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Posted: 01 May 2007

Humanities and social sciences funding awards secured by UCD researchers

UCD researchers have secured one quarter of the total research awards granted by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) across the university sector for 2007. Researchers in the UCD College of Human Sciences were awarded five of the seven UCD awards. The funding ranges from €6,500 to €250,000 and is available over a maximum of 3 years.

Professor John Coakley, UCD School of Politics & International Relations, has received an award to assess how British and Irish policy promoted and instigated change in the patterns of conflict in Northern Ireland. His interdisciplinary research team will focus on the changing role of the state and how it responded to changing circumstances in Northern Ireland. The researchers will document key turning points in British and Irish relations and strategy towards Northern Ireland since the 1960s, through a series of ‘witness seminars’ and taped interviews which will be transcribed and deposited in the UCD Archives department.

In order to contribute towards the understanding of the development of the Irish state, Dr Andreas Duer, UCD School of Politics & International Relations, has received funding to complete an analysis of the role of Ireland in the EU’s intergovernmental negotiations. As decision-making in the EU is largely shaped by “grand bargains” among member states carried out in the European Council and the Council of Ministers, member states achieve compromises that have a growing impact on their public policies.

Dr Niamh Hardiman, UCD School of Politics & International Relations, was awarded funding to lead a major initiative to develop a research database of Irish state institutions at national level since 1924, coding continuity and change in structures, budgets and personnel, and links to legal and policy documents.

Funding was also awarded to Professor Geraldine Meaney, UCD School of English and Drama, to study the external social and cultural factors which contribute to women’s self conception. Taking a long historical perspective, the research will examine how the key relationship between self and society changes over time and how it produces new understandings of national and gendered identities.

A research project to field, archive and provide for some of the analysis of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) module Religion III in Ireland for the year 2008, which aims to replicate the fieldings in 1991 and 1998, was also awarded funding by the IRCHSS. The module, which offers scope for cross-national analysis across the 41 participating countries, will be led by Dr Maire Nic Ghiolla Phadraig, UCD School of Sociology.

Dr Mark Scott, UCD School of Geography, Planning, and Environmental Policy, has received an award to examine changes in the social composition of rural Ireland in response to urban-rural counter-migration and the in-migration on foreign nationals. The study will investigate the influence of government policies (such as the Rural White Paper (1999) and the National Spatial Strategy (2002)) that aim to extend economic development to rural areas. It will also examine the contribution of national strategies and policy statements on employment, rural and regional development, and immigration.

A joint project between researchers in Ireland and Scotland which seeks a better understanding of the ways in which liability, broadly defined to encompass all mechanisms under which a service user may seek redress and compensation, affects the quality, performance and delivery of public services, has also received funding from the IRCHSS. The research led by Professor Colin Scott, UCD School of Law, will explore the issue through the collection and analysis of quantitative data and two ethnographic case studies, one in Scotland and one in Ireland.

A bi-lateral agreement between the IRCHSS and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in the UK facilitates collaboration between social science researchers in Ireland and the UK.

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