Established in mid-2012 under the Government’s Public Sector Reform Plan, the Irish Research Council (‘the Council’), a merger of two former councils (the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences, IRCHSS, and the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, IRCSET), is an associated agency of the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and operates under the aegis of the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
The Council was established and mandated to:
- Fund excellent research within, and between, all disciplines, and in doing so to enhance Ireland’s international reputation as a centre for research and learning.
- Support the education and skills development of excellent individual early stage researchers and cultivate agile independent researchers and thinkers, whilst offering a range of opportunities which support diverse career paths.
- Enrich the pool of knowledge and expertise available for addressing Ireland’s current and future challenges, whether societal, cultural or economic and deliver for citizens through collaboration and enabling knowledge exchange with government departments and agencies, enterprise and civic society.
- Provide policy advice on postgraduate education and on more general research matters to the HEA and other national and international bodies. In giving the Council this role, the Minister for Research and Innovation requested that particular attention be given to the arts, humanities and social sciences (AHSS).