Dr Carmel Smith

BA(Hons) MSocSc PhD CQSW ProfDip

Lecturer in the Department of Humanities

Carlow Campus
e: carmel.smith@setu.ie | t: 059 9175324
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7164-5197     ResearchGate  LinkedIn

  • Research Interests
  • Publications
  • Research Supervision
  • Engagement and Collaboration

Research Interests

Dr Carmel Smith undertook her PhD, on the topic of children’s research, in the School of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin.  She is a Research Associate of the Trinity College Children’s Research Centre and her research interests and publications are primarily in the areas of children, childhood and research methods.  She co-authored (with Professor Sheila Greene) ‘Key Thinkers in Childhood Studies’ published by Policy Press and the University of Chicago Press in 2014 and 2015.

Carmel was previously employed for many years as a professionally qualified social worker, probation officer and children’s counsellor in London, Belfast and Dublin.  She has worked as an Independent Person and Complaints Investigator for Local Authorities in England and Wales in relation to complaints made by children in state care.  Carmel was appointed to the Council of CORU (the Irish regulator for health and social care professionals) by the Minister for Health in 2016 and also sits on the CORU Education Committee.  In 2017 she was awarded a Professional Diploma in Professional Regulation by the UCD Sutherland School of Law.  She is interested in research focusing on the enhancement of professional practice, professional regulation and quality assurance.


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Smith, C. (2016) ‘In conversation with researchers: ethical issues in qualitative interviews with academic elites’, Research Abstracts, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, Jan-Dec 2016, pp.1-10, Sage Publications.

Smith, C. (2014) ‘Giving voice to children’s perspectives: do actions speak louder than words?’, Children’s Research Digest, Vol 1, Issue 1, pp. 31-36.

Smith, C. (2004) ‘Intercountry Adoption in Ireland: Seeking the child’s perspective’, Irish Social Worker Journal, Special Edition, Winter 2004/Spring 2005, pp. 27-36.

Books and Book Chapters

Smith, C. (2019) 'The Positioning of Children and Childhood in Research: The Perspectives of Pioneering Researchers', in Sharma, V. and Brink, A. (Eds), Childhood through the Looking Glass, (pp. 169-178), Netherlands: Brill Publishers.

Smith, C. and Greene, S. (2015) Key thinkers in childhood studies, Bristol: Policy Press/Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Smith, C. (2012) ‘Qualitative Research with Children’, Department of Children and Youth Affairs Research Briefing No 10, pp. 1-6, Dublin: DCYA.

Smith, C. (2010) Interview with Carmel Smith on Research with Children in book published by Professor Mary Kellet, Rethinking Children and Research, London: Bloomsbury Academic Press (pp. 27-31).

Research Reports

Smith, C. and O'Brien, M. (May 2020) Research Report: An exploration of the experiences of students from the LGBT+ community at Institute of Technology Carlow, Athena Swan - EDI Office: SETU Carlow

Conference Proceedings and Papers

2017 ‘Key Thinkers in Childhood Studies’.  Higher seminar presentation (with Professor Sheila Greene, Trinity College Dublin) to Department of Thematic Studies at Linkoping University, Sweden.

2016 ‘In conversation with research collaborators:  Methodological and ethical issues when using elite interviewing as a technique in qualitative research with researchers’.  Paper presented at the International Qualitative Methodology Conference, 3-5 May 2016, University of Glasgow, Scotland.

2014 ‘Positioning children and childhood in research’, paper presented at the 4th Global Childhood Conference, 17-19 July 2014, Mansfield College, University of Oxford, UK.

2012 ‘Research with children: Perspectives, Positionings and Practices of Adult Researchers’, paper presented at the International Childhood Studies Conference at the Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth, University of Sheffield, UK.

2011 ‘Enhancing the Identity of Early Childhood Care and Education Practitioners’, paper presented at the ‘Our Children, Our Future’ Conference, 19-21 October 2011, the Institute of Technology, Sligo.

2010 ‘Qualitative Methods of Research with Children: The Perspectives of Elite Researchers, Poster presented at the Children’s Research Centre 15th Anniversary Conference, Trinity College, Dublin.


Research Supervision

Eight MA theses supervised to successful completion on topics relating to children, childhood, qualitative research and therapeutic approaches to working with children.

Engagement and Collaboration

Considerable knowledge and experience of institutional reviews and quality assurance in the higher education sector.  On behalf of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) has acted as Panel Member and Chair of Programmatic and Institutional Reviews of third-level institutions.