description of the research: In the last forty years, the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has dramatically increased worldwide from 1 in 158 to 1 in 68. Although recent reports have confirmed a steady improvement on the educational provision for children with ASD in the last 16 years, the review of the literature has shown a dearth of research in the educational outcomes of children with ASD in junior primary mainstream school. Understanding how and what these children learn in the early years of mainstream education could impact their future achievement and progress in mainstream school and society. Therefore, this multiple, embedded, child-centred case study research, aims to gain knowledge on a) how are children with ASD being accommodated in junior primary mainstream schools, b) how are teaching and learning strategies being put in place to promote and facilitate their learning and c) how are their educational outcomes emerging and measured. 

Natalie Glynn

  1. Supervisor: Dr. Paula Mayock
  2. Nationality: American
  3. Working title of my PhD: A Qualitative Longitudinal Study of Leaving State Care in Ireland: Young People's Perspectives
  4. Description of the research: This research will investigate the intersection of the child welfare system and young people’s transitions to independence. In December 2015 legislation was passed that made the provision of aftercare plans an obligation for young people leaving care and eligible adults formerly in care. As an exploratory longitudinal qualitative research project, it seeks to empower young people who have lived in State care in Ireland to define their circumstances and experiences of leaving care in order to expand the knowledge base on how young people leaving care in Ireland navigate the transition to adulthood. This study’s findings are expected to advance understanding of the lives and experiences of young people post-care and have implications for how this transition is theorized and responded to in policy and practice.
  5. Funder for the research: Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship
  6. Details of related presentations/papers:

    Presentations
    Glynn, NR. 2017. Leaving Care in Ireland: A grounded theory investigation. The Future of Child and Family Welfare Policy, The EUSARF Academy, Groningen, Netherlands.
    Glynn, NR. 2017. Policy in Context: Irish Aftercare from an International Perspective. International Postgraduate Research Conference, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
    Posters
    Glynn, NR. 2017. Where to go? A qualitative longitudinal study of the transition out of State care in Ireland. Young People’s Transitions: Dimensions, Difficulties and Diversity, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Paula Harrison

  1. Supervisor: Dr. Stephanie Holt
  2. Nationality: Irish
  3. Working title of my PhD: 'Autism and the family: Parent-child relationships of typically developing children in this context'.
  4. Description of the research: When a child is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder it impacts every member of the family. For typically developing children, growing up with a disabled sibling will be stressful on a variety of practical, social and emotional levels as their needs may be overshadowed by the more pressing needs of their autistic sibling. While the experience of such siblings has been somewhat examined in international literature, their voices are noticeably sparse in dialogs around autism among researchers, parents, clinicians and educators. The central aim of this qualitative study is to explore the lived experience of siblings in this context and how this experience informs parent-child relationships.

mary kennedyMary Kennedy

Name:  Mary Kennedy

  1. SupervisorProfessor Trevor Spratt
  2. Nationality: Irish
  3. Working title of PhD: Examination of professionals training in and implementation of Adverse Childhood Experiences research informed practice, across multi-level programs in border counties in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
  4. Description of research: This research will examine the implementation of the Multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences approach by professionals in the context of a European funded cross border project delivered to families and communities via multi-levelled programmes.  This study will focus on the professionals, families and communities involved in the European Union’s INTERREG VA, MACE – Breaking the Cycle Project.  This project is a cross border initiative between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.    

