February Press Releases

Queen’s University in world’s first trial of new treatment for prostate cancer

Queen’s University, in partnership with the Belfast Trust, is leading the world’s first ever trial of a new combination of cancer therapies for patients with advanced prostate cancer, with the hope of prolonging their lives.

The ADRRAD trial, which recently started at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre, is funded by and supported by Friends of the Cancer Centre and Bayer Pharmaceuticals.

Current picture

In 2014 there were over 1,100 newly diagnosed cases of prostate cancer in Northern Ireland. Almost 8,500 men here are living with a diagnosis of prostate cancer and just under 250 men each year die as a result of the illness.

New approach

Thirty patients will participate in the trial over the next 18 months. It is aimed at men with advanced prostate cancer, where the cancer has spread to the bones at the time of diagnosis. This accounts for around 10 per cent of prostate cancer patients.

Men with advanced prostate cancer are normally treated with hormone therapy, which aims to shrink a tumour by limiting the amount of testosterone reaching the cancer cells. The new approach being trialled by Queen’s researchers is the first to combine two existing forms of radiotherapy - Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) to target prostate cancer cells in the pelvis, along with Radium 223 to target the disease in the bones. If successful, it has the potential to completely change the way in which the disease is treated and potentially extend the life expectancy of patients with the advanced stages of the disease.

VMAT is an advanced type of radiation therapy which manipulates radiation beams to conform to the shape of a tumour, delivering precise radiation doses to a tumour, while minimising the dose to surrounding normal tissue. It is delivered externally, using a radiotherapy machine called a linear accelerator

Radium 223 is a relatively new ‘bone-seeker’ drug. It is a type of internal radiotherapy, which is given intravenously. Once it is in the bones, Radium 223 releases radiation which travels a very short distance - between 2 and 10 cells deep, which is less than a millimetre. This means it delivers a high dose of radiation close to the tumour deposits in the bone, killing the cancer cells and minimising damage to the healthy cells.

World first

Professor Joe O’Sullivan from Queen’s University’s Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology and Clinical Director of Oncology in Belfast Trust is leading the trial at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital. He said: “This is the first- trial of its kind anywhere in the world. It is hoped that combining the two forms of radiotherapy will be more effective than existing hormone treatment in targeting prostate cancer cells at multiple sites and extend the life expectancy of men whose treatment options are otherwise limited. We expect results from the initial trial within two years, with the view to then embarking on a larger trial with a greater number of patients.

“This trial is a crucial development in the fight against prostate cancer, which is the most common type of cancer among men in Northern Ireland. Three men here are diagnosed with this disease every day. Thousands are living with the illness, which unfortunately claims one life every hour across the UK. Queen’s, Belfast Trust and Northern Ireland are at the forefront of global efforts to develop more effective treatments for all types of cancer. The ADRRAD trial is an excellent example of the potentially life-changing and life-saving impact of this work.” 

Colleen Shaw, Chief Executive of Friends of the Cancer Centre said: “Over the last number of years Friends of the Cancer Centre has been working in partnership with Queen’s University to support locally led research and the ADRRAD trial is a great example of the calibre of trials our funding is proudly supporting.     

“Along with Professor O’Sullivan, Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Dr Suneil Jain, and our Research Fellow, Dr Phil Turner, have been heavily involved in the development of this trial and over the next two years the Cancer Centre’s patients will also play a key role in what could be a ground-breaking advancement in prostate cancer treatment.  As a local charity powered by the generosity of our supporters, we are very proud to play a part in research that has the potential to benefit not only men in Northern Ireland, but across the world.”

The ADRRAD trial is sponsored by Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. Scientific work which takes place alongside the trial is supported by Prostate Cancer UK and the Movember Foundation as part of the Belfast-Manchester Movember Centre of Excellence – a partnership between Queen’s and the University of Manchester.  

Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK said: “This trial represents a really exciting shift in how we think about prostate cancer – away from aiming to prolong life for men with advanced prostate cancer, towards taking the first steps to stopping the disease in its tracks once and for all. The scale of what we can achieve when we work together as funders, clinicians, scientists and men must not be underestimated. We are on the brink of remarkable breakthroughs in prostate cancer research, and this trial could be one of them.

“That’s why we mustn’t falter now. If we continue investing in world class research like this, within ten years, the world of prostate cancer research and treatment will be a far more hopeful place for men with and at high risk of the disease.”


Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Clarke (Mon-Wed) or Michelle Cassidy (Thur-Fri) at Queen’s University Communications Office. Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5310 Email: comms.officer@qub.ac.uk

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New addition to the Deep RiverRock Queen’s 5k Road Race for 2016

The Deep RiverRock Queen’s 5k ‘Race around the River’ will take place on Wednesday 20 April 2016 at 7.30pm, and will include a new 3k ‘warm up race’ starting at the earlier time of 6.50pm.

The already popular road race, which is organised by Queen’s Athletics Club and Queen’s Sport has grown considerably over the last number of years and this new race will allow more competitors to try out a shorter route along the fast and unique course beside the River Lagan.

The flagship 5k race has again been granted NI and Ulster Championship status from Athletics NI and organisers look forward to another fast and competitive race with Queen’s Sport, Physical Education Centre (PEC) acting as the race HQ for pre and post-race requirements.

Kevin Murray, Sport Development Officer at Queen’s said, “The expansion of the event to include a 3k ‘warm up race’ is testimony to the work of the Athletics Club and Queen’s Sport over the last number of years in making this one of largest events in the University sporting calendar and with continued support from Deep RiverRock and Belfast City Council this year, the event planning team are looking forward to a great evening of running”.

Robby Rankin, Captain of the Athletics Club added, “We encourage those interested in taking part to enrol early to be guaranteed the specially branded Queen’s 5k T-shirt.  We are also encouraging more junior athletes, University and College students to get involved and challenge themselves over the 3k or 5k course routes’.

Councillor Deirdre Hargey, Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, which oversees the ‘Support For Sport’ funding stream, said:  “At the Council, we are committed to making sport as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, and the ‘Race Round The River’ is an event which does just that.  The addition of the new 3K race can only make the event even more attractive for those who are interested in taking up running as an inexpensive way of getting fit and taking the first towards improving their health and wellbeing.”

Oonagh Gildea, Marketing Manager for Deep RiverRock said, “I am delighted to announce our continued sponsorship of the Queen’s 5k Race for 2016. Deep RiverRock is passionate about encouraging athletes to stay hydrated and on top of their game, and will be keen to support all participants on the day with refreshment and more.

“With its roots in the glacial hills of County Antrim, locally sourced water brand Deep RiverRock is a perfect fit for this community event, and as a company we are also committed to investing in initiatives that foster active and healthy lifestyles. I hope that our support for this event can incentivise even more people to get out and active, and I urge anyone thinking about taking on the challenge, to sign-up today,” she concluded.

For more information on the races, entry fees and the course visit www.queenssport5k.com.

For further information please contact: Kevin Murray k.murray@qub.ac.uk 07804249181 or visit the Queen’s Sport Website: www.queenssport.com

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Queen's University receives Royal award for strengthening cyber security

Queen’s Chancellor Mr Tom Moran and Vice-Chancellor Professor Patrick Johnston along with the Head of Cyber Security, Professor John McCanny are at Buckingham Palace today (25 February 2016) to receive a national honour from His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, for the University's work in protecting the online activity of billions of internet users around the world.

The Centre for Secure Information Technologies at Queen’s – a major hub for research and innovation in electronic engineering and cyber security – will receive a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. 

Based at the Northern Ireland Science Park in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, the Centre for Secure Information Technologies, with 90 staff, is one of Europe’s largest university cyber security research centres. It has developed breakthrough innovations, including novel technology to be integrated into Apps to improve security for online financial transactions; anti-counterfeit technology to prevent internet fraud; and new processors to deliver filtered internet to homes and businesses, stripping out viruses, malware and malicious content. CSIT is funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Innovate UK and Invest Northern Ireland.

Receiving the award at Buckingham Palace, Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Patrick Johnston said: “The Queen’s Anniversary Prize is one of the most prestigious honours in higher education and recognition of CSIT which has put Northern Ireland firmly on the map as a lead player for cyber security.

 “Cyber security is a major global challenge, with cyber crime increasing at an alarming rate. The need for strong and resilient cyber security technologies has never been greater. CSIT is home to some of the world’s foremost cyber security experts. It is at the forefront of efforts to protect the UK from cyber attacks and to maintain the public’s trust that their online privacy and data is kept safe.

"CSIT has also been a critical factor in securing almost 1,200 cyber security related jobs in Northern Ireland, injecting around £40 million per year into our economy. It is helping to meet the demand for well-qualified graduates to fill these jobs through its postgraduate courses.  Its Masters in Cyber Security which is underpinned by the Centre’s world-class research, and the CSIT Doctoral Training Centre, attracts PhD students from around the world.

"The Centre is a great example of the global impact of Queen’s world leading research.”

Professor John McCanny, Head of Cyber Security at CSIT, said: “CSIT’s unique strength lies in its approach to the innovation and commercialisation of ground-breaking research. It overlays an excellent academic research environment with an infrastructure that is more common in high-technology companies, creating a unique team of researchers, innovators and engineers that accelerates the translation of research into new business opportunities and the creation of new companies.

 “CSIT prides itself on two pillars of excellence – in its world-leading research, and its unique model for commercialising that research. Links with global companies including IBM, Intel, Infosys, Allstate, BAE Systems, Thales, Euronext and Equiniti, provide valuable routes to market for CSIT’s technological innovations. Strong relationships with local companies also allow SMEs unrivalled access to engineering and research expertise, enabling them to grow their business internationally.

"Our strength in this area was recognised by the UK Government in January 2016 when it announced that CSIT, in partnership with Cyber London, will lead the Early Stage Accelerator Programme to support cyber security start-ups in developing innovative technical solutions to keep the UK safe from cyber attacks. This programme will offer start-ups advice on how to develop their products and services and bring them to market."

Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry said: “I congratulate Queen’s University Belfast on being honoured by Her Majesty the Queen for its work in strengthening global cyber security and protecting the online activity of billions of internet users around the world. 

“CSIT has been a critical factor in establishing Northern Ireland as the UK’s leading cyber security cluster by promoting close to 1,200 new cyber security related jobs through spinout activity, indigenous business scale-up and Foreign Direct Investment. CSIT also plays a vital role in building the capacity and capability of local companies through the provision of high quality masters and PhD graduates.”

CSIT will host the World Cyber Security Summit in March – an annual event which brings together the international research community, industry leaders and government policy makers in Belfast to discuss cyber security challenges. 

For more information visit www.csit.qub.ac.uk


Media inquiries to Michelle Cassidy (Thursday-Friday) or Anne-Marie Clarke (Monday-Wednesday) at Queen’s University Communications Office. Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5310 Email: comms.officer@qub.ac.uk

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McAleer & Rushe 476 student bed development scheme gets go ahead

One of Northern Ireland’s leading developers, McAleer & Rushe, is to develop 476 student bedrooms in Belfast city centre.  The Tyrone and London based developer has entered into an agreement with Queen’s University to deliver purpose-built student accommodation, by the summer of 2018.

The projects was approved this week by the Belfast City Council Planning Service, will bring hundreds of jobs to the city and is a major boost for the local economy.

The 476 bed scheme on McClintock Street will form part of a mixed-use student and hotel scheme.

Queen’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patrick Johnston said: “As an anchor institution in the city, this substantial investment again demonstrates the commitment of Queen’s to the development of Belfast as a learning city.  The continued growth of the University, and Belfast, is critical to the success of the knowledge economy.”  

“As part of our ambitious plans for growth, this much needed student accommodation, within walking distance of Queen’s, city centre amenities and transport links, will ensure that the University continues to attract the brightest local, national and international students to study in Belfast.”

McAleer & Rushe has rapidly attained a reputation of excellence in the development and construction of student housing in the UK and Ireland. It is well on target to deliver 7,500 student bedrooms, within just five years of entering the student sector. It is currently working on a number of major schemes across the UK for leading student housing providers such as Unite and Knightsbridge.


Photo Caption: Photographed at the McClintock Street site in Belfast, where McAleer & Rushe will develop 476 student bedrooms for Queen's University are: Queen's University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patrick Johnston (centre) and Director of Finance, Wendy Galbraith and McAleer & Rushe's Chief Executive, Eamon Laverty.

Media inquiries to Communications Office, Queen’s University Belfast. Tel: +44 (0)28 90 97 5292. Email: Comms.office@qub.ac.uk


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Leaders from business, science and the arts among Queen’s University’s honorary graduates

President of the Royal Society and Nobel Prize winning geneticist Sir Paul Maxime Nurse, Janet McCollum, Chief Executive of Moy Park and Jackie Redpath, Chief Executive of the Greater Shankill Partnership, are to receive honorary degrees from Queen’s University Belfast later this year.

They are among 12 people from the worlds of business, academia and the arts being honoured by Queen’s in 2016, six of whom are graduates of the University.

Distinguished names from the fields of business and commerce include the Strabane-born former Managing Director of Thomson Airways, Christine Browne, and Mike Brown MVO, Commissioner of London Transport.

Key figures from two of Queen’s most successful spin-out companies will also be honoured. Dr Brendan Mooney, Managing Director of Belfast-based software company, Kainos, and Dr Donal Denvir, one of the founders of Andor Technology PLC, will each receive an honorary doctorate for their contributions to business and commerce. Also being recognised for services to the University, and to business and commerce, is former Queen’s Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Northern Ireland Screen, Rotha Johnston.

Two internationally renowned artists are also among this year’s recipients.  Marcus Robinson, a Belfast-born artist, photographer and documentarian, who specialises in urban transformation and architecture, and Colin Davidson, who is known for his distinctive portraiture style, and whose recent portrait of Angela Merkel appeared on the cover of Time magazine, will both receive a DSSc for distinction in art.

Malaysian educationalist and businessman Dato’ Lim Si Boon will receive an honorary doctorate for his philanthropic work in supporting the provision of education to increasing numbers of children in Malaysia. A former President of the Queen’s University Alumni Association in Malaysia, he has played a key role in building an active community of Queen’s graduates in the country.

Deborah Wince-Smith, President of the United States Council of Competitiveness, who served as Assistant Director for International Affairs and Competitiveness in the White House during President Reagan’s administration, is also among the recipients.

Queen's awards honorary degrees to individuals who have achieved high distinction or given significant service in one or more fields of public or professional life, and who serve as ambassadors for the University and Northern Ireland around the world.

The full list of honorary degrees to be awarded is as follows:

  • Mike Brown MVO, LLD for distinction in public service (Queen’s graduate)
  • Christine Browne, DSc Econ for services to business and commerce (Queen’s graduate)
  • Colin Davidson, DSSc for distinction in art
  • Dr Donal Denvir, DSc Econ for services to business and commerce (Queen’s graduate)
  • Rotha Johnston, LLD for services to the University and for business and commerce (Queen’s graduate)
  • Janet McCollum, DSc Econ for services to business and commerce
  • Dr Brendan Mooney, DSc Econ for services to business and commerce
  • Sir Paul Maxime Nurse, DmedSc for services to science and medicine
  • Jackie Redpath, DUniv for services to the local community (Queen’s graduate)
  • Marcus Robinson, DSSc for distinction in art
  • Dato’ Lim Si Boon, DSSc for services to education (Queen’s graduate)
  • Deborah Wince-Smith, LLD for distinction in public service.

Media inquiries to Communications Office, Queen’s University Belfast. Tel: +44 (0)28 90 97 5292. Email: Comms.office@qub.ac.uk 

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New guidelines for the flying of flags in Northern Ireland proposed by Queen’s University researchers

Researchers at Queen’s will today (Wednesday 17 February) propose a set of new guidelines for the unofficial display of flags in Northern Ireland.

The guidelines form part of the newest report from Queen’s Institute of Irish Studies, which has been researching the flags issue over the past ten years.

Entitled ‘Flags: Towards a New Understanding’, the report outlines the findings of a new study aimed at finding a way forward on the complex issues surrounding the flying of flags on public buildings and on the unofficial flying of flags in outdoor spaces - often on lamp posts.

Compiled by Dr Dominic Bryan and Dr Paul Nolan from the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s, the report is based on a study involving a survey of 1,421 residents across Northern Ireland’s 11 council areas, focus groups, and interviews with political and community representatives, alongside a review of current policies.

Proposed new guidelines

In addition to presenting findings from the survey, the report includes a one page document entitled ‘Liberty and Respect: Guidelines for the Unofficial Display of Flags in Outdoor Settings’, which its authors hope will inform the evolution of a new consensual approach to the flags problem.

