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

Congratulations to eight faculty members from UCD College of Social Sciences and Law who have been awarded funding from the 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 have received  funding under the New Foundations scheme.  

The Research projects which are being funded by this scheme and led by faculty from UCD College of Social Sciences and Law include:

  • Professor Eilis Hennessy, UCD School of Psychology, who is exploring inclusion and engagement of children of Muslim background in creative activities in Ireland. Project Title: Inclusion and engagement of Children of Muslim background in creative activities in Ireland: Exploring its relevance, describing hurdles and barriers, identifying national and international best practices and experience in mitigating them.
     
  • Dr Fredrick Ajwang, UCD School of Politics and International Relations, who is working with the Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. Project Title: Markets, Electoral Competition, Norms and Ethnic Violence in Kenya
  • Associate Professor Niamh Moore-Cherry, UCD School of Geography, who is partnered with the Robert Emmet Community Development Project, which is based in Dublin's South West Inner City. Project Title: Urban Grit: A resident-led exploration of the soil, nature and greenspace ‘closest-in’ to a high-density inner city neighbourhood.
     
  • Associate Professor Marie Keenan, UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, who is partnered with the National Women’s Council. Project Title: Developing a theoretical framework on prostitution with the National Women’s Council which is compatible with their goal of achieving gender equality and is informed by evidence and consultation with their members. The project will also develop a critical understanding of consent within the prostitution contract and whether the buying of sexual access to some women’s bodies undermines the movement for meaningful sexual consent for all.
     
  • Dr Tom Burke, UCD School of Psychology, who is partnering with KARE, an organisation that promotes inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities. Project Title: Dementia KARE: A Total Wellbeing Framework.
     
  • Dr Karen Smith, UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, who will be partnering with Nasc, the Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre. Project Title: Community Sponsorship Ireland: a participatory approach for increasing sustainability.
     
  • Dr Muireann Ní Raghallaigh, UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, who will work with the Irish Refugee Council. Project Title: Perspectives of refugees on questions of participation, power and ethics in research.
     
  • Dr Silvia Gagliardi, UCD Centre for Constitutional Studies, who will be working with the Gaisce's programme. Project title: of its "The President's Award" on Irish youth in custody.
     

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.

The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, welcomed the Irish Research Council funding for 76 New Foundations projects that will bring researchers and community/voluntary organisations together to share knowledge and develop new insights to help create a better society for all.

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 here.