20 years of Franco-Irish research partnerships marked

Posted: 29 May, 2017

The Irish Research Council and the Embassy of France in Ireland will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Ulysses scheme this evening at a special event in the Royal Irish Academy.

The Ulysses scheme – named after James Joyce’s famous novel to celebrate the Joycean links between Ireland and France – is designed to support new research collaborations between Irish and French researchers. It also promotes the development of mutual research projects involving young Irish researchers visiting France and reciprocal visits by young French researchers to Ireland.

Projects funded by Ulysses

In advance of this evening’s celebration, the Irish Research Council has highlighted some of the research supported by the Ulysses scheme over the past 20 years, including:

  • In 2010, Laurent Philippot (INRA Dijon, the French National Institute for Agricultural Research) and Bryan Griffiths (Teagasc) obtained a Ulysses award for their work on the role nitrogen plays in the increase of the greenhouse effect. The Ulysses scheme was the first step towards a more extensive collaboration, including the funding of a post-doctoral position and the publication of an article in Nature Climate Change, within the compass of the European project EcoFinders.
  • Olivier Thomas (University of Nice, now NUI Galway) and Grace McCormack (NUI Galway) secured a Ulysses grant in 2015 for their project on marine biotechnology. This led to wider collaboration involving researchers in Brazil, France and Ireland, and Olivier Thomas is now an established professor in NUI Galway.

Commenting on the success of the Ulysses scheme, Peter Brown, Interim Director of the Irish Research Council, said: “We are very proud to jointly celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Ulysses programme. Promoting international partnership is an important part of the Council’s mission and indeed is key to the development of Ireland’s research system as a whole. Mobility and international collaboration between the Irish and French research systems fuels new knowledge, skills and experience which, taken together, have a hugely positive impact on the participationg researchers.

“We are delighted to see that Ulysses’ laureates have used their experience to further their careers and establish themselves in academia.”

French Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Jean-Pierre Thébault commented on the importance of the Ulysses scheme. “Each year, this programme attracts excellent researchers on relevant topics, from fundamental research in astronomy and mathematics to very applied research on subsects such as marine energies and health. Its success demonstrates the quality of the Franco-Irish collaboration in research.”

The Ulysses scheme funds applications across all fields of research. Since its establishment, the scheme has funded over 600 awardees. Further details on the 2017 call can be found here.

More: Embassy of France in Ireland, Ulysses

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