New Irish Research Council Medal of Excellence Named for UCD Historian

To mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS), and its own fifteenth anniversary, the Irish Research Council has named its new post-doctoral Medal of Excellence in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences for UCD Historian, Professor Maurice Bric.


Dr Dan O'Brien, Professor Maurice Bric, Jane Ohlmeyer

 Left to Right: Dr Dan O'Brien; Postdoctorate Fellow, UCD School of English; Professor Maurice Bric, UCD School of History; Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Chair of the Research Council


Bric was the driving force behind the IRCHSS during its formative years. Under his stewardship, the Council transformed the landscape in Ireland for research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. His Bric Report, submitted in 1999, made the case to Government to establish and fund the system of research councils which exists to this day. Bric identified the importance of providing structured and funded support to young scholars, in the form of postgraduate scholarships and postdoctoral awards. In addition, he pioneered funding for large research projects for established academics. This support has had a major impact on scholarship, enabling researchers in Ireland to develop their profile and achieve international recognition. He also negotiated Ireland’s initial membership of the European Science Foundation and, among other bodies, subsequently chaired the EU Advisory Committee on the Humanities as well as co-founded HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area). Bric is a long-standing member of the School of History in the College of Arts & Humanities and a renowned scholar of Irish-American history. The College is delighted that the Irish Research Council has paid this tribute to Bric vision for research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Congratulations to Dr. Dan O’Brien, Post Doctorate Research Fellow at UCD School of English and recipient of the first Maurice J. Bric ‘Medal of Excellence’. Dr O’Brien received this award for being the top ranked Postdoctoral Researcher in the arts, humanities and social sciences. The title of his research project is "Fine Meshwork": The intertwining fiction of Philip Roth and Edna O'Brien.