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Social Science ConneXions Scholarship

                                                     Funded Research Scholarship in TUS


PhD Research Scholarship Ad

Research Opportunity in:

Open Access Publishing through Social Science ConneXions Research Institute and TUS Library

Research Centre:

Social Science ConneXions Research Institute

Title of Proposed Research Degree Project:

A Comparative Examination of Barriers and Enablers to Open Access Publishing in Academia in Ireland and Finland (CEBE-OAP)


Open Access is a crucial element within broader frameworks promoting transparency, engagement mobility and knowledge development in movements towards Open Research, Open Science, and Citizen Science.

Although there is widespread support for moves towards Open Access, there has also been significant resistance and barriers to date. The major publishing companies have resisted moves to OA publishing, and many individual countries have negotiated so called ‘transformative agreements’ as a stepping-stone to more comprehensive OA. However, such agreements have to date, often only been negotiated on a limited, expensive and national basis. The rise of ‘predatory’ publishing practices have also damaged moves to OA publishing. There has been a degree of hysteria in the academic community over the rise of low-quality journals driven by profit. However, the panic over the threat posed by such journals has suited the established publishing houses and concerns over predatory journals has tarnished moves towards OA publishing generally. Academics and Universities have also been slow to move towards OS publishing. Many universities still focus on establish highly ranked journals in their hiring, promotion and tenure practices. Many academics are therefore still focusing their publication outputs in these journals.

This research aims to compare Ireland with Finland, a country much further ahead in terms of OA publishing, in order to learn from their experiences and progress OA publishing here. This PhD research will then therefore inform ongoing policy discussions in Ireland, through providing an informed evidence base.

This PhD will be supervised by Dr Frank Houghton, Director Social Science ConneXions Research Institute, Dr Jennifer Stritch, Social Science ConneXions and Dr Johanna Archbold, TUS Library.

Scholarships Condition:

Fees covered by TUS Fee waiver
Stipend: €1,000 per month over 4 years
Materials & Travel: €1,500 per year



  • Level 8 Honours Degree in an appropriate field of study is essential

(applications considered with a Grade 2:2 or higher with relevant experience),

  • Experience of research and relevant work experience
  • Commitment to a 48-month programme of study and research
  • Self-motivated with an ability to be self-directed in much of their own work
  • Able to plan work over longer periods and have strong writing and analytical skills
  • Interest in pursuing a career in academia and/or research


Informal Research Enquiries should be directed to Dr Frank Houghton, Director Social Science ConneXions Research Institute. Email:

Deadline for applications:

5pm, Friday 3rd February 2023

Link to application form: PG Research Application form downloadable from:

Application Process:

Application forms to be emailed to the Graduate Studies and Research Office, TUS. Email:


For queries on application process please contact: