For Oral Answer on : 08/03/2022
Question Number(s): 65 Question Reference(s): 12707/22
Department: Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Further and Higher Education; Research; Innovation and Science the involvement of Irish third-level institutions on joint research projects with their Ukrainian-based counterparts; the impact that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has had on such projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
I want to start by reiterating the Government’s utter condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine as illegal and immoral. Across Government we are examining the actions that need to be taken to support people affected by this aggression, including students and researchers.
I discussed these issues, including the overall EU response, when I met Commissioner Gabriel in Dublin last week. I have also engaged, together with the Minister for Justice, with the Union of Students in Ireland on issues affecting students. I also had the opportunity to meet, along with the Taoiseach, a number of Ukrainian students In Trinity College to hear first hand of their concerns.
With respect to the impact on research, my Department does not maintain a central register of research projects, given that autonomous higher education institutions drive their own research agenda and international collaborations. In terms of funding agencies under my Department’s aegis, Science Foundation Ireland is aware of four academic collaborations involving Ukraine, but there is no assessment yet on what the impact of the conflict is on this work. The Irish Research Council funds individual researchers and does not have information on institutional-level collaborations between Irish and Ukrainian higher education institutions.
My Department is continuing to engage closely with our agencies and stakeholders including the IUA and THEA to monitor developments and work through any issues as they arise.