News roundup


Ulysses travel grants

The Health Research Board (HRB) has partnered with the Irish Research Council's (IRC) Ulysses travel grant to fund a number of research visits to France to support new research collaborations between Irish and French researchers.

Ireland and France flags on a white background

The successful recipients in this round are:

  1. Professor Cliona O’Farrelly, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, TCD, Identifying Mechanisms of Innate Resistance to Viral Infection in the Irish Anti-D cohort who will visit the Institut Pasteur, Paris.
  2. Professor Jane Farrar, Smurfit Institute of Genetics, TCD, QualitEye – proof of concept for treating inherited retinal diseases using recombinant adeno-associated viral who will visit the  Institut de la Vision UMRS968, Paris.
  3. Dr Paul Buchanan, Translational Biomedical Sciences Laboratory, School of Nursing and Human Sciences, DCU, Investigation into the canonical and non-canonical functions of upregulated CaV1.3 in driving prostate cancer progression who will visit the University of Tours – UMR INSERM 1069 Nutrition Growth and Cancer.
  4. Dr Richard Roche, School of Psychology, Maynooth University, Adaption of a simple reminiscence therapy programme for healthy older adults and adults with dementia and neuropsychological assessment of autobiographical memory combining interview and brain imaging techniques who will visit INSERM-EPHE-UNICAEN U1077. Pole des Formations et de Recherche en Sante (PFRS). Caen.

This is the second time the HRB has partnered with the IRC on this initiative. The first time was in 2017 when we provided €5,000 to fund two projects.

The Ulysses scheme named after James Joyce’s famous novel to celebrate the Joycean links between Ireland and France celebrated its 20th Anniversary in June 2017, and is designed to support new research collaborations between Irish and French researchers. Through reciprocal visits over the course of one year and the exchange of innovative ideas and approaches, the programme enables the development of research projects.  The scheme attracts around 60 high quality applications each year. The call for applications usually opens in May with a deadline in September.

The programme provides ‘seed-funding’ to begin collaboration. Successful applicants are encouraged to develop their collaboration post-Ulysses by seeking large-scale funding from other sources e.g. Horizon 2020. Support is provided for short visits to partner institutions and covers travel and subsistence costs up to a maximum of €2,500. The HRB increased its funding contribution to fund up to five researchers in the 2018 call.

The IRC funds applications across all fields of research. Proposals concerning patient orientated research, population health or health services research are funded by the HRB and Inserm (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) will fund the visits of the French researchers to Ireland in these areas. In Ireland the scheme is administered by the IRC and in France, it is funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and administered by the Embassy of France in Ireland and Campus France, the leading French agency for international mobility.