Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (399)

Kevin O'Keeffe


399. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if grant aid is available to fund research (details supplied). [35838/19]

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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 also providing total funding of €47.6 million in 2019 to the Irish Research Council, HEAnet and the Irish Centre for High End Computing, as follows:

- €40.5m is being provided to the Irish Research Council to support excellence in frontier research across all disciplines and all career stages.  Particular focus is placed on early career researchers and the promotion of diverse career opportunities for researchers by partnering with enterprise and employers.  Awards are made on a competitive basis on the basis of excellence following assessment by expert independent panels. Information about calls, including opening and closing dates, may be found on the IRC website

- €6m is being provided to HEAnet, Ireland’s National Education and Research Network, to provide 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 higher education sector, as well as providing e-infrastructure for primary and post-primary schools. Further information is available on

- €1.1m is being provided to the Irish Centre for High End Computing for the provision of high-performance computing services, support, education and training for researchers in higher education institutions and Irish enterprise. Further information is available at