Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (610)

Fiona O'Loughlin


610. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the funding allocated in 2019 for research in third-level institutions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34027/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department allocates recurrent funding to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) for direct disbursement to their designated higher education institutions. The HEA allocates this funding as a block grant to the institutions, covering such areas as teaching and learning and research. As autonomous bodies, the internal disbursement of this funding is a matter for the individual institution. The latest HERD survey (survey of research and development activities in the higher education sector) indicates that the portion of this block grant allocated to research was €230m in 2016.

My Department is providing funding of €47.6 million in 2019 to the Irish Research Council, HEAnet and the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC). The Irish Research Council (€40.5 million) mainly funds postgraduate students and early stage postdoctoral researchers and covers the full range of disciplines spanning the humanities, social sciences, business, law, science, engineering and technology. Awards are made on a competitive basis on the basis of excellence following assessment by expert independent panels. HEAnet (€6 million) is Ireland’s National Education and Research Network, providing internet connectivity and associated ICT services to higher education and research organisations. Its e-Infrastructure services underpin the academic research and education activity for the third level sector, as well as providing e-infrastructure for primary and post-primary schools. ICHEC (€1.1 million) is Ireland's national high performance computer centre, providing high-performance computing services, support, education and training for researchers in higher education institutions and Irish enterprise.

In addition, in budget 2019 research funding of €5 million was provided for Institutes of Technology / Technological Universities to incentivise further developments and enhancements in this area.