About Us


About Us

School University Partnership Initiative

The School-University Partnerships Initiative (SUPI) project partners Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with post primary schools and Further Education (FE) colleges to support researchers’ engagement with students to highlight contemporary and inspirational research that will enrich the curriculum. The project is currently funded by the Research Councils UK (RCUK).

Queen's University Belfast, in partnership with four Area Learning Communities across Northern Ireland and working with 34 participating schools, will develop and deliver a programme of public engagement projects within the context of four major themes. These cover the full range of RCUK-supported research undertaken in the University. Each of the four projects will be supported by academic staff, experienced in research and public engagement, and early career researchers who will work with teachers and pupils to enthuse and motivate young people to reflect on academic and career choices at an early stage.

The projects will address a number of issues such as the future role of creative technologies, aiming to encourage pupils to develop new skills in this rapidly changing environment. A second project will consider national borders and issues such as multiculturalism, globalisation, identities and nationhood. Another project will address problems of global concern – energy, water, food, environment, sustainability – while the final project will take pupils on an interactive journey from patient symptoms to clinical diagnosis, disease biomarker discovery, drug development and back to the patient for treatment.

The aims of SUPI are to:

  • Involve pupils, mostly in Years 9 and 10, in addressing real world problems and to engage them in research and learning experiences that utilise the latest research and latest digital technologies
  • Inspire the next generation of young researchers
  • Reach secondary school students from a diversity of backgrounds and abilities
  • Engage with a wide range of teachers and schools maximum impact on teaching quality and learning
  • Provide researchers (particularly those in the early stages of their career) with opportunities and training to engage with secondary school students
  • Support secondary schools and HEIs to work together to create sustainable school-university engagement that will increase the quality of interactions between researchers and students.


Principal Investigator: Tom Millar

Project Coordinators: Paula Moran ; Patricia Hampson

Our Projects Team:

Emma Calvert 

David Grant

Maeliosa McCrudden

Michael Cregan

Robin Hickey

Franziska Schroeder 

Jonathan Cole

Karen McCloskey