New PhD scholarships pave way for future technological university researchers - “A game changer for research in the south-east region”

03/03/2021 10:28:00

The two institutes of the Technological University of South East Ireland (TUSEI) consortium have announced details of a €4.5million cross-institutional PhD scholarship initiative described as “a game changer for research in the south east region” and a key element in the development process towards TUSEI.

Institute of Technology Carlow and Waterford Institute of Technology are to collaborate on a funded programme of 48 PhD scholarships that will see both institutes attract and mentor leading national and international academics in areas such as artificial intelligence, applied engineering and bio-environmental science with the objective of transforming the number of PhD graduates and research and development output in the region.    

The initiative effectively combines the research arms of WIT and IT Carlow, reflecting the future scope and opportunities the new technological university will bring to the south east.

The scholarships have been designed to encapsulate the requirements of impactful research across a broad spectrum of disciplines and industries, with programmes in such areas as applied engineering, artificial intelligence, bioenvironmental science, education and technology, and health and rehabilitation.

An initial pilot scheme will provide funding for 14 PhD scholarships with each awardee supervised by a senior academic from IT Carlow and WIT, reflecting the initiative’s cross-institutional nature.

Each scholarship is valued at €94,000 over the 4 year period representing a total fund of €784,000. It is anticipated that the pilot scheme will be followed by a further 34 scholarships across both institutes between now and the proposed TUSEI designation day (1 January, 2022).

Speaking about the initiative, Vice-President for Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies at WIT, Dr Mark White said, “TUSEI will transform access to education and research. The culture of innovation stems from interdisciplinarity, the breaking down of traditional academic and research siloes to address the needs of society, identifying problems that need solutions as well as opportunities to address quality of life issues. We continue to focus and develop our research strengths whilst constantly building capacity, competence and capability in new and evolving fields of research through scholarships initiatives such as these.”

Mr Declan Doyle, Vice-President for Development & Research, Institute of Technology Carlow commented, “This collaborative PhD scholarship initiative with WIT is a game changer for research in the south-east region. We intend to attract the best postgraduate students from within and outside Ireland, leading to outstanding research output from the south east. TUSEI will transform the entire region and this initiative is the start of what one can expect from the new technological university when, as just one example, its research capacities come together for the benefit of economic and societal advancement.”

Further information on the PhD scholarship initiative can be found at

Note to editors.

A sample of projects available under the scholarship

WIT Supervisor

WIT Department

Title of PhD Research Projects

IT Carlow Supervisor

IT Carlow Department

Dr Bernadette Flanagan

Applied Arts

From Santiago de Compostela to South East Ireland:
An Investigation of Opportunities to Localise the attraction to International Pilgrimage Routes
in the Celtic Cultural-Spiritual Heritage of South East Ireland

Dr Joseph Collins

Lifelong Learning

Dr Irena Loveikaite

Applied Arts

Teenage girls co-creating a Social Media Literacy programme - a mixed-methods study

Dr Eleanor O’Leary

Department of Sport, Media & Marketing

Dr Anne Graham Cagney


The RDLE Effect: Thinking and Talking Across Disciplines

Dr Thomais Kakouli-Duarte

Science and Health

Dr Evan Matthews

Nursing and Health Care

An examination of gender sensitive lifestyle psychiatry and guidance to support mental health services for enhanced future care

Dr Noel Richardson

Science and Health

Dr Paula Carroll

Sport and Exercise Science

An Investigation of a the Impact of a Men's Social Pick-Up Football Community-Based Initiative with a View to Planning for Scale Up

Dr Noel Richardson

Science and Health

Dr. Deirdre Kilbane

Computing and Mathematics

Receiver and Detection Systems for Quantum Communication in Satellite Networks

Dr Dean Callaghan

Aerospace, Mechanical and Electronics Engineering

Dr Leana Reinl

Management and Organisation

Engaging Rural Business Communities: Broker Influence on Socio-economic Regeneration

Dr Tomás Dwyer

Wexford Campus