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AHSS Researcher of the year

2020 Winner

Dr Alison Garden

School of Arts, English and Languages

"Dr Garden’s achievement over the last year has been exceptional across all four categories below. She recently published a monograph with Liverpool UP, The Literary Afterlives of Roger Casement, giving her the highest possible quality REF return in the Arts. She acquired Leverhulme funding for a project on Brian Moore that benefits QUB’s reputation in Irish literature and history. She has just been shortlisted for the UKRI Future Leaders scheme, one of only a handful of academics in the Arts to reach this stage UK-wide, and the only AHSS staff member ever to do so in Queen’s. Her citizenship is as exemplary as her public engagement: her achievements in both have been outstanding this last year: She organised two events, one in collaboration with the MAC, made excellent short programmes for the BBC, enhancing the QUB/BBC partnership, and delivered invited lectures as part of the Seamus Heaney HomePlace education programme. She also designed and taught a 3rd-year module in English which was significantly over-subscribed, and which received exceptionally high scores. These activities have been undertaken alongside the core programme of her Marie-Curie research from which she will complete another monograph by the end of the year."

2020 Other nominees

Dr Ciaran Arthur

School of Arts, English and Languages

"Dr Arthur has capitalised upon his successful bids for competitive, peer-reviewed awards, and he has made significant contributions to both his wider field of research and to QUB’s research and teaching environments. The outputs he has generated have far exceeded those proposed for the Leverhulme project, and he has achieved this through cross-departmental collaboration within QUB and building a large international network of scholars. Ciaran has advanced his already impressive track record of publishing internationally-recognised research, achieving a full and secure return for REF2021. These include his first monograph and substantial articles in leading academic journals. He has also prepared a full draft of a second monograph, and he and I have secured a contract for an edited collection of essays from the proceedings of a co-hosted colloquium at QUB (colloquium affected by Covid-19). In the 2019-20 academic year, Ciaran has established a strong reputation in his field through invitations to speak at several world-class institutions and international conferences and to be a reviewer for the leading journal in medieval studies (Speculum). Dr Arthur and Dr O’Sullivan have co-organised public engagement activities including a physical and online exhibition at Special Collections, and he has undertaken teaching and administrative roles for both AEL and the Medieval Studies Seminar Series."

Dr Darragh Gannon

School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

"Dr Gannon’s exciting and innovative research is bringing new global perspectives to one of the pivotal moments in Irish history – the Irish Revolution. It is attracting international attention through scholarly publications, leading to invited lectures in Britain and Ireland, the US, India and Australia, and to the development of an international network of scholars. Dr Gannon has also contributed to the growth of valuable research partnerships between Queen’s and institutions such as Georgetown University and George Washington University, while the quality of his research was recently recognised by the award of the highly prestigious O’Donnell Fellowship in Irish Studies from the University of Melbourne.

Dr Gannon has made a valuable contribution to the Centre for Public History. In 2019 he established the highly successful series of public events, ‘History in the Making’, with presenters such as BBC’s Anne-Marie Muir ‘in conversation with’ artists, film-makers, novelists or curators who have drawn on or represented Irish history, including William Blair, NMNI’s Head of Collections, and filmmaker Maurice Fitzpatrick on the realities behind the film, In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America. His work has high impact potential and is reaching wide public audiences through his expert contribution to TV documentaries."

Dr Frances Kane

School of Arts, English and Languages

"Since joining QUB as a researcher on Northern Ireland Place-Name Project, Frances has gone above and beyond requirements by revitalising our research environment and forging networks within and outside the university. Her outreach work is high-achieving and exemplary; she has put the university and the project on the map by attracting huge volumes of the public to the project’s website, engaging with the public through twitter, and providing expert commentary on BBC radio, Irish television (RTÉ 1 and TG4), to Belfast City Council, and on a weekly basis to the Irish News. Her research is engaging schools countrywide, as well as informing the successful development of interdisciplinary teaching across our faculty. She has also enriched the disciplinary health of linguistics, improving the research environment across several ‘silos’, by collaborating on the establishment of a Centre for Linguistics at QUB, and on a successful bid to host the prestigious British Association of Applied Linguistics conference in 2022. All of this is in addition to the stellar research she undertakes and disseminates. Frances has made an enormous impact on our School and Faculty in her time with us, as well as forging positive relations with schools, external stakeholders and the wider community."

Dr Leanne Henderson

School of Arts, English and Languages

"Dr Henderson’s research focuses on the factors influencing pupils’ uptake of languages (French, German, Irish and Spanish) in schools. She is a postdoctoral research fellow on an AHRC project where the research is tightly linked to policy recommendations in Languages Education. Leanne has been instrumental in undertaking the fieldwork with 1278 pupils and has had a key role in designing this first pupil-centred study of young people’s decision-making in relation to languages at key points in their education trajectory. She is committed to increasing access to language learning and to removing barriers: she was a co-researcher on a government report that informed the Department of Education’s decision to ask CCEA to review grading at both GCSE and A level. Leanne is extremely active in terms of speaking at conferences nationally and internationally and is on the editorial team of the journal Language, Society and Policy as well as being NI regional rep for BERA. She is an all-round team player who has made an outstanding contribution not only to research in her field but also to student recruitment, and to strengthening the postdoctoral voice on the AEL Swan SAT, the AEL Staff Survey working group and to PRISM."

Dr Rebecca Loader

School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

"I nominate Rebecca for combining research excellence with support for other researchers in the faculty. She has maintained a strong research profile in 2019/20 as lead author on an article for the British Educational Research Journal, a leading international research journal, and on two well-received commissioned reports on the mainstreaming of shared education in Northern Ireland. She has also co-authored a forthcoming chapter on dialogue in education and a report on the impact of shared education on teachers. Reflecting the contribution and impact of her work, she was one of three postdocs (and the sole researcher outside MHLS) to be shortlisted for the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Prize in December 2019. 

Alongside this, Rebecca has worked with two other staff members (Philip Fliers, lecturer in in Management, and Patrycja Dabrowska-Klosinska, MSC Fellow in law) to establish an AHSS Research Staff Society to provide professional and social support to research staff in the faculty. This group secured faculty funding for a programme of activities in February 2020 and Rebecca oversees the social media (qubahss_rss) to share AHSS researchers’ activities and achievements across the university and beyond. She is a kind, supportive and collegial colleague and I am pleased to nominate her as AHSS Researcher of the Year."

Dr Thea Buckley

School of Arts, English and Languages

"Dr Buckley has delivered exceptional achievement during the past year. She was a co-chair of the conference, ‘Women and Indian Shakespeares’, in which capacity she secured funding and made major contributions in paper delivery and the organisation of cultural events. Dr Buckley has delivered papers at international conferences, had other accepted for delivery (such as at the Oxford University ‘Gender and Empire’ seminar series), and has published in top-flight journals (Shakespeare Bulletin is published by Johns Hopkins University Press). In addition to funding Dr Buckley received from the Society for Renaissance Studies, she received funding from Being Human: A Festival of the Humanities, to co-curate an exhibition at the Linen Hall Library, ‘Discovering Shakespeare’s Indian Connections’, delivered in collaboration with St Stephen’s College, Delhi, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Dr Buckley has played a sterling role as colleague and teacher, representing the post-doctoral community on the recently submitted SWAN application from AEL and spearheading postdoctoral initiatives, including a monthly lunch and the compiling of a postdoctoral booklet. Dr Buckley’s innovative teaching in her research specialism has been very well received, and her knowledge and experience have generously been made available to colleagues in the shift to an online teaching environment."

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