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Dr Sarah Donnelly


Sarah Donnelly

Lecturer/Assistant Professor
School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice
716 8593
University College Dublin, School of Social Policy Social Work and Social Justice, Agnes McGuire Building Belfield Dublin 4


I qualified as a professional social worker in 1998 and began my social work career as a Residential Social Worker in the North of Ireland before moving on to work as a Resettlement Officer with the Simon Community in Dublin. I then gained 13 years practice experience in Tallaght Hospital, three being at a Senior Social Work Practitioner Grade and 6 years as a Social Work Team Leader/Research Social Worker. During this time I worked in a variety of clinical areas ranging from trauma-orthopaedics, neurology,renal, ED and Age-Related Healthcare. In 2007, I was seconded from my permanent post in Tallaght Hospital and employed to carry out research for Trinity College Dublin/Tallaght Hospital on behalf of the Care and Connect Project; this research contributed to the completion of a PhD which was part-funded by the Living with Dementia Programme,TCD(Atlantic Philanthropies) and the Adelaide Society,Tallaght Hospital. A major output from the Care and Connect Project was the development and publishing of a booklet, 'Care Planning Meetings: Best Practice Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals'. This publication was officially launched in November 2012 through a study day/research seminar for 150 healthcare professionals which I organised.In February 2013, I was awarded Research Associate status at the School of Social Work and Social Policy, TCD. I have been employed as a permanent Assistant Professor of Social Work in UCD since 2014 and was awarded tenure in August 2016. I am the national social work representative on the HSE's Health and Social Care Professional Education and Development Advisory Group and a member of the IASW Special Interest Group on Ageing (SIGA) I am also chairperson and founder of the IASW's Practitioner Research Special Interest Group. I welcome applications from Masters and PhD Students, particularly relating to the following topics/areas: Ageing Dementia Palliative Care Adult Safeguarding Action Research Practitioner Research Participatory Action Research Care Planning Meetings Healthcare Decision-Making


  • Co-Director of Professional Masters in Social Work
    UCD, School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, Ireland1 Aug 2018 - 30 Jun 2018
  • Year 2 Coordinator to Professional Masters in Social Work
    University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland1 Sep 2016
  • UCD PPI Executive Committee Member
    University College Dublin, PPI Ignite Executive Committee, Dublin, Ireland2 Apr 2018
  • Research Advisory Committee Member
    School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, Ireland2 Apr 2018


  • BSocSc
    Trinity College Dublin
  • Other
    Trinity College Dublin
  • PhD
    Trinity College Dublin