Day 1: Monday 21st November 2022

09:30 Registration and networking

Opening remarks and welcome

Professor J. Peter Clinch, Chairman of the SFI Board.
Professor Philip Nolan, Director General, SFI.


Keynote Address: Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience at University College London (UCL), Ijeoma Uchegbu: ‘Using nanotechnology to control in vivo drug transport’

For abstract of presentation please click here


Insights on Engaged Research

Director of Campus Engage, Kate Morris, and Consultant Physician at University Hospital Galway and Professor of Medical Device Technology at University of Galway, Derek O’Keeffe


Keynote Address: Professor of Quantum Physics at University College Cork (UCC), University of Oxford and Cornell University, Séamus Davis: ‘On the Electron Pairing Mechanism of Copper-Oxide High Temperature Superconductivity’

For abstract of presentation please click here


Panel: The Future of Ireland’s Energy.

Chair: Dr Siobhan Roche, Director of Science for the Economy at SFI,
with guests:

13:10 Lunch

Dr Fergus McAuliffe, Communications and Engagement Manager,
iCRAG SFI Research Centre in Applied Geosciences, presents: “Inception Horizon” (Earth Futures Film Festival finalist)

Panel: The Role of Curiosity and Storytelling in Research.

Chair: Dr Ciarán Seoighe, Deputy Director General at SFI with guests:


Impact 2030 – Ireland’s Research and Innovation Strategy.

Dr Deirdre Lillis, Assistant Secretary General, at the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and Principal Officers, Joseph Moore and Paddy Howard, who were involved in the development and implementation of Impact 2030, will share insights on key strategic priorities and what they mean for the SFI research community. Attendees will learn about developments to date under the strategy and plans for the near to medium term future.

Slido Q&A moderated by Dr Claire O’Connell, Irish Times



Panel: Finding Solutions Through Challenge Funding.

Chair: Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society at SFI,
with guests:

  • Lt. Gen. Seán Clancy, Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces.
  • Pat Cox, European Coordinator for the Scandinavian-Mediterranean TEN T (transport) Core Network Corridor and former President of the European Parliament.
  • Professor Patricia Maguire, Director of the UCD Institute for Discovery and Professor of Biochemistry at UCD.

Science Shorts:

Dr Nanasaheb Thorat, SFI-IRC Pathway Programme Principal Investigator, Department of Physics, University of Limerick: ‘Plasmonic Materials for Cancer Theranostics’

Dr Patrick Kavanagh, SFI-IRC Pathway Programme Principal Investigator, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies: ‘Commissioning the Mid-Infrared Instrument on JWST’

17:00 Closing words: Professor Philip Nolan, Director General, SFI.


CÚRAM SFI Research Centre and Science on Screen Film Festival presents livestreamed documentaries (available to access from Monday 21st until Monday 28th November):

‘The People There to Catch Us’

‘The People There to Catch Us’ tells the story of Tom Hope and Rachel O’Mahony, two cancer survivors who work alongside researchers at Precision Oncology Ireland (POI), to help improve the lives of others living with the disease. The documentary was produced by Ronan Cassidy of Carbonated Comet and directed by Luke Brabazon under CÚRAM’s ‘Science on Screen’ public engagement programme. This was the second public screening of the film, having premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in June. The documentary shines a light on the lived experience of cancer survivors, their contribution to the research and the ongoing work of research centres like CÚRAM and Precision Oncology Ireland that will shape how cancer will be treated in the future.

Access via:
Password: Summit22

‘Off The Bench – Engineering for a Pandemic’ (as Gaeilge with English subtitles)

Written and directed by Karen Coleman and co-produced by Leeona Duff with SkyeByte Productions, the documentary ‘Off The Bench’ In am an Ghátair’ focuses on the response of the Irish MedTech community to Covid-19 and the unprecedented collaborations that have taken place across academic, industry and clinical partners in Galway and beyond to create innovative solutions that have helped cope with the pandemic as it evolved.

The documentary focuses on several key innovations developed early in response to the pandemic, including establishing the INSPIRE project, an industry-academic partnership based at University of Galway and University Hospital Galway designed to deliver fast-to-clinical medical devices to support the Covid-19 effort.

Access via:
Password: Summit22



Pre-Dinner Reception and Networking (in-person)

Dinner and SFI Awards presentation ceremony (in-person)


Day 2: Tuesday 22nd November 2022 (Click to open)

08:30 Delegate Networking


Opening Address by Professor Philip Nolan, Director General, SFI

Panel: Overview of SFI Programmes and Policies.
Chair: Professor Norelee Kennedy, Vice President for Research, University Limerick, with guests:

  • Dr Ciarán Seoighe, Deputy Director General, SFI
  • Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society, SFI.
  • Dr Siobhan Roche, Director of Science for the Economy, SFI.
  • Mr Donal Keane, Chief Operations Officer, SFI.
10:15 Prof Philip Nolan, Director General, SFI.

10:30 – 11:30




10:30 – 12:00




WORKSHOPS Set #1                    Please register for your workshops here

1. SFI Grant Application Master Class

Led by Dr Fiona Blighe in this workshop SFI Programme Managers will share the common pitfalls they witness across their programmes and answer questions. From common mistakes on the application itself to budgets, choosing collaborators and to how to structure an applicant response that resonates with a review panel. This workshop is aimed at anyone who wants learn more about the application process and improve their grant writing skills.

2. From Advocacy to Partnership: Maximising the policy impact of research.

A strategic goal within Ireland’s national strategy for research and innovation, Impact 2030, is to strengthen connections between Government Departments and the public research system. The Evidence for Policy Unit has been established within the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science in order to realise this strategic goal.

This 1.5 hour workshop will be facilitated by leadership from the Evidence for Policy unit and will bring together key learnings from across the sector. There will be an opportunity to learn from senior policy makers about how policy is developed, identifying key challenges and opportunities for maximising impact. The session will also provide an opportunity to feed into the development of policy to support engagement between researchers and policy makers. The workshop will finish at 12pm.

Workshop will be led by:

Dr Brendan Dolan, Science Advocacy Training development officer, CÚRAM SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices.

Trudy Duffy, Principal Officer, Evidence for Policy Unit, Dept. of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

Seán Ó Foghlú, Senior Fellow in Public Policy, Social Sciences Institute, Maynooth University.

Dr Fergal Lynch, Senior Lead in Government and Public Policy Engagement, University of Galway.

Dr Lisa Keating, Director of Research & Innovation, IUA.

11:30 Coffee Break

12:30 – 13:30

Workshop Set #2                          Please register for your workshops here

3. Design-thinking for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An exploration of high-level findings from SFI’s initial community consultation process

While much has been done to try to level the playing field for all people to access educational and research funding opportunities, significant barriers remain. SFI is committed to understanding the root-causes of this inequity and to putting in place meaningful policy interventions which can affect real change.

To date, SFI has focused on encouraging and supporting our external research community towards increasing the number of women in STEM, in line with in SFI’s Gender Strategy 2016-2020, which is now under review. SFI’s new EDI Strategy will move beyond a sole focus on Gender to encompass the broader range of intersectional issues in keeping with the reality of people’s lived experience. In taking an evidence-informed, progressive and collaborative approach to our new EDI strategy development, SFI aims to conduct a participatory co-designed approach to community consultation.

Dr Maria Quinlan (former EDI Programme Manager at SFI, and now General Manager, Research and Development at the HSE) and Dr Marion Boland (Head of Research Policy at SFI) will lead this interactive, participatory workshop, presenting high-level findings from SFI’s initial community consultation process. This workshop is suitable for anyone with an interest in EDI in STEM and attendees will participate in a variety of creative, design-thinking exercises, using visual sociology methods, to explore the barriers and enablers of greater EDI within research funding.

4. Exploring Horizon Europe opportunities with National Contact Points (NCPs)

With Horizon Europe work programmes due to be published for 2023-24 in late November, SFI are delighted to host some of our National Contact Points (NCPs) and National Delegates to present on upcoming opportunities over the next two years. Topics to be covered include Health, Climate, the Marine, the European Innovation Council, Industry and Space.

Horizon Europe (2021-2027) is the European Union’s (EU’s) key funding programme for research and innovation, with a budget of more than €95 billion. The programme is built around three main pillars – excellent science, global challenges and industrial competitiveness, and innovative Europe.

Ireland enjoys a strong track record in European Framework Programmes, winning in excess of €1.2 billion in funding through Horizon 2020 (2014-2020).
Our National Support Network for Horizon Europe works with Ireland’s researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to help them compete for and win funding.

  • Dr Maria Nash, Science Foundation Ireland, European Research Council National Delegate (ND) and ERC National Contact Point (NCP) for both the Physical Sciences & Engineering and Life Sciences domains, and NCP Research Infrastructures
  • Dr Patricia Clarke, Health Research Board, National Delegate for Horizon Europe Cluster 1 – Health.
  • Dr Fiona Grant, The Marine Institute, NCP for Horizon Europe cluster 6 – Natural Resources and NCP for Ocean and Waters Mission.
  • Dr Sergio Fernandez-Ceballos, Enterprise Ireland, National Delegate and NCP for Horizon Europe Cluster 4 – Industry.
  • Dr Gerard Kennedy, Enterprise Ireland, National Rep for the Smart Networks and Services JU and NCP for Horizon Europe Cluster 4 – Digital.
  • Mark Sweeney, Enterprise Ireland, NCP for Horizon Europe Cluster 5 – Climate, Cluster 6 – Environment and NCP for Climate Adaptation Mission.
  • Sean Burke, Enterprise Ireland, National Delegate and NCP for Horizon Europe EIC (European Innovation Council) Accelerator, Pathfinder & EIE (European Innovation Ecosystem) in Horizon Europe.
13:30 Closing Lunch
Science Foundation Ireland reserve the right to amend or update this agenda in the run up to Summit 2022.