SFI-IRC Pathway Programme


*Notice* An information webinar will be held on Tuesday 12th December 2023, please register here


Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Irish Research Council (IRC) are pleased to launch the SFI-IRC Pathway Programme which will support talented postdoctoral researchers from all research disciplines to develop their track record and transition to become independent research leaders.  

These awards will enable postdoctoral researchers to conduct independent research for a fouryear period and will provide funding for a postgraduate student who will be primarily supervised by the applicant

The programme welcomes research proposals from any discipline within STEM or AHSS. Applications of an interdisciplinary nature which draw together insights and approaches from one or more research disciplines will also be welcomed. 

Programme objectives 

  • To enable talented post-doctoral researchers to develop their track record and establish themselves as independent investigators, with support of their research body.
  • To provide a mechanism for Irish Higher Education Institutes to retain and attract excellent early career researchers from all disciplines and support their development towards becoming research leaders of the future.
  • To fund excellent research with potential impact across all disciplines.
  • To contribute to further development of the Higher Education system through knowledge creation, training, and skill development.
  • To support early career researchers in securing non-Exchequer funding and develop their network through the European Research Area.
  • To increase the representation of women in the higher education sector and promote alignment with international policies including research assessment, Open Science and Equality, diversity, and inclusion.
  • To contribute to a cohesive research ecosystem in Ireland and support SFI and IRC in achieving their strategic objectives, as described in the strategic plan for each agency.

Eligibility Criteria

Full details on programme eligibility are available in the call document. In summary, applicants should have demonstrated a proven record of internationally recognised research accomplishments and adhere to the following eligibility criteria:

  • The applicant must have held a PhD or equivalent qualification for at least two years at proposal submission.
  • Applicants must not be considered an independent investigator.
  • Applicants must not hold, or have held, an academic contract (e.g. lecturer, assistant professor, professor, or similar) of greater than, or equal to, 36 months in duration. Teaching-only academic contracts greater than or equal to 36 months in duration are permitted.
  • Applicants must not hold, or have held, a significant peer-reviewed, independent research grant, or grant providing similar support to the SFI-IRC Pathway Programme. Personal awards, including student, postdoctoral or individual fellowships, travel awards, and bursaries are permissible.
  • The applicant must have identified a mentor, who will give advice, co-supervise the PhD student and provide access to laboratory space (where relevant) and related infrastructure for the duration of the award.

Information webinar

A webinar outlining the SFI-IRC Pathway Programme 2024 call will be hosted online on Tuesday 12th December 2023, please register here.

Key Dates

Call launch5 December 2023
Research Body nomination of candidates: 20 February 2024, 13:00 Dublin local time
Full proposal deadline10th April 2024, 13:00 Dublin local time
Applicant Response
August 2024

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