Emotionally Traumatic Research Virtual Seminar Series

Learning from multiple points of view and experiences


This seminar series has sprung from a gap in knowledge and training identified by PhD students and early career researchers in NUI Galway. It seeks to build on learning achieved in a reading group in late 2020 by hearing from a range of speakers with experiences related to emotionally-traumatic research.

Who will speak?

The speakers are from both academic and non-academic backgrounds and, importantly, represent different perspectives, that is, experienced and novice researchers, a research ‘gatekeeper’, a student counsellor and professional transcribers. The academic presenters will draw on experiences in different areas of trauma, for example war, displacement, adverse childhood events, criminalisation and incarceration, and racial injustice. Further details of speakers’ backgrounds are set out below.

Who should attend?

Anyone who is interested in learning about emotionally-traumatic research.

For more information:

Contact organiser Dr. Brídín Carroll by email.

SEMINAR 1: January 19th 2021

Time:                            3.00-4.30pm


Please click here to register


  1. Prof. Marie Breen-Smyth.

Prof. Breen-Smyth is a researcher, writer, victims’ advocate, public speaker and Emerita Professor (University of Surrey) and Visiting Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Singidunum University in Serbia and the American University of Rome. Her research focus is mainly on war and conflict, terrorism, and political violence, particularly in the Northern Irish context. Prof Breen-Smyth has also published work on the ethical and practical challenges of conducting research in these difficult contexts, and she is a founding editor of the journal Critical Studies on Terrorism.

  1. Síofra Peeren, Ariana Markowitz.

Síofra is currently completing an ESCR-funded PhD at King’s College London looking at the pregnancy, birth, early motherhood and maternity care experiences of survivors of sexual violence in adulthood. She has interviewed both women who have experienced sexual violence and maternity care workers for this research and has conducted a comprehensive meta-synthesis of existing qualitative research. Síofra previously worked at a rape crisis centre where she provided emotional support and information to survivors of sexual violence.

Ariana Markowitz is a social urbanist and feminist researcher specialising in urban violence, participatory urban design, methodology development, and research ethics. Her doctoral thesis at the Development Planning Unit, University College London, due to be finished this year, explores the interplay between space and bodies in violent cities in order to propose a feminist methodology for working on extreme and chronic urban violence using San Salvador as a case study. She has more than 15 years of cross-sector experience in violence and precarity in 15 countries across North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

SEMINAR 2: February 2nd 2021

Time:                            3.00-4.30pm

Registration:             Details to follow


  1. Dr. Jane Mulcahy

Dr. Mulcahy is a Research Fellow in the University of Limerick with research interests in the areas of childhood adversity, trauma, social justice, human rights, law, policy and crime. She hosts a podcast called “Law and Justice” which has an associated YouTube series called “How to talk policy and influence people” with many interviewees addressing the subject of attachment, the harmful impact of childhood adversity, embodied trauma and structural inequity, and the importance of cultivating safety and relational health for individual and societal wellbeing.

  1. Dr. Susan Power

Dr. Susan Power is Head of Legal Research and Advocacy at Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man. She lectured law for seven years in Griffith College Cork and Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Power has made submissions and contributions to various Irish and international legal and law-making bodies on issues relating to occupied territories, business and human rights, and violations of international law. She has published academic articles on issues of occupation law, amongst others and has been a Committee member and judge on the Irish Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot Court.

SEMINAR 3: March 2nd 2021

Time:                            3.00-4.30pm

Registration:             Details to follow


  1. Dr. Sian Oram

Dr. Oram is Head of the Section of Women’s Mental Health and Senior Lecturer in Women’s Mental Health at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London.  and Co-Director of the UKRI Violence Abuse and Mental Health Network (www.vamhn.co.uk).  Her research focuses on interpersonal trauma, its intersection with gender and with institutional and societal structures, and its relationship to mental health.  She has an interest in developing methods for safe, ethical, and participatory research with and by people affected by trauma and abuse, and has expertise in qualitative methods, systematic reviews, and evaluation research.

  1. James McCormack

Psychotherapist and Head of Student Counselling at NUI Galway. James is Head of NUI Galway Student Counselling & Wellbeing Service. He has a limited case-load of clients and supervisees and also leads a team of counsellors. He provides training for NUI Galway staff on ‘Identifying and Responding to Students in Distress and at Risk’. James is a member of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor. He completed an MSc in 2011 entitled ‘The experience of people who stammer in a therapy programme using Art’; James describes the process as being extremely triggering at times given his own traumatic history with stammering.

SEMINAR 4: March 23rd 2021

Time:                            1.00-2.30pm***NOTE TIME IS DIFFERENT TO OTHER SEMINARS***

Registration:             Details to follow


  1. Dr. Nini Fang

Nini Fang is a psychoanalytic practitioner and a lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on psychoanalytically-informed psychosocial studies, in topics related to culture and identity, immigration, racial injustice, critical theory, and creative-relational methodology in foregrounding the other and their lived domains. See Nini’s profile and publications here.

  1. Leah Foley, Jonathon Foley

Leah and Jonathan are both professional transcribers and owners of transcriptionshop.ie. The Transcription Shop was set up in 2004 and has gone from strength-to-strength, with a diverse client base of public and private organisations, covering a huge range of disciplines. With now almost 17 years’ experience in this area, Leah and Jonathan have worked on material from an extensive range of traumatic topics.