IT Carlow has a strong commitment to, and focus on postgraduate research and on fostering enquiry based learning throughout its programme offerings. In recent years IT Carlow has made significant investment in therms of strategy, resource and energy to the development and expansion of its research activity and focus. This is evident in new physical infrastructure (a 5,000 m2 purpose build research centre) and from recent rapid growth of student numbers at NFQ level 9 and level 10.
Strategy & Prioritisation
IT Carlow has focused and developed its research culture around a number of key priority areas that have strategic importance and economic potential for the region. This research has also had an international impact and its scientific value and quality is recognised within the wider academic community (as is demonstrated by citation metrics).
IT Carlow researchers are recognised internationally in the particular field of Biotechnology and Molecular Environmental Science and the citation impact of research outputs validates the strategy of concentrating effort on establishing and focusing on key areas of excellence.
Institutionally, strategy has been to foster key areas of effort and excellence as a focus for ongoing development in other cognate research areas and this becomes evident as the research ecosystem of the institution expands and develops. Centres of Research Excellence (CORES) have been established in the areas of:
- Bio-environmental Technology (ENVIROCORE)
- Advanced Software and Networks (GAMECORE)
- Design Innovation (DESIGNCORE)
- AdvancING Technology (ENGCORE)
In addition, a number of emerging clusters presently designated as research centres, have developed in the following areas:
CORE research is actively supported by a range of institutional initiatives including:
- Postgraduate Scholarship Programme
- CORE Leader Programme
- Research Support Programme
- Conference Fund
- Staff Doctoral Training Support Programme
Numbers of registered learners on research programmes at NFQ Level 9 and Level 10 have increased dramatically in recent years. In addition a number of taught level 9 programmes have been developed out of the research CORES and programme development has been informed by the research focus of the CORE and the lead academic department or school. Programmes include taught Masters programmes in:
- Interaction Design
- Business and Innovation
- Child, Youth and Family
- Information Technology
- Built Environment
- Digital Media and Marketing
- Sports Performance Analysis and Strength and Conditioning
- Applied Research and Innovation
Research Funding & Investment
Since 2012, IT Carlow has invested €8 million in research infrastructure and supports. In addition, Research CORES have attracted a further €8 million in external funding from Framework programmes, EI programmes and Research Council programmes.
As of March 2015, the Research Status of IT Carlow is as follows:
- Delegated Authority for NFQ Level 9 and Level 10 Research Programmes in Biotechnology and Molecular Environmental Science.
- Approval for NFQ Level 9 Research Programmes in Industrial Design, Health Science, Environmental Science, Biotechnology, Social Studies, Business, Engineering, Computing, Chemical Science, Sports Science and Humanities.
- Approval for NFQ Level 10 Research Programmes in Engineering and Computing.
Under the HETAC Research Review 2010, IT Carlow was granted full extension of approval for the already approved discipline areas. These were:
- Computing, Levels 9 and 10
- Sport and Health Sciences, Level 9
- Engineering, Levels 9 and 10
- Business and Humanities, Level 9
These areas were in addition to those disciplines where the Institute already held Delegated Authority or Provider status (Biotechnology and Molecular Environmental Science and Industrial Design).
Strategy & Support
IT Carlow’s research strategy and its support infrastructure serves to align research activities with national and international priorities. The focus is primarily but not exclusively on applied, problem-oriented research and social and technological development and innovation. This will enable scaling and continued growth and will contribute to the wider teaching and learning and regional engagement agenda of IT Carlow.