Irish Research Council opens call for new research fund addressing national and global societal challenges

11 June 2018

The COALESCE Research Fund aims to cultivate new research collaborations that will further enhance the role and impact of Ireland’s research community in successfully addressing societal challenges, both national and international. COALESCE is an acronym for Collaborative Alliances for Societal Challenges.

Innovation 2020, Ireland’s five-year strategy for research and development, emphasises the importance of research that addresses societal challenges and contributes to evidence-based policy-making. The strategy also recognises the need to enhance the engagement of the public sector and civil society in research of this nature.

The COALESCE Research Fund, integrating a challenge-based approach, is the first of its kind in Ireland. The challenges that Ireland faces nationally are well articulated in Ireland 2040, the framework for the future development of the country. COALESCE seeks to harness the expertise, knowledge and skills of our research community to drive progress towards the achievement of Ireland’s ten National Strategic Outcomes.

Excellent research across all disciplines has a major role to play in developing new knowledge and evidence which policy and decision-makers and indeed practitioners can utilise to guide action and interventions on the path to successfully addressing national or international societal challenges. Maximising the contribution of the research system in this regard requires a strong emphasis on building robust mechanisms to ensure the transmission and integration of knowledge and evidence into the policy and practice environment, including building the necessary relationships with the public sector, civil society, or elsewhere, to support this process.

This new call builds on and brings together two former Council research funding programmes, namely Research for Policy and Society, and the New Horizons Interdisciplinary Research Awards. The new call seeks to fund excellent research addressing national and European/global national challenges as set out in the challenge frameworks now in place.

The 2018 call is run in partnership with a number of government departments and agencies, who will fund or co-fund specific strands. The Council will be seeking funding to expand the programme in the years ahead through further links with departments and agencies.


For further information on the COALESCE Research Fund you can visit:



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