Postgraduate Testimonials


Mary Jo Hurley
Bachelor of Science in Biosciences with Biopharmaceuticals

Postgraduate Studies Supervisors: Dr. Dina Brazil and Dr. Thomaé Kakouli-Duarte

Project title: Interactions between entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) and bacterial endophytes isolated from bioenergy crops.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Degree in Biosciences with Biopharmaceuticals from Carlow (Formerly IT Carlow) in 2011. Subsequently, I completed a 3 month work placement with Teagasc at Oak Park working as a research assistant. This provided a good foundation for future research. Furthering my education to MSc or PhD level was always an option I had considered and the (Formerly IT Carlow) Postgraduate Research Scholarship Programme provided an additional support to undertake a master programme. My research project is part of a collaboration between Dr Dina Brazil, from the Biotechnology and Molecular Environmental Science Group and Dr Thomaé Kakouli- Duarte, from the Molecular Ecology and Nematode Research Group, both members of EnviroCORE.

At present there is no other research group in Ireland involved in this important specialist area combining environmental science, endophytic bacteria and nematode research and it is a privilege to work and learn within such a progressive and dynamic team. My research at (Formerly IT Carlow) has allowed me to pursue this technology professionally and to contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture practices within the economy in Ireland.

Emma Smullen
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Science

Postgraduate Studies Supervisors: Dr. Patricia Mulcahy, Dr. David Dowling and Dr. John Finan (Teagasc)

Project title: Coordinated development of leading biomass pre-treatment technologies for the generation of bio-products from Irish crops.

When I completed my fourth year research project, I realised that environmental research was an area I could see myself working in and one that I might make a significant contribution to. In 2011, having completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Degree in Environmental Science at (Formerly IT Carlow), there was an opportunity to work as a postgraduate researcher under the Teagasc Walsh Fellowship programme. Furthering my education to MSc or PhD level was always something I had considered. Having enjoyed four years of study at (Formerly IT Carlow) as an undergraduate the decision to continue my education at the college as a postgraduate research student was an easy one to make.

EnviroCore has the facilities, resources and support needed to study at MSc or PhD level as well as a wealth of knowledge in the areas of biotechnology, microbiology, biochemistry, analytical science and many more. Also the supportive environment provided by fellow researchers and supervisors were key factors influencing my decision to study in Carlow and to join the team at EnviroCore.


Alan Grincell

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in Product Design Innovation

Postgraduate Studies Supervisors: Mr Hilary Dempsey & Dr PJ White

Project title: Older Adults & Emotionally Supportive Product Interaction. A user centred study into automated teller machines for the development of increased security and usability.

Deciding to do a research masters in industrial design broadened my view of how the design process could be used to approach applied research and address social problems. The facilities provided by the college and the guidance of my supervisory team supported me throughout this journey. In 2014 I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in Product Design Innovation. Before graduating I never considered research as a career route, but upon completion of my final year project, I realised that I could make a significant contribution to research and address social problems by implementing a design approach. The postgraduate research fellowship allowed me to pursue this.

My research project explored how financial institutions could better develop their technologies to facilitate Older Adults. The supportive and dynamic environment in desigCORE allowed me to approach the research project using my personal style and skill sets which I developed during the undergraduate degree. Studying at (Formerly IT Carlow) has allowed me to engage and contribute to the industry. During the research, I  Interacted with AIB, Age Action Ireland and The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation all showing significant interest in the research area and design approach.

Shane O'Donnell
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Science

Postgraduate Studies Supervisor: Dr. Noel Richardson

Project title: Finding your mojo: a proposal for engaging young men in a disadvantaged rural community.

In my initial year as a postgraduate student at (Formerly IT Carlow), I have been continually impressed by the rigorous academic standards and procedures that are in place for all postgraduate students and struck by the progressive and ambitious focus within the institute. I have been granted numerous opportunities to further my skills as a researcher in my first year and multiple funding opportunities has allowed me to attend and present my research at national and international conferences. I thoroughly enjoy the collegiate spirit that exists between researchers, who are always willing to help out with one another’s research when possible. The on-going commitment to the development of postgraduate research, including dedicated infrastructure and support for postgraduate students and regular contact with an academic supervisor, has created the perfect environment for me to excel in my field.