The Cell EXPLORERS University of Limerick (UL) team was established in April 2015 and is based in the Life Sciences building of UL. It was developed through collaboration with the Course Director for Science Education in UL, Dr. Audrey O'Grady. You can learn more about the Department of Life Sciences here


The team has brought the Fantastic DNA School Roadshow to primary schools around Limerick city during National Science Week (November 2015 - 2016) and in Spring 2016. In 2017, repeated this success, with four schools visiting the UL Cell EXPLORERS team on campus. 


To contact the Cell EXPLORERS UL team and arrange a school visit, email cellexplorersul@gmail.com.


The Team


 Dr. Audrey O'Grady coordinates the team with the help of Stephanie Brosnan and Samantha Prior, all members of the Department of Life Sciences in UL, with strong backgrounds in teaching and interests in community engagement outside the university. 


Together with her team of volunteers, Audrey will be engaging and inspiring primary school children around Limerick city, teaching them about DNA and helping them perform DNA extractions in their own classrooms!

Cell EXPLORERS UL team members 2015!

Dr. Audrey O'Grady

Lecturer in Biology & Science Education

Course Director for Science Education

Department of Life Sciences,

University of Limerick


Audrey O’Grady is a lecturer in Biology and Science Education in the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Limerick. She is the Course Director for Science Education and is the UL coordinator of the SFI funded Cell EXPLORERS. She also serves on the board of management of Epi-STEM, National Centre for STEM Education. At present she is the Irish PI on the Consus Tempus project Connecting Science- Society Collaborations for Sustainability Innovations. Her main research interests are in the area of STEM Education and Ecology. Her current research projects are on Scientific Inquiry, Misconceptions in Biology, Insect Ecology and Restoration Ecology. Audrey is actively involved in promoting innovative teaching strategies at third level and was nominated for the Shannon Consortium Teaching Award in 2013 and 2014. She is also engaged in many outreach programmes and has developed the Science Education Volunteering Initiative which promotes STEM Education at both Primary and Second level. She also trains Student Teachers to tutor Second Level Senior Cycle Students as part of this volunteering initiative. Audrey works with training Science Teachers to develop inquiry based teaching resources for all levels of Education. These resources are aimed at promoting Science and engaging Students.



School Visits

The first UL Cell EXPLORERS school visit took place in April 2015 to Scoil Íde, Corbally as a training visit with the coordinators from the NUI Galway team. The team went on to do two further Fantastic DNA school visits in October and November 2015 to Salesian Primary School and Monaleen NS and hosted two schools at Fantastic DNA workshops at the University of Limerick (Buree NS and Castleconnell NS).


Since then, the team has been active in Limerick and the surrounding counties bringing the Fantastic DNA Roadshow to primary schools of the area and hosting classes in the UL labs on campus. In 2018, the team hosted four schools from counties Limerick and Clare on campus as part of the National Science Week. For more information, please click on the links below to see infographics on the teams activities over the past years.

Map of school visits undertaken by the Cell EXPLORERS UL Team in 2018.

UL Team training visit to Scoil Íde


School of Natural Sciences, Arts and Science Building, National University of Ireland, Galway

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Cell EXPLORERS is funded by Science Foundation Ireland under the SFI Discover programme, NUI Galway and the Galway University Foundation.