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    Research Interests

    My research expertise lies in international disability rights and children’s rights with a particular focus on the application of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to national policy and practice. I also have a particular interest in the rights of disabled children and young people, inclusive education, transitions, and disability theory. Prior to joining the School in 2012 I was a Children’s Rights Research Fellow in the then School of Education, and a researcher for the Centre on Human Rights for People with Disabilities at Disability Action. I am currently Co-Director of the Centre for Children's Rights and co-chair of the Disability Research Network at QUB. 


    Current Projects


    • Developing Child Friendly UNCRC (2018-2019) GlobalChild Rights Dialogue, (with Laura Lundy and Michelle Templeton)


    • Access to Justice for Deaf People - Implementing Article 13 of the UNCRPD, DRILL (2018-2020) with British Deaf Association, Syracuse University and Rowan University. 


    • The Rights of Children with Disabilities in the Digital Environment, Council of Europe (2017-2018) (with Laura Lundy)


    • Acceptability and usefulness of ‘My Healthcare Passport' to young people with life-limiting conditions. Marie Curie Research Funding (2016-2018) (with Pete O'Halloran, Dorry McLaughlin, Michaela Hollywood, Jayne Price, Aine Abbott, Max Watson)


    Recent Projects


    • Evaluation of Unicef UK Child Rights Partners Programme,Unicef UK (2016-2017) (with Siobhan McAlister and Katrina Lloyd)



    • ECNI Update Project: Shortfalls in public policy and programme delivery in Northern Ireland relative to the Articles of the UNCRPD, funded by Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (with Colin Harper). Completed July 2014


    • Transitions for Young People with Hearing Loss (with Siobhan McAlister), funded by Action on Hearing Loss. Completed June 2014.


    • Implementing Children’s Rights in Northern Ireland: A Collaboration Project with the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY), (with Laura Lundy), funded by ESRC. Completed September 2013.


    • Bringing Children’s Rights into Domestic Law: An International Review (with Laura Lundy and Ursula Kilkelly), funded by UNICEF UK.  Completed September 2012.


    • Transitions to Adult Services for Young People with Learning Disabilities in Northern Ireland (with Laura Lundy), funded by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People. Completed August 2012.


    • A Human Rights Review of the Northern Ireland Education System, (with Laura Lundy and Lesley Emerson), funded by Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Completed May 2012


    • Barriers to Effective Government Delivery for Children in Northern Ireland (with Laura Lundy), Funded by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People. Completed June 2012, See



    • Ready to Learn: Involving Children in the Service Design Process (with Laura Lundy and Lesley Emerson), Funded by Barnardo’s Northern Ireland. Completed March 2010.





    Leadership Roles (Teaching)

    Programme Director (MSc Children's Rights) (2018 -)

    Programme Director (BA Social Policy) (2015-2018)


    Undergraduate Teaching


    SPY3014 Disability and Society (Module Convenor)

    SPY1005 Themes and Issues in Social Policy

    SPY1004 Introducing Social Policy

    SPY3019 Gender, the Family and Social Policy

    Undergraduate dissertation supervisor


    Postgraduate Teaching

    SOC9047 Perspectives in Childhood and Youth

    SOC9048 Childhood and Youth Research in Practice


    Other Leadership Roles

    Co-Director, Centre for Children's Rights

    Co-Chair, Disability Research Network

    Social Policy Subject Lead, School Management Board


    Willingness to take PhD students


    PhD projects

    - Rights of children and young people with disabilities
    - Inclusive education
    - Children’s rights
    - Disability studies

    Frequent Journals

    • Journal of Social Policy

      ISSNs: 0047-2794

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1469-7823

      Cambridge University Press

      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 1.072 SNIP 1.821


    • International Journal of Children's Rights

      ISSNs: 0927-5568

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1571-8182

      Martinus Nijhoff Publishers

      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 0.309 SNIP 0.511


    • Child Care in Practice

      ISSNs: 1357-5279, 1476-489X

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1476-489X


      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 0.27 SNIP 0.46


    • Disability and Society

      ISSNs: 0968-7599

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1360-0508


      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 0.534 SNIP 1.141


    • Child: Care, Health and Development

      ISSNs: 0305-1862

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1365-2214


      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 0.863 SNIP 1.202


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    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 52989