News 2023

Two BEES Projects receive SFI Discover Funding

6 Mar 2023

Four UCC projects, including two from UCC, have today been awarded a joint €451,000 in funding from the SFI Discover Programme.

Today’s announcement represents funding in four projects which will deliver impactful research that aligns to the UCC Futures framework, provides opportunities for deep public engagement, and supports and develop STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.

The funding aims to improve diversity and inclusion in STEM by encouraging awardees to give special consideration to building connections with less-represented voices or those who would not typically engage with STEM through the process of co-creation; creating new initiatives with people and not for them. In addition, the awardees target a range of geographic locations and incorporate themes such as climate change and biodiversity.

The research projects that will be funded at School of BEES are:

  • Dr Eoin Lettice, Dr Barbara Doyle Prestwich (School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences) and Prof. Claire Connolly (School of English and Digital Humanities). Irish Tree Explorers Network. For more information on the ITEN project, see here. 
  • Dr Chris Mays (School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences). Fossils for our Future—Ireland's Palaeontology Participation Programme. This project is a citizen science fossil preparation programme. Through sustained, practical engagement with real fossils from past extinction events, the programme will establish a deep appreciation of science among Irish populations not generally or widely engaged with STEM.

Congratulating the award recipients from University College Cork on their awards, Prof. John F. Cryan, UCC Vice President for Research and Innovation said: “Congratulations to the researchers on their funding awards which will provide opportunities to less-represented voices and groups in key STEM disciplines. Inclusion and diversity are at the heart of what UCC represents and incorporating these into research areas such as sustainability and humanities aligns with our UCC Futures Framework and the strategic plan for the University.”

Nationally, €6 million has been awarded to 40 projects to empower and inspire deep public engagement with STEM through the SFI Discover Programme.

Commenting on the announcement, Prof Philip Nolan, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland, said: “The SFI Discover Programme is a key part of our education and public engagement strategy. The Programme encourages collaboration to support public engagement with STEM, with a specific emphasis on broadening participation geographically and amongst less represented voices in STEM. It is essential that we support and encourage diversity and equality at all levels, providing the talent in our society an opportunity to fully participate in shaping our collective future. SFI is keen to push the boundaries of participation and engagement with STEM research. I look forward to seeing what these projects achieve over the coming months.”

Further information about the New Foundations scheme is available here

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

An Scoil Eolaíochtaí Bitheolaíocha, Domhaneolaíocha agus Comhshaoil

Distillery Fields, North Mall, University College Cork, Ireland , T23 N73K.