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Trinity Arts and Humanities projects awarded €2.17m in funding from SFI-IRC Pathway Awards programme

September 9, 2022 - Four Arts and Humanities research projects at Trinity College Dublin have been awarded a total of €2.17m in funding from the SFI-IRC Pathway programme, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris announced on August 29, 2022.

The SFI-IRC Pathway programme is a new collaborative initiative between Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Irish Research Council (IRC) to support early career research across all disciplines and to encourage interdisciplinary approaches.

A total of 53 projects were awarded funding, an investment of €28.5 million. Of these, eight projects were based at Trinity College, with four coming from Trinity’s Arts and Humanities Schools — the highest number of Arts and Humanities projects awarded to any Irish research organisation.

I am thrilled to announce these exciting new research projects, which allow researchers to advance their work and further develop their careers towards becoming the next generation of research leaders in Ireland.
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris

Dr Nicole Volmering, based in the Department of History in the School of Histories and Humanities; Dr Yunfan Lai, based in the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences; Dr Frank Simons, based in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies; and Dr Neill O’Dwyer, based in Drama in the School of Creative Arts, will use the funding to research the development of writing in early Ireland, Gyalrongic languages, Mesopotamian psychiatry, and the role of extended reality (XR) technologies in performance studies.

Nicole Volmering’s project will explore the origins of Irish script. By collecting evidence from a large number of early Irish manuscripts, it aims to create a detailed picture of the development of Irish intellectual culture and book-making practices. Nicole was based in the Trinity Long Room Hub for part of her IRC funded postdoctoral work during 2015-2018.

Yunfan Lai’s project will develop our understanding of a subgroup of Sino-Tibetan languages known as Gyalrongic languages, and in doing so will help with the preservation and dissemination of these vulnerable languages.

With his project, Frank Simons will revolutionise the study of Mesopotamian psychiatry, contributing to new thinking in the history of that discipline.

And Neill O’Dwyer, who was based in the Trinity Long Room Hub from 2011-2015 for his PhD under the Digital Arts and Humanities programme, will use his project funding to develop a new hybrid (theoretical and practical) toolkit for extended reality (XR) technologies that is qualitatively different from any existing framework spanning drama/film and computer science.

Welcoming the SFI-IRC awards, Professor Eve Patten, Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub, said that ‘this scheme represents a significant development in the Irish funding landscape for Arts and Humanities early career researchers. The range of the projects funded at Trinity shows the richness and diversity of arts and humanities scholarship in our academic community. We look forward to working with these talented researchers and their teams as their projects develop over the next four years.’

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