Science-funding agencies forge deal to allow US researchers study in Ireland

27 May 2013

Dr Cora Marrett, acting director of the National Science Foundation, and Prof Mark Ferguson, director-general of SFI, in Berlin today

The head of the science-funding agency Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Prof Mark Ferguson today signed an agreement with Dr Cora Marrett from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) to pave the way for US researchers to do a stint in Ireland at one of SFI’s research centres.

Ferguson was in Berlin, Germany, today for a meeting of the Global Research Council where he forged the new partnership with Marrett, who is the acting director of the NSF.

Under the agreement, selected researchers from the NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship programme will be able to carry out research at one of SFI’s research centres for between three and 12 months.

Ferguson said the partnership will create new opportunities for young, talented researchers while also strengthening the academic ties between Ireland and the US.

Areas the US researchers will be involved in while they study in Ireland will include nanotechnology, big data, marine energy and medical technologies.

Marrett said graduate students being trained as scientists and engineers in the US will increasingly collaborate and compete with their peers from around the globe throughout their careers.

She said the Graduate Research Fellowship programme would prepare the NSF’s graduate research fellows to engage in the global research space by connecting them to scientists and research infrastructure in Ireland and around the world.

Besides Ireland, other countries that take part in this alliance with the NSF include Switzerland, Chile, Norway, South Korea, Denmark, Singapore, Finland, Japan, France and Sweden.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic