Employing EI Coaching to boost Graduate Employability
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Moving Through
Emotional Intelligence and Education

This project involves the delivery of emotional intelligence coaching to second level pupils.  The impact of doing so on academic attainment and social and emotional development will then be measured.  For further details pertaining to this project, please contact Angelo Simoes at

This project is funded by the TU Dublin Seed Fund.


PEEI have collaborated in a €1.4 million project funded by the Higher Education Authority of Ireland, the Transform-EDU project. This three-year project concluded in August 2022 and detailed information pertaining to the project, including the key outputs arising from it can be accessed here

The overall purpose of the project was to develop supports for third level students to better prepare them to enter the workforce, thereby boosting graduate employability and productivity.  Specifically, PEEI were involved with the design and delivery of a range of workshops to enable students to develop social and emotional skills for the workplace.  Employers were involved at every stage in the development and delivery of the workshops.  An online survey of employers on graduate employability was followed up with interviews with employers to gain insights into the socio-emotional skills most needed in their industries. Based on their feedback, final year workshops in socio-emotional skills for the workplace were tailored to support students in understanding and developing the key social and emotional skills most prized by employers in their chosen field of study. 

Employability workshops were delivered in partnership with key employers, who also conducted mock competency-based interviews with final year students and provided them with feedback on their performance.  This enabled students to develop and demonstrate social and emotional skills directly related to employability and receive mentoring from key employers in their field of study.

We are now working with a learning technologist to develop online learning tools arising from this study and to mainstream the supports we have developed.

Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) also known as dyspraxia, is a common neurodevelopmental disorder affecting motor coordination and it also affects other areas of functioning such as executive functioning and social and emotional wellbeing (Wilson et al., 2017).  The prevalence rate of DCD is estimated to be between 2% and 6% in school-aged children (APA, 2013), and approximately 70% of individuals with DCD continue to demonstrate significant motor difficulties into adulthood (Losse et al, 1991). In a report by AHEAD (2020) on students who engage with support services, DCD was found to be one of five most prevalent disabilities for students in higher education in Ireland in 2019. DCD can affect students’ fitness levels, weight, academic achievement, and levels of confidence and self-esteem.  These significant challenges often lead to an increased risk of mental health difficulties, most notably anxiety and depression (Cleaton et al., 2020). 


Without proper planning and support students with disabilities, including DCD, are less likely to complete college and less likely to obtain first or second-class honour degrees when they do (Delaney & Devereux, 2020).  Access to timely and relevant, on campus supports is essential to encourage ongoing engagement with coursework, support positive mental health and ultimately prevent student drop-out. A positive student experience during first year is vital to reducing drop-out and minimising longer-term negative individual and social consequences (Dept. of Education and Skills, 2011). 


 This study is being conducted in partnership with the National Learning Network (NLN).

The purpose of this research is to: 

  • Examine perceived and actual motor difficulties of college students.  

  • Explore the challenges faced by students with DCD.  

  • Investigate the impact on psychological wellbeing, physical activity, and academic achievement.  

  • Enhance the learning opportunities and experience of students supported by the NLN through a partnership with TU Dublin.  

  • Develop a model of tiered student support, underpinned by universal design for learning (UDL) principles and evidenced based interventions embedded in education and psychological research. 

  • Develop CPD modules on supporting students with motor difficulties for teaching staff at second level and further and higher education. 


Researcher: Suzanne McCarthy Wolf

Principal Investigator: Dr David Gaul

Emotional Intelligence and Employment

This project is investigating the impact of the provision of emotional intelligence coaching modules to third level lecturers on perceived levels of job satisfaction, work-related stress and productivity.  


For further details pertaining to this project, please contact Eoghan Guiry at

This project is funded by the TU Dublin Seed Fund.

Creating Connections Through Play
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Sport and physical activity have enormous power to bring people together, help them form strong bonds and build a sense of community. Parents of young children are likely to experience disruption to both their physical activity and socialisation behaviours as a consequence of increased care responsibilities. This can lead to reduced levels of physical activity and less opportunities for social interaction.


Creating Connections through Play seeks to  

1: Examine the levels of social connectedness of parents of young children.  

2: Investigate if involvement in a 10 week play programme builds social connectedness for parents of young children. 

3: Ascertain if the provision of information on local exercise programmes leads to increased participation for parents of young children. 


This Project is funded by the Sport Ireland Research Funding Scheme 2021 and conducted in collaboration with Fingal Local Sports Partnership.


Principal Investigator: Dr David Gaul