Ireland turns to industry to help find and fund research talent

1 Jul 2022

Image: © Nuthawut/

PhD students will receive a €28,000 stipend for carrying out research in Ireland tackling global and national challenges.

The Government is collaborating with industry on a new initiative designed to recruit and retain talented researchers.

The Innovate for Ireland scheme was announced today (1 July). It will initially seek to attract up to 400 PhD students to undertake research in based in Ireland that tackles national and global challenges.

These challenges include the climate crisis, global health and pandemics, water poverty, digital society and cybersecurity.

Innovate for Ireland will cover all disciplines from STEM to arts, humanities and social sciences. It will be open for Irish and international students.

These PhD students will receive a stipend of €28,000, which the Government said has been benchmarked against similar scholarship programmes internationally.

The concept of Innovate for Ireland was initially proposed by Dómhnal Slattery, the CEO of Dublin-based aircraft leasing company Avolon.

“I strongly believe this will be a transformative initiative for this island, one that will not only establish Ireland as the destination of choice for world-class research students, who will focus primarily on the sustainability challenges the entire world faces, but it will also deliver a strong pipeline of workplace-ready innovators to our shores over the next decade,” Slattery said.

Minister for Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, added that the initiative has “great potential to transform Ireland’s talent pipeline”.

“Through partnership with the private sector, this collaboration will help us to ensure our brightest and best stay in Ireland but also that we continue to attract talent to Ireland,” he said.

Harris added that a competitive call would follow today’s announcement.

Innovate for Ireland will be managed through Science Foundation Ireland, in partnership with the Irish Research Council and the Health Research Board. A competitive call process aimed at Higher Education Institutes is also currently being developed.

The scheme will be funded by the Government with a multimillion-euro investment over the coming years that will be matched by private investors.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.