Community and voluntary organisations to benefit from research partnerships funded by Irish Research Council

Posted: 17 January, 2022

-77 New Foundations awards made by the Irish Research Council, with 55 awards involving dedicated civic society partners-

The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, has today (17.01.22) announced Irish Research Council funding for 77 New Foundations projects that will bring researchers and community organisations together to collaborate on projects that will have a tangible impact on societal issues.

The 77 funded projects will reach communities across the country and beyond, focusing on diverse societal challenges. Today’s announcement represents a total investment of almost €990,000. 55 projects are funded by the IRC to enhance research partnerships with civic society organisations. In addition, a further 22 projects are funded by government departments and agencies addressing global development, north-south reconciliation, our shared island, and police-community relations.

Since 2015, over 200 community, voluntary and charity organisations have engaged across the Irish Research Council’s suite of funding programmes. A total of 362 partnerships between civic society organisations and researchers have been supported, with an associated investment in excess of €9.9 million.

Among the new research projects that will be funded with civic society partners are:

  • Conn Holohan, of National University of Ireland, Galway, who will work with Galway Simon Community on immersive technology as a tool for advocacy and self-expression for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Dawn Wheatley, of Dublin City University, who will collaborate with the National Women’s Council on a project exploring Irish female journalists’ experiences with hostility and abuse via social networks.
  • Eileen Hogan, of University College Cork, who will engage with Cork Environmental Forum on the socio-cultural factors that can inform effective pro-cycling policy in Irish cities.
  • Michelle Norris, of University College Dublin, who will work with the Irish Council for Social Housing on identifying policy, regulatory and service tools to manage housing financialisation in order to promote housing affordability in Ireland.
  • Sarah Cooney, of University College Dublin, who will collaborate with Bodywhys to broaden our understanding of the challenges society faces with respect to body image and eating disorders.

Commenting today, Minister Simon Harris TD said: “I welcome the announcement of the 77 New Foundations research awards today – another record number of projects being supported by the Irish Research Council under this programme. The 55 research partnerships with community and voluntary groups will have an invaluable impact – bringing new insights and evidence and allowing these organisations to have an even bigger impact on those they are trying to reach, especially the most vulnerable and marginalised in our society. The community and voluntary sector plays a critical role in Irish life and will continue to do so. As these projects get underway, they support enhancement of the services this sector provides, while also providing excellent partnership opportunities for our researchers.”

Also commenting on the funding announcement, Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown said: “In addition to the 55 projects announced today that will collaborate with civic society partners, we are also delighted to renew our ongoing partnerships with government departments and agencies. This form of collaboration provides excellent opportunities for researchers to contribute to evidence-based policymaking, resulting in  better outcomes for society and citizens in the face of many national and global challenges.

“In addition to the awards first announced in late 2021 funded by An Taoiseach’s Shared Island Unit, we are delighted to be announcing today the New Foundations awards made under strands funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Policing Authority, respectively.”

Further information about the New Foundations scheme is available here.

List of New Foundations 2021 Awardees

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