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Personal profile

Research Interests


My research interests are in the areas of service user and carer involvement, social inclusion, citizenship based social work, social justice and the interface between social work and political conflict. I am an Associate Fellow of both The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice and the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation at Queen's. I am also currently leading an international research project: Voices of Social Work through the Conflict in Northern Ireland with colleagues from New York University (NYU), University College Dublin (UCD) and Queen's. This project is funded by the Northern Ireland Association of Social Workers (NIASW) and the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC).

My research publications, particularly in the field of service user involvement, have informed social work education locally, nationally  and internationally. I am committed to working in partnership with service users as peer researchers and several of my publications evidence this approach. I have established strong international research links with New York, Penn State, Belmont, Alicante and Ljubljana Universities resulting in completed and ongoing research outputs.

My approach to teaching reflects a commitment to transformative and progressive pedagogy. I am particularly interested in the contribution that service users and carers can make to helping students understand the impact of political conflict. Using what I describe as a 'pedagogy of lived experience',  a defining aspect of my approach to education involves partnering with service user and carer groups in teaching challenging and pedagogical concepts to social work students such as social work values, international social work and political conflict. I am currently exploring ways in which music, performance and the arts can also assist students in their understanding of difficult topics.

As a current recipient of a US-UK Fulbright All Disciplines Scholar Award, I am working with Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee, New York University Silver School of Social Work and the U.S. Council for Social Work Education to focus on ways in which service user involvement can be developed in social work education in the United States. A particular focus of my work in New York University is the involvement of 9/11 survivors in teaching social work students about the insights and knowledge they require in helping people affected by trauma. This mirrors the pedagogic research I have been involved in working with people similarly affected by the trauma of the Northern Ireland 'Troubles'.

My pedagogic research and teaching have been recognised by the following Awards:

United Kingdom National Teaching Fellowship Award (NTF), Higher Education Academy (HEA) (October, 2014).


Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Social Work Award (September, 2013)

Queen’s University Teaching Award (July, 2013)

Queen's University Teaching Award (June, 2017) 

US-UK Fulbright All Disciplines Scholar Award (2018-19) (The first Fulbright awarded to Social Work in this Program since 1967)



Select Publications

Duffy, J., Campbell, J & Tosone, C. (2019) 'Voices of Social Work Through The Troubles'. Belfast. British Association of Social Workers Northern Ireland (BASW NI), Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC). 

McLaughlin, H., Duffy, J., McKeever, B., Sadd, J (2018). Service User Involvement in Social Work Education. London/New York. Routledge.

Tanner, D., Littlechild, R., Duffy, J and Hayes, D. (2017) ‘Making it real’: evaluating the impact of service user and carer involvement in social work education. British Journal of Social Work. Vol 47(2). pp.467-486

Duffy, J., Gillen, P., Agnew, C., Casson, K., Davidson, G., McGlone, A and McKeever, B. (2017) Personal and Public Involvement (PPI) and its impact. Monitoring, measuring and evaluating the impact of PPI in Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. Belfast. Public Health Agency and Patient and Client Council. http://www.knowledge.hscni.net/Topics/Index/823. 

Dill, K., Montgomery, L., Davidson, G., Duffy, J (2016) ‘Service User Involvement in Social Work Education: The Road Less Travelled’.Field Education Journal. Vol 6.2. p. 1-11

Duffy, J., Collins, M and Sook Hyun Kim (2016) 'Linking Family Engagement with a Rights Perspective: Macro Factors Influencing Practice' European Journal of Social Work. DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2016.1255925

Campbell, J., Duffy, J & Simpson, M. (2016) Political conflict and social work education. Routledge International Handbook of Social Work Education. Taylor, I., Bogo, M., Lefevre, M. & Teater, B. (eds.). New York: Routledge, p. 275-286

Duffy, J., Davidson, G and Kavanagh, D. (2016) 'Applying the Recovery Approach to the interface between Mental Health and Child Protection Services'. Child Care in Practice. Vol 22(1). pp. 35-49.

Duffy, J., Caldwell, J and Collins, M (2016) Reflections on the impact of the Children (NI) Order 1995. Child Care in Practice. 22(4) 327-335.

Duffy, J., Basu, S., Davidson, G and Pearson, K. (2015) Review of Legislation and Policy Guidance relating to Adult Social Care in Northern Ireland. Belfast. Commisioner for Older People in Northern Ireland (COPNI). http://www.copni.org/publications/

Duffy, J (2006) Participating and Learning - Citizen Involvement in Social Work Education in a Northern Ireland Context. London. Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). www.scie.org.uk/publications/misc/citizeninvolvement.pdf 

Campbell, J and Duffy, J (2008) Social work, political violence and citizenship in Northern Ireland. In Shulamit Ramon (Ed) Social Work in the Context of Political Conflict (IASSW/BASW). pp 57 – 76. Birmingham: Venture Press.

Duffy, J (2008) Looking Out from the Middle: User Involvement in Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. London. Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) www.scie.org.uk/publications/reports/report18.asp

Duffy, J (2009) Citizens as Social Work Educators in a Post-Conflict Society: Reflections from Northern Ireland. Revista Alternativas. Cuadernos de Trabajo Social (Alternatives. Notes on Social Work) No 16. Pp.53-63. Alicante. University of Alicante, Spain.

