2018’s Irish Research Council Researcher of the Year has been revealed

6 Dec 2018699 Views

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2018 Irish Research Council Researcher of the Year award winner, Prof Anna Davies. Image: Marc O'Sullivan Photography

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The Irish Research Council’s Researcher of the Year awards 2018 have seen seven top Irish researchers named as winners.

Now in its second year, the Irish Research Council’s Researcher of the Year awards ceremony was held last night (5 December). The awards were launched to recognise and commend the very best of the council’s current awardees or alumni working in academia, industry, civic society or the public sector.

It was revealed that the person to win the main Researcher of the Year award was Prof Anna Davies of Trinity College Dublin (TCD). As the principal investigator at the Environmental Governance Research Group at the university, Davies was awarded for her research in environmental governance and sustainability.

Other award winners

Meanwhile, six other prizes were presented as part of the awards. These included Dr Karen English, lead of the Cellular Immunology Laboratory at Maynooth University, who won the Early Career Researcher of the Year award for her research on the translation of cellular therapy for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.

Dr Brian Egan, senior engineer at the Wood Group and a University of Limerick graduate, was presented with the Alumnus of the Year award for his expertise in the area of advanced structural analysis and engineering design.

In addition to the Researcher of the Year awards, the council presented Medals of Excellence to four early-stage researchers. Each of the medals have been named after previous chairs of the council and recognise the work in the 2018 postgraduate and postdoctoral funding calls run by the council in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) as well as arts, humanities and social sciences (AHSS).

The winners of these awards included:

  • Joanna Proetz of TCD, who was awarded the Eda Sagarra Medal of Excellence for being the top-ranked postgraduate researcher in the AHSS category for her work in medieval studies
  • Hannah Prendeville of TCD, who was awarded the Jane Grimson Medal of Excellence for being the top-ranked postgraduate researcher in the STEM category for her investigation on the role of different lipid-rich diets on anti-tumour immunity
  • Dr Stephen Lucek of University College Dublin, who was awarded the Maurice J Bric Medal of Excellence for being the top-ranked postdoctoral researcher in the AHSS category for his research on adolescents’ use of language in Irish secondary schools
  • Dr Rohit Sharma of University College Cork, who was awarded the Thomas Mitchell Medal of Excellence for being the top-ranked postdoctoral researcher in the STEM category. His research is in the design and synthesis of rationally designed novel antivirals

Speaking of the award winners, Irish Research Council chair Prof Jane Ohlmeyer said: “Each of the winners represent very different research disciplines, demonstrating the breadth of excellent research that is currently being funded by the council and underway in Ireland – the impact of which ripples through multiple aspects of Irish life.

“Having a vibrant research community and strong public support for research is more important than ever.”

Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com