Irish universities expand scholarship scheme for BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition winners 2020

The Irish Universities Association (IUA) is happy to announce the expansion of the university scholarship scheme for the 56th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE). Since 2015 more than 40 second-level students have been awarded entrance scholarships to their choice of IUA member universities – DCU, NUI Galway, MU, TCD, UCC, UCD and UL.

The scholarship scheme aims to encourage and reward participation by second-level school students in science and technology as well as to raise awareness of the importance of these areas in Irish education and society.

The overall winner of the BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year Award will receive a €2,000 scholarship. Additional scholarships, worth €1,000 each, are awarded to all winners of the senior individual and group categories, as follows:

  • Biological and Ecological Sciences
  • Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences
  • Social and Behavioural Sciences
  • Technology

Now in 2020, the Irish universities have expanded the scholarship scheme to include two new categories of scholarships worth €1,000 to each student:

  • Overall runner up (Group, Senior Level)
  • Overall runner up (Individual, Senior Level)

The seven universities are delighted to award these additional scholarships for the BT Young Scientist overall senior individual and group runners-up which, along with the well-established scholarships for BT Young Scientist overall and category winners, recognise and celebrate the exceptional achievements of BT Young Scientist students.

“The university scholarships are designed to encourage and support the participation by ambitious groups and individuals across our post-primary schools in all fields of science and technology, so important in addressing the major societal challenges which Ireland and the world are currently facing.”- Lewis Purser, IUA Director of Learning, Teaching and Academic Affairs.

The relationship between the universities and the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is a long one. The competition was originally founded by two UCD physics researchers, Rev. Dr. Tom Burke and Dr. Tony Scott. The two scientists were inspired by the idea of science fairs while conducting research in the United States in the 1960’s and decided to tailor the idea for Ireland. Most of the judges in the 2020 BTYSTE are senior academics in Irish universities.

“The BT exhibition is one of the finest examples of organisations working together on the shared goal of encouraging school students’ interest in science and technology. We are incredibly indebted to the universities for providing entrance scholarships to 40 students since 2015, and today’s expansion announcement is a further boost to the positive impact we can have on young peoples’ education and lives.”- Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland.

Last year a record 3,773 students from 374 schools across the island of Ireland took part in the hopes of achieving what has become a prestigious title. Today marks the 56th year of the competition with over 550 projects due to be exhibited in the RDS.


For more information please contact:

Lewis Purser, Director of Learning, Teaching and Academic Affairs IUA, 01 6764948

Kate Wood, IUA Communications Officer at

Notes for the editor:

The 7 universities awarding the scholarships are

  • Dublin City University
  • National University of Ireland Galway
  • Maynooth University
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • University College Cork
  • University College Dublin
  • University of Limerick