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Innovative UL research projects funded under IRC New Foundations scheme

Wed, 07 Apr 2021

Research projects at University of Limerick have been funded to the tune of almost €130,000 in the latest round of Irish Research Council awards, it has been announced.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD welcomed the New Foundations projects that will bring researchers and community and voluntary organisations together to share knowledge and develop new insights to help create a better society for all.

Of the 76 IRC projects funded, 12 are based at UL and are among those that will reach out across communities to look at diverse issues, including those affecting carers, senior citizens, young people, migrant communities, and the LGBT+ community.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the wellbeing of different groups in society and on the delivery of services is also a significant theme within the research projects being announced.

Among the UL projects funded are those led by Dr Lydia Bracken, who will be working with LGBT Ireland on the legal aspects of LGBT+ families, and one led by Dr Jennifer Schweppe, who will be working with GOSHH on the project 50 Years of LGBTI+ Activism in Ireland: Social Forces and Legal Change.

Minister Harris said: “These research collaborations are helping with some very important community and voluntary sector projects. I welcome that the highest ever number of funding awards are being made today by the Irish Research Council to support these research collaborations with the community and voluntary sector.

“This vibrant sector plays such an important role in supporting different groups in society, including the more vulnerable or marginalised. Through partnerships with researchers, such as the projects being announced today, diverse community organisations can bring new evidence and insights to enhance their services and impact for those that need them,” he added.

The New Foundations scheme also includes strands supported by government departments and agencies. In each of the past three years, a dedicated strand of the call provides opportunities for researchers to work on important areas of policy, including global development, crime, creativity and children.

Commenting on the funding partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown said: “The ongoing partnership between the Irish Research Council and the Department of Foreign Affairs under this programme is very welcome and continues to build a pipeline of research collaborations for future projects that support enhanced cooperation between the global north and global south, focusing on innovative responses to global challenges within the framework of the 2030 agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Extending partnerships with government departments and agencies is a key action under the Irish Research Council’s Strategic Plan 2020-2024. As the Covid-19 pandemic has shown, the expertise of researchers across diverse disciplines is a valuable resource for policy.

“Accordingly, we are also delighted to be announcing today the New Foundations awards made under strands funded by the Creative Ireland Programme; the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth; and the Department of Justice, respectively,” he added.

Full list of UL projects:

  • Anne O’Connor, working with Dyspraxia/DCD Ireland, on a pilot study to determine the feasibility and sustainability of a University-childrens' charity organisation research partnership to deliver physiotherapy to children with disability via telepractice
  • Ann-Marie Creaven, working with, on Exploring Loneliness and Social Isolation in Emerging adults: Establishing and Partnering with a Youth Research Advisory Group
  • Daragh Bradshaw, working with Irish Penal Reform Trust, on Incarcerated parenting-Evidence and Gap map
  • Helen Phelan, working with Doras, on Research Prioritisation in Migrant Health: Towards a Participatory, Arts-Based Paradigm
  • Jennifer Schweppe, working with GOSHH, on 50 Years of LGBTI+ Activism in Ireland: Social Forces and Legal Change
  • Kathleen Markey, working with 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World, on Collaborating on perinatal mental health support for migrant women and their families: networking and connecting the dots
  • Lydia Bracken, working with LGBT Support and Advocacy Network Ireland CLG, T/a LGBT Ireland, on LGBT+ Families in Ireland: Legal Recognition of Parent-Child Relationships
  • Majka Ryan, working with Doras, on Identifying and responding to the labour-market integration barriers among successful female international protection applicants in Ireland
  • Mel Mercier, working with Solstice Arts Centre, on Towards an Inter-institutional Model of Best Practice for Arts Practice Research Support
  • Owen Doody, working with Down Syndrome Ireland, on Inclusive education for people with disabilities in third level education in Ireland
  • Sarah Jay, working with Nepal Leprosy Trust Ireland, on Evaluating Village Alive Programmes in rural Nepal with a Social Identity Model of Community Empowerment
  • Carmel Hannan - The Irish Child Cohort Network 2021

The New Foundations scheme will run again this year and further information is available here.