Research Portal

Research Portal profiles world leading research excellence
at the Queen's University of Belfast

  • First ever Belfast Festival of Social Sciences is launched 31 Oct, 2014 The first ever Belfast Festival of Social Sciences, which offers a fascinating insight into some of the country's leading social science research, is being launched this week (Saturday 1 November). The week-long Festival, which is a partnership between Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University and is part-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), includes public debates, conferences, workshops, interactive seminars, film screenings and virtual exhibitions. The Festival aims to highlight how social science research makes a difference and influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future.  Some of the events include: I’m a psychologist get me out here!, an interactive workshop for 12-15 year olds to look at understanding emotion; Outdoor Scientists, a programme introduc...)
  • Queen’s University researchers call for earlier diagnosis of autism 30 Oct, 2014 Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have called for earlier diagnosis of autism on the back of increasing evidence that earlier interventions have more positive outcomes. Professor Karola Dillenburger, from Queen’s School of Education, led a three-year research project which analysed early behaviour interventions in children with autism. The research found that professionals were reluctant to diagnose autism early out of fear of labelling young children with what has traditionally been viewed as a lifelong condition. Many children are put on waiting lists rather than offered early diagnosis. Professor Dillenburger argues that early behaviour analytic interventions were not only more medically hopeful – arguing that early support can improve quality of life for children with autistic spectrum and their families R...)
  • Music therapy reduces depression in children and adolescents 23 Oct, 2014 Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have discovered that music therapy reduces depression in children and adolescents with behavioural and emotional problems. In the largest ever study of its kind, the researchers in partnership with the Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust, found that children who received music therapy had significantly improved self-esteem and significantly reduced depression compared with those who received treatment without music therapy. The study, which was funded by the Big Lottery fund, also found that those who received music therapy had improved communicative and interactive skills, compared to those who received usual care options alone. 251 children and young people were involved in the study which took place between March 2011 and May 2014. They were divided into two groups – 128 underwent ...)
  • New research at Queen's into sexual services 17 Oct, 2014 New research by Queen’s University is the first time people involved in selling and buying sexual services have been directly approached in relation to prostitution policy in Northern Ireland and their views sought on the legal framework. Lead researcher Dr Susann Huschke, Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice, said: “The issue of prostitution has received considerable interest in Northern Ireland over the last year, mainly due to the proposal within Lord Morrow’s Private Member’s Bill (Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill) to criminalise paying for sexual services. This study, commissioned by the Department of Justice, aims to fill some of the existing research gaps by conducting a mixed methods study of prostitution in Northern Ireland.” Welcoming the research report Justi...)
  • Fungal infections a worldwide catastophe according to Queen’s researchers 16 Oct, 2014 Fungal diseases which are killing 150 people every hour across the world have become a worldwide catastrophe, according to researchers at Queen’s University Belfast. They join researchers from several countries across the world in an effort led from University of Manchester in a global call for policy makers and health agencies to address the problem of fungal diseases which result in the death of 300 million people worldwide every year. Dr Ronan McMullan from Queen’s University Belfast and Dr Eileen Dorgan from Belfast Health and Social Care Trust have been collaborating with GAFFI (Global Action Fund for Fungal Infections); an international organisation set up last year to highlight what doctors believe is a worldwide catastrophe that is growing year on year.  Researchers believe that the problem could be halted with wi...)
  • Queen’s University in research bid to save thousands of mothers’ and babies’ lives 15 Oct, 2014 Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have been awarded a major, international grant to investigate if the perinatal condition of pre-eclampsia could be treated with cheap, everyday drugs. Lead researcher Dr Jeremy Yongxin Yu from Queen’s Centre for Experimental Medicine will use the $250,000 to test around 300 drugs – many of them in common usage – which are considered relatively safe to administer to pregnant women. If, as hoped, the two-year research project identifies an effective treatment for pre-eclampsia, it could save the lives of thousands of mothers and babies around the world. Dr Yu described full-blown eclampsia as a “health crisis” which kills 500,000 babies and 75,000 mothers each year, mostly in developing countries. In the UK, it is still responsible for the deaths of 1,000 babies e...)
  • Queen’s University researchers in bid to uncover the birth of Belfast’s docklands 14 Oct, 2014 Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast are in a bid to uncover the birth of Belfast’s docklands in a new three-year research study. Dr Liz Thomas from the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology (GAP) at Queen’s will undertake a unique new project this autumn, which aims to shed light on living in the 19th century dockland town, Sailortown, in Belfast. Beginning this project, Dr Thomas has appealed for anyone with any connection to Sailortown to come forward with their stories of the town or stories that may have been passed down through the generations about the people and the place. Dr Thomas said: “I have always been interested in every aspect of life related to the sea and docks, probably because my grandfather worked on the docks in Dublin and I really am interested in anyone who has any connec...)
  • Queen’s University business start-ups shine at INVENT Awards 07 Oct, 2014 Queen’s University Belfast has once again proven itself to be a hub of innovation at the Northern Ireland Science Park’s INVENT Awards 2014. The awards showcase exciting business start-up ideas and are designed to highlight prototypes with the best chance of commercial success. The burgeoning of spin-out companies from Queen’s points to it being an environment that nurtures entrepreneurship and helps drive the Northern Ireland economy. Queen’s researchers won two of the five overall categories: Life And Health; and Agri-Food. Professor John McCanny, Director of the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen’s, was also honoured with the INVENT 2014 Special Recognition Award. A £33,000 prize fund will be distributed among all the winners who will also get to take p...)
  • Changing Lives: Queen’s impact on display in heart of Belfast in new exhibition 06 Oct, 2014 A compelling display of the work of Professor Phil Scraton from Queen’s University Belfast in relation to his research on the Hillsborough tragedy in which 96 men, women and children lost their lives, is just one of the items on display in a new exhibition appearing in Belfast City Hall from today (Monday, 6 October). Changing Lives: Our Specialist Subject has been created by Queen’s University and tells the story of how Queen’s staff are putting Northern Ireland in the national and global spotlight. Showing the impact Queen’s, as a world-class University, is having on the world around it, exhibits relate to every School at Queen’s, covering poetry to pharmacy and astrophysics to architecture. An array of objects, including  one of the original portable defibrillators developed by Professor Frank Pantrid...)
  • New study suggests humans to blame for plummeting numbers of cheetahs 01 Oct, 2014 A new study led by Queen’s University Belfast into how cheetahs burn energy suggests that human activity, rather than larger predators, may force them to expend more energy and thus be the major cause of their decline. Wild cheetahs are down to under 10,000 from 100,000 a century ago with conventional wisdom blaming bigger predators for monopolising available food as their habitat becomes restricted. The traditional thinking has been that cheetahs no longer have sufficient access to prey to fuel their enormous energy output when engaging in super-fast chases. But, in the first study of its kind, published today in the international journal Science, academics from Queen’s, other Universities and conservation institutions have made the surprising discovery that, in the main, cheetahs do not use significantly more energy than oth...)