Science Foundation Ireland 2022 Awards recognise key leaders in the Irish research community
MaREI wins the ‘SFI Engaged Research of the Year Award 2022’ for the Dingle Peninsula 2030 initiative
The winners of the prestigious 2022 Science Foundation Ireland Awards were revealed at the annual SFI Science Summit, held in person for the first time in two years. Joined by over 500 leading members of the Irish research community, SFI celebrated the contribution researchers have made to our society and economy.
We found evidence of a rich diffusion of sustainability on the Dingle Peninsula and we were really anxious to share this with the outside world. By co-producing learning briefs we were able to document and share the learnings that are informing research, policy, state agencies and community groups working on climate action initiatives.
SFI Engaged Research of the Year Award 2022
Recipients: Ms Aoife Deane, Public Engagement Manager and Prof. Brian Ó Gallachóir, Director, MaREI the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine Research, UCC and the Dingle Peninsula 2030 team
MaREI’s transdisciplinary research group at the University College Cork is harnessing the community spirit on the Dingle Peninsula to advance a groundbreaking engaged research initiative called Dingle Peninsula 2030. This initiative is co-producing solutions with the community to address critical energy and climate challenges while also building societal resilience and capacity. MaREI has established a diverse multi-disciplinary research team combining expertise from energy engineering (Prof. Brian Ó Gallachóir, Dr Connor McGookin), sociology (Dr Clare Watson, Dr Evan Boyle), and community engagement (MaREI Public Engagement Manager, Aoife Deane), who work in a deeply embedded way with the community partners in the Dingle Peninsula 2030 team.
Congratulations to my colleagues @BOGallachoir, Aoife Deane and all at the @MaREIcentre Dingle 2030 project on winning the #SFISummit Engaged Research award. Bringing about the rapid transitions necessary to address climate change is as much a local as a global challenge ? pic.twitter.com/DcmuA3u9a5
— Hannah Daly (@HannahEDaly) November 21, 2022
— Campus Engage (@campus_engage) November 21, 2022
— John O’Halloran (@johbees) November 21, 2022
Science Foundation Ireland
SFI Early Career Researcher of the Year 2022
Recipient: Dr Claire Gillan, Trinity College Dublin
Dr Gillan is an internationally renowned expert on mental illnesses, and was the first to show that patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have tendencies to form habits, a ground-breaking discovery in OCD that features in several undergraduate textbooks today.
SFI Commercialisation Award 2022
Recipient: Dr Alison Liddy, University of Galway
Dr Liddy and her team are developing a novel, disruptive, treatment for chronic pain without the usual addictive side-effects current treatments possess. This advancement has the potential not only for a transformative impact on the lives of those suffering from chronic pain but also has the potential to reduce the significant negative societal impact associated with prescription drug addiction.
SFI Best International Engagement Award 2022
Recipient: Prof. Michael Morris, Trinity College Dublin, AMBER, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research
In recognition of his long-standing association and engagement with international companies, researchers, and policy makers, Prof. Morris is the winner of the 2022 SFI Best International Engagement Award.
Prof Morris is a professor of Surface and Interface Chemistry at Trinity College Dublin and the director of AMBER, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research, who has spearheaded the facility for the last 7 years. Prof. Morris is the first European scientist to be awarded three or more awards from the Semiconductor Research Council in the United States He has promoted the circular economy internationally and has engaged with researchers and policy makers in the United States, Turkey, Switzerland and the UK and is a member of the European Materials Characterisation. He is the lead PI on DeMANS, an MSCA programme on developing printable biopolymers which involve companies and universities across Europe as well as New Zealand and Australia.
SFI Outstanding Contribution to STEM Communication Award 2022
Recipient: Ms. Jackie Gorman, CEO, Midlands Science
Ms. Gorman has been engaging and educating young people, parents, youth groups and leaders, schools, industry representatives, local government and key stakeholders since 2008. Jackie has been steering Midlands Science, through impactful, creative and innovative work in promoting STEM and impacts over 16,000 people directly every year and with specific efforts to engage with those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
SFI Industry Partnership Award 2022
Recipient: NexSys led by Prof. Andrew Keane, University College Dublin
The core mission of NexSys, is to decarbonise our energy system. Importantly, NexSys brings together researchers from across the island, with key industry partners, policy-makers and communities to resolve the challenges of a just transition to a decarbonised system. EirGrid and ESB have partnered with NexSys with a commitment to research and innovation for over 15 years.
SFI Mentorship Award 2022
Recipient: Prof. Walter Kolch, Director of the Systems Biology Group, University College Dublin
Through Systems Biology Ireland (SBI), Prof Walter Kolch has built a highly interdisciplinary and multinational research environment. Ever since its inception in 2009, SBI has hosted over 260 team members including 105 researchers, 63 postgraduate students, 12 clinician scientists, 36 management and admin staff, and 46 research support staff from over 35 countries. Prof. Kolch has supervised over 50 postdocs and over 40 doctoral students providing his team with the tools and infrastructure to develop their independence at early in their careers several of whom have secured various positions in academia and industry, some even starting their own companies.
SFI Research Image of the Year Award 2022:
Image title: A spring garden of griseoflowers
Recipient: Mariana Oliveira Diniz, PhD student, SSPC, SFI Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals, University of Limerick
Description: Griseofulvin is a drug with wide interest in the pharmaceutical field as it is used as an antifungal antibiotic to treat skin infections. Griseofulvin was first isolated from Penicillium griseofulvum in 1939 and became the first clinical oral antifungal approved to be used in 1950. For its relevance, griseofulvin is listed on the List of Essential Medicines of the World Health Organization (WHO). In my PhD research, I investigate the nucleation kinetics of griseofulvin in different solvents and different scales. These crystals were formed when a solution of griseofulvin in acetonitrile was left to evaporate at room temperature on a fume hood for 3 days. This image was captured by a phone camera without any further treatment.