The search is on to find the brightest minds in Irish research



Posted: 26 July, 2018

The Irish Research Council has today opened its call for nominations for the 2018 Researcher of the Year awards.

Now in their second year, the Researcher of the Year awards recognise and commend the very best of its current awardees or alumni working in academia, industry, civic society or the public sector.

Academic institutions may put forward nominations of current or former Council awardees, who have made a significant contribution to research over their career to date, under the following categories:

  • Researcher of the Year
  • Early-Career Researcher of the Year

In addition, recognising that many of their alumni work outside of academia, the Council is seeking direct nominations for the award of Alumnus of the Year. This third award will mark the contribution that a former Council awardee has made working in industry, civic society or the public sector.

Launching the call to find Ireland’s Researchers of the Year, Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Chair of the Irish Research Council, said: “I am delighted to open this year’s call.

“Last year, we received many excellent nominations of current and previously funded Council researchers who are at the very top of their game in their area of expertise. The Council’s 2017 Researchers of the Year have been great ambassadors for Irish research both at home and abroad, and we want to continue to showcase the quality that is there across all disciplines.

“Having a vibrant research community – and strong public support for research – is now more important than ever. These awards are all about recognising the excellence in the sector and how important researchers are for society, the economy, and of course our higher education system.”

The Researcher of the Year awardees will be announced at a special ceremony in late 2018.

Full guidelines and nomination forms for the Researcher of the Year awards are available here.

Irish Research Council Annual Report

The Irish Research Council also released its 2017 annual report today. The report highlights the Council’s support of 1,528 researchers last year, across a portfolio of awards worth in excess of €100 million.

Also in 2017, the Council:

  • funded projects with 236 enterprise partners;
  • invested in 76 principal investigator-led projects;
  • supported 28 projects involving collaboration with civic society groups;
  • engaged in partnerships with 17 different government departments and state agencies; and
  • provided 76 knowledge exchange and networking awards.

Commenting today, Professor Jane Ohlmeyer said: “2017 was a milestone for the Council and its forebears as we celebrated 15 years of supporting almost 8,000 excellent researchers across all disciplines.

“Our approach has always been to recognise that supporting exceptional individuals with creative and novel ideas is critical for fuelling Ireland’s pipeline of future research leaders and independent thinkers.

“The introduction of our Irish Research Council Laureate Awards programme in 2017 represents an important new strand of funding, addressing the long-standing shortage of opportunities for frontier research across all disciplines and career stages. It is a programme that, with investment and support, we want to grow to ensure that Ireland is an innovation leader, not a follower.”

The Irish Research Council’s 2017 annual report is available here.