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UK-Ireland joint initiative to invest €38.6m in training students

Posted on: 04 Feb 2019

UK-Ireland joint initiative to invest €38.6m in training students

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, today announced an investment of approximately €39 million to support the involvement of SFI Research Centres, including the Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC), in seven new joint Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs). The awards have been made under a new partnership between Science Foundation Ireland and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).


The CDTs represent one of the UK’s most significant investments in research skills, supporting over seventy centres that will equip the next generation of doctoral level researchers across engineering and physical sciences. The seven joint awards between Ireland and the UK will enable doctoral students based in Irish institutions to benefit from training opportunities and collaboration with Higher Education Institutions in the UK. 


Welcoming the seven awards made to SFI Research Centres, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, said: “I am pleased to announce this new collaboration that will provide training opportunities for doctoral students in both the UK and Ireland. These new PhD training initiatives will provide opportunities for talented students in SFI Research Centres across Higher Education Institutions. Cultivating and maintaining positive research and development collaborations between Ireland and the UK, as well as the rest of the world, is a priority for the Irish Government, and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is thrilled to be working with the EPSRC on this programme.


Under the EPSRC-SFI partnership, Science Foundation Ireland will fund students based at an SFI Research Centre who will be integrated into the CDT, with training taking place in both the UK and Ireland. These joint activities will establish and strengthen collaborations at student, supervisor and institutional levels.

IPIC, the SFI Research Centre for Photonics based led by Tyndall will collaborate with Queens University Belfast and University of Glasgow

Paul Townsend, Head of Tyndall Photonics and Director of IPIC welcomed the announcement, “IPIC are very pleased to have been awarded the EPSRC CDT in Photonic integration and advanced data storage.  This training programme will give students the opportunity to be trained by our world leading researchers in the areas of heterogeneous integration, packaging, communications and biomedical applications.  We are also delighted with the opportunity that this programme provides us in forging strong partnerships with both Queen’s University Belfast and University of Glasgow.” 

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to collaborate with EPSRC on this excellent programme. Ireland and the UK are key drivers of impactful, world-leading research and it is important that we continue to strengthen our partnerships. The level of investment in the Centres for Doctoral Training is significant, and represents our commitment to prepare graduates for careers in research and beyond, and the emphasis we place on progressing international alliances and global opportunities for our researchers. I would like to congratulate the seven SFI Research Centres on their success in this programme and look forward to working with EPSRC over the coming years.