Melanie Labor 

  1. Supervisor: Prof Robbie Gilligan and Geraldine Foley (School of Medicine)
  2. Nationality: German
  3. Working title of my PhD: 'Filling the void: Young people's narratives as a gateway to a new  understanding of youth suicides - a case study in a disadvantaged community in Ireland'.
  4. Brief description of the research: Young people aged 15-29 represent the most populous age group worldwide and are universally most likely to take their own lives, especially those growing up in disadvantaged circumstances. Extensive literature, especially in psychology and psychiatry, focuses on suicide risk and prevention neglecting the understanding and meaning making of young people in relation to suicide. Young people are likely to experience the suicide of a peer most intensely as it involves dimensions of intention and planning. Coinciding with a sometimes uncertain and stressful transition from childhood to adulthood, such a critical moment is likely to be highly consequential for youth' conceptions of themselves, their relationships with each other and with their community, and for their life course shaped economic, cultural and social resources and personal qualities. This study aims to close a gap providing a new perspective on young people's understanding and experience of peer suicide in Ireland derived from youth narratives. Those personal stories have the potential to provide unique insights into a) how young people make sense of youth suicide and b) how youth suicide impacts on their lives within their community. This is done through in-depth interviews with 40 young people between the ages of 15-19 from a disadvantaged community in Dublin who have been directly or indirectly affected by a peer. Variations within the sample will include dimensions of gender, socio-economic circumstances and educational / professional background.
  5. Funder of the research: Irish Research Council.

Courtney MarshCourtney Marsh

  1. Supervisor: Eoin O’Sullivan
  2. Nationality: American
  3. Working title of PhD: An Garda Síochána: Organisational culture and the challenges of the 21st century
  4. Description of research: An Garda Síochána is an ever-present institution in Irish life. As such, public interest and scrutiny into what is being presented by the constant media coverage of what they are, and are not, doing is an expected and natural reaction. This research aims to understand the structure of An Garda Síochána and to determine to what degree the challenges the organisation faces are shaped by the organisational culture of the Gardaí as well as how these challenges are changing the culture. Researching the culture of the Garda will provide insight and understanding into an organisation that permeates Irish life; providing academic knowledge to a sparsely populated field. Ultimately, understanding the organisation’s culture, as well as their ability to change, will provide building blocks for future research on the Garda. Faults in a policing organisations impact society at large; if Gardaí are afraid to speak up for fear of retaliatory measures, malpractice will continue, further impacting society. Further, the research findings should be connected to the international literature in a way that allows for various policing organisations abroad to extrapolate findings in a nation specific context. Although there is a significant amount of research done outside of Ireland on police organisational culture, there is only very limited research on the organisational culture of An Garda Síochána. This qualitative thesis will use discourse analysis to thematically analyse Garda tribunal reports and policy documents to contribute to the field of Irish policing and organisational culture.

sobSiobhan O'Brien Green

  1. Supervisor: Professor Trevor Spratt
  2. Nationality: Irish
  3. Working title of my PhD: Factors associated with the disclosure of domestic violence and subsequent positive service utilisation during and after pregnancy.
  4. Description of the research: This qualitative study is interview women in Ireland who have experienced domestic violence during pregnancy (or pregnancies) and who have sought help and safety in order to determine key supports and enablers both individuals and professionals; structures; responses; and referrals which enhance and allow safety and help seeking. The study will allow a greater understanding of the process of help seeking and a more research based targeted screening and responding to disclosures, information provision and effective supports to be available in maternity, health and relevant services in Ireland.
  5. Funder of the research: School of Social Work and Social Policy
  6. Details of related presentations/papers:

    "An exploration of the processes involved when women chose to disclose they are experiencing domestic violence during pregnancy", presentation at the II European Conference on Domestic Violence, FPCEUP, University of Porto, Portugal. 8 September 2017.
    “Sexual Violence in the context of migration”, presentation at Sonas training for HSE staff on migrant women and gender based violence , Dublin, 23 June 2017
    “Organising Focus Groups: process and logistics” presentation at the 2nd Academic Seminar MAP-FGM, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting at the intersection of qualitative, quantitative and mixed method research – Experiences from Africa and Europe. Brussels, Belgium, 9 June 2017.
    “Gender based violence pre and post-migration for women and girls now living in Ireland”, panel presentation to the Oversight Group to the 2nd National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325), Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Dublin, 15 September 2016.
    “Domestic violence and pregnancy”, training presentation at the National Return to Midwifery Practice Course, Centre for Midwifery Education, Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital, Dublin, 8 July 2016.

