Funding Opportunities for Civil Society Organisations to Partner with Researchers

Posted: 2 September, 2020

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At the Irish Research Council (IRC), we are proud to support partnerships between civil society organisations and researchers in higher education. We have funded 128 research partnerships with civil society organisations, sponsored Campus Engage, and funded Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) awards with the Health Research Board.

Shared benefits of partnership:

Charities and researchers are partners in the process. Developing ideas, project design and development are achieved through reciprocity, transparency and dialogue.

Through partnership, your civil society organisation will benefit from, and will actively contribute to, high-quality research that directly aligns with your organisation’s work plan and strategic interests. By working with an excellent researcher, you will build the evidence base to tackle the major challenges that your organisation seeks to address.

Funding opportunities:

IRC funding schemes support collaborative projects that bring together researchers and civil society organisations. Check out the following:

  • New Foundations (Strand 1a) is entirely funded by the IRC and supports impactful 9-month collaborative projects between researchers and registered charities. This is particularly well-suited to charities that have a defined need or short project in mind.
  • Enterprise Partnership Scheme is a co-funding programme between the IRC and a civil society organisation for one to four years. The research project is closely related to the interests of the civil society organisation, and the researcher typically completes a placement there. (Note: A waiver may be available to registered charities for the first year of award.)
  • Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme is a similar scheme in which the IRC co-funds the cost of employing a researcher. The research project is directly related to the interests of the civil society organisation. The civil society organisation is fully embedded throughout the project, and the researcher is employed there.

Next steps?

  • For further information on IRC funding schemes email
  • For tips on how to develop your partnership, consult the Campus Engage Framework for Engaged
  • For further reading, see Ní Shé, É., Cassidy, J., Davies, C. et al. Minding the gap: identifying values to enable public and patient involvement at the pre-commencement stage of research projects. Res Involv Engagem 6, 46 (2020).

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