Enterprise Partnership Scheme (EPS)

Scheme overview

  • This is one of our longest running Enterprise programmes and has had great interest from companies including both SMEs, and MNCs. It offers flexible and easy access to an exceptional pool of competitively selected, high-calibre researchers and provides the opportunity to build links with relevant academic research groups. 
  • We have over 300 companies registered for this particular Scheme who work closely with students completing a Masters (1 year or 2 years if structured) or a PhD (3 years or 4 years if structured) degree or an experienced Postdoctoral researcher (2 years). 
  • The Enterprise Partner can be based anywhere in the world and the project is agreed between the researcher, Irish Higher Education Institution (HEI) and Enterprise Partner. 
  • The Research Project is not intended for contract research
  • The Enterprise Partner provides professional guidance and mentoring to the individual researcher as well as access to experimental facilities or data for the agreed Research Project. 
  • The researcher has an opportunity to complete a placement with the Enterprise Partner while registered at an Irish HEI. 
  • The Enterprise Partner must sign an IP Agreement with the HEI and agree to co-fund at a rate of one third for the full duration of the award.

How much does it cost the Enterprise Partner?

  • The Scholarship (Masters, PhD) funding consists of €24,000pa, of which the Irish Research Council contributes 2/3rds and the Enterprise Partner 1/3 per annum. The maximum Enterprise contribution is €8,000pa. The €24,000pa covers a stipend to the researcher of €16,000pa, and €8,000pa, paid to the HEI to cover fees (max. €5,570pa) and eligible direct research expenses of up to a max of €2,250pa. 
  • The Fellowship (Postdoctoral) funding consists of a maximum of €45,895 pa, of which the Irish Research Council contributes 2/3rds and the Enterprise Partner 1/3 per annum. The maximum Enterprise contribution is €15,298.50pa. The €45,895pa covers a salary of €40,895 (including PRSI & pension) and eligible direct research support expenses of up to a max of €5,000 pa.

What are the benefits of this scheme to Enterprise Partners?

  • Access to talented pre-assessed researchers and potential future employees 
  • Build research networks and collaborations with Irish HEIs 
  • Maximised potential for innovation – people & Ideas 
  • Low level of bureaucracy – streamlined process from application to award 
  • Value for money

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Q. How much must a company provide to support a researcher?
A. The Enterprise Partner’s contribution is to the value of 1/3 of the award, which must continue for the programme duration (e.g. 1-2 years for postdoctoral researchers, 3-4 years for postgraduate researchers). For postgraduate awardees, this contribution is a max of €8,000pa. For postdoctoral awardees, the contribution is again 1/3 of the award’s value: a max of €15,300 per annum. The overall award value of postdoctoral awards is higher, given the more advanced and experienced nature of these researchers.

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 this following link

Q. When is the next call?
A. The current call for proposals is open with applications closing on 10 June 2016. We would then anticipate researchers commencing their projects in February 2017.

Q. My company is interested in supporting both an Irish researcher in a HEI but also has the opportunity with a researcher in an overseas institution. Is this allowable?
A. Irish Research Council awards are made to researchers who will be primarily Ireland-based during their projects. However, it would be possible for applicants to build relevant overseas training/placements into their project proposals.


For more information about the 2016 Enterprise Partnership Scheme (Postgraduate), please click here. For more information about the 2016 Enterprise Partnership Scheme (Postdoctoral), please click here.