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Funding for Postgraduate Research. Dr. Lucy Byrnes Dean of Graduate Studies 31 st October, 2012. Dr. Lucy Byrnes. Outline. General considerations on postgraduate research Irish Research Council (IRC) Postgraduate Scholarships Hardiman Scholarships

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funding for postgraduate research
Funding for Postgraduate Research

Dr. Lucy Byrnes

Dean of Graduate Studies

31st October, 2012

Dr. Lucy Byrnes

  • General considerations on postgraduate research
  • Irish Research Council (IRC) Postgraduate Scholarships
  • Hardiman Scholarships
  • College Postgraduate Research Scholarships
  • Q & A
1 why postgraduate research
1. Why postgraduate research?
  • Contribute to knowledge
    • and the ‘Smart Economy’
  • Challenging and exciting
  • PhD/Masters = internationally mobile qualifications

Masters level 9

PhD level 10

Dr. Lucy Byrnes


To be eligible

you must have achieved

a high honours standard

in your primary degree

Dr. Lucy Byrnes

what is involved
What is involved?

Independent novel research project

Work as part of a research team – hard work

Supervision involves meetings/ presentations/journal clubs

Collaboration/research visit to other research groups

Participation in national and international scientific conferences

Publication of your findings

why nui galway
Why NUI Galway?
  • Facilities
    • several new research buildings
  • Research funding
    • Research income ~ €40 million p.a.
  • Research outputs
    • Publications
    • Patents
  • International academic standing of research supervisors

Dr. Lucy Byrnes

structured phd
Structured PhD

Supervisor AND Graduate Research Committee

Annual Progress Reviews

30-45 ECTS/ 360 ECTS tailored to you

Generic and Transferrable skills, e.g.

Teaching and learning

Advanced specialised courses

4-year programme

priority research themes at nui galway
Priority Research Themes at NUI Galway
  • Biomedical Science and Engineering
  • Informatics, Physical and Computational Sciences
  • Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy
  • Humanities in Context
  • Environment, Marine and Energy
www nuigalway ie

Dr. Lucy Byrnes

research eprospectus
Research eProspectus

Dr. Lucy Byrnes

costs to you to university
Costs:to you to university
  • Tuition fees
  • Living costs
    • as for undergraduate studies
    • except postgraduate research students are full-time (and more) through-out the whole year
  • Consumables
    • e.g. up to €10,000 p.a. in bioscience labs
  • Equipment
  • Travel
  • etc.

Dr. Lucy Byrnes

financial support available
Financial support available

depends on School/lab/supervisor, project and student

Research grants

Generally required for research costs

Also may support student


living costs

student finance www susi ie
Student Finance

Students entering new postgraduate courses

from the 2012/13 academic year onwards

will not be entitled

to any maintenance payment

Fees or partial fees may be paid

– means test

tax relief www revenue ie
Tax relief

available on postgraduate tuition fees

Dr. Lucy Byrnes

pgr scholarships
PGR Scholarships

A minimum qualification

for award of a postgraduate research scholarship

is a primary degree with second class honours, Grade 1

i.e. a 2-1

Prior to applying for a scholarship

contact and discuss your application

with your proposed supervisor.

Dr. Lucy Byrnes

2 irish research council www research ie
2. Irish Research Council

€16,000 p.a. maintenance award for 3 years


€8,000 p.a. for fees, research support, computer, travel

How to apply?

Read Guidelines documents provided.

ircset application previous
IRCSET Application previous

Academic Career (30%)

Personal Statement (30%)

Supervisor and Referees’ Reports (30%)

Research Project (10%)

academic career 30 points
Academic Career (30 points)

Grades, marks and place achieved in exams

Any academic prizes or scholarships you were awarded

Current course – provide anticipated grades

Offers may be made provisional on outcome of final year exams

Be comprehensive – describe results you got and what they mean, e.g. 2-1, what exact percentage?

personal statement 1 30 points
Personal Statement 1 (30 points)

Why you wish to pursue a higher degree by research?

