Two new members appointed to Irish Research Council

20 Dec 2021

Prof Claire Connolly. Image: IRC

Prof Claire Connolly and Prof Colin Scott have been appointed to the IRC as multiple members conclude their terms this month.

Academics Prof Claire Connolly and Prof Colin Scott have been appointed to the Irish Research Council (IRC) by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, for a three-year period.

The IRC has also announced that four of its members – including its chair – will be concluding their terms this month.

Connolly is the head of the School of English and Digital Humanities at University College Cork. She is also a fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and a member of the Royal Irish Academy and its council.

Her publications to date have focused on the cultural history of 18th and 19th-century Ireland.

Headshot of Professor Colin Scott with windows in the background

Prof Colin Scott. Image: IRC

Scott is vice-president for equality, diversity and inclusion at University College Dublin, dean of social sciences and principal of the UCD College of Social Sciences and Law.

He studied law at the London School of Economics and at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. His research mainly focuses on the trends of the fragmentation of regulatory governance.

“Both Prof Connolly and Prof Scott are distinguished academics who will make a valuable contribution to the council,” said Harris. “Their experience and insight into the research sector will be of great benefit in helping to promote research excellence in Ireland.”

IRC director Peter Brown also welcomed the new appointments as the council works on “important challenges” ahead.

“This is an interesting time for the IRC as the Government prepares a new national strategy for research and innovation. The IRC looks forward to helping shape and deliver this new strategy to maintain a vibrant research ecosystem and to ensure research can respond to the big challenges of our time.”

Outgoing members

Prof Jane Ohlmeyer will conclude her term as chair of the IRC this month, a position she has held since 2015. Prof Emma Teeling, Prof Rob Kitchin and Prof Felicity Kelliher will also conclude their terms as IRC members this month, following their two three-year terms.

Brown thanked the outgoing council members for the positive contributions they have made in their positions, particularly Ohlmeyer for her time as chair.

“Prof Ohlmeyer is a highly respected figure in the research community, both domestically and internationally. She has played a central role in promoting the value of publicly funded research across all disciplines to the Irish economy and society,” Brown added.

Harris said he plans to appoint a new chair to the IRC shortly and thanked Ohlmeyer “for her passionate and committed service throughout her term”.

Don’t miss out on the knowledge you need to succeed. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of need-to-know sci-tech news.

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic