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Winner

Dr Patrycja Dąbrowska-Kłosińska

School of Law

"Patrycja Dąbrowska-Kłosińska joined Queen’s last September, moving from Warsaw University with her young family to take up Law’s first-ever Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship. Fierce competition for these fellowships meant I had high expectations of Patrycja: I also knew she would be joining an ambitious bunch in my Health & Human Rights Unit, including two talented postdocs who, just like Patrycja, lead their own exciting, externally-funded projects.
In less than 12 months, Patrycja has exceeded my expectations. Settling herself and her family into their new life in Belfast, she has made me proud each time she tells a story of the warm welcome and support they receive from Queen’s and from people across Northern Ireland. I am proud, too, of Patrycja’s research highpoints—from awards to international speaking engagements and outreach. And she has plans for more to come, which promise thriving collaborations with Queen’s wherever her career takes her across the world. But, most important of all, Patrycja is my “Researcher of the year” because of what she has done for me and, I think, others too. She makes us really believe in ourselves, as individuals and as part of Queen’s, focusing our energies, raising our ambitions, and extending our horizons."

Additional nominees

Dr Clare Patton

School of Law

"Clare Patton’s research investigates, conceptually and empirically, difficult social questions and the role of the law in mediating and regulating corporate behaviour. She has a particular interest in and understanding of the power of marketing and advertising, and her research is showing how a better understanding of the impact of marketing and the rapidly changing behaviour of marketers, promoters, and campaigners is a perquisite for effective and meaningful legal control. Whether it be her ESRC-funded fellowship on breast cancer cause marketing, or her complementary (and increasingly influential) work on the infant ‘formula milk’ industry, her layered, rights-based, multi-disciplinary and thoughtful approach to research is rightly leading to a combination of academically excellent publications and socially important interventions and events. Alongside this activity, Dr. Patton is a champion of student engagement in the School of Law; the Global Skills Project, which she initiated and led, presents a radical and much-needed rethinking of undergraduate legal education – at a crucial time for this sector, as regulatory bodies reflect on the future of the legal profession. She is making an exceptional contribution to the life of the School, to civic life in Belfast, and to the work of regulatory and intergovernmental organisations."

Dr Frances Kane

School of Arts, English and Languages

"The Northern Ireland Place-Name Project explores language and shared space through place-names coined by the various peoples who have lived here over the past two millennia. Dr Frances Kane has revolutionised the work since her appointment. Her contribution in the past year has been to consider the raw data for over 2,500 names which originated mostly in the early medieval period with a view to suggesting an origin and explanation of each name. The publication of her findings on line (www.placenamesni.org) have been the source of considerable local and international interest; this has been stimulated immensely by her magnificent twitter account which has attracted over 2,000 followers since its establishment in November and is an outstanding example of public engagement in the humanities. She has also contributed to the University’s outreach through the media, school visits and organisation of events (further details below). She has been a tremendous support, too, in terms of training and mentoring of PG students and has taught an element of linguistics very successfully at UG level (as evidenced in strong student performance in examinations). She is a truly excellent colleague and all that one would wish for in a postdoctoral researcher in terms of commitment, flexibility, innovation and support."

Dr Rosa García-Periago

School of Arts, English and Languages

"I enthusiastically nominate Dr Rosa García-Periago for AHSS Researcher of the year for exceptional contributions to University research, Public Engagement and our School of AEL team. A crucial researcher on the Indian Shakespeares project, Rosa has made an exceptional personal contribution to its progression, including developing our public website, with her open-access database of hundreds of annotated films – innovative, world-leading research. Rosa holds a prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship and has just co-edited a Shakespeare collection; she was instrumental in winning prestigious Being Human funding for our upcoming free, public, city centre exhibition on India’s Shakespeare. A dedicated and generous collaborator, Rosa’s tireless Public Engagement work for Terra Nova’s May 2019 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream enabled the public to see Shakespeare for free and uniquely united volunteer intercultural performers across Belfast’s communities. She further involved community stakeholders through an invited related talk at a Bangor outreach event. Finally, Rosa is a wonderful colleague. Her cheerful and friendly pivotal support for other staff goes above and beyond research-related tasks for our PI, whether sharing resources and mentoring peers, collaborating to propose conference panels or publications, or attending papers outside her discipline to support fellow postdoctoral and early career researchers."

Dr Thea Buckley

School of Arts, English and Languages

"I am pleased to support Dr. Thea Buckley for AHSS Researcher of the year. Holder of a Leverhulme Trust fellowship, Thea is an enthusiastic researcher who manages to communicate her research in an understandable and friendly manner, engaging the public successfully. She has submitted a chapter on ‘Shakespeare and the Indian Subcontinent’, for a proposed volume  on
Global Shakespeares (Blackwell).  Being crucial in the Indian Shakespeares Project, Thea is always willing to propose interesting and innovative ideas, is eager to make thought-provoking comments and is incredibly supportive of the PI and the rest of the team. She was crucial in the project website and in winning prestigious Being Human Funding for our upcoming exhibition thanks to her invaluable ideas. Finally, her charismatic personality and kindness make her excellent to work with. She is always willing to improve the environment at University. She co-convened the Renaissance Reading Group and invited Prof Emeritus Richard Dutton for a special session on editing the Malcontent, she is the AEL SWAN working group postdoc representative and started up the AEL postdoc research society that has monthly term time meet ups. Thea is a dedicated and committed researcher, and an ideal candidate for the prize."

Dr Trisha Forbes

School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

"During the transition into CESI (Early spring 2019 to present), Trisha offered, organised and conducted free yoga classes for all staff (particularly utilised by post-doctorate staff) at CESI. Trisha has maintained this activity free and regularly to staff members on a weekly basis.  Staff have informally discussed the positive impact these sessions has had, and we feel Trisha deserves recognition. Trisha sends inviting emails, reminds us of the importance caring for our mental health while at work and encouraging us to take at least one break while at work. Her emails and sessions evoke feelings of inclusiveness and mindfulness and we return to our desk relaxed, mentally lifted and reenergised for work. Trisha demonstrates real team ethos, selflessness, care and support to other post-doctorate staff using her own time and effort. Trisha demonstrates a great passion and integrity in her area of research, mental health. She also deserves recognition for her honesty and openness about discussing her own mental health experiences. Contractual research employment can be stressful for a variety of reasons, but Trisha has become a strong role model and an advocate for many at CESI. In addition to this, she is volunteering to the researcher society."

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