help text

An investigation and determination of impact for a STEMM education and public engagement programme

Project Supervisors

Maura Adshead
Associate Professor in 
Politics and Public Administration
TBCSarah Hayes
Chief Operating Officer SSPCA
Dept of Chemical Sciences

Project Details

Research with impact is vital.  Each year, the Irish Government spends a significant amount of public funds on scientific research, training and development. As with all public spending, it is both desirable and necessary to show value for money and, within this, demonstrate and articulate the impact and benefits of investing in scientific research. As Ireland’s scientific infrastructure and capacity matures, there is an even greater focus on demonstrating the economic, societal and other benefits of publicly-funded scientific research to the wider society.

With this vision in mind this research project seeks to examine and evaluate the impact of SSPC’s Education and Public Engagement Programme over the last eight years, in order to better inform future work and policy in the area.

This work will directly align with the SSPC vision to become a leading centre of excellence shaping the future of global pharmaceuticals, as it will directly target the talent pipeline in this area leading to a more diverse talent-pool.


  • Hold a first class honours or 2:1 degree in science education, sociology, psychology, other social sciences, chemical or pharmaceutical sciences, another field related to this project, or have relevant professional experience;
  • A strong interest in STEM public engagement, or related topics.
  • Where an applicant's first language is not English or they have not obtained their degree through English, applicants must satisfy the English Language Requirements of the University by completing the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam (with an overall grade level of at least 6.5 and no score below 6 in any individual part).


  • A postgraduate (e.g., Masters) degree and/or experience of conducting research on impact, science education, or related topics using qualitative and/or quantitative methods;
  • Be committed to and have experience in communicating research or policy recommendations;
  • Intend to develop their research in the area of STEM education and public engagement into a PhD project;
  • Intend to apply for research funding for their PhD project, including by applying for an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship in October 2021.

The student will be enrolled in the Department of Politics and Public Administration’s PhD programme. They will be supervised by Prof. Maura Adshead, Department of Politics and Public AdministrationDr Sarah Hayes SSPCDepartment of Chemical Sciences.

The SSPC, the SFI Researcher for Pharmaceuticals, is a Global Hub of Pharmaceutical Process Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing, funded by Science Foundation Ireland and industry, is a unique collaboration between 24 industry partners, 9 research performing organisations and 12 international academic collaborators.

The SSPC transcends company and academic boundaries and is the largest research collaboration in Ireland, and one of the largest globally, within the pharmaceutical area. The role of the SSPC is to link experienced scientists and engineers in academia and the pharmaceutical industry, to address critical research challenges.

The SSPC leads the way for next generation drug manufacture and spans the entire pharmaceutical production chain from synthesis of the molecule, to the isolation of the material, and the formulation of the medicine. The aim of the SSPC is to deliver industry relevant solutions, which result in job growth and retention within the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland.

Find out more
Applications and Expressions of Interest should be sent to Maura Adshead, Dept of Politics and Public Administration: