Strong infrastructure is essential for a vibrant research environment in Ireland.

Ireland is currently a member of two humanities and social sciences ‘European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures’ (ESFRI), which are constituted legally as European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERIC):

  • Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH)
  • European Social Survey (ESS)

The Department of Education and Skills have appointed the Irish Research Council to represent Ireland’s interests in these infrastructures.

Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH)

DARIAH is a pan-European network for arts and humanities scholars working with computational methods. It supports digital research, as well as the teaching of digital research methods.

In November 2014 it was formally established as a European Research Infrastructure (ERIC). The mission of the DARIAH ERIC is to enhance and support digitally enabled research across the humanities and arts. DARIAH ERIC develops, maintains and operates an infrastructure in support of ICT-based research practices.

Dr Orla Murphy of UCC was appointed as national coordinator for DARIAH for Ireland in spring 2016. The coordinator fulfils a number of roles, including:

  • representing the Council as required at national and international DARIAH events
  • serving as a link between the national steering committee and the DARIAH-EU coordination office
  • providing the secretariat and administration for the national DARIAH steering committee.


European Social Survey (ESS)

The ESS is an academically driven social survey designed to chart and explain the interaction between Europe’s changing institutions and the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of its diverse populations.

Currently in its eighth round, the survey covers more than 30 nations. It is a repeat cross-sectional survey and uses the most rigorous methodologies. It is funded through the European Commission’s Framework Programmes, the European Science Foundation and national funding bodies in each country.

The ESS allows governments, policy analysts and scholars to keep up with social trends that affect how democracy is working and how European citizens perceive their lives, their nations, and the world.

Professor Michael Breen of Mary Immaculate College is the national coordinator for ESS Round 5.