Awards & Submissions

The deadline for submissions and nominations for the SFI Awards 2022 is
4pm on Monday 10th October 2022.


2021 Winner: Professor William Gallagher, University College Dublin & Conway Fellow, UCD Conway Institute 

Eligibility Criteria

The Science Foundation Ireland Awards celebrates outstanding researchers funded by Science Foundation Ireland who have contributed greatly to scientific progress or have a highly significant scientific breakthrough.

Nominations should clearly demonstrate leadership in the following four categories:

  1.  Generation of Knowledge;
  2.  Development of Individuals and Collaborations;
  3.  Supporting Broader Society and the Economy and
  4.  Supporting the Research Community.



2021 Winner: Aileen Doran, PhD / Postdoctoral Researcher in Economic Geochemistry, iCRAG SFI Research Centre in Applied Geosciences & School of Earth Sciences, University College Dublin with her image entitled Colloform Sphalerite.

Eligibility Criteria

The SFI Science Image competition celebrates images captured by Science Foundation Ireland-funded researchers during the course of their research. This Award is open to active SFI funded team members including PhDs. The successful image will be used on the cover of the SFI Annual Report.



2021 Winner:  Dr Dara Stanley, Assistant Professor in Applied Entomology in the School of Agriculture and Food Science at University College Dublin.

Eligibility Criteria

The Early Career Researcher Award is to recognise outstanding early career research talent.

Nominations should clearly demonstrate that the nominee is:

  • a Science Foundation Ireland funded investigator or team member
    in the early stage of their research career
  • making a significant contribution to their field of research
  • able to demonstrate the potential to achieve world-leading status
  • showing excellent ability in the communication of their research
  • a researcher with a maximum of eight years of research experience (cumulative) since their PhD*

* This is to facilitate nominees that may have taken a career break e.g. for family care or health reasons.



2021 Winner: Professor Garry Duffy, NUI Galway in partnership with Boston Scientific.

Eligibility Criteria

This award is to recognise and celebrate collaboration between academic research groups and industry supported by Science Foundation Ireland. Nominations should demonstrate how the collaboration benefited both the academic research group(s) and the company(s). 

Please note that only partnerships that can be discussed publicly should be nominated.


2021 Winner: Dr Elaine Spain and Dr Kellie Adamson, Novus Diagnostics Ltd.

Eligibility Criteria

This award recognises an entrepreneurial or innovation leadership achievement that has led to a demonstrable commercial impact. The award will be presented to an individual researcher or research group that is currently, or that has previously been, supported by SFI as an SFI award holder.

The award celebrates the important role of entrepreneurship in translating publicly funded research to market and serves to underline the importance of entrepreneurial activity in Ireland’s academic research and innovation ecosystem.

The award will be presented to an individual or group who have:

  • previously been or currently are supported by an SFI award
  • demonstrated innovation and leadership
  • had a clear commercial impact of their business, product or services.


2021 Winner:  

Presented to IUA and THEA in recognition of the science communication undertaken by the Research Community who informed the general public on all aspects of COVID-19 through sustained engagement and evidence based communication on local and national media, social media and discussions at various levels in our society.

Eligibility Criteria

The Science Foundation Ireland Award for STEM Public Engagement and Communication recognises outstanding contribution to the popularisation of science, in particular, where it raises public awareness of the value of science to human progress. This Award is also open to STEM Communicators that are not directly funded by SFI.



2021 Winner: Professor Barry O’Sullivan, full professor at the School of Computer Science & IT at University College Cork. 

Eligibility Criteria

This award recognises the accomplishments of a researcher/group specifically in the context of their international activities. The successful nominee(s) will be recognised for their strategic vision and have demonstrated an ability to drive and grow impactful collaborations (industry/academic) between their research team(s) in another country(ies). Nominees must be an active SFI award holder at the time of submission of nomination.

The nominations are judged on:

  1. The clear development of international collaborations (academic/industry) with demonstrable relationships, for example involvement in international consortiums, joint publications, white papers, significant team mobility and/or co-funded projects.
  2. The researcher’s ability and willingness to work with Ireland’s wider international stakeholder group, e.g., Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Embassies and Consulates based in Ireland, the EU Commission, Team Ireland overseas (IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia etc.)
  3. The success of the nominee in influencing policy at a national and international level to create change.
  4. The nominee’s ability to identify and leverage sources of domestic and international funding to support their international activities.


2021 Winner: Professor Helen Roche, Director UCD Conway Institute, Full Professor of Nutrition / Nutrigenomics, UCD Conway Institute & UCD Institute of Food & Health, University College Dublin.

This award recognises outstanding mentorship provided by a researcher funded by Science Foundation Ireland.

Eligibility Criteria

The mentor must be a Principal Investigator (PI), Funded investigator (FI) or a contract research staff member (postdoc/research fellow) funded by an SFI award that was active at the time of submission of nomination.

The mentor must be nominated for the SFI Mentorship Award by two or more individuals, one of which is, or has been, mentored by the nominee. Separate nominations must be submitted. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

Evaluation Criteria

To be eligible for nomination a mentor should have:

  • demonstrated a commitment to nurturing the intellectual, creative, scholarly and / or professional growth of their mentees
  • enabled their mentees to become independent and be recognised in their own right as a subject matter expert
  • shown a sustained commitment to a mentoring relationship that has supported the career progression and / or the personal development of mentees.


New Award for 2022

Eligibility Criteria

Engaged Research aims to improve, understand, or investigate an issue of public interest or concern including societal challenges and is advanced in collaboration with societal partners*. This award recognises the important role of Engaged Research in enabling Science Foundation Ireland-funded research to deliver societal impact for Ireland.

Nominations should clearly demonstrate that the nominee(s) have:

  • Engaged with stakeholders, beneficiaries, and end-users in the co-creation of research activities and reflected their needs in its outputs and outcomes;
  • Contributed significantly to the generation of knowledge to improve, understand, or investigate an issue of public interest or concern;
  • Shown that their research has or will have societal impact.

*Societal partners include service users, product users, policymakers, civil and civic society organisations, industry partners, members of the public, and other relevant stakeholders.

SFI may contact the proposer to seek further clarification related to the submission.