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Posted: 19 October 2007

UCD awarded funding for four major Graduate Research Education Programmes

UCD achieved outstanding results in the recently announced Graduate Research Education Programmes funded by The Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, leading four of the five programmes awarded.

A total of 27 eligible proposals were received from across the higher education sector in Ireland by the funding bodies and these were assessed by an international committee of 11 panel members.  The national Graduate Research Education Programme is a new approach to multi-annual funding postgraduate and doctoral programmes in the humanities, sciences, engineering and technology in Ireland.  Under the terms of the GRE Programme the total funding available for the 2007 Scheme will be €6 - 10 million.  

Pictured (from l - r) :Professor Eugene O'Brien, Director, Urban Institute Ireland, Professor Denis Shiels, Professor of Clinical Bioinformatics from UCD Conway Institute, Professor Gerardine Meaney, Professor of Cultural Theory, UCD School of English, Drama and Film with Professor Paul Devereux, Professor of Economics and Geary Research Fellow.

The overarching objectives of the Graduate Research Education Programme are to bring together groupings of expertise focussed on high quality research, to provide a more formalised and structured approach to research education and career formation for doctoral and masters scholars and to equip Ireland’s Higher Education Institutions and researchers to participate in the type of world class programmes which Ireland requires to compete even more successfully in the international research and enterprise environments.  The programmes all involve collaborations with other HEI and /or bodies involved in professional accreditation.

Professor Paul Devereux, Professor of Economics and Geary Research Fellow leads the Graduate Programme for the Quantitative Social Sciences along withProfessor Patrick Paul Walsh, Professor of International Development Studies (SPIRe) and Geary Research Fellow.  Dr Ciara Whelan of the School of Economics played a substantial role in the formulation of the proposal application.  The UCD programme involves collaboration with the Institute for International Integration Studies at Trinity College Dublin.

Professor Denis Shields, Professor of Clinical Bioinformatics from the UCD Conway Institute leads the successful proposal for a PhD programme in Bioinformatics and Computational Biomedicine.  The large UCD interdisciplinary team spans statistics, computer science, mathematics, bioinformatics, experimental biology and medicine.    The programme’s researchers will be mainly located in the Conway Institute and in the UCD Complex and Adaptive Systems Laboratory, joined by colleagues from Trinity College Dublin and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Professor Eugene O’Brien, former Director, UCD Urban Institute Ireland leads the PhD programme in Sustainable Development.  The programme is organised into interdisciplinary groups embracing planning, environmental policy, engineering, energy and ecology and crosses the Colleges of Human Sciences, Life Sciences and Engineering, Mathematical & Physical Sciences.  The collaborations partners are based in Trinity College Dublin, Queens University Belfast, Göteborg University, University of Nottingham and ITC Enschede in the Netherlands.

Professor Gerardine Meaney, Professor of Cultural Theory, UCD School of English, Drama and Film, leads the graduate programme in Gender, Culture and History.  Spanning history, literature and visual culture, this programme draws on collaboration with colleagues in University of Limerick and Queen’s University Belfast.

UCD is also a collaborator in the fifth successful programme funded through the GREP, the International Centre for Graduate Education in Micro and Nano Engineering, led by University College Cork.

Announcing the awards, the funders acknowledged the high quality of the proposals overall and in the context of PRTLI Cycle 4 and SIF 2, IRCSET, the Higher Education Authority and the IRCHSS, will now study ways in which the wider funding context can be clarified prior to promoting new competitions in this area. UCD is now well positioned to participate to the fullest extent in these developments.

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