WIT allocated funding for high performance in research connections 

Pictures are Research Support Unit staff. From left are: National Research Programme Officer at WIT Jo Holohan, EU Research Programme Officer Philomena Treacy and Projects Manager Susie Cullinane

Pictures are Research Support Unit staff. From left are: National Research Programme Officer at WIT Jo Holohan, EU Research Programme Officer Philomena Treacy and Projects Manager Susie Cullinane

Higher Education Authority award of €350,000 will allow WIT to continually develop the Institute’s research capacity and its impact 

A case study on research capacity building submitted by Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) has resulted in a €350,000 funding allocation. 

The HEA recently announced the outcome of their latest round of funding allocations designed to award high performance by individual institutions.  

WIT was awarded the maximum funding amount of €350,000 for its case study, Research Connections. It was one of only 16 awards made.  

€5m fund 

The total amount of funding distributed across universities and Institutes of Technology was €5 million. Funding was allocated based on case studies of the various initiatives taking place within higher education that are designed to achieve national strategic priorities. 

WIT Research Connexions is a support scheme comprising a suite of ten possible funding pathways designed to enable and support research activity across the Schools of the Institute.  

Research and innovation is a core activity at WIT. Over the past five years researchers within the institute have competitively secured research grants worth in excess of €76m.  

Since the year 2000 the cumulative worth of research funding secured by WIT to the region is estimated at almost €1bn.  

Return on investment 

The scheme provides the WIT academic and research community the opportunity to apply for internal funding to enhance and grow research activity, promote research networking and connections, increase competitively won research funding and increase the number of quality peer-reviewed publications, all ambitions linked to the Institute’s wider strategy and to national goals.  

Welcoming the award, WIT VP for Research, Dr Mark White, commented, “This award recognises the strong investment of resources by the Institute to date in building the capacity and capability of our research community. The initial pilot-phase of Research Connections, which was funded by the Institute itself, supported a number of staff in the School of Science and Computing, in writing grants. The grants received on foot of this pilot, resulted in the generation of over €1.5 million in funding, over 45 times the initial investment. Subsequent phases developed additional pathways and are now offered across all Schools.  The HEA award to WIT will allow us to further develop the suite of enabling activities and continually develop the Institute’s research capacity and its impact.” 

WIT VP for Strategy, Dr Richard Hayes, commented: “WIT’s ambitions requires us to continue to build our research capability and capacity and this funding will help to do this. The funding will allow academic staff more time to focus on grant applications and research publications and will enable WIT to continue to disseminate their research more widely and collaborate with a more extensive network of partners. Enhancing our research is a critical part of our preparations for university designation, as is ensuring that our research is acknowledged nationally and internationally according to accepted measurements like funding and publications.”  

WIT stands alone in the Institute of Technology sector as host to 3 Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways – the programme providing over €5.4m in the past five years to WIT. These gateways are focal points for industry to engage with and capitalise upon the wealth of expertise available from WIT.  

About the funding allocation 

Acting upon recommendations from reports, such as the Review of the Allocation Model for Funding Higher Education Institutions in 2018, a process for recognising the positive performance of institutions has been introduced as part of this accountability and performance review process. In 2019, the government has allocated €5M in performance funding, to be awarded based on the review of Impact Assessment Case Studies submitted by HEIs.  

More details on the funding allocation can be found here: https://hea.ie/assets/uploads/2017/04/Performance-Funding-Allocations-2019.pdf.  

Find out more about WIT’s research at https://www.wit.ie/research.

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