Staff

To contact a member of staff by email, click their name and then click the mail icon.

  • John Regan, Ph.D.

    CEO

    Prior to joining the ERC as CEO, John Regan was Senior Manager with responsibility for Strategy & Research at the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), which he joined in 2013. At ComReg, John’s focus was on the management and delivery of ComReg’s research and strategic planning functions, developing ComReg’s research strategy and leading economic inputsRead more…

  • Damian Downes, M.A, P.G. Dip. in Corporate Governance, MBA

    Head of Governance and Corporate Affairs

    Damian Downes is Head of Governance and Corporate Affairs at the ERC. He was previously Director of Corporate Services at the Medical Council (2019 – 2021) and College Secretary and Registrar at the National College of Art and Design (2011 – 2019). Prior to that he was the Chief Executive at Kilkenny Arts Festival (2007Read more…

  • Aidan Clerkin, B.Sc., Ph.D.

    Research Fellow

    Since joining the ERC in 2007, Aidan’s work has included large-scale national and international assessments of student achievement at primary level, including TIMSS, PIRLS, and National Assessments, as well as study of social and personal development and student participation in Transition Year at post-primary level. He has also overseen the development of the ERC DOTSRead more…

  • Emer Delaney, B.A. (Mod)., M.Phil., Ph.D.

    Research Fellow

    Emer is a Research Fellow with responsibility for PIRLS and a number of aspects of the ERC’s test development programme. She is the National Research Coordinator for PIRLS 2021 and a member of the international Reading Development Group for PIRLS 2026. Emer managed the development and standardisation of the New Drumcondra Primary Reading Tests (2018)Read more…

  • Brenda Donohue, B.A., Ph.D.

    Research Fellow

    Brenda is a Research Fellow at the Education Research Centre, specialising in Reading Literacy. She worked on the PIRLS 2016 assessments of reading, played a central role in developing test content of the Drumcondra Post-Primary Reading Test, and also worked on the redevelopment of the Drumcondra Reading Tests for primary schools. She is currently NationalRead more…

  • Lorraine Gilleece, B.A. (Mod)., Dip. Stats., Ph.D.

    Research Fellow

    Lorraine is a Research Fellow at the ERC with overall responsibility for the research strand on educational disadvantage and the evaluation of the DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) programme. She has a broad range of experience, particularly in the analysis of complex large scale survey data. She has overseen or worked on large-scaleRead more…

  • David Millar, B.Sc., D.Phil.

    Research Fellow

    David is a Research Fellow at the ERC. He has expertise in methodologies, including sampling, weighting, complex data techniques and test analysis and scaling. David has D.Phil. in psychology from Ulster University and has worked at the Educational Research Centre since 1994. His areas of expertise include survey sampling, test construction, and the scoring andRead more…

  • Rachel Perkins, B.A., M.Psych.Sc., Ph.D.

    Research Fellow

    Rachel is a Research Fellow at the ERC, with responsibility for TIMSS at Eight grade and PISA 2022. She ‎was also National Project Manager for TALIS in 2008 and PISA in 2009 and 2012. Rachel has an ‎M.Psych.Sc. in Health Psychology from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a Ph.D. from Dublin City University.Read more…

  • Gerry Shiel, B.Ed., M.S.Ed., Ph.D.

    Research Fellow

    Gerry has been a Research Fellow at the ERC since 1993 and has made significant contributions to standardised testing and large-scale national and international assessments. Currently, he is working on the Gaeltacht Schools Recognition Scheme evaluation study. He holds a B. Ed. (NUI St Patrick’s College), an M. S. Ed. in Reading (Western Illinois University),Read more…

  • Rachel Cunningham, B.A. (Mod), M.Sc.

    Research Associate

    Rachel is a Research Associate at the ERC and specialises in mathematics education. She had a central role in developing test content for the Drumcondra Post-Primary Test – Maths and is currently managing the development of the new and updated Drumcondra Primary Maths Tests. Rachel returned to work at the ERC in February 2015, havingRead more…

  • Mary Delaney, B.A., M.Sc.

    Research Associate

    Mary Delaney is a Research Associate at the ERC, involved in the data management of TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) at primary level. She has also worked on the administration of PISA 2018 (Programme for International Student Assessment), and on analysis of PIRLS 2016 (Progress in International Reading Literacy) data. Prior toRead more…

  • Sylvia Denner, M.Soc.Sc., Dip.Stats.

    Research Associate

    Sylvia Denner joined the ERC in 2013 and is currently working on PISA (Programme of International ‎Student Assessment). She has also worked on the evaluation of DEIS (Delivering Equality of ‎Opportunity in Schools) and data management for TIMSS (Trends in Maths and Science Study). ‎Sylvia previously worked in the ESRI as a research analyst inRead more…

  • Anastasios Karakolidis, B.Ed., M.Sc., Ph.D.

