€10.8m to fund early careers of tomorrow’s scientists

17 Jul 2008

A €10.8m scheme has been launched to fund the early career formation of new doctoral and master’s researchers in the fields of science, technology and engineering.

The new fund from the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET), under a second call for the Postgraduate Scholarship Research Scheme, will operate in 2008 under the council’s Embark Initiative.

“In the current economic climate, our ability to innovate is more important than ever,” said Professor Jane Grimson, chair of IRCSET.

“There is a wealth of research talent in Ireland and a strong desire by many graduates to pursue a research career in their chosen discipline in this country. The Postgraduate Scholarship Research Scheme supports and facilitates these highly motivated researchers to deliver novel and creative research, contributing to a strong Irish research infrastructure.”

IRCSET’s multi-annual research funding programmes are aimed at knowledge creation for the future benefit of society and the economy. They are also aimed at retaining highly talented researchers and attracting new researchers to carry out their work in Ireland.

IRCSET, which is funded by the State under the National Development Plan, today issued a call for applicants to a competitive process which will award funding to intending postgraduate researchers who have excelled in their final-year examinations in science, engineering and technology.

The closing date for the call is 5pm, 20 August. Approximately 75 awards will be funded in this round, with the expectation that approximately 20 will be within IRCSET’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme, which co-funds research scholars with a range of industry partners.

IRCSET operates under the auspices of the Department of Education and Science. The main emphasis of its funding programmes is on exploratory research aimed at yielding new concepts, findings and innovations within Ireland. Since its inception in 2002, the council has allocated €60m to support the career formation of over 1,000 researchers in Ireland.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years