Three leading researchers named as Royal Society-SFI award winners

5 Jul 2017

From left: Sinead O’Keeffe, University of Limerick; David Wilson, TCD; Morgan Fraser, UCD; Dr Ruth Freeman, director of strategy and communications, SFI; Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan, TD; and Lynette Keeney, Tyndall National Institute, with her 4-month-old baby, Sophie. Image: Jason Clarke

A researcher working in the advanced field of quantum chromodynamics is one of three new winners of a Royal Society-SFI University Research Fellowship.

The dream for many researchers is to take their life’s work and get the backing they need to further that focus and grow their own career.

That is the prize on offer for recipients of the Royal Society-Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) University Research Fellowship and now, three of its latest awardees have been named.

Future Human

In a statement, SFI announced the winners as Marius de Leeuw from Trinity College Dublin (TCD), who studies symmetries in solvable models; Dr David Wilson (TCD), who studies excited charm resonances from quantum chromodynamics; and Dr Niels Warburton from University College Dublin, who studies accurate waveforms for extreme and intermediate mass-ratio inspirals.

Funded by SFI and awarded by the Royal Society, the scheme is targeted at outstanding early-career researchers, providing them with an opportunity to build an independent research career and become future leaders in their fields.

Applicants can apply for up to five years’ research funding at an eligible institution in Ireland, with the possibility of competitive renewal for an additional three years.

The scheme covers all areas of life and physical sciences, including engineering and mathematics, but excluding clinical medicine and direct biomedical research.

Applications for 2018 to open soon

The next round of fellowships in 2018 will open for applications on 17 July this year and will close on 4 September. Starting from this year, applicants of any nationality will be able to apply for a University Research Fellowship at a UK or Irish institution.

Prof Mark Ferguson, director general of SFI, said: “I wish the three awardees every success in their careers and I hope their achievements will encourage other early-career researchers to apply for the fellowships.

“We are very pleased to continue our partnership with the Royal Society to enable researchers to participate in the University Research Fellowships programme.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic