The President of Ireland Future Research Leaders Programme

The Science Foundation Ireland’s President of Ireland Future Research Leaders programme offers funding of up to €1,000,000 in direct costs for 5-years. 

It is designed to attract to Ireland outstanding new and emerging research leaders in both scientific and engineering domains, where candidates may have both academic and/or industry relevant backgrounds with a focus on research excellence with impact. Candidates are expected to address current gaps in leadership, methodologies and skill sets in specific discipline areas (including, but not limited to advanced manufacturing, bioprocessing, agri-food, cyber-security, smart cities, energy and marine research).

The call is open to applicants based outside of Ireland as well as those recently recruited from overseas (i.e. within 2 years of the Expression of Interest deadline).

The applicant must be 3-15 years post-PhD or equivalent, and will be expected to have demonstrated research excellence, independence, maturity and leadership, by having several important publications without the participation of their PhD supervisor, as well as having secured independent research funding and accumulated supervisory experience.

It is also expected that the applicant would be of international standing as demonstrated by peer review experience, invited keynote talks, international collaboration, conference and workshop organisation etc as indicators of scientific maturity.

The award has a five-year duration and is designed to provide the best setting for award holders to foster their creativity and further develop their leadership role. The ambitions of the appointed SFI President of Ireland Future Research Leader awardee will be consistent with the strategic research direction of the host institution. 


  • To identify and recruit to Ireland the most promising of a new generation of future research leaders who are top-tier cutting edge researchers in science or engineering, and will address gaps in leadership in specific discipline areas, enable succession planning in areas which will require leadership in coming years due to retirements, or complement/strengthen ongoing activities e.g. Research Centres.
  • With the support of the host Research Body, to enable an appropriate environment (support and infrastructure) to assist the awardee in realising their potential and further develop as research leaders
  • To support excellent scientific/engineering research that has potential impact
  • To further encourage and promote Ireland’s participation in the international research community and to increase the number of ERC and H2020 awards secured by Ireland-based PIs.
  • To maintain Ireland’s top 20 position in international bibliometric rankings through an increase in the number and quality of journal publications
  • To enable collaborations with academic and industry partners particularly in areas of strategic priority
  • To increase the proportion of invention disclosures, patents, licenses and spin outs recorded by Ireland that are linked to SFI research
  • To increase the coverage of SFI and science by the media

For more information please see the call documentation on Science Foundation Ireland’s website here. If you are interested in applying for this funding  with the support of MACSI in the University of Limerick, Ireland please contact Dr. Sinéad Burke, MACSI Research Manager, The deadline for applications to the President of Ireland Future Research Leaders programme is 08 April 2016. 

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