Griffith Geoscience Research Awards
Geology Matters No 8
Introduction Director's Discourse The Role of Geoscience in Society World Geoscience Conference International Co-operation and Agreements Griffith Geoscience Research Awards 2008 - International Year of Planet Earth GeoUrban Dublin Project New Burren Map IYPE/Du Noyer Competition Launch of INFOMAR Website and Product Range Mapping Potential Landslide HazardsGroundwater Vulnerability Mapping An Intern's Life

Griffith Geoscience Research Awards - update

John O’Donoghue & Michael O’Mahony

A brief report on the nine successful tenderers in the Griffith Geoscience Research Awards Scheme was included in Issue No. 7 (Winter 2007) of Geology Matters. The report outlined the various research groups who were successful, the amounts of the grants awarded and particular projects involved.

The projects are now in their second year and a seminar was held in the offices of the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) on the 20th October, 2008 to review progress to date. This was a follow up meeting to the first plenary meeting which was held in October, 2007.

During the past year research staff have been taken on and the projects are now under way. A presentation was given by the grantees, outlining progress to date and planned key outcomes and deliverables. The seminar was a vibrant and exciting sign of how these research awards are meeting and exceeding the geoscience agenda on the island of Ireland.

The contracts address key research priorities under the National Geoscience Programme, 2007-2013, a Programme launched jointly by the Royal Irish Academy and GSI over a seven-year period to 2013. They seek to develop geoscience research through recruitment of graduate and post graduate research staff and to address current key research issues and priorities in geoscience. They are also designed to attract mobile early stage researchers from abroad and provide Irish researchers with experience in international research centres.

They cover the following areas:

  • use of seabed data to carry out research which will have impacts on social and economic development (National University of Ireland, Galway);

  • the importance of clean water supplies and of protecting our groundwater resources – this is becoming an issue of increasing concern to Irish society (Queens University Belfast);

  • research centred on developing a generic understanding of slope and deep water sea-bed processes and providing a geological framework for basin development and reservoir analysis in the Irish offshore (University College Dublin);

  • carbon capture and storage which can contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions (University College Dublin and the University of Ulster, Coleraine);

  • open access to GSI data on a web enabled basis which will be of considerable benefit to companies involved in the geoscience sector (University College Cork);

  • the establishment of a fourth level Irish Geoscience Graduate Programme on an all-island basis (Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies);

  • the provision of a range of outreach and educational products as well as the production of a geoscience-based TV series which will promote interest in geology at primary and secondary levels and among society at large (Geoschol, Trinity College Dublin and Holocene Ltd)

    The contractors have to provide written reports annually to the GSI on progress in their projects and an annual seminar is also held to demonstrate the results of their research to both GSI and the wider geoscience community. The annual seminar is an ideal opportunity for the research groups to interact with each other and develop possible synergies. The next seminar is scheduled to take place in October 2009.