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Research OpportunitiesSupervisors
  • Substance Use

  • Mental Health

Dr Anne Campbell
  • Peace and conflict processes

  • Political sociology

  • Political discourses, protest and violence.

Dr Katy Hayward
  • Outdoor learning

  • Connection to nature

  • Teacher professional development in science

  • Science education for primary aged children

Dr Karen Kerr
  • Impact of childhood adversity
  • Child victims in criminal justice system
  • Child protection
Dr Lisa Bunting
  • Trauma informed care

  • Systemic Psychotherapy

  • Impact of Trauma in Childhood experiences

Dr Stephen Coulter
  • End of life care decision making Psychological impact of living with life-limiting illness Bereavement (experiences, needs assessment, interventions and policy)
  • Student social work experiences of placement (inc. failing placement)
Dr Audrey Roulston
  • Language assessment
  • Linguistics
  • Early learning techniques
Dr Caroline Linse
  • Family formation
  • Family wellbeing
  • Intimate relationships (marriage; divorce; remarriage; cohabitation; nonresident parenting; dating)
  • Fertility (contraception use; sexual behaviour; family size preferences; childlessness)
  • Emerging adulthood
  • Intergenerational relationships (grandparent; adult-children)
  • Race-ethnicity and socioeconomic inequality
  • Quantitative analysis including survival analysis and longitudinal methodology
Dr Cate McNamee
  • Social work with children, young people and families
  • Child welfare and protection
  • Relationship-based practice in social work
  • Social work assessment, decision-making and use of professional judgement
  • Theorising social work practice(s)
  • Social work practice with parents with learning difficulties
Professor Danielle Turney
  • Improving outcomes for pupils

  • Issues related to primary education

  • Teacher training

  • International and private schools

  • Literacy and reading

  • Randomised controlled trials

Dr Jennifer Roberts
  • Youth and Social Justice
  • Qualitative Research in Childhood and Youth
  • Perspectives in Childhood
  • Youth, Crime and the Media
Dr Siobhan McAlister
  • Epistemic injustice

  • Epistemologies of ignorance

  • The Capabilities Approach

  • Special Educational Needs and Inclusion

  • Feminism and Gender

  • Irish Medium/Bilingual Education

Dr Alison MacKenzie
  • Mental Health
  • Mindfulness
  • Interventions to support marginalized groups
  • Homelessness
  • Digital Mental Health
Dr Alan Maddock
  • Cooperative learning

  • Peer tutoring

  • Randomised controlled trials (both development and exploratory trials)

Professor Allen Thurston
  • School collaboration and school networks

  • Educational leadership

  • Education in divided societies

  • Education in custodial settings

Dr Gavin Duffy
  • Intergroup relations in divided societies

  • The role of schools in promoting intergroup relations in divided societies

Professor Joanne Hughes
  • Service user involvement and co-production

  • Social work and political conflict

  • Trauma perspectives, social work and political conflict

Dr Joe Duffy
  • Police practice and reform

  • Stop and search

  • Security governance

  • Policing and technology

Dr John Topping
  • Political education (including citizenship education and human rights education)

  • Children’s participation rights in school and in community

  • Socio-political perspectives on pedagogy

  • Curriculum and curriculum development

  • Participatory and transformative research

Ms Lesley Emerson
  • Imprisonment
  • Criminological Psychology
  • Penal Reform
  • Reducing Reoffending
  • Desistance
  • Social Media Crimes
Dr Michelle Butler
  • Gender based violence/ domestic violence/ intimate partner violence

  • International social work

  • Impact of neoliberal capitalism on the social work profession

Dr Maria Pentaraki
  • Youth offending; Youth justice; young people in conflict with the law

  • Offending Careers

  • Biographical Research

  • Domestic violence

  • Experiences of marginalised youth

  • Homelessness and housing careers

Dr Mary Louise Corr
  • Autism and Mental Health Difficulties

  • Behaviour Analysis

  • Effective Education and Inclusion

  • The use of technology for effective teaching

Dr Nichola Booth
  • Adverse childhood experiences

  • Trauma-informed care

  • Social work practice

  • Systemic family therapy

  • Domestic Violence

  • Trauma

Dr Suzanne Mooney
  • Sociological and Anthropological approaches to religion

  • Identity formation in Northern Ireland and beyond

  • Racism and anti-Semitism

  • Social class

Dr Veronique Altglas
  • Forces in Mind Trust ‘Negative Transitioning of Ex-Service Personnel’ 2018-2021 (£178K)
Professor John David Brewer
  • Rights of children and young people with disabilities
  • Inclusive education
  • Children’s rights
  • Disability studies
Dr Bronagh Byrne

