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Outreach and Engagement


Locally our staff and students have been working on a wide range of programmes within our community to embed the SDGs.

Taking direction from our Social Charter we work with a range of community organisations through our Science Shop, bring our students and the community together through our volunteer programmes and provide funding to bring the green ideeas of staff and students to life. Learn more below.

Sustainability Actions

Volunteers at the alleyway transformation project

A range of volunteering opportunities were promoted to students during the year – virtual and in person.

These included Homework Club support, an ‘Alleyway Action Day’ and conservation activities in the local community. The Jump IN programme was launched this year to support students on their volunteering journey, help progress their voluntary role and enhance their employability skills.

City Hall Belfast

Working in close collaboration, Queen’s and Ulster University are leading the development of the five Innovation projects that fall within the ‘Innovation and Digital’ strand.

The projects are designed to be the catalyst for investment in research and development in the region, will help to embed a culture of innovation and act as a driver for increased productivity.


A number of researchers from Queen’s, are playing a key role in the development of the city-wide climate strategy.

Working as part of the UK wide Place Climate Action Network (PCAN) and Belfast Climate Commission, in December 2020 they produced a net-zero carbon roadmap for Belfast. The road map was included in the launch of the Belfast Resilience Strategy.

Queen's staff and volunteers at Ormeau Parklet

We are a key partner in the Ormeau Parklet project.

The Parklet has converted underused parking space on a busy Belfast road into an accessible and green public space. The project was developed in a partnership between researchers and students from the University, statutory agencies, and local businesses and residents.

Tedx speakers in the quad

A sustainability focussed TEDx event took place in June.

The event ‘Engineering our Sustainable Future’ covered a wide range of topics under the theme of sustainability topics and cover a wide range of topics under the theme of sustainability has amassed over 52,000 views since the live event.

Watch back now

The Palm House in Botanic Gardens

Led by a multidisciplinary group of academic and professional services staff and undertaken in partnership with DFI, the Open Botanic Project has developed a number of options for improving the cycling infrastructure in the Botanic area.

The project has involved engagement with local stakeholders on Botanic Avenue led by Queen’s researchers, as well as modelling and survey work completed as part of MSc and BSc degree pathways in the SNBE.


The ‘Geography at Work’ programme is a module offered by Queen’s University’s School of Natural and Built Environment.

It gives students real world experience in applying their research skills and the knowledge that they have acquired to problems that confront society, and also gives civic organisations and community groups an opportunity to tap into the expertise provided by Queen’s in addressing local issues. This year’s organisation included the Belfast Hills Partnership; Habitat for Humanity; Forward South Partnership; and Belfast City Council.

Cleanup volunteering
Social Charter

Our Social Charter shines a light on the significant contribution made by our students and staff and the positive impact we have.

The Charter reaffirms our commitment to engaging with society and celebrates the many ways our students and sta! contribute to our place. Further information on our social charter signature projects can be found here. Locally our sta! and students have been working on a wide range of programmes within our community to embed the SDGs.

Find out more about the Social Charter

Some examples are presented below.

business setting discussion
Science Shop

The Science Shop at Queen’s works with a range of community organisations to develop their research ideas into projects undertaken by students through their degrees.

The projects support the achievement of a range of SDGs in partnership with our local community.

Find out about the Science Shop

Handy Helpers at Christmas
Handy Helpers

Handy Helpers programme brings together student volunteers to support the needs of the community.

Recent initiatives include the ‘Alleyway Transformation project’ which has been the driving force behind the regeneration of a number of neglected areas in local residential areas.

Lu in Botanic Gardens
Queen’s Green Fund

Over the course of 2019–20 the University Green Fund funded 26 projects.

The £20k fund enabled staff and students to apply for grants of up to £1,500, which would help them bring their green ideas to life on campus.

Find out more about the Green Fund