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The School of Politics and International Relations are delighted to announce that two colleagues in the school have been awarded prestigious Irish Research Council Laureate Awards. 

Thirty-six of these awards have been made nationally to fund ‘frontier research’ projects.  Announcing the awards, Richard Bruton, Minister for Education and Skills  said: “Frontier basic research is very much at the cutting edge of new knowledge.  It is research that is daring, that pushes boundaries, and that moves beyond the frontiers of our current understanding.”

The two projects selected for funding in a competitive international assessment process will be led by Dr Dawn Walsh and Dr Samuel Brazys. These ‘Starting’ Laureate Awards are aimed at supporting excellent early-career researchers to establish their own independent research programme.

Dr Sam Brazys’ project 'TRADE ME -Trade Related Assistance for Development. Evidence from Micro-Level Evaluations' will examine the allocation, effectiveness and impact of foreign aid in Africa and Southeast Asia. Sam said, "I'm very excited that TRADE ME was selected for funding by the Irish Research Council. The project will tie geo-referenced Aid for Trade data to firm-level surveys to answer questions of foreign aid allocation, effectiveness and impact. I hope that TRADE ME will provide scholars, practitioners and policy-makers with new understandings of if, when, why and how foreign aid works".

Dr Dawn Walsh’s project 'POWER - Independent commissions and power-sharing in post conflict societies' will explore the role played by Independent Commissions in peace processes. Dawn said “I can't wait to get started on my project. I'm passionate about its ability to fundamentally develop peace-making scholarship and practice. It will help us to understand why some post-conflict institutions are inclusive and how this impacts on their effectiveness”.

Head of School at SPIRe, Professor David Farrell said “We’re delighted to have these two wonderful projects hosted in the School.  The IRC Laureate process is highly competitive, so it’s quite something that of the 36 successful applications two of these came from our school!”.

More information on Laureate Scheme can be found on the Irish Research Council website.