Global success for University of Limerick researchers awarded Marie Curie fellowships
Marie Curie fellows: Pictured clockwise from top left Dr Jenna Lorusso, Dr Siobhán Griffin, Dr Joseph Mooney and Dr Aisling Ross
Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Four University of Limerick researchers have been awarded highly prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships by the European Commission.

Three of the awards are to recent UL graduates, who were awarded Global Fellowships, and one to an incoming international fellow.

Three of the fellows will be affiliated to the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences and one at the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

The fellowships will fund the researchers to work for two years abroad and a third year back at UL. The final fellowship will fund a researcher for two years based at UL.

The total award comes to €280,000 each. These talented researchers will work at MIT, Baylor University, USA and the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Professor Norelee Kennedy, Vice President Research, UL said: “The University has a strategic focus on supporting early career researchers to enhance their research excellence through forging international links with leading universities.

“The Marie Curie Fellowship is a beacon of excellence and enhances UL’s long-standing international collaborations with leading research groups around the world. By working with teams at MIT, Baylor University in the US and University of Melbourne, Australia, these talented researchers will be addressing grand challenges and building partnerships for the future.”

Marie Curie Fellowship success at UL has increased steadily with a total of 88 Marie Curie Fellows, funded here since 2014. The European Commission received more than 8,356 proposals in the latest round of applications and across Europe around 14% of the applications were successful. UL’s success rate of 24% demonstrates the talent of UL’s early career researchers, the contribution of their mentors and dedicated supports available at the University.

Meet the Marie Curie fellows:


Dr Aisling Ross

Dr Aisling Ross gained her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from UL in 2020. Dr Ross was one of two researchers to achieve the top score in the Life Sciences panel in Europe this year. Dr Ross will spend two years of her fellowship at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), University of Melbourne, Australia working on the contribution of the Epstein-Barr Virus and the Tumour Microenvironment to Anti-Apoptotic Mechanisms in Diffuse Large B-Cell (lymphoma). In the third year, she will re-join Prof Paul Murray’s lab at the Health Research Institute, UL

Dr Jenna Lorusso gained her PhD from Western University Canada, subsequently joining UL as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr Lorusso will spend her two-year fellowship working on co-creating a preparatory policy engagement programme for quality physical education with Prof Ann MacPhail at the Dept of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, University of Limerick

Dr Jenna Lorusso
Dr Siobhan Griffin

Dr Siobhán Griffin gained her PhD from the Dept of Psychology at UL in 2020. Dr Griffin was awarded a three-year global fellowship to examine the biological mechanisms linking depression with increased cardiovascular disease risk and to test the potential of social identity interventions in alleviating such risk. Dr Griffin will spend two years working in the Baylor Behavioural Medicine laboratory at Baylor University, Texas, USA and a third year back at the Dept of Psychology, UL under the mentorship of Prof Orla Muldoon

Dr Joseph Mooney will research passive, carbon-neutral, clean water technologies for tackling the ever-increasing global water crisis. He graduated in 2022 with a PhD in passive thermal management of 5G Data Centres at the University of Limerick and is currently pursuing a postdoc in Trinity College Dublin. Dr Mooney will work with Prof Evelyn N Wang at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA for two years and Dr. Vanessa Egan and Prof Jeff Punch at Stokes Laboratories in the University of Limerick's Bernal Institute, UL. Dr Mooney was placed second in the Engineering panel in Europe with a scoring of 99.2% for his project

Dr Joseph Mooney

Would you like to apply in 2022? Contact your supervisor at your faculty or department to apply by 22nd April. Find out more here.

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowships provide salary and mobility funding for researchers who want to enhance their career through an academic residency abroad. The programme is part of the EU’s Horizon Europe research programme. Researchers apply for grants in collaboration with the academic host teams in which they will be working. The fellow conducts research at a European institution for 12–24 months, or 36 months in the case of a global fellowship. The EU grant is worth €200,000-280,000 per fellowship.

For selected candidates, the University organises intensive training in May-June for the Marie Curie Individual Fellowships scholarships who choose Limerick as their research host. Each spring, the selected participants meet their research groups at the University, learn about the research infrastructures and take part in specific training on the most effective ways to submit their application.