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TRiSS Bite Size Talks and Pizza Lunchtime Series

TEDx Pizza
In the TRiSS Bite Size Talks and Pizza lunchtime sessions, three speakers provide a taster of their research.

All TRiSS member schools academics and PhD students are welcome to attend. However please ensure to register. More information on the upcoming sessions below

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Previous Bite Size Talks and Pizza:

Our last TRiSS Bitesized Talk was on March 12th 2020 at 1pm

We had Nandini Gupta, a doctoral candidate with International Peace Studies who is working on a comparative analysis between Northern Ireland and Kashmir conflict in general and women's contribution to peace-making processes, Dr.Ciara O'Connell, a research fellow with the School of Law, on 'Gender, women and prisons: Doing empirical research' and Prof. Fainche Ryan of the Loyola Institute on Women and the Church

TRiSS Bitesized Talk on January 23rd 2020 at 1pm was on Racism in Ireland Today

We had Rory McDaid presenting his work on immigrant teachers in the Irish Education system and Egle Gusciute discussing discrimination in the Irish housing market.

TRiSS Bitesized Talk on War and Peacekeeping on November 28th 2019 at 1pm

We had Prof. Thomas Chadefaux from the Department of Political Science on International conflict, Shelli Garland from the School of Education on Identity through Volunteering, and Andrea Salvi from the Department of Political Science on "Explaining the variation in timing and location of insurgents' violence: evidence from Iraq using a simulated baseline approach.

TRiSS Bitesized Talk on October 10th 2019 at 1pm

We had Prof. Philip Lawton from the department of Geography in the School of Natural Sciences on Gentrification and Dublin's Urban development, Ciaran Devlin from the Department of Sociology on Virtual Futures, and Amy Stapleton from the School of Social Work and Social Policy discussing the experience of separated young people in France.

TRiSS Bitesized Talks on September 19th 2019 at 1pm

On the eve on the Student's Climate Strike, we have a special event focusing on Climate Change and Energy Economics. Speakers include Prof. Constantine Boussalis, Assistant Professor in Environmental Politics & Quantitative Methods with the Department of Political Science, Dr. Norah Campbell with the School of Business and Bryan Coyne from the Department of Economics. The latter's talk is entitled: "Mind the Energy Performance Gap: The Accuracy of Irish BER Certificates."

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For Trinity Week our Bite Size Talks and Pizza was on Visual Methodologies on May 2nd at 1pm

Our three speakers from the School of Education were: Associate Prof. Andrew Loxley, Assistant Prof. Melanie Ní Dhuinn and Michelle Share - a Senior Research Fellow. Prof. Loxley was a Board Member of the International Visual Sociology Association from 2005 - 2008. Photo of Share His book Deconstructing Special Education and Constructing Inclusion was highly commended in the 2008 Times Educational Supplement/NASEN Book of the Year Award in the academic book category. His next book, Photographic Practices in the Social Sciences, will be out next year.

Michelle has worked on Projects such as "The Intergenerational Impact of the Trinity Access Programmes" and "Food access and nutritional health among families experiencing homelessness in the Dublin region" and has published, for example her most recent piece "Food, connection and care: Perspectives of Service Providers in Alternative Education and Training Settings" was published this year in the Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies.

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Melanie Ní Dhuinn is Assistant Professor of Teacher Education in the School of Education. She is course coordinator of the Professional Master of Education (PME) post-primary initial teacher education programme. She is also a member of the Research Ethics Committee.

Arising from this, there is the possibility of setting up an ongoing visual methodology group. This would comprise of a monthly mix of workshops, sharing practice, readings, presenting research etc.

If you are interested in joining this group, but cannot attend on the day, email

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On April 11th our Bite Size Talks and Pizza was on Artificial Intelligence, Conspiracy Theories and the Far Right

Speakers include: David Moore on Steve Bannon, Breitbart and migration. David is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at Trinity College Dublin. He holds a BA in Business and Economics and an MSc in International Politics both from Trinity College Dublin. His research mainly focuses on political conspiracy theories, the far right, the use of emotion in political communication, and the mass media.