Catherine Elliott O'Dare

  1. Supervisor: Prof Virpi Timonen and Dr. Catherine Conlon
  2. Nationality: Irish
  3. Working title of my PhD: ‘The experience, meaning and significance of intergenerational friendships to older people in Ireland'
  4. Description of the research: The importance and benefits of friendship in individuals' lives are lauded in research and policy. Friendship provides individuals with a place to be themselves, to do the things they enjoy with like-minded people whose company they enjoy, and who have their trust and confidence. That these chosen good friends are of a different generation may provide valuable insights into ageing, age stereotyping and ageist assumptions. This study will seek to explore and understand intergenerational friendships from the perspective of the ‘older’ friend. Taking a qualitative approach using Constructivist Grounded Theory, rich data will be gathered through in-depth semi-structured interviews incorporating photo elicitation. The research is therefore intended to contribute valuable and substantive knowledge to ageing, friendship and generation literature.
  5. Funder of the research: Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship

Daneille O'Sullivan

  1. Supervisor: Dr Paula Mayock
  2. Nationality: Irish
  3. Working title of my PhD:Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Prisoners in Ireland. Lives, Experiences and Policy. A Qualitative Exploration.
  4. Description of the research: Description of the research: There is a paucity of knowledge, both internationally and domestically on the experiences of lesbian gay and bisexual prisoners. With only one study conducted in Ireland on the population (Carr et al., 2016), this proposed research is qualitative and exploratory in nature. It will seek to examine the lives, experiences and policy pertaining to incarcerated lesbian, gay and bisexual prisoners in Ireland, through the conduct of in-depth interviews. Interviews will be conducted with both currently and formerly incarcerated prisoners who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual. This research will seek to bridge a clear gap in knowledge on a population that is frequently side-lined or ignored. It is hoped that this research will generate new knowledge and understanding on the lived experiences of a hidden population, with a focus on their physical and mental healthcare needs, placement procedures, and how the prison system responds to the unique needs of this population.
  5. Funder of the research: Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship

Sarah ParkerSarah Parker

  1. Supervisor: Dr Paula Mayock
  2. Nationality: Irish
  3. Working title of PhD: Understanding Patterns of Family Homelessness in the Dublin Region: A Mixed Methods Study
  4. Description of research: Mirroring trends in other European countries, families now represent an increasing proportion of the homeless population in Ireland, particularly in the capital where the housing crisis is most acute. The proposed research seeks to examine families’ trajectories through and out of homelessness services over time using a combination of administrative (statistical) data and primary (qualitative) data to ‘track’ families experiencing homelessness in the Dublin region. Analyses of administrative data will yield comprehensive information on the characteristics and socio-economic ‘profiles’ associated with distinct patterns of homelessness service use among families, including chronic (long-term), episodic (recurrent) and transitional (short-term). The subsequent qualitative phase will shed light on the observed statistical findings, and, importantly, will also provide the critical dimensions of context, process and lived reality to permit a nuanced understanding of the ways in which families navigate, and possibly exit, the homelessness service system over time. A primary goal is to generate in-depth knowledge of the structural, individual and contextual factor that shape families’ homelessness and housing transitions and produce robust research evidence that hopes to yield a better-informed analysis of the ways to address family homelessness from a service and policy perspective.
  5. Funder of the research: Irish Research Council
  6. Presentations/papers:

