Twenty UK-Ireland research collaborations in social science announced

Businessman touching global structure networking and data exchanges customer connection on interface digital screen

A joint call between the Irish Research Council (IRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is supporting 20 collaborations between researchers in Ireland and the UK.

The networking activities supported by these grants will foster the development of long-term relationships between British and Irish social science researchers. The grants will:

  • form new and strengthen existing relationships
  • enhance the overall level of connection between the UK and Irish social science communities.

Collaborative funding programme

This collaborative funding programme aims to provide support for social science networking activities, with the broad objective of:

  • fostering excellent Irish-UK synergies
  • building bridges between these two research communities.

ESRC and IRC have pledged to support 20 innovative networking projects that range in aim, including:

  • mental health
  • children’s welfare
  • public health
  • data protection.

Exceptional interest

The budgetary contribution was equally shared by ESRC and IRC and was increased during the call to accommodate the exceptional interest in this initiative.

All networking grants are due to commence in the next few months.

Lead researchers from eight Irish higher education institutions and 16 UK research organisations have been selected for funding in this highly competitive call.

Networking activity

Professor Jennifer Rubin, Executive Chair, ESRC, added:

I am delighted that we have been able to support a range of networking activity between UK and Irish researchers. These grants will foster greater connectivity and enduring collaboration on important, timely and shared social science research agendas.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Peter Brown, Director of the IRC, stated:

The enthusiastic response of the social science research community to this call, in spite of the challenges and uncertainty coming with COVID-19, clearly shows the quality and strategic importance of Irish and UK research ties.

These new funded projects, which range from public health to international relations, demonstrate the huge potential for international and interdisciplinary synergies, and the interest of researchers in UK-Ireland cooperation.

I am particularly pleased to see both All-Island research cooperation and new ‘East-West’ links being cultivated. There is truly great potential for a mutually reinforcing and vibrant UK-Ireland research eco-system across the spectrum of economic and social sciences.

Funded projects

The following is a selection of the collaborations announced today:

  • Dr Jennifer Ryan (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) and Dr Kimberley Smith (University of Surrey) will bring together researchers, clinicians and key stakeholders to help address and reduce inequalities faced by people living with lifelong disabilities. They will do this through a series of networking and development activities
  • Dr Marie Mahon (National University of Ireland Galway) and Professor Michael Woods (Aberystwyth University) will collaborate with social science researchers in Ireland and Wales working on selected aspects of civil society such as:
    • renegotiating borders
    • rural citizenship
    • engaging young people
    • inclusive and deliberative democracy.
  • Dr Walt Kilroy (Dublin City University) and Dr David Curran (Coventry University) will launch a series of workshops in Dublin, London and Durham with the intention of linking up an interdisciplinary network of scholars and policymakers. They will identify commonalities, differences, and models of best practices in forming and implementing concepts of ‘civilian protection’ in third party intervention into violent conflict
  • Dr David Meredith (Teagasc) and Professor Sally Shortall (Newcastle University) will bring together academics from a range of disciplines, policy makers and practitioners from across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. They will develop a future research agenda and reframe future rural policy for the changing demands on rural space expected post-Brexit and post-COVID-19.

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