Trinity and Queen’s awarded €3.8m to establish All-Ireland Centre of Excellence in Economics, History & Policy

Posted on: 07 April 2022

12 Trinity research projects funded under the Shared Island North-South Research Programme

Trinity economists, in collaboration with colleagues in Queen’s University Belfast, have been awarded €3.8 million to establish an All-Ireland Centre of Excellence in Economics, History and Policy.

The centre will play a leading role in contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals by connecting economic theories to real world applications, by building a durable and stimulating research and teaching infrastructure, and by engaging in outreach activities.

A research team composed of Associate Professor Gaia Narciso, Assistant Professor Marvin Suesse and Associate Professor Ronan Lyons, along with colleagues in Queen’s University Belfast, secured the funding under the Government’s North-South Research Programme which was announced recently.

Assistant Professor Marvin Suesse, Dean of Research Professor Wolfgang Schmitt, Associate Professor Gaia Narciso, Provost Dr Linda Doyle and Associate Professor Ronan Lyons

Understanding the deep historical roots of major challenges like global inequalities and climate change can help policymakers address their consequences, according to Prof Narciso. Taking history seriously will significantly enrich the study of economics and help to deliver policy outputs relevant to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, she added.

The centre will provide training to new generations of economic historians: from offering internship opportunities for undergraduate students, doctoral training and postdoctoral experience for early career researchers, as well as a series of outreach activities in secondary schools across the island.

Associate Professor Gaia Narciso, Head of the Department of Economics at Trinity and Co-Director of the new All-Ireland Centre, commented:

We are excited about starting this new four-year project that builds on the existing strengths of our two universities. This injection of high-quality funding from the North-South Research Programme will enable us to expand our activities with ambitious new policy-relevant research and education programmes across the island of Ireland.

Dr Chris Colvin, Senior Lecturer in Economics at Queen’s Management School and one of the Centre’s new Programme Leads, added:

The past holds many lessons on successes and mistakes in policymaking decisions that could benefit society today, and in the future. The new All-Ireland Centre of Excellence in Economics, History and Policy will offer those in leadership positions the resources to improve decision-making ­–­ by providing concrete, expert historical research evidence in a formal setting. We look forward to working collaboratively with Trinity College Dublin to combine our knowledge to benefit the whole island of Ireland.

The project is one of 12 Trinity projects to have secured funding under the Shared Island North-South Research Programme this year. Other successful Trinity projects include an all-Ireland cancer liquid biopsies consortium led by Prof Lorraine O’Driscoll, which secured funding of €2.4 million.

The North-South Research Programme is a collaborative scheme funded through the Government’s Shared Island Fund. It is being administered by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. A total of 62 collaborative research projects between academics and institutions in Ireland and in Northern Ireland will receive a total of €37m under the first funding call from the North-South Research Programme.

Other successful Trinity projects were:

  • Dr Anne Molloy, Medicine, AIM4HEALTH ­­– Artificial intelligence approaches to addressing mental health inequalities in Ireland through improved diet and lifestyle: an interdisciplinary North-South investigation of the TUDA cohort integrating nutrition, environmental science (TCD/UU €100,075)
  • Dr Bidisha Ghosh, Engineering, SPECTATOR – Sustainable, Integrated, Optimised Electrification and Automation of Transportation Networks (TCD/QUB €100,000)
  • Dr Caroline Jagoe, Clinical Speech and Language Studies, ENSPIRED – Enhancing Social Participation across Ireland for people with communication disabilities and differences (TCD to partner on UCC/UUled project €4,400)
  • Dr Catherine Conlon, Social Work & Social Policy, REPROCIT – Reproductive Citizenship: Comparative analysis of effects of differential pathways to legalising abortion on Island of Ireland on Service User Articulations of Citizenship, (TCD/UU €100,000)
  • Prof Danny Kelly, Engineering, CARTREGEN – Modelling and fabrication of microfibre reinforced composite constructs for repair and regeneration of articular cartilage (TCD/QUB €115,532)
  • Prof Ed Lavelle & Dr Patrick Walsh, Biochemistry & Immunology, Biochemistry & Immunology, AVACTA: All-island Vaccine Research and Training Alliance (TCD to partner on UCD/QUB led project, TCD €272,146)
  • Dr Elaine Moriarty, Sociology, MES AIE – Migrant and Employer Strategies post Brexit in an all-island economy, (TCD/QUB €140,000)
  • Prof Eve Patten, Trinity Long Room Hub, IRBORDCUL – Irish Border Culture: Literature, Arts, and Policy, an interdisciplinary enquiry (TCD/QUB €100,000)
  • Dr Joanna McGouran, Chemistry, SNAPSHOT – Target engagement assays- a radical approach to capture a snapshot of probe-enzyme binding (TCD/QUB €145,000)
  • Prof Lorraine O’Driscoll, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences – A foundation stone for the All-Island Cancer Research Institute (AICRI): Building Critical Mass in Precision Cancer Medicine (TCD partner on UCD / QUB led project €340,545)



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