Publications

Parker, S. and Mayock, P. (Accepted Subject to Minor Revisions) “They’re always complicated but that’s the meaning of family in my eyes”: Homeless Youth Making Sense of ‘Family’ and Family Relationships. Submitted to Journal of Family Issues. (Impact Factor: 1.4).
Mayock, P. and Parker, S. (In Press) Young People Narrating the Experience of Homelessness and Home. In L. Moran, K. Reilly and B. Brady (Eds) Narrating Childhood and Youth Across Contexts: Knowledge, Environment, and Relationships. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Mayock, P. and Parker, S. (2017) Living in Limbo: Homeless Young People’s Paths to Housing. Dublin: Focus Ireland.
Mayock, P., Sheridan, S. and Parker, S. (2015) It's just like we're going around in circles and going back to the same thing …’ The Dynamics of Women's Unresolved Homelessness. Housing Studies, Vol. 30(6): 877-900. (Impact Factor: 1.6)
Mayock, P., Parker, S. and Sheridan, S. (2015) Women, Homelessness and Service Provision. Dublin: Simon Communities in Ireland.
Mayock, P., Parker, S. and Sheridan, S. (2015) The Dynamics of Long-term Homelessness among Women in Ireland. Dublin:  Dublin Region Homeless Executive.
Mayock, P., Parker, S. and Murphy, A. (2014) Young People, Homelessness and Housing Exclusion.Dublin:Focus Ireland, Dublin.
Mayock, P., Parker, S. and Sheridan, S. (2013) Mapping Services for Homeless Women in Dublin. Dublin: Dublin Region Homeless Executive.
Mayock, P., Sheridan, S. and Parker, S. (2012) Migrant Women and Homelessness: The Role of Gender-based Violence, European journal of Homelessness, Vol. 6(1): 59-82.

Conference Papers

Parker, S. and Mayock, P. (2018) Understanding Patterns of Family Homelessness: The Case for a Mixed Methods Approach. Presented at FEANTSA’s 13th European Research Conference, Budapest, 21st September.
Parker, S. (2018) Can a Mixed Methods Approach help to Mitigate the ‘People Problem’ of Administrative Data for Evidence-based Policy Making? Poster Session Presented at The International Conference for Administrative Data Research, Belfast, 20th June.
Parker, S. (2018) Making Sense of the Homelessness Crisis: Using a Mixed Methods Approach to Examine Patterns of Family Homelessness in the Dublin Region. Poster Session Presented at the Postgraduate Multidisciplinary Research Showcase, 13th March, Trinity College Dublin: Dublin.
Mayock, P. and Parker, S. (2017) Living in Limbo: Homeless Young People’s Paths to Housing. Presented at Focus Ireland’s ‘Ending Youth Homelessness’ conference, Limerick, 15th September.
Parker, S. and Mayock, P. (2017) Blocked Paths to Housing Stability: Implications for Housing Models and Options for Homeless Youth. Presented at FEANTSA’s 12th European Research Conference, Barcelona, 22nd September.
Mayock, P. and Parker, S. (2015) Families and Homelessness: Casting the net to enhance understanding of patterns of inter- and intra-generational homelessness. Presented at FEANTSA’s 10th European Research Conference on Homelessness, Dublin, 25th September.
Mayock, P. and Parker, S. (2014) Young People, Homelessness and Housing Exclusion: Exploring the Impact of the Economic Crisis in Ireland. Presented at FEANTSA’s 9th European Research Conference, Warsaw, 19th September.
Mayock, P. and Parker, S. (2014) Women and Homelessness in Ireland: Service Use Patterns and Service Needs: Preliminary findings of the Simon Communities in Ireland Research on Women and Homelessness. Presented at ‘Home Truths: Women, Homelessness and Service Provision’, Dublin, 30th September.

Carla PetautschnigCarla Petautschnig

  1. Supervisor: Prof Virpi Timonen
  2. Nationality: Chilean
  3. Working title of my PhD: 'In search of the reflexive agency in the era of conditional welfare and activation policies: Life-projects of participants of Pathways to Work'
  4. Description of the research: The extent to which people and their choices are free, constrained, enabled, or conditioned is a matter of central debate in social theory. This research adopts the stance for the reflexive agency, for the notion of human beings who continuously re-design fallible life trajectories that are not, irredeemably, externally defined. In thinking and deliberating about one's trajectory, work is central; however, the experience of intermittent unemployment along with flexible and precarious jobs have become the new normal. Welfare systems for the unemployed have drastically shifted towards activation, conditionality and the imperative of "making work pay better than welfare”. The consolidation of welfare-to-work programmes creates a new range of constraints and enablements for the unemployed on welfare and seeking job, or working while remaining a welfare subject. While the political and economic aspects of activation policies have been extensively researched, less has been researched regarding the subjective experience of those required by these programmes. Based on qualitative interviews, this research seeks to understand the exercise of personal reflexivity among participants of Pathways to Work when planning life projects, particularly those assessed at medium and high risk of long-term unemployment.
  5. Funder of the research: School of Social Work and Social Policy
  6. Details of related presentations/papers:

    Petautschnig, C. (2017) Activation rationale unchallenged. Is there a place for the reflexive agency in the era of conditional welfare? Reflections from the Irish context. Presented at NordWel 9th International Summer School, Rome, 15th July.

