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Impact of Covid-19 on the Irish Academic Job Market in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Currently, the academic labour market does not seem to have been strongly affected by the Covid-19 crisis. On the universities web pages there is no new information about the current calls. However, it can be expected that information will be updated in the following weeks.

Responses adopted by the Government and the National Funding Agency

  • Government of Ireland:
    announced a competition for €5 million in funding as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  As expected, a considerable part of the fund was directed towards medical research. Nevertheless, the Government of Ireland, through the Irish Research Council, financed case-studies related to mental healthcare workers (Prof.Brian McGuire, NUI Galway), rapid resources to support healthcare professionals answering Ireland’s Call for Covid-19 (Prof. Alice Coffey, Irish Research Council and Health Research Board), on understanding the avoiding of physical distance (Dr.Gerard Molloy, NUI Galway’s School of Psychology) and healthcare delivery for Covid-19 patience in Dublin’s north inner city (Prof. Walter Cullen).[1]

    The Government of Ireland offers a programme dedicated to postdoctoral fellows: the Irish Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme. The competition happens yearly, but for the time being the next round has not been announced. Still, you can find more information about the current call, documentation and application guidelines here: http://research.ie/funding/goipd/

  • Irish Research Council:
    changed the timing of calls for various early stage career researcher funding, such as the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme, COALESCE, Ulysses, AHRC-IRC. Other programme deadlines are under discussion. More information about the change of the deadlines, here: http://research.ie/assets/uploads/2020/04/Revised-Call-Schedule-2020-23-04-2020.pdf
    The response of the Irish Research Council was quick in the Covid-19 crisis. Notwithstanding the disruption to research that may occur, awardees and institutions were assured that the Council would continue to provide funding to researchers who are funded by its awards. The Irish Research Council gave particular attention to early-career researchers (ERCs) and in the case that research was severely compromised due to the Covid-19 crisis.[2] The budget for research expenses was re-allocated, including towards stipend/salary to support a short-term extension in 2020, where projects are disrupted due to Covid-19. In what concerns international awardees, on an exceptional basis, the Council will waive the requirement for scholars and fellows to be based in Ireland.

    The research agencies worked collaboratively with higher education institutions and are closely monitoring the impact on Ireland’s research community. The Health Research Board (HRB), Irish Research Council (IRC) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) took a pragmatic approach and gave due consideration to the call deadlines, deadlines for progress reporting, deadlines for the return of award documentation, budget reallocations, no-cost extensions, restructuring of project deliverables and timelines for research mobility and collaborations.


[1] “IRC-HRB-Case-Studies.Pdf,” accessed 15 June 2020, http://research.ie/assets/uploads/2020/04/IRC-HRB-Case-Studies.pdf.

[2] “Guidance-for-Awardees-on-COVID-19-22.5.2020.Pdf,” 2., accessed June 15, 2020, http://research.ie/assets/uploads/2020/06/Guidance-for-awardees-on-COVID-19-22.5.2020.pdf.

Responses adopted by the Universities

  • National University of Ireland (NUI):
    offers support for current researchers, on a case-by-case basis, based on the funds available. At the same time, the NUI will continue the Grant Scheme for Early Career Academics. More information about the NUI Postdoctoral Fellowships in Humanities, the Fulbright-NUI Scholar Award and NUI Dr. Garret FitzGerald Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Social Sciences, check: 

Page last updated on 04 August 2020