Four MIC Postgraduate Students Awarded Government of Ireland Scholarships

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Four postgraduate students from Mary Immaculate College (MIC) have been awarded scholarships under the Irish Research Council’s Government of Ireland programme announced recently by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD.

MIC PhD students, Geraldine Brassil, Louise Curtin, Edmond Gubbins and Mateus Miranda were amongst 209 early career researchers to receive such a scholarship. This highly competitive scholarship programme is the only one of its kind in Ireland designed to fund excellent research across all disciplines, while recognising the world class potential of Ireland’s future research leaders.

Welcoming the announcement from Minister Simon Harris TD, Professor Michael Healy, Vice President of Research at MIC said, “I warmly congratulate Geraldine, Louise, Edmond and Mateus on being awarded a prestigious Government of Ireland scholarship. This scholarship programme is highly competitive, associated with excellence and prestige, and reflects the excellent calibre of MIC’s postgraduate students. The College takes great pride in these achievements and we look forward to seeing the research from our Government of Ireland Scholars.”

For Geraldine Brassil, a native of Ballyhea in Co. Cork, the Government of Ireland Scholarship from the Irish Research Council is a huge honour and a validation of her research efforts. She said, “As an early career researcher, this scholarship will not only provide support for my ongoing full-time research but will also allow me to develop necessary research skills in areas such as digital humanities and archival studies. When the COVID-19 situation permits, this funding will enable me to visit a range of archives across Ireland, the UK and the US, which are essential to my project. It will also enable me to attend conferences and workshops, and to develop my own research networks.”

Geraldine’s research focuses on the largely forgotten 19th century Irish women writers and their literary and publishing networks (1850-1900). Under the supervision of Dr Kathryn Laing, lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature at MIC, Geraldine will track the professional writing lives of these women writers, thereby establishing the significant role that they played in Irish literary and social history. According to Geraldine, “In this way I will contribute original research to a growing field of interest in the recovery of Irish women’s writing in the 19th and early 20th centuries, restoring these women’s voices to our national cultural narrative.” Geraldine graduated from MIC in 2019 having completed a Bachelor of Arts in English and History.

Having graduated from MIC as a primary teacher in 2017, Louise Curtin (pictured above), who hails from Doneraile in Co. Cork, returned to her alma mater in 2018 to undertake a PhD under the supervision of Dr Margaret Egan, lecturer in the Department of Educational Psychology, Inclusive and Special Education.

Louise’s research on the Special Education Teacher Allocation Model from the Department of Education and Skills aims to provide relevant and current data on how Irish primary schools are implementing this model in practice. Commenting on her research, Louise said, “Data from this study will offer an insight into how teachers, as the key stakeholders in the implementation of government policy in schools, apply this needs-based model on the ground. Therefore, the findings of my research will hopefully enhance our understanding of current inclusive education policy and help to inform the field, nationally and internationally, in the evolution of inclusive education policy and practice.”

Reacting to the news of her scholarship, Louise said, “I am absolutely delighted to be awarded this scholarship. This funding will benefit me greatly as it will enable me to conduct my research in a timely fashion while my research topic is current and relevant.”

Edmond Gubbins, who graduated from MIC as a primary teacher in 2016, is currently undertaking his research at MIC under the supervision of Dr Gwen Moore, lecturer in the Department of Arts Education and Physical Education. The Lough Gur native is investigating generalist primary teachers’ musical backgrounds and experiences, and the impact of participatory action research on music teaching and learning using the Musical Futures approach.

According to Edmond, “It is hoped that this research will document primary teachers learning and teaching experiences of music while also proffering new perspectives on the ways in which the reproduction of music education practices influence teacher beliefs and values. It also aims to enhance music education provision at the primary level through the empowerment of teachers using Musical Futures as a catalyst for change.”

Reacting to his scholarship, Edmond said, “I am beyond thrilled to be awarded this prestigious scholarship. Not only does the scholarship aid me in completing my doctoral studies, the support and recognition from the Irish Research Council also adds a certain gravitas to the research that I’m undertaking, which I hope will increase its impact in the field of music education at the primary level.” Edmond is also the 2019 recipient of the MIC Doctoral Studentship.

Brazilian native, Mateus Miranda, moved to Limerick a number of years ago to pursue a MA in Applied Linguistics at MIC. Having graduated from the programme in 2018, Mateus is now undertaking a PhD in Applied Linguistics under the supervision of Dr Anne O’Keeffe, lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature at MIC, and Professor Michael McCarthy, Adjunct Professor at University of Limerick. Mateus’s research is specifically located within the field of Corpus Linguistics and will examine spoken grammar construction and pragmatic features across the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

Commenting on his research, Mateus said, “I’m working with Brazilian learners of English to build an international learner interview dataset, the Brazilian Spoken English Learner (BraSEL) Corpus, which will be analysed statistically through computational tools. I hope this ground-breaking dataset will contribute to linguistic investigations regarding learners’ vocabulary, grammar and discourse features with an impact on the production of language materials and language teaching.”

He added, “I am thrilled and honoured to be a Government of Ireland Scholar as it confirms the quality of research I have conducted at MIC. This scholarship will not only offer crucial financial resources but will also enable me to shape my skills, build networking and disseminate my research globally.”

In addition to the 209 Government of Ireland Scholarships, 87 Postdoctoral Fellowships were also announced by Minister Simon Harris TD representing an investment of over €21 million in early career researchers across all academic disciplines.

Applications for the Government of Ireland Programme 2021-2022 will close on 29 October. Further information can be found here. provides information about postgraduate courses and study in Ireland. We list virtually every postgraduate course in Ireland in Ireland, so you can search for the course of your choice.


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