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Scholarships and Awards

Funding Opportunities

The School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice from time to time offers a limited number of funding opportunities for taught Masters and research programmes within the School. Currently available funding programmes are:

Ursula Barry Scholarship in Gender Studies


School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice

University College Dublin

Applications are invited for two scholarships for full-time study on the MA in Gender Studies at UCD’s School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice.

The scholarship provides €4,000 to contribute to the costs of programme fees. Closing date for applications is 30th June, 2021.

The MA in Gender Studies is a rigorous, interdisciplinary programme offering learning in feminisms, sexualities, masculinities, global gender debates, politics and activisms.  The programme engages with intersectional feminist, gender and queer theories and perspectives. It brings together knowledge and activism to expose students to a breadth and depth of scholarship in relation to multiple oppressions, discriminations, politics and policies including gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, class and age, among others. This programme leads to a well-recognised MA in Gender Studies from one of the top 1% universities in the world.

Based in the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice at UCD, the scholarship and programme welcomes applicants with diverse professional and educational backgrounds who are interested in exploring further how gender plays a crucial role in the way we see the world and in how the world is organised.

Scholarship details:

The scholarship provides €4,000 towards the costs of programme fees.  

The scholarship funds programme fees for the 2021/22 academic year, beginning in September 2021. 

All other costs associated with taking up and studying on the programme will be covered by successful applicants themselves.

The scholarship is open to Irish as well as international applicants.

Application Procedure:

Applicants for the scholarship must satisfy the application criteria for the Masters in Gender Studies and have completed an application for the masters programme.

Details of the programme and entry requirements are found HERE.

Applications for the scholarship should be emailed to Dominic Shellard (dominic.shellard@ucd.ie) and include:

  • An application letter of maximum 600 words that addresses the following: confirmation of successful application to the MA in Gender Studies; a short statement of your suitability and motivation for the scholarship and masters programme, and of your particular interest in the MA in Gender Studies UCD.
  • Please include details for 2 referees – we reserve the right to contact referees where it might support the application.
  • C.V. (3 pages maximum)

CLOSING DATE: 30th June, 2021.

30% Club Scholarship 

UCD College of Social Sciences and Law in partnership with the 30% Club is offering a scholarship opportunity for the Master in Public Policy to one female candidate. This reflects UCD’s commitment to promote greater gender diversity in leadership positions within the public and not for profit sectors. https://30percentclub.org/about/chapters/ireland

The Master of Public Policy Programme is offering one full time or part time (EU fee waiver) scholarship to a female candidate.

Closing date for applications for September 2022 entry is 30th June 2022. All enquiries in relation to the scholarship to be made to mpp@ucd.ie

Applications for the scholarship will be competitively assessed based on the following criteria:

  1. In order to be eligible to apply for this scholarship, applicants must have submitted an application to UCD and have been offered a place on the programme.
  2. Applicants should then submit a letter of motivation for the scholarship which should cover the following:
       - An outline of your career to date.
       - Why do you think you should be awarded this scholarship for a Master of Public Policy, in line with the objectives of the aim of the 30% Club to support women into  positions of leadership in all walks of life.

The motivation letter should be no less than 500 and not more than 1,200 words in length.

3. CV (maximum 2 pages)

The motivation letter and CV must be submitted in one file (preferable MS Word or pdf format) to mpp@ucd.ie

Application submissions should clearly state "30% Club Scholarship - Master of Public Policy"

The closing date for applicants for this scholarship is 5pm on 30th June 2021.

Note: For applying for Master of Public Policy programme, please visit http://www.ucd.ie/apply/

I feel incredibly honored to receive the 30% Club Scholarship for the Master of Public Policy at UCD. As a neurodiverse person, I feel it is so important to have visibility for women in leadership roles that represent the autistic community. Education has completely transformed my life, and I feel so appreciative of this opportunity to continue my educational journey. During my
time at UCD, I hope to increase my skill set while enhancing my understanding of the policy process. I believe the MPP will give me the tools to pursue a career within the nonprofit or voluntary sector, specifically in the area of disability and human rights. I am deeply passionate about working in a sector that promotes equality and participation in Irish society. My goal is to use the information I gain from the Master of Public Policy at UCD to affect real change through public policy development.

 Rachel Merriman, holder of the full time 30% Club Scholarship for the Masters in Public Policy

PhD Scholarship Opportunity

Mental health and Mindfulness: Professionals and the Populations they serve

University College Dublin (UCD)

UCD College of Social Sciences and Law, UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice. Dublin, Ireland

About the UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice Scholarship

The UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice aims to provide one student with outstanding potential and a strong desire to undertake a full-time PhD programme the opportunity to work within the area of mental health with the support of an excellent supervisor. This scholarship provides full tuition fees and a stipend over the course of the UCD four-year structured PhD programme and will be based at the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice. University College Dublin is Ireland’s global university which is a world-leading centre for education and research in the social sciences and related disciplines. This PhD scholarship aims to provide one student who is passionate about research, has very strong analytical skills and is able to demonstrate outstanding academic performance the opportunity to work within an exciting multidisciplinary research field. We invite applications for the PhD programme, starting September 2023. On completion of the PhD, the successful candidate will earn a PhD in Social Work from University College Dublin, under the supervision of Dr. Alan Maddock.


Successful candidates will receive the following financial support for 4 years:

  • Full funding for tuition fees.
  • A stipend of €18,000 per annum to assist with living expenses.
  • Research fund of €4,000 per year.
  • A programme of training opportunities and events delivered by the UCD College of Social Sciences and Law.

Am I eligible?

Candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Applications are accepted from candidates from Ireland, the EU and worldwide.
  • An academic background in Social Sciences or cognate disciplines.
  • Candidates should have achieved a minimum 2.1 honours or international equivalent in a Masters degree cognate to the proposed thesis topic.
  • A PhD research proposal that examines Mental health and Mindfulness: Professionals and the Populations they serve.
  • UCD is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. Learn more: ucd.ie/equality

How to apply

The PhD has a commencement date in September 2023. The application must be submitted via email to alan.maddock@ucd.ie no later than March 31, 2023, 23:59 Irish Time, and must include:

  • Proof of English proficiency (6.5 IELTS minimum).
  • Diploma and Transcripts of academic records (undergraduate and postgraduate).
  • Research proposal (3,000 words maximum, not including references, See guidelines HERE).
  • Personal Statement (1,000 words).
  • Letters of recommendation (Two).

Applicants will be shortlisted and then interviewed by an authorized appointment committee.


Find out more

For more information about the structure of the PhD programme in Social Work please consult the School website: www.ucd.ie/socialpolicyworkjustice/study/graduateprogrammes/phdsocialpolicysocialworkandsocialjustice


About the School

The School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice is part of the UCD College of Social Sciences and Law and operates a Structured PhD programme. This programme has proven to be highly successful and enables our PhD candidates to gain the best possible experience of graduate research and training.


About the lead investigator

  1. Dr. Alan Maddock is an Assistant Professor/Ad Astra Fellow at the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice. Alan is a professionally qualified social worker who worked for a number of years as a mental health social worker with persons experiencing homelessness, and subsequently as youth mental health social worker in a primary care setting. Alan has a PhD in Psychology from Trinity College, Dublin. His research expertise spans the topics of Mental health and Mindfulness: Professionals and the Populations they serve based on research undertaken in Cambodia, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. His latest publications can be found here: Alan Maddock Publications | University College Dublin (ucd.ie)

Contact the UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice

Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 8198 | E: sp-sw-sj@ucd.ie | Location Map