ARK Advisory Board

The ARK Advisory Board was re-convened in 2019, and its members reflect the diversity of ARK users, funders and collaborators. The main function of the Board is to provide strategic advice to inform our work, and it is chaired by Peter Osborne.

Short bios of the Advisory Board members are available, just click on their names below:

Peter Osborne

Peter Osborne has been involved in political engagement, policy, participation, dispute resolution and reconciliation for over 25 years.

He has worked with all District Councils and most government departments in Northern Ireland on management, mediation, strategic planning and development initiatives.   He is a director of the Integrated Education Fund, and is chair of the regional board of Remembering Srebrenica and a member of its UK Board.

Peter is a former chair of the Community Relations Council and the Parades Commission. Peter was an elected representative for 12 years during which time he was a delegate to the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation and to the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement talks process. 

Lorraine Calderwood

Lorraine works at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. She manages both the Arts and Older People Programme and the Young People and Wellbeing Arts Programme. Lorraine is an advocate for the two programmes and awards grants to groups to deliver the arts to the target audience.

Lorraine has been delivering the arts and older people programme since 2013 and has been leading the development of the key strategies with the Public Health Agency and The Baring Foundation. The young people and wellbeing arts programme has been running since 2016 and has focused on young people aged 12 to 18 with particular emphasis on mental health.

Prof Tony Gallagher

Tony Gallagher is a Professor of Education at Queen's University Belfast. He has held a number of leadership roles in Queen's including Head of the School of Education (2005-10), Pro Vice Chancellor (2010-15) and Acting Research Dean for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (2017-18).

His main research interests lie in the role of education in divided societies.  The main research programme of work on this theme over the past two decades has focused on the development of models for collaborative networks of schools which help to promote school improvement and social cohesion.  His other main strand of work has focused on the civic and democratic role of higher education.

Paddy Kelly - Children's Law Centre

Paddy Kelly is founder and director of the Children's Law Centre (CLC), which is based in Belfast.  The vision of the CLC is a society where all children can participate, are valued, their rights are respected and guaranteed without discrimination and every child can achieve their full potential.

Prof Frank Lyon

Professor Frank Lyons is Associate Dean (Research and Impact) in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science of Ulster University.

He began his career at Ulster in 2005 at a Subject Leader in Music, he then progressed to Senior Lecturer in 2007 to become Senior Lecturer in Music. Today he is Director of the Arts and Humanities Research Institute and Head of School of Creative Arts and Technologies.

Sam McBride

Sam McBride is the Political Editor of the News Letter and the Northern Ireland Political Editor for the i newspaper, having started his career at the Belfast Telegraph. He is also a regular broadcaster, providing analysis for local, national and international audiences.

His first book, BURNED: The Inside Story of the 'Cash-for-Ash' Scandal and Northern Ireland's Secretive New Elite, will be published by Merrion Press in September 2019.

Dr Helena Mc Elhinney

Dr Helena Mc Elhinney has been employed as the Research Office for NICVA since 2018.  Prior to this role, she completed a PhD from Ulster University.  Her research focused on decision making by Health and Social Care professionals around child protection referrals of unborn babies. 

She has a background in psychology, health promotion, public health, teaching and business development and management. Her research interests include child protection, mental illness, domestic violence and adverse children experiences. 

She has published in several peer reviewed journals, published online manual resources for researchers, presented at international conferences and sits on several advisory groups in Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast, Administrative Data Research Centre NI, ARK, and NISRA.

Eileen Regan

Since 2000, Eileen Regan (BA, JD and LLM) has worked within the Research and Information Service (RaISe), the Northern Ireland Assembly's in-house, non-partisan research provider for Assembly committees and elected politicians.  As a member of RaISe's Board of Management, Eileen heads up the Finance and Economics Research Team and Academic Engagement, including KESS - the Knowledge Exchange Seminar series - a unique partnership between the Assembly and Northern Ireland's universities.

She has diverse work experience within and outside the United Kingdom, including briefing legislative committees and members, as well as initiating and developing strategic knowledge exchanges and transfers, such as capacity-building workshops and seminar programmes like KESS. Her work has aimed to engage politicians, public officials and academia/researchers, and ultimately promote policy and law-making.

Susan Reid

Susan Reid is Research Director at ScotCen, which is part of NatCen Social Research - Britain's leading centre for independent social research.  She is project manager of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey which tracks changing public attitudes in Scotland on a range of different political and social issues.  Susan also works on qualitative and mixed methods projects and has a particular interest in mental health research.

Susan's work has included an evaluation of a self management tool for individuals with mental health problems, an evaluation of a service development tool for organisations working in the mental health field and a study exploring people's attitudes towards different kinds of 'emotional support'.

Prof Jonathan Tonge

Jonathan Tonge is Professor of Politics at the University of Liverpool.  A member of the HEFCE 2014 and 2021 Politics REF panels, Professor Tonge co-edits the journal Parliamentary Affairs. 

He was Principal Investigator of the 2010, 2015 and 2017 Economic and Social Research Northern Ireland General Election studies. He has edited studies of the last six general elections in the Britain Votes series, published by Oxford University Press. 

Co-authored books include The Democratic Unionist Party: From Protest to Power (Oxford University Press), The Ulster Unionist Party: Country before Party? (Oxford University Press), Sinn Fein and the SDLP: From Alienation to Participation (Hurst), and Loyal to the Core: Orangeism and Britishness in Northern Ireland (Irish Academic Press).