Dr Katriona O'Sullivan

Psychology, ALL Institute

Digital Skills Senior Lecturer

John Hume Building
(01) 474 7576


Dr Katriona O’Sullivan is Lecture of Digital Skills in the ALL (Assisting Living & Learning) Institute, Department of Psychology, Maynooth University. She holds research grants from the Irish Research Council and Science Foundation Ireland to examine issues relating to digital equality and equity education.  Katriona was research fellow in Trinity College Dublin and with Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford where she developed the programme of research which informed the development of the first foundation year in Oxford University. She has been invited speaker at the World Education Forum and the European Gender Action Workshop on Women and Digitalization. Katriona has worked closely with Irish policy makers to develop policies around education and inclusion. She has published research on equality, gender, education, inclusion and STEM. She is a research lead with Microsoft Ireland.  

Research Interests

Equality and Diversity in STEM
Gender Equality
Access to University
Widening Participation

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date Amount
ADDITIONAL FUNDING No 2 - DIGITAL WEALTH PI 13/10/2021 12/04/2022 89496
ADDITIONAL FUNDING - Digital Wealth PI 12/09/2021 11/11/2021 89496
Digital wealth PI 12/03/2021 11/09/2021 89496
DRUID LEARNING Innovation Voucher PI 14/12/2020 15/07/2021 6500
Confederation of Student Services PI This project aims to understand the impact that differing student support services have on the transition and retention of students entering two institutions through alternative entry routes. In phase one of the project the Trinity Access Programmes, and Maynooth Access programme, will partner to establish, in a systematic way, the support structures available to students who progress into University through alternative access routes; creating an exhaustive list of what is offered across the academic, social, financial and personal spheres. The access offices, through a facilitated research session, will develop together a report which specifies the suite of supports available and information on what is considered best practice across the institutions. In phase two of the project the student groups in both institutions who have entered through these alternative entry routes will be surveyed about their experiences with the support services and their sense of belonging in the institution, as an indicator of transition, will be established alongside their indicative retention rate. Twenty students will be randomly sampled from both and invited to participate in small focus groups, to explore their 'lived' experiences of the support structures and how these experiences interact with belongingness and retention. In phase three of the project the data from student and staff will be compiled to produce a short report on the lived experiences of these students and their views on how the support services in the HEIs impact upon their transition and retention. It is the aim of the project to establish the processes which support students in differing institutions and to share this information within the CSSI network and nationally. 06/08/2018 31/01/2019 2000
Dreamspace PI 01/03/2019 30/09/2019 32612
EI Support for ERC Starting Grant PI 01/05/2018 30/06/2019 10775
Covid19 Rapid Response DreamSpace PI 15/08/2020 14/05/2021 35170
STEM Passport for inclusion PI 01/01/2021 31/12/2022 299955.1
An international examination of the impact that different access routes to higher education have on student capability to participate PI A higher education qualification has never been more important. For low socio-economic status students higher education participation is implicated in upward social mobility and the alleviation of poverty (Keane, 2016; HEA, 2015). Over the last 20 years Irish policy makers have taken positive steps to widen the participation rates of these students; including providing extra school provision where needed and supporting the development of national and institutional access routes into higher education. To-date, evaluations of these activities have varied greatly (HEFCE 2013; Keane 2011), which means there is not currently a coherent evidence base to draw on in the development of policy The current research will develop a systematic evaluation of the differing access routes into higher education. It aims to establish the key variables that support students’ capability to participate in higher education. This research will perform an international comparison of the experiences and outcomes of students participating in a Irish and UK Foundation Course for higher education, with students who have entered university through the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR). The overarching objective is to strengthen the existing evidence base through systematically evaluating the impact that differing access routes to higher education have on students’ capability to participate in higher education. It is envisioned that this work will contribute to national policy on equity of access, through the identification of practices that support student aspiration, development, performance and retention. 09/01/2017 09/07/2019 73434
Promote: Developing, Promoting and Implementing a Career Progression Training Platform & Network for early Career Female Researchers-Academics (ECFRAs) across Irish HEIs. co-PI 01/01/2024 31/12/2024 50000