     

Bao RongBao Rong

  1. Supervisor: Prof Robbie Gilligan
  2. Nationality: Chinese
  3. Working title of my PhD: 'The Well-being of the Return Migrant Children in China.'
  4. Description of the research: In China, rural-urban migration is especially complex due to the household registration system (Hukou). According to the Hukou system in China, access to social welfare and public services is dependent on people’s place of belonging and rural or urban categorization, which are inherited from birth. Public schools, which are funded by the government based on the number of school-aged local children in the school’s neighbourhood area, are, on the one hand, unwilling to accept migrant children, and have limited capacity to accommodate the ever-growing influx of migrant children, on the other. Therefore, the parents can either pay much higher fees for their children to be enrolled into a public school, or send them to privately run migrant schools.
    Because of the structural constraints and high cost, most of the migrant children will move back to the countryside for secondary education, and these group of returned migrant children are especially marginalised in the research domain. Usually, they are again treated the same as left-behind children, with their previous migratory experience largely neglected.
    These children are unique in a sense that they are ‘outsiders’ both in the city and back in the countryside. Therefore, it is worth researching how their previous migratory process influences their current life back in the countryside, and whether it has an impact on their educational and occupational aspirations.
    Therefore, this study will be a child-centred longitudinal research, keeping track of one group of returned migrant children in China, and aiming to find out how their well-being change over time, and what role migration plays in shaping their life and future.

schulmann_katharineKatharine Schulmann

 

  1. Supervisor: Prof Virpi Timonen
  2. Nationality: Hungarian/American
  3. Working title of PhD: Discrimination on the bases of gender and socioeconomic status in access to long-term care services: Applying intersectionality theory to the experiences of low-income older women
  4. Description of research: Katharine is researching the pathways between the structural, organizational and interpersonal discrimination faced by older women from different socio-economic backgrounds in accessing long-term care services. In the context of the international discourse building around the human rights of older persons, she hopes to contribute to the field by documenting and analyzing the experiences of older women and men seeking care. These lived experiences will be analyzed in the context of international and national human rights standards and policies. Data collection will consist of in-depth, qualitative interviews in Ireland and Austria and data analysis will take a Grounded Theory approach.
  5. Funder of the research: Three-year ‘1252’ PhD Scholarship.
  6. Presentations and Publications

Presentations:
“A human rights approach to long-term care & support for older persons: Developing a conceptual framework,” Knowledge for Ageing Society – Contextualising Ageing Conference, June 2018, Bratislava.
“Beyond four walls: A community-based model of care and support for people with dementia living at home,” 27th Alzheimer Europe Conference, October 2017, Berlin.
“Social innovation and long-term care in Europe: investigating its potential and highlighting limitations,” 2016 Social Policy Association (SPA) Conference, July 2016, Belfast.
“How do care professionals define ‘good’ quality long-term care? Lessons from an Austrian explorative study,” International Long-term Care Policy Network (ILPN) Conference, September 2016, London.
“Access to healthcare in Portugal in the aftermath of the financial crisis,” The European Network for Social Policy Analysis (ESPAnet) Conference, September 2015, Odense.

Publications:
Schulmann, K., Reichert, M. & Leichsenring, K. (forthcoming) “Social support and long-term care for older people: Potential for social innovation and active ageing.” In, Walker, A. (Ed.) The future of ageing in Europe: making an asset of longevity, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Schulmann, K., Ilinca, S., Rodrigues, R. (2018) “From disability rights towards a rights-based approach to long-term care for older people in Europe: Conceptual framework for a human rights-based approach to care and support for older individuals.” Vienna: European Centre.
Schulmann, K., Ilinca, S., & Leichsenring, K. (2017) “Community care for people with dementia: A handbook for policymakers.” Vienna: European Centre.

