COFUND Information Event Interviewee Vox Pops

Our speakers also took the time to answer some of the key questions relating to the COFUND programme and advise on what makes a successful application.

Dr. Alan Craig, Head of Sector at the Research Executive Agency:
How does COFUND benefit a country or region?

Dr. Alan Craig, Head of Sector at the Research Executive Agency:
In your opinion, what constitutes a top class application?

Dr. Conor O’Carroll, Independent Consultant on Research and Higher Education Policy at SciPol:
What are your top tips as an evaluator for COFUND applications and how best can they incorporate interdisciplinary?

Dr. Maire Brophy, EU Research Manager, ADAPT Centre, TCD:
What is unique about the EDGE COFUND?


Dr. Imelda Lambkin, Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund Manager, Enterprise Ireland:
How will the FIT-Career programme equip researchers for a future career in the industrial sector?


Dr. Imelda Lambkin, Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund Manager, Enterprise Ireland:
What are the top two factors important to winning a second COFUND?


Liam Cronin, Associate Director of Commercialisation, ADAPT Centre, TCD:
How does one best involve industry in large projects and what are the associated advantages?


IUA dismayed at attacks on university autonomy and academic freedom in Hungary -13th December 2018

The Irish Universities Association (IUA) is dismayed by the latest developments in Hungary involving attacks on university autonomy and academic freedom, resulting in the Central European University (CEU) moving a large part of its activities out of Hungary from the 2019-20 academic year. The IUA echoes calls from other concerned observers for the Hungarian government to be mindful that freedom from political intervention and pressure is an essential condition for universities to fulfill their critical role in society. It is essential that universities across Europe maintain their autonomy and capacity to speak with an independent voice at a time of increasing uncertainty and fragility in our democracies.



Please contact:

Lia O’Sullivan, Head of Communications, Irish Universities Association    01 676 4948 / 085 714 1414



 For more information on the issues faced by CEU –

IUA’s 2017 letter of support to CEU

IUA Statement 22 March 2018: IUA welcomes Government announcement of €29.6m investment by the Irish Research Council in frontier research

The Irish Universities Association welcomes today’s announcement by Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton T.D. of €29.6 million investment by the Irish Research Council in ‘frontier research’ projects. 

Thirty-six researchers will receive funding under the Irish Research Council’s new Laureate Awards to conduct ground-breaking research in the Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering, and the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Commenting on the announcement Jim Miley, Director General of the Irish Universities Association said: “The IRC Laureate Awards is an important milestone in research funding. It provides essential support for frontier basic research which helps Ireland to build its competitiveness in world class research. It is essential that this tranche of funding is further supported by increased investment in research as part of the government’s ambition to grow our research funding from the current level of 1.5% of GDP to in excess of 2%. Sustained investment in research is the best possible foundation for future economic growth.”

IUA is delighted that some of the first recipients of the new Laureate awards come from a number of our member universities including:

  • Dr. Sarah Doyle, based at Trinity College Dublin, whose research is focused on age-related vision loss;
  • Dr. Larisa Florea, based at Dublin City University, who will develop micro-vehicles to navigate through the human body to recognise, diagnose and treat a variety of diseases;
  • Dr. Jacopo Bisagni, based at National University of Ireland, Galway, who is researching how intellectual exchanges between Ireland, Brittany and Francia during the Carolingian age (c. AD 750-1000) laid the foundations of Europe as we know it;
  • Dr. Dawn Walsh, based at University College Dublin, whose research will explore the role played by independent commissions in peace processes.

Click here for full Irish Research Council announcement


For more information contact:

Lia O’Sullivan  |  Communications and Projects Manager 
Irish Universities Association | Tel: +353 (0)1 6764948 |  |  

DES Press Release 13 March 2018: Minister Bruton Announces Extra Places on Teacher Training Courses

Post primary undergraduate and postgraduate courses expanded for Targeted Subject areas of STEM, Irish and Foreign Languages

The Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton T.D. today announced, following consultation with the Irish Universities Association, an expansion of the number of places on post primary teacher education courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The Minister also announced that there will be additional places provided in the priority areas of STEM, Irish and Foreign Languages.

