University College Dublin

UCD is the largest university in Ireland with 1,150 academic staff, more than 1,650 PhD students, producing 25% of Ireland’s PhD graduates each year.

UCD holds a ranking in the top 200 universities in the world & has supported many FP7 grants (including ERC advance grants) with a success rate of above the average across the EU (19%). UCD has managed European projects and worked extensively participating in many others.

SMARTLab (   and also & The UCD Inclusive Design Research Centre of Ireland (

The SMARTlab mission is to bring together teams of artists, scholars, technologists and policy makers to share a commitment to creative technology innovation for real social change. SMARTLab is led by Prof. Lizbeth Goodman, who also founded and directs the new iDRC as the European centre of inclusive design excellence, in partnership with the Canadian ‘mother ship’ IDRC at OCADU. SMARTlab has extensive expertise in facilitating large research projects & PhDs in interdisciplinary, applied research subjects, and the new IDRC focuses that work on the needs and contributions to be made by an all-inclusive society. Prof. Goodman is currently principal supervisor for over 10 PhD students, has supervised over 32 to successful completion & externally examined in excess of 30 PhDs. She has published 13 books and over 30 additional peer reviewed papers and publications including contributions to government white papers, in disciplines ranging from Literature and Literacy, to Educational Technology; and Performance Tools for Creative Expression.

Key Infrastructure includes: UCD as a member of Universitas 21 (21 top universities from across the EU) and the Maastricht Consortium (7 leading research intensive EU universities). Key facilities include: Four libraries covering material related to this project plus access to TCD’s library; NovaUCD facilitates commercial realisation of students’ work; PhD seminars (with over 35 international PhD students); multidisciplinary research staff at >5 world-leading HEI’s; departments across UCD including Computer Science, Digital Media, Education, Art History, Architecture. Access to the UCD-TCD-QUB Innovation Alliance providing a unique training opportunity in entrepreneurship.

UCD’s capacity to mentor & tutor PhD students, and lead on major projecs are clearly demonstrated by the range of grants that have been awarded to the university. This is evidenced by UCD’s track record of supporting 25 Marie Curie contracts under FP6 and 37 Marie Curie contracts under FP7 (to date). UCD also provide a professional development programme open to all PhD students including: time management for researchers; advanced communication skills; writing effective research proposals. Moreover, opportunities for PhD students to become involved in teaching and developing courses exist within UCD too.

  • Key Contacts

    Professor Lizbeth Goodman ( is Professor of Inclusive Design for Education and Chair of Creative Technology Innovation at University College Dublin, where she is Director of SMARTlab, and of the new UCD Inclusive Design Institute of Ireland, which brings together experts from all the colleges and disciplines supporting the wide remit of ‘learning and communication for all.’ She is also an Executive Board member of the Innovation Academy and was nominated Chair of the Social Science Committee of the Royal Irish Academy in 2012.In 2008 she was awarded the top prizes of Best Woman in Academia and the Public Sector, and Best Woman in Technology, by the international Blackberry Rim judging panel to promote women in Industry and  Socially Responsible Technology and Entrepreneurship.  Lizbeth founded the SMARTlab in the UK in it’s first iteration in 1993, and has developed the award winning practice-based PhD programme through the institute, along with the associated MAGIC Multimedia and Games Innovation Centre and Gamelab, which Lizbeth designed with industry collaborators as a prime knowledge transfer space in the London docklands. Lizbeth and her teams specialise in ground up technology solutions for people of all levesl of cognitive and physical ability, from mainstream learners of all ages to ‘special’ and ‘gifted’ learners and lifelong learners in the developed and developing worlds. Prior to joining UCD, Lizbeth was Director of Research for Futurelab Education, working with David Puttnam’s team to establish innovative platforms for the future of education in a context of global change. She is known as an expert in Digital Inclusion, including learning models for communities at risk. She is an award winning advocate of community-based ethical learning and teaching models using interactive tools and games to inspire and engage learners of all ages and enable the use of new creative technologies for expression vocally, in writing and with movement and music. She has published 13 books and many papers, and is at work on a new series for MIT Press.