•Social policy and ageing
•Social gerontology
•Cultural gerontology

Dr Gemma Carney
  • New forms or expression of social control
  • Security, Technology, Borders
  • War and Police Continuum: Police in war, and Military in civilian spaces or in Criminal Justice
  • Crime and War, and War Crimes
Dr Teresa Degenhardt
  • Health and wellbeing in schools
  • Early childhood development
Dr Laura Dunne
  • Sociology of Emotions – many areas, but especially in relation to the dynamics of emotions and power; digital sociology of emotion
  • Political Sociology of Emotions – especially in relation to party politics, politicians, the state, post-conflict emotions, nationalism, war, Ireland
  • Social/Sociological Theory – especially in relation to power, emotion, affect, habitus; process ontologies; relational sociology; processual sociology; new materialism
Dr Jonathan G. Heaney
  • Risk (social/health/environmental)
  • Environmental harm and crime
  • Environmental justice
  • Green criminology
  • Sports Mega-Events
  • Protest and social movements
Dr John Karamichas
  • Uses and Misuses of the Antisocial Personality Disorder/psychopathy label
  • Parole board decision making and desistance signaling
  • Prisons and higher education
  • Desistance, recovery and rethinking personality disorders
  • Rehabilitative Culture in prisons and beyond
  • Ex-Prisoner organisations and social movement theory
Professor Shadd Maruna
  • Workplace wellbeing
  • Mental health
  • Use of linked administrative data
Dr John Moriarty
  • Design, implementation and evaluation of educational programmes and social interventions
  • Community based participatory research
  • Critical thinking
  • Educational attainment
Dr Liam O’Hare
  • Adolescent development
  • Risk taking behaviours
  • Alcohol, drug use and crime
  • Adolescent trauma and mental health problems
  • Prevention and harm reduction interventions
  • Randomised and quasi-experimental trials
  • Advanced quantitative methods and longitudinal research
Dr Andrew Percy
  • Most areas of children’s and young people’s lives
  • Sexuality, gender and sexual health
  • Policy making processes, especially community relations in Northern Ireland
Dr Dirk Schubotz
  • Critical theory analysis of social roles, in contexts such as gender, family life and young people
  • Studies of the emotional quality of social politics, including abortion, breastfeeding, and motherhood
  • Interactionist analyses of emotions, roles and social change.
Dr Lisa Smyth
  • Gender and Social Policy: comparative perspectives
  • Gender, Work and Family
  • Qualitative research relating to the issue of gender
Dr Sirin Sung
  • Gender and intersectionality
  • Gender, (institutional) violence and far right populism
  • Migration, minorities and citizenship
  • Loss, displacement and the spatial-social nexus
  • Cosmopolitanism and nationalism in Europe
Dr Ulrike M Vieten
  • Staff equity in higher education
  • Academic development, or staff educational development
  • Creative arts in higher education
Dr Dina Zoe Belluigi
  • Digital Literacy and Language and New Media
  • TESOL, Language Education and Applied Linguistics
  • Educational Technologies
Dr Ibrar Bhatt
  • Youth Transitions
  • Inequalities in Educational Attainment
  • Post-compulsory education and training
  • Literacy programme Evaluation
Dr Andy Biggart
  • Mathematics education, particularly at post-primary level
  • Aspects of educational assessment and evaluation, particularly in relation to their theoretical foundations
Dr Ian Cantley
  • ABA-focussed PhD in any social important area (on-campus or distant learning options)
  • Applicants have to be Board Certified Behaviour Analysts or at least hold a MScABA
Professor Karola Dillenburger
  • Schools and Conflict
  • Faith schools
  • Education policy
Dr Caitlin Donnelly
  • Applied behaviour analysis
  • Developmental disorders including autism
  • Applications of the analysis of verbal behaviour for teaching communication skills
  • Effective, values-driven professional training in behaviour analysis
  • Socially valid parent-mediated interventions and parental training
  • The use of telehealth in the provision of evidence-based interventions
  • Behaviour analytic interventions that address wider societal challenges
  • The use of high quality systematic reviews in informed decision making and policy changing
Dr Katerina Dounavi
  • Educational assessment
  • Gender and achievement
  • Inequalities in educational achievement
  • Assessment policy reform and implementation
  • Single-sex and mixed-sex schooling
  • Gender and education
Professor Jannette Elwood
