Team Northern Ireland brings together academics from the Ulster University and independent practicioners.


Ulster University

Ms Gráinne Kelly, Lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies, Ulster University

Ms Gráinne Kelly is a Lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies in the School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences and is based within INCORE (International Conflict Research Institute).

Prior to joining Ulster University in 2008, Gráinne worked as a researcher in a range of civil society organisations including Democratic Dialogue (Northern Ireland’s first policy think tank) and completed commissioned research for organisations including Save the Children UK, Mediation Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council.

Ms Kelly specialises in qualitative research and has undertaken extensive field work both in Northern Ireland and internationally, including Cambodia and Sierra Leone.  Her research (with Hamber) on reconciliation theories and practices in Northern Ireland was adopted and operationalised by the European Union in a major funding stream worth 1.5 billion euros, fundamentally transforming the way the Programme was managed from 2005-2013.

She was Principal Investigator on two grant awards from the Equality Unit of the Northern Ireland Assembly to research priority areas for good relations policy and has presented widely on the topic in both policy and academic settings.  She is currently working with colleagues at Ulster University to prepare the 5th Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report (2016-18), focusing particularly on the Sharing and Cohesion dimension. Her work has been published in journals including International Peacekeeping, Journal of Human Rights Practice and International Journal for Conflict Resolution and Engagement. 

Dr. Paul Nolan, independent researcher

Dr Paul Nolan is an independent researcher, best known for his work in monitoring the Northern Ireland peace process. He produced three Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Reports for the Community Relations Council, looking at the political progress that has been made and also at the obstacles that Northern Ireland has had to face in attempting to create a shared society. Cultural issues have proved to be very divisive and Paul has authored a number of reports on the most contested issue of all, the display of flags. More recently, he has worked on a democratic audit of Northern Ireland society, looking not just at formal electoral democracy but also at the how far democratic values are expressed in schools, churches , workplaces and local neighbourhoods.

Paul’s early career was in adult education and he was director of the Workers’ Educational Association in Northern Ireland, before moving to Queen’s University Belfast. He has now retired from the University but as returned as an occasional reserach fellow.

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