News and Views

New research fellowship programme to combat food and health challenges

20 Dec 2022
Pictured l – r: Professor John Cryan, Dr Pamela Byrne, Professor Paul Ross, Oonagh Cahalane and Brendan Curran launch the INSPIRE Fellowship programme.

APC Microbiome Ireland, a world-leading SFI Research Centre based at University College Cork (UCC), has launched the INSPIRE Fellowship programme which seeks to tackle challenges facing global food systems and health.  

With funding of €2.9 million, INSPIRE (INnovative Sustainable Development InterdisciPlinary Post-Doctoral Research Excellence) is co-funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions programme. INSPIRE will create 20 prestigious postdoctoral research fellowships at APC Microbiome Ireland based at UCC or at one of the APC’s other academic partner institutions.

INSPIRE Fellows will undertake research projects across a variety of areas of microbiome science to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals and create solutions to challenges relating to food and health including anti-microbial resistance, the burden of non-communicable diseases, and the need for sustainable food systems.

The INSPIRE Fellowship will provide experienced researchers with industry placement experience while benefiting from a tailor-made research and career development training plan. INSPIRE fellows will gain a portfolio of transferable skills to enhance their career options and to meet the evolving needs of the academic, NGO and industry sectors.

Dr Pamela Byrne, Chair of the APC Microbiome Ireland Governance Committee and CEO of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, said:

“Never in our time has sustainability been so important. INSPIRE addresses the huge challenges that we face globally, building a talent pool to ensure that we have skilled scientific researchers equipped and agile to meet the needs we will face in the coming years. APC Microbiome Ireland has a proven record of ground-breaking research targeting the grand challenges of our time. I am delighted to launch the INSPIRE programme which will support such impactful research.”

Professor Paul Ross, Director of APC Microbiome Ireland, said:

“The INSPIRE Fellowship reflects APC Microbiome Ireland’s commitment to addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We look forward to recruiting 20 postdoctoral researchers who will help create solutions to some of the most pressing global challenges with potential impact in the pharmaceutical, medical and food sectors.”

Professor John Cryan, Vice President for Research & Innovation, said:

“As a research-led University that has sustainability at the heart of our strategy and operations, UCC is proud to host the INSPIRE research fellowship programme at APC Microbiome Ireland. INSPIRE is a fantastic programme that will equip a cadre of high-calibre researchers to address the challenges we are facing globally through the development of credible, sustainable, science-based technologies within our UCC Futures: Food, Microbiome & Health initiative.”

Learn more about the INSPIRE Fellowship Programme here.

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