Research funding programme to support NGOs in policy making for global development

The humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean, gender-based violence in Malawi, and the role of music in the lives of children in direct provision are amongst the research topics being funded by the Irish Research Council this year under its New Foundations programme.

Details of the programme – which supports research on civic society and public policy issues – were announced today.

In total, the Irish Research Council is providing €1 million to researchers across Ireland, with 90 research projects receiving awards. Almost one-third (28) of the projects involve collaboration between higher education researchers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

A particular emphasis has been placed on collaboration with development NGOs, with the Irish Research Council embarking on a strategic partnership with Dóchas, the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations. As a result, organisations including Trócaire, Concern Worldwide, GOAL, ActionAid Ireland and Doras Luimní will participate in research projects under New Foundations.

Commenting today, Dr Eucharia Meehan, Director of the Irish Research Council, said: “The Council works with a range of societal stakeholders, such as Dóchas, to ensure that research develops the knowledge and evidence base for civil society.

“It is essential that research is supported and conducted that has a strong and tangible impact by informing national and indeed international policymaking in areas such as global development. The partnership between the Irish Research Council and Dóchas will facilitate researchers to exchange knowledge and spread their work beyond academia.”

Research to Support NGOs’ Work with the “World’s Most Marginalised People”

Suzanne Keatinge, CEO of Dóchas, welcomed today’s announcement. “We congratulate the NGOs and researchers who have been awarded funding and we look forward to seeing the results of their projects,” she said. “As NGOs, we are constantly evolving and looking for new and innovative ways to bring about positive change. This partnership with the Irish Research Council will provide NGOs across the Dóchas network with valuable research, ensuring greater impact in their work to support the world’s most marginalised people.”

In addition to the 12 projects involving collaboration with development and civic society NGOs, a further 16 projects have been supported to assist NGOs engage with the large European research funding programme Horizon 2020, with a further 62 research projects receiving New Foundations funding for the development of networks, conference development, conference participation or attendance, workshops, knowledge exchange and general dissemination activities.

The full list of New Foundations awardees for 2015 can be found here.

Pictured L-R: Dr Su-Ming Khoo (NUIG), Professor Richard Layte (TCD), Dr Eucharia Meehan (Director IRC), Suzanne Keatinge (CEO, Dóchas), Peter Brown (Assistant Director, IRC), Karen Kennedy (Trócaire), Joanne Malone (Suas Educational Development), Sinead O’Mahony (GOAL), Siobhán McGee (Action Aid) and Dr John Morrissey (NUIG).