Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions
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The Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions (PRTLI) is an Irish government programme that provides integrated financial support for institutional strategies, programmes and infrastructure and ensures that institutions have the capacity and incentives to formulate and implement research strategies, which will give them critical mass and world level capacity in key areas of research. The Programme supports research in humanities, science, technology and social sciences, such as business and law.
The programme was launched in 1998 following the success of a pilot programme in science and technology.
Up to the end of 2006, €605 million has been allocated to third level institutions under this competitive programme for research. Substantial funding has been also been provided from private philanthropic sources who have supported the strategic focus and competitive basis of the programme.
In August 2007, the Minister for Education and Science announced the allocation of funding under PRTLI Cycle four (PRTLI 4). Approximately €230 million was allocated for major research initiatives in fifteen higher education institutions. This funding provides for workspace and researcher funding including 200 postgraduates, 100 postdocs, 50 principal investigators and 60 support staff.
In general the objectives of the programme are:
- To enable a strategic and planned approach by third-level institutions to the long-term development of their research capabilities, consistent with their existing and developing research strengths and capabilities.
- To promote the development of high quality research capabilities in third-level institutions, so as to enhance the quality and relevance of graduate output and skills.
- Within the framework of these objectives, to provide support for outstandingly talented individual researchers and teams within institutions and the encouragement of co-operation between researchers both within the institutions and between institutions having particular regard to the desirability of encouraging inter-institutional co-operation within the two parts of the binary system and within Ireland, the EU and internationally.
The PRTLI awards have been evaluated by an international panel of distinguished researchers and scholars on the basis of excellence in:
- Strategic planning and focus
- Inter-institutional collaboration
- Research quality
- Impact of research on teaching and learning
As of April 2010, the Irish Government has not made any announcements of a PRTLI cycle 5 and has given no firm indication of its future intentions with regard to support for research in Third Level Institutions.