Irish students secure US$1m scholarships with elite US schools

9 Jun 2011

Irish students have secured €285,000 (US$420,000) worth of scholarships under the Fulbright Awards to attend top US colleges including Harvard, Cornell, Berkey, Rice, Columbia and NYU. Two PhD students have also achieved scholarships worth US$300,000 each.

The awards are jointly funded by the Irish and US governments under the Ireland-United States Commission for Educational Exchange.

Fulbright scholarships have provided Irish and US students, scholars and professionals with the opportunity to study, lecture and research at top universities and institutions in the US and Ireland since 1957.

The successful recipients have been accepted at leading institutions.

Out of the 24 scholarship awards, eight are for research and study in the areas of science, technology, environment and health. This year, six Irish awardees will spend time teaching the language and lecturing in Irish culture as Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants.

The remaining 10 recipients will conduct study and research in the areas of law, music, writing, politics and other humanities and social science disciplines.

Two successful PhD candidates achieve US$300k scholarships each

This year, Ireland stands out as one of the most successful countries internationally in the prestigious Fulbright International Science and Technology Awards, with two successful PhD candidates being awarded fully funded scholarships in the US worth US$300,000 each.

Elizabeth O’Sullivan will undertake her PhD in nutrition at Cornell University and Ellen Roche will undertake her PhD in biomedical engineering at Harvard Medical School.

Commenting on the awards, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore, TD, congratulated the recipients and said: “The Ireland-United States Commission for Educational Exchange represents not just a commitment to the best educational standards for the successful recipients but also a joint investment by both governments to ever closer ties between our two countries, supporting, as President Obama put it recently in Dublin, the people who make the future happen.”

Deputy chief of mission from the US embassy in Ireland John Hennessey-Niland said: “The Fulbright Awards are one of the most important collaborative initiatives between our two countries. I wish this year’s 24 Irish recipients every success during their term in the US. In addition to the important academic and professional experience you are about to embark on, I trust you will make friendships that will remain long after you return to Ireland.”

The Fulbright Awards are presented on an annual basis to Irish students, scholars and professionals to undertake post-graduate study and research at higher education, cultural and related institutions in the United States. Applications are encouraged in all disciplines.

Una Halligan, chairperson of the Fulbright Commission of Ireland, said: “Each of these 24 successful candidates was chosen not only on the basis of their individual merits but also because they displayed exceptional leadership ability, which is inherent to Fulbright.

“Great ideas are borne out of people’s ability to think creatively, to collaborate well with others and to follow through in order to make things happen. These recipients are some of the finest in their disciplines; I have no doubt they will be outstanding representatives for this country and will thrive and make the most of every opportunity that comes their way,” Halligan said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years