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Queen’s academic and graduates receive Fulbright Awards to research and teach in the US

Irish Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciarán Cannon T.D. has announced the 2020-2021 cohort of Fulbright Irish Awardees at an online celebration today.

At a time when international education programmes face huge challenges, the enduring Fulbright Programme will support 36 remarkable academics, professionals and students to go to the USA and collaborate with their US counterparts. 

The resilient Fulbright programme has served to strengthen international relations throughout turbulent times for over seventy years. Founded in 1946, it has enabled academic and cultural exchanges between more than 2,500 Irish and American citizens since 1957. 

Among the Queen’s University award winners were Senior Law Lecturer Dr Cheryl Lawther and Queen’s graduates Caolán Ó Coisneacháin and Brian Ó Doibhlin.  

Dr Cheryl Lawther is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the School of Law. Her research interests are in the fields of transitional justice, truth recovery, victims, ex-combatants, reparations, emotions and conflict transformation. Dr Lawther is currently leading and working on a number of UKRI and GCRF-DfE funded research projects – on victimhood, reparations and dark tourism post-conflict. As a Fulbright Scholar she will further her research at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Mr Caolán Ó Coisneacháin graduated from Ulster University with a first-class BA degree in Irish Language and Literature, and later obtained a PGCE through the medium of Irish (TICO) from Queen’s. He has spent many summers working for Gael Linn on their Gaeltacht courses in the Donegal Gaeltacht, as both a Leader (Ceannaire) and a Teacher. He has taught Irish-language courses and classes at a variety of levels for adults for a number of years. He currently teaches in Gaelscoil an Bhradáin Feasa, Co. Meath, and Scoil an Duinnínigh, Swords, as well as teaching weekly A-Level Irish classes in An Droichead, Belfast. As a Fulbright FLTA, he will teach the Irish language and take classes at Davidson Community College, North Carolina. 

Brian Ó Doibhlin is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast (BA in Irish and Celtic Studies 2014), Ulster University (MRes in Irish 2017) and NUI Galway (Diploma in Translation Skills 2017). He is currently a third year PhD student researching with the Northern Ireland Place-Name Project based in Queen’s, where he is also a Teaching Assistant at undergraduate level. His current research relates primarily to uncovering the origin of townland-names within a certain geographical area. His research interests include Celtic languages, onomastics, translation, and the early-modern period in Ireland. As a Fulbright FLTA, he will teach the Irish language and take classes at the University of Notre Dame. 

Minister Ciarán Cannon T.D. said: “The role of Fulbright Awardees in driving international research and keeping global channels of communications open is more important than ever. Fulbright has always propelled collaboration between the brightest minds. I wish this year’s Awardees every success for their time in the United States.” 

The U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Edward F. Crawford said: “The Fulbright program plays a crucial role in strengthening the unique relationship shared by the United States and Ireland. The durability of Fulbright is especially important during these challenging times.” 

For more information on the Fulbright program visit