IRC, French Embassy issue open call for Ulysses grant applications

French Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Mr. Vincent Guérend, and President of the Irish Research Council, Prof Jane Olmheyer

Franco-Irish partnership offers supports to researchers in all fields



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12 November 2020 | 0

A call for grants of up to €5,000 to create and strengthen Franco-Irish research cooperation was launched this week by the French Embassy in Ireland and the Irish Research Council (IRC). The Ulysses grants are available to researchers in all fields.

In the uncertain global context linked to Covid-19, Franco-Irish research and cooperation is encouraged to address the challenges of tomorrow: health, climate but also logistics social sciences, and the humanities. Faced with these new challenges, the Ulysses programme is inviting proposals for creative and innovative projects with societal benefits.

The current Covid-19 restrictions have forced the Ulysses programme to evolve and innovate. The issue of climate and sustainable countermeasures to mitigate global warming remain priority issues for the programme. Creative projects on adaptation to health crises will also be highlights of this year’s call for projects. Eligible expenses in this context are extended to allow virtual cooperation until travel becomes possible and safe again. The duration of the partnerships is also being extended to 16 months to allow researchers to carry out their projects.




The Ulysses scheme is implemented by the IRC and the French Ministries of Europe and Foreign Affairs and of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. The scheme is seeking proposals under a number of different themes, including:

  • Health proposals – for research that could be supported by the human health research organisation INSERM in France or the Health Research Board in Ireland.
  • Energy projects – in connection with ADEME (the French Agency for the Ecological Transition) in France and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
  • Challenges highlighted during the Covid-19 crisis, in particular the use of sustainable energies and electricity transmission, but also just transitions to be implemented in various communities and the acceptability of technologies and industrial facilities. This strand of the programme is being delivered in partnership with EIRGRID and RTE, its French counterpart.

“In the difficult pandemic context that we are experiencing, the Ulysses scheme is adapting and strengthening,” said French Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Mr. Vincent Guérend. “Many academic projects will explore the aftermath of this crisis including topics related to climate change, health and inequalities.  We are thankful for the support of Réseau de Transport d’Électricité and EIRGRID. Our commitment to this programme and the various adaptations proposed in the face of the pandemic mean that 2021 will be a year that will count for Franco-Irish scientific cooperation.”

“Covid-19 has obviously had a major impact on international travel and, in turn, on mobility for researchers,” said Prof Jane Ohlmeyer, chair of the IRC. “However, this does not mean that international cooperation has or must be stalled. We are delighted to work with our partners in France to adapt the Ulysses programme for the coming year and to ensure that cooperation between researchers in Ireland and France can continue.”

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