POI researchers successful in SFI Frontiers for the Future funding awards

10th May 2022, Dublin 


On 10th May 2022, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, announced 76 grants valued at €53.7 million to support frontiers research across ten Higher Education Institutions through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).


The research supported will investigate areas such childhood ADHD, future coastal sea levels, new generation batteries, antiviral drugs to treat Covid-19 infections, safety critical software, the link between obesity and cancer and the futureproofing of crops to withstand flooding.


In line with SFI’s gender strategy, the programme seeks to provide opportunities to address gender imbalance and to provide support for investigators returning to research after a period of leave. 42% of the research grants supported will be led by female researchers and 32% by emerging investigators early in their research careers.


The programme is run in collaboration with Geological Survey Ireland  and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) who are co-funding a number of the grants.


Successful from the POI team were Prof. Tracy Robson from RCSI and Prof. Jacintha O’Sullivan from TCD, awarded €910,324 for their research on “Breaking the Obesity-Cancer link; a theranostic role for FKBPL in modulating immunometabolism across disease progression in oesophageal adenocarcinoma”.


POI Investigator Prof. Jonathan Bond was also successful in obtaining funding, being awarded €479,985 for his research on “Unravelling epigenetic systems disruption in cancer”.


Dr. Colm Ryan from Systems Biology Ireland was also awarded €421,572 for his work on “Understanding and predicting context-specific synthetic lethality in cancer”.


Commenting on the SFI Future Frontiers Programme, Minister Harris TD, said:


“Congratulations to all the researchers who have received funding today as part of the SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme. I am delighted to support this programme which funds individual-led research, with an emphasis on fundamental research at the cutting edge of science and engineering which will help us build a better future for Ireland through discovery, innovation, and impact.“


“Not only will these grants support research in important areas for Irish society, they will also fund the support 216 people in varying research positions across 10 Higher Education Institutes to further develop their research careers. We are investing in talent. I would like to offer my thanks to the Higher Education Institutions for their support in delivering this programme again this year.”


Professor Philip Nolan, Director General of SFI said: “After the success of the first SFI Future Frontiers Programme in 2020, I am delighted to see 76 research grants awarded. The research programmes are wonderfully diverse, but they have one thing in common: they ask fundamental questions and will lead to important scientific breakthroughs, with important applications in areas such as climate action, biodiversity, human and animal health and digital transformation, with real and lasting benefits to our society and economy. The SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme is a key element of SFI’s new strategy – Shaping Our Future providing support for excellent research.“


“It is really encouraging to see that 42% of the research grants are led by female researchers for the second year running. SFI is committed to addressing the gender imbalance evident in areas of Irish research and this is another example of that commitment in action.”