Dr Claire McDonnell

Room KE 3-042,

Kevin St., Dublin 8. 

T: (+353-1) 402 4645 

E: claire.mcdonnell@dit.ie 

BSc(Hons), Ph.D (UCD); MRSC, CChem        Diploma in Management (NCI, 2002)            MA  in Higher Education (DIT, 2011)



PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry,  "Rate and Equilibrium Constants for Acid-Catalysed Reactions of Aromatic and Non-Aromatic Enols, Alcohols and Epoxides", under supervision of Prof Rory More O'Ferrall, University College Dublin.

Post doctoral researcher in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin.

Development Chemist in Fine Chemical and Pharmaceutical industries; Ipsen Ireland Ltd., Arran Chemical Co. Ltd. and (Summer 2002) Bristol-Myers Squibb Ltd.

Appointed Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at DIT.

Commendation for DIT President's Teaching Excellence Award.

Organised first RSC Chemistry at Work event in the Republic of Ireland at DIT. More information on community based initiatives are here

Received Royal Society of Chemistry Higher Education Teaching Award.

Received Teaching Excellence award from the National Academy for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning along with 3 colleagues.

Lead organiser of 29th ChemEd Ireland conference for second level chemistry teachers at DIT, October 2010 and 2014 (see www.dit.ie/chemed)


DIT Teaching Fellowship (with Dr Christine O’Connor & Dr Sarah Rawe)

Awarded a contract by the Royal Society of Chemistry to develop 4 context/problem based learning resources (with Dr Christine O’Connor, Sr Sarah Rawe & Dr Michael Seery).

Academic Interests:

  • Teaching introductory chemistry, organic synthesis, spectroscopic identification of organic compounds, stereochemistry and medicinal chemistry to honours and ordinary degree level undergraduate students from Year 1 to Year 4. (DT 203/1, DT 227/1, DT299/1, DT261/1, DT 261/2, DT261/3, DT203/2, DT 203/3, DT 299/4) and teaching medicinal chemistry and scale up of pharmaceutical synthesis to taught MSc students (DT 275, DT 233, DT 237). 
  • Supporting the learning of undergraduate chemistry students using problem-based learning lab practicals, community based learning projects and virtual learning environments.  
  • Development of undergraduate practicals involving the use of a parallel synthesis workstation to prepare compound libraries.


Current research interests:

  • Scaffolding for Cognitive Overload Using Pre-lecture Electronic Resources (in collaboration with)
  • Undergraduate Research Awareness and Readiness Evaluation project (NAIRTL funding). Postgraduate student David Kett (graduated with PG Dip, 2011)
  • Investigation Of A Metal Complexing Route To Form Arene Trans-Dihydrodiols.
  • Science Foundation Ireland Investigator Programme funding (principal investigator Prof Rory More O’Ferrall, project 04/IN3/B581), postgraduate students Catriona O’Meara (graduated with MPhil 2008) and Crystal O’Connor (graduated with MPhil 2010)
  • Kinetic and Equilibrium Studies on some Coordinated Cyclohexadienyl Cations.
  • DIT Postgraduate R and D award funding, advisory supervisor Prof Rory More O’Ferrall, postgraduate student Martin Galvin (graduated with PhD in 2007).

Recent Publications

  • Click here for a list of recent presentations
  • C. McDonnell, P. M. Ennis, L. Shoemaker, ‘Now for the science bit: implementing community-based learning in chemistry’, Education + Training, 2011, 53 (2/3), 218 – 236.
  • N. Brouwer and C Mc Donnell, Online Support and Online Assessment for Teaching and Learning Chemistry, in Innovative Methods in Teaching and Learning Chemistry in Higher Education, I. Eilks and B. Byers (Eds.), RSC: London, 2009.
  • M Galvin, JP Guthrie, C M. McDonnell, R A. More O‘Ferrall and S Pelet, By How Much is Protonated Benzene Stabilized by Coordination of Iron Tricarbonyl?, J Am Chem Soc, 2009, 131(1), 34 - 35.
  • T Cunningham, C McDonnell, B McIntyre & T Mc Kenna, “A Reflection on Teachers’ Experience as E-Learners”, chapter in Applied E-Learning and E-Teaching in Higher Education, R. Donnelly and F. Mc Sweeney (Eds), Information Science Reference, Pennsylvania, USA, 2008.
  • C Mc Donnell, C O'Connor and MK Seery, Developing practical chemistry skills by means of student-driven problem based learning mini-projects, Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2007,8(2), 130 - 139. [Link to Journal]
  • C Mc Donnell, A Mc Cormack, AM O'Donoghue and R More O'Ferrall, Carbocations from Protonation of Aromatic and Non-aromatic Pi Bonds, Modern Problems of Organic Chemistry, 2005, 88-111.