Niall Majury

Niall Majury

Dr

  • Room 02.022 - Geography Building

    United Kingdom

1994 …2022

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Personal profile

Interests

I am a Human Geographer on an education track appointment, with research interests in the scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education (SOTL), urban regeneration and community-led development, global finance, financial markets and their regulation.   Recent pedagogic projects include:  negotiating the transition between school and university;  forms of authentic learning; embedding civic engagement within the curriculum; assessment through digital storytelling; and work-integrated learning.  
 
 
I was appointed Director of Education the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s in 2017.   The School brings together 5 disciplines: Archaeology and Palaeoecology; Architecture; Civil Engineering; Geography; and Planning.  Prior to this, I managed curriculum development, staffing, resourcing and the budget for Geography undergraduate programmes at Queen’s as the Head of Undergraduate Teaching (2008-2018).  My contributions to teaching and learning at Queen’s were recognised through two teaching awards (Excellence in Learning by a Team Teaching Award 2004, Sustained Excellence Award Teaching Award 2019) and the award of a Senior Fellowship with the Higher Education Academy (2016). 
 
 
A keen advocate for study abroad, since 2020 I have been a member of the University’s North America Strategic Partnership working group and co-lead (with Dr. Judith Wylie, Psychology) on the development of Queen’s partnership with the University of Pittsburgh.   In 2021/22 I introduced the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences’ first COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) course, Remaking Cities, co-developed and co-taught with Professor Michael Glass, Urban Studies, University of Pittsburgh.  This course brought together 20 undergraduate students from each institution to collaborate online researching Belfast and Pittsburgh from a comparative perspective.
 
 
I have also contributed to the development of tertiary level geographical education at a national level: as a member of the Royal Geographical Society’s (RGS) accreditation panel (2019 to present); as a member of the panels which produced the most recent QAA Subject Benchmark Statements for Geography (2022) and Area Studies (2024); as an appointed representative on the Council of British Geography (COBRIG, 2019 to present); and as an elected member of the executive committee of the  Geographical Association of Ireland (GSI, 2021 to present).  I am a member of the RGS’ Geography and Education Research Group (GeogEd) and in 2021 helped organise a GeogEd outreach event and online panel on Student Transitions (‘Journeys into and through Geography at University’).
 
 
Since my undergraduate studies and dissertation, I have retained a strong interest in Canada and Canadian Studies.  With the support of a variety of scholarships, I completed my Masters and Doctoral studies at Canadian institutions on Canadian case studies.   At the University of Leeds and Queen’s, Belfast, I have taken an active role in their Centres of Canadian Studies.  This includes the Eaton Lecture series, bringing to Belfast Naomi Klein (journalist and social activist) in partnership with the Belfast International Arts Festival and Professor Meric Gertler (President of the University of Toronto and international expert in city-regions) in partnership with Queen’s Policy Engagement.    
 
 
I am currently the Director of Canadian Studies at Queen’s (2017 to present) and in 2020 was elected President of the Association of Canadian Studies in Ireland (ACSI, 2020 to present).  I organised ACSI’s first online biennial international conference (Borders and Beyond / Les frontières et au-delà, 2021), co-organised (with Dr Dervila Cooke, Dublin City University) an online transatlantic conference for established and emerging scholars (Canada: Today and Tomorrow, 2023), and will be hosting on campus at Queen’s ACSI’s 21st biennial international conference (Canadian Anthropocene(s): Pathways to Sustainable Futures, May 9-11, 2024).
 
 
 
Since joining Queen’s I have been heavily involved in supporting the teaching of Geography within schools in Northern Ireland.  I am a member of the executive committee of the Geographical Association’s (GA) Belfast branch, for which I organise a popular annual series of evening Autumn talks for GCE students and their teachers that support the delivery of CCEA’s GCE Geography curriculum.  A particular highlight in 2022/23 was an online panel discussion for GeoWeek, celebrating career paths in Geography.  I took the lead in organising this for the GA (Belfast Branch) in collaboration with the Geographical Society of Ireland (GSI), the first such collaboration of its kind.   As part of a wider project (EPS’s ‘Re-Imagine STEM’), I also co-organised (with Conor Graham, Behnam Firoozi Nejad and Alistair Hamill) a professional development teachers’ workshop to support the embedding of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) within Geography in schools.  This was Re-imagine STEM’s most popular professional development event in 2022/23, with over 40 teachers taking part on campus. 

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 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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