Irene McMaster is a Senior Research Fellow at EPRC. Irene specialises in cross-national research on territorial cooperation. In line with these interests, she has led several major evaluation and research studies of territorial cooperation policies and programmes, including the evaluations and studies for the Northern Periphery and Arctic, North Sea Region, Interact and Peace territorial cooperation programmes. Through this work, Irene has developed a particular interest and involvement in territorial cooperation in the Arctic Region and Irish Sea Ares, working on projects for the Norwegian, Scottish and Welsh Governments. She participated in the OECD territorial review of the NORA region and was appointed as a specialist advisor to a House of Lords Regional Marine Co-operation Inquiry.
As part of her wider comparative cross-national research, she has been involved in projects including a Territorial Agenda 2030 Pilot Action on the role of small towns in regional development, ex post evaluations of the impact of Structural Funds on capacity and management and implementation on behalf of DG Regio, and ESPON studies of the spatial dimensions of Cohesion Policy Programmes.
Linked to her PhD on privatisation reforms in the Czech Republic, she has also carried on her research interests in Central and Eastern Europe, writing on the regional economic development policy in the region and the management and implementation of Cohesion policy. Since joining EPRC in 2000, she has also worked extensively on regional development in Ireland, which she covers for EPRC’s EoRPA and IQ-Net programmes.