Over 60 UCD research projects awarded funding

Image Credit: Dominic Daly

As part of the Irish Research Council’s ‘Government of Ireland’ programmes, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, announced funding of €21 million for almost 300 research projects, in conjunction with the Irish Research Council.

As part of the Irish Research Council’s ‘Government of Ireland’ programmes, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, announced funding of €21 million for almost 300 research projects.

The projects awarded fall under three categories; Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarships, Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowships, and Environmental Protection Agency Postgraduate Scholarship. Over 20% of the projects funded nationally were UCD based. From the project awarded, research subject areas range from Literature to Pure Mathematics, with Organic Chemistry and Philosophy being two of the areas of study with the most projects awarded - with five and six researchers granted funding respectively. 

This year’s UCD postgraduate scholars include: 

Amongst the University’s postdoctoral fellows this year are:

According to the statement released by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, every year the Government of Ireland Programmes collaborate with ‘strategic funding partners’. A number of this year’s awardees are supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Foreign Affairs. The projects which were granted funding as part of this scheme are:

A full list of the UCD awardees and their projects is published below

In a statement on October 23rd, Minister Simon Harris said; “I am delighted to announce this investment by government in developing the next generation of research leaders across disciplines. Across higher education, enterprise, civil society and the public sector, expert knowledge and skills is a critical need for our present and our future. The awards announced today support a pipeline of research talent which will be at the forefront of addressing the many challenges and opportunities we face.

The Covid-19 crisis alone has demonstrated the importance of investment in expertise across all disciplines, whether in the form of advice on public health, the development of vaccines and treatments within industry, or, crucially, in working through the many longer term social, economic and cultural impacts of the crisis. It can be seen today how Ireland is benefiting from investment in basic research made some years ago, and this will be the case in the future with ongoing support for the pipeline of excellent researchers. I wish the many awardees starting their new projects the very best.”

Irish Research Council Director, Peter Brown, said: “The Irish Research Council Government of Ireland awards form a critical pillar within Ireland’s research and innovation eco-system. The two programmes, addressing postgraduate and postdoctoral research, are the only ones of their kind in Ireland, funding excellent research across all disciplines and are highly competitive, nationally and internationally. Awardees benefit greatly from having obtained a research award in their own name, demonstrating world-class potential in their chosen field from early-career stage. Through this and other IRC programmes, the Council continues to deliver the best and brightest research talent for Ireland. Working hand-in-glove with our research-performing organisations, awardees will expand the frontiers of knowledge and generate the research and innovations that will help to address national and global societal challenges.”

The call for the research programmes of 2021 are now available on the Irish Research Council website, and "offer new collaborative funding opportunities with additional themed calls from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Met Éireann and the Department of Rural and Community Development".

Full list of research projects:

 Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarships - University College Dublin 

