Prof Dan Carey, Dr Edoardo Celeste and Dr Louise Callinan
(L-R) IRC Chair Prof Dan Carey, Dr Edoardo Celeste and IRC Director Dr Louise Callinan

Dr Edoardo Celeste named 2022 Irish Research Council Early Stage Researcher of the Year

Dr Celeste is Assistant Professor of Law, Technology and Innovation at DCU. He is also Programme Chair of the new Erasmus Mundus Master in Law, Data and Artificial Intelligence programme at DCU and he has been the Deputy-Director of the DCU Law Research Centre since 2022.

The award is given to an outstanding current or former Irish Research Council (IRC) awardee who is at an early stage in their research career. Dr Celeste was selected from a number of excellent entries, all of whom demonstrated an exceptional level of achievement in their field at this career stage. This is a great reflection on the current state of emerging research talent in Ireland.

Edoardo’s research expertise is in the burgeoning field of data law, with a special focus on the impact of the digital revolution on legal systems. He studies how fundamental rights are impacted by the digital revolution, and more specifically, how such rights are evolving to face the challenges of the digital age. He specialises in the analysis of the rights to privacy and to data protection. In particular, he looks at the legitimate boundaries that the law should set in relation to the ability of state actors to intrude on these rights. In this field, his research is focused on the regulation of mass surveillance and data retention in Europe. He further specialises in the law and governance of social media platforms, including investigating the constitutional rules that can bind the action of private multinational organisations, such as social media companies.

Edoardo graduated in law from the University of Rome La Sapienza in 2015, winning the Prize for Excellent Student. Having undertaken further studies in Paris and King’s College London, he was awarded an IRC Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship in 2017. His PhD thesis was on the role of soft law in the constitutionalisation of the internet.

Speaking about his award, Dr Edoardo Celeste said

“The funding from the Irish Research Council has been a key element for me to disseminate my work at international level and to interact with academics from all over the world.”

Prof Daire Keogh, President of Dublin City University, said

“We describe ourselves as living in a digital age and ourselves as digital citizens. What Edoardo’s work is doing is creating the parameters, the framework for that society, that will protect democratic rights, human rights and citizenship.

The Irish Research Council plays an invaluable role in the promotion and development and support of Humanities.”

Dr Louise Callinan, Director of the Irish Research Council, said 

“The Researcher of the Year Awards provide an important opportunity to recognise the very best of the excellent researchers supported by the Irish Research Council and to highlight the tangible impact of public investment in research across all disciplines.

The Irish Research Council is very proud to have provided vital support to the work of our awardees at various stages of their research careers. We extend our congratulations to each of our awardees as we acknowledge their significant contributions to the understanding of our shared past, present, and future from a diversity of perspectives.”

Linda Rose, Assistant Director of the Irish Research Council, said

“Dr Celeste embodies excellence through his research into digital law and policy, digital rights, privacy, data protection law and social media governance. He is most deserving of his accolade and is a shining example of the exceptional people working in our research system today.”

The independent judging panel made two commendations in this category of Early Stage Researcher. They were to Dr. Madhusanka Liyanage of University College Dublin, and Dr. Giovanni Di Liberto of Trinity College Dublin.


Research Ally Awards

Alongside the Researcher of the Year award, the Irish Research Council also awarded Research Ally prizes to mark the crucial role played by higher education personnel in supporting the academic research community across all career levels. Postgraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, academic and research-active staff were invited to nominate the mentors, supervisors, research officers and technical support staff who have supported their work and careers and improved the Irish research ecosystem. DCU's Research Ally awardees include Dr Gillian Lake, Dr Neil Kenny and Dr Audrey Bryan (DCU Institute of Education), Dr Brad Anderson and Dr Neil O'Boyle (Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences) and Prof Regina Connolly (DCU Business School), all awarded under the Supervisor category; and Dr Eamonn McConnon (DCU Business School), awarded in the Research Officer category.


About the Irish Research Council

The Irish Research Council is the national funder of excellent research across all disciplines. It invests in discovery research and in ground-breaking ideas that address major societal challenges, funding a diverse range of excellent individual researchers across all career stages.  

The Irish Research Council collaborates with enterprise, civil society, and with government to leverage the skills, knowledge, and talent of researchers to achieve maximum benefit for society. 

The Irish Research Council is an associated agency of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and operates under the aegis of the Higher Education Authority.