Dr Nuala Whelan

Adult and Community Education


Maynooth University School of Education
1st Floor
(01) 474 7205


Nuala Whelan is a Lecturer in Adult Guidance Counselling and Reflective Practice in the Department of Adult and Community Education. Nuala lectures in Career Development Theory and Behaviour, Careers and Well-being, the Psychology of Unemployment and Re-employment, and provides employment and career related inputs on selected modules.

She is a Chartered Work and Organisational Psychologist who has worked for 20+ years as a practitioner in community based employment services with clients disadvantaged in the labour market.

Her main research interests centre on employability, employment service effectiveness, career guidance models and practice, capability informed practice, collaborative working, policy implementation, and the potential value of enhancing human capacity for personal, organisational and societal impact. 

Her current research involves further development of the MEEG (Model of Enabling Employment Guidance) employment guidance tool-kit and metric for practitioners working with those most distant from the labour market.

Research Interests

Career/employment guidance models and practice, Wellbeing, Employability, Employment service effectiveness, Future of Work, Collaborative working, Policy implementation, Vocational Psychology, Individual Differences

Development of online tools to support the development of capabilities, transversal skills; identification of natural aptitudes, Psychometrics

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date Amount
ACA PES: A Collaborative Approach to building Public Employment Services Post-Doctoral Researcher 01/04/2019 30/06/2021

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2023 Whelan, N. (2023) 'Creating space for praxis in adult and employment guidance: collaborative development of the model of enabling employment guidance (MEEG)'. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, . [Link] [DOI]
2021 Whelan N.; Murphy M.P.; McGann M. (2021) 'The enabling role of employment guidance in contemporary public employment services: A work-first to life-first typology'. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 49 (2):200-212. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2021 Furlong M; McGilloway S; Mulligan C; McGuinness C; Whelan N; (2021) 'Family Talk versus usual services in improving child and family psychosocial functioning in families with parental mental illness (PRIMERA-Promoting Research and Innovation in Mental hEalth seRvices for fAmilies and children): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial'. Trials, 22 (1). [DOI] [Full-Text]
2021 Whelan N. (2021) 'Opening the black box of implementing activation in Ireland'. Administration, 69 (2):87-106. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2020 McGann M.; Murphy M.P.; Whelan N. (2020) 'Workfare redux? Pandemic unemployment, labour activation and the lessons of post-crisis welfare reform in Ireland'. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 40 (9/10):963-978. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2018 Whelan N; McGilloway S; Murphy MP; McGuinness C; (2018) 'EEPIC - Enhancing Employability through Positive Interventions for improving Career potential: the impact of a high support career guidance intervention on the wellbeing, hopefulness, self-efficacy and employability of the long-term unemployed - a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial'. Trials, 19 (1). [DOI] [Full-Text]

Published Report

Year Publication
2020 Murphy, M., Whelan, N., McGann, M., Finn, P (2020) THE ‘HIGH ROAD’ BACK TO WORK: Developing a Public Employment Eco System for a Post-Covid Recovery. Maynooth University, .
2015 Duggan, C., Whelan, N. & Togher, S. (2015) Lessons from the Ballymun Youth Guarantee Pilot: A focus on Employment related Career Guidance. Department of Social Protection, .

Guidelines for Practice

Year Publication
2021 Whelan, N (2021) The MEEG (Model of Enabling Employment Guidance) Practitioner Toolkit. [Guidelines for Practice] [Link]

Magazine Article

Year Publication
2018 Nuala Whelan (2018) Enhancing Employability through Positive Interventions for improving Career potential (EEPIC). [Magazine Article] [Link]

Newspaper Articles

Year Publication
2020 Nuala Whelan (2020) What's the psychological impact of pandemic-related unemployment?. [Newspaper Articles] [Link]


Year Publication
2018 Murphy M.P. Whelan N and Finn P (2018) 2018 Presentation on labour market activation to Oireachtas Social Protection and Employment Committee. [Presentation]


Year Publication
2019 Hearne, R., Murphy, M.P. and Whelan, N. (2019) Participatory Action Research: A Human Rights and Capability Approach. A PAHRCA Handbook for NGOs and Vulnerable Groups. Re-InVest. [Manual]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2024) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Description Function From / To
The Psychological Society of Ireland Chartered member 01/01/2008 -
Division of Work and Organisational Psychology, Psychological Society of Ireland Chartered member 01/01/2008 -
British Psychological Society - Register of Qualifications in Test Use (RQTU) Register of Qualifications in Test Use (RQTU) 06/06/2023 -
British Psychological Society - Chartered Psychologist Chartered Psychologist 01/05/2023 -
Coaching Psychology Special Interest Group - Psychological Society of Ireland Member 01/01/2018 -

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/01/2013 IRC Scholar Irish Research Council
01/11/2020 Peter Saville Award for Advances in Organisational Psychology Psychological Society of Ireland Division of Work and Organisational Psychology
06/09/2023 Best Policy Paper - Precarious Employment & Work European Association of Work and Organisational Psychology (Small Group Meeting)


Committee Function From / To
Science and Public Policy Committee (SPPC), PSI Chair 31/05/2021 -