• Room 01.005B - 6 College Green

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

- ABA-focussed PhD in any social important area (on-campus or distant learning options)
- Applicants have to be Board Certified Behaviour Analysts or hold a MScABA

1992 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Statement

I am the Director of the Centre for Behaviour Analysis (https://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentreforBehaviourAnalysis/)

I co-ordinate the MScAutism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) that has been offered in the School of Education since 2002. This course includes modules on Understanding children with ASD as well as Understanding adults with ASD, and Fundamentals of Behaviour Change, as well as Research in Education, and 2 optional modules.

I developed the online/blended learning MSc Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and while Dr Nichola Booth co-ordinates this course now, I continue to teach on this course. My work in this area has lead to the establishment of 4 full-time lecturer in ABA posts (including one Senior Lecturer).

My main research leadership concerns Applied Behaviour Analysis and evidence-based decision making in clinical and educational interventions.

Over the years I have been involved in a range of research regarding evidence-based practice, most notably in clinical psychology, parent training, child sex abuse, child protection, behavioural social work, and child behaviour management. My most sustained input into the literature in the field has been in relation to early behavioural interventions, social validity, and parent training in autism.

I have published well in excess of 100 peer-reviewed high-impact journal articles, delivered 80 invited international keynote addresses, and my work has been presented at more than 170 national and international conferences.

I have collaborated with the colleagues from other national and international Universities as well as the third sector in securing a number of substantial grants, including local government and European Funding exceeding £1m (e.g., www.stamppp.com). The most recent EU Erasmus+ grant (approx €350,000) focusses on developing Euroean Behaviour Analyst (EuroBA) Professional Recognition (2020-2023; http://euroba.org/). This project includes a total of 22 countries (7 partners and 16 countries represented on the Professional Advisory Group; see Keenan, Dillenburger et al., 2022).

I was the driving force in obtaining a number of book contracts from internationally renowned publishers in the field of autism and disabilities. Overall, I have published 9 books (including 7 printed and 2 digital books) and over 20 chapters in books. 

For example:

Parents' Education as Autism Therapists ABA in Context (2000, Jessica Kingsley Publishers) with contributions from UK and Ireland enjoys world-wide acclaim in reviews, very healthy worldwide sales, and is used as core text in parent training as well as academic courses (including Masters level courses) in England, USA, and Australia. "Parent training groups are buying it by the box" (Dr Gina Green, QUB Hon Doctorate). In 2005, the book was translated into Japanese (Prof Naoji Shimizu, Toyo University) and German (2014).

Applied behaviour analysis and autism: Building a future together ( 2005, Jessica Kingsley Publishers) features contributions from Ireland, UK, Australia, USA, and New Zealand.

Job coaches for adults with disabilities: Practical guidelines (2019, Jessica Kingsley Publishers) features contributions from Ireland, UK, Australia, USA, Poland, Netherlands, and Germany. 

I was Principal Investigator on a large scale Government funded project (BASE Project, 2012-2015) that has major impact in autism policy and practice (reports available at www.qub.ac./cba under projects).

I was the keycontact at QUB for the DOCTRID Institute (www.doctrid.ie) and ASSISTID Fellowships.

I have successfully supervised many Masters and Doctoral students.

I invite interest from Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBA) and MScABAs, who want to conduct ABA-based doctoral research via distant learning.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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