Julian Friedland, Assistant Professor of Ethics at Trinity Business School, warns us about the potential for AI to reduce human agency in the modern world in his talk entitled How AI Can Help Us Live More Deliberately. Photo of Julian Friedland He offers a number of solutions on how we can maintain ethical lifestyle choices in a world dominated by algorithms.

His research interests lie in business applications of normative ethics including positive professional duty and the psychology of moral reasoning, particularly motivational alternatives to economic incentives and new means by which virtues may be instilled through management and technology. His work has appeared in a range of books and international journals including the Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and MIT Sloan Management Review. He has also written for national magazines and newsprint including The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Conversation.

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Julian recently gave a TEDx Talk on this topic which you can view here if you can't make this session.

Dr Joanne Banks is an Assistant Professor in Inclusion and Special Educational Needs at the School of Education, Trinity College Dublin. She previously worked as a Research Officer working in education research at the ESRI. She holds a B.A in Geography and Sociology from Trinity College Dublin and an M.A and PhD from University College Dublin. Her research focuses mainly on special educational needs (SEN), disability and inclusive education. She has published widely in the area of special educational needs (SEN) prevalence and identification, SEN financing and resource allocation and social and academic engagement for children with SEN.

Bite Size Talks and Pizza on March 7th at 1pm - International Women‘s Day

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We have a special event for International Women’s Day. Speakers include: Phil Mullen from the School of Sociology on Mixed Race Women in Care, Prof. Catherine Conlon from Social Work and Social Policy on women’s sexual bodies and Prof. Gillian Wylie on sex work and social justice.

After completing a BA in Law, Sociology and Politics at NUI Galway, Catherine Conlon undertook an MA in Women's Studies in University College Dublin. In 1994 she joined the Department of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin as part of an interdisciplinary team commissioned by the Minister for Health to carry out a ground breaking, qualitative inquiry into Irish women's responses to pregnancy entitled 'Women and Crisis Pregnancy' (co-authored with Evelyn Mahon and Lucy Dillon, 1996). Between 1999 and 2000 she served as Research Officer at the National Council for Ageing and Older People. In 2006 she began a PhD at UCD. In 2015 she was appointed lecturer in the School of Social Work and Social Policy TCD where she now teaches on Principles and Issues in Social Policy, Families and research methodologies and is co-Director of the BA in Sociology and Social Policy.

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Gillian Wylie is originally from Scotland - where she did her studies in Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen. In 2001 she became a full time lecturer on the M.Phil in International Peace Studies. As well as teaching on the M.Phil in International Peace Studies, she co-ordinates the School of Religion's PG Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies and supervises a large number of masters and doctoral students - particularly in the field of gender, conflict and peace. Her research specialism lies in human trafficking, the politics of international migration, globalization and gender issues. She is an editorial board member of the Journal of Human Trafficking (Taylor and Francis). She served as the School's Director of Postgraduate Teaching and Learning and as the Head of Discipline in the Irish School of Ecumenics in recent years. She is committed to civic engagement, particularly the issue of how universities respond to refugees facing crisis in Europe.

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Philomena Mullen read English and Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. A Government of Ireland scholar, her doctoral research with the Department of Sociology examines how mixed-race women, who grew up in care without families, construct their identity.

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Valentine Day’s Bitesized: February 14th at 1pm

Talks on the theme of love

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Speakers include: Dr Alice Jorgensen Assistant Professor with the School of English, Director of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning on 'Love before romance.' Her primary area of teaching and research is Old English literature, both poetry and prose. Her current research focuses on emotions in Old English and she has published on shame, especially in the works of Ælfric, and on emotional performance and emotion discourse in various texts, as well as being lead editor of the 2015 Ashgate volume Anglo-Saxon Emotions: Reading the Heart in Old English Language, Literature and Culture. Earlier research concentrated on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and on representations of violence.

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Dr. Sarah Louise Curtiss' research looks at comprehensive sexuality education, romantic relationships, and autism. Autistic individuals are both stigmatized for sexual expression and denied access to sexuality education. This creates a cyclical barrier to healthy relationships. She has developed a website,, to disseminate sex education resources to parents and practitioners. Dr. Curtiss received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Illinois. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow visiting the School of Psychiatry as part of the Daughters of Charity: Technology and Research into Disability international research network.