Why have you proposed this research topic?

What are you particularly suited for this research field?

What projects, essays, relevant experience do you have?

Why have you chosen NUI Galway? vs. other locations?

How did you select your proposed supervisor?

Why this supervisor?

personal statement 2
Personal Statement 2

Can you demonstrate other skills not listed elsewhere?

For example, what holiday jobs have you had and are these pertinent?

What skills do you have to prepare you for this PhD?

Career Aspirations

What do you expect to do on completing your degree?

How will the PhD assist you in achieving your goals?

Additional aspects

to provide a better picture of your capability, motivation and interests (max. 1,200 words)

Dr. Lucy Byrnes

general tips for personal statements
General tips for personal statements
  • Should be well thought-out.
  • Writing should be clear and of high quality. Avoid clichés.
  • The more specific you are the more convincing your case.
  • Back up your statements with evidence.
  • Don’t be afraid to be ambitious. Portray your excitement.
  • This is a competition and not a time for modesty.
  • Be truthful.
  • Make your application STAND OUT
supervisor and referees reports 30 points
Supervisor and Referees’ Reports (30 points)

Academic references from

Proposed supervisor

2 referees – select carefully

Talk to potential supervisors and referees

Supervisor must demonstrate mutual benefits of working together

Referees need to read your research proposal and comment on it as well as knowing you and your work

Encourage referees to demonstrate evidence of your past experience rather than expressing their opinion as to your ability

research project 10 points
Research Project (10 points)

The basis for the research

The hypothesis under investigation and the main aims of the project

The research strategy with significant milestones identified

Methods of research

Details of collaboration

Details of travel requirements

Details of how much help you received in writing this part of application

Discuss with potential supervisor

irc application
IRC Application
  • Need to show that research is a considered career path
  • Outline achievements to date
  • Talk to postgrad researchers
  • Discuss statement with researchers
  • Discuss with supervisor and others
  • Revise and edit

Convince IRC that €72,000 will be well spent

on line application process
On-line application process

Sign up on IRC website for username and password

Print paper copy and prepare a paper draft BEFORE going electronic

Read all guidelines carefully

All sections must be completed

Do not leave it to the last minute to submit

irc advice do s don ts
IRC AdviceDo’s... Don’ts...
  • Think (start now!)
  • Talk
  • Plan
  • Write
  • Submit
  • Submit late
  • Write in overly technical language
  • Have vague referees
  • Insert incorrect email addresses
  • Work in isolation
related irc schemes
Related IRC schemes

Enterprise Partnership Scheme

Employment-based Postgraduate Programme

  • Awards co-funded by IRC and industry/employer
  • Project to be agreed between university and industry partner
  • Ask your proposed supervisor for advice
3 hardiman scholarships
3.Hardiman Scholarships

€16,000 plus fees for 4 years


  • application form (including a personal statement)
  • 3 page Curriculum Vitae and
  • names of up to 3 proposed supervisor(s) and 2 referees

3rd call expected in Nov 2012

hardiman scholarships
Hardiman Scholarships

Dr. Lucy Byrnes

4 college scholarships
4. College Scholarships

Further information on College websites

Contact College Offices

college scholarships
College Scholarships

Dr. Lucy Byrnes

other scholarships
Other Scholarships


  • Teagasc
  • EPA
  • Irish Cancer Society

Ask potential supervisors

Check websites

Dr. Lucy Byrnes

other scholarships1
Other scholarships

Dr. Lucy Byrnes

where to next
Where to next?

Professors/lecturers = potential supervisors

for further information on professor’s/lecturer’s research interests

How to choose a research project?

A research area that interests you

A supervisor/lab with/in which you can work

Talk to potential supervisors ASAP


Focus on your studies, Do your best

Start talking to potential supervisors

and preparing your applications NOW

careers development centre careers connect
Careers Development Centre/ Careers Connect

Personal Statements

  • Workshops
  • One-on-one consultations

CV Preparation

  • Workshops
  • One-on-one consultations