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04 Oct 2022

Kildare TD launches call for new agricultural research initiative

Kildare TD launches call for new agricultural research initiative

File Photo: More details will be provided to all potential applicants via an informational webinar hosted by the Dept's Research Division on September 22, 2022 at 10.30am.

A TD based in Kildare has launched a call for a pilot agricultural research initiative.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for research and innovation Martin Heydon TD, has today announced the establishment of a new pilot research initiative.

The ‘Policy and Strategic Studies Research Call’, or PSSRC, will support research that expands the evidence base for the Department, informing and supporting the development of policies across the agri-food, forest, and bio-based sectors.

Specifically, Minister Heydon has announced the launch of the first research call under this new initiative, and has invited all eligible Research Performing Organisations (RPOs) to submit research proposals aligned to the topics specified in the call.

Commenting on the launch, Minister Heydon said: "I am delighted to announce this new pilot research initiative and to see the immediate launch of the first Policy and Strategic Studies Research Call on September 14, 2022.

"Sound science is at the heart of everything we do and research is essential for providing the evidence and knowledge base for the development of policies and schemes and services, of benefit to the agri-food, forestry and bioeconomy sectors.

Minister Martin Heydon, TD (Fine Gael)

He added: "The twenty topics in this call have been identified by my Department to address immediate strategic policy needs; they range from climate, pesticides and forestry to animal health and welfare, the bio-economy, and women in farming.

Minister Heydon also said the Programme for Government and Food Vision 2030 will highlight the need for support and investment in research: "This new initiative will mean that we can be more agile in how we fund research, particularly for more urgent issues facing the Dept and the wider agri-food sector.

"I strongly encourage Irish researchers to examine the broad range of topics in this call and to submit relevant proposals."

BACKGROUND

The Dept updated its research programme in 2021 by replacing the three strands of FIRM, Stimulus and COFORD with five new strands, one of which is the Strategic Studies Strand. 

This strand is designed to provide a more flexible funding vehicle capable of addressing mainly policy issues more rapidly whilst still requiring scientific rigour.

The initial call under this programme may subsequently be rolled out through further open calls based on specific topics identified by the Dept to address immediate or short-to-medium term strategic/policy needs.

Call documents can be found here.

Projects can be up to 1 or 2 years in duration.

The Dept described the PSSRC as a 'public good' competitive research call and the process, and added that along with relevant outputs, will be widely published and made freely available in line with state aid rules and the principles of open science.

More information about the PSSRC initiative and the 2022 PSSRC, as well as where to find call documents, is available from the Research News and Events section of the official Dept website.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

The deadline for submissions is October 17, 2022 at 4pm.

More details will be provided to all potential applicants via an informational webinar hosted by the Dept's Research Division on September 22, 2022 at 10.30am.

Those interested can register at the following link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1386626425352054795.

Financial support for the 2022 PSSRC Call is being provided through the Dept's Research Programme

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