Agnew, A and Duffy, J (2010) Innovative Approaches to Involving Service Users in Palliative Care Social Work Education, Social Work Education - the International Journal, Vol, 29(7). pp. 744 -759.

Duffy, J (2011) Explicit Argumentation as a Supervisory Tool for Decision Making in Child Protection Cases Involving Human Rights Issues. Practice, Vol 23(1). pp 31-44 (Special Edition on Human Rights and Social Justice).

Duffy, J.,Basu, S and Pearson, K (2012)  Older people and legal advice – the need for joined up and creative approaches. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law , Vol. 34 (1): 31-47.

Duffy, J and Mc Keever, B (2012) Looking out from the middle: Influencing policy change through user involvement. In (eds) Marian Barnes and Phil Cotterell. Critical Perspectives on User Involvement. Abingdon: The Policy Press.

Duffy, J (2012) Service user involvement in teaching about conflict – an exploration of the issues. International Social Work (Special Edition on Social Work and Armed Conflict).Vol 55(5) pp. 720 - 739.

Duffy, J., Das, C. & Davidson, G (2012): Service User and Carer Involvement in Role-plays to Assess Readiness for Practice, Social Work Education - The International Journal. Vol 32(1). pp 39-55.

Duffy, J. and Hayes, D. (2012) Social Work Students Learn About Social Work Values from Service Users and Carers, Ethics and Social Welfare. Vol 6(4). pp 368-386.

Duffy, J.,Ramon, S.,Guru, S.,Cemlyn, S.,Lindsay, J and Nuttman-Shwartz, O (2013). Developing a social work curriculum on political conflict – Findings from an IASSW funded project. European Journal of Social Work. Vol. 16(5).pp. 689-707

International DVD

Duffy, J., Martinez-Roman, M.A and Zavirsek, D. (2013) International Messages on Service User and Carer Involvement. International Association of Schools of Social Work(IASSW). https://mediasite.qub.ac.uk/Mediasite/Play/c4444bd8d7064875ac9166b2279792cd1d






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Research Output

320 Downloads (Pure)
10 Downloads (Pure)

‘Making it real’: evaluating the impact of service user and carer involvement in social work education

Tanner, D., Littlechild, R., Duffy, J. & Hayes, D., 01 Mar 2017, In : British Journal of Social Work. 47, 2, p. 467 -468 1.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 12 Citations (Scopus)
    313 Downloads (Pure)

    Applying the recovery approach to the interface between mental health and child protection services

    Duffy, J., Davidson, G. & Kavanagh, D., 2016, In : Child Care in Practice. 22, 1, p. 35-49

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    392 Downloads (Pure)


    Feb (2011) - Queen’s University Discretionary Award for Exceptional Performance

    Duffy, Joe (Recipient), Feb 2011

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • National Teaching Fellowship

    Duffy, Joe (Recipient), 09 Oct 2014

    Prize: National/international honour

    QUB Teaching Award 2012 - Excellence in Teaching By A Team

    Duffy, Joe (Recipient), Kelly, Berni (Recipient), Chaitali Das (Recipient), Davidson, Gavin (Recipient) & Hayes, David (Recipient), 2012

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Queen's University Teaching Award - Excellence in Teaching in a Team

    Murphy, Paul (Recipient), Davidson, Gavin (Recipient), Duffy, Joe (Recipient), Montgomery, Lorna (Recipient), Gormley, Gerard (Recipient) & Walsh, Ian (Recipient), 20 Jun 2017

    Prize: Other distinction

  • US-UK Fulbright Scholarship - All Disciplines Scholar Award

    Duffy, Joe (Recipient), Sep 2018

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

  • Activities

    6th Annual Social Work and Social Care Research in Practice Conference

    Lorna Montgomery (Speaker), , Paul Murphy (Speaker), , Gavin Davidson (Contributor), & Joe Duffy (Advisor)

    06 Mar 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    Launch of NISCC Easy Read Standards of Conduct

    Joe Duffy (Advisor)

    19 Jan 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Council for Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Dallas, Texas

    Joe Duffy (Presenter), & Hugh McLaughlin (Presenter)

    19 Oct 201722 Oct 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    New York University

    Joe Duffy (Advisor)

    17 Apr 201705 Jun 2017

    Activity: Visiting an external institution typesResearch and Teaching at External Organisation


    Hearing the Voice of the User: Influencing Policy Through Participation

    Joe Duffy (Participant)

    Impact: Public Policy Impact, Societial Impact

    Influencing Policy on Young Witnesses in Criminal Proceedings

    David Hayes (Participant), Lisa Bunting (Participant), Trevor Spratt (Participant), Anne Lazenbatt (Participant), Nicola Carr (Participant) & Joe Duffy (Participant)

    Impact: Public Policy Impact, Societial Impact


    A Mixed Methods Feasibility Study Exploring the Impact of Introducing Mindfulness to Adolescents Referred for Anxiety Based School Refusal

    Author: Shine, T., Dec 2016

    Supervisor: Duffy, J. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Drinking from the well : developing social work practice with service users and carers

    Author: Duffy, J., Dec 2014

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Poverty, social exclusion and the Northern Ireland conflict

    Author: Smyth, R., Jul 2020

    Supervisor: Schubotz, D. (Supervisor), Duffy, J. (Supervisor) & Tomlinson, M. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy