€4.4 million to be invested in 21 research projects supporting the global sustainable development goals

Posted: 18 July, 2018


The latest cohort of researchers to receive funding from the Irish Research Council to progress the UN’s sustainable development goals was announced today by Minister of State for Skills, Training, Innovation, Research and Development, Mr John Halligan TD.

Under the Council’s CAROLINE programme, which is co-funded by the European Union, experienced researchers are funded to conduct research relevant to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  The Agenda includes goals such as ending poverty and hunger, building sustainable cities and communities, and achieving gender equality.

CAROLINE researchers must work in partnership with NGOs and international organisations in conducting their research, and the Irish Research Council funds both Irish and international researchers under this programme.

The Council funded 19 researchers under the first funding call for CAROLINE, with an additional 21 researchers unveiled today under the second call.  The new cohort of researchers will receive €4.4 million in total to complete their projects over the next three years.  Researchers receiving funding include:

  • Christopher O’Connell, who will be hosted by Dublin City University and Anti-Slavery International – the oldest human rights organisation in the world – to conduct research on contemporary slavery in an era of climate change, with a focus on State and civil society responses in the Andean Region.
  • Caroline Ochieng, who will be hosted by NUI Galway and the World Bank, and whose work focuses on the adoption of clean cooking technologies in low and middle-income countries.
  • John Devaney, who will be hosted by Trinity College Dublin and the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, to conduct research on the effects of climate change on mangrove forests in semi-arid regions and the consequences for coastal communities.
  • Esther Hennchen, who will be hosted by University College Dublin and the International Labor Organisation, to research shared responsibility in global supply chains.

Commenting today, Minister Halligan, said: “Ireland is committed to playing its part as a signatory to the UN Sustainable Development agenda to the successful achievement of these goals, which are vital to safeguard our planet’s future and all life within it. Research and innovation have an important part to play in guiding evidence-based policy and action, locally and globally. I’m delighted to announce this second tranche of investment under this innovative programme which is a co-funding partnership between Ireland and the European Union. I look forward to the 21 projects getting underway and making a real difference to a sustainable future”

Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown, added: “Ireland is currently ranked 18th of the 156 participating countries for its progress towards achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals.  The goals were adopted by the UN in 2015, and our CAROLINE programme was launched within the following 12 months, making it one of the first European research-funding schemes responding to the sustainable development agenda. 

 “CAROLINE is designed to foster partnerships which strengthen international links between researchers, their host institutions and organisations at the coalface in working towards a sustainable future.  Embedding researchers in international organisations or NGOs leads to important research outputs and quantifiable progress towards sustainability.  Moreover, the experience that researchers gain in international organisations and NGOs enriches their career perspectives and prospects.” 

New call for CAROLINE applications

In addition to announcing the researchers funded under the second CAROLINE call today, the Irish Research Council opened the third and final call for CAROLINE applications.  An additional 10 researchers will receive funding under the third call, which is open for applications until 6 September 2018.  Further information is available here.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 713279.

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