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Matteo Solazzo is working on his PhD at the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering in Prof. Michael Monaghan group. His work is focused on the development of 3D microporous electroconductive biomaterial scaffolds as matrices for cardiac tissue engineering. Heart attacks lead to the death of functional cardiomyocytes in heart muscle which cannot be replaced. Every sixth man and seventh woman will die from a heart attack or related complications, and there is no way to regenerate this cardiac tissue. Although advances in stem cells understanding, the oncogenic risk due to their pluripotency and lack of functional differentiation is a great limitation to their applications. Cardiomyocytes in vivo are exposed to a unique environment, dynamic mechanical forces via the beating of the heart and electrical action potentials being generated by the heart's electrical conduction system. Matteo's work aims to recapitulate a cardioinductive platform based on mechanical, electrical and ECM cues to generate an efficient culture system to culture cardiomyocytes in vitro and also to increase efficiencies of generating functional cardiomyocytes from progenitor cells. These advances will not only improve quality of life for the patient but provide tools to study disease and perform pharmaceutical research.

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Join us for our next Bite Size Talks and Pizza session on January 31st between 1pm and 2pm in the TRiSS Seminar Room.

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We will have Eva Aizpurua from the School of Law and the PRILA project. She earned her PhD in Criminology from the University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain, 2016) and worked as a postdoctoral scholar al the University of Northern Iowa (USA, 2016-2018). Her main research interests include interpersonal violence, life in prison, and survey research methods.

Prisons: the rule of law, accountability and rights (PRILA) is a research project funded by the European Research Council, grant agreement 679362. The Principal Investigator is Dr Mary Rogan, School of Law, the University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland. The project commenced on April 1 2016 and will run until March 30 2021.

Danielle O'Sullivan is working on her PhD with the School of Social Work and Social Policy, entitled Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Prisoners in Ireland. Lives, Experiences and Policy. A Qualitative Exploration.

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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.

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Brendan Marsh is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Irish School of Ecumenics and is working on the PERICLES project (Policy recommendation and improved communication tools for law enforcement and security agencies preventing violent radicalisation). The aim of the PERICLES project is to develop a comprehensive approach to prevent and counter violent radicalisation and extremism.

Brendan obtained his PhD in Criminology from Queens University Belfast in 2017. His areas of interest are violence and illegal drug markets, desistance from crime, and processes of religious and political radicalisation that lead to violence.

Brendan has taught on the MA Law in QUB and has been a regular guest lecturer in the Department of Adult education, NUI Maynooth. Prior to entering academia on a full time basis in 2013, Brendan managed a community education project for young drug users in Dublin's South Inner City. He has worked with problem drug users in both a voluntary and paid capacity for almost two decades.

It is free to attend but you must register to ensure we have enough pizza for everyone! Register here!

Ethnic Segregation - 29th November 2018 at 1pm

The theme of this event was Ethnic Segregation.

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Prof. Marvin Suesse was discussing Finance and Ethnic Segregation: Historical Evidence. Marvin specialization in economic history, and obtained his PhD from Humboldt University of Berlin.

Marvin is an Assistant Professor in Economics at Trinity College, Dublin. Previously, and was a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the fields of political economy and economic history at NYU Abu Dhabi with Bob Allen. He completed his PhD on the economics of nationalism at Humboldt University of Berlin in 2015 under the supervision of Nikolaus Wolf. He spent the Spring semester of 2014 in the US doing research at UC Berkeley's Economic History Lab. He obtained a Master's from Humboldt University of Berlin and a Bachelor in Economics from the University of Bath, UK.

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Prof. Stephen Minton from the School of Education was discussing his recent work on truth and reconciliation processes and Indigenous peoples. His work has involved residential schools and indigenous people in post-colonial countries (Australia, Canada, Greenland, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and the United States, as well as researching bullying and youth sub-cultures.

