Latest IRCSET research fund allocates over €4.6m


9 Jun 2006

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The Embark Initiative, the country’s major research funding programme, has allocated more than €4.6m to 53 researchers working on postdoctoral-level research.

Embark, which is run by Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET), announced the funding yesterday, which comes under the organisation’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme, now in its fourth year.

The scheme is aimed at assisting researchers at an early stage of their research career to build on their PhD work and to benefit from, as well as contribute their skills to established research teams. The funding allocation will be spread out over two years.

All applications to the scheme were subject to assessment, on merit, by an international assessment committee. The decision to grant funding is based on several criteria including research career to date, project description, proposed research environment and references from recognised research leaders.

The 53 researchers will each receive funding in the first and second year to the value of €33,000, along with a contribution to the employer to provide pension and social provisions available. There are also additional expenses of up to €5,000 each year.

Martin Hynes, director of the IRCSET, said the objective of the scheme is to provide a mechanism for postdoctoral researchers from around the world to explore ideas and bring new concepts into reality. “The calibre of applications we receive is exceptional. The wealth of knowledge in Ireland and the appetite to learn is reflected each year in the high number of offers that are made and the council is delighted to advance Ireland’s reputation as a major location for mobile research talent at the early stage of their career.”

By Gordon Smith