Personal profile

Research Statement

My main research interests focus on the role of education in divided societies and the civic and democratic role of higher education.

Since the early 2000s an important focus for my work has been on the development of collaborative school networks. This work has led to the development of the Northern Ireland Model of Shared Education. From pilot programmes in 2007 where we began with twelve schools, this work has now developed to the extent that Shared Education has been adopted as a statutory duty of the Department of Education in Northern Ireland, and currently about 60% of schools there are involved in school partnerships. The model has also been adapted for use in a range of other divided societies, including Israel and parts of the Balkans, in the cities of Jerusalem and Los Angeles, and discussions are on-going in Lebanon, Cyprus and other post-conflict regions.

Over the same period I have worked with the Council of Europe and the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy. This work has focused on the role of engaged universities, either as promoters of democratic culture or in their role as anchor institutions.

I have held a number of leadership roles within Queens including Head of the School of Education (2005-10), Pro Vice Chancellor (2010-15), Acting Head of the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (2016) and Acting Faculty Dean of Research for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (2018-19).


Throughout my time in Queens I have contributed to teaching on a wide range of programmes at Masters and Doctoral levels. My current main focus is on a Master’s programme on Educational Leadership. I also contribute to the general lectures of the PGCE and PGCHET programmes, and speak regularly to visiting groups of staff and students. I also receive regular invitations to speak to local communities and organisations in Northern Ireland.

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 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or