Research Associates


Research Associate - Ben Rosher

Ben Rosher holds a NINE doctoral training scholarship in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast. His research sits within the field of international political sociology and the sub-field of critical border studies. He has written and presented on Brexit and political attitudes in Northern Ireland and is currently working on a PhD investigating how Brexit is impacting EU26/EEA nationals on the island of Ireland in their interactions with the Irish border. He has a particular interest in critical border theory and bordering as a form of practice.

Ben has written an article for the CCBS Research Platform "Brexit border: the Frontier Worker Permit" and, most recently, analysed and presented the results of the first CCBS Quarterly Survey on the Conditions for North-South & East-West Cooperation.

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Research Associate - John McStravick

John researches Brexit and borders at Queen's University Belfast. He is also Vice-Chair and co-founder of Agora - the UK's open forum for foreign policy - which has now established a regional group in Northern Ireland. Prior to joining QUB, he worked for a leading political monitoring service, where he followed UK and EU politics.

John holds an MA in International Relations and European Politics from the University of Bath and a BA in Languages and Linguistics from the University of York and Universität Regensburg, Germany.

Recently John has authored a CCBS Briefing Paper on The UK Community Renewal Fund.

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Senior Research Associate - Maureen O'Reilly

Maureen is an independent economist with more than 25 years experience across a range of area including policy evaluation, economic impact assessment, cost benefit analysis, economic appraisal, strategy, briefing, research and statistical analysis. She was previously Senior Research Economist with the Economic Research Institute for Northern Ireland (ERINI). Prior to this she headed up the Policy Evaluation Unit at the Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre (NIERC). She was an Associate Lecturer in Economics with the Open University from 2003 to 2009. She now heads up her own consultancy company.

Maureen acts as economist for the NI Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which includes briefing, policy formulation, consultation submissions along with responsibility for the Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES). She is an Economic Associate with Pro Bono Economics in London, which helps charities and social enterprises improve their impact and value. Her role involves working with volunteer economists, managing and advising on impact assessment, data advice and advocacy research on behalf of UK and locally based charities. She is an Associate with the Public Policy Advisors Network in Ireland and writes regular features on local government in Northern Ireland for the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU), a local authority membership organisation representing local government in the UK, Ireland and Australia. She is also a Board Member of Enterprise Northern Ireland which represents the interests of local enterprise agencies and lobbies on behalf of small business.

Maureen holds a First Class Honours degree in Economics and a Masters (with distinction) in Applied Economics. She also holds Professional 2 level examinations with Chartered Accountants Ireland and has a part completed PhD in Enterprise Economics (which she hopes to complete some day!).

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Senior Research Associate - Michael D'Arcy

Michael has extensive experience in economic and regulatory reform at regional, all-island, EU and international level. He has provided advice, prepared reports, facilitated networking initiatives and served on a number of Boards and consultative committees in the private and public sectors. He is also an experienced facilitator, interlocutor, mentor and lecturer.Michael has been involved in the development of an all-island economy since jointly editing the seminal book ‘Border Crossings; Developing Ireland’s Island Economy’ (1995). He is a subject expert on North/South economic and business interaction on which he has written extensively including for the Esri; the European Economic and Social Committee; InterTradeIreland; Co-Operation Ireland; Chambers of Commerce Ireland; the International Fund for Ireland; University of Ulster; IT Sligo and The Irish Times.

Since the UK voted to Leave the EU this work has increasingly focused on protecting business in the all-island economy, highlighting how it is underpinning peace and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. He is currently independent advisor to the Ibec/CBI Joint Business Council, co-authored ‘The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, the island of Ireland economy and Brexit’ (2018) a Brexit Briefing Note for the BA and RIA and was production coordinator of the joint Ibec/CBI ‘Business on a Connected island’ Report (2018).

For the last five years he has co-presented a Guest Lecture with former CCBS Director Andy Pollak on political violence and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement to political science students in Trinity College Dublin and was a Panelist at the Thomas D’Arcy Magee Summer School in Carlingford on the operation of N/S Bodies established by that Agreement. 

Michael has supported the CCBS since its foundation and produced its Publication: Delivering a Prosperity Process: Opportunities in North/South Public Service Provision (2012). He was a Panelist at its 20th Anniversary Conference where his remarks considered: ‘The all island economy and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, past present and future: and contributed an article to their Journal of Cross Border Studies in Ireland Special Edition (Vol 14 2019) to also mark that Anniversary: ‘Sir George Quigley , the island Economy and Brexit’. Most recently Michael presented the 5th Annual Sir George Quigley Memorial Lecture, ‘Re-imagining the island economy in the aftermath of the Covid 19 crisis and the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol’, which was the first of the series to be delivered online.

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