Galway woman appointed as funding manager at SFI Research Centre for Software

Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software, has appointed Renmore’s Dr Martina Prendergast as International Funding Manager. The strategic appointment is key to achieving the centre’s goals of securing international investment in its leading-edge research.

Hosted by the University of Limerick (UL ) Lero brings together expert software teams from universities and institutes of technology across Ireland in a co-ordinated centre of research excellence with a strong industry focus. Lero’s research spans a wide range of application domains from driverless cars to artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, esports, fintech, govtech, smart communities, agtech and healthtech

International Funding Manager Dr Martina Prendergast comes to Lero from her role in UL’s Research Office where she worked predominantly covering the environment, marine and energy remit, while also providing training on grant proposal writing to researchers.

Dr Prendergast obtained her PhD in Clinical Microbiology in 1999 from NUI Galway. Since 2016 she has worked as a Research Officer in the Research Office in the University of Limerick (UL ), mainly covering the Environment, Marine and Energy remit, and providing training on grant proposal writing to researchers.

Before this role (from 2010 – 2016 ), she was the Strategic Development Manager of the Ryan Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy research at National University of Ireland (NUI ), Galway with responsibilities for the academic and technical development of the Institute.

From 2002 – 2010 she held the position of Development Manager of the Environmental Change Institute at NUI Galway. Before that, she secured a Career Development Award from the Health Research Board and worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and as a lecturer in the Department of Microbiology, NUI Galway. During her research, interests included the spread of infectious disease in contaminated food and water and vaccine development. She has authored over 20 international peer-reviewed journal articles, several book chapters, hundreds of academic reports, and contributed to Irish government-commissioned reports on the development of Environment-related policy. She also attended Mean Scoil Mhuire in Newtownsmyth in Galway city.

The NUI Galway graduate’s primary role will be to target funding from international sources, including the EU to bolster exchequer funding channelled through Science Foundation Ireland and from industry partners.

“I am thrilled to join the team and look forward to working with Lero members around Ireland in securing international funding to support their work. I have come to know Lero research and many of its researchers well over recent years. Lero has a defined vision for research excellence and impact, as well as a strong record of academic research performance. It also has a strong tradition of engagement with industry,” said Dr Prendergast.

Lero General Manager Joe Gibbs believes Dr Prendergast will be a significant asset as the centre seeks to increase its levels of international funding.“Martina brings extensive funding experience to the Centre, having worked in strategic funding and research support roles in NUI Galway and UL. In her new role, she will support Lero’s researchers in the pursuit of funding applications for Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe, ESA and other Non-Irish Exchequer opportunities as well as helping to identify potential future philanthropic sources of funding for the centre,” he said.


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