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Teagasc Launches New Walsh Fellowships Model

The Walsh Fellowship Programme is an important element of Teagasc’s research strategy, providing research opportunities at postgraduate level for high calibre national and international researchers. The programme was named in honour of the first Director of An Foras Taluntais, Dr. Tom Walsh. This programme has been running in Teagasc for over 50 years.

Teagasc is now launching a new type of Walsh Fellowship which will provide philanthropists, business and industry, with a valuable opportunity to fund agri-food research by establishing a Walsh Fellowship for a donation of €66,000 for a three-year PhD programme, or €88,000 for a four-year PhD programme. Speaking at the launch, Dr Noel Cawley, Chairman of Teagasc, said that “benefactors will now have an opportunity to support the work of Teagasc and the agri-food sector in a tax-efficient manner by funding a young scholar who will help add new knowledge for the development of our agriculture and food sectors. This is a very important initiative for Teagasc in seeking tax-efficient funding in supporting its mission.” Through the provision of high quality research training, the Walsh Fellowships Programme aims to contribute to the Teagasc objective of generating and applying new knowledge for the sustainable development of the agriculture and food processing industry to enable it to respond profitably to consumer demands and contribute to a vibrant rural economy and society.

The Programme offers a unique opportunity to young graduates to undertake postgraduate research in Food, Animal and Grassland Production, Crops, Environment and Land Use, Rural Economics and Development, and other related disciplines. Currently, there are 200 ongoing fellowships, with a turnover of up to 50 new ones each year.

Each Fellowship offers financial support for a period of three or four years, allowing the recipient the freedom to pursue a PhD in an area of research of direct relevance to the Teagasc mission of supporting innovation in the Irish agri-food sector. Teagasc provides facilities for these talented and energetic Fellows and supports them academically in association with a university partner during their tenure. Working alongside their Teagasc supervisors, the Fellows contribute greatly to the national research agenda and to the development of Teagasc’s mission.

Our students develop specific analytical skills, as well as more generic teamwork and communication skills. These skills are highly transferable, making our alumni of value in many different roles across the Irish economy and internationally. The large numbers of alumni from the Programme working in industry highlights how public research expenditure can facilitate capacity building within Irish industry. The vast majority work in Ireland or for Irish companies, thus helping Irish agri-food companies grow and develop.

For further information on how you can support a Walsh Fellowship, please contact Dr Lance O’Brien at +353 (0)59 9183453 or lance.obrien@teagasc.ie