  1. Adam Ryan -   Microbial Genetics - Genome diversity, drug resistance and virulence in the human pathogenic yeast, Candida parapsilosis
  2. Aisling Loftus -  Organic Chemistry - A Unified Approach for Safely Performing Underexploited High Energy Nitrosation Chemistries via Scaled Continuous Flow Technology Platforms
  3. Aoibheann O’ Connor - Organic Chemistry - A New Paradigm For The Asymmetric Diels-Alder Reaction
  4. Arlene Bonner -   Organic Chemistry - Development of Streamlined Routes into Diverse Drug-Like Aziridine Fragments via Multi-Step Flow Synthesis
  5. Ali Bakir Hamoudi -  Sociology -  Civil Society Organisations Providing Social Services in Iraq: Structure, Accountability and Religion post 2003
  6. Amy Hassett -   Zoology, Ornithology, Entomology, Behavioural Sciences Biology - Identifying the principles of nervous system organisation in the ctenophore Pleurobrachia pileus.
  7. Cara Gaffney -   Biochemical Research Methods - Understanding the cellular landscape of proteins delivered by extracellular vesicles
  8. Chris Devitt -   Theoretical Physics - Gravitational Waves in Alternative Theories of General Relativity
  9. Cliona Curley -   Information Systems - Analysing the movement of far right extremists to alternative technology (alt-tech) platforms, and the resultant impact on their ability to spread misinformation, incite violence and radicalise others
  10. David Mc Laughlin - Inorganic, Organometallic and Nuclear Chemistry - Light Harvesting with Spin-Switchable Phosphorescent Dyes
  11. Delphi MacWhiteBegg -   Genetics and Heredity Investigating the effects of EOSRD mutations on early eye development
  12. Diane Pelly -   Economics - The economic case for Worker Wellbeing Programmes. Are they worth the investment? 
  13. Diego Zambiasi -   Economics - Understanding the illict drug market to design effective policies
  14. Elin Strachan -   Genetics and Heredity - Uncovering the pathogenic mechanisms underpinning dominant optic atrophy
  15. Emma Dunne -   Evolutionary Biology - APOLLO: A prospective study on the Prevention Of heat Loss in LOw birth weight infants
  16. Eoin Carolan -   Theoretical Physics Thermodynamics of quantum computational models.
  17. Gillian Carney -   Microbiology, Virology and Mycology - Developing mechanisms to disrupt biofilm formed by antibiotic resistant Campylobacter jejuni on Supermarket Chicken Meat
  18. Gráinne Daly -   Literatures - Remembrance Culture in Irish fiction: Theory and practice
  19. Gwenaëlle Hurpy Rochon - Biodiversity - Conservation The ecosystem services of Irish bats
  20. Harvey Gleeson -   Colloid and Nanochemistry - Sustainable Nanoparticulate Photoabsorbers for Solar Induced Synthesis of “Green” Fuel and Chemicals
  21. Ioannis Karvelas -   Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing - Novice Programming Behavior and Programming Environments
  22. Jacob Miller -   Literatures - The Origins of Post-Truth: Neoliberalism and Epistemic Crisis in Anglo-American Fiction, 1980 to the Present.
  23. Jennifer McAndrew -   Politics - U.S. Reinvention of Music Diplomacy in the Post 9/11 Era
  24. Joanne Cosgrave -   Cell Biology - Investigating the anti-cancer effects of phytocannabinoids on the epigenome.
  25. Karen Arulsamy -   Economics - Mental health and financial outcomes over the lifespan
  26. Kate Autumn Evetts - Archaeology - A Multi-Isotope Investigation of Faunal Remains From Newgrange, Co. Meath: Deciphering Later Prehistoric Subsistence and Connectivity 
  27. Kate Donaghy -   Organic Chemistry - Organocatalysed Glycosylations with RNA-derived Catalysts
  28. Konstantinos Maronikolakis -   Pure Mathematics - Universality and boundary behaviour of holomorphic functions
  29. Lisa Keenan -   Psychology - Exploring the nature and prevalence of sleep difficulties in children with Tourette syndrome: The relation with tic severity and executive functioning
  30. Mohammad Ali Shafiei - Computer Software - Self-protecting cyber-physical systems
  31. Naomi Corlett -   Philosophy - Temporal Asymmetry, Causation and the Open Future 
  32. Natalia Burakowska -   Philosophy - The Phenomenology of Dementia: An Embodied-Cognitive Account
  33. NEHA KAMRANI -   Literatures - Representations of Sexual Violence in Contemporary Irish and Indian Theatre
  34. Nicholas O'Neill -   Sociology - Marketisation of home care in Ireland: a geographical perspective focusing on the private sector
  35. Rachel Healy -  Cultural Studies - Portraits of Giorgio Cornaro and his Heirs: Resolving issues of Identity, Authorship and Patronage in Renaissance Venice and Beyond
  36. Robert Byrne - Astronomy and Space Science - Minding the Gap: Searching for Low Luminosity Transients in Nearby Galaxies
  37. Sid McDonnell -   Business & Management - Implementing Workplace Well-being Programmes: A view from Institutional Theory
  38. Siobhan McEvoy -   Psychology - The dynamics of cohesion, integration, and collective efficacy: A case study of women’s refugee networks in Athens
  39. Stephanie Maher -   Cell Biology Investigating the Effects of Phosphatases on Trk Mediated Signalling and Cell Fate in Neuroblastoma
  40. Tara Comber -   Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - The development and use of a new multiple sclerosis in vitro model for the development of novel myelin-repair agents

Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship -  - GOI Postdoctoral Fellowship

  1. Ashley Shaw - Philosophy - The Metaphysics of Need
  2. Ciaran McDonough - Celtic Studies - Antiquarianism, Politics, and Sectarianism in NineteenthCentury Ireland: A study of Ancient Laws and Institutes of Ireland (1852-1901)
  3. Conor Tobin -  History - "A Soviet Vietnam?" Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Carter Administration, and the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
  4. Efstratios Delogkos - Geology - Fault growth on short timescales and the role of fault geometries and interactions on earthquake behaviour
  5. Giulio D'Urso - Education - Bullying in School Contexts in Ireland: Evidence from the Growing Up in Ireland and Children’s School Lives National Cohort Studies
  6. James Behan - Colloid and Nanochemistry - NANO-INT: Controlling the Nanoconstruct Interface for Targeted Applications in Nanomedicine and Biology.
  7. Jason Porter - History - The Diversity of Slaving Strategies in Ancient Athens, 500–300 B.C.
  8. Jhimli Paul Guin - Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry -  Round-the-clock metal-free visible-light photocatalyst polymer membrane reactor for elimination of short-chain perand poly-fluoroalkyl substances from surface waters
  9. John Gallagher - Literatures - Science, Creation, and Cosmology in the Early Medieval Latin West 
  10. Julie Powell - History The Attraction of Repulsion: Tales of Murder and the First World War
  11. Lachlan Fleetwood - History - The ‘Habitable Globe’: Science, Geography and Environment in the Indian Sub-Empire
  12. Lonneke Peperkamp - Politics - Claiming Subsistence Rights 
  13. Manfa Sanogo - Literatures - From Hainteny to Negritude: Analysis of the Transnational Flow of Literary Currents between Malagasy and Francophone Literatures
  14. Martin Schauss - Literatures - The New Ecological Imaginary: Waste, Water, Energy, and the Built Environment in Twenty-First Century Experimental Prose (2001-2019) 
  15. Matteo Bonini - Pure Mathematics -  Algebraic Geometry Codes for Error-Correction in Distributed and Quantum Systems
  16. Melanie Altanian - Philosophy - The Distinct Epistemic Injustice of Genocide Denialism 
  17. Mohamed Barakat Zakaria Mohamed - Colloid and Nanochemistry - Developing Novel 2D and 3D Defect-Free Cyano-Bridged Coordination Polymers-based Carbon/MXene Materials for Next-Generation Sodium-Ion Batteries and Electrochemical Applications
  18. Nitul Guha - Organic Chemistry - Design, Synthesis and Applications in Asymmetric Catalysis of Chiral Ligands Exploiting Non-covalent Bonding Interactions
  19. Robert Dunphy - Philosophy - Scepticism and Presuppositionlessness: Hegel and the Problem of Beginning
  20. Sybren Heyndels - Philosophy - Modal Normativism: Reviving an Old Tradition
  21. Tara Dirilgen - Ecology - From Roots to Pollinators: How above- and below-ground organisms interact through plants 
  22. Tony Twamley - Agricultural Biotechnology - Investigating the role of receptor-like kinases (RLKs) in defence priming in wheat

Environmental Protection Agency Postgraduate Scholarship 

  1. Robert Watson - Physical Geography - A multi-data machine learning approach to identifying, mapping and characterising sinkhole populations in karst environments
  2. Stacey Kerr - Plant sciences, Botany - Pharming of high value metabolites from transplastomic plant cells using bioreactors