Research for Policy & Society 2016: CALL NOW CLOSED

The Irish Research Council seeks to enrich the pool of knowledge and expertise available and accessible for addressing Ireland’s current and future needs, whether societal, cultural or economic, by funding excellent research and researchers. In order to deliver on this part of its mandate, the Council has set out a strategic objective to maximise partnering and collaboration with societal stakeholders, including enterprise, and with a particular focus to be given to government and civic society so as to address their needs.

In 2015, the Council launched a pilot Research for Policy and Society Programme. The aim of this programme is to build partnerships with government departments and agencies in order to enable peer-reviewed research to underpin policy decisions, and to assist cultural and societal development. All partner departments/agencies identify research topics in areas relevant to their respective remits and, with the Irish Research Council, will fund successful proposals addressing these topics.

Since the Council launched the pilot programme in early 2015, Innovation 2020 (the national strategy for research and development) has stressed the necessity of research to address societal challenges facing Ireland, at a national and global level: “Over the coming decades, we will face profound challenges, and innovation and research will be centre-stage in developing our national responses”. The strategy acknowledges that it is imperative to foster a broad-based research capacity to support national and international policy goals.  The Council has been assigned a number of actions in Innovation 2020 to increase the engagement of public entities and civic society public policy and societal challenge-based research, which will ultimately strengthen public policy and societal impact.   As part of its overall mandate and to deliver on the objectives of Innovation 2020, the Council is continuing the Research for Policy and Society programme in 2016. In response to the increasing emphasis on research to address national societal challenges, the 2016 Call includes an open strand.

Partners who have confirmed their participation in Research for Policy & Society 2016:

  • Health Service Executive – Crisis Pregnancy Programme
  • Teaching and Learning Forum
  • Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission
  • Geological Survey of Ireland
  • Tusla and the Department of Children & Youth Affairs

Key Eligibility:

Successful applicants will be academics who hold contracts of sufficient duration to carry out the proposed research at a recognised HEI or Research Performing Organisation in the Republic of Ireland. Investigators should have a PhD for a minimum of two years. Recipients of Irish Research Council Research Development Initiative, Collaborative Research Project or Research Project Grant funding in 2014 or 2015 will be ineligible to apply for New Horizons funding. Successful New Horizons applicants cannot be in receipt of any other Council funding at the proposed start date, with the exception of New Foundations and Ulysses awards. Please see documentation below for more detail regarding eligibility criteria. 

Expression of Interest Form

All applicants must submit an Expression of Interest template (available on the Council’s website) by 4pm, Friday, 30th September 2016 to  The Council will acknowledge receipt of all submitted Expression of Interest forms by email.  Applicants are advised not to telephone the office to seek confirmation of receipt of their Expression of Interest form.

The purpose of the Expressions of Interest form is to facilitate the Council in selecting peer reviewers for the evaluation process. Applicants will be required to provide a short description (max. 50 words) and keywords. It is mandatory to submit an Expression of Interest form: failure to submit an Expression of Interest form will render an application ineligible.


Any queries relating to these terms and conditions, or the operation of the scheme generally should be submitted to the relevant Research Office/Officer of the HEI or RPO in the first instance. In the interest of transparency and fairness to all applicants, the Council Executive will not discuss queries over the telephone

A list of all queries, not resolved by the Research Office, should then be submitted as a batch to by the designated Research Officer within eligible institutions. The FAQ page on the IRC website will be updated on a weekly basis (Friday) up until 21st October 2016.

Important deadlines  
Launch of Call  12th September 2016
 Expressions of Interest deadline  4pm, 30th September 2016
 FAQ deadline  4pm, 21st October 2016
 APPLICANT DEADLINE   4pm, 28th October 2016
 Research Office endorsement deadline  4pm, 4th November 2016
 Outcome of scheme  End November 2016
Project commencement date  12th December 2016