Irish Research Council

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Irish Research Council
IRC Logo.png
Established March 2012
Country Ireland
Headquarters Ballsbridge Dublin
Abbreviation IRC

The Irish Research Council (abbreviated to IRC) is an independent and autonomous research funding and monitoring body established in March 2012. The IRC functions to promote research in Ireland across the entire academic spectrum, and it is the channel through which the Irish Government provided its state-funded scholarships to a limited number of researchers each year. Recipients are designated as Government of Ireland Scholars.[1]

The Irish Research Council was established following the merging of the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology with its sister organisation, the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (previously known as IRCSET and IRCHSS, respectively). In addition to its primary interest in doctoral and masters level funding, the IRC also provides support and financial assistance to post-doctoral researchers.


Funded by the State under the National Development Plan, the Irish Research Council operate research funding initiatives which support talented researchers in their early stage career formation across Masters, Doctoral and Postdoctoral levels across the entire academic spectrum. It was also designed to ensure that Ireland would become and remain an internationally attractive location for high-level research. The emphasis of its funding programs was on exploratory research aimed at yielding new concepts, findings and innovations within Ireland. The Irish Research Council also operates an Enterprise Partnership Scheme, in which it co-funds academic researchers at both the postgraduate and postdoctoral level, in co-operation with their leading industry counterparts.

Funding is made available on an annual basis through a series of competitive calls for applicants. Selection for funding is based upon individual merit, and the decision process is overseen by independent assessment panels.

The IRC maintains formal contact with its awardees through regular progress reports, but is also heavily committed to more informal communications such as correspondence via traditional e-mail, and dissemination of news via social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

The chairperson of the Irish Research Council is Professor Orla Feely of the School of Electrical, Electronic, and Communications Engineering in UCD, and its Director is Dr Eucharia Meehan.


  • 2001: Established in June of this year by the Minister for Education and Science in Ireland. Launched the basic research grant scheme, jointly with Enterprise Ireland in December
  • 2002: Launched the postgraduate research scholarship awards
  • 2003: Launched the postdoctoral fellowship awards
  • 2006: Launched the Graduate Research Education Programme exploratory grant awards
  • 2007: Launched the call for funding for the Graduate Research Education Programme
  • 2012: Merged with IRCHSS to form the Irish Research Council[2]

The Embark Initiative is part of Ireland's drive to encourage 4th level or postgraduate research in Ireland. The aim is to promote Ireland as an international centre of excellence and achievement in research by encouraging students and researchers to pursue a full-time career in their research area.


  1. ^ []
  2. ^ "About The Irish Research Council". IRC. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 

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