Drumroll, please: Ireland’s Researchers of the Year revealed

7 Dec 2017

Image: Oleg Krugliak/Shutterstock

After much anticipation, the first ever winners of the Researchers of the Year award were announced by the Irish Research Council.

To mark 15 years of the Irish Research Council (IRC) and its forbears, the first ever awards for Researcher of the Year and Early-Career Researcher of the Year were announced.

The Researcher of the Year award went to Dr Martin O’Halloran of NUI Galway for his research in medical electronics. O’Halloran is a senior lecturer in the School of Engineering and Informatics in NUI Galway and is both founder and director of the Translational Medical Device Lab at University Hospital Galway.

The winner of the Early-Career Researcher of the Year award was Dublin City University’s Dr Paola Rivetti for her research in politics of the Middle East and international relations. Her research interests focus on the government of societies and politics in the Middle East and North Africa from a comparative perspective.

The two IRC-funded researchers received their awards for having made a highly significant and valuable contribution to research in Ireland over their career to date in their respective fields.

IRC researchers

From left: Researcher of the Year Dr Martin O’Halloran, NUI Galway, and Early-Career Researcher of the Year Dr Paola Rivetti, Dublin City University. Image: Marc O’Sullivan

‘Selected for outstanding track records’

Congratulating the winners, chair of the IRC, Prof Jane Ohlmeyer, said: “I am delighted to congratulate Dr Martin O’Halloran and Dr Paola Rivetti on receiving the inaugural Researcher of the Year awards.

“We received many nominations of current and previously Council-funded researchers. Dr O’Halloran and Dr Rivetti were selected for their outstanding track records to date and I would like to wish them all the very best in their future research careers.”

Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan, TD, added: “Their exceptional careers are a testament to the quality of the people in Ireland’s research environment and I would like to commend them on their hard work and dedication to their chosen field.

“I would also like to congratulate the Irish Research Council and its forebears for 15 years of funding the brightest research talent.”

This wasn’t the only recognition doled out to Irish-based researchers today (7 December), with Wikimedia Community Ireland naming six researchers as the inaugural winners of the Wiki Science photography competition for the best Irish science images.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic