PhD Opportunity: The development, evaluation and monitoring of an optimal housing system in Ireland through a comparative policy analysis

Technological University Dublin

  • 34 user views 0 comments
  • Dublin
    Technological University Dublin
    Aug 16, 2019

Supervisor name & contact details:

Name: Dr Lorcan Sirr
School: Real Estate and Construction Management
Email: [email protected]

Funding Arrangements

Fully Funded (ie Scholarship, Fees & Materials funding available)

Funding Agency

Independent News and Media

Funding Details

Student Stipend                  € 16,000pa

Materials/ Travel etc         € 2,000pa

Fees                                 included for up to four years

Subject Area

Housing. Policy.

Title of the Project

“The development, evaluation and monitoring of an optimal housing system in Ireland through a comparative policy analysis.”

Project Description

In its 2018 report, Urban Development Land, Housing and Infrastructure: Fixing Ireland’s Broken System, the National Social and Economic Council of Ireland (NESC) described the Irish housing system as “broken”, also referring to it as: speculative, volatile and expensive. The land system that underpins Irish housing is dysfunctional: land is not available in appropriate locations at a cost that will allow affordable housing to be provided (NESC: 2018).

Despite numerous advisory papers from the Kenny Report of 1973 to the more recent NESC series of reports, the Irish housing system remains less effective than other policy areas: it only seems to deliver occasionally what other systems deliver as a matter of course and has many wider impacts. Numerous questions then present themselves, including: 

·         What should a functioning housing system do, including its outcomes and impact? 

·         What theories and evidence underpin policies that cause the system to operate as it does?

·         With reference to other policy areas and jurisdictions, what are appropriate methods of policy development, evaluation and monitoring?

These questions and more form the basis of the new exploratory TU Dublin/INM Ph.D. scholarship in housing. The project will use qualitative and quantitative analysis as well as fieldwork, if appropriate.

Goals of the project are:

1.       To identify gaps in housing policy formation, evaluation and monitoring with reference to other policy areas.

2.       To challenge existing policies and theories about housing in general, and Irish housing policy specifically. 

3.       To develop tools for monitoring and evaluation of housing policy.

4.       To generate new theories applicable to the housing system in Ireland.

5.       To contribute to knowledge through the development of a new multi-variate, multi-level form of housing system for an Irish context.

6.       To publish at least three peer-reviewed papers in internationally recognised journals from the ongoing doctoral research, and to generate areas for further research.


Student requirements for this project
In this Ph.D. project, we are seeking a highly-motivated candidate who is committed to research, self-driven, and willing to develop quantitative and qualitative skills. The candidate must be motivated to solve complex issues underpinning housing systems and the relevant theories; and whom we expect to be able to develop not only new forms of housing systems (through policy, etc.), but also to challenge existing theories and to create new ones.

Applications are therefore invited from candidates who meet the following criteria. If a sufficient number of suitable applications are received, they will be shortlisted and candidates invited for interview.


·         A masters degree from an internationally-recognised third-level university in one or more of the following: urban/town planning; human geography; sociology; real estate; housing studies; philosophy; law; equality studies; politics.

·         An ability to express oneself clearly verbally and in writing, preferably demonstrated through academic publications.

·         Knowledge of policy formation, evaluation and systems of monitoring.

·         An ability to analyse multi-faceted problems, qualitatively and quantitatively, including the collection and generation of new data.

·         Ability to participate in relevant conferences, and media coverage.

·         An IELTS of 6.0 or above is essential.


·         Research or practice-based experience of policy evaluation, preferably of housing systems.

·         A publication track record, particularly of academic research in high quality journals.

·         Project management experience.

To submit an application please complete an Expression of Interest form, and, in addition, please include a 3-page (maximum) CV/resume, a 300 word summary of the applicant’s relevant experience to date, preferably highlighting the required and desirable attributes, and a pdf of the abstract from their master’s degree thesis (just the thesis title and abstract will suffice).

Please do not contact the project supervisor directly.


Deadline to submit applications (only for funded projects)

Friday September 27th at 17.00 GMT

The Expression of Interest Form is available here.