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Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Open to PhD applications in: -Intergroup relations in divided societies -The role of schools in promoting intergroup relations in divided societies

1991 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Joanne Hughes is Director of the Centre for Shared Education at Queen’s. She is also Director of Research in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work. Her main research interests are in the role of education in divided societies, and inequalities in education. She has led more than 20 research projects on these themes and has been awarded research grants from the EU, ESRC, British Council, British Academy, Nuffield, UNICEF, Atlantic Philanthropies, and a range of other sources. Current research projects explore longitudinally the effect of inter-group contact between Protestant and Catholic pupils in Northern Ireland, and the development and effectiveness of shared education interventions locally and in international settings, including Israel and the Balkans. In 2016 she was appointed to a prestigious UNESCO Chair on Globalising a Shared Education Model for Improving Intergroup Relations in Divided Societies. In 2019, her work was recognised in a Queen’s Anniversary Prize, awarded to Queen’s University for Shared Education. She has advised Government Officials and Ministers nationally and internationally on the development of policies and interventions to promote good relations in schools. Her research in NI informed the Shared Education Act (2016) and an associated policy framework, and in North Macedonia, the establishment of a state-wide Interethnic Integration in Education Programme, and the development of resources that have been made available to every primary school in the region.  In Israel, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo she is working with local NGOs and officials to develop shared education interventions. Relating to research impact, her work is one of 19 Signature Projects supported in Queen’s Social Charter (2017). Recent (2016-present) expert advisor roles include, British Academy, ‘Education in Conflict and Protracted Crises’; Academy of Social Sciences, ‘Making the Case for Education in the UK’- subsequently launched in the House of Lords (2017); Salzburg Global Session 605, ‘Climate Change, Conflict, Health and Education’; Research Review of mid-Sweden University - Chair of the Education Panel. From 2010-2014 she was editor of the prestigious British Educational Research Journal. She served on the Executive Council of the British Educational Research Association from 2012-2017. In 2019 she was appointed to the international Learner Research Network Advisory Board. 


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Research Output

Collaboration in Sharing Education: Year 1 Qualitative Report

Loader, R., Hughes, J., Blaylock, D. & Turner, R., 2020, 19 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Teaching about the Past in Northern Ireland: Avoidance, Neutrality, and Criticality

Donnelly, C., McAuley, C., Blaylock, D. & Hughes, J., 30 Jun 2020, (Accepted) In : Irish Educational Studies.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Education in conflict-affected areas: Final report

    Gallagher, A., Robinson, G., Hughes, J. & Connolly, D., 10 Apr 2019, London: British Council. 31 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

    Open Access
  • Prizes

    Queen's Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education

    Gallagher, Tony (Recipient), Hughes, Joanne (Recipient), Duffy, Gavin (Recipient), Robinson, Gareth (Recipient) & Loader, Rebecca (Recipient), 20 Feb 2020

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Radcliffe-Brown Award for PhD Research

    Hughes, Joanne (Recipient), 1992

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Shortlisted for Vice Chancellor's Impact Award, Queen's University

    Hughes, Joanne (Recipient), 2013

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Shared Education

    Hughes, Joanne (Recipient), 21 Nov 2019

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities

    Newton Prize Reviewer: Nominated to the role by UNESCO UK

    Joanne Hughes (Advisor)

    Mar 2020

    Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

    QUB Social Charter podcasts: Shared Education

    Tony Gallagher (Recipient), , Joanne Hughes (Recipient), & Gavin Duffy (Recipient)

    02 Apr 2020

    Activity: Other activity typesOther

    Consultant to the British Council on: Britain and Ireland: Lives Entwined Shifting Borders, Shifting Identity

    Joanne Hughes (Advisor)

    24 Feb 2020

    Activity: Consultancy typesWork on advisory panel to industry or government or non-government organisation

    Workshop for teachers in collaborating Arab and Jewish schools, Ramle, Israel: Invited speaker

    Joanne Hughes (Participant)

    18 Dec 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Press / Media

    Mapping Northern Ireland's Post-BREXIT Future

    Joanne Hughes


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research

    Sharing works: Reflections on shared education in Northern Ireland

    Joanne Hughes


    2 Media contributions

    Press/Media: Other


    Shared Education: Building Positive Intergroup Relations in Divided Societies

    Tony Gallagher (Participant), Joanne Hughes (Participant), Karen Carlisle (Participant) & Caitlin Donnelly (Participant)

    Impact: Public Policy Impact, Societial Impact


    Applying Theory-Based Interventions to Encourage Successful Intergroup Contact Through Shared Education Programme in Northern Ireland

    Author: Kinghan, D., 2019

    Supervisor: Turner, R. (Supervisor), Hughes, J. (Supervisor) & McKeown, G. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Citizenship education in Northern Ireland and Israel within an educational rights framework

    Author: Hanna, H., Jul 2014

    Supervisor: Hughes, J. (Supervisor) & Langlaude, S. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Essentially Christian in character? Ethos in integrated schools

    Author: Wardlow, M., Jul 2013

    Supervisor: Hughes, J. (Supervisor) & Donnelly, C. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Navigating Teacher Identity in Evolving Technological Contexts in Irish Classrooms

    Author: Cassidy, D., Jul 2020

    Supervisor: Hughes, J. (Supervisor) & Nelson, J. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Shared Education in Northern Ireland: A Qualitative Study of Intergroup Contact

    Author: Loader, R., Jul 2015

    Supervisor: Hughes, J. (Supervisor) & Gallagher, A. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy