Dr. Murphy joined the Department of Education and Professional Studies in November 2013 as a Lecturer in Educational Research and Policy. He has researched and worked in a number of educational contexts, including England, the United States and Ireland. These educational experiences have influenced his thinking and research on education. His time at Columbia University in New York for example invited him to explore the potential for the inter-connectedness between the educational disciplines as a way of understanding on-going developments in educational theory and practice. And, during his tenure as a Lecturer at the National University of Ireland, Galway, he was responsible for designing and delivering modules on sociology of education for PGCE and M level students. While there, he also conducted post-doctoral research for the Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (CELT) and produced several publications relating to same.
It was at NUIG that he initiated his on-going interest in service learning (S-L) through active involvement with the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) there. This approach is identified as a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities. His work in this area has been disseminated widely in peer-reviewed journals, as well as in various book chapter contributions, both nationally and internationally.
From 2008-2013, Dr. Murphy was a Senior Lecturer for the School of Education and Childhood at Leeds Metropolitan University. There he continued to develop his interest in service-learning oriented pedagogical approaches. In 2009, for example, he co-coordinated the Second International Conference on Service-Learning in Teacher Education (ICSLTE), which was held at the National University of Galway in Ireland, attracting over 200 practitioners and researchers from across the globe. From that event, he co-edited a publication on Service-Learning and Educating in Challenging Contexts: International Perspectives, which has been acknowledged by Andrew Furco, Vice President for Public Engagement and Associate Professor, University of Minnesota, USA, as an important volume in the new genre of service-learning literature. To all who read it, this work will bring a greater and deeper understanding of the true character and essence of service-learning.' Additionally, Dr. Murphy has fostered collaborations with a number of international universities related to this work on service-learning. In 2010, he acted as academic host to Dr. Esther Luna from the Facultat de Pedagogia, Universitat de Barcelona, and, in 2012, this collaboration was further developed by the visit of Dr. PilarFolgueiras, also from the Universitat de Barcelona, to Leeds Metropolitan University.
In tandem with his on-going research into service-learning oriented pedagogies, he has also continued to develop his research interests into issues relating to policy and practice in diverse educational contexts, both nationally and internationally. In 2011, for example, he was nominated as a funded participant to the Open Society Institutes' (OSI) Privatisation in Education Research Initiative. And, in 2010, he had been invited to participate in the Emerging leaders for a new policy era: Educational leadership in transitioning societies, which was held at Lake Bazaleti in Georgia.
Selected research outputs from the various activities outlined above were nominated for Leeds Metropolitan Universitys' 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). While there, he continued to develop his research capacities by completing a Masters in Research Methods (MRes) in Education and Society at the Social Research Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University.
More recently, he has begun to explore the significance of teacher wellbeing as it relates to teaching and learning. He is a participant together with colleagues from the School of Education at the University of Limerick, Ireland; HiOA Oslo, Norway; UCC Copenhagen, Denmark; Mary I Limerick, Ireland; and UWC South Africa on an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships for School Education Project entitled "Teacher Well-Being and Diversity: Managing language and social diversity in classrooms"