Joanne was appointed to a Chair in the School of Education, Queen’s University in July 2007. She holds a BA and PhD from the School of Social Anthropology at Queen’s. She is currently Director of the Centre for Shared Education in the School of Education at Queen’s and Director of Research in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work. In 2015 she was appointed to a UNESCO Chair in recognition of her work in the area of shared education. Her main research interests are in the role of education in divided societies, inter-group relations, and inequalities in education. She adopts a critical advocacy approach to her research work and she has been commissioned by Governments locally and internationally to support the development of policies and interventions to promote good relations in schools. Through this experience she has gained an acute understanding of issues relating to effective dissemination of good practice and policy implementation. She has taught modules and delivered short courses on the policy implementation process; policy evaluation and research methods. She has led numerous applied research projects employing qualitative and quantitative methods and has been awarded research grants amounting to more than £4m from local and national government, the EU, ESRC, British Council, Nuffield, UNICEF and other Charities. Current research projects explore, longitudinally, the effect of inter-group contact between Protestant and Catholic pupils in Northern Ireland, and the development and effectiveness of shared education interventions locally and in selected international settings. Professor Hughes has published extensively in national and international peer review journals and professional outlets and she has organised and facilitated symposia, conferences and other events to promote engagement between academics and the policy and practitioner communities. Her work in shared education has had considerable impact and has been widely reported internationally. From 2010-2014 she was editor of the prestigious British Educational Research Journal and she currently is on the editorial boards of a number of other leading journals. She has also served on the Executive Council of the British Educational Research Association.
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