Set within the framework of European and UK legislation, the ‘Liberty and Respect’ guidelines are based around three core principles:

1. Time: For displays of flags to remain representative of significant commemorations or celebrations, they should be displayed for no longer that two weeks around the key dates of those events.

2. Place: In placing flags in public spaces, the following should be considered:

  • In residential areas, the views of all the people in a particular area should be given consideration, including those who are in a minority, with openness and transparency in all discussions.
  • Flags should not be placed outside homes in any way that could be considered intimidating or threatening.
  • Places which deliver public services are not suitable for the display of flags for celebratory or commemorative purposes. Flags should not be placed outside hospitals, health centres, schools or community centres.
  • Flags should not be placed in ‘interface’ areas.

3. Communication: To prevent or mitigate conflict, the utmost courtesy should be shown to those who might feel uncomfortable with flag display. Residents can reasonable expect to know who is putting the flags up and how long they will be displayed. This information should be communicated to the police, community leaders and advertised in the press.

Survey findings

Key findings from survey, which was undertaken by Lucid Talk polling agency include:

  • 70 per cent of people felt the issue of flags on public buildings was either important or very important, with just 18 per cent saying it wasn't important.
  • 7 out of 10 people polled want to see more regulation of flags in public spaces.
  • 53 per cent of people support the flying of flags on Council buildings on 18 designated days.

Dr Dominic Bryan, Co-Author of the report, said: “The research highlights that in terms of the display of flags on Council buildings, the flying of flags on designated days has the support of a narrow majority of people in Northern Ireland. We suggest that this could be rolled out across Northern Ireland as part of a broader package of changes, which should be led by an agreement among the main political parties at Stormont.

“The flying of flags on lamp posts, however, is a more complex problem. While new legislation would make it easier for agencies to act, there are real issues about the likely level of compliance and the resources required. Also, due to links to bonfires, murals, kerb-painting and other forms of cultural expression, any legislation aimed solely at flags would achieve little on its own. Therefore, rather than recommending legislation we are proposing a set of guidelines that we hope will provide a template for any group of people who are trying to agree a way forward for the display of flags in their community.”

Dr Paul Nolan, Research Consultant in the Institute of Irish Studies said: “The disputes over the flying of flags on council buildings and in public spaces have very significant resource implications for the public sector, particularly the police, with the policing of the 2012/13 flags dispute costing £21.9 million. There are significant political costs, with neither the Haass talks nor the recent Stormont House Agreement even came close to a solution. The setting up of a new Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition offers another opportunity to find a way forward, and we hope that today’s report will help inform the work of the Commission and lay the groundwork for policy efforts over the next few years.”

The report, ‘Flags: Towards a New Understanding’, will be available on the Institute of Irish Studies website at www.qub.ac.uk/schools/IrishStudiesGateway/Research/


Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Clarke (Mon-Wed) or Michelle Cassidy (Thu-Fri), Queen’s University Communications Office, Tel: 028 9097 5310 Email: comms.officer@qub.ac.uk

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Queen's scientists on the hunt for source of gravitational waves

Yesterday saw the announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves by LIGO, in what is being described as the most important breakthrough in physics for decades.  Now scientists from Queen’s University Belfast are leading the hunt for the source of these ripples in space.

In a spectacular announcement yesterday, The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, (LIGO), a US based experiment, announced that they detected exactly the same pattern of space distortion in two different experiments separated by a continent and the time difference between the detections matches the speed of light across the USA.

The remarkable discovery has been years in the making, as the work on these two extraordinary detectors started in the early 1990s. In September 2015 they finally achieved the unprecedented new precision that produced this discovery.

The LIGO team have detected a signal from two massive black holes (each about 30 times the mass of the sun) spiralling around each other and finally crashing together. The ripples in space and time from such an event were predicted by Einstein is his theory of General Relativity over 100 years ago. Finally, the elusive signals appear to have been found.

These signals are expected to come from pairs of black holes and neutron stars merging together and they may be relatively common in the Universe. The next step is to try and actually see these violent events with telescopes working in the optical and with telescopes that detect x-rays and radio waves. Scientists at Queen’s University are playing a leading role in this search and today released their findings from their first attempt at pinpointing the source of these gravitational waves.