    Research Associate

    Anastasios Karakolidis is a Research Associate at the ERC and he is currently National Project Manager for PISA 2025. He also works on the National Assessments of Mathematics and English Reading (NAMER) and has been involved in several other research projects in the Centre. He holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Ioannina,Read more…

  • Joanne Kiniry, B.A., M.Sc.

    Research Associate

    Joanne is a Research Associate specialising in Reading Literacy and Assessment Development. Having contributed to many projects in the ERC, including the 2009 and 2014 National Assessments, Joanne is project manager for the 2020 National Assessments. Joanne’s principal research interests lie in the area of reading comprehension and assessment construction. In tandem with her workRead more…

  • Gráinne McHugh, B.A., P.M.E., H.Dip. (Data Analytics)

    Research Associate

    Gráinne is a Research Associate where her role involves the analysis of the 2018 PISA data for thematic reports. Prior to joining the ERC in May 2020, she worked as a post-primary music and maths teacher. She holds a BA in Maths and Music from NUI Maynooth, a Professional Masters in Education from NUI GalwayRead more…

  • Sharon Nelis, B.Sc., Ph.D.

    Research Associate

    Sharon joined the ERC in May 2019 and will contribute to the research strand on educational disadvantage and the evaluation of the DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) programme. She has a background in randomised controlled trials and observational / cohort studies in ageing and dementia.

  • Helena Nic An Fhailí, B.A., M.Ed.

    Research Associate

    Is comhlach taighde í Helena a oibríonn ar Fhorbairt Tástála (uimhearthacht agus litearthacht). Sular thosaigh sí leis an bhForas Taighde, ba chomhairleoir í ar Fhoireann na Gaeilge leis an tSeirbhís um Fhorbairt Ghairmiúil do Mhúinteoirí. Tá céim aici sa Nua-Ghaeilge agus Socheolaíocht agus bhain sí amach máistreacht san oideachas lán-Ghaeilge agus Gaeltachta i 2021. FaoiRead more…

  • Conall Ó Duibhir, B.A., M.Sc.

    Research Associate

    Conall is a Research Associate working on Test Development (numeracy and literacy). Conall is a fluent Irish speaker and has a keen interest in Irish-medium education and the impact of language of assessment on student achievement. Conall previously worked on the implementation of PISA 2022 in the Centre (2019-2023). Conall holds a B.A. in SociologyRead more…

  • Adrian O’Flaherty, B.Sc., PG.Dip.Bioinformatics, Dip.Stats.

    Research Associate

    Adrian works as a Research Associate at the Educational Research Centre (ERC). His work focusses on aspects of the computer-based testing system DOTS (Drumcondra Online Testing System), mainly around test development and new DOTS system functionalities. His primary research interests are development and delivery of online assessments, and he was part of a team thatRead more…

  • Vasiliki Pitsia, B.Ed., M.Sc., Ph.D.

    Research Associate

    Vasiliki is a Research Associate at the ERC, specialising in quantitative research methodology and statistical analysis techniques. She is involved in national and international large-scale assessments, including the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), and the National Assessments of Mathematics and English Reading (NAMER). Additionally,Read more…

  • Fionnuala Shortt, B.A.Psych., M.Cog. Sci., M.Psych.

    Research Associate

    Fionnuala Shortt joined the ERC in January 2017 (having worked here in 2001-2004) and her responsibilities include working on TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) as well as on preparation of test and questionnaire instruments for various studies. Previously, she worked in Australia for a number of years, where her roles included workingRead more…

  • Sarah McAteer, B.Sc., M.Res.

    Research Associate

    Sarah McAteer is a Research Associate at the ERC and is currently Data Manager for PIRLS 2026 (Progress in International Reading Literacy). Sarah has previously worked as part of the national team conducting PISA 2018 (Programme for International Student Assessment), and on analysis and reporting of PIRLS 2016 data. Sarah has a B.Sc. in Applied Psychology fromRead more…

  • Thuy Dinh, B.A., M.Sc., Ph.D.

    Research Assistant

    Thuy joined the ERC in May 2023, and currently works on educational disadvantage and the evaluation of the DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) programme. She holds a MSc. in Public Health from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Essex, UK. Prior to joining the ERC,Read more…

  • Caitríona Fitzgerald, B.Soc.Sci., Ph.D.

    Research Assistant

    Caitríona joined the ERC in April 2019. She is currently working on the evaluation of DEIS (Delivering Equality of ‎Opportunity in Schools). Caitríona recently worked as a co-researcher on a project (Doodle Families) relating to parental perceptions of childhood literacy (Childhood Development Initiative, Tallaght). She has also lectured final year undergraduate students for the DepartmentRead more…

  • Eva Moran, B.Sc., M.Sc.

