Bursaries & Scholarships

North/South Postgraduate Scholarships

The aim of this scheme is to encourage outstanding students from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to cross the border to undertake postgraduate study and experience life in the other Irish jurisdiction. This year, Universities Ireland will offer four scholarships, each worth €25,000, to students who have been accepted to undertake a recognised Master’s Degree or are entering the first year of a PhD programme at a university in the island of Ireland that is not in the same jurisdiction as the university where they have previously studied.

Strict eligibility rules apply – please read the Guidance for Applicants carefully.

The winners of the 2023 North/South Postgraduate Scholarships are:

Katie Houlihan, Kildare is completing a Master of Science in Psychological Sciences in Law at Queen’s University Belfast

Niamh Twomey, Clare is completing a PhD in English at Queen’s University Belfast

Orla Kelly, Derry is completing a MSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics in University College Cork

Ronan McElvogue, Tyrone is completing PhD in Quantum Technologies at University College Dublin

The winners of the 2022 North/South Postgraduate Scholarships are:

Catherine Quinn, Galway is completing a Masters in Law at Queen’s University Belfast

Hannah McKeown, Belfast is completing a Masters in Project Management in University College Dublin

Penny McGovern, Westport is completing a MA in Film at Queen’s University Belfast

Rosalind Skillen, Belfast is completing a MSc in Environmental Policy at University College Dublin

The winners of the 2021 North/South Postgraduate Scholarships are:

Aidan O’Riain, Cellbridge, Co Kildare is completing a MSc in Experimental Medicine at Queen’s University Belfast

Bridget Moylan, Tulsk, Co Roscommon is completing a MSc in International Public Policy at Queen’s University Belfast

Joanna Gallagher, Holywood, Co Down is completing a MSc in Food Security Policy and Management at University College Cork

Aoife O’Reilly, Belfast, Co Antrim is completing a MA in Music Therapy at University of Limerick

Eoghan Kelly, Garrison, Co Fermanagh is completing a PhD in Politics at Queen’s University Belfast

The winners of the 2020 North/South Postgraduate Scholarships are:

Ciara Grogan, Bray, Co Wicklow is completing a Msc. Leadership for Sustainable Development in Queen’s University Belfast

Cormac Keenan, Derry is completing a MA in History at Dublin City University

David Monaghan, Gorey, Co Wexford is completing a MA in Animation at Ulster University

Jenny Douglas, Richhill, Co Armagh is completing M.Phil in International Peace Studies at Trinity College Dublin

Universities Ireland

The winners of the 2019 North/South Postgraduate Scholarships are:

Rebekah Crossan, Derry is completing an MPhil in Modern Irish History in TCD

Alexander Cupples, Loughbrickland is completing a MA in the Beginnings of Irish Christianity in UCC

Siobhan Kelly,  Dublin is completing a MA in Arts Management in QUB

Clare Lyons, Dublin is completing an MFA in Photography in UU

Peter Bothwell, Carrickfergus is completing an MSc in Comparative Social Change in TCD and UCD

The winners of the 2018 North/South Postgraduate Scholarships are:

Billy Vaughan, Dublin  is completing a MA Global Security and Borders in QUB

The main aim of this course is to make us fundamentally re-evaluate how we think about international borders, and their role in the global system of population movement. Recent events such as the Mediterranean migration crisis and the controversy surrounding the US-Mexico border are analysed to show how popular discourse surrounding borders translates into actual policy. The course also includes a “Borders Internship” with organisations whose workload consists of working on issues pertaining to borders. The interns spend a number of months compiling a report for their placement organisation based on independent primary research.

Claire Morrison, Ballynahinch is completing  a PhD in Philosophy in TCD.

The focus of her PhD project is on how Irishmen working in the Chinese Customs Service between 1859 and 1949 presented and interpreted their identity. The majority of the Irishmen in Chinese government service were from Ulster, hired to the Customs Service as British citizens, largely as a result of Hart’s involvement and his reliance on personal connections to hire men. However, with the partition of Ireland, choosing to identify as British, Irish or from Ulster took on a new significance.