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2023 Boyle, N.; Marshall, K.; O’Sullivan, K. (2023) 'Invisible barriers: how gender and class intersect to impact upon science participation in Irish secondary schools'. International Journal of Science Education, . [Link] [DOI]
2023 Burns, G.; Bird, N.; O’Sullivan, K. (2023) 'Resilience, resistance and ‘giving back’: teachers from working class backgrounds and their journeys to teaching'. British Journal of Sociology of Education, . [Link] [DOI]
2022 Clark S.; Maclachlan M.; Marshall K.; Morahan N.; Carroll C.; Hand K.; Boyle N.; O’Sullivan K. (2022) 'Including Digital Connection in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: A Systems Thinking Approach for Achieving the SDGs'. Sustainability (Switzerland), 14 (3). [DOI]
2022 Clark S.; Gallagher E.; Boyle N.; Barrett M.; Hughes C.; O'Malley N.; Sanchez A.; Ebuenyi I.; Smith E.; Marshall K.; O'Sullivan K. (2022) 'The International Education Index: A global approach to education policy analysis, performance and sustainable development'. British Educational Research Journal, . [DOI]
2022 O’Sullivan K.; Rock N.; Burke L.; Boyle N.; Joksimovic N.; Foley H.; Clark S. (2022) 'Gender Differences in the Psychosocial Functioning of Parents During the COVID-19 Pandemic'. Frontiers in Psychology, 13 . [DOI]
2022 Burns G.; O'Sullivan K. (2022) ''Going the extra mile': Working class teachers and their engagement with parents'. Diversifying The Teaching Profession: Dimensions, Dilemmas And Directions For The Future, :125-134. [DOI]
2021 Katriona O’Sullivan; Serena Clark; Amy McGrane; Nicole Rock; Lydia Burke; Neasa Boyle; Natasha Joksimovic; Kevin Marshall; (2021) 'A Qualitative Study of Child and Adolescent Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Ireland'. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2021 O’Sullivan, K., McGrane, A., Long, S., Marshall, K., & MacLachlan, M. (2021) 'Using a systems thinking approach to understand teachers perceptions and use of assistive technology in the republic of Ireland'. Disability & Rehabilitation, . [Link] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2021 O' Sullivan, K; McGrane, A; Long, S; Marshall, K; Maclachlan, M (2021) 'Using a systems thinking approach to understand teachers perceptions and use of assistive technology in the republic of Ireland'. Disability and rehabilitation. Assistive technology, . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2020 Serena Clark, Amy McGrane, Katriona O'Sullivan, Neasa Boyle, Natasha Joksimovic, Lydia Burke and Nicole Rock (2020) 'You're a teacher you're a mother, you're a worker: Gender inequality during Covid-19 in Ireland'. Gender, Work and Organization, . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2020 O’Sullivan K.; Bird N.; Marshall K. (2020) 'The DreamSpace STEM-21CLD model as an aid to inclusion of pupils with special education needs'. European Journal of Special Needs Education, . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2020 McGrane, A; Bird, N; Arten, C; O' Sullivan, K (2020) '"All My Problems Go Away for 90 Minutes": How Football and Psychotherapy Improves Young Men's Mental Health'. American Journal of Men's Health, 14 . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2020 O’Sullivan K.; McGrane A.; Clark S.; Marshall K. (2020) 'Exploring the Impact of Home-Schooling on the Psychological Wellbeing of Irish Families During the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: A Qualitative Study Protocol'. The International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 19 . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2019 Bird N.; McCarthy G.; O’Sullivan K. (2019) 'Exploring the Effectiveness of an Integrated Mixed Martial Arts and Psychotherapy Intervention for Young Men’s Mental Health'. American Journal of Men's Health, 13 (1). [DOI] [Full-Text]
