Minister Simon Harris announces €24.6 million in Irish Research Council funding to support rising researchers and pioneering projects
Posted: 11 September, 2023
Repurposing sustainable carbon fibre for a circular economy, meeting the needs in school of children from in-care backgrounds, and the use of genomic tools to monitor particular fish species in Irish Atlantic waters. These are among the research projects awarded a combined €24.6m in funding under the Irish Research Council’s (IRC) flagship Government of Ireland programmes, announced by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, today (11.09.23).
The IRC’s Government of Ireland scheme supports top early-career researchers who are based in Ireland’s higher education and research institutions. The investment will fund 294 awards in total, namely 214 postgraduate scholarships and 80 postdoctoral fellowships.
Announcing the funding awards, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, said: “I am delighted to announce this investment for a new generation of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers under the Irish Research Council’s Government of Ireland programmes. These awards will support the development of the next generation of excellent researchers in Ireland, as they pursue new knowledge at the cutting edge of a wide range of disciplines.
This investment recognises the huge potential of Ireland’s early-career researchers, and it will support the development of skills, knowledge and innovation that will meet the challenges of today and the future”.
Some of the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme awardees include:
- Rachel Coleman Horgan from Atlantic Technological University, whose project will deploy genomic tools to monitor skate and ray communities in Irish Atlantic coastal waters.
- Ali Taha Ozdemir from South East Technological University, who will examine the use of ‘nanodecoys’ to neutralise coronavirus in the respiratory system.
- Lorraine Hayman from University of Galway, who will be investigating technology-facilitated sexual violence and emergent violence against women.
- Lucas Dijker from University College Dublin, whose project examines how expert authority may be perceived as a threat to democracy and how best to reconcile experts with democracy.
Some of the Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme awardees include:
- Anne Beaucamp McLoughlin from University of Limerick, who will explore the development of a novel solution for the production, use and repurposing of sustainable carbon fibre for a circular economy.
- Sarpong Hammond Antwi from Dundalk Institute of Technology, whose project will investigate practices by which institutions and agencies in the water sector in Ireland can engage with each other to promote the transition towards a sustainable water future for Ireland.
- Claire Rassian from University College Cork, who will examine the experiences of, and the implementation of socio-economic rights for, unaccompanied migrant children, as set down in international and regional law and policy.
- Anthony Kelly from Maynooth University is a digital anthropologist whose project will examine the role of hostility in online engagement by political influencers and audiences, including on social media, and how this can facilitate racist, misogynistic, and anti-LGBTQ+ messaging and attitudes.
Fourteen of the Government of Ireland postgraduate awards are scholarships made in collaboration with and funded by partner agencies. The agencies comprise the Environmental Protection Agency, Met Éireann, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, and the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Some of the successful postgraduate awardees supported by strategic funding partners include:
- Environmental Protection Agency Postgraduate Scholarship awardee Eugene McKeown, from University of Galway, who will be assessing the socio-cultural effects of noise from offshore windfarms on coastal soundscapes.
- Met Éireann Postgraduate Scholarship awardee Tiernan Brosnan, from the University of Limerick, who will be examining the imaging method known as Inverse Synthetic Aperture RADAR (ISAR), with potential applications for improving weather forecasting.
- Andrew Grene Postgraduate Scholarship in Conflict Resolution awardee Hannah Frank, from Trinity College Dublin, who will examine why some protests escalate to civil conflict while others do not.
- Postgraduate Scholarship in Childhood Disadvantage in Ireland awardee Tara Ciric, from Maynooth University, who will be studying the needs of care-experienced young people in school in Ireland through youth-led storytelling, and the implications for policy and practice.
Welcoming the announcement, Peter Brown, Director of the Irish Research Council, said: “The IRC’s prestigious Government of Ireland awards will enable close to 300 exceptional and innovative early-career researchers to progress a wide variety of pioneering areas of research. Early-career researchers represent the future of research and innovation and the funding being announced by the Minister today will support a vibrant knowledge eco-system. This eco-system will benefit and shape the further development of enterprise, public policy and our higher education institutions. The awards encompass funding across all disciplines – from the arts, humanities and social sciences, to science, technology, engineering and maths.
“We are delighted to collaborate with our national partners on the awards again this year- boosting future expertise and knowledge in areas such as the environment and weather, social policy, and civil society. ”
For more information about the Irish Research Council, visit www.research.ie.