The Irish Research Council’s suite of Enterprise Programmes are designed to support Enterprise-Academia-Social engagement through exceptional individual researchers. These programmes are aligned with the Council’s mission to fund excellent Scholars and Fellows across all disciplines, to encourage interdisciplinary research and to promote engagement with enterprise.

The primary strategic objective of the Council centres on building an expertise-driven research system to enhance Ireland’s creative and innovation capacity and skills base in a rapidly changing global environment where knowledge is key to economic, social and cultural development. The Enterprise Programmes, being open to all disciplines, contribute significantly towards this remit.

For early stage researchers, the programmes create employment opportunities, offer the opportunity to work in a partnering company or organisation, and enable them to gain a postgraduate qualification or postdoctoral research experience. Furthermore, these schemes nurture the development of transferable skills, with researchers being co-supervised by leading experts in enterprise and academic domains. Companies benefit from working with exceptional researchers on innovative projects and from engaging in research that suits their business needs. The scheme offers excellent value for money, maximising shared benefits and outcomes and minimising risk.

What is an Enterprise/Employment Partner?

For these Schemes ‘Enterprise/Employment Partners’ can be a business, a company, a registered charity, a social, cultural, not-for-profit or non-governmental organisation in any sector. To date, the Council has engaged with over 300 Enterprise/Employment Partners and is always eager to support exciting new partnerships and collaborations that link employers with talented postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers.

Are you looking to engage with exceptional researchers?

 Would you like to have an exceptional researcher onsite?



Masters, PhD, Postdoc

Masters, PhD

IRC funds 66%

Enterprise Partner funds 33%

Max. Enterprise Contribution of €8,000

IRC funds €24,000 (€16,000 to Scholar; €8,000 to HEI)

Employment Partner €8,000 towards costs or top to Graduate Entry Salary

Researcher based in Irish HEI with placement opportunity in Enterprise Partner

Researcher employed by Employment Partner and spends 50-70% time with them and remainder of time in Irish HEI

Enterprise Partner based anywhere in world

Employment Partner based in Ireland