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    Research Interests

    My research interests lie in two main areas: social gerontology, and community engaged research – specifically qualitative and participatory research methods. I have been a member of ARK at Queen's since 2014. I also serve on the Executive Committee of the British Society of Gerontology and the editorial board of Ageing & Society. Currently, I am working on a range of critical and humanistic approaches to understanding ageing. Initiatives include a successful Wellcome Trust pilot project based on material culture. I am also collaborating with Jane Lugea on Dementia in Fiction and with colleagues in Leicester on ageing and digital culture. Recent projects have included Arts, Humanities Research Council research network grant with the Chinese University in Hong Kong, and Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at QUB; the establishment of the Northern Irish branch of the British Society of Gerontology with colleagues in Ulster University and Linking Generations NI. 

    My work has evolved over the past number of years from gender and public policy to critical perspectives on policies for ageing societies, also known as critical gerontology. Since coming to Queen's I have seen these two aspects of my work converge with a number of projects which draw on feminist theories and concepts to develop knowledge of ageing societies. In 2018 I am working on an international textbook Challenging the Age Gap wth Paul Nash at University of Southern California. 

    My work has been published in Ageing and Society, Journal of Aging Studies, Action Research, Critical Social Policy, Journal of Women and Aging, the European Journal of Ageing and Gender & Soceity. 

    Previous work made a contribution to policy formulation and critique in the area of civil society engagement with the State, in particular on corporatism and policies for disadvantaged groups in the Republic of Ireland. I was also one of team of researchers on Changing Generations, a longitudinal, grounded theory study of solidarity between generations in the Republic of Ireland ( In recent years, my work has taken a more global focus, idetifying policy responses to ageing populations as problematic in a range of country context. 

    I am keen to support applications for postgraduate research in any of the above areas but especially on furthering our understanding of ageing and older people, cultural gerontology, politics of ageing or gender scholars with an interest in ageing societies. 


    My aim since joining the social policy team at QUB in January 2014, was to embed social gerontology in the teaching programme. Social gerontology is now an optional module in level 2 through my module SPY2009 Ageing and the Lifecourse. I have also led the revision of entry level social policy through devising and convening Introducing Social Policy, which attracts over 100 first year undergraduate students. At masters level I convene Social Policy, Ageing and the Lifecourse for the cross faculty MSc in Public Policy. In 2017, I convened Advanced Qualitative Research Methods. My next innovation is a cross Faculty module on ageing called New Questions for an Ageing World, which I am co-convening with Leonie Hannan at HAPP. I am currently working on a textbook Questions for an Ageing World with Paul Nash at the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, USA. The book will be published by Policy Press in 2020. 

    I am interested in supervising PhD students on social policy in ageing societies, cultural gerontology and projects relating to lifecourse issues which use either qualitative or participatory research methods. 

    Willingness to take PhD students


    PhD projects

    I am open to PhD applications in the fields of:
    - Social policy and ageing
    - Social gerontology
    - Gender
    - Cultural gerontology

    Frequent Journals

    • Ageing & Society

      ISSNs: 0144-686X

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1469-1779

      Cambridge University Press

      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 0.845 SNIP 1.338


    • Irish Political Studies

      ISSNs: 0790-7184

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1743-9078


      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 0.435 SNIP 1.228


    • Administration

      ISSNs: 0001-8325

      Institute of Public Administration

      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 0.154 SNIP 0.325


    • Voluntary Sector Review

      ISSNs: 2040-8056

      Policy Press

      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 0.301 SNIP 0.419


    • Journal of Intergenerational Relations

      ISSNs: 1535-0770

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1535-0932


      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 0.3 SNIP 0.584


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    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 7959562