The aim of the scholarship
The aim of the Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship, hereinafter referred to as the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship, is to support suitably qualified research master’s and doctoral candidates pursuing, or intending to pursue, full-time research in any discipline.
A number of other national organisations partner with the Council and support the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship scheme as a mechanism to deliver on our shared national objectives. The Council’s strategic funding partners for 2017 are:
The Conflict Resolution Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), in partnership with the Council, will fund research to examine areas relevant to the work of the Conflict Resolution Unit, as outlined in Appendix 1. Scholars under this theme will hold an Andrew Grene Postgraduate Scholarship in Conflict Resolution.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with the Council, will fund research under the ‘EPA Research Programme (2014– 2020)’ pillars of Climate, Water and Sustainability, as outlined in Appendix 2. Scholars under this theme will hold an Environment Protection Agency Postgraduate Scholarship, hereinafter referred to as an EPA Postgraduate Scholarship.
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA), in partnership with the Council, will fund research directly related to ‘Better Outcomes Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People (2014–2020). Scholars under this theme will hold a Department of Children and Youth Affairs Growing Up in Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship, hereinafter referred to as a DCYA Growing Up in Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship. Please note that applicants to this theme may only apply for a traditional or structured doctoral degree.
Scholarship types and duration of funding available
All scholarships must commence on 1 October 2017.
A scholar who is a new entrant to the postgraduate degree for which the Council has awarded funding is entitled to funding for the full duration of the degree subject to these Terms and Conditions. For scholars who have already completed part of the postgraduate degree for which they have been awarded Council funding, the duration of funding to be awarded is dependent on the type of postgraduate degree being pursued and the date of first registration.
The scholarship is not intended to substitute or augment funds available under programmatic research actions. A scholar who is already registered for one of the degrees listed in the table on page 5 is not eligible for funding except for scholars falling within Clauses:
- a scholar who has completed part of the degree on the basis of being self-funded
- a scholar who has completed part of the degree on the basis of being in receipt of a Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) grant
- a scholar who has completed part of the degree on the basis of being in receipt of a HEI-funded bursary or scholarship
- a scholar who has completed part of the degree on the basis of being in receipt of a Central Remedial Clinic Ciaran Barry Graduate Scholarship
Applicants must fulfil the following criteria
- have a first class or upper second-class honours bachelor’s, or the equivalent, degree2. If undergraduate examination results are not known at the time of application, the Council may make a provisional offer of a scholarship on condition that the scholar’s bachelor’s, or the equivalent, degree result is a first class or upper second-class honours. If a scholar does not have a first class or upper second-class honours bachelor’s, or the equivalent, degree, they must possess a master’s degree. The Council’s determination of an applicant’s eligibility on these criteria is final;
- must not have had two previous unsuccessful applications to the scheme, including strategic partner themes within the scheme. This includes applications since 2009 to the EMBARK Scheme previously run by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, and the Government of Ireland Scholarship Scheme previously run by the Irish Council for Humanities and Social Sciences;
- must be a new entrant to the degree for which they are to receive Council funding and have been formally accepted by the relevant department/school by, at the latest, 1 October 2017, or fulfil the criteria in Clause 4.3 if already registered and part of the degree has been completed;
- in the case of applications for a research master’s scholarship, applicants must not currently hold, or have previously held, a Council Postgraduate Scholarship;
- in the case of applications for a doctoral degree scholarship, applicants must not currently hold, or have previously held, any Council Postgraduate Scholarship other than those which would enable them to obtain a research master’s degree.
The total value of the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship and all Strategic Funding Partner Scholarships will be up to a maximum of €24,000 in any approved year and will consist of the following:
- a stipend of €16,000 per annum within the funding term;
- a contribution to fees, including non-EU scholarship fees, paid to the HEI up to a maximum of €5,750 per annum. Any differential must be paid by the scholar and/or HEI. Scholars who hold a fee waiver from their HEI, or where no fee is required, or where fees are paid in full or in part by a third party, must inform the Council and the appropriate offices in their HEI and will not be eligible for the fee portion of the scholarship;
- eligible direct research expenses up to a maximum of €2,250 per annum to enable the scholar to carry out the research project. Eligible direct research costs include essential research supplies such as small consumables; books and journals; pay-as-you-go access to national research infrastructure; software and hardware critical for the research5 (to be obtained in the first year of the award or in the first three months of a one-year award); archival research costs; conference travel and participation; generic and/or specialist disciplinary skills training; and publishing and write-up costs. The exact amount of eligible direct research expenses is subject to sufficient justification being made in the application. Only vouched expenses incurred in carrying out the research project will be funded.
It is only permissible for any unspent balance of eligible direct research expenses to be carried over from the previous year of the scholarship. Apart from this exception, funds may not be carried forward from one year to the next.
No funds provided by the Council as part of the scholarship fund may be used by the HEI to cover overhead or administrative costs.
Funding will only be provided for the research project as presented in the application. If it is proposed to make any significant departures from the research project during the funding term, the consent of the Council must be sought in advance. Proposals for changes in research project will be independently peer-reviewed and the Council’s decision on whether to approve the proposed change(s) will be final.
Expenses that occur outside the funding term are not eligible under the scholarship.
While the award is made to the individual scholar, the scholarship fund is administered through the appropriate office within the HEI.
Location of scholarship
- Scholarships must be held at an eligible HEI
- Scholars must maintain an actual presence within their respective departments/schools throughout their scholarship and reside within a reasonable travelling distance of the HEI.
- The Council requires scholars and academic supervisors to have regular contact. Academic supervisors must be based at the same HEI as the scholar.
- the Council recognises that the scholars may benefit from spending part of the scholarship away from their HEI. Such periods may involve:
- attending courses which are relevant to the scholar’s training. The Council will not normally sanction such courses longer than one academic term in duration and will not be liable for paying any additional fees or expenses associated with such courses;
- spending part of the academic year engaged in research in Ireland or abroad in an organisation other than the HEI.
- In order to take up such an opportunity of more than four weeks’ duration, the scholar must apply in advance to the Council for permission and include the written support of their academic supervisor. A template will be available for this purpose. The Council will not be liable for any additional fees or expenses arising other than those detailed in the original application. Information regarding any research-related trips must be documented as part of the required progress reporting.
- While the Council expects scholars to complete their research at the HEI as originally proposed in their application, the Council recognises that exceptional circumstances may call for a change of location or of academic supervisor. In these cases, the scholar and proposed new academic supervisor and/or HEI (department/school), must write to the Council stating the case for the change. The Council will examine the submission on its merits and respond with a decision on whether funding will continue in the new circumstances.
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