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Student Learning Development

You are here Your Student Journey > Postgraduates

Thesis writing

Getting started.

Find out what you are expected to do by:

  • Attending department based orientation and technical programs
  • Read course handbooks
  • Read the Graduate Students Office guidelines
  • Books and websites on dissertation writing
  • Look for previous dissertations in the library

Managing your writing

Set up your dissertation files – a separate file for each section (See session on “Planning thesis production using MS Word”) Cover page – see your handbook Formalities – see Graduate Studies Office's guidelines References/bibliography Appendices Key words Abstract List of Tables and Figures Ethics statement Statement of original authorship Acknowledgements Table of contents

Chapters (set up one file for each chapter)

  • Chapter 1. Introduction and overview
  • Chapter 2. Literature review
  • Chapter 3. Research question
  • Chapter 4. Methodology
  • Chapter 5. Results
  • Chapter 6. Discussion
  • Chapter 7. Summary and conclusions

Free up headspace

  • Write down everything you can so that you do not need to keep it in short term memory
  • Do not write sequentially and be prepared to leave gaps
  • Copy and paste into the appropriate chapter any material you have already written including preliminary reference sections or bibliographies (see sessions on EndNote)
  • Set up a “recycle” file. Do not delete any paragraph you write.  Save it because you may be able to reuse it somewhere else.

Structure each chapter

  • Tell ";em what you're goin to tell "em (8)
  • Tell "em (2)
  • Tell "em what you told "em (6)

E.g. Chapter 1

  • Introduction
  • What the thesis is about (write now)
  • What the chapters say (write after they are written)
  • Summary and conclusion and
  • Why the research is important (write anytime you work this out)

Figuring out what your research is about

  • Free up headspace then focus specifically on your research question and write it down
  • Use research seminars, study groups, conferences and peers to get feedback on your idea
  • Make sure it is expressed in terms that your peers can understand
  • Discuss the refined statement with your supervisor and reach agreement as early in the process as possible
  • Identify the tasks that need to be done to complete each chapter
  • Estimate how long each task will take
  • Use planning tools such as Gantt Charts to establish important sequences
  • Enter start dates, milestones and completion dates in your diary
  • Review and revise regularly
  • Hopelessly inaccurate estimates are much more efficient than no estimates at all

Planning and Management

Having short-term and long-term goals as well as a realistic plan will help you manage your progress and ensure you generate effective content.

  • Set task targets with your supervisor
  • Make maximum use of resources
  • Get your material reviewed by peers (seminars, conferences, publish)
  • Make contact with people doing similar research (network)

Managing content and process

  • Make maximum use the library and resources (see library sessions)
  • Get your material reviewed by peers (seminars, conferences)
  • Staying motivated
  • Rewards for progress
  • Graph your word-count (chapters and refs only)
  • Keep a journal of your progress recording how you solved problems and overcame difficulties
  • Manage social support
  • Keep your sense of humour

More resources

The SLD Blackboard module has How to Write a Thesis  (electronic version) by Murray 

How to Write a Thesis by Murray

How to Get a PhD: A Handbook for Students and Their Supervisors by Philips & Pugh

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School of Mathematics

You are here Courses > Postgraduate > MSc and PhD by research

Postgraduate study in the School of Mathematics

The School is small and the setting is informal which encourages close contact with staff, postdoctoral fellows, visiting scholars and fellow postgraduate students. The workshops and guests of the School's Hamilton Mathematics Institute, TCD in addition to its joint seminars with the School of Theoretical Physics of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and TCD's three neighbouring universities provide a stimulating intellectual backdrop to a student's stay at TCD.

There are no formal course requirements for those pursuing a degree by research, but research students are expected to participate fully in appropriate seminars. Prospective students are expected to have achieved at least a II.1 degree and to have the necessary background to pursue advanced study in their chosen field of research. For an M.Sc. candidate the focus is on writing a substantial thesis that takes account of previously published results but which falls short of the originality expected of a Ph.D. thesis. Following evidence of initial work on a thesis topic an M.Sc. candidate may apply to transfer to the Ph.D. register after the first year. For research degrees, the range of topics is limited by the expertise and availability of supervisors within the School. See the topics below.

The college handbook on postgraduate research can be found here and provides many details regarding research masters and PhD programmes. The regulations governing postgraduate studies are found in Part III of the College Calendar .

Entry Requirements

Postgraduate work in Trinity College Dublin is very academically challenging and as a result the University has high academic entry requirements.

Applicants will need to hold:

  • at least a 2.1 honors degree from an Irish university or equivalent result from a university in another country
  • a fluent command of the English language

Some courses may require higher standards or require you to take further tests or attend an interview.

Postgraduate Research Degrees

All students undertaking a research degree are assigned to a single principal supervisor. The supervisor’s role is essentially that of an academic guide and mentor.

If you plan to carry out your degree by research, you are advised to contact the School of Mathematics with your research proposal and arrange a suitable supervisor before submitting your application. You should initially consult the School website for further information.

Virtually all research students are initially placed on the Masters register. They may then transfer to the Ph.D. register if their progress has been satisfactory. Such transfers usually occur during the second year of full-time study.

Confirmation to the PhD registry

The confirmation to the PhD registry should occur within the first 18 months from a student's first enrolment, namely, by the end of September for students who started in March, and by the end of February for those who started in September.

The confirmation procedure serves to ensure that you are making sufficient progress on your PhD research and to give you a head start in writing your thesis.

For confirmation to the PhD registry, students are required to:

  • Write a 20-page report on their work. Students are advised to discuss their report with their supervisor before submitting it to the director of postgraduate studies. Their report should be finalised approximately one month before the 18-month period, at the very latest.
  • Give a short (approximately 20-minute) talk on their research, after submitting their report to their supervisor, another academic (the reader) and the director of postgraduate studies.
  • Complete the 5-credit Blackboard module on Research Integrity and Impact, ideally within the first 6 months.

Viva-voce presentations

Here is the list of steps that PhD students and their supervisors are required to follow as they organise the viva-voce.

