Some 1,396 researchers were awarded €33.7m by the Irish Research Council last year, according to the organisation’s annual report.
The Council provided just over €30m in research awards through Exchequer funding last year, as well as €3.5m of funding leveraged through non-Exchequer sources.
1,147 of the researchers funded were at postgraduate level, with the remaining 249 conducting research at postdoctoral level.
‘The researchers we are funding are powering the knowledge economy and cementing Ireland’s position as an innovation leader’
– PROF JANE OHLMEYER, IRISH RESEARCH COUNCIL
Research projects with 81 enterprise or employment partners and 41 civic society groups were funded in 2015.
“Since the establishment of the first Research Council in 2000, we have funded almost 6,500 researchers,” said Prof Jane Ohlmeyer, chair of the Irish Research Council. “The researchers we are funding are powering the knowledge economy and cementing Ireland’s position as an innovation leader.
“91pc of researchers funded at postgraduate level have gone on to secure employment in expert roles, while 95pc of those funded at postdoctoral level are also now in expert jobs. Our alumni work both within and outside academia, contributing important research skills and knowledge to the economy, society and culture.”
Irish research punches above its weight in Europe
Specifically at Europe-level, 77pc of European Research Council Starting grant awardees in Ireland under Horizon 2020 were previously supported by the Irish Research Council.
To date, under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, the Council has supported the Irish research community to secure €80.6m of funding. European Commission data for 2014 shows that Ireland is the second-most successful country per researcher in attracting Horizon 2020 funding.
The Irish Research Council itself has a 100pc success rate in applications for funding under Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, which provides grants for all stages of researchers’ careers and encourages transnational, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. To date, the Council has secured €17.7m through this fund.
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