Dr Joanne O’Keeffe is a Researcher in the School of Social Sciences Education and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast. Joanne’s work is driven by her interest in addressing discrepancies and gaps in education in relation to mental health, academic attainment, and take-up of higher education opportunities. Specifically, students from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and other under-represented groups who may face barriers in education. She has worked for Queen’s University Belfast for over 16 years and has experience of working across many different projects including international research projects. Joanne is also interested in the research and evaluation of widening participation activities in Northern Ireland. She is a member of the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work Ethics Committee. Internationally, she sits as the Program Chair for the American Education and Research Association Cooperative Learning Special Interest Group and is an Editorial Board Member for the International Journal of Educational Research. Joanne is an accredited Office for National Statistics safe researcher.