Employment Based Programme (EBP)

Scheme overview

  • This programme was piloted in 2012 to provide a co-educational opportunity for researchers as they are employed directly by the Employment Partner but are full time students working full time on their research degree. It offers flexible and easy access to an exceptional pool of competitively selected, high-calibre researchers and/or the opportunity to up-skill current employees
  • Almost 50% of the successful applicants in our pilot programme were current employees of Employment Partners taking a research degree to up-skill in areas of relevance to the Employment Partner. 
  • Researchers can complete a Masters (1 year or 2 years, if structured) or a PhD (3 years or 4 years if structured) degree.
  • The Research Project is not intended for contract research
  • The Employment Partner must be based in Ireland and the project is agreed between the researcher, Irish Higher Education Institution (HEI) and Employment Partner. 
  • The Enterprise Partner provides professional guidance and mentoring to the individual researcher. The researcher must spend 50-70% of their time based on site with the Employment Partner and the remainder of the time at the Irish HEI. 
  • The Employment Partner must sign an IP Agreement with the HEI and provide the researcher with access to the necessary experimental facilities/data for the agreed Research Project.

How much does it cost the Enterprise Partner?

  • The Scholarship (Masters, PhD) funding consists of €24,000pa, which the Irish Research Council pays to the Irish HEI. Out of this amount the HEI pays the fees (max. €5,570pa) and administers the eligible direct research expenses of €2,250pa and then gives €16,000pa to the Employment Partner as a contribution to salary costs. The maximum Enterprise contribution is €8,000pa over and above the €16,000pa or a top up to the graduate entry salary of the company which is inclusive of all PRSI and pension costs. As the researcher is an employee of the Employment Partner for the duration of the award, all PRSI, pensions contributions etc. must complied with through the Employment Partner’s payroll system.

What are the benefits of this Scheme to Employment Partners? 

  • Access to talented pre-assessed researchers as new employees or the opportunity to up-skill existing employees 
  • Dedicated researcher on site 
  • New research networks and collaborations with Irish HEIs 
  • Low level of bureaucracy – streamlined process from application to award 
  • Maximised potential for innovation – people & ideas 
  • Value for money

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Q. When will the 2017 call open?
A. We expect that the next Employment Based Programme call will open in December 2016, and we anticipate the award start date to be October 2017. Under this Programme, the researcher is employed by the company, and the researcher’s salary will be negotiated between the researcher and the Employment Partner. The Employment Partner is required to contribute a minimum of €8,000 per annum. Irish Research Council funding calls are regularly reviewed in light of feedback received from stakeholders.

Q. I am the owner of an SME and I want to register for this scheme, how do I register and source researchers?
A. In order to register your company’s interest, please complete the form at the following link

For information about the 2016 Employment Based Postgraduate Programme (EBP) call, please click here.