Teachers play a central role in achieving the Government’s ambition to make the Irish education and training service the best in Europe within a decade. Significant additional investment has been made in the provision of additional teachers in recent years and we are now recruiting more new teachers than at any other point in the history of the state. Over 5,000 additional teachers have been successfully recruited in the last two years.

However, while the numbers graduating from post primary teacher education courses – both at undergraduate and postgraduate level, have remained broadly constant over the past number of years, the number of students entering post primary is increasing and will continue to do so until 2025. The Government is responding to this growth by increasing the number of places on post primary teacher education programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Within the context of the overall ambition to become the best in Europe, the Government has set out very ambitious strategies in STEM, foreign languages and digital. Each of these strategies is committed to taking action to address the supply of teachers in these areas. We are now providing additional places to ensure the system can respond more readily to national priorities and the needs of schools.

The new measures are as the follows:

  • The Universities will increase the capacity on undergraduate initial teacher education programmes by an estimated 280 places in 2018.
  • This includes an increase in the priority areas of STEM, Irish and foreign languages of more than 100 places, an increase of over 40% on 2017 in these areas.
  • At postgraduate level, the Universities will increase the capacity on PME programmes by more than 100 places in the priority areas of STEM, Irish and foreign languages.
  • The universities and Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC) have extended the closing date to Friday 13 April for applications for entry to PME programmes for Irish and the targeted STEM and foreign language subjects (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, French, German, Spanish and Italian).

Announcing these new measures, Minister Bruton said. “The quality of our teachers and school leaders is the number one factor which will influence the outcome for the child and we are very lucky in Ireland to have high quality teachers.

“Some concerns have been raised recently around teacher supply issues. I have previously announced some measures to support schools in managing these issues, including expanding the number of days a teacher can work while on a career break. Today, I am taking further action by expanding the number of places on teacher education programmes with a heavy emphasis on certain subject areas at post primary level, to ensure that schools can get the right mix of subject teachers.

“Teaching is a fantastic profession for any young person considering their options, with a starting salary for a teacher straight out of college of nearly €36,000, increasing to €37,600 from October 2020. I’ve also recently announced an additional 3,000 leadership posts, meaning 1 in 3 teachers in our schools will now be in a leadership position.

“I welcome this year’s provisional CAO figures which show an 8% increase in those applying to study primary education and 4% in secondary education. I would like to take this opportunity to remind final year leaving certificate students who may still be considering a career in teaching that that they can use the CAO “change of mind” facility up to 1st July 2018.”


Notes to Editors

Minister Bruton has already taken a number of measures to alleviate pressures in this area.

  • The restriction on the number of days a teacher can work while on career break has been temporarily lifted
  • Employers were reminded that “in considering applications for career breaks, the welfare and educational needs of the pupils shall take precedence over all other considerations and accordingly, must take account of the availability of appropriate qualified replacement teachers”.
  • The number of students admitted to St, Angela’s, Sligo, in the current year, to study the home economics programme has been increased.
  • As part of the policy on Gaeltacht education, the Minister has also made funding available for the provision of two additional posts tor the existing Irish medium post primary initial teacher education programme in NUIG and is increasing from 2018/19 the number of places available on the programme.
  • All teachers retiring in 2017 were informed that in order to remain eligible for employment in a state funded teaching post for a period of more than five consecutive days or to supervise the State examinations, they must maintain their registrations with the Teaching Council.

Statement 19th Jan 2018: IUA welcomes HEA report showing high levels of employability among university graduates

The Irish Universities Association (IUA) welcomes the publication of the HEA’s report “What Do Graduates Do? – The Class of 2016”. This report, which is an analysis of the first destinations of the 2016 class of university graduates, shows clearly the high levels of employability among Irish university graduates.

Following on the trend of the last ten years, throughout the entire economic crisis, university graduates across all fields of study have been shown to be significantly less likely to be unemployed than the general population. This is testament to the quality of Irish university graduates, as well as to the quality of education and research supports provided by academic and other staff across the university sector. This is in the face of the ongoing structural deficits in the funding of Irish universities, leading to one of the worst staff:student ratios in the OECD.

