Job offer in Ireland Identifying Barriers and Opportunities to Local Government Climate Action in Ireland at Dublin City University

Funding for: Irish Students; UK Students, EU Students

Dublin City University is a research-intensive, globally-engaged, dynamic institution. It ranks in the top 100 in the QS ranking of universities under 50 years old. DCU’s School of Law and Government is a research active school with world-class faculty. It ranks in the top 200 departments in the world for Politics and International Studies in the 2019 QS subject rankings. The School has a rigorous structured PhD programme and a vibrant, international cohort of almost 50 PhD students.

The PhD project

Ireland is at a critical juncture in transitioning to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy and society. Climate policy cuts across traditional demarcation lines in terms of politics, sectors and geography. Local government is an important but understudied piece in the broader climate governance landscape in Ireland. However, we currently know little about whether and how local authorities in Ireland are integrating climate change into their policymaking. This PhD project is intended to address this important knowledge gap, and to contribute to broader international debates about the role of local government in responding to climate change.

The PhD researcher will be expected to conduct a systematic analysis of policy outputs of all local authorities in Ireland, and to map the institutional landscape of multilevel climate policymaking at national and regional level. In a second step, it is anticipated that the PhD researcher will undertake in depth case studies of climate change policymaking in a number of local authorities. This research would involve conducting longitudinal analysis, including interviews with key informants, to identify whether and how these local authorities are integrating climate change into their policymaking and operations, and the factors that enable or constrain local authorities in doing so.

The position

This is a full time PhD position funded for four years. The student will be supervised by Dr. Diarmuid Torney. They will be provided with training in qualitative and quantitative research methods and given the opportunity to undertake other coursework as appropriate, and to develop relevant transferrable skills. They will be encouraged to attend international conferences. Some funding for fieldwork and conference attendance will be provided. The student will be subject to an annual progress review. Progression will be dependent on demonstration of satisfactory performance.


The successful candidate is required to:

  • Hold a Master’s degree in political science, law, public administration, environmental studies, or a cognate discipline (or equivalent) with first class honours or high second class honours;
  • Have a demonstrated understanding of climate change politics and policy;
  • Have excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Pre-existing knowledge of Irish politics is an asset;
  • Relevant professional experience is an asset.

Informal Enquiries to

Dr. Diarmuid Torney, Assistant Professor, School of Law and Government: Queries will be answered the week commencing Monday 22 July onwards.

Application Procedure

Applications should be submitted by email to using the subject line “EPA local climate governance PhD scholarship”. Applications should include the following:

  • One-page motivation letter explaining the candidate’s interest in pursuing a PhD on this topic;
  • Curriculum vitae listing all academic qualifications, relevant research experience and previous publications;
  • Sample of written work (2,000–4,000 words);
  • Copy of the highest degree obtained and transcript of academic grades;
  • Contact details of at least two references.

Start date: 23 September 2019 or ASAP thereafter

Interviews: Week commencing Monday 12 August


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here