Summer School  2022 Overview


'Researching Sustainable Development: Tools for Developing a Critical Perspective' 

Develop your research skills through exposure to researchers, policy makers and practitioners working within the theme of sustainable development.

Current crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine affect the way we respond to challenges and the ways in which we conceptualise our previously shared goals and targets. In the context of unfolding climate breakdown, with the socio-political implications becoming more apparent, it seems appropriate to re-examine once again the concept of ‘sustainable development’ and in particular, how the concept of sustainable development is understood and interrogated in the field. 

Programme Overview 

Tackle complex real-world problems through a Problem-Based Learning approach that promotes practical critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills and knowledge. 

During the programme you will have the opportunity to hear from and engage with real world examples of field-based research on aspects of sustainable development. With an emphasis on exploring the research process itself and under the guidance of experienced facilitators,  participants will get hands on opportunity to tackle a challenge, working together to co-create innovative proposals for research methods that may be applied in the field while researching aspects of sustainable development. This year the Summer School is hosted by the Technological University of the Shannon at Thurles, Co. Tipperary. The Summer School will be held over 2 days using a blended format with 31 May online and 1 June in person in Thurles.

Day 1 - Tuesday 31st May, 9:30-5:00pm [Online via MS Teams]

Hosted online. Day one of the Programme is a deep dive into the topic area, featuring a wide range of expert contributors to keynote presentations and breakout panel discussions. The sessions will unpack aspects of sustainable development including Wellbeing, Children's Rights, Conflict, Gender, Water and Heath and Migrant and Refugee Rights in Ireland.

Expert contributors to the programme come from across research, policy and practice including from Plan International, Safer World, University of Stirling, Atlantic Technological University and Technical University of Shannon. 

Day 2 - Wednesday 1st June, 9:30-5:00pm [Thurles]

This second day of the Programme will take place ‘live and in-person’ in Thurles.  Participants should expect to arrive at 9.30 for a 10 am start. On the day participants will break into four groups. Each will explore a core problem, incorporating the SDGs, with the assistance of an experienced facilitator who will be available throughout the day to guide the process.

Each group will be encouraged to move out of their normal, sectoral silos and will be challenged to incorporate new and unexplored SDGs into their own research.

Key Info

  • Summer School Fee - Registration for the DSAI Summer School costs €20 which includes lunch and refreshments.  
  • Getting There - TUS Thurles is very accessible for those travelling by car and train.
  • Car - The M8 motorway connects Thurles to Cork (115km) and Dublin (147km) (via the N75 and N62). The N62 also connects the town to the midlands and Limerick (67km) (via the R445 and M7).  Athlone is 98km.  Find the campus on Google Maps or using Eircode E41 PC92.
  • Train - Thurles train station is on the main Dublin-Cork train line with an average of 17 trains serving Thurles station per day. Limerick is only 48 minutes by train with 15 trains per day stopping in Thurles. See