Science Foundation of Ireland awards €22m in funding
29 October 2016
Forty projects share windfall with awards ranging from €450,000 to €870,00
Growing-your-own tendons, improving safety of dairy products and developing smarter computers are amongst 40 projects that will share €22.3 million in funding over the next four years.
Details of the awards were released on Tuesday by the funding body Science Foundation Ireland which made the awards under two programmes designed in particular to help foster the next generation of research expertise.
The awards range from €450,000 to €870,000 and the funds will support almost 100 researchers over its four-year run.
They come under the foundation’s Starting Investigator Research Grantprogramme (SIRG) and its Career Development Award programme (CDA).
There are nine awards for Trinity College Dublin, eight for University College Dublin, seven for Dublin City University, five for University of Limerick, three each for University College Cork and NUI Galway, two each for the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and for Tyndall National Institute and one forMaynooth University.
They cover a very wide research area including health and medical, food and marine, energy and environment, manufacturing and materials and ICT and communications.
The SIRG awards support the development of postdoctoral researchers who have not yet held an independent research post. The funds give them an opportunity to delve into a research area of interest to them.
The CDA is for investigators who already hold an independent academic research position and are seeking to consolidate this.
Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation John Halligan launched the 2016 award programmes. He pledged his ongoing support for research and the need to increase State spending in this area.
He noted the social and economic benefits that flow from research and also the opportunity to foster collaboration between academia and industry.
The young people funded under these programmes “will be the next leaders of research in Ireland”, he said.
Roger Preston, of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, has been awarded €638,694 under the CDA programme.
Mr Preston’s research group takes older drugs and then finds ways to improve their effectiveness or reduce side effects. He likens it to fixing up a car, making changes that help it run better.
His area of interest is the control of inflammation in conditions such as blood poisoning or sepsis, and also drugs used for malaria and after a stroke.
Nuala Mai Caffrey, of Trinity College Dublin, has been awarded €453,766 under the SIRG programme.
Ms Caffrey is using advanced theoretical modelling to understand the characteristics of two dimensional materials. She takes a theoretical approach, first defining a material such as graphene and then modifying it by including other materials to see what happens. These can then be duplicated in experiments to see if there is a match between theory and reality.
Article - Irish Times