Minister Halligan joins research community in workshop to support young researchers

Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD, today (22.03.2017) addressed the Irish Research Council’s Workshop on Ireland’s Implementation of the Bratislava Declaration for Young Researchers. The workshop took place in the O’Callaghan Davenport Hotel, Gandon Suite North, Merrion Street Lower, Dublin 2.

The Declaration is centred on the following four aspirations of early-stage researchers: enabling great people to realise their ideas to understand and improve the world; sustainable and transparent career trajectories; diverse, collaborative, inter-disciplinary, open, and ethical research environment; and a healthy work-life balance.

Commenting at today’s workshop, Dr Eucharia Meehan, Director of the Irish Research Council said: “Irish research depends upon the passion, curiosity and concepts of young researchers. Today’s workshop is an excellent opportunity to tease out how Ireland can implement the four aspirations of the Bratislava Declaration for Young Researchers. By bringing together so many cohorts of the research community today, we can support early-stage researchers at such a pivotal point in their careers.” 

Address from Minister John Halligan

Today’s workshop was opened by the Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD. Speaking at the event, he said: “The Government’s research strategy, ‘Innovation 2020: Excellence, Talent, Impact’, has a vision of Ireland becoming a global innovation leader. Young and early-stage researchers play a large part in positioning Ireland as that leader”.

“Today’s workshop represents a step in the right direction to support these younger members of the research community. I welcome this initiative on the Bratislava Declaration for Young Researchers, which calls on us to recognise the special role that young researchers play in our research eco-system and the importance of supporting them to reach their full potential. I am confident that by supporting early-stage researchers, we can advance Ireland’s contribution to innovation.”

Workshop participants

Sixty attendees took part in the workshop, of which over half are early stage researchers. Ms Ciara Judge, BT Young Scientist, EU Young Scientist and Google Science Fair winner and Ms Jennifer McCarthy, winner of the Irish Research Council Special Award at BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2017 were in attendance. The remaining delegates come from: funding agencies, higher education institutions, the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation and the Higher Education Authority, amongst others.

Speakers at the workshop included:

  • Dr Eucharia Meehan, Director of the Irish Research Council
  • Dr John Donovan, Chairman of the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA) and Head of Research, Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Dr Mairéad Foody, Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow, Dublin City University
  • Dr Sarah Hayes, Education, Training & Outreach Manager, Synthesis & Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC), University of Limerick