Grace O’Mahony is completing a MsC in  Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics in QUB.

The vision of this particular MSc course is to find unique solutions to clinical and biological problems. ‘Big data’ can provide the key to unlocking the cause and development of various diseases, such as cancer. Analysing data produced from the biomedical science setting also offers the prospect of developing new drugs and therapies to prevent and treat prevalent conditions and diseases in the Irish population. The final aspect of the masters is a research project that may be undertaken in either the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology or the Centre for Experimental Medicine in Queen’s University.

Tiarnán Ó Muilleoir is completing a MA in Sociology in UCD.

This  research and writing – which is historically focused – is premised on the sort of all-Ireland breadth of perspective, investigating both economic similarities and divergences between Northern Ireland and the South over the modern era,that would be enriched by such an experience.  This research, which he has already presented at various conferences independently, and had some of it published online and in journals, is a project in the lineage of ‘historical sociology’, aimed at describing and explaining the divergent economic and social trajectories of Ulster and the rest of Ireland from the early modern plantations until partition.

The winners of the 2017 North/South Postgraduate Scholarships are:

Miceal Canavan , Derry

Miceal is a University of Cambridge Law graduate. He is commencing a M. Sc. in International Politics at Trinity College Dublin.  This course focuses on how states collaborate with one another at an international level and how this reflects and shapes their domestic politics.  Due to Brexit and instability at Stormont, the all-Ireland political relationship will be reshaped over the course of the next 5 – 10 years and Miceal plans to contribute by identifying and analysing the critical challenges, developing potential solutions and participating in the ongoing public debate.

Helen Stonehouse, Dublin  

Helen is a psychology graduate from the Open University in Ireland and a Classics graduate from Trinity College Dublin. She is commencing a MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis in Queen’s University Belfast.  Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is the application of the science of behaviour. It is a scientific approach to solving socially significant issues. It has become a well-established treatment for autism, and is used to teach socially significant behaviours and reduce challenging behaviours.  Helen shall research variations in Applied Behaviour Analysis services in home and community settings across the island of Ireland. Specifically, she will investigate the relationship between knowledge of Applied Behaviour Analysis and attitudes towards it as a treatment for autism. I will seek to establish perceptions of Applied Behavior Analysis and the importance of evidence based practice in the treatment of autism.

Mary Hassan,Derry

Mary is a Common & Civil Law with Hispanic Studies graduate form Queen’s University Belfast. She is commencing a MSc in World Heritage Conservation at University College Dublin(PT).  This MSc focuses on international protections, biodiversity, conservation and sustainability practices.  It teaches in such a way that the international instruments take centre stage, which is going to be incredibly important going forward after Brexit.

Mary will be researching into natural heritage sites, biodiversity concerns and matters of sustainability that cross borders.  With Brexit coming into play, and thereby one side being protected by European environmental legislation and the other not covered by its protections, it is more important than ever to explore what international legislative instruments and options we have on a cross border basis which could potentially be evoked.

Seán Fearon, Newry

Seán is a Politics, Philosophy and Economics graduate from Queen’s University Belfast. He is commencing a MA in International Political Economy at University College Dublin he has decided to commit himself to the study of political economy which will transform my personal understanding of this field of study and its relevance as a field of study which promises to illuminate and assuage so much of the pressing concerns held by his own community in the ‘border corridor’, and indeed the entire island. The International Political Economy course at UCD offers comprehensive training in wedding the two indivisible elements of political science and economics together, and provides instruction in how to apply this thinking to an all-island context.

The winners of the 2016 North/South Postgraduate Scholarships are:

Adam Bradley, Bangor, Co. Down

Adam is a Trinity College Dublin music graduate. He is commencing a MRes in Arts and Humanities (Composition) in Queen’s University Belfast.  The MRes will explore the conceptual barriers between popular and classical/contemporary music, the common view of them as separate entities, and how this may affect music in Ireland.

