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      Research Interests

      My research interests lie in two main areas: social gerontology, and community engaged research – specifically qualitative and participatory research methods. I am a member of the Executive Committee of the British Society of Gerontology and the editorial board of Ageing & Society, and ARK. Currently, I am working on a range of critical and humanistic approaches to understanding ageing. Initiatives include a successful Wellcome Trust pilot project based on material culture. I am also collaborating with Jane Lugea on Dementia in Fiction and with colleagues in Leicester on ageing and digital culture. Recent projects have included Arts, Humanities Research Council research network grant with the Chinese University in Hong Kong, and Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at QUB; the establishment of the Northern Irish branch of the British Society of Gerontology with colleagues in Ulster University and Linking Generations NI. 

      My work has evolved over the past number of years from gender and public policy to critical perspectives on policies for ageing societies, also known as critical gerontology. Since coming to Queen's I have seen these two aspects of my work converge with a number of projects which draw on feminist theories and concepts to develop knowledge of ageing societies. 

      My work has been published in Ageing and Society, Journal of Aging Studies, Action Research, Critical Social Policy and the European Journal of Ageing and Gender & Soceity. 

      Previous work made a contribution to policy formulation and critique in the area of civil society engagement with the State, in particular on corporatism and policies for disadvantaged groups in the Republic of Ireland. I was also one of team of researchers on Changing Generations, a longitudinal, grounded theory study of solidarity between generations in the Republic of Ireland ( In recent years, my work has taken a more global focus, idetifying policy responses to ageing populations as problematic in a range of country context. 

      I am keen to support applications for postgraduate research in any of the above areas but especially on furthering our understanding of ageing and older people, cultural gerontology, politics of ageing or gender scholars with an interest in ageing societies. 


      My aim since joining the social policy team at QUB in January 2014, was to embed social gerontology in the teaching programme. Social gerontology is now an optional module in level 2 through my module SPY2009 Ageing and the Lifecourse. I have also led the revision of entry level social policy through devising and convening Introducing Social Policy, which attracts over 100 first year undergraduate students. At masters level I convene Social Policy, Ageing and the Lifecourse for the cross faculty MSc in Public Policy. In 2017, I convened Advanced Qualitative Research Methods. My next innovation is a cross Faculty module on ageing called New Questions for an Ageing World, which I am co-convening with Leonie Hannan at HAPP.

      I am interested in supervising PhD students on social policy in ageing societies, cultural gerontology and projects relating to lifecourse issues which use either qualitative or participatory research methods. 

      Frequent Journals

      • Ageing & Society

        ISSNs: 0144-686X

        Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1469-1779

        Cambridge University Press

        Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 1.58 SJR 0.76 SNIP 1.203


      • Irish Political Studies

        ISSNs: 0790-7184

        Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1743-9078


        Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 0.85 SJR 0.545 SNIP 0.476


      • Administration

        ISSNs: 0001-8325

        Institute of Public Administration


      • Voluntary Sector Review

        ISSNs: 2040-8056

        Policy Press

        Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 0.26 SJR 0.137 SNIP 0.034


      • European Journal of Ageing

        ISSNs: 1613-9372

        Springer Verlag

        Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 1.48 SJR 0.72 SNIP 0.985


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      Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

      ID: 7959562