Queen’s have been partners in the Pan-STARRS project since 2008 and together with NASA, the University of Hawaii and Harvard University they are using this powerful telescope system to survey the sky to find what caused the gravitational wave. They were given confidential access to the information about the discovery back in September 2015 by LIGO and immediately pointed the Pan-STARRS telescope at the large sky area the source was thought to be in.

Professor Stephen Smartt, Director of the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s, and who leads the project explained: “Finding gravitational waves and then looking for the source is like the difference between hearing and seeing. If you hear an explosion, you know roughly what direction it came, but you then immediately turn your eyes to see what caused it. This is exactly what we are doing with Pan-STARRS.

“The LIGO experiment “hears” the ripple and can only indicate roughly were on the sky the waves came from. That area is about the size of 2000 full moons. We point Pan-STARRS at that area and see if we can pinpoint any unusual looking explosion or outburst in optical light.”

In explaining the results of their first search, Professor Smartt explained: “We didn’t find anything in our data that was likely related to the gravitational wave source. That’s not totally unexpected. We found over 50 new sources that are normal supernovae – exploding stars that we find all the time. We didn’t see any hint of unusual behaviour. There are two likely reasons. One is that the predicted sky area was so big a large part of it was in the southern hemisphere and we couldn’t see it from Hawaii. The other is that the source may have been too faint for us to detect it. But we have shown that we can search these sky areas quickly and in the future we can take longer exposure times to look for fainter sources”

Dr Ken Chambers from University of Hawaii added “This is the first detection of gravitational waves and our collaborative project with, Queen’s, Harvard and NASA is one of the best in the world at trying to identify the sources. We are going to be looking very hard for these merging black holes and neutron stars over the next few years.”

Queen’s University will continue to work with NASA, Harvard University and the University of Hawaii over the next three years to find the source of the gravitational waves.

For a video of Professor Stephen Smartt speaking about his work visit:  https://youtu.be/xmWXW-hEWvE

Media inquiries to Claire Kelly, Communications Officer for Research, Queen’s University Belfast, c.m.kelly@qub.ac.uk or 02890975391

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Queen’s reveals £100K earnings boost for postgraduate students

Queen’s has revealed that employees could earn an average additional wage premium of over £100,000 over their working life by undertaking a postgraduate degree.

The news comes as the University embarks on a campaign to encourage those thinking of further study to find out more about the numerous opportunities open to them at Queen’s Postgraduate Open Day on Friday (12 February).

The ‘Have You #GotAMasterPlan?’ campaign, highlights how undertaking postgraduate taught study is widely recognised as one of the key ways in which people can increase their earnings potential, progress their careers and differentiate themselves in the job market.

Those who undertake Postgraduate Study have been reported as earning, on average, £2,550 more a year in Northern Ireland than those who hold an undergraduate degree, according to the Northern Ireland Skills Barometer*.

In addition, a Universities UK Report ‘Taught Postgraduate Employability and Employer Engagement: Masters with a purpose’ reports that there are generally higher rates of employment at six months following qualification with a postgraduate degree.

Queen’s existing postgraduate students gave the University a satisfaction score of 90 per cent in the most recent national HEA Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey.

Professor Margaret Topping, Dean of Queen’s dedicated Graduate School said: “Postgraduate study provides employees with the opportunity to differentiate themselves in the job market along with the ability to increase earnings and improve job satisfaction.

“In addition to having access to high quality staff and learning facilities, The Graduate School at Queen’s provides personal development programmes, employer workshops, conferences and social events allowing postgraduates to make key connections.

“Employers are frequently telling us that it is our postgraduates who turn out to be invaluable to them, bringing analytical thinking, honed problem-solving skills, specialist knowledge and the ability to innovate within their organisations. I would urge anyone who is considering the next stage in their career to register at www.qub.ac.uk and attend our Postgraduate Open Day.”

Queen’s Postgraduate Open Day on Friday, 12 February offers the chance for those considering taught postgraduate study to meet staff and students from all Queen’s Postgraduate Taught courses, as well as employers and representatives from support services covering everything from how to apply to Queen’s, information on funding, where to live and how to use a Masters to further career development. There will also be a chance to tour Queen’s dedicated Graduate School.

Queen’s Postgraduate Open Day takes place from 11am to 4pm on Friday, 12 February, 2016.