Schmidt, A.E., Ilinca, S., Schulmann, K., Rodrigues, R., Principi, A., Barbabella, F., Sowa, A. et al. (2016) “Fit for caring: factors associated with informal care provision by older caregivers with and without multimorbidity,” European Journal of Ageing, 13, 103-113.

Leichsenring, K., Schulmann, K., Gasior, K. & Fuchs, M. (2015) “Good care from the perspective of care professionals – Conditions, objectives and perspectives for quality improvement in long-term care”. Study commissioned by the Vienna Chamber of Labour. Vienna: Vienna Chamber of Labour.

Rodrigues, R., Schulmann, K., Schmidt, A., Kalavrezou, N., Matsaganis, M. (2013) “The indirect costs of LTC, Research Note 8/2013.” Report commissioned by the European Commission Social Situation Monitor. Brussels: EC.

Gillian Smith

  1. Supervisor: Prof Eoin O'Sullivan
  2. Nationality: Irish
  3. Working title of my PhD: 'Accelerated Ageing in Prison? Comparing health and wellbeing outcomes in older people in prison with older people in the community'.
  4. Description of the research: The over fifty age group are the fastest growing cohort within committals to prison in Ireland. Little is known about the health of older prisoners in Ireland, and how their needs differ to younger prisoners or older people in the community. Existing international research suggest prisoners experience ‘accelerated ageing’, though evidence is mixed. This research will attempt to determine if there is evidence of ‘accelerated ageing’ in older prisoners in Ireland, by comparing self-reported health and well-being of older prisoners to older people living in the community. Findings from The Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing (TILDA), a large scale study of over 8000 people aged over fifty, will be used as the control group.
  5. Funder of the research: School of Social Work and Social Policy Studentship, Trinity College Dublin.
  6. Publications

    Smith, G. (2014) ‘Older Prisoners in Ireland:  Policy Implications of a Growing Cohort’. Paper presented at the Irish Gerontological Society’s 62nd Annual and Scientific Meeting in Galway, 2014.  Irish Journal of Medical Science 183(Supplement 7): S302. Abstract available here.

amy stapleton Amy Stapleton

  1. Supervisor: Dr Paula Mayock
  2. Nationality: Irish
  3. Working title of my PhD: Aging Out: The Experiences of Separated Children’s Transition to Adulthood
  4. Description of the research: There is an urgent need to gain a deeper understanding of the issues faced by displaced people in Europe. Children living outside of their origin country who have been separated from their parents or legal/customary caregiver and have turned eighteen, referred to as aged-out separated children, are among the most vulnerable of the diasporas. They confront significant challenges as they transition to adulthood due, for example, to a lack of family support and their distinctly limited access to state support. It is imperative, when developing policy and attempting to resolve an issue as pressing as child displacement in Europe, that the contexts and concerns of those most acutely affected inform our approaches. Despite this, there is a distinct lack of research on aged-out separated children and their experiences are rarely considered. To tackle the challenging social problem of displaced people and to shape effective policies and interventions, it is vital to understand the lives and situations of those affected. This research aims to give ‘voice’ to aged-out separated children, to examine their experiences and to identify the challenges they face through the conduct of comparative cross-national Participatory Action Research in Ireland and France. This data will be complemented by interviews with key informants, including service providers, state agencies and non-governmental organisations in each country. Cross-national comparative research challenges local assumptions on the differences and similarities between nations, raises awareness of the need to situate analyses within the wider sociopolitical context and helps researchers to see issues from new perspectives and find innovative solutions. By examining the experiences of aged-out separated children in two European welfare states, and critically analysing policy and service provision, this research will contribute to scholarship in the field of migration studies and to the development of policy that can better serve the needs of aged-out separated children.
  5. Funder of the Research: Irish Research Council under the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Programme.

