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Dr Miller’s research revolves around three inter-related themes: Social emotional development, academic attainment and programme evaluation. Within this Dr Miller has a particular interest in the development of prosocial behaviour in pre-school and primary school children as well as literacy and numeracy progression more generally.

She has designed, conducted and published a number of large-scale studies, which have included: simple and cluster randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews, quasi-experimental evaluations and cross-sectional surveys. This research has included looking at effective ways to improve children’s language development by focussing on the relationship between school-based activities and the home learning environment.

In addition, Dr Miller and colleagues are investigating the impact of early child development programmes on social cohesion and peacebuilding outcomes in six lower- and middle-income countries: Vietnam, Timor-Leste, Egypt, Mali, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. This is an exciting and innovative project that brings together colleagues and researchers from different organisations countries, academic institutions and NGOs. 

The objective of the research activity is to provide evidence of what works to improve outcomes and life chances for young children, wherever they live in the world.

Find out more


Open to PhD applications in the field of 

  • Child development
  • Social emotional learning
  • Using experimental methodology, systematic review and meta-analysis to generate and better understand evidence of what works
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Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science

School Of Social Sciences, Education And Social Work

Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation

Campbell Centre UK & Ireland

Campbell Collaboration


Research students

PhD title: The Effect of Schools on Young People’s Attitudes Towards Domestic Violence

Name: Stephanie Maguire
Years of Study: 
Country: Northern Ireland

PhD title: Breaking the disparity of educational attainment amongst young people; the role of demographic and social factors on educational attainment

Name: Erin Early
Years of Study: 2016 - present
Country: Northern Ireland


PhD title: A design and implementation study of a music education programme for Year One pupils in two disadvantaged communities

Name: Conneth Poland
Years of Study: 
Country: Northern Ireland

Alumni: where are they now?

Dr Nicole Craig

PhD title: The development and evaluation of a volunteer mentoring program to improve numerical outcomes for primary school children

Years of Study: 
Country: Northern Ireland
Current position: Research Fellow, Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation, QUB

"Sarah was an extremely supportive supervisor at every stage of the PhD process, encouraging me and providing valuable guidance at all times. She also inspired me with her own research, her knowledge of the field and her integrity as a researcher. I feel very lucky to have been supervised by her and am very grateful for all I’ve learned."


Research at Queen's

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