    Research Assistant

    Eva works on the evaluation of the Digital Learning Framework.  A member of staff since 2008, she has previously worked on the evaluation of the SSP (Schools Support Programme) under DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools). She holds a B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Ulster, and a M.Sc. in Evidence based SocialRead more…

  • Brendan O’Neill, B.A., H.Dip.

    Research Assistant

    Brendan has been a research assistant in the ERC since December 2021, and is currently working on data analysis and reporting for PIRLS 2021. He has a B.A. in International Marketing & Languages (German & French) from DCU, as well as a Higher Diploma in Social Policy from UCD, where he has also lectured inRead more…

  • George Piccio, B.A., M.Sc.

    Research Assistant

    George joined the ERC in July 2020 where he has been working on the new online testing system for primary and post-primary schools. He previously worked as an ESL teacher in Ireland and abroad. He holds a B.A. in English and Psychology from UCC and an M.Sc. in Applied Psychology from DBS.​

  • Keishia Taylor, B.A., M.Sc., Ph.D.

    Research Assistant

    Keishia joined the ERC as a Research Assistant in October 2022. She holds a M.Sc. in Applied Social Research from Trinity College Dublin and has studied at the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, University College London. Her research interests include disadvantage, youth wellbeing, spatial inequalities, health behaviours, and life course studies.

  • Natasha Toole, B.A., M.Sc.

    Research Assistant

    Natasha joined the ERC as a research assistant in March 2021 to work on the new online testing system for primary and post- primary schools. She holds a B.A. in Psychology & Sociology from the University of Limerick and a M.Sc. in Government and Politics from University College Cork.

  • Theresa Walsh, B.A. (Mod.), M.Sc., P.G. Dip. (Stats.), H.Dip. (Ed.), H.Dip. (Data Analytics)

    Research Assistant

    Theresa Walsh has worked at the ERC since February 2018. Her responsibilities include training and technical support for DOTS (Drumcondra Online Testing System), standardisation of the Spatial Abstract Reasoning Test, and preparation of both online and paper-based standardised tests. Prior to joining the ERC, she worked in the CSO and in Inland Fisheries Ireland. SheRead more…

  • Jasmine Byrne, B.A., M.A.

    Research Assistant

    Jasmine joined the ERC as a Research Assistant in April 2024. She is currently working on the Progress in International Reading and Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2026, which examines reading achievement in 4th class pupils. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology, and an M.A. in Psychology, both from the University of Limerick.

  • Andrew Keating, B.Sc., H.Dip.

    Research Assistant

    Andrew joined the ERC in April 2024. Andrew joined to help with the implementation of the Programme for International Student Assessment 2025. He holds a B.Sc in Chemistry and a H.Dip in Psychology from University College Dublin

  • Kervin Soobrayen, B.A., H. Dip.

    Research Assistant

    Kervin Soobrayen is a Research Assistant at the Educational Research Centre since April 2024. He is currently working on PISA 2022, PISA 2025 and the Digital Learning Framework. Kervin holds a BA in History and Linguistics from University College Dublin. He then went on to obtain a HDip/BA in Psychology in UCD. He is currentlyRead more…

  • Ciara O’Hara, B.Sc., M.Sc., P.G. Dip. (Data Analytics)

    Research Assistant

    Ciara joined the ERC as a Research Assistant in April 2024. She is currently working on the Post Primary Assessment and Diagnosis – English (PPAD-E), which assesses post-primary literacy skills. She holds a B.Sc. in Physics Technology from the Dublin Institute of Technology, an M.Sc. by Research in Physics (Photonics) from the Cork Institute of Technology,Read more…

  • Órla McGurk, B.A., P.G. Dip. (Management and Digital Business.), M.Ed., Ph.D.

    Research Assistant

    Órla is a research assistant working on an Scéim Aitheantas Scoileanna Gaeltachta (The Gaeltacht Schools Recognition Scheme) since May 2024. Prior to working with the ERC, Órla was involved with Irish language community development research in Belfast. Órla holds a B.A. undergraduate degree in Irish and Celtic Studies and a M.Ed degree in Special EducationalRead more…

  • John Coyle, B.Sc., P.G. Dip. (Stats.), P.G. Dip. (Information Systems Professional).

    Data Manager

    John started in the ERC as a computer support person in 1995, then in 1999 he became Systems Administrator, his current role is Data Manager. As well as looking after the data, he also helps with IT issues. He previously worked in IT for the National Rehabilitation Board. He completed a B.Sc. in Maynooth asRead more…

  • Gemma Cherry B.A., M.Res., Ph.D.

