• Room 0G.438 - David Keir Building

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am open to PhD applications in the fields of: -identity and intergroup relations -social identity theory -contact theory -applied interventions to address division -emerging/alternative forms of identity in divided societies


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

My research focuses on intergroup relations, intergroup conflict and social change in divided societies and is closes associated with social identity theory and contact theory. As an applied researcher these theoretical constructs are examined within "real-world" contexts; particularly those found within divided communities. Currently, I am involved in three lines of research. The first focuses on school-based contact initiatives designed to promote social cohesion in divided societies. I am currently involved in an ESRC grant to initiate shared education projects in the Former Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Kosovo. As well as a Spencer grant exploring the impact of shared education initiatives on the parents of young people involved in shared activities in Northern Ireland.

My second line of research focuses on the emotive issue of policing; in particular, the highly charged relationship between members of the police force and young people in Northern Ireland. I am currently working with the Northern Ireland Policing Board on an evaluation of the PSNI’s New Local Policing Model. The third focuses on national identity. I am currently working on projects related to the representation of Irish national identity at national parades and the manner in which individuals experience a sense of shared identity with those around them. 



PSY7054 Theoretical Perspectives and Focal Issues in Political Psychology

PSY7066 Quantitative Data Analysis


PSY7093 Personal Tutor


PSY1008 Foundations in Psychology (Personal Tutor)

PSY        Psychological Methods

PSY3121 Identity and Intergroup Relations (Module Coordinator)

PSY3114 Psychology Thesis 



I graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of Maine in 2001. From there, I moved to Claremont Graduate University where I was awarded an MA and PhD in Applied Social Psychology (MA 2006, PhD 2010). Immediately after completing my PhD, I moved to Belfast and began a postdoctoral position in the Institute for Irish Studies, followed by two additional postdoctoral positions in the Centre for Shared Education. From October 2017, I have joined the School of Psychology as a Lecturer in Applied Social Psychology. 

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Research Output

  • Open Access
    99 Downloads (Pure)

    Sense and Sensitivities: Researching children and young people’s identity and social attitudes in a divided society

    Burns, S., Blaylock, D., McKeown, S. & Taylor, L., 2019, (Accepted) Researching peace and conflict: Field experiences and methodological reflections.. Acar, Y., Moss, S. M. & Ulug, Ö. M. (eds.). (Psychology Series).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

    Open Access
  • 23 Downloads (Pure)


    The Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence: Small Grant Award

    Stephanie Burns (Recipient) & Danielle Blaylock (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities

    • 4 KTP & Consultancy in kind
    • 2 Invited talk