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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. In my three years at QUB I have been lucky enough to lead a number of research projects which embed gerontology at Queen's. This has been achieved because of the many fantastic colleagues across the Arts,Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty who have been generous collaborators, not least my colleagues on the ARK Ageing programme. Initiatives include a successful Wellcome Trust pilot project, an 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. For instance, I am currently Principal Investigator on The Lively Project, a pilot project, funded by the Wellcome Trust which aims to use arts pactice and historical perspectives to explore the idea of lived experience of a long life. 

      The challenge of population ageing is multi-faceted, requiring research evidence from a range of disciplines. As a result, all of my work has tended to be inter-disciplinary, involving collaboration with university and community partners. I am Associate Fellow at the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation where I work with colleagues from Nursing and Midwifery on Chronic Illness and Palliative Care. 

      Previous collaborators have included the Social Policy and Ageing Research Centre (TCD), the Community Knowledge Initiative, Child and Family Research Centre and the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, and Department of Geography at Cambridge University. 

      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 115 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 am looking foward to co-convening Advanced Qualitative Research Methods with Dr. Mike Corman. 

      Along with Dirk Schubotz, I am co-supervising Luck Van Erwegen's PhD thesis on resilience in young people. I am also second supervisor for Elizabeth Martin on her PhD thesis which investigates the experiences of older women who have lived within violent domestic contexts. 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): SJR 0.76 SNIP 1.203


      • Irish Political Studies

        ISSNs: 0790-7184

        Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1743-9078


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


      • European Journal of Ageing

        ISSNs: 1613-9372

        Springer Verlag

        Scopus rating (2016): SJR 0.72 SNIP 0.985


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      Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

      ID: 7959562