Ireland’s Teaching and Learning Research Fellowship Nominees

Meet ‘Ireland’s Teaching and Learning Research Fellowship Nominees’ who have been shortlisted for the country’s most prestigious national individual teaching and learning awards.

The Fellowships recognise, reward and celebrate those who have demonstrated, through practice, scholarship and leadership, a deep commitment to the enhancement of teaching and learning in higher education. They provide an opportunity for Fellows to share their knowledge and to expand their expertise in a variety of ways, including through research and scholarship, both nationally and internationally. They will also develop a robust evidence base for future teaching and learning enhancement decision-making across the sector The final selection process will result in the awarding of five Fellowships, each valued at €45,000.

Brett Becker (University College Dublin)

Dr Brett Becker is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science at UCD where he researches computing education. Brett strives to make computing education more accessible and useful to students of all disciplines. He is author of the textbook Computer Science for Leaving Certificate and President of the All-Ireland Society for Higher Education. He holds several international positions including Steering Committee Chair for the ACM Global Computing Education Conference and Associate Editor for the journal Transactions on Computing Education. Brett holds an MA in Higher Education and received the UCD College of Science Teaching Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.

Ronan Bree (Dundalk Institute of Technology)

Dr. Ronan Bree, a Molecular Bioscience educator engrained with a research focus, is passionate that a growth mindset can help learners develop their strengths and abilities. Through partnering with students, Ronan has focused on transforming how practical sessions are assessed while introducing digital technologies around actionable feedback provision. He was DkIT’s academic lead in the ‘Technology Enhanced Assessment Methods in Practical Settings’ project, a multi-institutional initiative that reached 1,600 students. Ronan serves on higher education committees and advisory groups and is an editorial board member of the AISHE journal.

Bernadette Brerton (Dundalk Institute of Technology)

Dr. Bernadette Brereton is an engaged higher education teacher and researcher with 30 years’ experience who has a significant number of professional accomplishments in her practice, scholarship and leadership. As a National Forum Teaching Expert and previous member of the National Forum Professional Development Expert Group, she has a track record in informing policy change in teaching and learning and professional development. She has a wealth of hands-on experience in promoting technology enhanced learning, inclusivity and student engagement. She has a strong national and international profile through which she builds communities of practice and strengthens the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) as a research leader, journal editor, author and reviewer.

Tara Cusack (University College Dublin)

Dr Tara Cusack is an Associate Professor of Physiotherapy at the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science. Interdisciplinarity is her main area of teaching and research. She is the principal investigator for the Horizon 2020 project CHAMELEONS (Championing A Multi-sectoral Education and Learning Experience to Open New pathways for Doctoral Students). This project involves developing education for students undertaking doctoral studies in Connected Health (healthcare managed and delivered via technology). She recently linked with the School of Education and Human Development at George Mason University, Virginia, USA, to research best practice and the needs of interdisciplinary doctoral supervisors.

Michelle Flood (Royal College of Surgeons)

Dr Michelle Flood is a lecturer at the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, RCSI. Michelle’s research focuses on radical interdisciplinarity and workplace-based learning, from both theoretical and practice perspectives. Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to further this research at the Design Institute for Health, Dell Medical School, UT Austin, she remains a visiting researcher there. She holds a PhD from the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University and has significant experience leading curriculum change at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is passionate about student engagement, innovation, and teaching and learning enhancement, and has won national and institutional teaching awards.

Chris Lynch (University College Cork)

Chris Lynch is Professor & Consultant in Restorative Dentistry at University College Cork, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Dentistry, and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Previously, Chris was Professor in Restorative Dentistry & Dental Education at Cardiff University. Chris was awarded a Senior Doctorate based on his published works in clinical dental education in 2019. He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and has received the Award of Excellence in Dental Education from the Association for Dental Education in Europe. Chris has published widely and lectures and examines internationally.

Eabhnat Ní Fhloinn (Dublin City University)

Dr. Eabhnat Ní Fhloinn has worked in DCU School of Mathematical Sciences since 2007. Her PhD is in biometric cryptography from Trinity College Dublin, where she also undertook her BA in Mathematics. Her research interests now lie in mathematics education, with particular focus on the transition from post-primary mathematics to higher education, mathematics support, mathematics diagnostic testing, and assessment in mathematics. She was the inaugural Chairperson of the Irish Mathematics Learning Support Network in 2009, serving on the committee until 2020. She is a member of CASTeL, the Centre for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning in DCU.

Geraldine O’Neill (University College Dublin)

Dr Geraldine O’Neill is an Associate Professor and educational developer in UCD’s Teaching & Learning unit. She has supported many institutional teaching, learning and assessment projects, recently leading the development of UCD’s framework for programme-focused assessment and feedback. In a 2-year secondment to the National Forum, she coordinated the Assessment Enhancement Theme (2016-2018). A key aspect of this national project was the shift towards empowering students in the assessment and feedback process. She has a track record of research dissemination focused in particular on curriculum design, assessment, and professional development. She achieved a UK Higher Education Academy Principal Fellowship in 2018.

Barry Ryan (Technological University Dublin)

Dr. Barry Ryan is a biochemistry lecturer, and programme director, in Technological University Dublin. He is an award-winning and research-active applied scientist with a proven expertise in the practitioner use of, and leadership in, evidenced-based pedagogies in modern higher education settings. He is passionate about the practical implementation of research informed teaching and in supporting others in their personal development in this area. His teaching and learning philosophy promotes (co-)creation to empower and centralise all students across all levels within undergraduate curricula. He is concurrently a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Chartered Science Teacher.