Research Assistant in Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fiontar agus Scoil na Gaeilge Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in conjunction with DCU Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub Fixed Term One Year Contract

Dublin City University is a research-intensive, globally-engaged, dynamic institution that is distinguished by both the quality and impact of its graduates and its focus on the translation of knowledge into societal and economic benefit. DCU prepares its students for success in life and in the workplace, by providing a high-quality, rounded education appropriate to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. As Ireland’s University of Enterprise and Transformation, DCU is characterised by a focus on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship and a track-record of effective engagement with various external stakeholders, including the public sector, the voluntary sector, and enterprise sector. The university fosters creativity, innovation and enterprise, and collaboration with commercial, technological, social, arts and cultural enterprises. DCU’s Graduate Attributes scheme specifically encourages students to be creative and enterprising, solutions- oriented and globally engaged. Excellence in its education and research activities has led to DCU’s consistent position in the rankings of the world’s top young universities and its recent recognition by The Sunday Times as University of the Year 2021. DCU now hosts over 18,000 students across five faculties.

Fiontar agus Scoil na Gaeilge, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Fiontar agus Scoil na Gaeilge is an interdisciplinary School which is recognised internationally for the quality of programmes it delivers through the medium of Irish, and for the innovative nature of the teaching, research and work of the academic staff and researchers in a wide range of disciplines, most notably the digital projects. Many staff collaborate with colleagues across the campus not only on language-based topics, but also on topics such as entrepreneurship, finance and online learning. Competency in the Irish language is not a requisite for this position. However, should s/he wish, the successful applicant will have opportunities to engage with Irish language activities in the School and across the campus.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship at DCU

DCU has a well-integrated eco-system for innovation and entrepreneurship for staff and for students. It was highly praised in the 2017 HEInnovate Country Report for Ireland. Entrepreneurship and innovation are part of the curriculum across all five faculties. In addition, students have the benefit of an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub in the U Student Hub, to foster entrepreneurship and innovation among students, most notably through the U-Start programme and student societies such as Enactus DCU and the DCU Start-Up Society. DCU has a longstanding track record of community engagement, most recently illustrated with its newly established Centre for Engaged Research, which promotes collaborative engagement with the community and other stakeholders to address societal challenges.

Background to Project

Fiontar agus Scoil na Gaeilge, in conjunction with the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub in the U Building is currently working on two exciting projects related to social innovation and social entrepreneurship. ‘From Passion to Action’ is funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. ‘Beyond Scale’ is an Erasmus-funded project led by WPZ Research GmbH in Austria, exploring the development of innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education through the use and development of the HEInnovate tool. DCU’s involvement in Beyond Scale is primarily related to social innovation and entrepreneurship. The aim of both projects is to promote, nurture and stimulate the competencies, behaviours and attitudes of social entrepreneurship and social innovation (SEI) within the staff and student community in DCU. This forms part of the University’s current strategic plan Talent, Discovery and Transformation, 2017- 2022, and is an ambitious objective with great potential.

Role Profile

Reporting to the Principal Investigator (PI) of both projects, the role is to assist the PI in running both projects. The successful candidate will be required to assist with the PI in preparing, designing, implementing and reviewing various activities in conjunction with a number of academics across the university, and in conjunction with leaders in the social enterprise, NGO and charity sector in Ireland, as well as with the Erasmus project partners. The purpose of the position is to ensure that both projects are completed in an effective and efficient manner, resulting in a much-enhanced portfolio of learning materials, experiences, and opportunities in the area of social entrepreneurship and social innovation (SEI). The role will be based primarily in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub on the Glasnevin campus, but with some work taking place on the other DCU campuses. The role may suit a candidate considering pursuing PhD studies at a later stage.

Duties and Responsibilities

See job description for full list of duties and responsibilities.

Applicant Requirements

Applicants must have an honours primary degree and ideally a master’s degree. At least one of the degrees would ideally be in the humanities, social sciences, education, business or a related discipline, preferably including an element of social innovation and entrepreneurship.

In addition, it would be desirable if applicants had:

  • At least one year’s work experience in a field related to their studies and/or this position; experience of working in the social enterprise, NGO or charity sector in a paid or voluntary capacity.
  • The ability to work as part of an innovative collaborative team and to innovate in an early- stage organisational environment with multiple stake-holders.
  • The ability to engage with and support collaboration with academic and administrative colleagues within DCU and in the social enterprise, NGO and charity sector.
  • Experience in devising, testing, adapting and revising innovative solutions to social problems.
  • An interest in working in an international European context.
  • A strong ethic and dedication to problem-solving and the creation of innovative solutions to social challenges.
  • Excellent team working skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Very good organisational skills with an ability to prioritise workloads and to work successfully on own initiative.


Mandatory Training

The post holder will be required to undertake the following mandatory compliance training: GDPR, Orientation, and Compliance

Salary Scale: Research Assistant: *€26,609 – €32,596
*Appointment will be commensurate with qualifications and experience, and will be made on the appropriate

Closing Date: 4th January 2021
Applicants should note that they must be available to start employment on 1st February 2021.

Informal Enquiries to: Dr. Emer Ní Bhrádaigh, Assistant Professor, Fiontar agus Scoil na Gaeilge, Dublin City University, Dublin 9. Tel: 353 1 700 8101; Email: Do not send applications to this address. Instead, apply using the procedure set out below.

Application Procedure: Application forms are available from the DCU Vacancies website at Applications must be submitted by e-mail to

Please clearly state the role that you are applying for in your application and email subject line:

Job Ref #RF1454 Research Assistant in Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation. For more information on both projects:

Beyond Scale: &

From Passion to Action: Student Social Innovation

point of the relevant salary scale in line with current Government pay policy.

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Dublin City University is an equal opportunities employer. In line with the Employment Equality Acts 1998 – 2015, the University is committed to equality of treatment for all those who engage with its recruitment, selection and appointment processes. The University’s Athena SWAN Bronze Award signifies the University’s commitment to promoting gender equality and addressing any gender pay gaps. Information on a range of university policies aimed at creating a supportive and flexible work environment are available in the DCU Policy Starter Packs

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