Support for early career researchers from all disciplines is vital to ensure a diverse range of future research leaders

It is important for Ireland’s future that the finest research talent is retained and developed within the Irish research system.

Our early-career funding programmes provide the opportunity for individual researchers to formulate their own proposals and, if successful, win a scholarship or fellowship in their own name. The availability of individual research awards from early-career stage is an essential part of a healthy research ecosystem and a key driver of the development of independent careers. Our programmes also support the attraction of exceptional international researchers to Ireland.


Postgraduate funding and awards

Funding schemes available to scholars pursuing a postgraduate qualification:

As part of Innovation 2020, we are helping to develop a clear career structure for  researchers. Our policy statement on researcher career development outlines the Councils support for those funded through our awards to pursue diverse career paths and to establish themselves as independent researchers and thinkers.


Career Development Policy Statement

Postdoctoral funding and awards

Funding schemes available to scholars pursuing a postgraduate qualification:

Supporting Awards available to Postgrads and Postdocs

As well as the provision of scholarships and fellowships, we encourage the further development of early-career researchers by providing opportunities for international engagement. These include:

  • Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Awards, – Supporting the next generation of leading scientists to attend the annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings
  • Ulysses – a collaborative travel grant between Irish- and French-based researchers
  • New Foundations – small agile research grants (subject to budget).

Supporting Early Career Researchers to Access European Funding

The Irish Research Council supports researchers in a variety of ways to access European funding. including via our funding of the Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office (IMSCO) which is  operated under a joint partnership with the Irish Universities Association. The IMSCO provides advice and support to applicants from Ireland-based organisations on preparing applications and managing awards.

In April 2023, the IRC and the IMSCO co-hosted a research career pathways event for IRC awardees: ‘National Grants, MSCA & ERC as pathways to an independent research career’. The aim of this event was to inform early-career IRC award holders, from postgraduate through to postdoctoral researchers, of the funding opportunities available through the MSCA and ERC calls, with particular focus on the MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships and the ERC Starting Grant. It also highlighted the opportunities for national funding which can support such a pathway, from postdoctoral programmes to principal investigator-led awards.




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