Liam O'Hare

    Liam O'Hare


    Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 5973

    For media contact email
    or call +44(0)2890 973091.

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    Research Statement

    To date, I have attracted over £3.2 million in external research grant income with over £1.5 million as Principal Investigator. 

    Structurally, my research interests align in two inter-connected themes:

    1.  Prevention and Early Intervention Research

    My overarching interest is enhancing policy and practice through prevention and early intervention research, with the ultimate goal of improving the outcomes of those facing disadvantage. I have gathered considerable expertise in the main components of prevention and early intervention research including: programme logic modelling; co-design of interventions; implementation science; and using randomised controlled trials to evaluate programme effectiveness. To achieve this, I work extensively with a wide range of stakeholders including communities, policymakers, practitioners, children and their parents. Furthermore, I use a diverse range of quantitative and qualitative research methods within these social and educational contexts. 

    2. Improving Outcomes of Children and Young People

    Generally, my work seeks to improve the social, emotional and educational outcomes of children and young people. Some example projects include: An RCT evaluation of a pro-social behaviour afterschool programme called Mate-tricks, which aimed to improve social and emotional learning as well as child and parent relationships; an implementation study of the Positive Action primary school social learning programme; ‘If I were Jack’ - a cluster randomised trial of an interactive film-based intervention to reduce teenage pregnancy and promote positive sexual health; an RCT evaluation of the Good Behaviour Game, a primary school social and emotional wellbeing programme; and a base-line survey looking at the subjective wellbeing and sense of belonging of Black and Minority Ethnic children in NI primary schools.

    I also have an interest in interventions that improve educational attainment, for example: an RCT evaluation of the Doodle Den after-school literacy programme; A programme design and optimisation study of SMART Spaces (a GCSE science attainment programme which uses a spaced learning framework); and an RCT evaluation of Reciprocal Reading (teacher training in comprehension instruction).




    Summary of current role

    Currently, I am a Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences Education and Social Work (SSESW). My activities include:

    • Lecturing on and co-ordinating modules in the MEd course in the SSESW (e.g. Assessment Issues)
    • Developing Masters level programmes on Prevention and Early Intervention
    • Supervising Masters Students
    • Supervising Doctoral Students

    I am also a Fellow in the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation (CESI - Within CESI my role is to enhance interdisciplinary research and teaching in the university and promote the use of evidence in policy and practice. Specific responsibilities include:

    • I act as a Principal Investigator (PI), Co-investigator(CI) and Doctoral Supervisor on numerous research projects. To date, I have attracted external funding for 18 research projects with a value of over £3.2 million and £1.5 million secured as PI. I have been funded by several prestigious awarding bodies such as the Education Endowment Foundation (for whom I am an approved evaluator), Wellcome Trust and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

    • Leading CESI’s work in their Innovation Zones (, which are real and sustained partnerships with local disadvantaged communities and the many professionals, organisations, policymakers etc. working with those communities. This work has the innovative aim of increasing the co-production and use of research evidence within these communities to assist in transforming policy and practice in order to help them realise their full potential and break longstanding cycles of disadvantage.

    • Acting lead on CESI’s what works for educational attainment programme, which is focused on breaking the link between disadvantage and educational underachievement. My main role is to lead the group, facilitate grant applications and help develop the academic profile of early career members.


    I have provided undergraduate and postgraduate lectures on a wide range of education and social science topics including: prevention and early intervention; implementation science; programme/intervention design; quantitative research methods; educational assessment; evaluation research; and special educational needs.

    Currently, I am a co-ordinator for the Educational Assessment module in the MEd in the School of Social Sciences Education and Social Work. I also lecture on prevention and early intervention on the Special Educational Needs module in the same Masters programme. Previously, I have helped develop the Improving Children's Lives interdisciplinary Masters at Queen's, which blended face-to-face and online learning.

    I am also a research supervisor for a number of Doctoral level and Masters students (please contact me for current opportunties).



    Organisation or Committee





    School of Social Sciences Education and Social Work (QUB)

    Lecturer - Prevention and Early Intervention

    2017- current

    Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation (QUB)

    Senior Research Fellow

    2016 - 2017

    Children’s Research Network of Ireland and Northern Ireland (CRNINI) Executive

    Executive Committee (Chair)

    2014 - Current

    Improving Children’s Lives: International Interdisciplinary Conference, Belfast

    Organising Committee (Chair)


    Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers Implementation Plan Review Group (CIRG)

    Steering committee (Member)

    2013 - 2018

    15th International Conference on Thinking, Belfast

    Organising Committee (Member)


    Thinking Skills and Creativity (Journal)

    Guest Editor (special issue)


    32nd International School Psychology Association Annual Conference, Dublin

    Organising Committee (Member)



    Centre for Effective Education 

    Senior Research Fellow

    2008 - 2016

    Improving Children’s Lives

    Operations Manager (organising research, committees and events)

    2008 - 2016

    Northern Ireland British Psychological Society (NIBPS) Branch

    Committee (Member)

    2008 - 2013

    British Psychological Society Division of Academics Researchers and Teachers in Psychology.

    Chartered Member (CPsychol)

    2005 - Current

    Willingness to take PhD students


    PhD projects

    - Design, implementation and evaluation of educational programmes and social interventions
    - Community based participatory research
    - Critical thinking
    - Educational attainment

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    Frequent Journals

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    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 31569