Jonathan Green, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh

Jonathan is a Queen’s University Belfast graduate of Law. He is commencing a LLM in Trinity College Dublin. This LLM will allow him to research and develop a thesis on the development of environmental law on an all-Ireland basis.

Yvanne Kennedy, Celbridge, Co. Kildare

Yvanne is a University College Dublin Law graduate. She is commencing a LLM (Human Rights & Criminal Justice) in Queen’s University Belfast. She will complete her research dissertation in the area of penal reform, looking at the positive implications of early intervention, education, and restorative practices.

Carmen Ortiz Granero, Belfast, Co. Antrim

Carmenis a Queen’s University Belfast English graduate and holds a MSc TESOL from there also. She is commencing a PhD in Philosophy in Trinity College Dublin.  This research project will analyse the factors responsible for the language-related challenges experienced by non-native English students in Irish institutions, as well as the multimodal teaching and learning practices that may overcome those difficulties in intensive English language programmes designed specifically for non-native international students by the Centre for English Language Learning and Teaching (CELLT), which might be regarded as a model of language programme for other institutions.

The winners of the 2015 North/South Postgraduate Scholarships were:

Christina Kenny, Dundalk, Co Louth

Christine is a University College Dublin Science Graduate.  She is commencing a PhD at Queen’s University Belfast titled ‘effect of antibiotic treatment on airway microbial community composition in patients with Cystic Fibrosis’.  The PhD will investigate and explore the effect of antibiotic treatment on airway microbial community composition in patients with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetically inherited condition.

Donal Lynch, Innishannon, Co Cork

Donal is a University College Cork Engineering Graduate.  He is commencing a PhD at Queen’s University Belfast in Advanced Mechanical Engineering where he hopes his postgraduate study will help to make a contribution to the development of Ireland on an all-island level.  Some of the challenges include maintaining a reliable and uninterrupted power supply, increasing renewable energy development, ensuring the sustainability of the transport sector and improving the natural environment and living standards in Ireland North and South.

Aoife McGlynn, Omagh, Co Tyrone

Aoife is a University of Ulster Fine Arts Graduate.  She is commencing a MA Film Studies:  History, Theory Practice at Trinity College Dublin.  This course is a unique opportunity to embark upon a detailed investigation into the intellectual currents and aesthetic concerns surrounding the study of film. From the outset, questions of history, theory and context combine with issues of close analysis and interpretation to provide a course that is both rigorous and rewarding. Optional introductory modules in screenwriting, creative documentary and editing allow students to balance film theory with practice.

Ciara Rushe, Cookstown, Co Tyrone

Ciara is a Queen’s University Belfast Geography Graduate.  She is commencing a MSc in Business and Management at Trinity College Dublin.  This course is designed specifically for those who have a primary undergraduate degree in a subject that is not related to business.   The programme is designed to complement a foundation degree and to bring added value, knowledge and skills required for leading and managing in today’s complex business environment.

History Bursary

The Universities Ireland Bursaries ran in conjunction with the Decade of Remembrance Conferences from 2012 to 2023 and covered research in the area related to the 1912-1923 period in Ireland.

You will find those who were awarded the bursaries over those years below.

The winners of the 2023 History Bursary:

Emer O’Brien, Dublin

Emer will complete her PhD in University College Dublin.  The title of her research is Last Outpost of the West: Ireland, White Supremacy and the Quest for Recognition

Cian Lynch, Cork

Cian will complete his PhD in University College Cork.  His proposed piece of research seeks to determine to what extent Irish food supplies to Great Britain were disrupted by Imperial Germany’s campaign of submarine warfare during the Great War.

The winners of the 2022 History Bursary:

Stephen Kelly, Limerick

Stephen will complete his PhD in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.  The title of his research is British Military counter-insurgency in the 18th Brigade area during the Irish War of Independence 1919-1921.

