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Escape your national funders

Getting researchers to look beyond Science Foundation Ireland wasn’t as difficult as John Donovan, the head of research at the Dublin Institute of Technology, thought it would be. He tells James Field how the institute is supporting Horizon 2020 applications.

There was a time when John Donovan suspected that the Dublin Institute of Technology, where he is head of research, was too dependent on funding from Science Foundation Ireland, the national body for investment in scientific and engineering research, which distributes about €150 million (£107m) each year.

But when SFI’s rules changed in 2013 so that only core-funded researchers could apply, the DIT’s researchers were forced to break away and look to other sources for funding. “It was becoming more noticeable that no amount of extra information about SFI could help our applicants to secure money from it,” Donovan says.

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