29th  August  2022 – Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris today announced an investment of €28.5 million across 53 research projects to support Ireland’s emerging research talent.

Announcing the new investment, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, said: “I am thrilled to announce these exciting new research projects, which allow researchers to advance their work and further develop their careers towards becoming the next generation of research leaders in Ireland. It is important that we retain and support our emerging talent across all areas of research, from astronomy, cancer, economics, energy, to health and nutrition. Crucially, this fund focuses on the representation of female researchers in the higher education system. We want to continue to increase the number of females participating in research and funds like this are crucial to helping us achieving this.”

Projects include:

  • Identifying highly nutritious versions of Irish oats that will be resilient in the face of climate change.
  • Gendered violence in the Irish South Asian community.
  • External Shocks and Fiscal Sustainability.
  • The Development of Writing in Early Ireland.
  • Recovering documentary sources of the circumpolar north in the long nineteenth century.
  • The impact of plastics on health.
  • Understanding the evolution of cosmic dust and star formation using the James Webb Space Telescope.
  • Novel sensors for measuring agricultural emissions.
  • Advanced batteries for improved energy storage performance.

Commenting on the awards, Dr Ruth Freeman, Director Science for Society, Science Foundation Ireland, said “We are delighted to be able to provide this important support to early-career researchers, enabling them to gain the essential skills and experience to develop their track record and become independent research leaders.  In partnership with the Irish Research Council, we have been able to support 53 projects, providing resources for excellent researchers and projects across a range of disciplines.”

Dr Louise Callinan, Interim Director of the Irish Research Council, said “The IRC is committed to cultivating agile independent researchers and funding excellent research across all disciplines. Through this impactful partnership with Science Foundation Ireland, emerging research talent in both AHSS and STEM will be supported toward becoming established independent researchers and future research leaders.” The projects are funded through the

SFI-IRC Pathway programme, a new collaborative initiative between Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Irish Research Council (IRC) to support early career research across all disciplines and to encourage interdisciplinary approaches. Of the 53 projects supported under the first round of this new partnership programme, 36 projects will be supported in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and 17 will be supported in arts, humanities and social sciences (AHSS). The awards will enable postdoctoral researchers to conduct independent research for a four–year period and will provide funding for a postgraduate student who will be primarily supervised by the awardee.

A specific focus of the programme is increase the representation of female researchers in the higher education system:

  • STEM awards by gender –Female (21); Male (15).
  • AHSS awards by gender – Male (9); Female (8).

The 53 research projects will be funded through 12 research bodies, as follows: Dublin City University (4); Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (5); Marine Institute (1); Maynooth University (5); Munster Technology University (2); National University of Ireland, Galway (3); RCSI, University of Medicine and Health Sciences (1); Teagasc (1); Trinity College Dublin (8); University College Cork (6); University College Dublin (9)  and University of Limerick (8).

View full list of projects