Awards & Submissions

Nominations and submissions are now closed. Winners will be announced at Summit.


2022 Winner: Professor Orla Hardiman, Trinity College Dublin 

Eligibility Criteria

The Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Awards celebrate outstanding researchers funded by SFI who have contributed greatly to scientific progress or had a highly significant scientific breakthrough.

Nominations should clearly demonstrate leadership in the following four categories:

  1.  Generation of knowledge;
  2.  Development of Individuals and collaborations;
  3.  Supporting broader society and the economy and
  4.  Supporting the research community.



2022 Winner: Mariana Oliviera Diniz, University of Limerick with her image entitled A spring garden of griseo flowers.

Eligibility Criteria

The SFI Science Image competition celebrates images captured by Science Foundation Ireland-funded researchers during the course of their research. This Award is open to active SFI funded team members including PhDs. The successful image may be used on the cover of the SFI Annual Report.



2022 Winner:  Dr Claire Gillan, Trinity College Dublin.

Eligibility Criteria

The Early Career Researcher Award is to recognise outstanding early career research talent.

Nominations should clearly demonstrate that the nominee is:

  • An SFI-funded investigator or team member in the early stage of their research career
  • making a significant contribution to their field of research
  • able to demonstrate the potential to achieve world-leading status
  • showing excellent ability in the communication of their research
  • a researcher with a maximum of eight years of research experience (cumulative) since their PhD*

* This is to facilitate nominees that may have taken a career break e.g. for family care or health reasons.



New Award

Eligibility Criteria

This award recognises and celebrates significant contributions made by teams or individuals in driving positive change towards a more sustainable, climate-resilient future. This award seeks to acknowledge research or initiatives within the research ecosystem that foster green transition, promote sustainability, and combat climate change. This award is open to individuals and teams that may or may not be funded by SFI.

The nominations are judged on one or more of the following:

  1. Delivering significant environmental and societal impact through their research work.
  2. Adoption of innovative and creative approaches to address sustainability challenges by implementing new technologies or green practices that drive positive change.
  3. Demonstrating leadership in themes such as (and not limited to) net-zero carbon programmes, green innovations, climate partnerships, circular economy, waste management practices, and social sustainability.
  4. Impact their work has had on national and international policies on climate change and sustainability.
  5. Collaborations with enterprise, organisations, governments, or other stakeholders to amplify the impact of their green initiatives.
  6. Significant public engagement and empowering communities in sustainable practices, promoting awareness on climate change and fostering a sense of collective responsibility.


2022 Winner: Professor Andrew Keane, NexSys – University College Dublin.

Eligibility Criteria

This award is to recognise and celebrate collaboration between academic research groups and industry supported by Science Foundation Ireland. Nominations should demonstrate how the collaboration benefited both the academic research group(s) and the company(s). 

Please note that only partnerships that can be discussed publicly should be nominated.


2022 Winner: Dr Alison Liddy, University of Galway.

Eligibility Criteria

The SFI Commercialisation Award recognises an entrepreneurial or innovation leadership achievement that has resulted in a significant and demonstrable commercial impact. The award celebrates the entrepreneurial motivation, attitude, and skill required in translating publicly funded research to market.

To be considered for this award, a researcher should currently hold or have held in the past five years, a research grant awarded by SFI. In addition to individual grant holders, researchers who are members of teams or groups supported by an SFI grant may also be considered.

Nominations to the SFI Commercialisation Award will be considered based on the following criteria:

  • The entrepreneurial or innovation leadership demonstrated.
  • The scale of the opportunity and progress toward addressing it.
  • The commercial impact, including potential, of the business, product, process or service.


    2022 Winner: Jackie Gorman, Midlands Science.

    Eligibility Criteria

    The Science Foundation Ireland Award for STEM Public Engagement and Communication recognises outstanding contributions to the popularisation of science, in particular, where it raises public awareness of the value of science to human progress. This Award is also open to STEM Communicators that are not directly funded by SFI.



    2022 Winner: Professor Michael Morris, Trinity College Dublin

    Eligibility Criteria

    This award recognises the accomplishments of a researcher or research group, specifically in the context of their international activities. The successful nominee(s) will be recognised for their strategic vision and have demonstrated an ability to drive and grow impactful collaborations internationally (industry/academic). Nominees must be active SFI award holders at the time of submission of the nomination.

    The nominations are judged on the following:

    1. The clear development of international collaborations (academic/industry) with demonstrable relationships, for example, involvement in international consortiums, joint publications, white papers, significant team mobility and/or co-funded projects.
    2. The researcher’s or research group’s ability and willingness to work with Ireland’s wider international stakeholder group in promoting Irish science and Ireland as a place to conduct collaborative research,, e.g., Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Embassies and Consulates based in Ireland, the EU Commission, Team Ireland overseas (IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia etc.).
    3. The success of the nominee in influencing policy at a national and international level to create change.
    4. The nominee’s ability to identify and leverage sources of domestic and international funding to support their international activities.


      2022 Winner: Professor Walter Kolch, University College Dublin.

      This award recognises outstanding mentorship provided by a researcher funded by Science Foundation Ireland.

      Eligibility Criteria

      The mentor must be a Principal Investigator (PI), Funded investigator (FI) or a contract research staff member (postdoc/research fellow) funded by an SFI award that was active at the time of submission of nomination.

      The mentor must be nominated for the SFI Mentorship Award by two or more individuals, one of which is, or has been, mentored by the nominee. Separate nominations must be submitted. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

      Evaluation Criteria

      To be eligible for nomination, a mentor should have:

      • demonstrated a commitment to nurturing the intellectual, creative, scholarly and / or professional growth of their mentees;
      • enabled their mentees to become independent and be recognised in their own right as a subject matter expert;
      • shown a sustained commitment to a mentoring relationship that has supported the career progression and / or the personal development of mentees.


      2022 Winner: Professor Professor Brian Ó Gallachóir & Ms Aoife Deane, MaREI SFI Research Centre.

      Eligibility Criteria

      Engaged Research aims to improve, understand, or investigate an issue of public interest or concern including societal challenges and is advanced in collaboration with societal partners*. This award recognises the important role of Engaged Research in enabling Science Foundation Ireland-funded research to deliver societal impact for Ireland.

      Nominations should clearly demonstrate that the nominee(s) have:

      • Engaged with stakeholders, beneficiaries, and end-users in the co-creation of research activities and reflected their needs in its outputs and outcomes;
      • Contributed significantly to the generation of knowledge to improve, understand, or investigate an issue of public interest or concern;
      • Shown that their research has or will have societal impact.

      *Societal partners include service users, product users, policymakers, civil and civic society organisations, industry partners, members of the public, and other relevant stakeholders.

      SFI may contact the proposer to seek further clarification related to the submission.