About the ERI

About the Environmental Research Institute

The Environmental Research Institute was established as an inter-disciplinary research institute in 2000 to facilitate and support environmental, marine and energy based research at University College Cork, Ireland. The Institute brings together expertise in the biological, chemical and environmental sciences as well as environmental engineering, energy and environmental law.  


The aims of the Institute are to foster collaborative, multidisciplinary environmental based research through a number of key research thematic areas, to train post-graduate research students for careers in the environmental sciences and engineering and, to facilitate the transfer of technology to industry.

The Institute currently has a total of 64 Principal Investigators, 70 non-tenured researchers and 65 postgraduate students involved in research activities in the Environment, Marine and Energy areas (over 40% of researchers are from outside of Ireland). From 2006-2010 ERI researchers have published 699 peer-reviewed research papers and a total of 138 PhD and MSc students have graduated under the supervision of ERI PIs. In this same time period recurrent research income from both national and international funding agencies has totalled €37 M. An independent assessment of research quality at University College Cork in 2009 awarded the Institute a top research rating (Level 5) finding that “the Institute had overall excellent performance with evidence of world-class contributions” and “a high level of inter-disciplinary research within and across the groups”. In 2011 an independent report into the commercial and economic impact of research investment in Ireland (PRTLI programme) found that the ERI had a high impact in all six evaluation categories (commercial, human capital, capability, reputation, national policy, wider impacts). The ERI was also the only Institute/Centre which had received funding in the environment and marine area in Ireland that demonstrated impacts across all six categories and was one of the top ten funded Institutes Ireland for generating income from non-exchequer and industry sources.

In 2010 the ERI secured €16 M from the Irish Government to extend the Institute and create a new research building dedicated to marine and energy research. This new building will integrate the Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre, the Coastal and Marine Resources Centre together with members of the Sustainable Energy Research Group and, when completed, will provide space for 135 additional researchers including 67 new PhD and researcher spaces.

Environmental Research Institute

University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork