Women's Studies Centre

Research in Women's Studies

Women’s Studies has a dynamic and productive research community, with staff, research associates and postgraduates involved in individual and commissioned research, both collaborative and independent.

Women’s Studies is committed to research aimed at advancing the situation of women in Ireland generally, and to recognising the needs of disadvantaged women in particular. Women’s Studies research aims to bring a distinctly feminist perspective to bear and covers different areas of interest including the gender impact of economic and social policy; equality strategies;  sexuality, queer theories and histories; women’s education, power and decision-making; women’s history and literature.

 Our research aims to contribute to key debates within feminism, particularly in relation to research methodologies and feminist epistemologies.

The Centre engages actively in building research partnerships with other academic centres and institutions, Non-Governmental Organisations, government departments, and national and trans-national bodies.

Key Research Areas
Widely recognised for its expertise on feminism, gender, equality, and public policy; sexualities and social change the Women’s Studies research encompasses a wide range of areas of interest, including:

Women, Gender and Public Policy
Economic, Social and Health Policy
Contemporary feminist, gender and equality politics
Women, public participation and decision-making
Poverty and Social Inclusion
Women, Adult and Further Education
Queer Theories and Histories
Gender and Sexuality
Irish Literary, Cultural and Historical Studies

WS is committed to the development of a strong research culture within the School based on recognition of the importance and value of research and on fostering an academic environment of dialogue, debate, mutual respect and support. Through supporting visiting scholars and taking college-wide initiatives WS creates opportunities for exchange of ideas at institutional and international levels.

WS draws on a range of research methodologies, both qualitative and quantitative, and to feminist research theory and methodologies. Within the research process, the Centre provides opportunities to reflect on research methodologies and to learn from research practice and experience.

WS has PhD and M Litt Programmes and aims to support its research students as much as possible within tight budgetary constraints. The Centre provides limited support through the awarding of research fellowship and scholarships when possible.

WS is committed to supporting the research interests of staff through resourcing where possible, technical support, time management and the promotion of a supportive academic environment. As part of its research activities Women’s Studies provides some earning and experience opportunities for its students and graduates, through the establishment of a pool of researchers.

WS is committed to disseminating its research in an accessible manner through a wide range of formats including research publications, events and electronic format.

Commissioned Research
Women’s Studies Centre has been very successful in tendering for and being invited to conduct funded research in the areas of economic, social, health and educational policy. Organisations which have commissioned research by WS over recent years include: European Commission, Crisis Pregnancy Agency, Equality Authority; Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; National Disability Authority, Gender Equality Unit of the Department of Education; Equality Office of the European Commission; Combat Poverty Agency; AONTAS; National Council for Development Education, and the North East Regional Planning Committee on Violence Against Women.

In its funded and commissioned research, WS is a centre of excellence specialising in specific areas: equality; women and social and economic policy, community education, poverty, employment; gender; European Union policy; working with specific groups – lesbian women, ethnic minorities, women with disabilities. WS applies a partnership and collaborative approaches to its research activities, at both national and trans-national levels where appropriate.

Click here to view a list of Research Projects.