Irish Research Council and COVID-19

The IRC recognised that certain research programmes faced significant disruption and interruption as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. These included awards for which fieldwork and access to facilities, patients, other research subjects, artefacts or manuscripts were a key part of the research.

During the pandemic, the IRC adopted several measures to assist researchers on existing awards and facilitate the continuity of further research, including:

  • Requests for No Cost Extensions were facilitated for awards disrupted due to COVID-19.
  • Project leaders were encouraged to propose budget re-allocation requests to support delivery of project objectives in line with broad timelines.
  • Budget re-allocation was also permitted to extend the project duration for early-career researchers contracted to the projects.
  • The IRC facilitated its awardees to avail of HEA costed extensions and provided cost neutral extensions where appropriate.

The special measures implemented by the IRC to assist researchers whose research was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are no longer deemed necessary and shall cease to be applied for projects with end dates beyond 01 April 2024. Early-career award requests for budget reallocations on the basis of the COVID-19 pandemic will no longer be considered. Please note that the No Cost Extension Policy can be found here, which may be applied to ongoing awards.

COVID-19: Impacts on Awards

We worked on an ongoing basis to understand the nature of impacts on our funded projects and to facilitate appropriate measures. We have worked collaboratively with the Health Research Board (HRB), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), and higher education institutions to monitor the impact on Ireland’s research community more broadly.

Please find the historical guidance for awardees at the link below.

Historical guidance for IRC Awardees on COVID-19 Impacts

Rapid Response Research

In 2020, a COVID-19 Rapid Response Research and Innovation Funding call was rolled out in a cross-Government and public health-led effort to tackle various aspects of the pandemic. The call consisted of the following two strands:

  1. Led by the HRB and IRC, this call focused on research that covers three separate strands: medical countermeasures, health service readiness, and social and policy countermeasures to COVID-19.
  2. Led by SFI, EI, and IDA Ireland, this call focused on activities that would deliver significant and timely impact for Ireland within the context of the pandemic.

26 projects were funded under the Rapid Response calls as of 29 April 2020. Read our announcement for further details. Minister Heather Humphreys announced a further 11 projects in the SFI-led strand on 9 June 2020. An additional 41 projects in the SFI-led strand were announced by Minister Simon Harris on 24 September 2020. Finally, Minister Simon Harris and Minister Stephen Donnelly announced another 39 projects, including 14 in the HRB-IRC strand, on 14 December 2020.



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