Apply Now for the IRC Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme

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Combining excellent research with workplace experience, the Irish Research Council’s Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme is a unique national initiative. First piloted in 2012, it provides students in all disciplines an opportunity to bring great research ideas into an Irish employment partner with the support of a higher education institution. They top up the wage of a full-time employee with €24,000 per annum to complete a higher degree by research.

What is an employment partner?

  • An employment partner is a business, company, registered charity, social, cultural or not-for-profit civic organisation, semi-state commercial organisation or eligible public body with a physical operational base located in Ireland that will employ the researcher for the duration of the award. Employment partners need to be based in the Republic of Ireland and have suitable facilities to host and mentor the researcher.
  • A public body is a public service body with specific scientific or cultural infrastructure that is integral to the conduct and completion of the proposed research.
  • If a public body or higher education institution is an eligible research performing organisation, it is not an eligible employment partner under this scheme.


What they offer

Both Irish enterprises and work placed researchers benefit greatly from the programme. Employment partners host excellent researchers who dedicate their time to a specific research project related to the organisation. The Irish Research Council contribute up to €24,000 per annum towards the researcher costs.

There is no cap on the wage the organisation pays to the researcher, meaning current employees can stay on the wage they are at while gaining a research degree supported by a co-contribution from the Irish Research Council. However, organisations must commit a minimum contribution of €8,000 per annum with a portion or all of this contribution going towards employment costs of the researcher. At the end of the project, the researcher will gain workplace skills and a degree by research.

How to apply

Potential applicants should read the 2019 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. Read more at


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