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Professor Margaret Topping
The Graduate School

SPARK is a Horizon 2020 MSCA COFUND Doctoral Programme that supports 20 interdisciplinary PhD students at Queen’s University Belfast.

At its core, the SPARK Programme is driven by the need to develop future leaders whose skills combine disciplinary excellence with a capacity for interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral and international (3i) working. In essence, SPARK combines ground-breaking research projects with higher level skills development at cohort level which seeks to produce creative thinkers and problem-solvers. Researchers are based in academic Schools or research institutes across all three of Queen’s Faculties: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS); Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS); and Medicine, Health and Life Sciences (MHLS).


A Professor of Modern Languages, Margaret Topping is Dean of the Graduate School. She developed a vision for a unique partnership between Academic Schools/Research Institutes and The Graduate School which enables our postgraduate students to stand out as ‘what’s next thinkers’. She is closely involved in research and good practice networks on postgraduate education and research. Professor Topping leads on the SPARK programme.