Cormac Keenan, Derry

Cormac will complete his PhD in Dublin City University.  The title of his research is Demoralised, despondent, and dependent’: An examination of the post-revolutionary lives of the dependents of the Irish Revolution and Civil War, 1923-80.

The winners of the 2021 History Bursary:

Maria Kane, Dublin

Maria will complete her PhD in Trinity College Dublin.  The title of her research is Though we might not have been beaten we would not have won ‘The Irish White Cross Society’s national program for relief and reconstruction, 1921-1928.

Jack Traynor, Haggardstown, Co Louth

Jack will complete his PhD at Queen’s University Belfast.  The title of his research is ‘Re-examining the Role of Northern Ireland in the Irish Civil War, 1922-23’.

The winners of the 2020 History Bursary:

Noel Carolan, Dublin

Noel will complete his PhD in Dublin City University.  The title of his research is The politics of Ireland’s food supply in peace, war, revolution and partition, 1912- 1923: forgotten conflicts, campaigns and opportunities

Michael Loughman, Clonaslee, Co Laois

Michael will complete his PhD in Dublin City University.  The title of his research is James Ryan: ‘Architect of the New Ireland’

The winners of the 2019 History Bursary:

Benjamin Ragan, Olympia, USA

Benjamin will complete his PhD in Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick.  The title of his research is Supernaturalism in the Remembrance and Folklore of the Irish Revolution.

Catherine Rooney, Newry

Catherine will complete her PhD in University College Cork.  The title of her research is ‘The Gatekeeper: A Biography of Liam Tobin’.

The winners of the 2018 History Bursary:

Caitlin White, Tipperary 

Caitlin will complete her PhD in Trinity College Dublin.  The title of her research is The Photographer and the City: The work of A.R. Hogg in recording social conditions in early twentieth- century Belfast.

Kevin Egan, Dublin

Kevin will complete his PhD in University College Dublin and the title of his research is History -Iveagh, the paternalistic peer: social improvement, political revolution, and industrial development in the age of emerging democracy, 1868-1927.

Sean Bolger, Wexford

Sean will complete his PhD in University College Dublin and the title of his research is Establishment, Emergent Forces and Municipal Politics in Britain and Ireland, 1899 – 1914.

The winners of the 2017 History Bursary:

Lucy Wray, Coleraine

Lucy is a Queen’s University Belfast graduate in English and History with an MA in History. She is commencing a PhD in Queen’s University Belfast titled ‘The Photographer and the City: The work of A.R. Hogg in recording social conditions in early twentieth- century Belfast’.  The PhD will look at the work of A.R. Hogg, in partnership with National Museums Northern Ireland. It will address the address following questions: What was the role of the photographer either as an observer or an actor in early twentieth-century Belfast: was Hogg simply recording what he saw or did he consider his photographs to be catalysts for improving working-class social conditions? How did Hogg and his contemporaries record and communicate issues relating to public health, housing, and social welfare? What role did this play in raising awareness, exerting political pressure, and stimulating philanthropic initiatives and how did this fit with his work as a commercial photographer? And finally, what does Hogg’s involvement in a wide range of societies and organisations tell us about the underexplored links between photography, associational culture and philanthropy in the British or Irish industrial city.

Neil Richardson, Dublin

Neil is a philosophy graduate from University College Dublin with a MA in Military History and Strategic Studies from National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He is commencing a PhD in History in National University of Ireland, Maynooth titled ‘Why Messines and not Frezenberg? A re-assessment of the Irish ‘shared sacrifice’ battlefields of 1917’.  Neil’s research will explore and re-assess this topic by asking the following questions: Why was the Battle of Messines Ridge elevated, in terms of Irish remembrance and commemoration of the First World War, over the action on Frezenberg Ridge?; How were both actions perceived in the contemporary media and political spheres in 1917?; How were they recorded and reflected on in the immediate post-war period, and again in modern times? and what is the significance of the action on Frezenberg Ridge in terms of modern Irish commemoration of the First World War, and in terms of cross-border and cross-community reconciliation between opposing Irish political traditions?