  • The role of education in divided societies generally
  • The relationship between education policy and educational practice
  • Collaboration between schools and the role of social networks
  • Issues related to educational leadership
Professor Tony Gallagher
  • Children’s health and Wellbeing
  • Surveys of children and young people
Dr Katrina Lloyd
  • Children’s Rights and Education
  • Children’s Participation in decision-making
  • Implementation of the UNCRC
Professor Laura Lundy
  • Science education
  • Literacy in Science
  • Scientific Literacy
Dr William McClune
  • Conflict and Conflict transformation
  • Nationalism and identity politics
  • Political extremism
  • Adult education
Dr Cathal McManus
  • Child development
  • Social emotional learning
  • Using experimental methodology, systematic review and meta-analysis to generate and better understand evidence of what works
Dr Sarah Miller
  • Religion and education
  • Pedagogy and religious education
  • Inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue in educational environments
Dr James Nelson
  • TESOL and English Language Learning (ESL, EFL, EAL)
  • Academic Discourse and English for Specific Purposes
  • Applied Corpus Studies
  • Speaking Skills
  • English Language Learning and Migration
Dr Aisling O’Boyle
  • Educational Technologies
  • Inclusive Education
  • Developmental Disorders and Challenging Behaviour
  • Developmental Disorders and Communication
Dr Catherine Storey
  • Mental Health Research (General)
  • Social Work
  • Digital Mental Health
  • Interventions within Health and Social Care
  • Dementia Care
  • School Based Interventions
  • Help-seeking
  • Coproduction/participatory research
  • Virtual reality and immersive technologies
Dr Paul Best
  • Mental health
  • Health inequalities
  • Human rights
Professor Gavin Davidson
  • Religion, Conflict and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland
  • Religion, Conflict and Reconciliation in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • The Emerging Church Movement
  • Catholicism on the island of Ireland
  • Evangelicalism
  • Secularisation and Religious ‘Nones’
  • Dealing with the past in Northern Ireland
Dr Gladys Ganiel
  • The involvement of family members and children and young people in child protection and welfare processes
  • Service user experiences of the child protection and criminal justice systems
  • Child protection social work practice
  • Assessment and decision-making in work with children and families
  • Family group conferencing
Dr David Hayes
  • Self-harm
  • Sexual-health
  • Secondary Trauma 
Dr Kathryn Higgins
  • Disability studies
  • Transitions to Adult Life
  • Children and young people in care
  • Care leavers
Dr Berni Kelly
  • Adoption, kinship care, leaving care
  • Parenting capacity
Dr Mandi MacDonald
  • Adult safeguarding including the investigative processes
  • Working with diverse cultures
  • Bereavement
  • Culturally competent therapeutic interventions
Dr Lorna Montgomery
  • Applied Behaviour Analysis
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities
  • Self-determination and quality of life
  • Verbal behaviour and communication
  • Psychosexual education of adolescents with ASD
  • Evidence-based intervention in the classroom
  • Functional Behaviour Assessment
  • Technology-based instruction
Dr Devon Ramey
  • Children and young people in care
  • Experiences of care (foster care, kinship care, residential child care, adoption)
  • Outcomes and state care (including education, health and placement types)
  • Children’s rights and social work
  • Relationship based practice
  • Early intervention/prevention regarding children on the edge of care
Dr Karen Winter
  • Peacebuilding and reconciliation
  • Civil society contributions in conflict and peacebuilding
  • Social construction and representation of victims, victims’ advocacy, victims policy
  • Group identities and intergroup processes in intractable conflict
  • Gender and social justice
Dr Sarah Jankowitz
  • Indigenous language reclamation
  • Bilingual education
  • Language materials in use
  • Critical discourse analysis
  • Polysemiotics
  • Language policy & planning
Dr Mel Engman
  • Social work education
  • Digital professionalism in social work and professional education
  • Groupwork in social work education and practice
  • Professional socialization in social work, and professional education
  • Critical digital pedagogy
Dr Amanda M. L. Taylor-Beswick
  • Social movements
  • Conflict and peacebuilding
  • Nationalism; populism
  • LGBTQ activism
  • Memory
  • Political violence
  • Multiculturalism
  • Sectarianism
Professor John Nagle