Anyone interested in attending Queen’s #GotAMasterPlan? Postgraduate Open Day can find further information and register online by visiting http://bit.ly/1Sxzvzf

For those unable to attend, Queen’s will be streaming the event live via Periscope


Media inquiries to Communications Office, Queen’s University Belfast. Tel: 028 90 97 5384 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

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Queen’s UniServer project awarded almost €5 million of European funding

The UniServer project “A Universal Micro-Server Ecosystem by Exceeding Energy and Performance Scaling Boundaries ” led by Queen’s University Belfast has been awarded €4.8million from the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program and began in February 2016.

The principal aim of UniServer is to facilitate the evolution of the Internet from an infrastructure where data is gathered in centralized data-centres widely known as The Cloud, to an infrastructure where data is handled in a distributed and localized manner close to the data sources enabling essentially Edge Computing.

UniServer brings together experts from the world’s leading processor, server-on-chip and software development industry – ARM, Applied-Micro and IBM – as well as emerging application developers - Worldsensing, Sparsity and Meritorius. In addition to Queen’s University, the consortium is also made up of the University of Athens, the University of Thessaly and the University of Cyprus.

Project coordinator, Dr. Georgios Karakonstantis from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s University, said: “Having seen the latest estimations that 30 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020, we realized that new scalable micro-servers will soon be needed and thus formed a strong consortium to develop them.  

“UniServer aspires to deliver, by 2019, a unique fully working prototype able to exploit the intrinsic system heterogeneity with lightweight software mechanisms for improving the energy efficiency and performance of micro-servers.  Working with our colleagues, the UniServer platform will support classical cloud applications such as financial trade management and analysis, while enabling the development of new applications at the Edge of the cloud such as smart traffic control and in-home directed advertisement.”

UniServer represents the second major, but financially the largest, project to be co-ordinated in Northern Ireland using funding from Horizon 2020, the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever developed.    

The project will employ at least 20 established professors and principal engineers as well as new research fellows and PhD students helping to reinforce Europe’s strong position in traditional and new multi-billion euro markets.

For further information on the project visit: http://www.uniserver2020.eu/

Media inquiries to Claire Kelly, Communications Officer for Research, Queen’s University Belfast, c.m.kelly@qub.ac.uk and 02890975391.

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Queen’s opens its doors for the NI Science Festival

Queen’s University is opening its doors to the public as part of this year’s Northern Ireland Science Festival.

Queen’s is hosting 17 events across campus throughout the 11 day festival, which will offer the public the opportunity to experience first-hand the world class, cutting edge research that takes place at the University.

The events include an insight into how forensic geology can help solve crimes, how smartphones can help us understand how we listen, and getting hands-on with science experiments in the brand new Centre for Experimental Medicine.

The Northern Ireland Science Festival, which is in its second year, has 100 events across more than 25 venues, focusing on the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The full list of Queen’s University events:

Name of Event



Celebrating Science at Queen's

18 Feb

Riddel Hall, Queen’s University

Gemma Anderson Exhibition

18 Feb

Naughton Gallery, Queen’s University

From Fossil Humans to Stone Age Tools

19 Feb

School of GAP, Queen’s University

Get Mapping With GAP

20 Feb

School of GAP, Queen’s University

How To Survive an Apocalypse

20 Feb

David Keir Building, Queen’s University

Mummy Mania

21 Feb

School of GAP, Queen’s University

Sherlock Holmes, CSI & Geology

21 Feb

School of GAP, Queen’s University

The Poet & The Poison

21 Feb

Ulster Museum

Seriously Enjoyable Psychology

22 Feb

Whitla Hall, Queen’s University

The Luck Factor by Richard Wiseman

22 Feb

Whitla Hall, Queen’s University

Big Data

24 Feb

20 College Green, Queen’s University

Sir Bernard Crossland Lecture

24 Feb

Riddel Hall, Queen’s University

For The Love of Open Mapping

24 Feb

School of GAP, Queen’s University

Smart Listening

27 Feb

Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen’s University

Know Your Enemy

27 Feb

Centre of Experimental Medicine, Queen’s University

What They Ate. Looking at Diets of the Past

27 Feb

School of GAP, Queen’s University

The Dating Game

27 Feb

School of GAP, Queen’s University

Pluto - The Dynamic & Beautiful Dwarf Planet

27 Feb

Larmour Lecture Theatre, Queen's University


For a full programme of events, including availability, times and locations, please visit: http://www.nisciencefestival.com/

Media inquiries to Claire Kelly, Communications Officer for Research, Queen’s University Belfast, c.m.kelly@qub.ac.uk and 02890975391.