  • Complete the "Intention to submit" form at least 1 month (and preferably 7 weeks) prior to the submission date for the thesis (which is listed below).
  • Submit the "external examiner application form" 10 weeks before the viva voce.
  • Submit the thesis to the Academic Registry at least 9 weeks before the viva voce.
  • If electronic submission is chosen, as recommended, the thesis will be sent directly from the Academic Registry to the external examiner.
  • Internal and External examiners should receive guidelines for filling in the relevant forms: a pre-viva form (one for each examiner) and a post viva form, which one of the examiners (usually the internal examiner) completes and sends to the Academic Registry.

Research Topics

Pure mathematics.

The main thrust is in analysis, especially partial differential equations, and also operator algebras, operator theory and complex analysis.

  • Partial Differential Equations
  • Functional analysis
  • Complex analysis and geometry
  • History of Mathematics

Theoretical Physics

  • String Theory
  • Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • Research in High-Performance Computing

Further Details

  • Postgraduate Awards
  • Practical Information

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The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


To create an adaptive and innovative workforce with high levels of technical skills for all aspects of the pharmaceutical industry and academic research.

Course Listing

The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin is the leading research School of Pharmacy in Ireland. The Trinity M.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Sciences is the only such degree offered in Ireland by a specialist School of Pharmacy centre.

This online course is offered to graduates working in the pharmaceutical industry, who wish to satisfy the EU educational requirements for the role of the Qualified Person. Some of the areas covered are: Pharmaceutical Biology, Pharmacology and Drug Assessment, Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms, and Regulation of Health Products.

The M.Sc. in Hospital Pharmacy is the longest running postgraduate hospital pharmacy course in Ireland. It is also unique, in that it is the only broad-based hospital pharmacy course in Ireland, covering both clinical and non-clinical aspects of hospital pharmacy practice.

The course is primarily delivered online by distance-learning (via Blackboard 9.1 and podcast lectures), with face-to-face evening workshop sessions at the start and end of the programme.

This programme provides a comprehensive exploration of attitudes, motivations and behaviour needed to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and nurture a culture of innovation among pharmacists.

Research M.Sc. and Ph.D. Programmes


Including nanopharmacology, nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems and nanodiagnostics.

Drug Delivery & Targeting

Including oral drug delivery (colon-specific, aspirin, protein prodrugs); respiratory drug delivery; macromolecular drug delivery (new technologies, materials, liposomes etc.); nanoparticles; anticancer drug targeting.

Drug Discovery/Design

Including anticancer medicinal chemistry; novel anti-allergic compounds; novel antibiotics. In silico design of new drugs and therapies including High-Performance-Computing (HPC) applications in drug delivery system (DDS) design in vitro and in vivo; In silico high throughput screening for drug discovery.

Drug Action

Including neuropharmacology/aging diseases and therapies; inflammation/ immunomodulation; platelet biology and anti-cancer therapies.

Pharmaceutical Cell Biology

Including drug transport in human respiratory epithelium; interaction between drug delivery systems and cell culture models; development and characterisation of in vitro models for drug absorption across epithelial barriers of the lung, the GIT and the eye.

Practice of Pharmacy

Including pharmaceutical care & continuous improvement of Practice Standards; health care policy and service delivery; health promotion in Primary Care; hospital pharmacy and drug use in hospitals.

Collaborative research is also ongoing with other academic and industry groups, both at national and international levels. In addition,

Director of Postgraduate Teaching and Learning: Assoc. Professor Cathal Cadogan

For general enquiries: Email: [email protected]

  • Postgraduate Funding
  • Postgraduate (Research) Student Information
  • PhD Graduates

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School of Natural Sciences

You are here Courses > Postgraduate > Development Practice

Masters in Development Practice

phd handbook tcd

“an interdisciplinary academic and practical program to better identify and address the challenges of sustainable development”

Apply 1 year full-time

Apply 2 years part-time

Register your interest

MDP Handbook 2023-24

Established in 2009 following recommendations from the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice, the Global Masters in Development Practice (MDP) is a world-leading and uniquely innovative interdisciplinary graduate degree programme that blends health, natural, social, and management sciences--combined with cross-sectoral professional field training and placements to better understand  international development problems and apply best practices.

The Dublin MDP is a member of the Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice, headquartered at the UN SDSN with offices in Columbia University, New York, linking with over 30 universities and thousands of partner organisations worldwide.

phd handbook tcd

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Is this course for me.

The one year Masters in Development Practice encompasses an integrated theoretical and practical approach with multidisciplinary training in four “pillars”- health, natural, social, and management sciences. Thirteen core academic modules provide rigorous training across the core pillars, complemented by masters level training in research design, methodology, and methods including training in leading edge quantitative, qualitative, and digital tools and techniques. The programme includes a work-based or research placement which provide hands-on practical experience for students, often in International Development NGOs and International Intergovernmental Organisations. This programme trains a new generation of development practitioners with the skills to implement and manage comprehensive approaches to sustainable international development.

The Dublin MDP degree led by the Trinity College Dublin (TCD) School of Natural Science and delivered by staff from all faculties across the university, in collaboration with leading scientific researchers, and national and international organisations with specialist skills. 

Recent graduates from the Trinity Masters in Development Practice have secured positions in organizations such as United Nations Development Programme, International Organization for Migration-UN Migration, GOAL Global, Positive Carbon, Diversity Institute, UN Climate Change, KPMG, Trócaire, Verdant Capital, United Nations Global Impact, Social Enterprise Exchange, Tumaini la Maisha, Tanzania, Oxfam, Women's Earth Alliance, Irish Government Economics & Evaluation Service, GIZ, IMPACT Initiatives, Congo, US Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Environment, Climate and Biodiversity, Luxemburg, The Global Business Initiative on Human Rights, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, Office of the National Social and Economic Development Board, Thailand, TechnoServe.

See more details on the main courses website

Scholarships available

Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme

Each year, the Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme funds a small number of suitably qualified candidates to undertake postgraduate study in Ireland with the aim of supporting and enhancing the contribution recipients can make to development effort in their own countries. Details on strands and eligibility are available here  

Application forms for the Fellowship Training Programme are available at Irish Embassies in partner countries.  The application deadline for the Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme is 31 December prior to year of study.  You must make an application for both the Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme and for the MSc in development practice programme, as these are separate application processes. 

