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PhD Scholarship in UCD School of Education (Ad Astra)

UCD School of Education is seeking to recruit one PhD candidate to work on a research project exploring critical thinking and scientific reasoning in national curricula and high-stakes assessment under the supervision of Dr Olga Ioannidou.

The successful applicant will receive a three-year scholarship covering full tuition fees, a stipend, and a research fund to work at the UCD School of Education, a leader in the field of education, with over 100 years of service to the wider education community in Ireland. The research project will explore models of teaching, learning, and assessment of critical thinking skills primarily in Ireland and Europe, but proposals to examine other relevant contexts through comparative analysis are welcome. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to work closely with the team of the national study of Irish primary schooling, Children’s School Lives (CSL). On successful completion of the project, the candidate will be awarded a PhD in Education from University College Dublin.

The successful candidate is expected to start in September 2024 and will receive the following financial support for 3 years:

  • Full funding for tuition fees
  • A stipend of €22,000 per annum to assist with living expenses
  • Research allowance of €4,000

This is a full-time position for the three-year duration of the PhD programme starting in September 2024. 


  • Applications are accepted from candidates from Ireland, the EU and worldwide
  • An academic background in Education 
  • High honours in an appropriate Master’s degree

How to apply

The application must be submitted via email to (opens in a new window)olga.ioannidou@ucd.ie  no later than June 15th 2024, 23:59 Irish Time (with ‘Ad Astra PhD application’ in the subject line of the email) and must include:

  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS of 7 total score, with no band below 6.5; alternatively, a Master’s degree obtained from an English-speaking institution within the past 3 years from the date of application)
  • Diploma and transcripts of academic records (undergraduate and postgraduate)
  • A CV 
  • A supporting statement of no more than two pages (font size 12) outlining their academic and professional experience relevant to this project
  • Two letters of recommendation

Find out more

Enquiries can be directed via email to the lead investigator, Dr Olga Ioannidou ((opens in a new window)olga.ioannidou@ucd.ie(opens in a new window))

For more information about the structure of the PhD programme in Education consult the UCD School of Education website: https://www.ucd.ie/education/study/doctoralprogrammes/

School of Education

University College Dublin Belfield Dublin 4 Ireland
T: +353 1 716 7777