Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme


Bringing brilliant research into Irish enterprises and not-for-profit organisations

Combining excellent research with workplace experience, the Irish Research Council’s Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme is a unique national initiative. First piloted in 2012, it provides students in all disciplines an opportunity to bring great research ideas into an Irish employment partner with the support of a higher education institution. We top up the wage of a full time employee with €24,000 per annum to complete a higher degree by research.

What is an employment partner?

We proudly partner with over 198 enterprises. Employment Partners need to be based in the Republic of Ireland and have suitable facilities to host and mentor the researcher.

  • Employment partner is a business, company, registered charity, social, cultural or not-for-profit civic organisation, semi-state commercial organisation or eligible public body with a physical operational base located in Ireland that will employ the researcher for the duration of the award.
  • A public body is a public service body with specific scientific or cultural infrastructure that is integral to the conduct and completion of the proposed research.
  • If a public body or higher education institution is an eligible research performing organisation, it is not an eligible employment partner under this scheme.


What we offer

Both Irish enterprises and work placed researchers benefit greatly from the programme. Employment partners host excellent researchers who dedicate their time to a specific research project related to the organisation. The Irish Research Council contribute up to €24,000 per annum towards the researcher costs.

There is no cap on the wage the organisation pays to the researcher, meaning current employees can stay on the wage they are at while gaining a research degree supported by a co-contribution from the Irish Research Council. However, organisations must commit a minimum contribution of €8,000 per annum towards the salary of the researcher and meet national standards of pay. At the end of the project, the researcher will gain workplace skills and a degree by research.

How to apply

Click on the “online award application” icon on this page and follow the prompts to begin your application. First time applicants can register here. Please ensure ircapps@research.ie is listed as a safe sender in your email account so we can send you your password and application updates.

Applicants should review all available documentation on our website, in particular the Terms and Conditions and the Guide for Applicants which contains useful information about the conditions of the award and how to navigate our system.

Please see the application flowchart document for a diagram of the application and assessment process.

Applications (including academic supervisor, employment mentor and referee forms) will only be accepted through the online application system. 

Key dates

Call open14 February 2018
FAQ deadline16:00 (Irish time) 5 April 2018
Applicant deadline16:00 (Irish time) 12 April 2018
Supervisor, employment mentor and referee deadline16:00 (Irish time) 19 April 2018
Research office endorsement deadline16:00 (Irish time) 26 April 2018
Call outcome End of July 2018
Scholarship start date1 October 2018