Minister announces research fellowship scheme for Irish students

The scheme will see students undertake research at the Smithsonian Institution, Harry Ransom Center and the Exploratorium in San Francisco

The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional Affairs, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys has announced the awarding of $60,000 towards the establishment of short-term research fellowships for Irish postgraduate students. The fellowships will take place in three of the top museums in the United States (US): the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas in Austin, and the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California. The fellowships are in conjunction with Fulbright, the US Embassy in Ireland and the Creative Ireland Programme.

The US Embassy-led initiative will see $120,000 made available to fund twelve fellowships between 2018 and 2022. The programme aims to further collaboration between Irish, US and other international scholars in the named institutions, while also providing postgraduate students with dedicated access to the internationally renowned research collections held at the three US museums. Each year for the four years, the announced fellowships will be awarded to three Irish postgraduate students beginning with the academic year 2018/19. The selected students will then complete short-term research at one of the institutions.

John Hegarty, former Provost of Trinity and Chairman of the Board of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland said: “For some time, the Fulbright Commission in Ireland has been working with educational and cultural institutions and industry to create new awards, to build on our long-standing student and scholar exchanges. The Fulbright Creative Ireland Museum Fellowship initiative is profoundly exciting and innovative, linking the Creative Ireland programme and some of the most renowned museums in the United States. I am confident these fellowships will unleash a new level of creativity in those lucky enough to win the awards.”

Minister Humphreys said: “The setting up of ‘The Fulbright Creative Ireland Museum Fellowships’ sends a very important message internationally about how Ireland values its culture and how the Irish government is setting out an ambitious creativity agenda. A key part of the Creative Ireland Programme is to unify Ireland’s global reputation, engender new exiting creative networks, learn from international examples, and explore how other countries prioritise arts and culture and I am delighted that Irish students will be able to experience this first hand.”