Further information about the Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme is available from the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) website and the Irish Aid Fellowship Progamme.

Course Structure

Course modules.

The goal of the Dublin MDP is to produce rounded development practitioners with a deep understanding of scientific methods and techniques to reduce global poverty, in addition to extensive on-the-ground training in developing country contexts, and in international organizations. The course modules are categorized according to each of the Global MDP Program’s four pillars—health, natural, social, and management sciences. Some are categorized as cross-disciplinary, although the program as a whole emphasizes the interconnectedness between development issues in these four fields. The MDP is rooted in evidence that effective public policy must be based science-based. Course offerings include a blend of traditional class-room based modules and field training placements.

MDP Candidates develop specialist skills in

Field Training and Dissertation Modules:

Between April and August, MDP students will have the opportunity to do a clinical field training or research placement in partnership with Non-Governmental Organizations, government entities, and multi-lateral donor partners.  This training programme includes opportunities to study, design, implement or evaluate diverse operational interventions that address critical development issues. The MDP is constantly expanding its lists of partners, to more universities, NGOs and governmental agencies around the world. In past years, the MDP Dublin has been able to send students to several countries of Africa, South America, and Asia, and is perpetually forging connections to create more choice for our students. This offers students the opportunity to develop their professional and career networks for potential employment in the future.

Examples of organisation who have hosted MDP students include:

  • AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)
  • Akagera National Park
  • APA/CVM – Tanzania
  • Camara – Jamaica
  • Care International
  • Catholic Relief Service
  • Centre for Conflict Management (NUR)
  • Centre for National Health Development, Ethiopia
  • Chemonics International Inc.
  • CNRS, Paris & Kathmandu
  • Community Development Research Network (CDRN)- Uganda
  • Concern, Uganda
  • DUCE – Tanzania
  • Environmental Protection Agency and CIESIN- Sierra Leone
  • Federal University of Rio de Janeiro- Brasil
  • Gender Monitoring Office (GMO)
  • GOAL – Ethiopia
  • Gorta – Kenya
  • Great Ape Trust if Iowa/Gishwati Area Conservation Program
  • Health Poverty Action
  • IFAD, Washington
  • International Justice Mission (IJM)
  • Karisoke Research Centre
  • Language Development Centre, Nepal
  • Malawi Clinic
  • Millennium Development Centre, Nairobi
  • Millennium Village Project (MVP)
  • Nile Basin Initiative (NBI)
  • OCHA, South Africa
  • OECD DAC, Paris
  • R&D Branch, Degrowth Movement, Barcelona
  • REPOA- Tanzania
  • Search for Common Ground
  • TechnoServe
  • The Rwanda National Land Centre
  • The Volunteer Project- Tanzania
  • Ubwiza bwa Nyungwe – Beekeeper Union
  • UN DESA, New York
  • UNDP, Geneva
  • UNDP, Tokyo
  • UN ESCAP, Bangkok
  • UNESC, New Delhi
  • UN ECASRO-EA, Rwanda
  • UNEP, Nairobi
  • UNESCO- Dakar, Senegal
  • UNESCO – IHP, Paris
  • UN ESCWA, Lebanon
  • UN Headquarters New York, Department of Peacekeeping
  • UN OCHA, Geneva
  • UNODC, South Africa
  • UN Office on Drugs & Crime, Vienna
  • UN, Research & Development, New York
  • UN SIDS, New York
  • Vi-Agroforestry
  • Volcano National Park (VNP)
  • Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)
  • Wells for Zoe – Malawi

Class of 2013

MDP Students - Rwanda 2013

The 2010/11 MDP class on field training in Rwanda - June 2011

MDP Students - Rwanda 2011

MDP Faculty & Contributors

Prof. Padraig Carmody (MDP Director/Chair)

Padraig Carmody is a Professor in Geography at TCD, from which he holds both a B.A. in Geography and History and M.Sc in Geography. He completed his Ph.D in Geography from the University of Minnesota in 1998. Subsequently he taught at the University of Vermont, Dublin City University, and St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. He also worked as a policy and research analyst for the Combat Poverty Agency in 2002-2003. His research centres on the political economy of globalization in Africa. His teaching interests are in development and economic geography. He has taught both undergraduate and graduate classes on Africa, third world development and globalization, in additional to human environment relations and regional development.

Prof. Carmody coordinates the module Globalisation & African Development, and is Director for the MDP.

Dr. Susan Murphy (Assistant Professor in Development Practice)

Susan is a Lecturer in Development Practice in the School of Natural Sciences (Geography), Trinity College Dublin. Susan's research interests are in sustainable development ethics and issues in social and global justice; and she lectures on Gender, Climate Justice, and Development Research and Practice. She has published in national and international peer-review and scientific journals on matters related to ethics, practice and global development. In 2016 Susan published her first monograph with Springer Studies in Global Justice - Responsibility in an Interconnected World . She is Chair of Oxfam Ireland, and a member of Oxfam International Board of Supervisors. She is also the co-convenor of the British International Studies Association (BISA) Working Group on Ethics and World Politics; and scientific committee member of the UN SDSN International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD), hosted annually by the Earth Institute, Columbia University.

Susan completed her Ph.D. at University College Dublin (2012) where she was a School of Politics and International Relations Scholar on the subject of international development and humanitarian ethics. Following completion of her masters’ in politics and international relations (1996), she worked in Industry as a manager with Accenture for a decade before returning to academic research and teaching in 2008. As part of her work, she has managed the design and delivery of 200+ international research projects in countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia, and over 150+ research projects with International Development NGOs in Ireland. Susan is a College Tutor for STEM UG Students and she sits on the School's Research Ethics Committee. Susan has served on the School Athena Swan Gender Equality SAT; PG Teaching and Learning Committee; and as the FEMS faculty representative as a member of University Council and the College International Committee.

Dr. Murphy lectures on Gender & Development; Climate Change: Science Development & Justice; and development research and practice.

Dr. Matthew Saunders

Matthew Saunders is an Assistant Professor in Plant Sciences within the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Plant Ecophysiology (2005) and a M.Sc. in Environmental Science (2001) from Trinity College Dublin and has worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in University College Dublin (2006-2012) and the James Hutton Institute, UK (2012-2015). His research interests include the response of plants to changes in their physical, chemical and biological environments and how this information can be used to assess the resilience and adaptive capacity of terrestrial ecosystems to global environmental change. This work utilises an integrated experimental and model-based approach to assess the physiological and environmental processes that regulate plant productivity, carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas dynamics, plant-water relations and energy budgets at the leaf, whole plant and ecosystem scale. Recent projects have focussed on the impacts of land use change, habitat restoration and extreme climatic events on carbon, water and nutrient dynamics in natural and agricultural ecosystems in both temperate and tropical climates. This work has directly contributed to the development of policy relevant, sustainable land management tools that are centred on the role of terrestrial ecosystems in the mitigation of, and adaptation to climate change. He has published in international peer-reviewed journals on matters relating to plant science and environmental change including Global Change Biology, Biogeosciences, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology and Ecology Letters .

Dr Saunders lectures on Sustainable Agriculture & Land Use.

Dr. Federico Cugurullo

Federico Cugurullo is Assistant Professor in Smart and Sustainable Urbanism at Trinity College Dublin. His research is positioned at the intersection of urban geography, political philosophy and experimental urbanism, and explores how ideas of sustainability are cultivated and implemented across geographical spaces, with a focus on projects for eco-cities and smart cities. Federico has done extensive empirical research in the Middle East and Southeast Asia where he has investigated the sustainability performance of supposedly experimental cities such as Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong. His work has been used by the United Nations and the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to foresee future urban challenges and develop preventive policies. Building upon empirical grounds, Federico’s main theoretical aspiration (also the subject of his forthcoming book) is the development of urban equations for a sustainable urbanism. Other theoretical contributions include the concept of urban eco-modernisation , and the theory of de-composed urbanism and Frankenstein cities . Before joining Trinity College Dublin, Federico held positions at the University of Manchester, King’s College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Dr. Conor Buggy

Dr Conor Buggy is an Environmental Scientist and Engineer working as Assistant Professor in Occupational and Environmental Studies in the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science. Conor is the Programme Director for the Masters in Occupational Safety and Health and Professional Certificate in Environmental Management programmes. His main research focus is currently on the impact education and training can have in organisational settings to change behaviour in particular cohorts. One study in collaboration with Dr. Seamus Kelly (UCD) focuses on the occupational health management of professional athletes and how occupational health awareness training can lead to better decision making for athletes’ long-term wellbeing. A further study in collaboration with Dr. Susan Murphy (TCD) is focused on the flexibility and impact of adult educational methods and frameworks for professionals working in the healthcare sector. Another research project is linked his teaching on the TCD Masters in Development Practice. The project, in collaboration with Dr. Gayle McGlynn (TCD), involves a staged evaluation of climate change awareness in the education system of a developing nation, and is run in partnership with DUCE (Dar Es Salaam University College of Education) in Tanzania. The ultimate aim of this project is to prepare an educational package to ensure secondary school teachers of all disciplines can understand climate change and introduce to secondary school students effectively. Conor has been working with the UCD Centre for Safety and Health since 2010. Read Conor’s full research profile here .

Dr. Philip Lawton

Philip Lawton joined Trinity College Dublin as Assistant Professor in Geography in Setember, 2017. His research interests are focused on the intersection between urban economic change, urban policy making and social life in cities. Outputs from his research have included the analysis of residential preferences of creative-knowledge workers ( Cities , 2013), the ideal of the 'European city' in Dublin policy making ( International Journal of Urban and Regional Research , 2014), and the connections between uneven development and suburban transformation in Adamstown, Dublin ( European Journal of Urban and Regional Studies , 2018). Prior to joining Trinity College, Philip held positions in Maynooth University, NUI Galway, and Maastricht University. Through these experiences, Philip has sought to develop an approach to teaching that is centred on student discussion and interaction. 

Dr. Lawton is the coordinator for Theories of Development

Dr. John McDonagh

Dr. McDonagh holds a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and a PhD in Economics from Trinity College, Dublin. He has taught a variety of undergraduate and post-graduate courses, including microeconomics and mathematical and statistical methods. His research interests include historical economic development, particularly in Ireland and Britain, and applied econometrics. He also has experience of working as a professional economist outside of academia on a range of micro and macroeconomic policy issues. 

Dr McDonagh lectures on Development Economics.

Prof. Laurence Gill

Laurence Gill is a Professor in Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin. His research interests involve studying the fate and transport of both air and water-borne pollutants in the natural and built environment, as well as the development of passive treatment processes. Much of the work involves extensive field studies which are then used to develop mathematical models to gain further insight into the processes. Prior to joining at Trinity College in 1999, he spent several years working in the UK water industry on the design of water and wastewater treatment processes for urban populations.

Prof Gill is the coordinator for Civil Engineering for Sustainable Development.

Dr. Tara Bedi

Tara Bedi is a Marie Curie (CAROLINE) Irish Research Council Post Doctoral Fellow in the Economics Department in Trinity College Dublin, where she is also received her PhD in Development Economics from. Prior to this, she worked with Trócaire, an Irish NGO, leading on policy research, including Leading Edge 2020. Before moving to Ireland, she worked in the Poverty Reduction Group at the World Bank, where she carried out research on impact evaluations, poverty maps and poverty monitoring systems. She received a master’s degree in Public Administration in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Dr. Bedi lectures on Impact Measurement.

Dr. Jean Wilson

Dr Jean Wilson is a Postgraduate Teaching Fellow in the School of Natural Sciences. Jean’s research interests centre on environmental applications of remote sensing, GIS and spatial analysis, specifically in the context of water resources monitoring and management. Her work has been funded since 2009 under the EPA STRIVE initiative. She has developed novel methodologies in the application of thermal remote sensing and geochemical tracing techniques for localising and assessing groundwater discharge to lakes and coastal waters nationally.

Dr. Wilson is the coordinator for Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Entry Requirements

Entry to the program will be based on competitive selection. Applications for admission are accepted from

  • holders of first or upper-second class honors degrees (grade point average 3.5 equivalent) awarded by recognised universities and institutions, and recognised degree awarding bodies (e.g. NCEA, CNAA);
  • holders of other degrees from recognised universities or degree granting institutions who have experienced at least three years of appropriate employment;
  • holders of recognised professional qualifications obtained through examinations who have spent at least four years in study and who, in addition, have been employed for at least two years in the work of their profession;

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English in a test administered by an institution independent of their own university (e.g. the British Council).

Applications must be made online. For further information on applying to taught courses in Trinity College, see Trinity Graduate Studies .

Applications are now open for 2024/25 (September 2024 intake) at TCD Postgraduate webpage at TCD Postgraduate webpage . Final Closing date is 31st July 2024. The Admissions Committee strongly recommend early applications, especially from international students, as we are reviewing applications on a regular basis. We aim to turn around all completed applications within 20 working days from date of submission (of all documents).

Further information on eligibility and application to the Masters in Development Practice is available from the Graduate Studies Office .

Further Information

Applications are now open for 2024/25 (September 2024 intake). Further details on the admissions process can be found at  here . 

Trinity College Dublin

Elaine Elders Administrative Officer TCD MSc in Development Practice Rm 1.12 Museum Building Trinity College Dublin

E-mail: [email protected]   Tel: +353 (0)1 896 2414

Practical Information for Students

Please click here for MSc in Development Practice Fees information


Students enrolled on this postgraduate programme will be eligible to apply for accommodation at both Trinity College Dublin. For accommodation at Trinity College Dublin

Assistance for International Students

International Students Office at Trinity College Dublin
For information on obtaining an Irish visa please see the website of the Irish Department for Foreign Affairs  

Useful Links

Tcd masters in development practice – partners.

University of Rwanda

Global Masters in Development Practice Network

The TCD Masters in Development Practice is part of the Global Master’s in Development Practice Network. The secretariat for this network is based at the University of Colombia in New York. For further information and details of the other MDP programmes in the network please see and University of Colombia in New York .

Irish Aid is the Government of Ireland’s programme of assistance to developing countries.

Students Testimonials

Kevin Dowling (MDP Graduate 2022)

For me, the beauty of the MDP was that it offered a broad exploration of the development system overall, while also allowing considerable opportunity for students to focus on more niche areas of interest, and to individualize assignments accordingly. In this way, I felt as though I graduated with a specialty, while maintaining the benefits of a more generalist viewpoint.  From the wide breadth of modules covered, to the faculty’s expertise and dedication, the programme set me up well for securing employment soon after, despite this representing a relatively big career shift for me. I’m really grateful for that.  

Ben Davison (MDP Graduate 2022)

My experiences as a volunteer at a local city-based foodbank highlighted to me the reality of the inequality that exists, not only in a generic, untouchable, global sense, but right on my doorstep in the city that I was living. These experiences led to me considering the idea of devoting my career to development (development in what sense? – I did not yet know!). As I explored different masters options or other potential avenues, the Masters in Development Practice (MDP) at Trinity College Dublin stood out to me due to the interdisciplinary nature of the programme, and its practical approach.

I did not regret my decision to enrol in the MDP programme as I enjoyed the range of topics we studied from  Development Economics  to  Gender and Development  to  Sustainable Agriculture and Land Use.  This range of disciplines gave us a wealth of insight on the potential approaches that exist to pursue development and reduce inequalities throughout the world today, and the relationships between these different approaches. The nature of the programme also allowed me to consider where I felt I could offer a real contribution in the realm of development. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to work with an Irish NGO on my thesis which offered me the chance to learn practically and to produce a piece of work useful to a real life organisation operating within the humanitarian sector.

Having graduated from the programme, I now feel better equipped - with more insight, capabilities and confidence – to pursue my career within the field of development.

Esther Breffka (MDP Graduate 2021)

I was particularly interested in pursuing the MDP at TCD for its holistic and critical approach towards the subject and process of study. Given the practice-oriented structure (three mandatory practical components), the two-years full-time MDP provided the opportunity to explore issues and challenges of development practice in theory and practice from a multi-faceted perspective.

One of the classes I enjoyed most was taught by Prof Murphy who as a practitioner and academic herself, shared her passion about climate and gender justice in a truly engaging and thought-provoking manner. She encouraged us to think critically - challenge existing norms, systems and approaches – and consider how we could apply our learnings in specific contexts with concrete impact.

A truly rewarding experience to me was the collaborative approach of learning from and with this new generation of passionate and critical thinkers. Throughout the entire programme, I felt inspired by the MDP family - a small cohort of fellows from diverse contexts striving towards extending their knowledge, thinking critically and being extremely aware of their social positionality. Together, we built a community of practice and care, for which I am deeply grateful.

Given its global nature, the MDP allows to study sustainable development from a context-sensitive and global systems perspective. Certain courses and workshops are hold at a global level and taken together with the global MDP fellows which opens horizons through discussing issues and challenges of sustainable development across geo-spatial boundaries, and building a global community of practitioners.

Andrew Neill (MDP Graduate 2019)

The MDP program was a fantastic pathway for me to explore the topics I am really passionate about, while also broadening my awareness and understanding of other development problems. Studying with classmates and lecturers with a range of lived experiences and expertise is an asset to the course for all involved. For me, the international placements were the highlight of the program and helped inform the decisions I would make upon graduating. I would recommend to any student to make the most of those opportunities as they build valuable research and professional skills that have been useful long after finishing the MDP.

Grace Duffy (MDP Graduate 2013)

I started the MDP course in Dublin after volunteering in East Africa over the course of two summers, and wanting to learn more about ‘how the world works’. What really attracted me to this particular course was the opportunity to partner the academic learning with field/work placements. My research placement was in Kigali, Rwanda, where I researched legislation on gender-based violence, I also secured a place with UN Women in New York, working with the Donor Relations & Reporting Team. I’ve found that having this element of practical experience to complement the academic experience has definitely helped me moving forward into the work place.  

