Taoiseach Micheál Martin T.D. and Minister Simon Harris T.D. announce eleven awardees under the Irish Research Council’s Shared Island research strand

Posted: 9 December, 2021

Projects will bring researchers together to explore the political, socio-economic and cultural considerations of a shared future on the island

Realising an all-island circular economy; exploring the benefits of an All-Island Cancer Research Institute; improving inter-group relations through shared goals; and learning from what works in entrepreneurship education north and south are just some of the projects awarded funding today (09.12.2021) by the Irish Research Council as part of the Government’s Shared Island initiative.

Eleven awards, totalling more than €200,000, were made under the Irish Research Council’s New Foundations programme, the first in this partnership between the Council and the Shared Island unit in the Department of the Taoiseach.

The funding for the top-ranked proposals will cultivate research, networking and collaboration in support of implementation and development of the Government’s Shared Island initiative. The awards being announced today will bring new insights and perspectives from researchers on the key challenges and opportunities facing the island.

Among the research projects that will be funded are:

  • Professor William Gallagher, of University College Dublin, will lead a project exploring how an All-Island Cancer Research Institute can deepen North/South collaboration, enhance cancer outcomes, and help to strengthen social, economic, and political links on the island.
  • Professor Oran Doyle, of Trinity College Dublin, will lead a project bringing together a network of legal scholars from North and South who will examine legal convergences and divergences across a range of areas and produce new knowledge and perspectives on shared island themes.
  • Assistant Professor Isobel Cunningham, of Letterkenny Institute of Technology, will lead a research project on entrepreneurship in second-level education in the north-west border region, examining the differences in approaches and attitudes between the two education systems.
  • Professor Mick Morris, of Trinity College Dublin, will lead collaborative research to create a network of expertise on the development of circular economic practices on the island.

Commenting today, Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD, said: “I am very pleased to announce the eleven projects funded under this new partnership between the Shared Island unit in my Department and the Irish Research Council. The Shared Island initiative is an exciting and ambitious cross-Government programme aimed at bringing people from all communities and traditions together to build a better future for everyone on this island. I’m delighted to see such an interesting and diverse range of projects being supported with funding from the Shared Island unit.  The outputs from these new North/South research partnerships will play an important role in shaping and developing our understanding of a shared island.”

Welcoming the awards, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, said: “Research can play a significant role in building links between communities by finding solutions to common problems and this programme will tap into the expertise and talent in the research systems of this island – north and south – for the benefit of Shared Island goals. The funded projects will see researchers from across the island form partnerships including to develop the circular economy, improve cancer treatment, and foster recovery in the performing arts industry. My Department is proud to support this initiative through the work of the Irish Research Council.”


Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown, added: “The Irish Research Council is delighted to partner with the Shared Island unit of the Department of the Taoiseach. A central focus of the Irish Research Council is to foster connections between researchers and wider stakeholders to co-create new evidence and knowledge that benefits society, including our shared, diverse society and traditions on the island of Ireland. The Council’s programmes continue to provide excellent opportunities for research partnerships with Government departments and agencies, civil society and enterprise and we are delighted to be leveraging the expertise of the research community across different disciplines in the important project that is the Shared Island initiative.”

The 11 projects for Shared Island were funded by the Shared Island unit in the Department of the Taoiseach under strand 8 of the IRC New Foundations Programme. Full details of each project can be found at the link below.


11 New Foundations - Shared Island awards

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