About the project:
The Irish legal profession is often signalled for not being diverse enough. While research on gender diversity in the Irish legal profession has increased in the last fifteen years, there is virtually no research on why certain groups, like ethnic minorities and citizens from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, are still not sufficiently represented in the Irish legal profession.

This ambitious project will contribute to the debate on why ethnic minorities and citizens from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds are still not sufficiently represented in the Irish legal profession. In particular, this project will explore why ethnic minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged school pupils, college students and law graduates are less likely to become practising lawyers (i.e. solicitors or barristers).

This major interdisciplinary project lasting two years will provide the successful candidate with a unique opportunity to importantly contribute to current and new initiatives to improve access to law degrees and to the legal profession for ethnic minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged citizens. For instance, this research could inform actions to implement the National Access Plan 2022-2028.

The Newman Fellow will be based in UCD Sutherland School of Law and will work collaboratively with a close network of researchers from UCD, like the ‘Law in the classroom’ project lead, the Human Rights Research Centre, the Equalities Studies Centre and the School of Education.

The Fellow will also have the opportunity to interact with a broad range of key stakeholders, including the Law Society of Ireland, the Bar of Ireland, the Higher Education Authority, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission or the Irish Association of Law Teachers.

The successful candidate will gain experience of working with a large-scale interdisciplinary mixed-methods research project, engaging with diverse stakeholders and audiences in the fields of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), law and education, and developing high quality publications and other research outputs.

Candidate Details:
Applications are invited from candidates who hold a doctoral degree in Law, Sociology or Education. The successful applicant will have a strong track record of high-quality research and publication. Candidates must have completed and passed their doctoral examination before commencement of the post.

The Fellowship is designed for a creative thinker, writer and researcher with a strong interest on investigating avenues to improve access to the legal profession for under-represented groups.

Candidates should be able to demonstrate the potential to make a real difference in our understanding of the factors that shape individuals’ perceptions of the legal profession and that underpin their decisions to study law and/or become legal professionals.

They will also need to provide evidence of the ability to work with material and ideas from several disciplines and have a strong grasp of current research on diversity in education and/or the legal profession. Interest/experience in conducting empirical qualitative and/or quantitative research is desirable.

Competition Details:
The university adheres to a range of equality, diversity and inclusion policies, and we welcome applications from everyone, including those who identify with any of the protected characteristics that are set out in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy.

The Newman Fellowship comes with a tax-free stipend of €35k p.a. and is tenable for two years. The successful candidate must register as a fulltime student for the duration of the Fellowship term.

The Matheson Diversity in Law Newman Fellow will work under the supervision and mentorship of Dr Sara Benedí Lahuerta, Assistant Professor in Law.

How to Apply:

  • The candidate must complete the Newman Fellowship Candidate Form and provide an updated and detailed CV. Candidates should also include a covering letter outlining how their qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position.
  • Two nominated referees must separately submit their confidential reports using the Newman Fellowship Referee Form
  • All documents should be sent to: newmanfellowship@ucdfoundation.ie with ‘Matheson Newman Fellowship’ in the subject line*.

Further Information:
Informal enquiries regarding this Fellowship may be directed to: newmanfellowship@ucdfoundation.ie.

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 17:00 on 16 June 2023

The Fellowship start date will be arranged with the successful candidate and will ideally commence no later than September 2023.

*If your computer’s security settings are preventing you from downloading the application forms, please request a Candidate Application Pack by emailing: newmanfellowship@ucdfoundation.ie