Research and Development Funding

Posted in Research on March 24th, 2017 by steve

IrelandNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if she is satisfied with the level of funding allocated to the programme for research in third level institutions on an annual basis in 2017; and the amount of funding that has been ring-fenced for research and frontier research in 2017 …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 23 March]

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UK universities’ confusion on Brexit ‘toxic’, says Germany’s U15

Posted in Research on March 23rd, 2017 by steve

“UK higher education institutions have failed to set out a clear strategy for staying in the European Union’s research framework, and this uncertainty is proving ‘toxic’ for new joint projects, the chair of an association of the biggest research universities in Germany has warned …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 23 March]

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Is the importance of female role models in science overstated?

Posted in Research on March 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I recently watched the movie Hidden Figures and was incredibly moved by the true story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who worked at Nasa during the space race of the 1960s. These women, originally employed as human computers in the coloured section at Nasa, became trail-blazers in their fields of mathematics, physics, engineering and computer science, breaking not only gender but also racial stereotypes of the time …” (more)

[Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, Irish Times, 23 March]

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Academia is fucked-up. So why isn’t anyone doing something about it?

Posted in Research on March 23rd, 2017 by steve

“A week or so ago, a list of perverse incentives in academia made rounds. It offers examples like ‘rewarding an increased number of citations’ that – instead of encouraging work of high quality and impact – results in inflated citation lists, an academic tit-for-tat which has become standard practice. Likewise, rewarding a high number of publications doesn’t produce more good science, but merely finer slices of the same science …” (more)

[Sabine Hossenfelder, Backreaction, 22 March]


Gender bias distorts peer review across field

Posted in Research on March 22nd, 2017 by steve

International“In many scientific fields, women publish fewer papers than men, are less likely to be listed as first authors and are less likely to receive glowing letters of recommendation from their advisers. These disparities have decreased over time, but they persist. Now, a study finds that some journal editors might be inadvertently taking gender into account when selecting reviewers for papers …” (more)

[Erin Ross, Nature News, 21 March]

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Students fear they lack skills to set up business

Posted in Research on March 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Many third-level students want to set up their own businesses after graduation, but college supports to do so might be lacking, a new study suggests. While one-in-six have the strongest ambitions to start their own ventures in the future, barely half said their college encouraged entrepreneurial activities …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 21 March]

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Every attempt to manage academia makes it worse

Posted in Research on March 19th, 2017 by steve

“I’ve been on Twitter since April 2011 — nearly six years. A few weeks ago, for the first time, something I tweeted broke the thousand-retweets barrier. And I am really unhappy about it. For two reasons. First, it’s not my own content …” (more)

[Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week, 17 March]


Trinity’s Total Research Budget Increases, with 68% of Budget from State Funding

Posted in Research on March 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Trinity’s research accounts for last year show that 68% of research income came from state funding, accounting for nearly €68 million, while Trinity’s four research institutes made up 14.7% of the total research income …” (more)

[Róisín Power, University Times, 17 March]

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Patchy progress on fixing global gender disparities in science

Posted in Research on March 8th, 2017 by steve

International“Although women are publishing more studies, being cited more often, and securing more coveted first-author positions than they were in the mid 1990s, overall progress towards gender parity in science varies widely by country and field. This is according to a massive report released on 8 March that is the first to examine such a broad swath of disciplines and regions of the world over time …” (more)

[Erin Ross, Nature News, 8 March]

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Funding research vital to society

Posted in Research on March 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The importance of funding ‘basic research’ for the future wellbeing of Irish society and our economy is clearly articulated by John FitzGerald (‘Research to shape public policy is hard to measure – and fund’, Business Opinion, March 3rd), although he could have added that the Irish Research Council funds basic research across all disciplines …” (more)

[Jane Ohlmeyer, Irish Times, 7 March]

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UCD gets Connemara film and sound archive of artists and poets

Posted in Research on February 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Extensive film and audio recordings of poets Seamus Heaney, Paula Meehan and Moya Cannon and musicians Christy Moore and Bill Whelan form part of a Connemara archive which has been donated to University College Dublin (UCD) …” (more)

[Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 28 February]


Slashing of 3rd Level research funding risking Ireland’s future economic prosperity

Posted in Research on February 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Innovation, and Enterprise, Niall Collins has said that the future health of the Irish economy is being put at risk by the failure of Minister Mitchell O’Connor to adequately fund 3rd level research …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 26 February]

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The peer-review system for academic papers is badly in need of repair

Posted in Research on February 26th, 2017 by steve

International“Peer review, or scientific refereeing, is the basis of the academic process. It’s a rigorous evaluation that aims to ensure only work which advances knowledge is published in a scientific journal. Scientists must be able to trust this system: if they see that something is peer reviewed, it should be a hallmark of quality …” (more)

[Michael Rose and Willem Boshoff, The Conversation, 26 February]

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Third Level Funding – PRTLI

Posted in Research on February 24th, 2017 by steve

IrelandNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the total amount of funding allocated to the programme for research in third level institutions on an annual basis from 2010 to 2016 in tabular form; the total amount subsequently expended in each year; the amount of funding that has been allocated in 2017; the amount of funding that has been ring-fenced for research and frontier research in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 23 February]

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Young academics’ research ‘elegant but not interesting’

Posted in Research on February 23rd, 2017 by steve

“Young researchers at Western universities are increasingly writing ‘safe’ and ‘conservative’ papers due to the pressure to get published, according to a scholar who has described the “intense boredom” he feels when reading the titles of journal articles …” (more)

[Ellie Bothwell, Times Higher Education, 23 February]

Science Foundation Ireland – North-South Collaboration

Posted in Research on February 17th, 2017 by steve

IrelandSeán Sherlock (Cork East, Labour): To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of SFI awards that have been made to HEIs for collaborations between the North and South under the CSET, SRC, PICA and PIYRA programmes; the details of the awards for the years 2015 and 2016 showing which HEIs and research teams benefitted from these awards, in tabular form …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 15 February]

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Discipline tardy journal editors, say scholars

Posted in Research on February 9th, 2017 by steve

International“Editors of academic journals should be investigated for ‘professional negligence’ if peer review at their publications takes too long, says a leading critic of the scholarly publishing industry. Despite many editors being unpaid or poorly remunerated for their work, plant scientist Jaime A Teixeira da Silva believes they ‘should be held accountable’ if authors are made to wait for an ‘excessive or unreasonable amount of time’ before a decision is made on their research …” (more)

[Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 7 February]


The university as pillar of the community

Posted in Research on February 9th, 2017 by steve

“The rowhouses along the Amtrak railway line are the introduction to Baltimore for many visitors. Once, perhaps, these terraces might have been home to people who worked in the city’s steel, shipping and car industries. Now many of the houses are abandoned and decaying, sagging alarmingly, boarded up, or with upstairs windows removed to reveal dark, empty rooms …” (more)

[John Morgan, Times Higher Education, 9 February]


TUI Education Conference 2017 – presentations available to download

Posted in Research on February 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“On Saturday 4th February TUI held its annual education conference. One hundred delegates attended and the conference addressed policy issues in second level, further education and third level. The presentations from the conference are available below …” (more)

[Teachers’ Union of Ireland, 7 February]


The University Challenge: what type of Brexit would work for Higher Education?

Posted in Research on February 4th, 2017 by steve

“The EU brought invaluable networks for research and collaboration to the UK. More than that, it fostered a shared democratic culture of openness and tolerance. But these links will have to change as Britain pursues a hard Brexit. Time is short …” (more)

[Anne Corbett and Claire Gordon,
LSE British Politics and Policy Blog, 4 February]

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