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Affiliated Programmes

The Keough Naughton Notre Dame Centre works in collaboration with several organisations based in Ireland; Alliance for Catholic Education, Naughton Fellowships and House of Brigid / Teach Bhríde.


Founded in 1993 by Fr Tim Scully CSC and Fr Sean McGraw CSC, the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) at Notre Dame seeks to develop a cadre of highly motivated and committed young educators to meet the needs of the United States most underserved elementary and secondary schools. By recruiting and training recent graduates from top college and universities, ACE serves disadvantaged Catholic primary and secondary schools throughout the USA. ACE provides an intensive two-year service experience encompassing three pillars – professional development, community life and spiritual growth. Seeking to form leaders in Catholic schools, to prepare informed and active citizens for the world, and to provide high-quality educational opportunities for the underserved, ACE works tirelessly to provide a witness of hope.

Each year, two Irish students are selected to participate in the ACE programme. As part of the wider ACE mission, ACE Ireland seeks to enhance the character of Catholic education both in Ireland and internationally. The Dublin group – the largest one currently in existence – is part of a broad community of ACE, and is the sole international branch. ACE Ireland wins friends for the mission of Catholic schools, prepares members spiritually and professionally to be agents of change in Catholic education, and mobilises members to have a lasting impact on children, families, communities, the nation and the Church by championing Catholic schools.

Comprised of ACE Alumni, Irish educators, and those passionate about Catholic education, ACE Ireland seeks to be of service to Catholic education in Ireland by: identifying, motivating and developing leaders committed to the character of Irish Catholic schools; supporting the faith life of Irish educators in their teaching, community building and spirituality; building partnerships between educational leaders in the United States and Ireland through our respective experiences of Catholic education. ACE responds to the needs of the Church’s educational mission through service to children in elementary and secondary schools and strives to sustain, strengthen, and transform Catholic schools. Based in the Institute for Educational Initiatives at Notre Dame, ACE has widened its mission to encompass Catholic communities internationally, including in Ireland. In partnership with the Keough-Naughton Centre, ACE awards two places on its Masters degree to young Irish teachers each year. Furthermore, the Ryan Family Fellowship is granted each summer to a recent American ACE graduate who has shown a commitment to educational policy and an aptitude for academia, allowing them to travel to Ireland to conduct significant immersive research into the key issues and challenges concerned with Catholic education in Ireland. O’Connell House serves as a base for the ACE community in Ireland, hosting fellowship masses and dinners monthly.


Naughton Fellowships are available to exceptional students from ND STEM programmes at all stages of their academic careers. The Naughton Fellowship programme facilitates cross-cultural collaborative research between ND and leading Irish universities, enabling successful candidates to participate in science and engineering studies with cutting-edge professors from both sides of the Atlantic.

At the undergraduate level, students can apply to a summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programme, offering full tuition, a stipend for living expenses and a cultural enrichment programme to five ND students. Seniors completing their undergraduate degree and seeking to pursue a Masters may apply for a one-year fellowship, again allowing for full tuition and a generous stipend, offering ND students the opportunity to obtain a degree from one of four universities in Ireland [reciprocating with those universities, an equivalent number of Irish students can earn a graduate degree through Notre Dame’s ESTEEM programme].

At the doctoral level, the programme allows students to collaborate with co-advisors in their chosen field, with one based at ND and the other in Ireland. All Naughton Fellows gain unique academic advancement in a prestige International Fellowship Programme as well as an invaluable immersive cultural experience, deepening links between ND and Irish universities, as well as fostering ties between innovative technological research in Ireland and America.


Founded in 2009 as an initiative of the Notre Dame Folk Choir, House of Brigid (in Irish Teach Bhríde) invites recent ND and St. Mary’s College graduates to live as an intentional missionary community in Ireland for one year, dedicating themselves to the service of the Catholic Church in Ireland. The community has principal responsibility for the liturgical planning and direction of the parish choir, as well as assisting with family liturgy groups and preparation of local children for the sacraments. The House of Brigid/ Teach Bhríde experience allows each member a year of personal and spiritual growth, enhanced by individual and communal prayer and reflection as well as the duties of the ministry.

Since 2009, House of Brigid has been based at Clonard parish in Wexford town. House of Brigid has offered a post-graduate service opportunity for ND and St. Marys College graduates to support the Diocese of Ferns through musical, educational, and other liturgical assistance. High-quality alumni have served with laudable results both for them and the local church, where their efforts have been very well received. The programme has developed a handbook for volunteers that describes the program’s philosophy and outlines its specifics. In 2014 an additional community was formed, attached to the Harold’s Cross parish in Dublin. House of Brigid has worked exceptionally well in its Wexford incarnation. The local Catholic diocese has welcomed them warmly, and the group of young people has done terrific work. This has helped both Catholicism in Ireland, and enhanced the reputation of Notre Dame. The calibre and commitment of the young college graduates has been consistently impressive, and they have all been fine ambassadors for ND.