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Karen Orr


  • Room 0G.002 - 2 Fitzwilliam Street

    United Kingdom


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

I am a Research Fellow working in the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation (CESI) at Queen’s.  I am currently working with CESI's Innovation Zones on a range of different projects and initiatives. 


My research interests, broadly, are in the fields of education, psychology, community-based participatory research and children's rights. More specifically, my interests lie in: improving children's and community's outcomes; children’s wellbeing, both in school and the wider community; the psychological factors related to wellbeing and social and emotional learning (including for example, self-efficacy, resilience, self-management, and decision-making etc.); children’s rights (having worked on a range of projects with the Centre for Children's Rights); and participation and empowerment.


My research experience has focused on a range of methods and designs, including: psychometric scale development for attitude measurement; randomised controlled trials for educational programme evaluation; qualitative methods for in-depth analysis; and children’s rights-based/ participatory methods involving children, young people and community groups.


Research projects

Below is a list of some of the projects I am/ have been involved in:


‘Innovation zones’, see here for more information.


‘A Pilot Implementation Study of Positive Action a whole primary school programme designed to develop positive attitudes, behaviour and relationships’ (co-investigator), funded by the Education Endowment Foundation.


'Enabling the exercise of civil and political rights: the views of children' (principal investigator), funded by Save the Children.


'Child participatory budgeting processes: A global review of good practice' (co-investigator), funded by Plan Sweden


‘Advancing children’s rights in Ireland, north and south’, funded by Atlantic Philanthropies.


‘How governments spend public money to realise children’s rights’ (co-principal investigator), funded by Plan International.


'Survey development to inform the Northern Ireland young persons’ alternative report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child’ (principal investigator), funded by Save the Children.


‘Child Rights Education: a study of implementation in countries with a UNICEF National Committee Presence’ (co-investigator), funded by UNICEF.


‘Legal Needs of Children and Young People’ (co-investigator), funded by the Department of Justice.


‘A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial Evaluation of the ‘From Prison to Peace’ Educational Programme’, funded by the Office of the First and deputy First Minister.


‘Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial Evaluation of the Effects of Sesame Tree on 5-6 Year Old Children's Attitudes and Awareness’, funded by the Sesame Workshop (maternity cover).


Teaching roles

I have held a number of different teaching roles, including the supervision of Masters students, contributions to the delivery and assessment of the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (P.G.C.E.) and co-convening the MSc in Children’s Rights.



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