The Minister for State for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock T.D., has announced that the Irish Research Council will make research awards totaling some €16.8 million. This will support 353 postgraduates and postdoctoral candidates in what is one of the single largest award events for Irish researchers this year.
There were over 1,600 applicants to the schemes and the winning researchers represent the best and the brightest of recent graduates. The funding by the Irish Research Council will provide support for innovative and creative ideas and kick-start research careers.
The Irish Research Council awardees will be funded through a multi annual investment of €16.8 million from the government with a further €2 million being invested by the EU and enterprise partners.
Minister Sherlock said that: “The awards now being made by the Irish Research Council provide significant funding for researchers in a wide range of disciplines in the areas of science, technology and the humanities. This funding supports a new generation of researchers and continues our emphasis on creating a vibrant research community which is essential for Ireland’s future economic growth and reputation as a knowledge society. The progress of our research system is a result of having a strong cohort of highly creative and innovative researchers who will be Ireland’s future leading innovators. Research investments have already had a very positive impact on Ireland’s development and highlights how research, development and innovation can contribute significantly to job creation and economic prosperity”.
Chair of the Irish Research Council Professor, Orla Feely, congratulated the successful candidates, saying: “The standard of applications was extremely high this year. Competition was fierce and the Irish Research Council strove to ensure that the most innovative, creative and excellent people and their projects were chosen for funding. In order to achieve this, over two hundred independent international assessors evaluated the proposals. We wish the awardees the very best with their endeavours and look forward to exciting outcomes.”
The Irish Research Council objective is to support excellent researchers, in particular at postgraduate and early stage postdoctoral levels. It uniquely funds a broad range of disciplines spanning the humanities, social sciences, business, law, sciences, engineering and technology. It encourages interdisciplinary research and engagement with employers and aims to support an expertise-driven research system in order to enhance Ireland’s innovation capacity and skills base in a rapidly changing global environment.