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Dr. Aisling O'Donnell



I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Liverpool in 2005. From there, I moved to the University of Exeter where I was awarded an MSc in Social and Organisational Psychology in 2007. My PhD was completed in October 2009, also at Exeter, and successfully defended in the December of that year. Immediately after completing my PhD I began a postdoctoral position at the University of Limerick, followed by another at the University of Liverpool, UK. My current position is with the University of Limerick as a Lecturer.

I typically lead undergraduate and masters level modules on social psychology. I have also taught and led undergraduate and Masters level modules on the social identity approach, political psychology, professional skills in psychology, and qualitative methods.

In the past I have served my Department as MA Psychology Course Director, EHS sPhD Course Board representative, Ethics Committee Representative and CoOp Officer. I also served on the university-level Marketing and External Relations Committee.

Research Interests

I am interested in social identity processes, including relationships within and between groups, how identity is constructed and understood, and how it relates to well-being. This broad focus on social identities and on how self-categorisation and social structure impact people's lives is something that underpins all my past and present research.My PhD research focused upon how social identity relates to surveillance, leadership, power, and social influence. In my first postdoctoral position, I worked on an IRCHSS funded project investigating participation in crowd events in Ireland, and the consequences for Irish national identity. Next I took another postdoc funded by a European Commission grant, where I worked on projects examining the impact of power and status relations on inter- and intra-group relations. Currently, my research centres on social identity and well-being, with a particular focus on the effect of stigmatised identities on people's social, psychological and physical well-being.

Teaching Interests

I enjoy teaching students at a range of levels, and it is important to me to continue developing my teaching skills throughout my career, which is why I completed the Specialist Diploma in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship in 2015. I spend time planning how best to engage students in learning. My favourite topics to teach are anything social psychological, and I love bringing these topics to life for students.

Professional Activities


  • 2013 Education and Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee (EHSREC),
  • 2012 BA Psychology & Sociology Course Board,
  • 2012 MA Psychology Course Board,
  • 2010 Applied Social Issues Internship Award Committee , I served on this committe from 2010-2015, including serving as Chair from 2013-2015. The committee is related to the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)


  • 2012 University of Limerick - Lecturer in Psychology
  • 2011 University of Liverpool, UK - Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • 2009 University of Limerick - Postdoctoral Researcher


  • 2010 University of Exeter - PhD
  • 2007 University of Exeter - MSc
  • 2005 University of Liverpool - BSc (Hons)


  • Full member, European Association of Social Psychology