2019 O'Sullivan K.; Bird N.; Robson J.; Winters N. (2019) 'Academic identity, confidence and belonging: The role of contextualised admissions and foundation years in higher education'. British Educational Research Journal, 45 (3):554-575. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2019 O’Sullivan K.; Byrne D.; Robson J.; Winters N. (2019) 'Who goes to college via access routes? A comparative study of widening participation admission in selective universities in Ireland and England'. Social Inclusion, 7 (1InequalitiesinAccesstoHigher):38-51. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2019 Katriona O’Sullivan, Niamh Bird, Gareth Burns (2019) 'Students’ Experiences of the Teaching and Learning of Irish in Designated Disadvantaged Schools'. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CULTURE, POLITICS AND SOCIETY, . [DOI]
2019 Pärnänen KMM; Narciso-da-Rocha C; Kneis D; Berendonk TU; Cacace D; Do TT; Elpers C; Fatta-Kassinos D; Henriques I; Jaeger T; Karkman A; Martinez JL; Michael SG; Michael-Kordatou I; O'Sullivan K; Rodriguez-Mozaz S; Schwartz T; Sheng H; Sørum H; Stedtfeld RD; Tiedje JM; Giustina SVD; Walsh F; Vaz-Moreira I; Virta M; Manaia CM; (2019) 'Antibiotic resistance in European wastewater treatment plants mirrors the pattern of clinical antibiotic resistance prevalence'. Science Advances, 5 (3). [DOI] [Full-Text]
2018 K O’Sullivan, J Robson, N Winters (2018) '‘I feel like I have a disadvantage’: how socio-economically disadvantaged students make the decision to study at a prestigious university'. Studies in Higher Education, :1-15. [DOI]
2018 Quinlan A; O'Brien KK; Galvin R; Hardy C; McDonnell R; Joyce D; McDowell RD; Aherne E; Keogh C; O'Sullivan K; Fahey T; (2018) 'Quantifying patient preferences for symptomatic breast clinic referral: a decision analysis study'. BMJ Open, . [DOI]
2018 Katriona O’Sullivan; James Robson; Cliona Hannon; Niall Winters; (2018) 'Migrating Innovations Across National Boundaries'. Actionable Research For Educational Equity And Social Justice, . [DOI]
2018 Cliona Hannon; Katriona O’Sullivan; (2018) 'Responding to the Global Access Challenge'. Actionable Research For Educational Equity And Social Justice, . [DOI]
2017 Byrne, Jake Rowan and O’Sullivan, Katriona and Sullivan, Kevin (2017) 'An IoT and Wearable Technology Hackathon for Promoting Careers in Computer Science'. 60 (1):50-58. [Full-Text]
2017 Hannon, Cliona and Faas, Daniel and O'Sullivan, Katriona (2017) 'Widening the educational capabilities of socio-economically disadvantaged students through a model of social and cultural capital development'. 43 (6):1225-1245. [Full-Text]
2017 O'Sullivan, Katriona and Mulligan, Robyn and Kuster, Megan and Smith, Ronan and Hannon, Cliona (2017) 'A college focused mentoring programme for students in socio-economically disadvantaged schools: the impact of mentoring relationship and frequency on college-going confidence, application efficacy and aspirations'. 19 (2):113-141.
2017 (2017) 'A college focused mentoring programme for students in socio-economically disadvantaged schools: the impact of mentoring relationship and frequency on college-going confidence, application efficacy and aspirations'. Widening Participation & Lifelong Learning, . https://doi.org/10.5456/WPLL.19.2.113
2015 O'Sullivan, K and Reulbach, U and Boland, F and Motterlini, N and Kelly, D and Bennett, K and Fahey, T (2015) 'Benzodiazepine prescribing in children under 15 years of age receiving free medical care on the General Medical Services scheme in Ireland'. 5 (6).
2015 O'Brien KK; Schuttke A; Alhakeem A; Donnelly-Swift E; Keogh C; O'Carroll A; O'Sullivan K; Galvin R; Fahey T; (2015) 'Health, perceived quality of life and health services use among homeless illicit drug users'. . [DOI]
2015 O'Sullivan K; Reulbach U; Boland F; Motterlini N; Kelly D; Bennett K; Fahey T; (2015) 'Benzodiazepine prescribing in children under 15 years of age receiving free medical care on the General Medical Services scheme in Ireland'. . [DOI]
2015 O'Sullivan K; Boland F; Reulbach U; Motterlini N; Kelly D; Bennett K; Fahey T; (2015) 'Antidepressant prescribing in Irish children: secular trends and international comparison in the context of a safety warning'. . [DOI]
2015 Roche, Joseph and O’Sullivan, Katriona and Tangney, Brendan (2015) 'The Future of Motion Design as a 21st Century Skill in Irish Classrooms'. .
2015 O’Sullivan, Katriona and Boland, Fiona and Reulbach, Udo and Motterlini, Nicola and Kelly, Dervla and Bennett, Kathleen and Fahey, Tom (2015) 'Antidepressant prescribing in Irish children: secular trends and international comparison in the context of a safety warning'. 15 (1).

