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Stephanie Burns


  • Room 01.531 - David Keir Building

    United Kingdom


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Personal profile

Research Interests

My research interests are interdisciplinary, crossing the fields of education, psychology and sociology, focusing on intergroup relations in post-conflict societies and the roles of schools and contact-based interventions in promoting social cohesion. I am particularly interested in issues of identity, multiculturalism and respect for diversity; inclusivity in education and shared & collaborative models of education; educational outcomes in contexts of adversity & inequalities in education; and the promotion of community participation and voice (particularly for children and young people). I am a mixed methods researcher, and have employed a range of methodologies during my career: interviews, focus groups, and creative methods with children and adults; psychometric scale development and factor analysis; secondary and longitudinal data analysis; and multivariate statistics.

Research Statement

I am currently a Research Fellow at the Centre for Identity and Intergroup Relations within the School of Psychology, working alongside Dr Danielle Blaylock (Principal Investigator), Dr Laura Taylor, and Prof Rhiannon Turner on the impact evaluation of the PEACE IV Objective 2.1 Children and Young People Programme ("Peace4Youth"). This Objective targets young people aged 14-24 years from more marginalised and disadvantaged communities in Northern Ireland and the border region of the Republic of Ireland. Projects funded under the Programme are required to show clear development of sustainable participant capabilities in relation to the three Programme outcome areas of: good relations, personal development, and citizenship. The overall objective of the evaluation is to test the intervention logic and form a view of the effectiveness and impact of the investment. To do so, the Centre for Identity and Intergroup Relations evaluation team has used a rigorous methodology utilising a mixed-methods, longitudinal approach focusing on multiple levels of analysis. Primary data is being collected through participant surveys, as well as focus groups with key project personnel. This data has been analysed alongside monitoring and contextual data pulled from secondary datasets. Together these sources of data allow for the exploration of individual, project level, and social factors which may influence the impact of the project.


PhD research (2009-2013) Understandings of ‘respect for diversity’ within primary schools in Northern Ireland 

My PhD research was funded by the Improving Children's Lives research initiative at Queen's University Belfast, and was completed at the School of Psychology at Queen's. This PhD was primarily qualitative, exploring how children who were born after the Good Friday Agreement understand the concept of respect for diversity, and the methods by which teachers and parents try to impart their own understandings of respect. These qualitative findings led to the successful development and validation of a psychometric measure of respect for diversity (using factor analysis), which can be used in conjunction with curriculum programmes that seek to promote respect for diversity.


Since 2018, I have delivered social psychology lectures to undergraduates on the BSc Psychology course at Queen's, and have supervised undergraduate and postgraduate psychology thesis students. I have also been a postgraduate personal tutor, and from 2019, will be involved in the delivery of lab demonstrations.


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