New Foundations



New Foundations is a key driver in progressing our strategic priorities by enabling awardees to pursue research, networking or dissemination activities within and across the diversity of disciplines. The scheme provides support for:

  • research actions;
  • the development of networks and consortia;
  • conference and workshop development; and
  • capacity building for interdisciplinary collaboration.

Since 2015, over 200 community, voluntary and charity organisations have engaged across our programmes with 278 funded projects and an associated investment in excess of €6.5 million.  Through partnerships with researchers, diverse community organisations can bring new evidence and insights to enhance their services and impact for those that need them. The scheme also includes strands supported by government departments and agencies. In each of the past three years, a dedicated strand of the call has provided opportunities for researchers to work on important areas of policy, including global development, crime, creativity and children.


This year, the call features an open strand together with four strands run in partnership with government departments and agencies. These five strands are summarised below with further detail included in the call document.

Strand 1a: Enhancing Civic Society 

Supporting small, discrete collaborative projects between researchers and civic society groups in the community and voluntary sector. These awards will be 9 months in duration up to a maximum value of €12,000.

Strand 4: ‘A Better World’ New Foundations Awards in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs (Irish Aid)

Networking awards to form consortia for prospective global north-south research partnerships focused on areas of strategic importance to Ireland’s Policy for International Development. These awards will be 9 months in duration up to a maximum value of €10,000.

Strand 8: Department of the Taoiseach Shared Island New Foundations Awards 

Supporting research, networking and collaboration for the purpose of informing and supporting the implementation and development of the Government’s Shared Island initiative. These awards will be 6 or 9 months in duration up to a maximum value of €20,000.

Strand 9: Department of Foreign Affairs (Reconciliation Fund) New Foundations Awards

Research, networking and collaboration on themes related to peacebuilding and reconciliation between traditions in Northern Ireland, between north and south and between Ireland and Britain, in line with the objectives set out in the Reconciliation Fund Strategy. These awards will be 9 months in duration up to a maximum value of €15,000.

Strand 10: Police Community Relations New Foundations Award in partnership with the Policing Authority 

Supporting research seeking to bring the needs or experiences of communities to life in a manner that contributes to enhancing police community relations. This award will be 9 months in duration up to a maximum value of €10,000.


Key dates

Call open14 April 2021 at 4pm (Irish time)
FAQ deadline19 May 2021 at 4pm (Irish time)
Applicant deadline26 May 2021 at 4pm (Irish time)
Endorsement deadline04 June 2021 at 4pm (Irish time)
Outcome September 2021
Project start date01 November 2021

All applications must be submitted and endorsed via the Irish Research Council’s WizeHive application system on or before the stated deadlines. Please refer to the indicative form and guide for applicants for further information.


Please note that the timings provided here are indicative and may be subject to change.

If you do not find the answer to your query in the call documentation, you should contact the research office in your proposed institution, which will provide information and clarification on the call. Research offices can send any queries they are unable to clarify to newfoundations@research.ieFor reasons of transparency and fairness to all applicants, we will not enter into written or telephone correspondence with any individuals about the assessment process or their eligibility to apply.

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