On Tuesday, the Irish Research Council announced that Dr Muhammad Atif Qureshi had been awarded funding for a project under Collaborative Alliances for Societal Challenges (COALESCE).
Dr Qureshi is a lecturer in the College of Business at TU Dublin and a researcher with the Explainable Analytics Research Group.
Speaking about the funding announcement, Peter Brown, Director of the Irish Research Council, said: “The investment announced today is vital in finding innovative ways to address major issues in society – such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the housing crisis and climate change. The COALESCE fund provides a unique opportunity for researchers to break down barriers between different disciplines and collaborate with peers across different sectors and departments, which will deliver results that will benefit every facet of Irish society. Addressing these challenges is a key priority for us at the Irish Research Council.”
The research project titled “InEire: Towards an Inclusive Ireland through an Economic Assessment of Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in Ireland” aims to advance social policy initiatives around immigration rules, employment schemes, and criminal code of conduct on racism while ensuring a peaceful and just society in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals.
Despite generally being known as a friendly country, Ireland has also seen a somewhat sharp increase in anti-immigrant sentiment, especially in the last decade, leading to rising concerns related to harmony and inclusivity in Irish society. Recent incidents such as racist tweets towards Lord Mayor Hazel Chu (the first Irish-born person of Chinese descent elected to political office in Ireland) have indicated growing anti-immigrant sentiment. We aim to propose a comprehensive monitoring/assessment of Irish public sentiment towards immigrants in line with this.
InEire falls under Strand 2A of Irish Research Council’s COALESCE scheme, which involves collaboration between an Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences discipline and a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics discipline. The STEM co-Principal Investigator for this project is Dr Simon Caton of University College Dublin, who will lead the development of an online sentiment monitoring tool.
On an organisational level, InEire also includes the Immigrant Council of Ireland as a project partner. ICI is an Independent Law Centre working to assist people from a migrant background, improving and protecting their rights since its establishment in 2001. The project will involve academic collaborators Sandra Ruiz Moriana of United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) – Ireland, Dr Lucia Morales of TU Dublin, and Dr Arjumand Younus of Afiniti AI and TU Dublin.
More information about COALESCE is available from the Irish Research Council website.