25 years of Franco-Irish research collaboration celebrated at special Bloomsday event

Posted: 16 June, 2022

  • Twenty newly awarded research projects will receive funding of €100,000 in total under the Ulysses scheme


The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD has today (16.06.22) announced, with the Irish Research Council and the Embassy of France in Ireland, 20 new research projects awarded funding in the latest round of their collaborative Ulysses programme, while also celebrating the twenty-fifth year of the Ulysses award scheme.

The awardees and the silver anniversary were honoured at a special Bloomsday-themed reception hosted by the French Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Mr. Vincent Guérend, at his Dublin residence today. Guests – who included researchers, strategic partners, institutional representatives as well as representatives of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science – enjoyed the reading of a soliloquy from ‘Ulysses’ by Franco-Irish actor and musician Camille O’Sullivan, also in celebration of the centenary of its publication.

Two former awardees of the Ulysses scheme, Professor Cliona O’Farrelly, Chair in Comparative Immunology, Biochemistry, Trinity College Dublin, and Dr Marie-Luce Paris, Associate Professor in Law at University College Dublin, talked about the impact of their research collaborations through the scheme.

The Ulysses scheme — named after James Joyce’s famous novel to celebrate the Joycean links between Ireland and France — provides funding to facilitate the exchange of innovative ideas and collaborative approaches between researchers working in Ireland and France. It has provided twenty-five years of critical seed funding for French and Irish researchers to collaborate together on areas where they share common interests, leading to collaborations, networks and partnerships that have extended well beyond the duration of the initial awards.

The newly awarded projects will receive funding of €100,000 in total under the scheme. They cover a wide range of research areas including an examination into suicide awareness in social care; the effect of air pollution on lung and respiratory health; interventions for patients living with certain dementias; an analysis of energy sector policy-making in France, Ireland and Germany; and a study into invasive populations of rhododendron.

Commenting on the funding announcement, Minister Simon Harris TD said: “I welcome the announcement of the twenty new awards made under the Ulysses Scheme. The scheme has fostered a culture of collaboration between Ireland and France for the past 25 years, bringing researchers and strategic partners together from both nations to develop diverse projects with long-ranging impacts. The continued development of European research collaborations and partnerships across disciplines will be increasingly important as we look forward to the implementation of our new research and innovation strategy Impact 2030.”

H.E. Mr Guérend also welcomed the announcement and the landmark anniversary: “I am delighted that we have been able to come together in person to celebrate and mark our continued commitment to this programme during this 25th anniversary of the Ulysses scheme. This programme now has an established place within the French-Irish research landscape and highlights the special relationship between our two counties, as France is now Ireland’s closest EU neighbour. It continues to evolve to meet the needs of our researchers, building links with the private sector and pointing to priority areas such as health, climate and renewable energy.”

Also commenting, Assistant Director of the Irish Research Council, Dr. Gráinne Walshe, said: “The Ulysses scheme has funded over 700 awardees since its establishment in 1997 across all research disciplines, from humanities and social sciences through to engineering, earth and life sciences, mathematics, biotechnology, computer science and other areas besides. In our twenty-fifth year, we are very proud of our continuing collaboration with the French Embassy and our strategic partners on Ulysses in creating lasting professional networks of researchers and institutes in France and Ireland.”


New projects awarded funding

Among the projects awarded Ulysses funding this year are:


  • Digitising the remains of ancient Celtic languages: Gaulish in RIIG, Primitive Irish in OG(H)AM, and Cisalpine Celtic in LexLep: David Stifter, Professor of Old and Middle Irish at Maynooth University, and Coline Ruiz-Darasse from Université de Bordeaux, Montaigne.
  • Quantifying the factors limiting rate performance in supercapacitor electrodes: Jonathan Coleman, Professor of Chemical Physics at Trinity College Dublin, and Thierry Brousse, Professor of Materials Science at Nantes Université.
  • Out of the Shell: establishing partnerships to transform our understandings of Mesolithic shell midden sites in French Brittany and Ireland: Professor Graeme Warren from University College Dublin and Grégor Marchand from Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), with strategic funding partners Eirgrid / RTÉ.
  • Do transitions change political governance in the energy sector? Comparative analysis of policy making in France, Ireland and Germany: Louise Fitzgerald, Maynooth University, and Angelique Palle, Institute for Strategic Research, IRSEM Paris, with strategic funding partners SEAI / ADEME.
  • Suicide Awareness in Social Care — A European examination: Maeve Murphy, Lecturer in Psychology at SETU Carlow, and Mariette Auger, Lecturer in Sociology, Institut Universitaire de Technologie du Havre, with strategic funding partner the Health Research Board.


In Ireland, Ulysses is funded and administered by the Irish Research Council. In France, it is funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and administered by the Embassy of France in Ireland and Campus France, the leading French agency for international mobility. Strategic partners of the scheme are RTE-France, EirGrid, the Health Research Board, ADEME and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.


Full list of Ulysses Awardees 2022

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