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Minister gets a taste for local food at Queen’s

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell has launched Queen’s University’s initiative to promote local food producers as part of Northern Ireland's Year of Food and Drink 2016.

Queen’s will host a series of food markets, open to the public, the first of which will take place on Tuesday 9 February from 11am to 4pm at Elmwood Hall, University Road.  

Praising the initiative, Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Jonathan Bell said: “I am pleased to see Queen’s University involved with the Year of Food and Drink working with local producers to showcase our vibrant food sector.  Good quality food and dining is a vital part of the tourism experience and many visitors say it is a key factor when choosing Northern Ireland for a short break. The Year of Food and Drink has already generated significant interest and I have no doubt as we move through this very special year it will continue to deliver real results for tourism in Northern Ireland.”

Brian Horgan, Head of Campus Food and Drink at Queen’s said: “We are delighted Queen’s is playing host to this series of food and drink markets. It is a fantastic way of exposing our quality local produce to a wide audience, including our 1,700 international students at Queen’s. As a University we want to celebrate and embrace the cultural diversity of our staff and students and this is certainly an enjoyable way of doing just that.”

Pictured at the launch of the new local food markets with Minister Bell is Kelly Hart, Campus Food and Drink at Queen’s, Sé Gorman from Café Krem - a local food trader and Yifei Xu, a second year finance student at Queen’s. Yifei is originally from the Fuzian province in China.


Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Clarke (Mon-Wed) or Michelle Cassidy (Thur-Fri) at Queen’s University Communications Office. Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5310 Email: comms.officer@qub.ac.uk

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Queen’s University in bid to increase European cancer survival to 70 per cent by 2035

To mark World Cancer Day, scientists at Queen’s are launching a Europe-wide initiative, ‘Vision 70:35’, to increase cancer survival to 70 per cent by 2035. 

Led by Professor Mark Lawler, from the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast and Vice President European Cancer Concord (ECC), the initiative is in collaboration with the European Cancer Patient Coalition and other European partners. 

Speaking ahead of the launch, Professor Lawler said: "Vision 70:35 emphasises the scale of our ambition to improve cancer survival rates by an additional 20% over the next 20 years.  We believe that this target is achievable, provided we share best practice and promote innovation and research across European nations and regions.  It is further evidence of Queen’s University’s commitment to advancing knowledge and changing lives. We are actively addressing issues such as early diagnosis, equal access and the role of precision cancer medicine to achieve our 70:35 target”

Margaret Grayson, Chairperson of the Northern Ireland Cancer Research Consumer Forum said: "Vision 70:35 is a patient focused initiative.  It provides hope for our cancer patients and their loved ones, and emphasises how research can play a big part in improving cancer outcomes."  

Professor Peter Selby, University of Leeds and President ECC, said: “Our Vision 70:35 can deliver, but only if we work together. ECC is partnering with many pan European Organisations including the European Cancer Organisation (ECCO), the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL), the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), The European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM)   in order to achieve this ambitious target.”

Professor Patrick Johnston, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, said: “This 70:35 Vision represents a significant opportunity to drive a European-wide initiative that champions the role of innovation and research in providing the best level of cancer care.  I am delighted that Queen’s is continuing to provide leadership in an ambitious strategy that has the potential to deliver real benefits for all European citizens.”

Vision 70:35 is the key implementation phase of the European Cancer Patient's Bill of Rights, a Queen’s University-led initiative which was launched in the European Parliament in Strasbourg in 2014.  

In order to emphasise how working together can help improve cancer outcomes, a series of handshakes will be performed between partner organisations on World Cancer Day, starting in London, passing through Brussels and a number of other European capital cities and culminating in a symbolic joining of hands by MEPs at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Professor Lawler will symbolically shake hands in Brussels with Professor Dominique de Valeriola, Director of the Institute Jules Bordet, Brussels, Belgium and President, Organisation of European Cancer Institutes.


Media inquiries to Claire Kelly, Communications Officer for Research, Queen’s University Belfast, c.m.kelly@qub.ac.uk and 02890975391.

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