Development & Alumni Relations Office 

MINISTER ANNOUNCES £3.6M RESEARCH FUNDING  

12 September 2016

Northern Ireland Economy Minister Simon Hamilton has announced £3.6m of new funding for five research projects involving Queen’s.

The Investigators Programme Partnership between Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Department for the Economy (DfE) supports collaborative projects involving universities from Ireland north and south in undertaking internationally peer-reviewed, leading-edge discovery and fundamental research.

The five successful projects were selected by SFI Investigators Programme competitive peer review involving international scientists and are in a range of strategically important sectors.

Funding ranging from approximately £451,000 to £949,000 will be provided by DfE to Queen’s over a 5-year period. The University will be collaborating with University College Dublin for two projects, and with University College Cork, Tyndall National Institute and the National University of Ireland, Galway on the others.

Minister Hamilton said: “Following the tremendous success of Northern Ireland universities in SFI’s 2015 Investigators Programme, my Department will be providing almost £3.6million to Queen’s to support five successful partnership projects.

"The projects, which are in key research areas such as Energy, Sustainable Food Production and Processing, and Personalised Medicine will have significant social and economic benefits for Northern Ireland. They will not only strengthen cross-border research, but they will provide an invaluable basis for leveraging funding from other research and innovation programmes.”

Scott Rutherford, Director of Research and Enterprise at Queen’s said: “We are delighted to have been hugely successful in the Investigators Programme Partnership funding. The level of success through competitive peer review reflects the excellence of Queen’s research in a range of important sectors which are advancing knowledge and changing lives.

“World-leading research needs teams who are connected through meaningful partnerships and the Investigators Programme Partnership has been an important mechanism through which NI researchers have been connected to collaborators across the island. It is vital that this type of high quality partnership is sustained in the longer term and continues to link Northern Ireland with other global players.”

Dr Darrin Morrissey, Director of Programmes Science Foundation Ireland, said: “We are pleased to work in partnership with the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland and are delighted to have so many excellent and impactful collaborative research projects selected for funding by the international expert peer review panel.

“The research projects selected will all strengthen cross-border research and also create training and employment opportunities, promote industrial collaboration and drive advances in energy, food production and processing and personalised medicine.”

A further four SFI-DfE partnership projects, three from Queen’s and one from UU, were also deemed scientifically excellent and impactful by the International Review Panel and have been placed on a reserve list.

The full list of Investigators Programme Partnership projects can be viewed here.

Media inquiries to Claire Kelly, Queen’s University Communications Manager, on 028 9097 5391.

Photo (L-R): Economy Minister Simon Hamilton, Dr Amy Jayne McKnight, Queen's Centre for Public Health, Professor James McElnay, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Enterprise and Postgraduate Affairs and Dr Darrin Morrissey, Director of Programmes SFI. 

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