Having been whittled down from 1,200 applicants, 213 scholars have been awarded a total of €16.2m to fund a range of projects over the next four years across multiple sectors.
The postgrad research funding will be provided by the Irish Research Council (IRC) as part of the 2015 Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Awards with the selected 213 candidates being chosen due to “the excellence, novelty and innovation of their projects”.
At the launch of the funding, a small number of the topics were highlighted as ones to watch, most notably those relating to scientific research in exploring the origins of Zirconium stars, redefining tomb funerary archaeology in modern Irish sculpture and enhancing weather prediction to tackle climate change.
Other topics that will receive IRC funding including projects on harnessing the self-cleansing power of the atmosphere, cyberbullying, green-synthesis of anti-HIV drugs and the development of seaweed wound dressings.
This year, 14 scholarships were offered in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning, and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).
Speaking at the launch, the Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, said: “The international research environment is becoming increasingly competitive. Individuals with new ideas and thinking are needed to contribute to economic development and to Ireland’s reputation globally. These budding researchers are now well placed to contribute to Ireland’s prosperity in the years ahead.”