Associate professor, reader, lecturer or equivalent
Dublin City University
Ireland (Republic of)


Professional address
Saint Patrick's college
9 Dublin
Ireland (Republic of)
On the web
Carreer and responsabilities

Dr. Paul Downes is Senior Lecturer in Education (Psychology) since 2007 and Director of the Educational Disadvantage Centre, Dublin City University, Ireland. He has been involved in various expert advisory roles for the European Commission, including for its School Policy Working Groups and was a member of the Irish Senate and Parliament Expert Advisory Group on early school leaving. A Visiting Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (2017) and University of Cambridge, Lauterpacht Centre (2011), he is currently a member of the Coordinating Committee of the European Commission’s Network of Experts on the Social Aspects of Education and Training (NESET II) and Chairperson of the Steering Committee for the Grangegorman Area-based Childhood (ABC) Programme, funded by Irish Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

  •  Philosophy
  •  Psychology

  •   Research center or department
  •  Educational Disadvantage Centre (Dublin)
  •  Centre for Human Development (Dublin)
  •  Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre (Dublin)
  • Research topics

    Inclusive Systems in Education and Society (Early school leaving; Access to higher education and lifelong learning; Bullying and aggression; Parental involvement and family support; Mental health and wellbeing; Voices of children and young people, especially marginalised groups and ethnic minorities; Evaluation frameworks based on structural indicators; Multidisciplinary teams in schools, cross-sectoral working; Community development and outreach approaches; International right  to health and its interplay with education)

    Conceptual Foundations of Inclusive Systems of Relation (Intersections between Phenomenology, Structuralism, Psychoanalytic and Analytic Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Poststructuralism)

  • Educational and social inequalities
  • Policy
  • Learning and learning disabilities

  • Level (of schooling)
  • primary education
  • lower secondary education
  • adult education
  • upper secondary education

  • Keywords
  • lifelong learning
  • mental health
  • early school leaving
  • social inclusion
  • school climate

  • Major publications

    Downes, P. (2014). Towards a Differentiated, Holistic and Systemic Approach to Parental Involvement in Europe for Early School Leaving Prevention. Policy Recommendations Report as Thematic Expert for the EU Urbact, PREVENT project involving 10 European City Municipalities.

    Edwards, A., & Downes, P. (2013). Alliances for inclusion: Developing cross-sector synergies and inter-professional collaboration in and around education(Commissioned Research Report for EU Commission NESET (Network of Experts on Social Aspects of Education and Training). Foreword to report by Jan Truszczynski, Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture.

    Downes, P. (2011). Multi/Interdisciplinary teams for early school leaving prevention: Developing a European Strategy informed by international evidence and research (Research paper for NESET (Network of Experts on Social Aspects of Education and Training) to inform European Commission 2012 Communication on Education and Inequality.).

    Downes, P. (2014, September). Keynote presentation, Developing inclusivesystems across Education, Health and Social sectors for early school leaving prevention. Working Group on the Quality of Childhood at the European Parliament (QoC), 48th Session (Established 2006).

    Downes, P. (2014). Access to Education in Europe: A Framework and Agenda for System Change. Lifelong Learning Book Series, Series Editors: Aspin, David N., Chapman, Judith D. Dordrecht, Springer Verlag. Foreword by Sue Waddington, President, European Adult Education Association (EAEA) (2008-2013)

    Downes, P. (2013).  Keynote opening presentation, A holistic approach to early school leaving prevention in Europe: Key strategic priorities for system level development. European Network of Education Councils (EUNEC) conference on Early School Leaving, in conjunction with the European Commission and the Lithuanian Government (Ministry of Education and Science) in the context of its EU Presidency. Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas), Vilnius, November 18, 2013. 

    Downes, P. (2012). The Primordial Dance: Diametric and Concentric Spaces in the Unconscious World. Oxford/Bern: Peter Lang