WIT to receive almost €1m to support research impacted by the COVID19 pandemic

Members of the team from the Office of Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies

Members of the team from the Office of Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies

A total of €964,990 has been allocated to WIT, to support and restart research projects and for students seriously affected by the pandemic

Researchers in Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) have welcomed the recent announcement by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, of almost €1 million to support contract researchers and research students whose work has been seriously disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding was secured by the Minister as part of the €168 million package for further and higher education in light of the COVID-19 pandemic of which €47 million will be provided to the higher education institutions by the Higher Education Authority to support researchers whose work has been affected by COVID-19.

Welcome support for dedication in a difficult time

Dr Mark White, Vice President of Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies in WIT welcomes the funding as a means to support the researchers and research students in greatest need, in particular, those researchers who are coming to the end of their contracts before the end of 2020. "The COVID19 pandemic has reminded us all of the importance of research and innovation. The ecosystem of multidisciplinary research in WIT has afforded us the opportunity to become pioneers in various fields and this additional funding from Government will allow us to continue our research and nurture researchers of the future", he said.

Prof Willie Donnelly, President of WIT thanked the research community for their valued commitment and dedication in recent months. "I would like to recognise and thank our research community for their continued support to our postgraduate students and stakeholders throughout this difficult period. They continue to work with our international partnerships to deliver world class research and innovation to underpin the economic and social wellbeing of the region." He continiued, "We are delighted to see our research and innovation being recognised by the region. The funding provides a level of continued security for our research community who otherwise may have had to seek alternative opportunities outside of the region and Ireland.".

Research recognised for positive impact during pandemic

Knowledge Transfer Ireland’s latest Annual Knowledge Transfer Survey (2019) confirms the positive impact on society and the economy of research and innovation work carried out in the sector, including in the fight against COVID-19.

The funding will help to protect both people and projects at a critical moment for Ireland’s national research system as HEI’s look towards the next national research and innovation strategy (the successor to Innovation 2020) and the next European funding programme (Horizon Europe).

The funding will allow researchers to continue to pursue all other avenues for project completion, for example in the form of budget re-allocations and will begin engaging with relevant funders to agree the extension of appropriate activities.

The government press release can be read here https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/24c29-minister-harris-announces-targeted-funding-of-47-million-for-researchers-affected-by-covid-19/

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