Stephen was born in England in 1971, and graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1995 (B.Sc. (Hons) in Psychology) and Trinity College Dublin (twice; with an M.Sc. in Counselling Psychology in 1997, and a Ph.D. (undertaken in the School of Education) in 2007). He joined the staff of the School of Education at Trinity College Dublin in 2005 as a full-time lecturer in the psychology of education, after having held a postgraduate teaching studentship within the same school for three years previously. He is currently serving as the School's Director of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning.

Elaine Bradley from the School of Sociology presented 'Gaza: a place apart'. For this, she drew on her doctoral research 'Mapping Israel's Regime in Gaza onto Frameworks of Genocide.'

Elaine Bradley BA, MSc (Mgt) is the former CEO of Volunteer Ireland, the national volunteer development agency, and is an organisational consultant with a track record of working in the areas of social justice and inclusion. In 2012 she went to Gaza to work on a pro bono basis with the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. What she witnessed and experienced during that time and during subsequent visits has motivated and informed her current research "Mapping Israel's Regime in Gaza onto Frameworks of Genocide".

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Elaine's research primarily explores the ways in which a genocidal perspective relates to the current situation in Gaza. The exploration is undertaken through the prism of existing legal and sociological definitions and frameworks, in particular the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the seminal works of Raphael Lemkin on the concept and construct of genocide, and what has been termed 'the elimination of the native', linked to settler colonialism as articulated by Patrick Wolfe (2006).

The Powers that Be - 1st November 2018 at 1pm

The theme of this event was the powers that be: The Police, Politicians and Corporations.

Courtney Marsh - PhD candidate with the School of Social Work and Social Policy

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An Garda Síochána: Culture, challenges, and change. 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. Her 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.

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Stefan Muller, winner of the Dermot McAleese Teaching Award, will present his thesis on Media Coverage of Campaign Promises Throughout the Electoral Cycle. In it he looks at how a growing body of work shows that governments fulfil a majority of their campaign promises outlined in party manifestos. However, only a minority of voters believes that politicians try to keep their promises, and many voters struggle to accurately recall the fulfilment or breaking of salient campaign pledges. The public scepticism and often limited knowledge about pledges could be influenced by the information voters receive in news outlets. Based on a new text corpus of over 400,000 newspaper articles from five established democracies, I show that media cover pledges throughout the entire cycle with peaks before and shortly after elections. Sentences containing information on the breaking or fulfilment of promises account only for a very small subset of the coverage. I also find that the proportion of reports about broken promises is more than twice as large as the proportion of fulfilled promises. The results have important implications for studying negative information in mass media, election pledges, and the linkage between voters and parties.

Last but by no means least, Prof. Liam Kneafsey will be discussing perceptions of corporate tax avoidance.

Previous Bite Size Talks and Pizza - 5th April 2018

The theme of this event will be Brexit. Speakers include: Prof Frank Barry, the Chair of International Business and Development, Business and Administrative Studies and author of Multinational Firms in the World Economy.

Prof. Louis Brennan, a Fellow of Trinity College and Professor in Business Studies at the Trinity Business School. His passion is around mediating and shaping the future. Louis is a frequent contributor to the global discourse offering perspectives on many facets of globalisation including the emergence of China and its firms, global corporations, global value chains and foreign direct investment.

8th March, Womens' Day

Come along to hear three new speakers from different disciplines, including Dr Justyna Pyz, Project Manager/Research Fellow, Gaming for Peace (GAP) from the School of Sociology.

Prof Gail McElroy, Head of School, Sch Office Social Sciences & Philosophy at TCD.

A Fulbright Scholar and winner of Best Paper Award, Political Research Quarterly 2011, she will be discussing the topics women raised in the Dail from 1919-2017. Her areas of interest are: European Union Politics, European Parliament, European Political Parties, Electoral Politics. Some of her publications include: The Impact of Gender Quotas on Voting Behaviour in 2016 in, ed. David Farrell, Michael Marsh and Theresa Reidy and The 2011 Election in Context in: ed. Michael Marsh, David M. Farrell, and Gail McElroy, A Conservative Revolution?

