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2016 News Archive

Minister Halligan announces investment of €22.3 million in next generation of research talent

Tuesday, 25 October, 2016 


Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD, has announced €22.3 million in research funding for 40 major research projects. The funding is distributed through Science Foundation Ireland’s Starting Investigator Research Grant (SIRG) and Career Development Award (CDA) programmes.

With awards ranging from €450,000 to €877,000 over four years, the projects funded will support nearly 100 researchers from seven countries.  Of the forty research projects supported through SIRG and CDA, eight have been awarded to researchers in UCD.

UCD SIRG and CDA Award Winners (l-r): Angela Feechan, Antonio Benedetto, Liliana Pasquale, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, Professor Mark Ferguson, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD, Eoin Cummins, Eoghan McGarrigle, Yan Yan, Simon Kelly

Announcing the awards, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD said; “This investment in the SFI SIRG and CDA Programmes allows researchers to advance their research investigations and continue developing their careers. These researchers will be the next leaders of research in Ireland, shaping the research community both here in Ireland and internationally.”

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland welcomed the announcement saying SFI supports researchers at every stage of their careers. “I have high expectations for these projects and look forward to these teams contributing to the advancement of Ireland’s international reputation in areas such as energy, materials, technology, and health.”

A gender initiative was employed for the 2015 SIRG awards, ensuring that of the 12 eligible applicants from a research body, a maximum of 6 could be male. In 2013 only 27% of applicants and awardees (6 out of 22) were female. The 2015 gender initiative can be considered a success in that of the 94 eligible applications, 44 were from female applicants (47%) and 50 were from male applicants (53%).  In addition, of the 20 proposals awarded, 55% of awardees (11 out of 20) are female.

The UCD recipients of the Starting Investigator Research Grant awards are: 

 

NameSchoolProject Title
Liliana Pasquale UCD School of Computer Science Forensic Investigations for Cyber-Physical Incidents
Antonio Benedetto UCD School of Physics Breathing Life into Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids: A Comprehensive Experimental and Computational Study of their Interaction with Biomolecules
Yan Yan UCD School of Chemistry Defining the dynamic interface between nanoparticles and immune system

  The UCD recipients of the Career Development Awards are:

NameSchoolProject Title
Angela Feechan UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science ReWIZ: Re-establishing Wheat Immunity to Zymoseptoria tritici
Brian MacNamee UCD School of Computer Science DeepNovelty: Using Deep Recurrent Neural Netowkrs for Novelty Detection in Data Streams
Eoghan McGarrigle UCD School of Chemistry Underpinning Automated Oligosaccharide Synthesis
Eoin Cummins UCD School of Medicine Carbon dioxide as a regulator of inflammatory signaling.
Simon Kelly UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Neural mechanisms of rapid value-guided sensorimotor decisions in humans