DSA Ireland Postgraduate Researchers Working Group

Postgraduate researchers are a key constituency in the growth of DSA Ireland, and in the growth of a dynamic and informed development sector more broadly. Postgraduate students have been engaged in the governance and operations of the association as it has evolved, working to develop opportunities for postgraduate researchers and helping to achieve the wider aims and objectives of DSA Ireland.

The postgraduate researchers constituency play a pivotal role in the workings of DSA Ireland, from promoting postgraduate member interests in the activities of DSA Ireland, to furthering opportunities for learning, dissemination and network building.

To further these goals, the Postgraduate Researchers Working Group formed at the 2013 DSA Ireland Postgraduate Research Workshop to support postgraduate interests within DSA Ireland and grow the membership of postgraduate students within DSA Ireland.

The Postgraduate Researchers Working Group is made up of students from across different institutions and research interests. This Working Group does not necessarily focus on a particular research area but instead provides a venue for enhancing postgraduate engagement with DSA Ireland and for promoting communication and opportunities across a wider postgraduate network. Members of this group have been involved in several initiatives, including organising a half-day DSAI-TIDI-TCD event hosted as part of TIDI Development Research Week 2013.

Further activities are being planned, including the annual DSA Ireland Postgraduate Workshop and will be available on the events page or communicated through the DSA Ireland Postgraduate Network Mailing list.

Mailing List for DSA Ireland Postgraduate Researchers Network

The mailing list for the DSA Ireland Postgraduate Researchers Network is a platform for sharing information, engaging in discussion, notifying about events, requesting help, or posting opportunities that are of interest to postgraduate researchers. Core participants are postgraduate researchers engaged in the international development community in Ireland. Other postgraduate researchers interested in development issues are equally welcome to join.

To sign up, please e-mail:


Member Profiles

Mohammad Amir Anwar (TCD)

Mohammad Amir Anwar recently graduated from TCD. He finished his Ph.D in Geography. His PhD analysed the broader processes of liberalisation and globalisation in India. It investigated the impacts of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in India on the lives and livelihoods of the local population where these zones are being developed. His research and teaching interests are Globalisation, Marxian Political Economy, Development Geography, Economic Geography, ICTs and development, International Financial Institutions, India and Africa. He has previously taught modules on ‘Globalisation’ for Junior Sophister and ‘Research Seminars’ for Senior Freshman years in the Department of Geography in Trinity College. He has also previously worked as a Research Assistant on a project called ‘The role of information and communication technologies in enterprise development and industrial change in Africa’ directed by Prof. Padraig Carmody (Principal Investigator) and funded by IRCHSS (2011-2012). A journal article titled, ‘The Diffusion and Impacts of Information and Communication Technology on Tourism in the Western Cape, South Africa’ co-authored with Prof. Carmody was recently published in Urban Forum.

He regularly contributes to various media outlets and college newspaper and magazines on issues related to geopolitics, UN, Middle East and international financial institutions etc.

Carlos Bruen (RCSI)

Carlos Bruen is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health Medicine. He is also Programme Administrator for the Structured Population and Health-Services Research Education (SPHeRE) Programme. He previously worked as a researcher on the Global Health Initiatives (GHIs) in Africa research consortium, a project exploring the health-systems effects of GHIs in southern African countries and the impact of GHI finance on the health and wider aid landscape. He has also contributed to the Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives Network (GHIN), a network of researchers from 22 countries, as well as to a number of other health-systems research commissioned projects with non-governmental organisations and multilateral agencies. Prior to this he completed an MSc (UCD), after which he worked for several years as a Teaching & Research Fellow in the Equality Studies Centre, UCD, coordinating and contributing to modules in global politics and development, and postgraduate research methods training.

