Welcome to the CRUCiBLE Centre for Human Rights Research's website, hosted by the Department of Social Sciences. The Centre is an interdisciplinary University Research Centre which is home to international experts conducting research, training and teaching in the field of human rights, social justice and international relations.

The origins of CRUCiBLE

CRUCiBLE was founded in 2003, initially as a Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning in the field of human rights education. Its founding director was David Woodman, who was assisted by a trio of senior fellows, Dr Darren O’Byrne from the discipline of sociology, Professor Tina Beattie from theology, and Dr Liam Gearon from the School of Education, all globally renowned experts in the interdisciplinary field of human rights. Its current focus is on research and enterprise and it serves to integrate human rights-related research activities across the university, and to facilitate new initiatives. CRUCiBLE is convened by a director, Dr O’Byrne, and is located within the Department of Social Sciences, although it boasts members in other departments including Humanities, Education, and Media, Culture & Language, as well as associate members external to the university. It organises seminars, many involving external speakers, brings colleagues together to collaborate on research bids, works to promote the publications and achievements of its members, and is itself a member of the Association of Human Rights Institutions.

CRUCiBLE was set up to:

  • Foster the development of a strong research culture that supports interdisciplinary research, publishing, consultancy and enterprise opportunities and collaboration in human rights and social justice.
  • Provide an innovative and vibrant base for human rights and social justice focused activities involving staff, undergraduate and post graduate students, visiting scholars and external partners.

The strategic importance of CRUCiBLE as a vibrant, effective and sustainable University Research centre arises from its long standing commitment to social justice and human rights and determination to develop a strong, international research profile. Here, on the CRUCiBLE site you can learn more about our research, events, publications and members of the centre. Click on one of the tabs to the left for more information.

Chronology of CRUCiBLE directors








David Woodman



Senior Fellows

Tina Beattie


Liam Gearon


Darren O’Byrne




Michele Lamb




Darren O’Byrne