Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarships

At a glance

The Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme is an established national initiative, funded by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, and managed by the Council.

In 2019 alone, we invested a total of over €13.6 million on 809 Government of Ireland Postgraduate scholars across six calls (2013-2019).

The Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme is unique in the Irish research landscape and complements other channels for funded postgraduate education in the Irish eco-system. Among its features are:

  • individual, prestigious awards for excellent research in the name of the applicant;
  • an objective selection process using international, independent expert peer review;
  • funding across all disciplines, from archaeology to zoology;
  • awards for bottom-up, non-directed research, with the exception of those funded by our strategic funding partners.

The programme provides outstanding students with the opportunity to direct their own research at the early-career stage, working with a supervisor, in their chosen area of interest. Pioneering proposals addressing new and emerging fields of research or those introducing creative, innovative approaches are welcomed. Proposals of an interdisciplinary nature are also encouraged as it is recognised that advancing fundamental understanding is achieved by integrating information, techniques, tools and perspectives from two or more disciplines.

The Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme is highly competitive, with an average success rate of 18% over the past five years. Successful applicants who become scholars under the programme are recognised as demonstrating world-class potential as future research leaders and in the quality of their ideas.

What we offer

  • a stipend of €16,000 per annum
  • a contribution to fees, including non-EU fees, up to a maximum of €5,750 per annum
  • eligible direct research expenses of €2,250 per annum

How to apply

Potential applicants should read the 2021 Government of Ireland Terms and Conditions carefully to ascertain whether or not they are eligible to apply. Indicative versions of the applicant, supervisor and referee forms are provided for information purposes only. All participants must create and submit their forms via the online system.

Key dates

Call open 3 September 2020
FAQ deadline 22 October 2020
Applicant deadline 16:00 (Irish time) 29 October 2020
Supervisor and referee deadline 16:00 (Irish time) 5 November 2020
Research office endorsement deadline 16:00 (Irish time) 12 November 2020
Call outcome End of March 2021
Scholarship start date 1 September 2021

Please note that the timings provided here are indicative and may be subject to change.

If you do not find the answer to your query in the call documentation, you should contact the research office in your proposed institution which will provide information and clarification on the call. Research offices can send any queries they are unable to clarify to


To ensure UCC endorsement of your application, and to gain access to all applicant supports including a detailed Help-Pack and a recorded information session, please notify the UCC Research Support Services (RSS) of your intent to apply for this call ASAP by emailing Patricia Deasy (


Applicants who wish to request an (optional) application review by a Research Officer prior to submission, should send their draft application to no later than 3pm,14th October. Due to the very high number of applicants, review opportunities will be limited, and will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis.


**Important** - IRC Eligibility Quiz:


Before gaining access to the main Application Form, applicants must first pass the ‘Eligibility Quiz’. It is essential that applicants are aware of the following before starting the quiz:


1. After completion of the quiz form, applicants must click 'Continue to Application' and then 'Save Draft' before closing the eligibility quiz and application window. Failure to do so will stop the applicant from re-submitting the quiz and from opening a new application. The Council will not reset the Eligibility Quiz or Application, and UCC will not be able to appeal.


2. Applicants are now required to state the name of their UCC Supervisor as part of the Quiz. The supervisor name provided must match the name of the supervisor that will be entered into the Application Form at a later stage. If there is any discrepancy between the two names (including a nickname or a spelling error) then the IRC will deem the application ineligible. To avoid this, applicants are strongly advised to contact the Primary Supervisor before completing the Eligibility Quiz, and check what name the Supervisor is registered under on the IRC portal.



Scholarships and Prizes

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