Areas of work, specialisms and alternatives

Research and development (R&D)

22 Jun 2023, 13:19

Careers in research and development for science graduates in Ireland.

woman looking through a microscope

Research and development (R&D) is increasingly important in the science sector in Ireland, particularly in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, as well as in academia.

Graduates with a primary degree or a masters mostly work as research technologists, while those with a PhD typically work as project leaders, research project coordinators, research directors or university professors.

University-linked institutes

There has been significant investment in third-level institutions to promote and develop high quality research capabilities. University-linked research institutes provide support for researchers and teams within educational institutions. Co-operation between researchers and teams within institutes is encouraged, as is inter-institutional co-operation: the majority work in collaboration with other institutes. Many opportunities exist within these institutes across a wide range of disciplines.

Various university-linked institutes exist in several disciplines, including:

  • environmental and natural resources (eg the Environmental Change Institute and the Marine Science Research Programme –Martin Ryan Institute, both at NUI Galway, and the Urban Institute at UCD)
  • bioscience and biomedical (eg the Biosciences Institute at UCC and the Institute of Immunology at NUI Maynooth)
  • physical sciences and technology (eg the Materials and Surface Science Institute at the University of Limerick and the National Centre for Sensor Research at DCU).

Further information

Research and Innovate section on the Enterprise Ireland website
Research Programmes on the HEA website
Irish Research Council

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