Emer Smyth is a Research Professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Dublin, Ireland and is adjunct Professor of Sociology at Trinity College, Dublin. She has published extensively on her main research interests of education, school to work transitions, gender and comparative methodology.
She has conducted a number of studies looking at young people’s experiences of the schooling system and the factors shaping their post-school transitions, publishing Students’ Experiences and Perspectives on Secondary Education (Palgrave Macmillan) based on a decade-long mixed methods longitudinal study in 2016. A central theme of her work has been educational inequality and she has published a number of studies examining the school and individual factors influencing early school leaving and exam underperformance. She is on the management team of the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) study and has used GUI data to look at arts and cultural participation among children and young people, spatial variation in child outcomes and the transition into primary school. She is currently leading an evaluation of Youthreach, a second-chance programme for early school leavers in Ireland.