SFI award to help assess the impact of research funding

Professor Helena Lenihan from the Kemmy Businmess School has been announced as one of the first recipients of a Science Foundation Ireland award for Science Policy Research by Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD.

Professor Lenihan is to receive one of the first five awards of the Science Foundation Ireland Science Policy Research Programme.

Announcing the awards, Minister Halligan said, “The SFI Science Policy Research Programme is facilitating doctoral degrees that will generate important new policy insights that can help to bolster Ireland’s knowledge economy. The knowledge gained from these awards will help Science Foundation Ireland assess the impact of the research funding it awards, with the aim of strengthening and improving our overall eco-system.”

The selected research projects comprise studies of: the role of talent and human capital management in national science foundations; the economic and societal impacts of scientific research; the link between scientific knowledge production and technological progress; the peer review process; and the importance of star researchers.

Commenting on the awards, Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland added, “These awards will build critical knowledge to enable us to develop effective policies on how we fund, evaluate and disseminate scientific research. Building Ireland’s research capacity in science policy will help to solidify Ireland’s position in developing international best practice and encourage collaborations with international experts in the field.”

The five awards, with a total value of €2.8 million will support 15 research positions, for both postdoctoral researchers and PhD students, for a period of up to four years. The awards were also made to: Professor John McHale and Dr Alma McCarthy, both of National University of Ireland, Galway; and, Professor Kalpana Shankar and Professor Dieter Franz Kogler, both of University College Dublin.