€700,000 awarded to 12 researchers to work with State bodies

22 Oct 2020767 Views

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12 researchers will receive more than €700,000 from SFI to collaborate with State bodies on a variety of research projects.

Today (22 October), Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, announced  12 research awards under the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Public Service Fellowship programme.

With total grant funding in excess of €700,000, the programme offers academic researchers an opportunity to be seconded to Government departments, agencies and the Houses of the Oireachtas Library and Research Service to work on specific collaborative research projects.

In doing so, SFI and the Government aim to foster innovation within the public sector by encouraging more data-driven and evidence-based approaches, with fellowships lasting between three and 12 months.

“I am delighted to support the SFI Public Service Fellowship initiative, which will contribute to the Government’s objective of promoting a culture of innovation through collaboration, knowledge exchange and the development of data-driven and evidence-based solutions,” Harris said.

“The successful researchers will play a pivotal role in enhancing collaboration between the research community and Government for the benefit of society.”

Researchers from six institutions

Researchers from six higher education institutes will be taking part, including the University of Limerick (UL), University College Dublin (UCD), University College Cork (UCC), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) and NUI Galway.

Projects will include research into the economic, social and ethical implications of drones, the development of geothermal energy in Ireland, and using blockchain in public services.

SFI’s director for science for society, Dr Ruth Freeman, added that the programme “recognises the importance of connecting the Irish research community with public sector organisations to help inform new policy and improve the services that they deliver”.

The researchers announced to receive funding are:

Dr Claire McKenna, TCD

Hosted by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science

Dr Áine Ní Léime, NUI Galway
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Hosted by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Prof David Lewis, TCD

Hosted by the Houses of the Oireachtas Library and Research Service

Dr Boris Galkin, TCD

Hosted by the Houses of the Oireachtas Library and Research Service

Dr Cormac Ó’Coileáin, TCD

Hosted by the Houses of the Oireachtas Library and Research Service

Dr Nicholas Vafeas, UCD

Hosted by the Houses of the Oireachtas Library and Research Service

Prof Rónán Kennedy, NUI Galway

Hosted by the Houses of the Oireachtas Library and Research Service

Dr Tim Jacquemard, RCSI

Hosted by the Houses of the Oireachtas Library and Research Service

Dr Fatemeh Ahmadi Zeleti, NUI Galway

Hosted by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Dr Kosala Yapa Mudiyanselage, NUI Galway

Hosted by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Prof Kevin Burke, UL

Hosted by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland

Dr Mary O’Connell-Motherway, UCC

Hosted by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland

Colm Gorey is a senior journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com