Natasha Joksimovic

Natasha Joksimovic Profile Picture


A PhD student and a John and Pat Hume Doctoral Scholar within the department of Psychology working with Dr. Philip Hyland. Her research focuses on the Prevalence, Risk factors and Psychosocial Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence in the Republic of Ireland. Within the ALL institute, Natasha is working as a research assistant for Dr. Deirdre Desmond working on the Age friendly Ireland project, assisting in conducting research to assess the healthy age friendly homes programme which aims to empower and support people to have options around their living circumstances allowing them to live at home for longer as well as to connect people with services and organisations within their local community and to help them become more involved in their community if they should want.

Ann Leahy

Ann Leahy Profile Photo
Based in the School of Law and Criminology, Ann Leahy is a Postdoctoral Researcher within the DANCING project, Protecting the Right to Culture of Persons with Disabilities and Enhancing Cultural Diversity through European Union Law: Exploring New Paths. Her main focus is qualitative research on cultural participation by people with disabilities.  

Her PhD, completed in the Department of Sociology Maynooth University, was an interdisciplinary qualitative study that examined the intersection between disability and ageing.  She is the author of a book on that subject (forthcoming from Policy Press). Academic awards include an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship (2019), an Irish Research Council Employment-based PhD Scholarship (2014) and a John and Pat Hume Scholarship from Maynooth University (2013).  
Her MA was in Social Justice and Public Policy (first class honours). Ann also has a background in Law. Early in her career, she qualified as a Solicitor and worked for some years in commercial law. She subsequently changed direction, working in the NGO voluntary sector. She was Assistant CEO of Age & Opportunity for over a decade with responsibility for policy and public affairs, as well as for the organisation’s work on arts and culture. 

Twitter: @ALeahyResearch 


Ana Maria Sanchez Rodriguez pic

Ana Maria Sanchez Rodriguez

Ana María Sánchez Rodríguez is currently an Irish Research Council and a Marie Skłodowska- Curie Actions’ fellow at Maynooth University, working in partnership with Humanity and Inclusion. Her current research is scaling up community-based innovations for persons with disabilities, particularly for women with disabilities, to bridge in the gap with national policies in Lao PDR. She holds a PhD in Public Policy from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has worked in human rights and social development at the federal and local governmental level in Mexico.

Melanie Labor

Melanie Labor

Dr Melanie Labor is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Psychology. Melanie has been working on several EU-funded Horizon 2020 projects, including Gaming for Peace (GAP), robusT Risk basEd Screening and alert System for PASSengers and luggage (TRESSPASS) and most recently, Supporting Independence and enhanced quality of life for Europe’s ageing population (SHAPES). SHAPES is coordinated by MU’s Assisting Living and Learning Institute (ALL). SHAPES intends to build, pilot, and deploy a large-scale, EU-standardised open platform. The platform will facilitate the integration of a broad range of technological, organisational, clinical, educational and social solutions to support active and healthy ageing. Melanie has been involved in SHAPES from the beginning. She has worked on the funding application and is now co-leading one work package on the “Organisational, Structural and Sociotechnical Factors for the SHAPES Ecosystem”. Melanie holds a Ph.D. in Social Work and Social Policy from Trinity College Dublin. Her research, which focussed on young people’s understandings of youth suicide, was funded by the Irish Research Council. Previously, Melanie was awarded an M.Phil. in Race, Ethnicity and Conflict by the Department of Sociology, TCD. She also holds a B.A. in Sociology and Political Studies, and Psychological Studies. After completing the M.Phil., Melanie worked as a Research Assistant at the Immigrant Council of Ireland.


Emma Smith

Emma Smith

Dr. Emma M. Smith is a postdoctoral researcher and Marie Sklowdowska-Curie Research Fellow in the ALL Institute. Emma’s work is focused on access to rights for persons with disabilities through the provision of assistive technologies and related policies and systems. Emma works in collaboration with the Assistive Technology 2030 project, in partnership with the Global Disability Innovation Hub at the University College London and the World Health Organization on improving access to assistive technology across six African countries through improved policies, systems, and intersectoral collaboration. Emma also works with the European Disability Forum leading the collaborative ARISE project – a project aimed to develop a framework for resilient and inclusive assistive technology policy in Europe. Emma has a background in occupational therapy and international development studies with a BA and MSc from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, and doctoral research training in Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. Emma’s previous clinical work focused on the provision of assistive technology to clients of all ages.