Before I started the MDP, I wasn’t sure how I could apply my undergraduate degree in engineering to the course. I soon learned that the course draws on the widely varied knowledge, skills and experiences, both of the students and module coordinators. From research and statistics to project management; from economics to conflict, and so on. In this way, we could not only employ our different strengths, but also learn from others in areas that we might feel weaker. I enjoyed the course, and would recommend anyone seeking a course in development to consider undertaking the MDP.  

Emmanuel Hakizimfura (MDP graduate 2013)

The combination of the theory and practice has made me feel and live the uniqueness of the Masters in Development Practice, an interdisciplinary program. Interactive sessions with development practitioners, worldwide high profile pundits of Sustainable Development from different angles through live seminars, lectures and simulation-fashioned exercises have altogether enriched my understanding of the world, particularly development problems & prospects and international development cooperation, in addition to enlightening and enhancing my critical thinking, problem solving skills and even expanding the network for my career, just to name a few.

Furthermore, the hands-on experience on development bottlenecks, through field placement (in a development organization), has shed more light on the multi-faceted and complex nature of development issues. From that, I grasped more about the relevance and usefulness of the interdisciplinary approach of this program.  Moreover, the professionalism coupled with a devoted service of the TCD MDP coordination team has been highly contributing in creating an enabling environment for my learning. To sum up, I honestly don`t think I would have got that experience and great opportunity from any other program, if not the Masters in Development Practice I have been pursuing at TCD.

Bryan Lee ( MDP graduate 2015)

Choosing the Dublin MDP program was the best decision of my life.  From the first day, you are thrown into a fast-paced and dynamic learning environment with classmates who have diverse backgrounds and bring a wide variety of life experience to the table.  The classes you take are very engaging and there is never a shortage of passionate debate with professors and classmates.  The small class size also allows you to interact closely with your lecturers and classmates.  I found it is easy to make friends very quickly in this environment.

There are plenty of opportunities to network and to engage in development projects with the local Irish NGO sector and abroad in the Global South. There are also plenty of travel opportunities as mainland Europe is very accessible and students can engage in research projects worldwide over the summer.

Going to school in Dublin has been nothing short of spectacular.  In addition to the prestigious reputation, this program offers a great learning environment.

Safarani Seushi ( MDP graduate 2016)

It took me five years to find a Masters course that was perfect to what I had in mind for my career development. The classroom experience was one of a kind, from the lecture delivery to the weekly challenges that provide a platform for skill building and knowledge sharing. The lecturers are experienced and have worked in different parts of the world, so it’s always interesting when they share their knowledge (and stories) with us! Overall this course is well coordinated and I am appreciative of how it has the perfect balance between theoretical and practical learning content. I highly recommend it for those who have a passion in pursuing a career in international development!

FAQ - Masters in Development Practice

What is the dublin mdp.

1. What is a Master’s in Development Practice degree?

The Masters in Development Practice (MDP) is a one-year graduate degree providing students with the skills and knowledge required to better identify and address the global challenges of sustainable development, such as poverty, population, health, conservation, climate change, and human rights.

2. What makes Dublin MDP different?

Currently the bulk of development leaders are trained in narrow fields, usually in the social sciences, such as economics. By broadening their training and providing them with a knowledge base which includes health sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, and management, and by taking an integrated, holistic approach to finding solutions to development challenges, graduates are able to more effectively understand and address the root causes of extreme poverty and the challenges of sustainable development.

Further the Dublin MDP provides students with a unique practical-learning experience through the field placements.

Who are Dublin MDP students?

3. What type of student pursues this degree?

As a multidisciplinary programme, our students have a wide range of background profiles (engineering, international relations, computer sciences, natural sciences, law and political sciences). Recent graduates, as well as early and mid-career development professionals are pursuing the degree and are drawn from around the world

B) What are the special characteristics (requirements) of successful Dublin MDP candidates?

The minimum graduate admission requirements are: (1) a bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution; (2) a satisfactory scholastic average, usually a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.5 (B) on a 4.0 scale; and (3) readiness to take on graduate training in your chosen field. International applicants must demonstrate English proficiency.

4. I am an undergraduate student with little practical/work experience, is this Dublin MDP for me?

Yes. We strive to attain a diverse environment in the MDP program to enhance peer-learning opportunities.  We welcome people from a wide variety of backgrounds and find that undergraduates with little work experience have knowledge that contributes to the MDP experience.  Approximately one third of the students in any given year are straight out of undergrad and are properly prepared to engage in this program.

5. Are applicants required to have worked professionally for a minimum period of time?

 No. However, strong knowledge of International Development, volunteer experience, and any other relevant information will strengthen your application.

6. I am a professional with many years of working experience looking to further my education, Is the Dublin MDP for me?

Yes. The MDP programme brings together academic and practical professional experience.  The knowledge and skills obtained in the workplace can easily be applied to the issue of sustainable development.  We welcome those who can share their experiences and knowledge with their classmates and strongly believe that this greatly enriches the learning environment. 7. Is there a specific academic background required to the programme?

No. All of our students come from a wide-range of academic backgrounds.  Some of their backgrounds include economics, international relations, environmental science, engineering, physics, earth science, management, commerce, geography, philosophy, languages, film, biology, and sociology. 

8. How many students are accepted each year?

We accept between 20 and 30 new students every year.

9. I am an international student. Will that affect my chances of being admitted?

No. International students are strongly encouraged to apply. Approximately half of our students every year come from outside of the European Union area. Our current student body includes people from every continent on the planet. MDP candidates are chosen based on their background, qualifications, and match with the program. 

Where can I go with a Dublin MDP?

10.What professional opportunities will I have with this degree?

The Dublin MDP enables students to pursue their career interests in a wide array of areas in international development. With the broad-range of topics addressed, practical experience obtained, and research and analytical skills acquired, graduates are prepared for the challenges presented by sustainable development and its related fields. Graduates have gone on to work in Non-Governmental Organisations, International Intergovernmental Organisations, Government agencies, and the Private Sector.

