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  • Periodic Report Summary 2 - ELEVATE (Irish Research Council International Career Development Fellowships in Science, Engineering and Technology – Co-funded by Marie Curie Actions.)

Periodic Report Summary 2 - ELEVATE (Irish Research Council International Career Development Fellowships in Science, Engineering and Technology – Co-funded by Marie Curie Actions.)

The ELEVATE International Career Development Fellowship Programme was set up by the Irish Research Council ( to assist Experienced Researchers (ERs) in the development of their research careers in both Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), and Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) areas. ELEVATE is co-funded by the Irish Research Council and the European Commission Marie Curie Actions via an award under the FP7 COFUND Programme. ELEVATE is a 3 year Fellowship, open to ERs of any nationality and residing in Ireland, to undertake a research period of up to two years in a research organisation abroad (i.e. the Outgoing Phase), followed by a reintegration period of one year in an Irish research organisation (i.e. the Incoming Phase). The Programme is based on the format of the previous INSPIRE and CARA Programmes, which ended in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The INSPIRE and CARA Programmes have proven to be extremely popular and successful, with 50 SET Fellows and 25 HSS Fellows travelling to highly prestigious research locations worldwide, progressing to secure subsequent funding and high profile research positions thereafter.

The objectives of the ELEVATE Programme are to provide a career development experience for ERs, add an international dimension to the Fellows’ research careers, and allow them to gain additional skills and expertise. On their return to Ireland, the objective is for the Fellows to utilise and transfer the various skills they have acquired during the Outgoing Phase.

On this Programme, ERs can freely choose the research topic and host organizations that can best facilitate their professional development. ERs are required to design, monitor and review an individual Career Development Plan, and will have two Mentors throughout the Fellowship. The evaluation criteria reflect the importance of professional and personal development of the ERs. ELEVATE fully supports the objectives of the activity heading ‘Life-long learning and career development’, and other European policies, such as the Innovation Union. ELEVATE fills a gap in current Irish funding opportunities, and will make a strategic impact on the Irish and European research landscape.

A description of the main results achieved so far:
The main results achieved by the end of the reporting period 2 are the establishment of the Programme and the awarding of 45 Fellowships as agreed in the Grant Agreement. The application process was set up and publicised, 142 applications were assessed and the awards made for both Call 1 and Call 2. The first 15 Fellowships all began in 2013 and the second cohort of 30 Fellows commenced their fellowships in 2014, with the majority completing the outgoing phase of their awards by the end of reporting period 2. Career development events have taken place and ongoing support for the Fellows is provided and will continue. No further call will take place. Fellows from both calls were spending their mobility period in some of the world’s most prestigious institutions such as the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, Columbia University, Stanford University, Harvard University, UC Berkeley and MIT.

The expected final results (e.g. no. of calls, no. of applications by call, no. of selected researchers):
The final results expected are largely all in process as above: the establishment of and publicity for the ELEVATE Fellowship, the receipt of 142 applications and the awarding (and acceptance) of 45 Fellowships.

During the reporting period 2 (M25 – M48), a number of ELEVATE Fellows have terminated their fellowship early, having secured employment (in most cases a permanent academic position). Feedback from Fellows indicates that ELEVATE Fellowship was a key contributing factor that strengthened their competitiveness as candidates for these positions. Not only are all these Fellows in good position but the vast majority is employed within Europe, which means that the European Research Area benefits from their knowledge and experience. These early terminations are therefore a proof that the project is fully achieving its objectives, even though the expected number of researcher months funded under the programme has been reduced.

Fellows have submitted their progress reports as requested by the Council and where the Fellowship was terminated early, an early termination report was also requested. As planned, progress reports as well as early termination reports were complemented by confidential reports submitted by the mentors, both from the Fellow’s outgoing phase host organisation and incoming phase host organisation in Ireland.

Progress reports and early termination reports received indicate substantial research outputs delivered by the Fellows: around 60 published articles, 50 articles accepted for publication, 220 conference presentations, 30 outreach activities, and 100 other outputs or knowledge exchange activities such as for example research visits, participations in organisation of research conferences and other.

The Council employs a variety of social media platforms in addition to our website to communicate with researchers and to disseminate its awardees’ activities among an international audience: in particular through use of Twitter (, Facebook (, LinkedIn, and YouTube. In particular, Council’s activity on Twitter has attracted a significant attention as the number of Council’s twitter account followers exceeds 11,000. The Irish Research Council has thus built a Fellow’s alumni network via online social networking sites for researchers and has been placed at the heart of an active higher-education social-media community. This position has been further strengthened thanks to the #LoveIrishResearch campaign launched in 2016; this Twitter campaign highlights research results and achievements by Irish researchers and researchers employed by Irish research performing organisations.

Project public website:
YouTube ELEVATE Webinar:

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