Irish Research Council and COVID-19

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

At the outset of 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.

This page brings together COVID-related information for our awardees and applicants.

COVID-19: Impacts on Awards

We are working 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 refer to the updated guidance below:

Guidance for IRC Awardees on COVID-19 Impacts

Please note, requests for no cost extensions and budget reallocations made less than two months before the current end date of the award will not be considered.

Rapid Response

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

Information and advice

Ongoing information regarding COVID-19 in Ireland is available from the HSE:

The Research Data Alliance was asked by the European Commission to create guidelines for sharing COVID-19 data and other research outputs, and created the RDA COVID-19 working group. Over 400 researchers and experts joined and collaborated on research dissemination at an unprecedented rate. The list of recommendations for research on Covid-19 made by the RDA remains available : RDA COVID-19 Guidelines and Recommendations.

Contact Information

As outlined by the guidance in the Information for Existing Awardees section of this website, please submit any queries relating to COVID-19 to us through your Research Office, or directly at the email address for the relevant award programme. The IRC will respond to all queries as swiftly as possible, though some delays may be inevitable; we regret any inconvenience caused.

Postgraduates can also contact the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) at for assistance.


Data Protection Notice

Please read our updated Data Protection Notice.

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