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Ten UCD projects among record number of Irish Research Council awards to support communities

Posted 7 April, 2021

Ten researchers at University College Dublin have been awarded funding from the (opens in a new window)Irish Research Council to help better connect academic research with community-led issues and programmes.

A record number of 76 projects addressing a range of diverse issues, including those affecting carers, senior citizens, young people, migrant communities, and the LGBT+ community, will receive funding under the (opens in a new window)New Foundations scheme.

Among the research projects that will be funded are ten led by faculty at UCD, and include:

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the well-being of different groups in Irish society and on the delivery of services will be a significant theme within the research projects.

Announcing the funding for the New Foundations projects, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, said each of the research collaborations would be helping “some very important community and voluntary sector projects.”

“This vibrant sector plays such an important role in supporting different groups in society, including the more vulnerable or marginalised. “Through partnerships with researchers, such as the projects being announced today, diverse community organisations can bring new evidence and insights to enhance their services and impact for those that need them.”

In total, four government departments and agencies have funded research projects under the New Foundations Scheme.

Commenting on the funding partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown said: “The ongoing partnership between the Irish Research Council and the Department of Foreign Affairs under this programme is very welcome and continues to build a pipeline of research collaborations for future projects that support enhanced cooperation between the global north and global south, focusing on innovative responses to global challenges within the framework of the 2030 agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Extending partnerships with government departments and agencies is a key action under the Irish Research Council’s Strategic Plan 2020-2024. As the Covid-19 pandemic has shown, the expertise of researchers across diverse disciplines is a valuable resource for policy.

“Accordingly, we are also delighted to be announcing today the New Foundations awards made under strands funded by the Creative Ireland Programme; the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth; and the Department of Justice, respectively,” he added.

Since 2015, over 200 community, voluntary and charity organisations have engaged across various Irish Research Council programmes, 278 projects have been funded with an associated investment in excess of €6.5 million.

For more information on the New Foundations scheme and this year's funded projects, visit (opens in a new window)here.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations