Congratulations to the 2022 Research Ally Awardees
Posted: 6 December, 2022
Unseen heroes of the Irish research ecosystem
Alongside nominations for Researcher of the Year, Early Career Researcher of the Year, and the Impact Award, the IRC welcomed submissions to celebrate ‘Research Allies’ in 2022. Research Ally prizes are awarded to mark the crucial role played by higher education personnel in supporting the academic research community across all career levels. Postgraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, academic and research-active staff were invited to nominate the mentors, supervisors, research officers and technical support staff who have supported their work and careers and improved the Irish research ecosystem. The 2022 awards saw 56 Research Allies recognised by the IRC.
Supervisors and Mentors
Good mentorship is crucial to the nurturing of talented early career researchers, a fact reflected in the volume of appreciative nominations of research supervisors and postdoctoral mentors. Nominators praised mentors for their compassionate responses to changes in personal circumstances, fostering of healthy and manageable research environments, and establishment of networks that placed mentees in contact with global research communities. Many submissions also praised their mentor or supervisor deftly accommodating strategic changes under Covid conditions.
Research and Technical Support Officers
Many research officers featured in the 2022 awardees list. Nominations discussed how research officers act as a nexus of communication between staff, students, and institutions, and provide invaluable expertise in grant management, institutional policy, and further, vital aspects of pastoral support. The immense and varied contributions of technical support staff were also highlighted, most notably with respect to systems design collaboration, and library and research collections administration. Nominations also praised their provision of critical research and experimental support as well as deep institutional knowledge.
Impressively, numerous winners were repeat awardees from the 2021 call.
The Irish Research Council would like to congratulate and thank all the awardees for their considerable contributions to Irish research culture. Assistant Director Dr Gráinne Walshe: ‘The Irish research ecosystem could not function without the essential supports provided to researchers at all stages of their careers by research officers, technical staff, mentors and supervisors. As a research funder, we rely on and interact with research allies on a daily basis. We are delighted to recognise the crucial role they play in ensuring that Ireland’s research and innovation system continues to thrive and excel.’
We encourage anyone working with a supportive or inspiring advisor or colleague to consider making a nomination in the Researcher of the Year Awards 2023, so we can bring attention to this vital component of Irish research.