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Irish Research Council Enterprise Programmes

How enterprise research programmes work with the Irish Research Council

The Irish Research Council offers two enterprise programmes specifically aimed at supporting the skills development of early stage researchers. Both programmes encourage exploration of a diverse range of possible career paths and cultivate independent thinking, while helping employers and other organisations access research talent.

Both the Employment Based Postgraduate Programme (EBP) and the Enterprise Partnership Scheme (EPS) aim to provide early-stage researchers with both experience and financial backing, along with the cooperation and support of an organisation relevant to their field of research.

The joint aim of the programmes is to provide hands on experience. For the Employment Based Programme, this will be in an employment setting, and to offer the opportunity to research challenges which organisations and enterprises are facing. The Enterprise Partnership Scheme offers the chance for researchers to benefit from the mentoring and support of an employer while remaining in an academic research environment. Those participating in these programmes will also get the chance to participate in the commercialisation and real-world application of their research, while developing transferable skills under co-supervision of both academic and industry experts.

Watch the Irish Research Council’s video on their enterprise programmes here

 

For employers partnering with the Research Council across these schemes, they offer the opportunity to become involved in exceptional research with real innovation. They also provide the opportunity for employers to support and co-fund research directly related to their own area of business.

Employment Based Programme

The Employment Based Postgraduate Programme (EBP) has run since 2012. This programme gives researchers the opportunity to work with an employer, while benefitting from the supervision of a higher education institution.

How does the programme work?

Costs and funding

For the EBP, the Irish Research Council contributes €16,000 to salary costs and the employer contributes a minimum of €8,000, so the minimum possible salary would be €24,000. The IRC also contributes €2250 to the scholar for consumables and expenses and also pays any necessary fees. For example, if you were working in a company with a salary of €32,000 and subsequently won the award, they might keep your salary the same by giving you €16,000 in addition to the IRC contribution. An alternative situation could be where a company has a very competitive graduate programme; they might decide to increase what they contribute in order to bring the researchers salary in line with what they are paying starting graduates. Further details are available here .

The application process

In the interests of fairness and transparency, the IRC cannot enter into personal correspondence in relation to individual applications. Instead, applicants must review all available documentation on the site . If further assistance is required, applicants can contact the Research Office at their proposed institution, who will be able to provide clarification or liaise with the IRC if necessary. Applications will only be accepted via the online system and applicants should take time to ensure that they complete all necessary documentation on submit on time. Employers interested in participating in the programme can contact the Research Council to clarify any queries via the IRC’s Employment Based Programme team by email at schemes@research.ie .

See what Aoife Doyle thought of her experience on the Employment Based Postgraduate Programme

Timeline:

  • Call opened:1 February 2018
  • FAQ deadline:16:00 (Irish time) 5 April 2018
  • Applicant deadline:16:00 (Irish time) 12 April 2018
  • Supervisor, employment mentor and referee deadline: 16:00 (Irish time) 19 April 2018
  • Research office endorsement deadline: 16:00 (Irish time) 26 April 2018
  • Call outcome: 25 June 2018
  • Scholarship start date: 1 October 2018

Enterprise Partnership Scheme

The Research Council also offers a number of opportunities for research scholars to pursue a postgraduate degree via the Enterprise Partnership Scheme (EPS) Postgraduate Scholarship.

This scheme aims to facilitate links between highly promising researchers with an industry partner aligned to their area of research, known as an Enterprise Partner. By working in this partnership arrangement, scholars can learn transferable skills in terms of developing their career and also gain exposure as to the real-world and commercial applications of their research.

Jennifer Kavanagh’s experience on the Enterprise Partnership Scheme

How does the EPS work?

Costs and funding

There is considerable value to both employers and scholars in participating in the EPS. The cost for an industry partner to participate EPS is €8000, while the student receives €16000 from the IRC. The scholar is not taxed on this €16,000 and also receives €2250 for expenses and has their fees for paid by the IRC.

The application process

In the interests of fairness and transparency, the IRC cannot enter into personal correspondence in relation to individual applications. Instead, applicants must review all available documentation on the site . If further assistance is required, applicants can contact the Research Department at their proposed institution, who will be able to provide clarification or liaise with the IRC if necessary. Applications will only be accepted via the online system and applicants should take time to ensure that they complete all necessary documentation on submit on time. Employers interested in participating in the programme can contact the Research Council to clarify any queries via the IRC’s Employment Partnership Scheme team by email at schemes@research.ie .

Timeline:

The Enterprise Partnership Scheme is currently closed, but will open for the 2018 round later this year. Please monitor here for more details.

Listen to what Kieran Brennan had to say about his experiences on the Employment Partnership Scheme

Other schemes:

A 2018 timeline for IRC schemes both confirmed and awaiting confirmation is available for download here

  • An employment partner on this programme is an organisation with a physical office based in Ireland that will employ the scholar for the duration of the award.
  • The scholar works as an employee of the organisation partner and is embedded within that organisation, spending a limited amount of time in their higher education institution.
  • The scholar may be an existing employee of the employment partner.
  • The scholar has an academic supervisor within their Higher Education Institution and an employment mentor who they work with closely on a day to day basis whilst liaising with their academic supervisor.
    • Call for applications: Opens February 1st 2018
    • Deadline for applications: April 2018
    • Application outcome: June 2018
    • Scholarship start date: Autumn 2018
    • The scholar is primarily based within their institution, but may also spend time with the enterprise partner if appropriate.
    • The enterprise partner can be based anywhere in the world.
    • In contrast to the EBP, the scholar may not be an employee of the enterprise partner on this scheme.
    • The scholar will have an academic supervisor within their affiliated higher education institution who they work with closely on a day to day basis while also liaising with their enterprise mentor.
    • The scholar has an enterprise mentor who works with them and their academic supervisor.