The mission of the Irish Research Council is to enable and sustain a vibrant research community in Ireland by supporting excellent researchers across all disciplines and career stages.

Our vision is for a healthy research ecosystem that provides a diversity of supports and opportunities to allow Ireland reap the full value of research. This balanced ecosystem will help to address the breadth of economic and societal needs. It will also develop the knowledge, understanding and insights required by citizens, employers and government.


Our mandate

The Irish Research Council was established and mandated to:

  • fund excellent research within, and between, all disciplines, and in doing so to enhance Ireland’s international reputation as a centre for research and learning
  • support the education and skills development of excellent individual early-stage researchers and cultivate agile independent researchers and thinkers, while offering a range of opportunities which support diverse career paths
  • enrich the pool of knowledge and expertise available for addressing Ireland’s current and future needs, whether societal, cultural or economic and deliver for citizens through collaboration and enabling knowledge exchange with government departments and agencies, enterprise and civic society
  • provide policy advice on postgraduate education, and on more general research matters, to the Higher Education Authority and other national and international bodies. In giving us this role, the then Minister for Research and Innovation requested that particular attention be given to the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Our values

Our core value is excellence. It is determined on the basis of independent peer review in an open, objective and transparent manner. We also hold the values of independence, partnership, openness and professionalism.

How we operate

We operate within the policy framework of the Department of Education and Skills and the Higher Education Authority, but are independent in our funding decisions. To best deliver for citizens, we partner nationally and internationally with the research community, government departments and agencies, enterprise and civic society. We engage with the Irish research community regularly to inform our work and the future development of our activities. We ensure high standards in our practices and policies through periodic review and evaluation.

The Council is an associated agency of the Department of Education and Skills and operates under the aegis of the Higher Education Authority. It was established in mid-2012 following the merger of the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) and the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET).