UCD researchers win 10 of 36 Irish Research Council frontier grants
Posted March 28, 2018
Funding to support “daring” research that “pushes boundaries” has been awarded to ten academics at University College Dublin.
The grants are provided by the Irish Research Council (IRC) Laureate Awards as part of the Irish government’s new frontier programme. With two streams of funding, each award is worth up to €400,000 or €600,000.
In total, 36 researchers from Irish institutions received €17 million in support. The awards are open to academics beyond postdoctoral level from all disciplines at the early and mid-stages of their careers.
“Frontier basic research is very much at the cutting edge of new knowledge. It is research that is daring, that pushes boundaries, and that moves beyond the frontiers of our current understanding,” said Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD at the launch of the programme.
The Laureate Awards were specifically created to address gaps in the Irish research and innovation landscape identified by Innovation 2020, the five-year national strategy for science, technology, research and development.
University College Dublin academics received grants through two of its funding streams: Starting (up to €400,000) and Consolidator (up to €600,000).
Starting Laureate Awards are aimed at supporting excellent early-career researchers to establish their own independent research programme. Consolidator Laureate Awards provide funding for excellent mid-career researchers with an established track record to progress to the next level.
“As a former Chair of the Irish Research Council, I know that this programme is long awaited and much needed. The support of excellent frontier research across all disciplines is an essential feature of a strong research system,” said UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact, Professor Orla Feely.
In addition to the first round of awards, the Department of Education and Skills has announced a further €12 million investment for a series of Advanced Grants under the Laureate programme.
Advanced Grants are open to senior researchers at Ireland’s higher education and research institutions and will provide up to €1 million in funding over four years. The Advanced Grant call will be opened by the Irish Research Council in the coming weeks.
The recipients of the Starting Laureate Awards at UCD:
- Dr Colm Ryan, UCD School of Computer Science for The contribution of paralog buffering to tumour robustness.
- Dr Andrew Mitchell, UCD School of Physics for Quantum-boosted functionality in single-molecule transistors.
- Dr Sharon O'Rourke, UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering for Carbon-nutrient stoichiometry to stabilise soil organic matter and improve soil function.
- Dr Dawn Walsh, UCD School of Politics and International Relations for Independent commissions and power-sharing in post-conflict societies.
- Associate Professor Samuel Brazys, UCD School of Politics and International Relations for Trade-related Assistance for Development. Evidence from Micro-Level Evaluations.
- Dr Mark Jones, UCD School of History for Revolutions in the Age of Acceleration. A Global Political History.
The recipients of the Consolidator Laureate Awards at UCD:
- Professor Emma Teeling, UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science for AGE IMMUNE: The evolution and molecular basis of exceptional ageing and immunity in mammals.
- Professor Carel Le Roux, UCD School of Medicine for Manipulating how the gut talks to the brain.
- Associate Professor Mark Flanagan, UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering for Sparse Signaling with Message-Passing Recovery for Coded Multiuser Massive MIMO Communications.
- Dr Jessica Smyth, UCD School of Archaeology for Passage Tomb People: investigating the social drivers of passage tomb construction.
By: Jonny Baxter, digital journalist, UCD University Relations