TU Dublin Researchers Receive New Foundations funding from Irish Research Council

6 Apr, 2021

Three Researchers at TU Dublin - Professor Una Hunt, Dr Deirdre McQuillan and Dr Emma Howard - have received funding from the Irish Research Council's New Foundations Scheme.

On Tuesday, 6 April, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD,  welcomed Irish Research Council funding for 76 New Foundations projects that will bring researchers and community/voluntary organisations together to share knowledge and develop new insights to help create a better society for all.

Since 2015, over 200 community, voluntary and charity organisations have engaged across various Irish Research Council programmes, 278 projects have been funded with an associated investment in excess of €6.5 million.

The 76 projects announced on Tuesday will reach out across communities to look at diverse issues, including those affecting carers, senior citizens, young people, migrant communities, and the LGBT+ community. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the wellbeing of different groups in society and on the delivery of services is also a significant theme within the research projects being announced.

Commenting today, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD said: “These research collaborations are helping with some very important community and voluntary sector projects. I welcome that the highest ever number of funding awards are being made today by the Irish Research Council to support these research collaborations with the community and voluntary sector. This vibrant sector plays such an important role in supporting different groups in society, including the more vulnerable or marginalised. Through partnerships with researchers, such as the projects being announced today, diverse community organisations can bring new evidence and insights to enhance their services and impact for those that need them.”

The research projects at TU Dublin that will be funded are the following:

Improving the communication of health risks, and increasing vaccine uptake, in the context of Covid 19

Dr Emma Howard, Lecturer in Economics, School of Marketing at TU Dublin, has received IRC New Foundations funding for a project investigating public health communications to increase the uptake of COVID-19 vaccinations. “This project will use an experimental survey design to determine if behavioural economics insights can be used to better communicate health risks, and maximise public uptake of vaccines across all age groups. Risks will be framed and explained in several different ways, and numerous incentives to get the vaccine will be tested to identify the most effective public policy interventions in the fight against COVID-19.”

Modelling the business of artist's portfolio careers or ARTCAREER

Dr Deirdre McQuillan from the College of Business was also awarded funding from the Irish Research Council through the New Foundations scheme for a project on 'modelling the business of artist’s portfolio careers'. This project explores and maps the portfolio careers of artists with the aim of developing a framework for artist portfolio career management. 

Performance Research Ireland Dissemination Project

Professor Una Hunt of TU Dublin Conservatoire has received funding to mount the first festival of music performance research at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. Underpinned by TU Dublin, the event will bring the discipline before new audiences, both live and virtual, and support the work of the National Forum for Music Performance Research through building a culture of excellence for performers engaging in research.

The resulting audio-visual podcasts will form the nucleus of a repository showcasing the work of active performer-researchers on the Performance Research Ireland website. Through its collaboration with the National Concert Hall, the festival focuses on widening the scope and impact of performance research by attracting a wide community of participants in genres such as Classical, Jazz, Irish Traditional Music and World Musics, and Composition, Pedagogy and Teaching Methodologies.

Speaking about the project, Professor Una Hunt said, “I am delighted to have received funding for this exciting new venture and look forward to developing the project through research at TU Dublin and in partnership with the National Concert Hall and its education and outreach initiatives."

The New Foundations scheme also includes strands supported by government departments and agencies. In each of the past three years, a dedicated strand of the call provides opportunities for researchers to work on important areas of policy, including global development, crime, creativity and children.

Commenting on the funding partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown, said: “The ongoing partnership between the Irish Research Council and the Department of Foreign Affairs under this programme is very welcome and continues to build a pipeline of research collaborations for future projects that support enhanced cooperation between the global north and global south, focusing on innovative responses to global challenges within the framework of the 2030 agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Extending partnerships with government departments and agencies is a key action under the Irish Research Council’s Strategic Plan 2020-2024. As the Covid-19 pandemic has shown, the expertise of researchers across diverse disciplines is a valuable resource for policy. Accordingly, we are also delighted to be announcing today the New Foundations awards made under strands funded by the Creative Ireland Programme; the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth; and the Department of Justice, respectively.

The New Foundations scheme will run again this year, and further information is available here while today's full announcement is available on the Irish Research Council website