• Room 0G.005 - 27 University Square

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am open to PhD applications in the fields of:
- Nineteenth-century Irish history
- Comparative famine history
- Pre-Troubles history of Northern Ireland

1994 …2021

Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Peter Gray took his undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the University of Cambridge before holding research fellowships at the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen's, and at Downing College, Cambridge. He taught Irish and British history at the University of Southampton 1996-2005, before returning to Belfast to take up the positions of Professor of Modern Irish History and Director of Research in Irish and British History at QUB. In 2004 Professor Gray was the Burns Library Visiting Professor in Irish Studies at Boston College, MA, was Eaton visiting fellow at the University of New Brunswick in 2015 and O'Donnell Fellow in Irish Studies at the University of Melbourne in 2023. He was chair of the Royal Irish Academy's National Committee for the Historical Sciences 2007-10, and is a member of the editorial board of Irish Historical Studies. He was Head of the School of History and Anthropology 2010-15 and is has been Director of the Institute of Irish Studies at QUB since 2016.

Research Statement

Professor Gray's research specializes in the history of British-Irish relations c.1800-70, especially the political history of the Great Famine of 1845-50 and the politics of poverty and land in the nineteenth century. He has interests in the history of 19th-century political economy and social thought, in comparative imperial history (especially 19th-century Ireland and India), in historical memory and commemoration, and in the history of the Irish lord lieutenancy. He directed the EPPI project to digitise Parliamentary Papers relating to Ireland 1800-1922, and was PI on the AHRC-funded research project 'Welfare and Public Health in Belfast and the north of Ireland, c.1800-1973'. He has recently completed a biography of the Ulster Radical William Sharman Crawford (1780-1861).


Professor Peter Gray teaches on the following programmes / modules:



Politics and Society in 19th Century Ireland (HIS2011)Politics and Society in Nineteenth-Century Ireland
'The Vast Catastrophe': The Great Famine of the 1840s (HIS3033)The Vast Catastrophe: The Irish Famine


MHY7081Topics in Irish History
IRS7011Belfast: Place, Identity and Memory in a Contested City

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 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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