    Data Manager

    Gemma is a Data Manager at the ERC and is currently working on PISA (Programme of International Student Assessment). Gemma previously worked at Queen’s University Belfast as a Lecturer in Sociology and Quantitative Methods. Her research interests include assessment, educational inequalities, psychometrics and advanced Quantitative Methods. Gemma has published papers in peer-reviewed academic journals andRead more…

  • Anne Comey, BCL, LLM.

    Senior Administrator

    Anne is a Senior Administrator for the ERC responsible for all office management issues ‎from accounts and HR to the general day to day running of the office. She joined the ERC in 2015 ‎after working for the French Embassy and the Planning and Transport sector as an Accounts and HR ‎Manager. She has aRead more…

  • Peter Kennedy, B.Sc., MCP

    IT Manager

    Peter is the ICT Manager at the ERC, having been appointed in January 2021.  His role is to oversee all aspects of IT in the ERC. He has a BSc in IT Management as well as other IT related qualifications that include MCP, CCNA and ITIL.  He is also a Professional member of the IrishRead more…

  • Patricia Gaffney, B.A., Grad.Dip.

    Higher Executive Officer

    Working as part of the ERC’s Administration Team, Patricia has responsibility for a number of corporate services areas including health & safety and data protection. She is also involved in office management and governance matters. Prior to joining the ERC in 2016, Patricia worked as the European Business Partner for a multinational organisation, with responsibilityRead more…

  • Claire Kenny, B.A.

    HEO in Test Department

    Claire joined the ERC as a High Executive Officer (HEO) in 2022, overseeing the Test Department. Previously, she worked at the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) in Learning and Development (L&D). Before her public service roles, Claire gained extensive experience in the publishing retail sector, focusing on sales, customer service, staff training, andRead more…

  • Peter Carr, B.Bus. (Hons) in Business Studies, ongoing ACCA accreditation.

    Higher Executive Officer - Accounts

    Peter joined the ERC after working in finance and administration in the City of Dublin ETB, where he was responsible for varying finance functions including financial reporting to schools and colleges under the CDETB umbrella, and to external funding bodies such as the Department of Education, SOLAS and TUSLA. Prior to joining the ETB, heRead more…

  • Sonia Grogan

    HEO in Procurement

    Sonia joined the ERC in June 2024 as a Higher Executive in Procurement . Previously to this Sonia worked in the City of Dublin Education Training Board for 20 years. During that time Sonia worked in various roles but her long standing role was Procurement. Sonia procured for the school’s colleges and SUSI under theRead more…

  • Katya Queenan, B.A. (Arts) in Foreign Language and Linguistics, ATI Accounting Technician, ACA.

    Executive Officer (Accounts)

    Katya joined the ERC in March 2023 after working in accountancy practice, finance, and administration since 2017, where she was responsible for accounts functions including; preparation of accounts and corporate financial statements as well as for partnerships and sole-traders; audit of the accounts; cash, bank and credit/debtor reconciliations; tax returns. Before working in accountancy practice,Read more…

  • Hertz O’Flynn, B.A. in Human Resources, Dip. in Organisational Psychology, CIPD Associate‎.

    Executive Officer (Human Resources)

    Hertz was appointed as an Executive Officer to the ERC in April 2022. He is responsible for general administration in the HR Department and provides support to senior management and staff members across the organisation. With over 10 years’ experience in the area, he has a B.A. in Human Resources, Dip. in Organisational Psychology, CertificateRead more…

  • Lynn Jackson, B.A.

    Executive Officer (Projects)

    Lynn joined the ERC in June 2019. Before Joining the ERC, her work experience includes working with City of Dublin Education Training Board, Student Universal Support Ireland and the Education Shared Business Service on their new Finance project. Now working as part of the ERC’s Administration Team, Lynn  is the Project and Procurement Officer andRead more…

  • Leo Devlin

    Executive Officer

    Leo has been with the ERC since 2013, working in the Test Department to provide teachers and school administrators with advice regarding their testing needs, and managing the provision of test materials where needed. With responsibility for supplying tests and maintaining relationships with schools, he strives to provide excellent customer service at all times.

  • Paddy O’Reilly, B.A.

    Clerical Officer

    Paddy joined the ERC in 2022, having worked as a Clerical Officer in An Garda Síochána HQ. Prior to that, he worked as an ESL teacher for over ten years, teaching exam preparation classes. He is responsible for general administration in the organisation. He shares his time between the Test Department and the Centre.

  • Cian Ó Raghallaigh, B.A., M.A. Journalism

    Clerical Officer

    Cian was appointed as a clerical officer to the ERC in February 2021. He is responsible for general administration in the organisation. He joined the ERC after working for a number of Universities and a public service body. He has taught English as a second language and has worked as a journalist. He has aRead more…