Announcing The Research Ally Prizes 2021

Posted: 3 December, 2021

  • 72 Research Allies nominated from across the Irish higher education and research system

The Irish Research Council is delighted to announce the awardees of the inaugural Research Ally Prizes, as part of the Researcher of the Year Awards 2021. The Research Ally Prizes are a new national award category celebrating the role of mentors, supervisors, research officers and support staff in supporting and sustaining the  Irish research community. 72 Research Allies were nominated by students and staff from across the Irish higher education and research system.



  • 61 Mentors and Supervisors were nominated across 14 Irish higher education institutions

‘My PhD supervisor was always on hand when needed with encouragement and reassurance, while also allowing me the freedom to develop as a researcher during the process.’

‘My mentor rallied my confidence and passion for my project during a period in my life when it was hard to feel strong and excited.’

‘My supervisor has been empathic in any difficult times I encountered thus far on my research journey. I am fortunate to have a supervisor who is my role model and who inspires me to achieve my best every day.’

‘My mentor balances encouragement and support with a constant drive, allowing me to become the best version of myself as a researcher.’


  • 11 Research Officers were nominated from across eight Irish higher education institutions

‘She is a huge supporter of researchers across all career stages, but particularly early career researchers, who she actively encourages and supports through the funding landscape.’

‘Their work is so important, yet it sometimes goes unnoticed as it occurs mostly behind the scenes.’

‘She has paved the way for successful grant applications and eased the path for prospective and current postgraduate students.’


The Research Ally Prizes are part of a wider series of actions being taken by the IRC to promote equality, inclusion, dignity and respect in Irish higher education. It follows the recent publication of our policy on Leave for Parents & Carers and our policy on Bullying, Harassment, and Sexual Harassment published earlier this year.

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