2020 IRC Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme

The 2020 Irish Research Council Government of Ireland (GOI) scheme will open on Thursday 5th September 2019 with a closing date for applications (to be submitted via the online system) of 4pm Irish time on Thursday 31st October 2019.

Applications are accepted in any discipline from new entrants and continuing research students.

IRC FAQs - 18.10.19

IRC website 

Terms and Conditions

Guide for Applicants

Evaluation criteria

Academic supervisors who are not currently supervising an IRC student will need to be pre-registered on the online system (email to do so).  See information on Primary Academic Supervisors below.  

 Use of gender in application:

Applications should be gender blind so gender should not be identified. The Assessors will not see the personal details of the applicant. Supervisors and Referees should also be cognisant of this.

Note that the application should be completed by the applicant NOT the supervisor. The IRC have stressed that plagiarizing or copying other students’ applications will result in not being allowed to apply for future applications.

While the majority of scholarships will be awarded to EU applicants, a proportion of scholarships will also/only be made to exceptional non-EU applicants - see clause 4.4 of the Terms and Conditions:

4.4. While the majority of scholarships will be awarded to applicants who fall under Category One, a proportion of scholarships will also be made to exceptional applicants who fall under Category Two. The number of awards that can be made to this category of applicant is small in comparison to the typical number of eligible applications in this category. In 2019, the success rates for the programme were as follows: Overall success rate¹  (STEM) 15%; for Category Two applicants² (STEM); Overall success rate¹  (AHSS) 18%; for Category Two applicants²  6%

¹All awards as a percentage of all eligible applications

²Category Two awards as a percentage of Category Two eligible applications

At the end of the online application form ('application declaration') applicants can also choose whether they would like the IRC to make their application available to other agencies for consideration.

What the scholarship offers:

Awardees receive an annual package of up to  €24,000 per annum comprising of:

  • A scholarship stipend of €16,000 per annum
  • Fee contribution of up to  €5,505 per annum
  • Research expense fund of  €2,250 per annum

DCU requirement:

Application details must be submitted to TORA prior to endorsement. PIs should submit at least 1 week in advance of the funding deadline (by Friday 25th October). Please quote the student's name in TORA after the project title and please ensure that the FUNDING PERIOD/ being applied for is entered correctly ie. IRC GOI awards now commence on 1st September as opposed to 1st October.

The Graduate Studies Office will not be in a position to endorse applications that have not been submitted to TORA.

Academic supervisors who are not currently supervising an IRC student will need to be pre-registered on the online system (email to do so).  See information on Primary Academic Supervisors below.  


The relevant deadlines are as follows:

1. The deadline for FAQs (address to Jonny Hobson in GSO) is Thursday 24th October 2019. (Applications to go on TORA by Friday 25th October).

2. The deadline for applications to the scheme is exactly 4pm (Irish time) on Thursday 31st October 2019.

3. The deadline for supervisor, referees and mentor submissions is exactly 4pm (Irish time) on Thursday 7th November 2019.

4. The closing date for endorsement by the research office of the proposed host institution is exactly 4pm (Irish time) on Thursday 14th November 2019.

Results are expected to be announced at the end of March 2020. Official start date is 1st September 2020.

Please note:

Academic Supervisors/Referees

Primary Supervisors who are not currently SUPERVISING an IRC scholar, will have to be pre-registered on the IRC online system, and they should contact Jonny Hobson for this to happen (they will receive an automatic confirmation email from the IRC at this point). The step to remove the role of IRC supervisor for academics not currently supervising a research student was taken by the GSO to try and eliminate the number of random applications (where applicants have selected an academic supervisor on the online system without first consulting them). Any other roles that an academic may have with the IRC will be unaffected - access won't be lost - and not having a supervisor role does not mean an academic is missing out on any information updates from the IRC.

Applicants will know if their  primary supervisor needs to be pre-registered as their details won't appear in the drop down list on the online system. Once added to the online application, primary supervisors can logon and view the draft but cannot submit the supervisor form until the student has submitted their final application to the IRC.

Applicants can add one Secondary Supervisor to their applications. In the event of joint academic supervision, the applicant must choose one to be the Principal Academic Supervisor (the Secondary Supervisor's involvement can be included in the application in the 'Proposed Research' section).  The Secondary Supervisor is indeed eligible to be one of the applicant's 2 Referees.

Applicants are to select 2 Referees who do not need to pre-register. Neither Referee can be the Primary Academic Supervisor. Referees do not have to be academics but should be individuals who know the applicant sufficiently well to provide them with a reference, eg. a PI or mentor from any time in the applicant's career or education, a leader or member of a research team where the applicant has worked. Once saved to the online application, referees can logon and submit their form to the IRC (before the student has submitted the final application). Students should check that their referees received the email from the IRC.

All reference forms contribute to the applicant score and environment score.  The Evaluation Criteria gives a good indication of where marks lie. It is helpful if the Referees are enthused about the applicant, project and fit. Assessors use the references (so it is a good idea that they are written with consideration).

The IRC will not enter into written or telephone correspondence with individual applicants. In the first instance, applicants should contact Jonny Hobson in the Graduate Studies Office for information and clarification on the call. 

Applications are only accepted via the online system. Students who applied to the Enterprise Partnership Scheme (EPS) earlier in the year are eligible to apply for the Government of Ireland scheme (you can apply twice for each of the IRC schemes)

All GOI scholarships are to commence on 1st September 2020. Non-EU applicants must satisfy DCU's english language entrance requirements:


To confirm:

Applicants to the GOI scheme will have a Primary Supervisor (and can add one Secondary Supervisor who can also be a referee),  and 2 Referees.