Talent and Skills
By funding consistently excellent and impactful research, SFI has played a key role in building Ireland’s research and innovation capabilities.
From training highly sought-after PhD students, to supporting early career frontiers researchers and senior research leaders, SFI is working to attract and retain the best talent. This is delivering tangible benefits to Ireland today and into the future.
Collaborating with the higher education institutes, government and industry, SFI supports the development of a wide range of inclusive STEM career pathways, creating a diverse scientific, research and innovation workforce which is welcoming to all. SFI aims to shape a cohesive and vibrant research ecosystem with a common purpose and vision.
World-leading expert in Radio Frequency (RF) and wireless communication joins UCC
In 2021, Prof Dimitra Psychogiou, was awarded a prestigious SFI Research Professorship to spearhead a pioneering research programme at Tyndall National Institute (TNI) and UCC. A world-leading expert in Radio Frequency (RF) and wireless communication, Prof Psychogiou is the first woman to be appointed Professor of Engineering at UCC and the first woman SFI Research Professor. Prof Psychogiou and her research team, will work to solve the challenge of spectrum scarcity while enabling wireless connectivity to more devices and applications. Her research will help lead to lowercost broadband wireless infrastructure, which will make digital and internet services more accessible to the general public and support broadband access for underserved rural areas.
Pictured right: Prof Dimitra Psychogiou
SFI believes that science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) is for everyone. This includes creating a diverse scientific, research and innovation workforce, as well as bringing science to lif for all. SFI supports and delivers STEM engagement activities across Ireland, championing best practice in STEM education, and promoting curiosity across all age groups and education levels.
By inviting the public to join a conversation about research through campaigns such Creating our Future, and supporting researchers in engaging with the public, SFI aims to increase the accessibility to publicly-funded scientific content and encourage open dialogue with citizens. Working with a broad range of stakeholders and communities during 2021, SFI supported both in-person and virtual activities, creating opportunities for innovative collaboration and reaching new audiences.
A public conversation about future research
Creating Our Future was brought forward in 2021 by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD. As an ‘all of Government’ endeavour, the aim was to create an opportunity for the people of Ireland to contribute to the future direction of Irish research and innovation. People and communities across the country were invited to submit ideas through a dedicated online portal, facilitating a national brainstorm about what researchers can do to help create a better future.
SFI acted as operational lead for the campaign, engaging a diverse network of stakeholders. This included the formation of a Steering Committee led by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, an Advisory Forum comprised of representatives from just under 80 organisations, and an Expert Committee comprised of individuals with a diverse range of expertise and interests. The Creating Our Future Roadshow visited every county in Ireland and over 1,500 online and in-person brainstorms and events were held to gather ideas.
STEM Passport for Inclusion
Young women from socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds do not traditionally access STEM careers, often due to a lack of role models and limited availability of STEM subjects in their educational settings. The STEM Passport for Inclusion project supports young women through a multi-strand approach. Supported by the SFI Discover Programme Call, it is led by Maynooth University with partners Munster Technological University (MTU), the RDI Hub, Accenture, Microsoft and TeenTurn. Almost 500 girls participated in 2021 and the programme aims to reach 15,000 young women from disadvantaged backgrounds over a three-year period. It is also part of the Microsoft Ireland-Maynooth University Digital Wealth school’s outreach programme.
Pictured right: 6th year students, Beauty Ihekwereme, Sinead Keane, Roisin Keane, and Kelechi Unaegbu, from Firhouse Community College, participated in the STEM Passport for Inclusion Programme. Image: Naoise Culhane Photography.
Explore The Report - Our Key Chapters
- Global Footprint
- Driving Competitiveness
- Excellent Research
SFI supports and drives Ireland’s contribution to the latest scientific breakthroughs which lead to innovation for academia, enterprise, the public sector, government, society and beyondFind out more
- Annual Report 2021
In 2021, SFI continued to build strategic international collaborative research partnerships across the globe.Find out more about Global Footprint
SFI is fostering a cohesive research and innovation ecosystem that supports Ireland’s competitiveness.Find out more about Driving Competitiveness