Enterprise and employers to benefit from research expertise under Irish Research Council scheme



Posted: 21 August, 2019

Enterprise and employers will benefit from the expertise of some of Ireland’s brightest young researchers thanks to an announcement of Irish Research Council funding made today by Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD.

The investment will support 33 researchers under the Council’s Employment-Based Programme, where each funded researcher is placed in a role with a partner organisation for the duration of their full-time postgraduate studies – providing them with an opportunity to carry out their research while directly acquiring workplace experience and skills.

All the researchers will emerge from their project with a postgraduate research qualification, the majority at PhD level. The value of each award is up to €96,000, with a total investment of €2.5 million in this year’s round.

The employers taking part in the scheme include pharma and telecommunications companies but also not-for-profit, cultural and heritage organisations, and public-sector bodies.

Some of the researchers selected to receive funding include:

 

  • Sinead McEntee, who will work at Glanbia Ingredients and University College Cork. Sinead’s work focuses on optimising the ingredients and processes in the development of infant formula to produce an improved, more nutritious product.
  • Promit Roy, based in Novartis and Trinity College Dublin. Promit’s work will focus on developing innovation and digitalisation strategies for healthcare management and global access.
  • Maeve Casserly, who will be based at the National Library of Ireland (NLI) and University College Dublin. Her work will focus on producing best-practice guidelines on commemoration for heritage practitioners.
  • Aileen O’Loughlin, who will work at the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Institute of Technology Carlow. Aileen’s studies will focus on investigating the effects of physical activity on adolescent wellbeing and proposing a mechanism to meet a societal need.

Welcoming today’s investment in the Irish Research Council Employment Based Programme, the Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, said: “I am delighted to announce funding for 33 projects around the country as part of the Employment-Based Programme this year. This scheme is a very valuable opportunity for enterprise and employers to access research talent and expertise. I look forward to hearing about the outcomes from these partnerships as they progress.”

Commenting on the programme, the Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown, said: “Companies and employers across all sectors are increasingly recognising the value of high-quality research and the many skills and innovations that trained researchers can bring to their teams.

This programme is a great opportunity for employers to collaborate with some of Ireland’s best early-career researchers and, indeed, for researchers to gain valuable experience in industry and organisational settings.”

Dr Sandra Collins, Director of the National Library of Ireland, commented on the Library’s involvement with the scheme. “This programme enables us to work with excellent researchers and use their expertise to mutual benefit, for our own institution and also for the wider cultural heritage sector,” she said. “We are very much looking forward to working with Maeve as part of the Employment-Based Programme. We believe that the visitor engagement policy guide that she is developing will be a very useful resource for cultural institutions and heritage practitioners nationwide.”