This research project was co-created with the Mae Murray Foundation (MMF) and will underpin their ongoing work in social inclusion. The MMF is a Northern Ireland charity that strives for true participation for all in leisure and social settings, regardless of age or ability. The project aims to understand social inclusion from the perspectives of children and young people (CYP) with complex disabilities in Northern Ireland.
My project is funded by DfE with a placement with a charity partner.
What is your ideal Research outcome?
- Report to the MMF detailing stakeholder perspectives on social inclusion of children and young people with complex disabilities that will inform service development.
- Evidence synthesis and economic evaluation of a shared social care model.
Knowledge exchange with policy makers and service providers.
Dr Claire Kerr; Dr Bronagh Byrne; Dr Fiona Lynn; and Dr Karen McConnell.
Why did you choose this PhD and why at Queen’s?
I had been teaching on the Social Work Degree at QUB over the three years prior to applying for this PhD. The application detailed an area I had been involved in within my remit as BASW NI Vice Chair and Committee member for some years. Somehow these parallel professional paths aligned!
I live locally and I’m a graduate from Queen's in the 90’s having completed my BA(Hons) Degree in Psychology. I also completed a Diploma in SW and Masters in Social Work Studies at Stirling University; and Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Development in SW at Ulster University.
How have you been supported at Queen’s?
I have been fortunate to receive a studentship for my PhD and working in a collaborative project I have a supervisory team with a wealth of expertise to guide me; and the experiential component of the placement to come.
In what ways have you developed at Queen’s?
My sense of being a health and social scientist is developing now, after years of an identity as a practitioner/teacher. Learning remains exciting even though it’s hard work.
Can you describe the postgraduate community in the School and at Queen’s?
Lockdown support has been exceptional, with PGR student support through SoNM meetings and Gill Henderson’s yoga classes via the Graduate School. Peer support from the PhD/PGR community has been unbelievably welcoming and really important over lockdown too. I’m looking forward to the Mindfulness course I’ve signed up for to build on these tools for resilience and wellbeing.
Where do you hope your PhD will lead?
Currently I’m keeping my options open as I never anticipated I’d be doing this PhD in this school at this time! Academia and/or teaching are not out of the question.
Anything else you would like to add or advice to new PGR students?
Engage with the virtual supports available during lockdown as much as you can, it is possible to build relationships online and hopefully we will get to meet IRL sometime soon.