calvin_swordsCalvin Swords

  1. Supervisor: Stan Houston
  2. Nationality: Irish
  3. Working title of PhD: ‘Exploring the Concept of Recovery in Irish Mental Health Services – Moving from Policy to Practice’
  4. Description of research: The chosen PhD topic will be the first and most comprehensive assessment of the concept of recovery from an Irish context, with the current literature on the topic identifying the transition from policy to practice as being inconsistent and fragmented. There will be focus on gaining insight into the views of the different professionals working on multidisciplinary teams within Ireland. Most importantly, the contribution of social work will be explored and evaluated in relation to recovery orientated services. The study will focus on adopting a mixed-methods approach to answering the research question.
  5. Funder of the research: School of Social Work and Social Policy 1252 Studentship, Trinity College Dublin.

Qi Wang

  1. Supervisor: Prof Virpi Timonen
  2. Nationality: Chinese
  3. Working title of PhD: The Pension Reform and the Transitions from Employment to Retirement in Postmodern China
  4. Description of the research: Hailing from an imitation of the Soviet pension system, the pension scheme has experienced great changes over the decades after the foundation of PRC. Despite the achievements in the coverage and integration of pensions, the pension system in China is still in the transition process. The future direction of the pension reform is still to be identified. The existing research mainly focused on the pension systems and pension reforms in China from a macro and financial perspective. However, the opinions of the individuals on pensions are largely ignored. There have been some studies on the ideas, feelings, and oppositions on pension reforms in the Western context. These studies can provide some experiences to this research programme combined with the discussion in the context of China. Through conducting research on the opinions on the pension reform and expectations on the transitions from employment to retirement, this programme will identify the gap between the demands of the individuals and the current pension systems which are a product of the policy makers.
  5. Funder of the research: School of Social Work and Social Policy

Louise Yorke

  1. Supervisor: Prof Robbie Gilligan
  2. Nationality: Irish
  3. Working title of PhD: 'The Migration of Rural Girls to Urban Areas for Secondary Education in Southern Ethiopia (SNNPR)'.
  4. Description of the research: In many developing countries including Ethiopia, recent evidence suggests that poor rural children are migrating to urban areas for secondary education with the hope of fulfilling their educational aspirations and those of their families, and achieving better social outcomes, increased economic prospects and enhanced well-being.  The aim of this study is to provide an understanding of rural girls’ distinct migration experiences for secondary education. Specifically information concerning the process underlying the decision to migrate, girls’ experiences in urban settings, their different trajectories through education and the impact of migration both for girls’ future lives and in their sending communities will be sought. The results will contribute to the understanding and debate of critical issues related to girls’ education in the research, policy and NGO community.
  5. Funder of the research: Supported by the Irish Research Council with initial seed funding from the Oak Foundation and the Trinity Trust Foundation. 
  6. Conferences/Papers:

Yorke, L. (2014).  ‘The Migration of Rural Girls to Urban Areas for Secondary Education in Southern Ethiopia (SNNPR): Briefing and Consultation Session with Key Stakeholders’.  Presented at the Embassy of Ireland, Addis Ababa, 13 November 2014.

SineadWhiting Sinead Whiting

  1. Supervisor Professor Robbie Gilligan
  2. Nationality:  Irish
  3. Working title of PhD:  The Lived Experience of Being Adopted as an Older Teenager by Long-Term Foster Carers: A Qualitative Investigation of Young Adults' Identity Development following Late Adoption from Care
  4. Description of research: Within Ireland the majority of children who are adopted from foster care are in their late teenage years at the time of their adoption. They are usually adopted by long-term foster carers with whom they have lived for most of their lives. This unique feature of late adoption from long-term care, which has developed within the Irish child welfare system, will form the basis of this qualitative study. In-depth qualitative interviews will be carried out with 18-24 year olds who were adopted late, by their long-term foster carers. The impact of being adopted on their identity development at a key time of transition in their lives will be explored and the study will consider if being adopted, rather than being in foster care, is significant during the transition to adulthood