11. What skills will I acquire?

Within the course modules of the Dublin MDP, students acquire skills related to research methods, statistical analysis via STATA, economic models and impact evaluation, geographic information systems, policy frameworks and analysis, project creation and management, in addition to the exposure to current research and work in sustainable development.

12. Where will fieldwork placements be?

The field placements are throughout the world with various organizational and academic partners of the Dublin MDP. Past placements have included: the National University of Rwanda, the Rwanda Development Board, Repoa-Tanzania, Universidade  Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) , Trocaire (Rwanda), UNESCO (Senegal), OECD, UN Women (Regional Office- India), WHO, FAO, BRAC (Bangladesh), UN OCHA, and UN Headquarters (New York, USA).

13. What non-academic opportunities will also be available?

In addition to the modules and fieldwork placements, students are encouraged to engage in the regular seminars and conferences run by the Development Studies Association of Ireland, and other collaborating bodies. Students will have full exposure to current research by students, faculty and visiting scholars, in addition to seminars given by development professionals. Further, students will have ongoing opportunities with our practice-based organizational partners as need arises. For example students will have opportunities to take on extracurricular activities with Dochas, the Irish association of Non-Governmental Development organisations.

14. Is there a dissertation/thesis requirement?

Yes, there is an independent research project, providing novel insight into a selected research area and written up as a dissertation.

15. Are scholarships available?

Please, check the funding opportunities section.

16. Can I defer my offer of admission?

With permission of the Programme Director (Prof Padraig Carmody), places can be deferred for up to one year upon payment of an initial deposit of €500.

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A warm welcome to School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. The School is ranked 41st in the World in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023. We are proud to offer a wide range of programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

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Proposed term faculty changes in handbook draw discussion

By Jeff Budlong February 15, 2024

At their Feb. 13 meeting, faculty senators heard the first reading of proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook that would clarify and streamline processes for term faculty in position reviews, term renewals and advancement. Each proposed change drew significant discussion.

Credit for previous employment

Lecturer or assistant-rank term faculty may advance to the associate rank after five years of employment at ISU. The five years can be reduced through credit for prior faculty service at other colleges and universities or with relevant professional expertise. Currently, the Faculty Handbook allows previous credit to be discussed at the time of hiring and before a first multiyear contract is negotiated. The proposed change, intended to ensure consistency, would only allow the discussion to take place before the first multiyear contract.

Originally, the proposed change was to limit discussion about previous experience to the time of hire, but an amendment passed that changed the sole opportunity to the first offering of a multiyear contract. Senators argued it gave term faculty more security and sped up the clock for advancement or raises.

Administrative opportunities

Another proposed change would allow colleges and departments to determine if their term faculty may hold administrative roles. Currently, the Faculty Handbook doesn't list administative posts as roles term faculty can fill. While there was discussion for and against term faculty holding these positions, senators ultimately asked that "administrative role" first be defined in the Faculty Handbook so they can make an informed decision. 

Performance evaluations

To ease the review numbers for departments with numerous term faculty, another proposed change to the Faculty Handbook would require that assistant professors be reviewed every three years, term faculty at the associate level or above, every six years. Currently, all term faculty are reviewed after their third year and then every three years.  The change would more closely align with the evaluation timeline of five to seven years for tenure-eligible faculty after they receive tenure.

Proposed changes also would clarify that only term research faculty or adjunct faculty with at least 50% research in their position responsibility statement must supply external letters during advancement review. A maximum of three letters can be included. Confusion about this requirement has led some departments to require letters in the advancement reviews for all their term faculty.

Graduate Council added to senate

Senators approved including the Graduate Council in the Faculty Senate's academic affairs council to make it part of the senate. It gives the full senate decision-making authority for all graduate faculty, graduate and professional students ,and postdocs. The Graduate Council is renamed the Graduate Faculty Cabinet to avoid placing a council within a council. New language will be added to the senate bylaws to include the Graduate Faculty Cabinet.

Other business

Senators will vote at the next meeting on a resolution that encourages students to take part in the 2024 general election and encourages faculty to not schedule exams or major assignments on Election Day. A proposed amendment, to remove language in the resolution encouraging faculty to hold classes asynchronously when feasible and excuse student absences or tardiness on Election Day, failed.

The senate approved University Professor Elisabeth Lonergan (animal science) as chair of the committee that will conduct an administrative review of the office of the president. The committee will complete its work over the next year. Other members are:

Dave Cantor, supply chain management

Carol Chapelle, English

Amanda Fales-Williams, veterinary pathology

Meghan Gillette, human development and family studies

Patience Lueth, architecture

Rick Sanders, ISU Research Park

Omar Smadi, civil construction and environmental engineering

Inside headlines

Announcements, retirements and farewells, retirements, arts and events.

On Feb. 20, 18 ISU programs will demonstrate to legislators how the university is meeting state priorities, preparing students for the workforce and contributing to the state's economy and quality of life.


Here are a few February suggestions for enjoying the outdoors and exploring campus.

Around campus

Inside tools.

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2024 Janetos Distinguished Lecture: “Is Globalization Over?” by Ernesto Zedillo

phd handbook tcd

Is globalization over? If not, is it under fatal threat? Who should care about its possible demise? Ultimately, what’s at stake?

Join the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future for the 2024 Anthony C. Janetos Memorial Distinguished Lecture by Ernesto Zedillo , former President of Mexico, titled “Is Globalization Over?” The talk will take place on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 from 4:00-5:30 pm at Barristers Hall, BU School of Law. A reception will follow from 5:30-6:00 pm.

Register to Attend

Ernesto Zedillo is a Senior Fellow at the Jackson School of Global Affairs and Frederick Iseman ’74 Director of the Program for the Study of Globalization; Professor in the Fields of Economics and Political Science; and Professor Adjunct of Environmental Studies at Yale University. He served as President of Mexico from 1994-2000.

He is a member of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders using their collective experience and influence for peace, justice and human rights worldwide. In 2020 he was asked to serve on the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR), mandated by the World Health Assembly to analyze the Covid-19 pandemic’s early emergence, global spread, health, economic and social impacts, and how it was controlled and mitigated.

