To date I have held a range of professional positions and this has provided me with a breadth of career experiences. Over time and prior to my appointment as a Lecturer in Spatial Planning I was a European Funding Officer, a Research Manager and Training and Development Officer. These positions were held within a range of organisations from the voluntary and statutory sectors including a housing association and local government. As a result of this diverse background and in addition to my expertise in research and teaching, I have particular skills and experience in research development and management, research funding and community development and regeneration
I currently co-ordinate the following modules:
EVP2010 Economy and SpaceEVP3011 Independent Research ModuleEVP3014 Themes in Spatial Planning
I aim to employ a breadth of approaches to ensure positive engagement with students. My delivery techniques include: lectures, seminars, project work, small and large group work, case studies and study visits.
My areas of teaching competence include
•· Economics and development
•· Participation and involvement
•· Introductory economics
•· Interdisciplinary science - a sociological perspective
•· Rural Sociology
•· Research design and Qualitative methods
•· Community Development/community studies
Member of the School Research Ethics Committee
Careers Liaison Academic for Spatial Planning
Academic Offences Representative for Spatial Planning
I am currently supervising the following PhD students: Anne Rice (with Dr. Aileen Stockdale); Lori McVeigh (with Dr. Sally Shortall) and Jonathan Bell (with Dr. Jenny Muir and Dr. Aileen Stockdale).
My main research interests are rural development theory, policy and practice; participation; governance; community; sustainable development and regeneration; regional and economic development; social networks; research methodologies; interdisciplinary research; and migrant communities.
I am currently conducting research on migrant workers in Northern Ireland. This is a pilot project that has been funded by the Nuffield Foundation and is due to be completed in 2009.
I am involved in a number of international research networks including the European Society for Rural Sociology, QUCAN International Rural Research Network and the Scottish Academy of Rural Policy. At a more local level I have held the position of vice-chair of the NI Rural Development Council and I was a member of NISRAs Steering Group to oversee the Review of Measures of Spatial Deprivation. I represent the European Standing Committee on Social Sciences at research seminars.I am also an expert evaluator for different European bodies including the European Commission, the European Science Foundation and Formas, the Swedish Research Council. These latter activity is normally only open to individuals in more senior academic positions, but my research experience and funding expertise are such that I was selected. I am regularly contacted to peer review articles for leading journals.
The relevance of my work to society is evident in my outreach activities. I continue to receive invitations locally and internationally to participate in research networks and projects; to evaluate research projects; and to contribute to policy development. In Spring 2013 I was invited to convene the NI component of the UK Research Policy Netowrk and to present my research to the group - members comprise a mix of researchers, policymakers and practitioners from across the UK. My profile is such that I am successful in inviting international scholars to lead on ISEP seminars and I co-ordinated a seminar by Professor Dan Lichter, Cornell University in Belfast in March 2013.
In 2013 I was awarded £25,200 from the QUB Internationalisation fund for work on a Trans-Atlantic Rural Research Network (TARRN). It is a multi-disciplinary, international scholarly collaboration that builds on a smaller network (QUCAN) that was established six years ago. The award is to allow the network to identify highest priority areas for future research and international collaboration; to develop a major proposal for submission in 2014/15 and to advance collaborative work with a particular focus on what the fiscal crisis means for rural places but also including multi-scalar layers of governance, and notions of accountability, social justice, and social inclusion. My central role in these activities will contribute to the University's internationalisation agenda.
Papers and presentations