A file image of people walking on the Living Bridge at UL
Thursday, March 30, 2023

Three academics at University of Limerick are among the first members appointed to a new all-island network of early career researchers and innovators.

The Royal Irish Academy today announced the first 40 members of the new Young Academy of Ireland (YAI), established to promote greater engagement and opportunities for early career researchers and innovators.

The UL members are Dr Lydia Bracken, Senior Lecturer in Law, Assistant Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Dr Jennifer McMahon, Lecturer in Psychology and Irish lead for CoSPACE Ireland and Dr Dervla Kelly, Lecturer in Medical Education.

The academy will support early career researchers in leadership roles, contributing to equality, diversity and inclusion, developing networks and skills and encouraging members to utilise their expertise and potential to tackle important issues and challenges in society and promote meaningful change.

The YAI provides a voice for individuals from many different sectors and backgrounds to share ideas and develop thinking on significant matters and actively participate in discussions that address national and global issues.

This new Academy is supported by the Royal Irish Academy and Accenture.

Professor Pat Guiry, President of the Royal Irish Academy said: “We are proud to announce the members of the new Young Academy of Ireland. The Royal Irish Academy has established this platform for early career researchers to empower talented, emerging leaders and future leaders, and to give early career researchers a distinct voice in research and policy discussions.

“The first cohort of Young Academy members are based across the island of Ireland and are planning to make a significant contribution to society by addressing many pressing national and global challenges. I wish the new Young Academy members every success in their endeavours and I look forward to working with them in the years ahead and to seeing the fruits of their important research.”

The YAI consists of forty members from Ireland and Northern Ireland and members were selected after a competitive recruitment process launched by the Royal Irish Academy last year.

The successful candidates include researchers, academics, scientists, innovators, clinicians, economists, and professionals who have each made a significant contribution to their field and beyond their individual disciplines.

Members represent a multi-disciplinary platform from the Life Sciences, Physical, Engineering, and Computer Sciences, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Business and Technology.

It is part of a global initiative of Young Academies and the new members will officially take up their post on April 25, with membership to run for four years.

The new Academy will also engage in outreach activities, help to improve public understanding of how research works and contributes to societal benefits and strengthen high level skills among early career researchers.

Medb Corcoran, Ireland Lead, Accenture Labs, said: “We are delighted to support the announcement of the new Young Academy of Ireland members. The Young Academy brings together early career researchers who are accomplished and skilled in a wide range of disciplines and will collectively contribute to a prosperous and better Ireland and beyond our shores.

“We are pleased to support this forum and I look forward to the exciting opportunities and projects the Young Academy Members will undertake to find ground-breaking solutions to the challenges facing societies now and in the future.”