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2018 O'Sullivan, K. & Burns, G. (2018) 'Turn to Teaching: Diversifying Initial Teacher Education' In: Ireland's Yearbook of Education 2018, 2019. Dublin : Education Matters.
2022 Burns, G., & O'Sullivan, K. (2022) ''Going the Extra Mile’: Working Class Teachers and their Engagement with Parents' In: Diversifying the Teaching Profession: Dimensions, Dilemmas, and Directions for the Future. London : Routledge.

Conference Publication

Year Publication
2019 O'Sullivan, K., Burns, G., & Bird, N. (2019) 5th International Conference on Higher Education Advances (HEAd’19) Diversifying Initial Teacher Education: Who Utilises Alternative Entry Routes to Teaching & How They Compare to Direct Entry Students [Link] [Full-Text]
2022 Aidan Mooney, Keith Quille, Annika Lindh, Kevin Marshall and Katriona O'Sullivan (2022) International Conference on Educational Data Mining Supervised Machine Learning for Modelling STEM Career and Education Interest in Irish School Children
2016 Fisher, Lorraine and Byrne, Jake Rowan and Tangney, Brendan (2016) Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Computer Supported Education Teacher Experiences of Learning Computing using a 21st Century Model of Computer Science Continuing Professional Development
2015 Sullivan, Kevin and Byrne, Jake Rowan and Bresnihan, Nina and O'Sullivan, Katriona and Tangney, Brendan (2015) Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2015 IEEE CodePlus—Designing an after school computing programme for girls

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2019 Burns, G. & O'Sullivan, K. (2019) British Educational Research Association Annual Conference Early Career Teachers’ Understandings of ‘Making a Difference’: A Habitus Specific Idea University of Manchester, .
2019 O'Sullivan, K. & Burns, G. (2019) Annual Conference of the Educational Studies Association of Ireland Who Gets to Become a Teacher? The Characteristics of Students Entering Initial Teacher Education through an Alternative Entry Route Sligo, .
2020 Burns, G., Bird, N., O'Sullivan, K. (2020) Educational Studies of Ireland Annual Conference The Transformative Influence of Teachers From Underrepresented Groups Institute of Education, DCU, .
2021 Grummell, B. and K. O'Sullivan (2021) Foundations for Futures Europe Mind the Gap: Education and Digital Exclusion Maynooth University, .


Year Publication
2022 Clark, S. Marshall, K., O'Sullivan, K (2022) The experiences of forced migrants in the US and Ireland shows the need for more humane and sustainable refugee and asylum policies. [Blog] [Link]

Electronic Article

Year Publication
2020 Burns, G & O'Sullivan, K (2020) Diversifying Initial Teacher Education:Maynooth University's Turn to Teaching Project. Dublin: [Electronic Article] [Link]

Video recording / TV

Year Publication
2019 O'Sullivan, K., Burns, G, & Assume Nothing Media (2019) Lessons in diversity: The changing face of teaching in Ireland. [Video recording / TV] [Link]


Year Publication
2021 O’Sullivan K.; Clark S.; Marshall K.; MacLachlan M. (2021) A Just Digital framework to ensure equitable achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. [Note] [DOI] [Full-Text]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2024) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Description Function From / To
Psychological Society of Ireland Member -

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/12/2012 PhD Trinity College Dublin
01/10/2021 Early Career Research Achievement Award Maynooth University
01/10/2021 Faculty of Science and Engineering Early Career Research Achievement Award Maynooth University
01/01/2017 Grant for Research for Policy and Society Irish Research Council


Committee Function From / To
Board Member One Family Vice Chair 04/01/2016 - 21/02/2018
Creating our Future: Data Analysis Team Meeting Member 14/11/2021 - 31/01/2022


Employer Position From / To
Maynooth University Lecturer 06/11/2017 -
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland 01/05/2013 - 30/04/2014
University of Dublin Trinity College 01/05/2014 - 01/11/2018
National University of Ireland Maynooth 06/11/2017 -
Royal College of Surgeons Post doctoral Research Fellow 02/09/2013 - 05/05/2014
Trinity College Dublin Coordinator of Research and Impact, Trinity Access Programmes 01/05/2014 - 06/11/2017
School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin Lecturer 02/09/2013 - 06/11/2017
Trinity Access Programmes Course Tutor 01/09/2008 - 06/11/2017
Dublin Business School Lecturer 03/09/2012 - 02/09/2013


Start date Institution Qualification Subject
University of Dublin Trinity College
University of Dublin Trinity College


Client Description
Committee for Education and Skills Invited to contribute on the committees discussion for educational inequality
Senator Lynn Ruane Research education and work related problems to support polocy development

Teaching Interests

Module Co-Ordinator of Developmental Psychology module PS253 
Research Methods