Irish Research Council and COVID-19

The Irish Research Council (IRC) recognises that the current situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having a significant impact on the research and innovation community, both in Ireland and internationally. We understand that the nature of these impacts will continue to evolve and we note that research projects are experiencing varying degrees of disruption as a result of practical measures taken to contain the virus. Our priority remains the safety and wellbeing of people – researchers, research participants, and those who support them.

This page brings together COVID-related information for our awardees and applicants.

COVID-19 survey

The IRC, Science Foundation Ireland and the Higher Education Authority are carrying out a national online survey on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the working lives of academic staff, postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate students in Ireland.

The primary purpose of the survey is to gain a representative view of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted researchers’ and academics’ work and wellbeing. The findings of the survey will be disseminated to institutions and research funders alike, to help guide their longer-term response to supporting researchers throughout and in the aftermath of the pandemic.

All doctoral students, researchers and academic staff usually residing in Ireland or currently working/studying in Ireland, regardless of how they are funded, are encouraged to participate in the online survey through the link below.

Take the COVID-19 Survey here

COVID-19 funding

We are working on an ongoing basis to understand the nature of impacts on our funded projects and to facilitate appropriate measures. We are also working collaboratively with the Health Research Board (HRB), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), and higher education institutions to monitor the impact on Ireland’s research community more broadly. To that end, the three principal Irish funders have released a joint statement on the impact of COVID-19.

Funders’ Joint Statement on COVID-19

COVID-19 funding updates

The guidance and FAQ documents found here will be updated with any new developments. Please continue to check this page and individual funding pages for the latest information.



Guidance for IRC Awardees on COVID-19

COVID-19 Related Requests FAQ

Forms for awardees

Below are forms that awardees can use to submit a COVID-19 related request. 

In all cases, the guidance and FAQ documents above should be read before any form is completed. 

If you are submitting a request, you should do so via the programme email (listed below) relevant to your award. 


Requests for no-cost extension/budget reallocation, suspension or deferral

If your IRC-funded award has been impacted by COVID-19 and you wish to request a no-cost extension/budget reallocation or suspension/deferral, please use the relevant form(s) below. 

N.B. Requests for no-cost extensions or budget reallocations must be received at least one month before the current end date of the award. Requests for suspensions or deferrals of awards should be submitted as soon as possible. 

Early Career - No-Cost Extension/Budget Reallocation

PI - No-Cost Extension/Budget Reallocation

Early Career - Suspension/Deferral

PI - Suspension/Deferral

Costed extensions 

Awardees must consult with their HEI research office in relation to costed extensions which are administered by the HEI in a centralised way including seeking approval from the IRC.

Rapid Response

In 2020 a COVID-19 Rapid Response Research and Innovation Funding call was rolled out in a cross-Government and public health-led effort to tackle various aspects of the pandemic. The call consisted of the following two strands:

  1. Led by the HRB and IRC, this call focuses on research that covers three separate strands: medical countermeasures, health service readiness, and social and policy countermeasures to COVID-19.
  2. Led by SFI, EI, and IDA Ireland, this call focuses on activities that will deliver significant and timely impact for Ireland within the context of the current emergency.

26 projects were funded under the Rapid Response calls as of 29 April. Read our announcement for further details. Minister Heather Humphreys announced a further 11 projects in the SFI-led strand on 9 June. An additional 41 projects in the SFI-led strand were announced by Minister Simon Harris on 24 September. Finally, Minister Simon Harris and Minister Stephen Donnelly announced another 39 projects, including 14 in the HRB-IRC strand, on 14 December 2020.

Information and advice

For the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 in Ireland, please visit the sites below, which are updated daily:

The Research Data Alliance was asked by the European Commission to rapidly create guidelines for sharing COVID-19 data and other research outputs, and created the RDA COVID-19 working group, with subgroups to address the areas of Omics, Clinical, Epidemiology, Social Sciences and Community Participation. Over 400 researchers and data experts joined and are producing a series of document releases at an unprecedented rate. Anyone working on COVID-19 should review these recommendations to maximise the value of their work: RDA COVID-19 Guidelines and Recommendations.

Contact Information

Please submit your completed COVID-19 related Request Form(s) to the relevant programme email address from the list below.

If you have a question, feel free to contact us through your Research Office or directly at the email address for your programme. The IRC will respond to all queries as swiftly as possible, though some delays may be inevitable; we regret any inconvenience caused.

Postgraduates can also contact the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) at for assistance.

Data Protection Notice

Please read our updated Data Protection Notice.

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