Justyna Pyz - Project Manager/Research Fellow, Gaming for Peace (GAP), School of Sociology

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Gaming for Peace (GAP) is a 30 month project funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 program and it has the Irish Defence Forces, the Finnish, Polish, Bulgarian military, Polish and Portuguese police among 15 partners and is led by the Department of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin. The work of the project is to develop a curriculum of soft skills (gender awareness, cultural competency, communication, cooperation, stress management) and embed a selection of these in a digital role-playing game. The curriculum was developed by interviewing personnel from our end user partners about their experiences on deployment, and we are verifying the authenticity of the details and storyline as it develops with these end users. The GAP curriculum and game offers built in soft skills assessment in the game and also pre and post tests, to allow for standardization of assessment and training across different organizations. Missions have different types of organizations mandated to cooperate together, but there is currently limited training in the soft skills that facilitate cooperation between organizations and with the local population. GAP is an efficient, inexpensive and effective way to offer standardized training in soft skills to all personnel going on deployment, as it is delivered through mobile devices in a classroom context by each organization.

Alejandra Ramos - Assistant Profesor at the Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin

Alejandra Ramos is an Assistant Profesor at the Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin. She is an applied microeconomist with a focus on development. Her research interests are Intra-Household Decision Making, Intimate Partner Violence, and Education. Alejandra obtained her Ph.D. in Economics from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in July 2017. She holds a master in Economic Analysis from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, an MSc in Economics from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and a master in Economics from Universidad de los Andes, Colombia.

If YOU would like to give a 10 minute overview of your research over lunchtime at a future date, let us know!

1st February 2018

Julian Friedland - Assistant Professor in Business Ethics, Trinity Business School

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The continuing preponderance of high-profile ethics scandals from Volkswagen and Wells Fargo to Über and Facebook is causing concern that the global push toward freer markets may not maximize human flourishing and social welfare externalities (Pirson & Lawrence, 2010). Educational exposure to neoclassical economic theory reifying the homo-economic conception of human nature has been shown to substantially increase self-interested behaviour (Ifcher & Zarghamee, 2016). Furthermore, the ubiquity of this framing within organizations has created a cultural environment in which financial incentives may crowd out prosocial behaviour (Bowles, 2016; Sandel, 2012). While there is no shortage of good arguments for why business should be conducted more ethically, including that it tends to be a more effective long-term strategy, the main obstacle is a persistent and widespread lack of motivation to do the right thing when shorter-term financial incentives contradict higher-minded concerns.

His research offers a novel moral-motivational tool leveraging the power of moral self-image, which has been shown to be morally motivating (Aquino & Reed II, 2002), and playing a key role in inspiring prosocial behaviour (Friedland & Cole, 2017). Ultimately, each of us wants to think of ourselves as a basically good person. It turns out that this psychological and philosophical appeal may be more effective in inspiring socially-responsible behaviour than other approaches. His work presents a four-stage system-theoretical model of moral self-awareness, comprising three fundamental aspects of virtue-oriented reasoning: pride, shame, and guilt, and yielding ever more refined motivating strategies for inspiring civic and prosocial behaviour across all stakeholders.


Derina Johnson - PhD Candidate, School of Social Work and Social Policy

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My PhD study explores the lived experience of young people growing up in contexts of displacement and lack of documentation along the Thailand-Myanmar border. Their realities echo evolving global dynamics of cross-border population flows and protracted displacement, in which "refugee" and "migrant" populations overlap and interweave, and young people spend their formative development years in legal and social marginalisation.

Through a qualitative case study methodology, underpinned by social constructionist principles, this study reveals nuanced insights into the lived experience of growing up as an "illegal migrant". Legal and social precarity characterises lifeworlds and defines young people's ways of being in the world. Fear and risk accompany "everyday 'illegality'". However, despite living in extraordinary circumstances, the young people strive for ordinary lives. Suffering and struggle are expected and accepted in order to create a better future for them and their families. The young people's endurance, persistence and resistance extends our understanding of youth agency and resilience in extreme adversity.


Evgenia Likhovtseva - PhD Candidate, School of Education

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My PhD project is devoted to an investigation into the formation of World-Class Universities in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries, focusing on how higher education policy aimed at producing this class of university is implemented in the national settings. The main methodological approach is one of interpretative policy analysis and the signal impact of this research will be the generation of a more culturally and socio-political informed perspective on university excellence.