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PhD projects

- Drugs and Alcohol misuse in young people - Drug and alcohol misuse - Programme evaluation - Youth development


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Kathryn Higgins is the Director of the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation (CESI), and a professor of Social Science and Health in the school of Social Science Education and Social Work Queen’s University Belfast. Kathryn is an experienced research leader having previously led the Institute for Child Care Research for ten years. Kathryn has an established research reputation in the areas of substance use and addictive behavior and also has been active in the field of programme evaluation/implementation science. She continues to lead the now 18-year longitudinal study, known as the Belfast Youth Development Study, which has it has acted as a focal point for collaborations with external partners and for new, policy led research. In a field that changes rapidly Kathryn has stayed at the forefront of emerging issues; for example, she was recently funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to undertake research in the developing field of new psychoactive substances (legal highs). She has developed a cadre of work over the past ten years on Programme evaluation & implementation Science, evaluating interventions designed to improve child and adolescent development. These include RCTs of school- and community-based interventions.  Her research programmes, publications and international conference contributions have examined the policy and evidence base for interventions including substance misuse, mental health, alcohol prevention and the mechanisms for implementing evidence based practice and policy more generally.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment 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


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