Royal Society signs deal with SFI for research fellowships

30 Jun 2014

The Royal Society building in London. Image via Wikimedia Commons

The Royal Society in the UK and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) have signed an agreement whereby Ireland’s leading young scientists will be awarded a prestigious research fellowship by the Royal Society with the best early career researchers from the UK.

Funded by the SFI, applications from Ireland will be subject to a high-quality peer review by the Royal Society alongside applications from the UK.

Under the fellowship, outstanding early career researchers based within eligible research bodies in Ireland may apply for up to five years’ research funding, including salary in the first instance, with the possibility to apply for competitive renewal for an additional three years.

Open for applications on 18 July, the scheme is to cover all areas of life and physical sciences, including engineering and mathematics, but excluding clinical medicine and direct biomedical research, already covered by the Research Career Development Fellowship.

Prof Sir John Pethica, vice-president of the Royal Society and professor of physics at Trinity College Dublin, said university research fellowships are for the brightest and best young researchers.

“We are pleased that scientists at Irish institutions will now be able to join those in the UK,” Pethica said.

“International collaboration is an increasingly important aspect of science. The initiation of this scheme reflects an awareness of the value of supporting all excellent research and providing young scientists with the room and space to flourish.”

Prof Mark Ferguson, director-general of the SFI, said the interaction of Ireland-based researchers with their UK peers over their fellowship will foster research collaborations between Ireland and the UK both now and in the future.

“I encourage all of the excellent young scientists in Ireland to apply and win one of these prestigious Royal Society-SFI University Research Fellowships.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic