Gemma Kearney
Title: Dr
First Name: Gemma
Surname: Kearney
Position: Lecturer
Telephone: 01224 263703

Duties and Responsibilities

Dr Gemma Kearney is a Lecturer in Communications, Marketing and Media and Module Co-ordinator for undergraduate modules in Management Practice and Event Tourism.

Academic Background

After graduating from Trinity College Dublin, Gemma worked in the United States in the New York office of Invest NI, focusing on foreign direct investment.  Following this Gemma was awarded a Research Studentship at Robert Gordon University to undertake doctoral research into entrepreneurship.  

Building on her research interest in small businesses Gemma then gained extensive practical experience supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to engage with academia. Through roles in Business Skills for Growth (funded by the European Social Fund), the Sporting Chance Initiative (funded by the European Regional Development Fund) and Design in Action (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council) Gemma worked with a wide range of SMEs enabling them to access knowledge and expertise to encourage growth. 

Gemma holds a BA (Hons) MA from Trinity College Dublin, a PhD from Robert Gordon University and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  Gemma is a PhD Supervisor and has taught across a range of subject areas, including tutorials in Management, Finance and Economics at Robert Gordon University and courses in Entrepreneurship and Globalisation at the Centre for Talented Youth in Dublin City University. 

Recently Gemma and her colleagues developed ‘Skills in Action’ a programme which aimed to enhance Early Career Researchers’ collaborative skills.  The programme culminated in a ‘Festival of Skills’ event which was featured in the Times Higher Education magazine.  Gemma’s research interests include entrepreneurship, the facilitation of knowledge exchange and the use of open innovation in small businesses.  


£10,000 (2013/2014) Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Skills Development Grant and Creative Scotland Grant, Skills in Action, Maxwell, D.,

Kearney, G., McHattie, L.S., Berthold, H., Prior, S. and Baillie, J. 

£2,500 (2008) Scottish Institute of Enterprise, Postgraduate Business Plan Competition, Kearney, G.

External / Professional Roles

Reviewer for the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Special Issue: ‘Thirty Years of Research in Entrepreneurial Support’.


Fremantle, C. and Kearney, G., 2015. Owning failure: insights into the perceptions and understandings of art educators. International Journal of Art and Design Education, 34(3), pp.309-318.

Kearney, G. and McHattie, L.S., 2014, Supporting the Open Innovation Process in Small and Medium Enterprises, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 23 (4) pp. 552-567.

Kearney, G., 2014, An Exploration of Seed Funding for New Ideas in Scotland and the Role of Design in Action, Paper presented at the Arts and Humanities Research Council: Knowledge Exchange Hubs, Creative Economy Hub Conference, 30th –31st October, University of Lancaster.

Kearney, G., 2014, A Collaborative Approach Exploring Best Practice for Novice PhD Supervisors in Art and Design, Paper presented at the International Journal of Art and Design Education Conference, 24th-25th October, Liverpool.

Kearney, G. and Harris, P., 2013, Supporting the Creative Industries: the Rationale for an Exchange of Thinking between the Art and Business Schools, International Journal of Education through Art, 9 (3) pp. 311-326.

Prior, S., Baillie, J., Kearney, G. and Maxwell, D., 2013, Understanding Audiences from Industry Sectors in Knowledge Exchange, Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, 10 (2) pp. 260-274.

Follett, G., McHattie, L.S., Kearney, G., Maxwell, D., 2013, Design in Action: Re-defining the Role of Design in Industry through Chiasma, Panel Session, Knowledge Exchange and Arts and Humanities Research Conference, 10th -11th July, University of Southampton.

Kearney, G., 2012, The Entrepreneurial Process and the Role of Gender: A Comparative Study of Entrepreneurs in the Business Services and Technology Sectors in Scotland, PhD Thesis, Robert Gordon University.