Research and Study Opportunities

How can we do things better, faster, bigger (or smaller), greener or just different? Questions like these drive innovation, which is something Ireland is committed to, and just one of the reasons we place in the top 20 on the Global Innovation Index.


Research and Study in Ireland

Ireland already has a reputation for excelling in research and creative discovery, due to four main factors:

  • World renowned research institutes with state-of-the-art facilities
  • Many research and study collaborations, including partnerships with industry and universities
  • Generous funding and support from both Ireland and the EU, as well as private funding
  • Talented, highly skilled people and PhD graduates with expertise in research

In December 2015, the Irish government published the Innovation 2020 report, an action plan that has seen Ireland build on these strengths over the last few years. The aims of this plan include increasing research funding by almost 100% annually, growing the number of research masters. While the plan also aims to increase PhD opportunities by 30% and raise the number of researcher vacancies in enterprise by 60%. The report also looks at expanding participation in International Research Organisations and further developing the high standard of our current research assets.


Key Areas of Research and Study

Revolutionary advances are being made throughout the tech field in Ireland in numerous centres around the country. But there are a few prime areas in which Irish researchers are at the forefront.

Ireland is the global leader in the research of Photonics, Imaging and Nanoelectronics, which are key areas of exploration at the Tyndall National Institute, as well as at IPIC (the Irish Photonic Integration Centre) in Cork, the CRANN Institute at Trinity College Dublin and DIT’s Focas Research Institute.

Exciting breakthroughs are also occurring here in the world of the semantic web, the Internet of Things and embedded sensor technology. Leading the way in these fields are CIT’s Nimbus Centre, the National Centre for Sensor Research, the Insight Centre for Data Analytics and CONNECT, Ireland’s research centre for Future Networks and Communications.

In addition, Limerick’s LERO (Irish Software Research Centre), Waterford’s TSSG (Telecommunications Software and Systems Group) and Dublin’s IC4 (Irish Centre for Cloud Computing & Commerce), are all research centres who are forging ahead in the fields of cloud computing, data mining, mobile services and security technologies.


Funding Opportunities for Research and Study

Enterprise Ireland

This is the government organisation responsible for helping to grow Irish businesses. Enterprise Ireland fosters research and study culture through a series of supports, including €5k Innovation Vouchers, Innovation Partnerships and grants of up to €250k for collaborations between institutes of higher education and grants for in-house R&D projects. ICT-specific funding programmes include Joint Technology Initiatives for companies working with embedded software systems and the Ambient Assisted Living programme to help fund work that will improve the quality of life for older people.

Ireland’s 25% R&D tax credit

To promote innovation, the Irish government encourages companies to undertake research programmes by offering a substantial 25% tax credit against Research and Development. This incentive means a lot of larger tech companies choose Ireland as the base for their cutting edge research, but it’s just as important in fuelling the development of Irish companies too.


Because an investment in research is integral to creating growth and jobs throughout Europe, the EU implemented Horizon2020 in 2014. This programme distributed over €80 billion in research funding before 2020 and is the largest programme of its kind to date. Irish researchers exceeded funding goals and were awarded over €180million.


Finding Research Vacancies

EURAXESS is an EU initiative that aims to help both EU and non-EU researchers advance their careers in Europe. Its web portal helps to find research vacancies with over 5,000 organisations and provides access to support and services for moving to another country.