Irene McMaster is a Senior Research Fellow at EPRC. She has a BA (Hons) and a PhD from the University of Strathclyde, focused on Privatisation and Economic transformation in the Czech Republic. Since joining EPRC in 2000, she has 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.
Irene also specialises in cross-national research on territorial and spatial development policies. In line with these interests, she has led several major evaluation and research studies of territorial cooperation policies and programmes, including the ex ante evaluations of the 2014-2020 Northern Periphery and Arctic and North Sea Region Programmes, ex ante and ongoing evaluations of the 2007-2013 Northern Periphery Programme, and a study on implementation arrangements for the 2007-13 Ireland, Northern Ireland and Western Scotland Cross Border Territorial Cooperation Programme. Through this work, Irene has developed a particular interest and involvement in territorial cooperation in the Arctic Region, working on projects for the Norwegian and Scottish Governments. She participated in the 2010 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 the ex post evaluation of the impact of Structural Funds on management and implementation on behalf of DG Regio, and ESPON studies of the spatial and urban dimensions of Cohesion Policy Programmes, and ‘European Territorial Cooperation as a Factor of Growth, Jobs and Quality of Life’. She is also on the editorial board of the Journal Europe-Asia Studies.