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Congratulations Dr Shane Hegarty - Charlemont Scholar

29 Feb 2016
Mary E. Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy, Peter Kennedy, International Affairs Secretary, and Charlemont Scholar Dr Shane Hegarty

Congratulations to Dr Shane Hegarty who was awarded the 'Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Grant 2016', at a the Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Grant Awards Ceremony 2016 on Monday 15th February 2016. 

Shane is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, funded by the Irish Research Council and National University of Ireland, in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience working with Professor Aideen Sullivan and Dr Gerard O'Keeffe. Dr Hegarty received this prestigious award to extend his work on 'Smad-interacting protein-1 (Sip1) regulation of nigrostriatal pathway development' abroad in the Erasmus MC, Rotterdam under the guidance of Professor Danny Huylebroeck, who was the first to discover Sip1 and is a leading researcher in the field. Dr Shane Hegarty's research aims to understand how dopamine brain cells, which die in Parkinson's disease, grow during development. 

Mary E. Daly, President of the Academy presented the 26 2016 Charlemont scholars with their certificates and congratulated them on their success. Professor Daly noted the importance of the award and the diversity of disciplines awarded. The Charlemont Grants have a very special place in the intellectual life of the Royal Irish Academy, because they are awarded to researchers in the early stages of their careers. Charlemont grantees are drawn from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, the Charlemont grants do not distinguish between discipline or geography, the most important criteria in the awarding of a Charlemont grant is excellence because outstanding research transcends both disciplinary and geographical boundaries

‌ 2016 Charlemont Scholars with Mary E. Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy, and Peter Kennedy International Affairs Secretary.

Peter Kennedy, International Affairs Secretary of the Academy highlighted the importance of travel and the cross pollination of ideas for research. The Charlemont Scholars are Ireland’s scientific and cultural emissaries of the twenty-first century. Through their experiences, sharing what they know and bringing back new ideas, we look forward to their enriching academic life in Ireland. Kennedy announced the scholars, their institutions and the destinations they will be travelling to. The diversity of locations included London, Lisbon, New York, Tokyo and Taiwan.

Dr. Diarmuid Torney from Dublin City University, 2015 Charlemont Scholar, recounted how this grant has been beneficial for his research and career. This has included publication of his book 'European Climate Leadership in Question: Policies toward China and India', by MIT Press in September 2015 and regular features in the Irish Times.

Named in honour of the Academy’s first President, and notable Grand Tourist, James Caulfeild, the 1st Earl of Charlemont (1728–99), this scheme is the successor to the acclaimed Mobility Grants, which was established by the Academy in 2007. Building on the success of that scheme, the Charlemont Grants are unique in offering funding for short international research trips, to support primary research in any area.

Since its inception the scheme has funded 155 projects, across the sciences, humanities and social sciences. It has funded visits to over fifty countries, with a total fund disbursed to date of over €250,000.  The Royal Irish Academy Charlemont grants are awarded to scholars of the sciences and humanities and social sciences each year. For further information please see here:

Guests at the ceremony included members of the Irish higher education system, funding agencies, past Charlemont scholars and friends and family of the current scholars.

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