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PhD-run ‘What’s the Craic?’ Sessions

Every year, two or three TJI PhD researchers organise the sessions entitled ‘What’s the Craic?’. Held on a particular day of the week, the informal discussions and talks bring the faculty, researchers, and masters students together to discuss work in progress, reflect on fieldwork, and hear draft conference papers.

Traditionally the format of the sessions is ‘brown bag’ (bring your own lunch). During 2020-2021 due to the pandemic the series ran online.

The sessions focus not only on particular research topics, but also on sharing useful tips and insights, such as publishing while writing a PhD or strategies on job searching. The sessions are held in-house, the invitation is restricted to the research community of Ulster University to allow for a comfort of sharing the work in progress and personal reflections in collegial and non-judgmental atmosphere.

The fact that PhD researchers organise the sessions themselves allows the researchers to draw on the issues, which are most pressing to them.

The list of speakers included TJI PhD researchers for the most part, staff, as well as invited guests.

During most of 2020-2021 Nada Ahmed Mostafa Kamal Ahmed and Caitriona Mackel were the coordinators. In January 2022 Roua al Taweel and Liam Edwards joined the What’s the Craic organisational team while Nada stepped down.

What’s the Craic? Sessions held in 2020-2021





Omar’s PhD process

Dr Omar El Masri


Personal & Professional Motivations to do a PhD

Nada Ahmed Mostafa Kamal Ahmed, Howard Ayo


Constitutional Conversations

Eilish Rooney,

Colin Harvey, Paddy Kelly, John Gormley


10 Year Anniversary of the Arab Spring

Nada Ahmed Mostafa Kamal Ahmed


Converting a PhD Thesis into a Book

Dr Philip Schulz


‘Designing an Epistemically Just Research: Rethinking Transitional Justice through an Ethics lens’

Dr Azadeh Sobout


First Year PhD Students on their Research

‘How and Why Do we (not) Collectively Remember Non-Combatants in Northern Ireland?’ (Michael)

‘Alternative Justice’ (Julieann)

‘Exploring The Development of Human Rights in Constitutional Arrangements Through an Examination of the Relationship between Parliamentary Conventions Relating to Devolution and the Progression of Human Rights Standards in Northern Ireland’ (Leah)

‘The Integration of Affirmative Action and Transitional Justice in Northern Ireland: How an Integrated Approach Might Contribute to the Eradication of Housing Inequality in Belfast’ (Caitriona)

Michael Hearty, Julieann Campbell, Leah Rea and Caitriona Mackel


International Law Research Methods: Reflections on the Methodological Choices we Make as Researchers and the Pros and Cons of Different Methods in Different Settings

Dr Thomas Obel Hansen


‘Right Now I Want to Scream’ Film Discussion

Prof. Siobhan Wills


‘Building Gender-Just Citizenship in Northern Ireland: Women’s Political Participation and Transversal Politics in a Deeply Divided Society’

Dr Linda Holmgren Eitrem


‘Law, Democracy and the European Court of Human Rights’

Prof Rory O’Connell


‘Feminist Research Methods in Law’

Dr Catherine O’Rourke


‘Pick a Case, Any Case? Selecting Settings for Case Study and Comparative Study Research’

Prof Cath Collins