Enterprise Partnership Scheme (Postdoctoral)


Co-funding research partnerships for enterprises and not-for-profit employers

The Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme is a unique national initiative linking excellent researchers to enterprise. The scheme brings great research ideas into an Irish enterprise partner with the support of a higher education institution.

The Irish Research Council partners with enterprises and jointly funds two-year fellowships to highly promising researchers in Ireland. Fellows will hold an Irish Research Council Enterprise Partnership Scheme Postdoctoral Fellowship.

What is an enterprise partner?

We proudly partner with 187 enterprises within Ireland and internationally. An enterprise partner is a business, a company, a registered charity, a social, cultural or not-for-profit civic organisation, a semi-state commercial organisation or eligible public body that will support 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 (RPO), it is not an eligible enterprise partner under this scheme.

What we offer

Awardees receive an annual package of  €45,925 comprising of:

  • a salary of €31,275
  • employer’s PRSI contribution of €3,395 (10.85% of salary)
  • employer’s pension contribution, where applicable, of €6,255, (20% of salary)
  • eligible direct research expenses of €5,000

We co-fund 2/3 of the cost for a postdoctoral researcher to undertake research directly related to an organisation’s interests. The Irish Research Council contribute up to €30,616.67 per annum towards the researcher costs. The enterprise partner commits an annual contribution of €15,308.33.

Both Irish enterprises and researchers benefit greatly from the programme. Enterprise partners co-fund excellent researchers who dedicate their time to a specific research project related to the organisation. At the end of the project, the researcher will gain workplace skills and a degree by research. The enterprise benefits from high value and in-depth research in an area directly aligned with their strategic interests.

***NEW TO 2019***

Featured enterprise partners

We are delighted to announce that 26 organisations have expressed an interest in funding postgraduate/postdoctoral researchers. These include the National Children’s Research Center, Focus Ireland, Kerry Group, Fighting Blindness, Social Justice Ireland and the Residential Tenancies Board. Please see the spreadsheet in the “call documentation” button to the right. Research offices, applicants and supervisors/mentors may contact the nominated person to discuss their research interests and potential co-funding under the scheme.

***NEW TO 2019***

Eligible NGOs may avail of a waiver for the first year enterprise partner contribution for all new applications to the Enterprise Partnership 2019 scheme. Please see the Terms and Conditions for more details.

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. As an aid to preparing an application offline, an indicative Word document version of the application form is provided. Indicative academic supervisor, enterprise mentor and referee forms are also provided.


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

Call open25 July 2018 (indicative)
FAQ Deadline16:00 (Irish Time) 22 August 2018
Applicant Deadline16:00 (Irish Time) 5 September 2018
Supervisor, Enterprise Mentor and Referee Deadline16:00 (Irish Time) 12 September 2018
Research Office Endorsement Deadline16:00 (Irish Time) 19 September 2018
Outcome of Scheme30 November 2018
Fellowship Start Date1 March 2019