Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here News

The Grattan Scholars - Towards 2020

Established in 2012 to serve as a catalyst for attracting and inspiring the brightest and best postgraduate students from around the world, The Grattan Scholars programme has succeeded beyond all expectations. 

The cohort now stands at 19 scholars from 13 countries, all of whom have made a huge contribution to academic life in Trinity, as talented researchers and inspirational teachers of undergraduate students.  Their research which spans issues of major global societal and economic importance – such as migration, inequality, financial globalisation and international development – is more relevant than ever as society faces wide-ranging and interlinked global challenges. With graduates of the programme now pursuing careers in academia and policy making – at leading institutions such as Oxford University, the International Monetary Fund and the Central Bank of Ireland - they have fulfilled the vision of the programme to shape thought leaders for society’s future. 

Trinity College is greatly indebted to our generous supporters who have enabled us to sustain our tradition of research excellence, developing future leaders and influential voices for social and economic development. Next year, 2020, is the 200th anniversary of the death of the great Irish statesman, Henry Grattan, and our aim is to welcome our 20th Grattan Scholar in Trinity in his honour.

His words to the Irish House of Commons in 1800 will continue to inspire and guide The Grattan Scholars:

“The constitution may for a time seem lost.  The character of the country cannot be lost.  While a plank of the vessel holds together I will not leave her.  I will remain anchored here; with fidelity to the fortunes of my country, faithful to her freedom, faithful to her fall.”

Grattan Scholar Alumni: A Global Network of Thought Leaders

Katharina Bergant - 2015 Grattan Scholar

Economist at the International Monetary Fund

bergantWhen I look back at my time as a Grattan Scholar, there are so many great experiences to remember! The most exciting time of the PhD was my 10-month research visit at Harvard University where I was supervised by one of the leading scholars in International Finance Prof. Carmen Reinhart. After the year, I was also invited to speak at our main conference of the year – the NBER Summer Institute – where I got the opportunity to meet so many famous scholars whose papers and books I have read in the last four years. The PhD could not have ended better. I also look back at enriching experiences as a PhD Researcher at the Central Bank of Ireland as well as the European Central Bank which would not have been possible without the support and the flexibility of the Grattan Scholarship. Throughout the years, the best part of my PhD was the invaluable supervision by Philip R. Lane. Although he was called the higher positions during the process of this thesis, he never ceased to support me with his guidance. His economic intuition inspired me and his loyalty encouraged me to become part of this profession. 

This might sound surprising, but the hardest part of the PhD was to decide where to work afterwards! In the end, I decided to join the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund. Apart from the fact that my PhD thesis aligns with the flagship topics of the IMF, the position in the Research Department will give me the best of both worlds: I will stay on top of the current policy agenda around the international financial system. At the same time, I will have time to pursue my academic research and present it at universities and conferences. One could say that I am looking forward to applying the technical skills I have obtained in the PhD to “real world” problems!


Margaryta Klymak - 2014 Grattan Scholar

Departmental Lecturer in Development Economics at the University of Oxford

klymakMy research was heavily focused on development economics during my PhD. I have been teaching for four years at Trinity and I truly enjoyed it. Thus, continuation of an academic career was a natural and desired choice for me. After I finished my PhD, I joined the University of Oxford as a Departmental Lecturer in Development Economics. I am continuing my research in development economics and lecture Quantitative Methods. I am also a part of the Centre of Studies of African Economies and a member of St Antony’s College. It has been an amazing year. The Grattan Scholarship has provided me with fantastic opportunities which I would otherwise not have experienced. I attended conferences and summer schools, where I could present and discuss my research. I also visited UN and worked for the World Bank. I will always be grateful for possibilities this funding gave me.


Yannick Timmer - 2014 Grattan Scholar

Economist at the International Monetary Fund

yannickAfter my PhD I started as an Economist in the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund. The main reason for choosing the IMF was that it combines policy-relevant research and operational work.  In my first assignment, I worked on the World Economic Outlook, in which we analyzed the drivers behind the decline in the price of capital goods and its macroeconomic implications. In addition, I continued working on my research papers from my PhD, for example a paper on productivity and financial frictions, which has recently been accepted for publication by the Review of Financial Studies. I am incredibly grateful for the continuous support from the Grattan scholarship during the PhD without which none of these would have been possible.


Christina Kinghan - 2012 Grattan Scholar

Economist at the Central Bank of Ireland

kinghanSince completing my PhD, I have worked as an Economist at the Central Bank of Ireland, continuing my research into household finance in an Irish context. I have authored numerous Central Bank Publications that undertake analyses of the Irish mortgage market and I contributed to this research area at an international level as part of a European taskforce at the ECB and through presentations at other Central Banks, such as the Bank of England. Alongside my work at the Central Bank, I have continued working on the area of development economics for Vietnam. This work has led to co-authoring two chapters for books published by Oxford University Press. The first, on economic transformation and diversification, formed part of the book ‘Growth, Structural Transformation and Rural Change in Vietnam: A rising dragon on the move’ and the second, on access to finance for SMEs, formed part of the book ‘Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Vietnam’ forthcoming in 2020.

I credit the Grattan Scholarship with helping me establish the building blocks of my current career. The Grattan Scholarship provided generous stipends toward presenting work internationally at conferences and the confidence I developed by doing so through my PhD has greatly helped me when having to present my work internationally and to senior committees within the Central Bank. In addition, collaboration with my EU colleagues was also a skill I developed during my PhD, with the Grattan Scholarship enabling me to participate in an internship at the United Nations University, World Institute for Development Economics, which was the highlight of my PhD. The relationships built up during this internship have also allowed me to continue researching in the area of Vietnam and development economics.


Sara Mitchell - 2012 Grattan Scholar

Postdoctoral Researcher at TU Dortmund University

mitchellI joined Trinity’s PhD in Economics programme as one of the inaugural Grattan Scholars in 2012. After completing my PhD under the supervision of Prof. John O’Hagan, I worked as a research associate as part of an Independent Secretariat provided by the Institute of Public Administration for the Expert Commission on the Domestic Public Water Services. I then joined Indecon International Economic Consultants as a research economist. I am now working as a postdoctoral research at TU Dortmund (Germany), where I am engage in research and teaching at the Chair of Urban, Regional, and International Economics. I recently published an article in the July 2019 issue of the Journal of Urban Economics.

My experiences as a research economist provided practical insight into policy-making, and I have been able to incorporate this in my teaching in both the Faculty of Economics and Business and in the Faculty of Spatial Planning at TU Dortmund. My work with the Faculty of Spatial Planning has also provided new perspectives on cities and urban development. This kind of interdisciplinary engagement has been very valuable for my research on the geographic clustering of creative and cultural activity.

During my PhD, the Grattan Scholar programme provided invaluable professional development opportunities in both teaching and research. However, the value of the programme did not end with my degree. The Grattan Scholars programme has now evolved into an interdisciplinary network of scholars and young professionals who can provide support and advice to one another through the degree programme and throughout their careers. It has been a privilege to be a part of the Grattan Scholar programme and see the research and policy impact of the Grattan Scholars programme scholars and alumni, and I look forward to seeing how the Grattan network continues to develop in the future.


Additional Information

If you are interested in finding out more about The Grattan Scholars programme or if you would like information on how to get involved as a supporter, please visit: