Letterkenny Researchers receive funding as part of the North-South Research Programme

Letterkenny Researchers receive funding as part of the North-South Research Programme

News, Student News, Staff News / Wednesday 13 April 2022

Two research projects based in Atlantic Technological University Donegal, in collaboration with Ulster University have received funding as part of the North-South Research Programme. 

The North-South Research Programme is a collaborative scheme funded through the government’s Shared Island Fund. It is being administered by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.  

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, awarded a total of €37.3 million to 62 collaborative research projects between academics and institutions in Ireland and in Northern Ireland. 

“These awards will support the Government’s Shared Island vision by bringing researchers from all corners of the island together to work on pioneering projects over the next four years, and is not only strengthening existing relationships, but is fostering new research partnerships,” said Taoiseach Martin.” 


The two projects involving ATU Donegal are: 

  • I-SWAP: Irish Student Wellbeing and ADHD Project, which is led by Dr. Louise McBride,  

  • SE: Understanding the Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem on the Island of Ireland - Lessons for Education, Practice and Policy, led by Dr. Isobel Cunningham. 


I-SWAP “Irish Student Wellbeing and ADHD Project” research project aims to build upon the pre-existing relationship between UU and LYIT and expand this relationship by linking in with experts from the ADHD Centre of Excellence at ATU Donegal. This will enable crucial research to be conducted to further understand the link between ADHD and mental health, as well as learning methods to ease the college transition for those with ADHD and the initial development of targeted, evidence-based programmes aimed at improving psychological, academic, and economic wellbeing. It is critical that students are involved in co-design and delivery of the research programme to ensure that the approach is applicable and acceptable to the target audience. The research programme will address shared aims and will consist of three work packages running in parallel at LYIT and UU. 


SE “Understanding the Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem on the Island of Ireland” aims to better understand social enterprises and their ecosystem across the island of Ireland. Indeed, anecdotal evidence indicates that this particular sector has bespoke needs, and this study aims to better understand these barriers, motivators and challenges associated with social enterprises development and growth. Furthermore, it aims to explore social entrepreneurs and their personal and professional profiles and skills to inform and shape social entrepreneurship development and education, policy enhancement and creation and inspire and nurture the social enterprise sector, along with key stakeholders and actors, to deliver positive future returns through, for example, start-ups and business growth. 


ATU Donegal and Ulster University are delighted that by funding these studies, it will help build the reputation of research in the North and West, build connections between communities, other Higher Educational institutes, and state agencies on the island of Ireland. 


For more information on the North-South Research Programme, please see here

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