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Our Impact

We are proud to be an outward-looking institution, responding to the challenges faced by society.

Queen’s University has a long history of conducting innovative and world-leading research with partners in industry, government, public policy, social and healthcare, the arts and the voluntary sector, across these islands, and around the world.

Our ambition for 2030 is to strengthen our research position and work with industry to broaden our impact and innovation, ensuring we deliver high quality, world-leading research, which addresses local and global challenges.

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Knowledge-led engagement

We will address real world need and priorities through intensive engagement and co-creation with potential users of research output and innovation across universities, and with business, industry and governments.

We will enhance our translation through partnership initiatives and specifically capacity and capability, such as the Belfast Region City Deal and the wider Regional Growth Deals. We will use the knowledge and reputation held by our Global Research Institutes in Food Security, Electronic Communications, and Peace, Security and Justice, to continue to provide a progressive voice for societal change.

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Medicine, Health and Life Sciences

Researchers across disciplines at Queen’s continue to make discoveries which advance our collective knowledge and understanding of our world. 

Working with partners across society, together we translate these new understandings into innovative, affirmative, and life changing initiatives. Whether in working at the cutting edge of cancer trials, using pharmacy to reinforce equality and provide opportunity for women in the global south, or leading research partnerships which deliver world leading food security solutions, protecting lives and livelihoods, our research in Medicine, Health and Life Sciences is recognised as world leading and committed to contributing to Healthy Living for All.

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Engineering and Physical Sciences

Breakthrough solar imaging technologies developed at Queen's have altered how we see the universe, and astrophysics researchers have helped explain how we see our place within it. In Engineering and Physical Sciences our teams lead the way in building a Transformative and Sustainable Economy by developing transport technologies for the 21st Century; technologies that will make a critical contribution towards the global drive towards zero.

Harnessing the power of wireless communications to enhance business connectivity and protect vulnerable communities, and understanding the possibilities and challenges of AI and the Data Revolution to deliver cyber security solutions in a fully connected world, encompass some of our breakthrough thinking and innovations. Describing, dating and protecting our natural and built heritage through our internationally renowned carbon dating processes, or our architectural and geospatial interpretations of our conflicted times and our shared spaces bring wider understandings of our place, of Human Environment Relations, describing how humanity leaves its mark over time.

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Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Our understandings of conflict and peace, deeply rooted in the experience of society in Northern Ireland are a key driver of our research priorities, both as we continue to support and cement peace in our own society but as we use our knowledge and experience to help other conflict affected societies across the world.  Through Arts, Humanities and Social Science research on the legacy of conflict, education and peacebuilding, the rights of children, or the role of women in politics, Queen’s is committed to playing its part, locally and globally, in supporting the development of Inclusive and Cohesive Communities.

The creative and cultural life of societies around the world forms a key part of our research portfolio.  The protection of language, the poetry and prose of our local writers, or the interpretation of theatre, music and film are the passion of research clusters at Queen’s. 

Whether this relates to the Irish language, the work of the Seamus Heaney Centre, or our interpretations of Shakespeare and cinema, we continue to make an impact, collaborating with partners in Northern Ireland and across the globe.

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Our local impact in Northern Ireland

We are proud of our record in working with local communities, businesses and policy makers to improve the lives and livelihoods of those who call Northern Ireland home.

We are committed to continuing to give back through our research locally. We lead and co-ordinate many projects with communities throughout Belfast and the wider region, conducted with and on behalf of the people. 

Read about our research making a difference, in a range of areas such as shared education, healthcare, improving outcomes in disadvantaged communities, dealing with the past and supporting economic growth. 

Our local impact  


Queen’s Policy Engagement is the ‘front door’ for public policy engagement at Queen’s University Belfast, supporting academics and policymakers in sharing evidence-based research and ideas on the major social, cultural and economic challenges facing society regionally, nationally and beyond. Our over-arching vision is to share the University’s independent expertise with policymakers so they can make informed decisions about the most effective and sustainable ways to tackle these challenges, now and in the future.

Queen's University's Social Charter, launched in November 2017, shines a light on the significant contribution made by our students and staff and the positive impact we have on our society.

The Business Engagement team serves as a gateway to innovation, thought leadership and research at the University.

Through our Engaged Research programme we are dedicated to establishing sustainable long term relationships with external partners, building on our status as a partner in the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) and signatory to the Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research. Responding to staff and partner consultation, sector-aligned engagement ‘hubs’ have been established such as the all-island Patient and Public Involvement Hub and the Heritage Hub, as well as secondments and practitioner appointments.