Currently he serves on the Global Commission on Drug Policy and on the Selection Committee of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity and the Hilton Humanitarian Award. From 2016 to 2021 he served as Chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health and formerly was Chair of the Board of the Natural Resource Governance Institute, Chair of the Global Development Network, and Co-Chair of the Inter-American Dialogue.

He is a Member of the Group of 30, a consultative group on international economic and monetary affairs. In 2011 he was elected an international member of the American Philosophical Society. Besides op-eds and journal articles, his edited volumes include: Trade in the 21st Century: Back to the Past? (2021); Africa at a Fork in the Road: Taking Off or Disappointment Once Again? (2015); Rethinking the War on Drugs through the US-Mexico Prism (2012); Global Warming: Looking Beyond Kyoto (2008); and The Future of Globalization: Explorations in Light of Recent Turbulence (2008). He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the School of Economics of the Natìonal Polytechnic Institute in Mexico and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University.

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future’s annual Distinguished Lecture is named in memory of Prof. Anthony C. Janetos , who served as the Center’s Director from 2013 until his death in 2019. The Janetos Distinguished Lecture celebrates his commitment to public scholarship of interdisciplinary research on globally important issues that contribute to long-term improvements in the human condition.


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  1. PDF Postgraduate Research Student Handbook

    The Dean of Graduate Studies is the college office with responsibility (under the College Statutes and College Calendar) for graduate students. The current Dean, Martine Smith, is a Professor in the School of Linguistic Speech and Communication Sciences. Her email is [email protected] The Assistant Academic Secretary, Graduate

  2. PDF Postgraduate Research Student Handbook 2020/2021

    Postgraduate Research Student Handbook 2020/2021 5 Overview This document describes regulations that apply to postgraduate research students registered to the School of Psychology during the academic year 2020/2021. The Postgraduate Handbook is intended to introduce new students to the School of

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  4. PDF School of Chemistry Postgraduate Handbook 2023-2024

    Handbook 2023-2024 . 1 Table of Contents ... graduate must have a broad overview of the science, well-developed problem-solving skills, the confidence to tackle a ... School of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin . Where to find us There are 5 buildings in TCD that house School of Chemistry activities - The Chemistry Building (Main Building ...

  5. Thesis writing

    Thesis writing. Your thesis/dissertation is not the end of your study but your first piece of significant academic work. Completing it is both a contribution to new knowledge AND a learning process for you. What you learn about research and writing will outlive the relevance of the content. You can start by breaking the task of producing a ...

  6. MSc and PhD by research

    The college handbook on postgraduate research can be found here and provides many details regarding research ... Postgraduate work in Trinity College Dublin is very academically challenging and as a result the University has high academic entry requirements. ... The confirmation to the PhD registry should occur within the first 18 months from a ...

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    The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology is designed to provide high quality post-graduate professional training in Clinical Psychology leading to the award of a doctoral qualification.

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    31 January 2024. Course Overview This intensive course provides a professional training in counselling psychology for a yearly in-take of up to approximately 12 to 14 students.

  9. School of Psychology

    The School of Psychology is exceptionally proud of our recent awardees of Irish Research Council funding - PhD studentships and Postdoctoral Fellowships. The School of Psychology is currently accepting applications for the 2023 Evening Course Series "Psychology: The Science of Behaviour and Mind". Applications are currently open and spaces ...

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    This online course is offered to graduates working in the pharmaceutical industry, who wish to satisfy the EU educational requirements for the role of the Qualified Person. Some of the areas covered are: Pharmaceutical Biology, Pharmacology and Drug Assessment, Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms, and Regulation of Health Products. Read more

  11. Development Practice

    MDP Handbook 2023-24 Established in 2009 following recommendations from the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice, the Global Masters in Development Practice (MDP) is a world-leading and uniquely innovative interdisciplinary graduate degree programme that blends health, natural, social, and management sciences--combined with cross-sectoral professional ...

  12. School of Nursing & Midwifery

    News 2023 December 5 A warm welcome to all our new students to the School of Nursing and Midwifery! We hope this is the start of an exciting and rewarding academic journey and an opportunity to enjoy new experiences here in Trinity College Dublin.

  13. PDF School of Psychology Undergraduate Handbook 2021-2022

    to the 2021-2022 handbook for undergraduate students in the Trinity College School of Psychology. The aim of this handbook is to help you find your way around your psychology course and its requirements and to describe the facilities and functions of the School of Psychology.

  14. PDF Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering PhD Student

    First-year PhD Advisor is a full- time faculty member in EECE and will be responsible for acquainting the student with first-year procedures, research rotations, procedures to select permanent advisor, and initial choice of classes as per guidelines in the PhD Handbook. The First-year PhD Advisor is available to speak with any student by ...

  15. PDF Postgraduate Research Student Handbook

    The Dean of Graduate Studies is the college officer with responsibility (under the College Statutes and College Calendar) for graduate students. The current Dean, Martine Smith, is a Professor in the School of Linguistic Speech and Communication Sciences. Her email is [email protected] The Assistant Academic Secretary, Graduate

  16. Proposed term faculty changes in handbook draw discussion

    It gives the full senate decision-making authority for all graduate faculty, graduate and professional students ,and postdocs. The Graduate Council is renamed the Graduate Faculty Cabinet to avoid placing a council within a council. New language will be added to the senate bylaws to include the Graduate Faculty Cabinet. Other business

  17. Book Launch: "The Oxford Handbook of Digital Diplomacy"

    Taking a multidisciplinary approach, The Oxford Handbook of Digital Diplomacy investigates digital diplomacy as a practice, as a process, and as a form of disruption. Written by leading experts in the field, this comprehensive volume delves into the ways in which digital technologies are being used to achieve foreign policy goals, and how ...

  18. 2024 Janetos Distinguished Lecture: "Is Globalization Over?" by Ernesto

    Book Launch: "The Oxford Handbook of Digital Diplomacy" Applications Now Being Accepted for 2024 Graduate Summer Fellows Program Pardee Center Announces Call for Proposals for Faculty Research Fellows Grants Pardee Center Hosts Public Lecture by Former Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernández