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Posted 30 April 2012

Four UCD scientists awarded Government grant aimed at supporting most promising young scientific talent

The Minister for Research and Innovation, Mr Séan Sherlock TD has announced Government funding of €12.3 million for 22 early-career scientific researchers to carry out pioneering work in Ireland.

Of the 22 researchers awarded a ‘Starting Investigator Research Grant’ (SIRG), four are based at University College Dublin (UCD) including:

  • Dr Eoghan McGarrigle, UCD - Glycoscience, organic chemistry - Towards the Development of 21st Century Synthetic Methods for Glycoscience: Catalyst-Controlled Stereoselective Glycosylation
  • Dr. Judith Coppinger, UCD - Therapeutics, cystic fibrosis - Characterisation of Hsp90 trafficking pathways in Cystic Fibrosis
  • David Croucher, UCD - Breast cancer, systems biology - Crosstalk between ErbB2 and breast cancer associated receptor tyrosine kinases in resistance to ErbB2 targeted therapies
  • Dr. Run Long, UCD - Photovoltaics, modelling - Excitation energy and charge transfer dynamics in new light harvesting photovoltaic materials from theoretical simulation

The ‘Starting Investigator Research Grant’ awards, aimed at supporting the most promising young scientific talent, are administered through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the Government’s science agency. Each SIRG award includes funding for a postgraduate student who will provide an additional layer of support and facilitation towards excellence.

“We are determined as a Government to ensure that the very best young scientific talent is given compelling reasons to either stay in Ireland or come from abroad and conduct research here. The SIRG Programme provides an opportunity for researchers at a pivotal juncture in their careers to propel themselves to the next level and realise their potential in their respective fields,” said Minister Sherlock.

“This round of SIRG awards marks the first co-funding arrangement with SFI and the international Marie Curie COFUND scheme, which aims to expand national research programmes and encourage greater transnational mobility.

Such a partnership exemplifies the increasingly collaborative and international nature of research activity in Ireland today.

Similarly, a key indication of SIRG’s broad appeal is the fact that of the 22 award recipients, 12 were Irish researchers - 7 of whom applied while abroad - while 10 recipients were non-Irish researchers - five of whom applied while abroad. “

Welcoming Minister Sherlock’s announcement, Dr Stephen Simpson, Director of Life Sciences at Science Foundation Ireland, said: “The SIRG programme illustrates a strong and sustained commitment to nurturing the leading researchers of tomorrow. A dedicated ‘early intervention’ scheme such as this helps to pave the way for growing Irish-based, world-class research groups and progression towards commercialisation of ideas at a later stage in the researchers’ careers.”

(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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Four UCD scientists awarded Government grant aimed at supporting most promising young scientific talent
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