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Irish Funding Agency Seeks Boost

Science Foundation Ireland is seeking annual budget increases for the next five years, Science reports.

In particular, the Irish Times reports SFI would like 15 percent increases to its annual budget over the next five years. According to Science, that would bring SFI's grant spending to €376 million in 2025.

The Irish Times notes that this new strategy — called 'Delivering Today, Preparing for Tomorrow' and announced earlier this week by Fianna Fáil Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Fine Gael Minister for Science Simon Harris — aims "to foster a cohesive research and innovation system that will support Ireland's competitiveness and a rapid recovery from the COVID-19 crisis."

In addition to increased funding, the plan calls for raising the number of SFI awards to individual researchers, attracting researchers from abroad to Ireland, and boosting the number of women in leadership positions, the Irish Times says. "I really hope that this is intended to include women as SFI center leaders and as SFI research professors, where female representation has been abysmally low," Lorraine Hanlon, a physicist at University College Dublin, tells Science.