The Team

The PIs

Raj is a Professor in Political Science in Trinity College Dublin. Born and raised in Canada, he earned his BA (hons.) and MA from the University of Saskatchewan, and his PhD from Queen's University (Canada) carrying out his doctoral research work in the Juan March Institute (Madrid). He studies comparative public policy, with a focus on the relationship between business and politics and the regulation of lobbyists. He has advised and presented expert evidence throughout the globe on the development of lobbying laws, where some of these governments/institutions advised include: the UK, Scotland, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Serbia, New South Wales (Australia), Finland, the European Parliament, and the Council of Europe. He has also served as an independent researcher for Open Government Partnership, evaluating Ireland’s commitment to transparency policies between 2014-2018. His five books have been published with leading presses such as Oxford University Press, Manchester University Press and Routledge, and he has written over 35 papers and book chapters.

Isabel is a Professor in Chemistry in Trinity College Dublin. Born and raised in Madrid (Spain), she studied in the Universidad Complutense de Madrid where she obtained a BSc and a PhD in Chemistry performing the corresponding research at the Institute of Medicinal Chemistry (CSIC, Madrid). She carried out post-doctoral research in the University of Saskatchewan and at Queen’s University in Kingston, later to join TCD in 2000. Her main area of research is framed within the Medicinal Chemistry field. Thus, her group works in the modelling, preparation and biological evaluation of compounds targeting nucleic acids as anticancer or antiprotozoal therapies, guanidine-based inhibitors of protein kinases, and compounds targeting adrenergic alpha2-adrenergic receptors with application in different neurological conditions. Recently, she has obtained Science Foundation Ireland funds to develop compounds as potential therapies for COVID-19. In addition, she has an interest in the theoretical study of weak interactions such as hydrogen bonds. She has published 159 papers and collaborates with several groups around the world.

Research Assistants

Clare Elwell

Clare recently graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a joint-honors Business and Political Science bachelor’s degree. Clare has lived in the Netherlands, Germany, United States and Ireland, so is naturally interested in learning about the contrasts and comparisons in international policy reactions to Covid-19. She is particularly interested in developing a deep understanding of the US response to Covid-19 and the social policy implications of the pandemic globally.

She has work experience in both the public and private sector, including a role as a Policy Analyst at a public-private partnership in Seattle and as a Management Consultant Intern in Dublin. Outside of this project Clare draws from both sides of her academics as she would like to further learn about the intersection between business and politics, especially political transparency and lobbying groups.

Some of her undergraduate research included a survey study on the legitimacy of the Irish lobbying register, a comparison paper of US and Irish lobbying regulation and their effectiveness, and an evaluation of the relationship between diversity in journalism and its output of political media content.

Laura Grindle

Laura has a joint honors undergraduate degree in Business and Political Science from Trinity College Dublin. She is looking forward to starting a MSc in Digital Marketing at the UCD Smurfit School.

Laura is interested in applying methodologies that she has learned in her undergraduate degree to this research project.

Her research interests involve investigating the correlation between increasing domestic abuse cases and Covid-19 as well as analysing New Zealand's successful elimination strategy.

Xenia Kadar

Xenia has an undergraduate degree in Business and Political Science from Trinity College Dublin and is currently a MSc student at Nova School of Business and Economics in Portugal, where she is undertaking a degree in International Management.

She is interested in international trade as well as the dynamics between politics and business, especially lobbying regulations, corruption and political influence on businesses.

Xenia will be looking at the United Kingdom’s response to to Covid-19, while also analysing how Covid-19 was handled in long-term care facilities such as nursing and residential homes.

Daire McCutcheon

Daire McCutcheon is a recent graduate from Trinity College Dublin where she holds a joint-honours degree in Political Science and Geography. Throughout her studies, she developed an interest in the Global South and Environmental Politics. Her academic focuses include Environmental Governance and Justice, International Development, Sustainability, African Politics and Forced Displacement. Her undergraduate research looked at carbon markets and the propensity for carbon offsetting to be used as a greenwashing strategy.

Daire has studied and worked abroad in England, Cambodia and France. She has practical experience in NGO settings through volunteering both at home and abroad.

Daire’s focus when researching policy responses to Covid-19 is based around developing countries and the distribution of both medical and financial support to immigrants and minority populations in Chile, India and South Africa.

Jack O’Neill

Jack has an undergraduate degree in Business and Political Science from Trinity College Dublin and is undertaking a MEconSci in European Public Affairs and Law at University College Dublin in the academic year 2020/21.

His research interests lie in lobbying regulations, and investigating how the behaviours of businesses around the world are influenced by such laws.

At present, Jack is looking at the role played by lobbyists in informing decisions on shutting down and reopening borders and economies during 2020.

Alannah Owens

Alannah has recently completed a B.A. in Political Science and Geography at Trinity College Dublin.

Her interests lie in regional studies, environmental governance and sustainable global development. The focus of her final year research in both disciplines were the experiences and treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland, as well as tools for achieving Urban Sustainability in line with the UN SDGs in Dublin.

The research that she is currently engaged in traces the COVID-19 policy responses of South Africa. She is also examining specific policies relating to the repatriation of nationals living abroad and people living in densely populated areas, including refugee settlements and urban living spaces.

Adeyemi Rahman

Yemi has an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from University College Dublin and is a PhD student in the School of Chemistry at Trinity College Dublin. His research interests lay in the development of novel drugs to treat microbial infections.

Presently, he is working as an RA for Rozas´ recently awarded Science Foundation Ireland COVID-19 Rapid Response project on the blocking of the SARS-CoVid-2 infection by inhibiting the TMPRSS2 protease.

Lily Rice

Lily Rice is a 2020 Graduate of Trinity College Dublin from New Orleans, Louisiana, with a Degree in Politics, Sociology, Economics, and Philosophy. She has experience working in civil rights/advocacy groups in New Orleans like the Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center (LAFHAC) and Court Watch Nola (CWN), as a Research Assistant, and as a news writer/illustrator.

Her research interests include public policy’s role in controlling human movement, the social and economic effects of policy, and the role of institutional actors in steering governmental decisions.

In her current research position, she is investigating policy responses to Covid-19 (focusing largely on India’s international border policies) and identifying ways that a “second wave” of the Virus should be measured.

Liam Smith

Liam graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a joint honours in Politics and Economics and has since gone on to start a Master’s in European Politics and External Relations at the University of Amsterdam (UVA). During his undergrad, his main interests involved topics in conflict resolution and topics related to political economy. Currently, he is focusing his studies on the role the EU can play in conflict resolution and will begin work on his thesis in 2021.

Liam’s focus for this project will be on how federalist nations responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, and what lessons can be learned from federalism in times of crisis.