Irish researchers get €34m in EU funding to boost their careers

12 October 2022

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions funding will support researchers in a range of fields, from cyberbullying to sensors that detect air pollutants.

Irish research organisations have received €34m in funding from the EU to support early-career researchers across the country.

Won competitively through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) under Horizon Europe, the funding will enable researchers based in Ireland to boost their careers and conduct important research on national and global challenges.

The MSCA are a range of research funding supports from the European Commission open to all kinds of researchers at all stages of their careers. In Ireland, they are managed by the Irish Universities Association and the Irish Research Council (IRC).

The fresh funding will enable research across a range of areas, from cyberbullying prevention and sensors that detect harmful pollutants in the air, to restoring injured spinal cord functionality and transforming the quality of physical education.

“This is a fantastic result for Ireland in what is a very competitive programme,” said Dr Yvonne Halpin, head of the Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office (IMSCO).

“It puts us in a strong starting position to better our previous success in the MSCA and helps to achieve the Government’s objective of leveraging EU funding to augment the national budget for cutting-edge research.”

Halpin added that the provision of national supports like the IMSCO plays a key role in supporting applicants and achieving success in a “very competitive” European research funding landscape.

Dr Debbie Ging of Dublin City University is one of the winners of the latest funding. She will lead partners from Greece, Denmark, the UK, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands to implement a PhD training programme that will investigate cyberbullying prevention with a focus on the key role of parents, gender, disability, ethnicity and sexuality.

Another PhD training programme will be led by Prof Izabela Naydenova of TU Dublin, who will collaborate with European researchers to develop sophisticated sensors that can detect harmful pollutants in the air to improve indoor air quality.

Trinity College Dublin’s Dr Rajiv Borah will use the funding to develop a novel approach to restore spinal cord functionality using minimally invasive materials, enabling patients to recover from spinal cord injuries.

Meanwhile, Dr Jenna Lorusso of the University of Limerick is aiming to transform the quality of physical education by enhancing the development of stakeholders’ policy capacity.

“This result is a testimony to the excellence of research in Ireland and the quality of the hands-on support provided by the Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office to applicants,” said Kevin Burke, national director for Horizon Europe at Enterprise Ireland.

“The programme also offers unparalleled opportunities for international collaboration, engagement with industry and networking with the best researchers in Europe while strengthening our own research base.”

Director of the IRC, Dr Louise Callinan, added that the purpose of the MSCA programme is to “encourage a diversity of talented researchers across all disciplines” and realise the aims of Impact 2030 – the new national strategy announced in May to boost research and innovation in Ireland.

Source: Silicon Republic