News Archive 2017

New UK-Ireland partnership launched to encourage collaborative research

Tuesday, 25 April, 2017 

SFI DG Mark Ferguson with British Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett.

SFI DG Mark Ferguson with British Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett.

Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD, has announced a new collaborative agreement between Science Foundation Ireland and the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which aims to encourage joint research applications between the two countries.

EPSRC is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing almost £900 million a year. This new transnational partnership with Ireland will support joint research and technology development in all areas of EPSRC’s remit, which covers chemistry, engineering, information and communications technologies, materials, mathematical sciences and physics.

Speaking of the agreement, Minister Halligan said: “This new funding partnership will provide an opportunity for our researchers to collaborate with their peers in the UK to address challenges and deliver important economic benefits for both countries.”

Prof Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) said: “In order to maintain the UK’s position as a global research leader, it is vital that we work with the world’s best minds and organisations.

EPSRC and the Research Councils have a long track record of success in international collaboration, and agreements such as this will allow us to strengthen our ties with leading bodies such as Science Foundation Ireland, and improve our ability to deliver cutting-edge research.”

Speaking of the announcement, Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “I very much welcome this important collaboration with EPSRC, which presents us with an excellent opportunity to promote closer linkages between our top-class researchers and their peers in the UK. Science Foundation Ireland supports world-class scientific research, with deep and significant enterprise engagement, excellence and impact.”

Under the lead agency agreement, a single joint proposal from applicants in both countries is submitted to EPSRC. The application is processed according to the normal procedures of EPSRC Standard Grants. Successful UK-based research groups will be funded by EPSRC, while Irish based research groups will be funded by Science Foundation Ireland. Joint applications to this programme will be accepted at any time. 

Researchers interested in applying are encouraged to visit the funding section of for full details.