The President of Ireland Young Researcher Award (PIYRA) programme currently operates on a rolling call basis but will close to applications on 22 December 2015. Applications submitted after 21 December 2015 will not be accepted for review. The PIYRA programme will be replaced by a new SFI programme for Future Research Leaders. This call will be announced in Q4 2015 with a deadline in Q1 2016, but for an outline of the programme, please click here. 


  • To identify the most promising of a new generation of top-tier cutting edge researchers in fields that are critical to Ireland’s economic and social prosperity
  • To offer funding opportunities that will help Irish research bodies attract top-tier young researchers to Ireland
  • With the support of the host research body, including an identified mentor, to assist the awardee to build an internationally respected research activity
  • To fund a period of intensive research to enhance the candidates’ research programmes / projects and further encourage and promote Ireland’s participation in the international research community
  • To foster and support collaborations with academic and industry partners


Funding duration

Up to 5 years


Up to €1,000,000 of total value (inclusive of the host institution contribution) in direct costs.


The PIYRA award may be used to make a contribution up to a maximum of 50% towards the salary of the successful candidate. The remainder of the salary is to be provided by the Host Institution. Host institutions may, at their discretion, request that their contribution to the applicant's salary be introduced on a phased or graduated basis over the course of the award. That is, the host institution does not necessarily have to contribute 50% of the applicant's salary every year, provided that their salary contribution over the full course of the award is at least 50% of the applicant's salary costs.

Applicant eligibility

Applicants for the PIYRA competition must meet all of the following requirements.

  • Awarded Ph.D. or M.D. within the last eight years and have completed a minimum of 36 months active post-doctoral research (with extensions for documented eligible leave).
  • Has not previously received an SFI investigator-type award, such as Principal Investigator, Investigator Award (IA), Stokes Professorship or Lectureship, Research Professorship, or SFI PIYRA nor should they have received a SFI Research Centre as a lead or co-PI. Applicants holding or having held smaller awards such as Starting Investigator Research Grant (SIRG), Research Frontiers Programme (RFP), Investigators Projects (IP), SFI Walton, TIDA, Industry Fellowship and UREKA supplement MAY apply to SFI PIYRA. Please note that SIRG award holders may only apply to SFI PIYRA in the last 12 months of their active award. Recipients of an SFI Career Development Award (CDA) are not eligible to apply to SFI PIYRA.
  • Will be recognised by the research body upon receipt of the SFI grant as an independent investigator who will have an independent office and research space at the host research body for which he/she will be fully responsible for at least the duration of the SFI grant.
  • Has an exceptional record of internationally recognised independent research accomplishments for their career stage (as measured by publications in top quality international journals and conferences, invited talks at international conferences, or other academic metrics appropriate to the applicant's field).
  • Has demonstrated research independence (or be in the process of establishing independence) and shown exceptional potential to become a research leader of the future.
  • The applicant is expected to have the capability and authority to mentor and supervise postgraduate students and team members.

Application procedure


Rolling call but will close to applications on 22 December 2015. Applications submitted after 21 December 2015 will not be accepted for review.

Candidate nominations

A potential candidate for the SFI PIYRA Programme can contact any Irish Research Body and request consideration by the institution to be nominated. All applications must be submitted from an eligible Irish Research Body. Applicants must request an invitation to submit a full proposal to the SFI PIYRA programme. This Expression of Interest (EoI) should be submitted to SFI by the applicant's proposed host research body.


Full details on the proposal and submission requirements may be found in the proposal call. Please read the documentation carefully in advance of queries and submission

SFI reserves the right to make amendments to the documents if required. Please ensure that you are referring to the most recent version of the Call document and FAQs. Research Offices will be contacted in the event of any updates to the call documentation.


As detailed in the SFI PIYRA Programme call, all proposals are to be submitted via SESAME, SFI’s online grants and awards management system. If accessing SESAME for the first time, researchers should contact their local Research Office to be set up on this system. Read more about SESAME on our webpage or view the SESAME User Guides.

Questions specific to SESAME are answered on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the SESAME system.

Queries on the SESAME management system should first be directed to your Institute’s Research Office. If still unresolved, queries should be e-mailed to Please be aware that response time for queries may be up to 5 working days. For Programme related queries please contact