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Funding from Research Councils

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Funding for research students is likely to come from the Irish Research Council or similar dedicated bodies in the UK. Find out which programme could provide funding for you.

Research Councils are a crucial port of call for students seeking funding. In the Republic of Ireland, awards are available from the Irish Research Council, which was formed in 2012 after the amalgamation of the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) and the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCSET). The Irish Research Council will remain the principal body of postgraduate study and research in Ireland, merging science and humanities disciplines together to facilitate an increase in interdisciplinary research opportunities.

In 2016 alone, the Irish Research Council supported more than 286 individual research programmes, as part. On a Governmental level, and European Union level, this drive by the council to emphasise the importance of research is reflected in the EU funded Horizon2020 Programme.

Postgraduate funding

The Irish Research Council offer postgraduate funding in the shape of three dedicated schemes and programmes:

Source: Irish Research Council

Postdoctoral funding

The Irish Research Council also supports postdoctoral research in the shape of three dedicated programmes and schemes. They are:

If you are an existing Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar, follow this link to navigate to the page on the Irish Research Council website which contains the relevant request forms in order to make changes to your award. Please note that the Council will only consider requests submitted in advance of any changes unless in the case of exceptional circumstances.

Knowledge exchange & travel grants from the Irish Research Council

The Council also runs a number of grants for knowledge exchange and travel:

  • As the national strategic partner with the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, the Irish Research Council runs a national selection process whereby eligible institutions may nominate researchers at PhD and/or Postdoctoral stage.
  • New Foundations provides small grants for activities including conference organisation and travel.
  • The Ulysses scheme provides small grants for collaborations between Irish and French institutions. 

Source: Irish Research Council

UK Research Councils

There are seven Research Councils in the UK that offer UK-wide funding across the spectrum of academic disciplines. These are fiercely competed for and there are strict deadlines to be aware of. See Research Councils UK for how to get started.

Other research schemes

Research schemes are also run by other funding bodies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.ie), Teagasc (Walsh Fellowships; www.teagasc.ie) and Science Foundation Ireland (www.sfi.ie). We have done our best to ensure the above information and links are correct, but please validate your information with your chosen institution or preferred funding provider. The ongoing uncertainty regarding the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union means there will be continuing uncertainty regarding UK funding and programmes. The Higher Education Authority have written this interesting paper on the subject and the challenges and opportunities for Irish higher education and research

All the information supplied in this article was correct at the time of updating, February 2017