The Royal Society-SFI University Research Fellowship scheme 2019, representing an investment of €2.8 million, has been announced this week. NUI Galway biomedical engineer, Dr Eimear Dolan, was one of the four outstanding researchers in the Republic of Ireland who received the prestigious award.
In total, the Royal Society announced the appointment of 43 new university research fellowships for 2019. The researchers will take up their new posts at 24 institutions across the UK and Ireland at the start of October.
The University Research Fellowship scheme was established to identify outstanding early career scientists who have the potential to become leaders in their chosen fields, providing them with the opportunity to build an independent research career. The scheme is extremely competitive and University Research Fellows are expected to be strong candidates for permanent posts in universities at the end of their fellowships, with many alumni having gone on to enjoy significant national or international recognition for their work.
Dr Eimear Dolan, a biomedical engineer from NUI Galway, was appointed a University Research Fellow and awarded over €732,000 for her research project – A Soft Robotics Approach to Reduce the Foreign Body Response to Medical Implants. Dr Dolan has developed a proof-of-concept soft robotic implant, which she plans on adapting as a treatment for type 1 diabetes; Dr Dolan plans on establishing relationships with other research institutes to become the global leader in innovative medical devices. During her fellowship Dr Dolan will be based at NUI Galway and will also spend some time at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT ).
“I am delighted to be awarded a Royal Society-SFI University Research Fellowship," Dr Dolan said. "It is a great honour to be an awardee of such a prestigious fellowship. The award will provide me with time and funding to establish my independent research group and achieve my research goals. I am at a very exciting stage in my career and I look forward to working with the Royal Society, SFI, and NUI Galway.”
Dr Ruth Freeman, director of science for the Royal Society in SFI, said: “The Royal Society-SFI University Research Fellowships Scheme, which contributes to Ireland’s international reputation for research excellence, recognises those with the potential to become Ireland’s future research leaders. I am delighted to congratulate the four researchers who have been granted these prestigious awards and wish them every success for the future. We are delighted to work together with our UK partners, the Royal Society, to ensure that young researchers have access to stellar opportunities such as these which will launch their research careers.”
For more information about the Royal Society University Research Fellowships, visit royalsociety.org/grants-schemes-awards/grants/university-research