Research Newsletter - Issue 77: Funding Success

Starting and Consolidator Laureate Awards 2021

Congratulations to our three DCU PI's on their Laureate awards. The Laureate projects are curiosity driven frontier research projects, which aim to push the boundaries of our current understanding of the research field. The three awardees and the projects are:

Prof. Jane Suiter has been awarded a Consolidator Laureate award focused on “Examining the Potential of Communicative Deliberation for Climate Action”. 

Dr Andrew Kellett will be working on “Gene Editing with Nucleic Acid Click Chemistry”, for which he was awarded the Consolidator Laureate award. 

Dr Hanosch Heller will be “Redefining epilepsy treatment - the role of waste clearing in the brain” as part of his Starting Laureate award. 

The total award value for DCU is €1.6M. We look forward to hearing about the findings of these three ground-breaking research projects.


SFI Plastics Challenge award to DCU

The Grain-4-Lab team, led by Dr Jennifer Gaughran (School of Physical Sciences) and Dr Brian Freeland (School of Biotechnology), were awarded €2.4m in funding for their proposed solution to two different sustainability challenges. The project “Grain-4-Lab: reducing reliance on single-use plastics in laboratories”, undertaken by Dr Jennifer Gaughran, Dr Brian Freeland, Ms Samantha Fahy (DCU Sustainability), Dr Susan Kelleher (School of Chemical Sciences) and Dr Keith Rochfort (School of Biotechnology), was selected as the SFI Future Innovator Prize winner and is developing a solution to tackle sustainability challenges in plastic usage in Irish research laboratories by using waste produced from the brewing and distilling industry in Ireland. The research team has been working in partnership with organisations such as Waterford Distillery, Murphy & Son, Smallwares and Key Plastics to develop, test and trial the solution.

During the Prize phase of the award, the Grain-4-Lab team will focus on the scale-up of their process for the manufacture of lab components, starting with petri dishes and extending this to other consumables, while developing a framework for the adoption of sustainable practices in laboratories. The team will also continue to validate their approach, engaging with stakeholders across the value chain and developing commercialisation plans for their technology.

Congratulations to the Grain-4-Lab Team and we look forward to hearing about the results of this highly innovative and timely project!


SFI Science Week award to DCU

Congratulations to Dr Shaun O’Boyle (School of Inclusive and Special Education) and Dr Elizabeth Mathews (School of Inclusive and Special Education) for being awarded the SFI Science Week award for the project entitled “Shakespeare in ISL for people and machines”. 

‘Shakespeare in ISL (for people and machines)’ is an innovative in-person Science Week event combining technology and theatre, developed with the Deaf community for adult Deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences. The event format is adapted from an open source method to explore a community’s relationship to artificial intelligence (AI) through co-creation and participatory science engagement. Audience members sit alongside AI apps running live on devices and monitors, and they watch a Shakespeare performance together. This shift in framing of AI from tool to co-spectator then creates a valuable opportunity to facilitate an audience discussion on the impact of AI, machine learning, and machine translation to the Deaf community. This is particularly important as emerging technologies in this area begin to focus on translation between sign and spoken languages. This art-science event is centred around a performance of Shakespeare, adapted and performed by Deaf theatre practitioners in Irish Sign Language (ISL). While the event is open and free to all audiences—Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and hearing—Deaf culture will be placed at the centre, and the experiences of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people will be the focus of the event’s discussion around AI. This event has been developed collaboratively with Deaf community members across two projects at DCU: the ISL STEM Glossary and SignON. With this award, the project team hopes to continue to co-create a flagship Science Week event for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, and ensure that its outputs inform research on machine translation as it impacts ISL.


Erasmus+ Projects

Thus far in 2022 DCU researchers have been awarded 10 Erasmus+ grants. These successful projects span 4 faculties and a wide range of project types as well as diverse subject areas. 36 Erasmus+ proposals have been submitted in total this year and results for over half are yet to be announced.

Congratulations to the current 2022 awardees:

Prof. Dermot Brabazon, School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering: Cooperation partnerships in higher education: Collaborative e-platform for innovation and educational enhancement in medical engineering

Prof. Dermot Brabazon and Dr Inam Ul Ahad, School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering: Partnerships for Innovation - Capacity Building in HE: GetInnovative4impact

Dr Monica Ward, School of Computing, and Dr Eamonn McCauley, School of Inclusive & Special Education: Cooperation partnerships in school education: Adaptive Digital Reading  (DCU is coordinator)

Dr Lorraine Boran, School of Psychology: Cooperation partnerships in higher education: Good Mental Health in Older People

Dr Eithne Kennedy, School of Language, Literacy & Early Childhood Education: Cooperation partnerships in school education: AI Literacy Network in Primary Education. (The consortium is made up of 5  ECIU members).

4 PIs in the School of Law and Government have been awarded funding for projects under the Jean Monnet Action:

Prof. Federico Fabbrini: Jean Monnet Modules: EU Law & Policy After Brexit

Dr Christy Ann Petit: Jean Monnet Modules: EU Banking and Finance Law & Policy after NGEU

Dr Sarah Leonard: Jean Monnet Chair: Migration, Security and Intelligence in the European Union

Dr Diarmuid Torney: Jean Monnet Policy Debate (Networks on internal EU issues): The European Green Deal: Governing the EU’s Transition towards Climate Neutrality and Sustainability

Prof. Lisa Looney, OVPAA: European Universities: ECIU University