Funding Opportunities

The Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Programmes

17th March 2022

Ireland offers exciting funding opportunities for early career researchers through the national funding agency, the Irish Research Council (IRC). An associated agency of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, the IRC is the national funder of excellent research across all disciplines. It invests in discovery research and in ground-breaking ideas that address major societal challenges, funding a diverse range of excellent individual researchers across all career stages.

Each year, the IRC awards postgraduate scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships through its flagship Government of Ireland programmes, aimed at supporting early career researchers from Ireland and internationally who are studying at an Irish Higher Education Institution.

The Government of Ireland programmes support master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral candidates across all disciplines from the arts to zoology. 2021 saw the highest combined number of awards made in the history of the programmes, funding an exciting range of projects including research on thermal technology, combatting urban pollution, and exploring the influence of social media on young people.

Michelle O’Driscoll, a postgraduate scholarship awardee based in University College Cork, is ‘taking on the challenge of discovering new solutions to antimicrobial resistance for sick patients, enabling them to live healthy and fulfilling lives.’

Dr Marco Timpanella, a postdoctoral fellowship awardee based in University College Dublin, is exploring the foundation of the theory of algebraic curves. Commenting on what inspires his research, he describes how ‘my passion for numbers and logical reasoning has shown itself ever since I was little. A simple thing like the computation of a square root by hand, looked like magic.’

The Government of Ireland programmes support postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows to achieve excellence in research. Dr Kathy Ruddy, a neuroscientist at Trinity College Dublin, is an example of how this support can provide the foundation for early career success.

The IRC supported Kathy’s research through a postdoctoral fellowship in 2017 and now she is a Research Assistant Professor in the School of Psychology and Institute of Neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin. In 2021, the IRC recognised Kathy’s contribution to the field of neuroscience by awarding her the Early Career Researcher of the Year.

Learn more about Kathy’s research:

For more information on the IRC Government of Ireland Programmes and how to apply, visit the IRC website.