A total of 316 awardees of the IRC’s Government of Ireland programme will receive funding to conduct ‘pioneering’ research.
Postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers in Ireland are set to get €27m in funding from the Irish Research Council (IRC) through its flagship Government of Ireland programme.
In an announcement today (30 September), the IRC said that a total of 316 Government of Ireland awards will be given to researchers in the country, including 239 postgraduate scholarships and 77 postdoctoral fellowships.
Awardees under the scheme will conduct research on a broad range of topics, from machine translation and social media to protecting wild bee populations and bioplastics.
“The prestigious awards recognise and fund pioneering research projects along with addressing new and emerging fields of research that introduce creative and innovative approaches across all disciplines, including the sciences, humanities and the arts,” said IRC director Louise Callinan.
One of the science-focused postgraduate awardees, University of Galway’s Cherrelle Johnson, is working on the long-term sustainability of bioplastics as an alternative to fossil fuel-based plastics.
Another, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland’s Tammy Strickland, is studying the role of the circadian rhythm, or the sleep-wake cycle, of immune cells in the brain in epilepsy.
Khetam Al Sharou of Dublin City University, one of the postdoctoral researchers to win the award, is looking into the use of machine translation in social media and the associated risks of information distortion.
Meanwhile, Robert Brose from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies is investigating the particles and radiation that are emitted by high-energy sources in our milky way to try and find the most likely sources of life.
Diana Carolina Pimentel Betancurt from Teagasc, the state agency providing research and development in agriculture and related fields, is looking for natural probiotics in native honeybees to mitigate the effect of pesticides.
“Funding schemes like the IRC’s Government of Ireland programmes are vitally important to the wider research landscape in Ireland, as they ensure that researchers are supported at an early stage of their career and are given an opportunity to direct their own research,” Callinan said.
53 early-career researchers across Ireland got €28.5m in funding last month from the SFI-IRC Pathway programme, a new collaborative initiative between Science Foundation Ireland and the IRC. SFI and IRC are expected to merge to form one funding body in the coming years.
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