Areas of work, specialisms and alternatives

Research and development

22 Jun 2023, 13:22

R&D offers many opportunities for science graduates and postgraduates looking for rewarding work.

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Research and development (R&D) opportunities are open to virtually all science graduates and exist in academic and industrial fields. A career in R&D usually requires postgraduate study but mobility between academia and industry is high. There is also an ever-increasing degree of collaboration between industry and academia, and multidiscipline team working is normal. There are rich opportunities to travel because many international companies site their R&D plants outside Ireland.

The number of sophisticated research institutes that have been established in Ireland in recent years is evidence of the interest and funding that the government has invested in this area and will continue to do in the future. Working in a multidisciplinary team is the norm in this environment and there is great opportunity for mobility between industry and academia. With many international companies now operating in Ireland, the opportunity to travel to other plants outside Ireland is there for those who wish to explore a different country.

The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) was set up in 2001 to provide funding for postgraduate researchers in an attempt to meet the growing demand for researchers. Through its Embark Initiative (investing in people and ideas), up to 180 scholarships for science, engineering and technology research students are available, valued at approximately €24,000 per annum.

Other sources of funding include The Health Research Board (health-related research), The Marine Institute, The Environmental Protection Agency (environmental studies) and Teagasc (funding for state supported labs). The future lies in research, and those with talent, interest and an enquiring mind will find rewarding career opportunities.

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