Researcher of the Year Awards 2021

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The Irish Research Council‘s Researcher of the Year Awards 2021 are now open for nominations, including a new award celebrating the role of mentors, supervisors and research officers in the Irish higher education and research system. The deadline for submitting nominations is 1st October 2021.

Nominations are invited under four categories, with guidance on submitting an application available here

Category one — Researcher of the Year

One award will be made to a well-established and highly accomplished researcher currently working in a Higher Education Institution (HEI) or a Research Performing Organisation (RPO), who is, or has previously been, a named awardee of the IRC*, and who has made an exceptional contribution to research in their field.

Read about the 2020 Researcher of the Year, Dr Jane Suiter (DCU), here.

*This includes the IRC’s predecessors, namely the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) and the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET).*

Nomination Form for Category 1

Category two  Early-Career Researcher of the Year

One award will be made to an early-career researcher currently working in research in a HEI or an RPO, who is, or previously has been, a named awardee of the IRC, and who has demonstrated an exceptional level of achievement in their field at this stage in their career.

Nomination Form for Category 2

Category three  Impact Award

One award will be made to a current or former IRC-funded researcher, working within or outside a HEI/RPO, whose work has made a significant impact beyond academia. Eligible nominees need not currently be working specifically in a research-driven role.

Nomination Form for Category 3


Category four — Research Ally Prizes

These prizes will be awarded to mentors, supervisors, Research Officers, and support staff in the Irish higher education system who have played a vital role in supporting the academic research community across all career-levels. Postgraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and academic staff are welcome to nominate the mentors, supervisors, Research Officers and support staff who have helped them in their research and careers. Nominators do not need to be based in academia at the time of their nomination.

Nomination form for Category 4

Award Presentation

Category 1 – 3 awardees will be presented with a commemorative plaque in late 2021. Category 4 awardees will receive an official certificate of commendation in late 2021. Due to social distancing measures related to COVID-19, the announcement will be made online through the IRC’s social media channels. The winners will also be profiled through an extensive media and online communications campaign.

Nomination forms and Guidance with further information about the nomination process are available for download from this page.

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

Key Dates

Deadline Date
Call open 14 July 2021
FAQ deadline 24 September 2021
Nomination deadline 4pm (Irish time) 1 October 2021 provides information about postgraduate courses and study in Ireland. We list virtually every postgraduate course in Ireland in Ireland, so you can search for the course of your choice.


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