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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
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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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Projects 2007 2019

Research Output 1991 2020


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
conflict resolution
83 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access

Circling a conflicted policy landscape: Child poverty and education in Northern Ireland

Gallagher, A., Leitch, M. & Hughes, J., 2018, Resisting Educational Inequality Reframing Policy and Practice in Schools serving vulnerable communities. Gannon, S., Hattam, R. & Sawyer, W. (eds.). Abingdon: Routledge, p. 70-81 12 p.

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

695 Downloads (Pure)

Developing Social Cohesion through Schools in Northern Ireland and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: A Study of Policy Transfer

Loader, R., Hughes, J., Petroska-Beshka, V. & Tomovska Misoska, A., 31 Aug 2018, In : Journal on Education in Emergencies. 4, 1, p. 114-140 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access


Radcliffe-Brown Award for PhD Research

Joanne Hughes (Recipient), 1992

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

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

Joanne Hughes (Recipient), 2013

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Shared Education

Joanne Hughes (Recipient), 21 Nov 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Activities 2000 2020

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

Lessons from Shared Education in NI: Invited Presentation at Political Week, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Joanne Hughes (Invited speaker)
16 Dec 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference

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., 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


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

Author: Loader, R., Jun 2015

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

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy