Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, has announced Irish Research Council funding for 77 New Foundations projects that will bring researchers and community organisations together to collaborate on projects that will have a tangible impact on societal issues.
The 77 projects will reach communities across the country and beyond, focusing on diverse societal challenges – representing a total investment of almost €990,000. Some 55 projects have been funded by the IRC to enhance research partnerships with civic society organisations. In addition, a further 22 are funded by government departments and agencies addressing global development, North-South reconciliation, our shared island, and police-community relations.
UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact, Professor Orla Feely said: "We welcome the investment from the IRC New Foundations scheme, which grants funding to research areas of real significance to some of our most pressing societal challenges. This work establishes and strengthens vital links between researchers and community and voluntary organisations, and creates the necessary evidence base for policy that can effect meaningful change and impacts for society."
Those led by UCD researchers cover the fields of Medicine, Social Policy/Social Work, Psychology, Public Health, Politics and International Relations, Physics and Art History/Cultural Policy:
Professor Fiona McNicholas, UCD School of Medicine, ‘From Literature Review to Co-Production: The Public Patient Involvement (PPI) Journey.’ Partner: 22q Ireland Support Organisation. (Award €11,955).
Director of UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy, ‘Tools to Tame Financialisation: identifying policy, regulatory and service tools to manage housing financialisation in order to promote housing affordability in Ireland.’ Partner: Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH). (Award €11,269).
Dr Sarah Donnelly, UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, ‘Hidden Harm: Safeguarding Family Carers from Carer Harm.’ Partner: Family Carers Ireland (FCI). (Award €11,092).
Dr Sarah Morton, UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, ‘Exploring the intersectionality of women’s problematic substance use within the Irish context.’ Partner: Merchants Quay Ireland. (Award €8,990).
Dr Vikram Niranjan, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, ‘Dancing for Health and wellbeing: A feasibility study of examining health impacts of dancing among idiopathic lung fibrosis patients.’ Partner: Irish Lung Fibrosis Association (ILFA). (Award €11,999).
Professor Jennifer Todd, UCD School of Politics and International Relations, ‘Negotiating difference on a shared island: Agonism, commonality, or critical-constitutionalism.’ (Award €19,975).
Professor William Gallagher, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, ‘Exploring the economic, political, societal and health benefits of an All-Island Cancer Research Institute (AICRI): Strengthening collaboration in cancer research throughout the island of Ireland.’ (Award €20,000).
Dr Laura Taylor, UCD School of Psychology, ‘Helping Kids! Promoting children’s inclusive peace-building in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.’ (Award €14,846).
Dr Paul Gillespie, UCD School of Politics and International Relations, ‘Britishness, Irishness and institutional links.’ (Award €14,900).
Minister Simon Harris said: “I welcome the announcement of the 77 New Foundations research awards today – another record number of projects being supported by the Irish Research Council under this programme. The 55 research partnerships with community and voluntary groups will have an invaluable impact, bringing new insights and evidence and allowing these organisations to have an even bigger impact on those they are trying to reach, especially the most vulnerable and marginalised in our society.
“The community and voluntary sector plays a critical role in Irish life and will continue to do so. As these projects get underway, they support enhancement of the services this sector provides, while also providing excellent partnership opportunities for our researchers.”
Also commenting on the funding announcement, Director of the Irish Research Council Peter Brown said: “In addition to the 55 projects announced today that will collaborate with civic society partners, we are also delighted to renew our ongoing partnerships with government departments and agencies. This form of collaboration provides excellent opportunities for researchers to contribute to evidence-based policymaking, resulting in better outcomes for society and citizens in the face of many national and global challenges.
“In addition to the awards first announced in late 2021, funded by An Taoiseach’s Shared Island Unit, we are delighted to be announcing today the New Foundations awards made under strands funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Policing Authority, respectively.”
Further information about the New Foundations scheme is available here.