Research Interests include: global health policy, systems and governance; health policy analysis

Aaron Clark-Ginsberg (UCD)

Aaron Clark-Ginsberg is a PhD candidate at the UCD Centre for Humanitarian Action. His research examines the factors influencing the way disaster risk reduction policy is implemented by NGOs. It is in partnership with Concern Worldwide and involves travel to approximately 10 countries to examine Concern programmes. Aaron is also responsible for developing much of the centre’s undergraduate humanitarian education programming. Aaron has a master’s in humanitarian action from UCD and spent several years working as a wildland firefighter in the US prior to joining the centre.

Research interests include: disaster risk reduction; resilience; the sociology of risk; NGOs.

Yao Han (UCD)

Yao (Sara) Han, funded by the Erasmus Mundus Europe Asia scholarship, is a Ph.D candidate in Quantitative Social Sciences program at School of Politics and International Relations and Geary Institute of University College Dublin. She obtained her master degree in public administration (regional development and policy) at School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University in China in 2012. During her master study, she was a research fellow to China Case Center for Public Policy and Management and a vice director to the Youth Development Research Center of Tsinghua University. She was an exchange student at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of National University of Singapore in 2011. She also undertook postgraduate training courses on regional economics at School of Government of Peking University during 2009-2011. Prior to her master study, she had been a research assistant at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of Tsinghua University for about two years. She also did some assistance work in EU-China Managers Exchange and Training Program when she was an undergraduate student.

Research Interests: Regional Development; International Political Economy; Quantitative Methods; Cross-strait Relations; Sino-African Relations

Nita Mishra (UCC)

Nita Mishra (Indian) is currently enrolled at UCC for a PhD and is researching on the practice of rights based approaches with a focus on India. She has worked in India with international donors, NGOs, and rural communities on issues of development induced displacement, women's rights, poverty, forestry Bill, and tribal communities. As part of her work she has been involved in monitoring and evaluation of development projects, written reports, bringing the State and civil society actors together on many occasions to discuss policy level implications of development related issues. In Ireland, she is a member of the Board of Directors of Comhlamh, and a Student member in the Steering Committee of Development Studies Association, Ireland. She has published poetry in an Anthology of Irish Migrant Poetry, and has written many research papers on development issues. She has presented papers in international conferences on the same, has been a guest lecture on a few occasions, and organized conferences, workshops and seminars. Voluntary contributions are manifold.

Benjamin Mallon (St Patricks College)

Benjamin Mallon is a PhD Researcher and Irish Research Council Scholar within the Department of Education at St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra (Dublin City University). After seven years of teaching experience in the United Kingdom, Ben completed a MA in Education at University College Dublin before embarking on his doctoral studies. His research focuses on the relationship between education and conflict, in particular educational initiatives aimed at addressing conflict and building peace. Ben’s current research, supported by the Irish Research Council, examines young people’s experiences and perceptions of responsibility and reconciliation within post-conflict peace-building education programmes.

Research Interests: Education & conflict; peace-building education; Development Education.

Olivia Wilkinson (TCD)

Olivia Wilkinson is a PhD Candidate at the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin. She is the recipient of a Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship for her PhD research entitled Humanitarian Action in a Post-Secular World: Secular Humanitarian Organisations in Religious Contexts. She previously worked as Research and Programme Assistant at the UCD Centre for Humanitarian Action supporting the delivery of the MSc in Humanitarian Action, undertaking research for the Network on Humanitarian Assistance (NOHA) Observatory project and coordinating large EU grant proposals for DG Education and Culture (Erasmus Mundus) and DG Research and Innovation (Marie Curie). She has also previously interned with the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, the Irish Red Cross, and the Business Disability Forum. Olivia was awarded her undergraduate degree in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge and her Master’s degree in International Humanitarian Action from Université catholique de Louvain. During the Master’s, she was also a Visiting Scholar at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University, New York.

Hang Xiong (UCD)

Hang Xiong is a PhD Candidate in School of Sociology and Geary Institute. He previously worked for five years as a teaching and research fellow in Yangtze University, China. He has published several papers on economic development, international trade and natural resource management.

Current research interests include: economic development; cooperative behaviour; and complex systems.