Ireland – At the centre of global scientific and engineering research

In Ireland, we are focused on supporting a vibrant research system, characterised by excellence, impact, talent, collaboration and international engagement.

Ireland is building a reputation as a world leader in scientific research capability, continuously climbing the international citation and innovation rankings to a position of 10th place globally for overall scientific research quality. Ireland ranks in the top 5 in key disciplines such as Nanotechnology (1st), Animal and Dairy Science (2nd), Chemistry, Immunology, Materials Sciences, Agricultural Sciences (3rd in all) and Mathematics (4th).

Ireland is a small English-speaking, technologically-advanced country (population 4.5 million), home to leading multinational and indigenous companies, with a young, growing population. It is in the top centile of Eurostat rankings for Innovation Output.

Science Foundation Ireland, as the largest competitive research funder in Ireland, is committed to supporting excellent and impactful research. Science Foundation Ireland supports over 450 leading academic researchers across Ireland, with 4,000 team members, who are engaged in over 2,000 international academic collaboration across 62 countries.

Ireland provides an ideal location for researchers to access European Horizon 2020 programmes, European Research Council grants and international funding from charities and industry. Science Foundation Ireland works in partnership with many organisations including the Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, the BBSRC, the US National Science Foundation and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

The 12 SFI Research Centres, established through an investment of €355 million from Government and a further €190 million from industry partners, have over 300 collaborations with industry. These SFI Research Centres are focused on strategic areas of importance to Ireland, delivering scientific excellence with economic and societal impact in sectors such as Pharma, Big Data, Medical Devices, Nanotechnology/Materials, Marine Renewable Energy, Food for Health/Functional Foods, Perinatal Research, Applied Geosciences, Software, Digital Content and Telecommunications.

Science Foundation Ireland is focused on attracting emerging talent and leading established researchers to Ireland. The SFI Research Professorship Programme aims to attract world-leading researchers with exceptional reputations to Ireland by providing competitive research funding up to €5 million in direct costs. The SFI President of Ireland Future Research Leaders programme is designed to attract to Ireland outstanding new and emerging research leaders through 5 year awards of up to €1.25million.

If you are inspired to deliver excellent research with impact in a well-resourced and dynamic research environment, please consult or contact

Research highlights



"There is a problem": Australia's top scientist Alan Finkel pushes to eradicate bad science

19 September 2019

Alan Finkel

A new publishing standard should be introduced to weed out unscrupulous research journals.

This graphic reveals the most innovative countries for 2019

3 September 2019

Gemma Conroy

A strong showing from Asia.

Top 5 PhD rules of the game

15 August 2019

Gemma Conroy

It’s not all about thesis writing.

Q&A Niamh Brennan: 100 rules for publishing in top journals

18 July 2019

Gemma Conroy

A checklist for success.

The top 10 countries in research collaboration

12 July 2019

Bec Crew

This interactive visualization reveals the tightest pairs.

How Brexit threatens Irish science’s cross-border collaboration

31 January 2019

Declan Butler

Peace and common membership of the European Union have allowed scientists in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to build a unique, cross-border research system.

Scientists reveal their sacrifices for the sake of work

21 May 2018

John Pickrell

Palaeontologists, biologists are among researchers whose social media reflections reveal what they have given up in the pursuit of science.

United States and South Korea the world’s biggest science novelty acts

21 February 2018

Dalmeet Singh Chawla

Tool that tallies engagement with new biomedical concepts seeks to reward novelty.

International collaborations growing fast

19 January 2018

Dalmeet Singh Chawla

More countries are taking part in cross-border partnerships, but inequality remains.

EU funding formula revealed

27 February 2017

Anthea Lacchia

Several factors can help institutions secure one of these sought-after grants. 


1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021

Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Ireland published between 1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021 which are tracked by the Nature Index.

Hover over the donut graph to view the FC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.

Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.

Count Share
427 116.57

Outputs by subject (FC)

Subject Count Share
Physical Sciences 191 45.33
Earth & Environmental Sciences 63 15.43
Life Sciences 134 30.43
Chemistry 80 31.71

1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021

View the connected world of international research collaboration. Visualize collaborations by subject or region.

Collaborations between countries

Percentage of collaboration by Share

Hover over the graph to view the percentage of collaboration.

Top 10 collaborators by Share

  • Ireland
  1. 20.40
  2. 28.31
  3. Germany (47.09)
  4. China (27.54)
  5. France (26.96)
  6. Italy (21.62)
  7. 6.81
  8. Spain (16.67)
  9. 7.17
  10. Canada (13.60)

Collaboration is determined by the combined fractional count (Share) of Ireland and the collaborating country.

Top 10 institutions from Ireland

Institution Count Share
1. The University of Dublin 149 39.76
2. University College Dublin (UCD) 141 18.66
3. University College Cork (UCC) 71 12.24
4. University of Limerick (UL) 32 11.05
5. Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research (AMBER) 26 9.18
6. National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) 46 9.07
7. Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) 53 7.44
8. Dublin City University (DCU) 23 4.57
9. Tyndall National Institute (TNI) 7 3.19
10. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) 21 2.93

Enhanced profiles

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