The Irish universities are committed to ensuring a high quality learning experience for their students, helping them develop their knowledge, skills and competences in their chosen fields of study and research, and also across a range of important generic skills which will be crucial in their future professional lives. The ongoing evaluations of academic programmes and departments across all universities, bringing in relevant international expertise and often in collaboration with enterprise partners, ensure that university study programmes remain relevant and internationally competitive.

The universities are also pleased to note the significant increase in graduate numbers gaining employment in Ireland, and who are now contributing significantly to the economic recovery of recent years.

Jim Miley, Director General of IUA said: “This HEA report is a testament to the enduring quality of Irish university graduates, and to the added value which universities bring to the country. It also proves once again the sustainable and rapid returns which investment in Irish higher education brings, both for individuals and the State. This report should encourage the Government in its stated ambition to invest substantial additional funds in Irish universities over the coming years, and to address the underlying structural funding deficit in the higher education sector. This is all the more important, given the known increase in higher level student numbers by 30% between now and 2030, and the positive impacts these future graduates will have on our country”.



For more information contact:

Lia O’Sullivan  |  Communications and Projects Manager 
Irish Universities Association | Tel: +353 (0)1 6764948 |  |  


Inaugural Seminar of the National Forum on Research Integrity

Responsible research and innovation:

Fostering a climate of excellence for Irish research

Royal Irish Academy, 3 Feb 2017, 11:00-16:00

The seminar aims to explore the topic of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) from a national and international viewpoint, focusing on how to establish and maintain a culture of responsible conduct of research. Topics will include the opportunities and challenges of developing and tracking the success of initiatives aimed at strengthening organisational culture change, and presented by Open Science, the dilemmas faced by researchers in conducting research in a highly competitive environment, and exploring the issues arising from collaborative research when the research culture differs between disciplines, sectors and countries.



CHAIR: Dr Maura Hiney, Head of Post-award and Evaluation, HRB and Chair of Science Europe RI Working Group

  • KEYNOTE 1:Prof Nick Steneck 

Creating a climate of research integrity – evidence for what works and ways to measure impact

Research Integrity Seminar 03 Feb 2017 – Nick Steneck Presentation

  • KEYNOTE 2: James Parry

Implementation and impact of the UK Concordat – lessons for Ireland

Research Integrity Seminar 03 Feb 2017 – J Parry UKRIO


Challenges to creating and sustaining a culture of research integrity – lessons from the US and the UK



CHAIR: James Parry, Chief Executive, UK Research Integrity Office

  • KEYNOTE 3: Dr Maura Hiney on behalf of Isidoros Karatzas of the European Commission 

There is no excellence without Research Integrity 

Research Integrity Seminar 03 Feb 2017 – M Hiney presentation on European Commission Info

  • KEYNOTE 4: Prof Anita Maguire

Ireland’s journey towards a harmonised approach to research integrity promotion and protection

Research Integrity Seminar 03 Feb 2017 – A Maguire UCC

    1. Authorship: Prof Alan Donnelly (UL)
    2. Data analysis: Prof John Browne (UCC)
    3. Research integrity training: Dr Ruth Dooley (CÚRAM, NUIG)
    4. Proportionate response to misconduct: Prof Enda McGlynn (DCU)

Challenges to creating and sustaining a culture of research integrity in Ireland:

  • Prof Anita Maguire, Chair, National Forum on Research Integrity
  • Dr Graham Love, Chief Executive, Health Research Board
  • Dr Gemma Irvine, Head of Policy and Strategic Planning, Higher Education Author


The National Forum would like to thank those who sponsored this event:

Environmental Protection Agency,  Health Research Board, Irish Research Council, Irish Universities Association, Royal Irish Academy, Science Foundation Ireland, Teagasc.





RIP: Our UCC colleague Louise Tobin

2f269d658efe697a3e4688581b15e879_400x400 (1)It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of our UCC colleague Louise Tobin on March 15th following a long illness which she fought with great courage and dignity.

Louise was the Director of International at University College Cork and went on to become the Director of Communications. She was an integral part of the IUA International Directors group where she contributed enormously to its activity and drove many of its successes.

On behalf of the IUA we would like to extend our condolences to her family and to her many friends in the UCC community.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis.


Funeral arrangements: