McNally, Dr Sinéad

Lecturer in Psychology (Room 2.25)



  • Dr Sinéad McNally received her PhD in Psychology (2009) and BA in Psychology (2004) from Trinity College Dublin (TCD). She is a developmental psychologist with extensive research and policy experience on early childhood. Her research on autism and language development has been funded by the Irish Research Council and the National Council for Special Education. She has published widely from her postdoctoral research on child development at the School of Psychology at TCD (2009-2010) and as part of Growing Up in Ireland research team (2010-2012). Before joining NCI, Sinéad was Research and Policy Manager with the Childhood Development Initiative (2012-2013), where she joined with researchers, practitioners, and policy makers in the development and promotion of early intervention research and practice. Her major research and teaching interests are prenatal and early infant development, maternal health and behaviour, language acquisition, and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Key Responsibilities at NCI

  • Lifespan Development and Advanced Developmental Psychology


    • B.A. in French and Psychology (First Class Honours Two Subject Moderatorship), Trinity College Dublin (2004)
    • PhD in Psychology, Trinity College Dublin (2009)

    Academic Experience

    • Post-doctoral research fellow, School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin (2009-2010)
    • Research Fellow, Children's Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin (2010-2012)

    Industrial Experience

    • Research and Policy Manager, Childhood Development Initiative (2012-2013)
    • Research Consultant, Childhood Development Initiative (2014)

    Research Interests

    • Peri-natal and early childhood development
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Psycholinguistics and atypical language development
    • Health psychology


    • 2014-2015 Long Room Hub Research Incentive Scheme (co-applicant). Value: €4,000.
    • 2005-2009 Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) Embark Initiative. Doctoral research award for research on Autism language interventions. Value: €80,000+
    • 2007-2008 National Council for Special Education (NCSE) Research Initiative: Funding awarded for research on conceptual issues in Autism intervention. Value: €10,000
    • 1999 Trinity Entrance Exhibition Award: Awarded to Trinity entrants based on Leaving Certificate exam results. Value: €500


    Professional Body Membership

    • Graduate Member, Psychological Society of Ireland
      • Special Interest Group Child and Adolescent Psychology (SIGCAP)

    Research Group Membership

    • Medical Humanities, Trinity College Dublin
      • Co-organiser of Autism and the Foundations of Language and Communication, 2015
    • Research, Evaluation, Policy and Practice (REPP) Project Team
    • Children's Research Network for Ireland and Northern Ireland

    Research Publications

    Published International Journal Articles



    Archived Datasets

    Conference Papers

    Staff Directory