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Apply for the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme

Last updated on 13 Nov 2019
Apply for the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme

image1.jpg By Jenny Egnér Lin


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Are you interested in conducting research within a postgraduate degree in Ireland? The Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme offers a grant of €16,000 per annum, a contribution to fees up to a maximum of €5,750 per annum, and eligible direct research expenses of €2,250 per annum. Read more about this excellent scholarship opportunity, to learn about the requirements, eligibility, and key dates for the application process.

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Photograph by Conner Robertson.

What is the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme?

The government of Ireland provides a scholarship for foreign postgraduates, seeking to conduct research at an Irish university. The scholarship programme is an Irish national initiative, funded by the Department of Education and Skills and managed by the Irish Research Council. The Council is the largest provider of individual postgraduate scholarships in Ireland.

In 2018, the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme invested in a total of 1,193 postgraduate scholars, with over 5,000 individual scholarships for excellent research awarded to date.

What is unique about this scholarship?

The Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme features

  • individual, prestigious awards for excellent research in the name of the applicant;
  • an objective selection process using international, independent expert peer review;
  • funding across all disciplines, from archaeology to zoology;
  • awards for bottom-up, non-directed research, with the exception of those funded by our strategic funding partners.

The programme provides outstanding students with the opportunity to direct their own research at the early-career stage, working with a supervisor, in their chosen area of interest.

What does the scholarship include?

  • a stipend of €16,000 per annum
  • a contribution to fees, including non-EU fees, up to a maximum of €5,750 per annum
  • eligible direct research expenses of €2,250 per annum

What is the duration of the scholarship?

The scholarship will support suitably qualified research master’s and doctoral candidates pursuing, or intending to pursue, full-time research in any discipline.

A scholar who is a new entrant to the postgraduate degree for which they are seeking funding is entitled to apply for funding for the full duration of the degree as outlined below:

  • Research master’s degree: 1 year
  • Structured research master’s degree: 2 years
  • Traditional doctoral degree: 3 years
  • Structured doctoral degree: 4 years

Are you eligible for the programme?

All applicants must have a first class or upper second-class honours bachelor’s, or the equivalent, degree. If undergraduate examination results are not known at the time of application, the Council may make a provisional offer of a scholarship on condition that the scholar’s bachelor’s, or the equivalent, degree result is a first class or upper second-class honours.

If a scholar does not have a first class or upper second-class honours bachelor’s, or the equivalent, degree, they must possess a master’s degree. The Council’s determination of an applicant’s eligibility on these criteria is final.

Further requirements include that

  • Applicants must not have had two previous unsuccessful applications to the programme, including strategic partner themes.
  • Applicants must not have had two previous ineligible applications to the programme, including strategic partner themes.
  • In the case of applications for a research master’s, applicants must not currently hold, or have previously held, a Council scholarship.
  • In the case of applications for a doctoral degree, applicants must not currently hold, or have previously held, any Council scholarship other than that which would have enabled them to obtain a research master’s degree.

The Council makes an investment in 200 new postgraduate scholars under the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme each year. These awards are made equally across the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and arts, humanities and social science (AHSS).

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Photograph by Stephen Bergin.

Competition

The Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarships Programme is highly competitive, with an average success rate of 18% over the last five years. The programme is globally recognised and attracts many applications from international students who wish to undertake excellent research in the Irish higher education and research system. The programme has enjoyed excellent gender balance across both STEM and AHSS streams. Successful applicants who become scholars under the programme are recognised as demonstrating world-class potential as future research leaders.

Increase your chances

Pioneering proposals addressing new and emerging fields of research or those introducing creative, innovative approaches are welcomed. Proposals of an interdisciplinary nature are also encouraged as it is recognised that advancing fundamental understanding is achieved by integrating information, techniques, tools and perspectives from two or more disciplines.

How do you apply for the scholarship?

Potential applicants should read the 2019 Terms and Conditions carefully to ascertain whether or not they are eligible to apply. Indicative versions of the applicant, supervisor and referee forms are provided for information purposes only. All participants must create and submit their forms via the online system.

What are the key dates in the application process?

  1. Call open: 5 September 2019
  2. FAQ deadline: 24 October 2019
  3. Applicant deadline: 31 October 2019, 16:00 (Irish time)
  4. Supervisor and referee deadline: November 2019, 16:00 (Irish time)
  5. Research office endorsement deadline: 14 November 2019, 16:00 (Irish time)
  6. Call outcome: End of March 2020
  7. Scholarship start date: 1 September 2020

Please note that the timings provided here are indicative and may be subject to change. If you do not find the answer to your query in the call documentation, you should contact the research office in your proposed institution which will provide information and clarification on the call. Research offices can send any queries they are unable to clarify to postgrad@research.ie.

Transparency and fairness

For reasons of transparency and fairness to all applicants, the Irish Research Council will not enter into written or telephone correspondence with any individual about the assessment process or their eligibility to apply.

Interested in finding out more?

Here are useful links for more information, frequently asked questions, and thorough guidelines for your application.

Good luck with your application!

Disclaimer: While we strive to keep the information up to date and correct, information may change at any time without notice. For accurate and updated information, please refer to the official website of the organisation granting the scholarship.


About the author: Jenny Egnér Lin is a Swedish university graduate with a MSc in Strategic Market Creation from Copenhagen Business School, and a BSc in Business and Economics from Stockholm School of Economics. With firsthand experience from studying in Europe, she is sharing prime insights about life as a European university student.