Michael Twomey, Cork

Michael is a history graduate from Empire State College, State University of New York with a MA in History from the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. He is commencing a PhD in History in University College Cork titled ‘The Protestant community of the Co. Cork Muskerry district – decline in the non-Catholic population of the twenty-six county area’. Michael’s research will be an analytical study of the Protestant population of Muskerry, and any fluctuations within this community over an extended period.

The winners of the 2016 History Bursary:

Conor Heffernan, Castleknock, Dublin 15

Conor has  obtained his Masters Degree in MPhil in Historical Studies in University of Cambridge.  He is commencing his PhD in History in University College Dublin.

Conor’s research will be based on Ireland’s Physical Culture Movement 1898-1930

Research Question at a GlanceWhat produced the physical culture movement in Ireland and what did it mean for Ireland’s burgeoning nationalist movement?  Understanding physical culture as the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century concern with the ideological and commercial cultivation of the body, this proposal focuses on the rise of Ireland’s physical culture movement from 1898 to 1930. A period of time that encapsulates a rich tapestry of Irish history, beginning with the 1898 performance of Physical Culturist Eugen Sandow in Dublin and covers the concurrent spread of physical culture and nationalist sentiment around Ireland. Furthermore, extending the period of study to 1930 allows the study of not only interactions between physical culture and military warfare in Ireland but also the use of physical culture practices by the incumbent Irish Free State to improve the health of the Irish citizenry. A form of exercise more akin to bodybuilding than organized sport, the proposal seeks to discover how physical culture fed into wider nationalist ideals, thereby examining the extent to which physical culture was used as a subterfuge for training Irish nationalists for armed conflict. Similarly the intense interest exhibited by Irish nationalists in improving the physical prowess of Irishmen and women through physical culture will be considered. Given the interest of key nationalist figures, such as Patrick Pearse, in physical culture, it seems impertinent not to study Ireland’s nationalist movement with reference to this specified form of exercise. Aside from military matters, the proposal is concerned with understanding lay interest in physical culture. Specifically, what motivated numerous Irishmen and women to establish and attend physical culture clubs, which emerged in Ireland from the 1900s onwards? Were their motivations different from those exhibited by Irish nationalists and if so, why? Furthermore how many emulated Ulysses’ Leopold Bloom in taking to Sandow’s exercise courses privately in their own homes away from the public sphere?

Shane Browne, Ballytruckle, Waterford

Shane has obtained his Masters Degree in Arts History (Modern Irish History) at University College Dublin.  He is commencing his PhD in Moore’s Military: Understanding Maurice Moore and the National Volunteers in Irish History, 1914 – 1918, ( A critical analysis of the National Volunteer movement in Ireland and the Great War) in University College Dublin.

Shane’s research will be based on Moore’s Military: Understanding Maurice Moore and the National Volunteers in Irish History, 1914 – 1918.  A striking aspect in the historiography of Ireland’s revolutionary decade is that John Redmond’s National Volunteers are still overlooked. While a full-scale history of the Irish Volunteer movement also remains unaccomplished, there is far more information concerning the radical and separatist element that would ultimately change the course of Irish history. Historians often tend to encompass the narrative of the National Volunteers in conjunction with their post-split counterparts, rather than focus on the movement as a standalone entity. Therefore, this project shall examine the National Volunteers, the forgotten paramilitary who have been overlooked in the revolutionary narrative to this day. The hypotheses to be tested will be to conduct a critical analysis of the National Volunteer movement in Ireland, while also incorporating an analysis of National Volunteer recruits to join the British Armed Forces.  My area of research shall focus on the militarisation of Irish society from the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, with the National Volunteers as the primary focus. I shall also look at the various machinations of the Irish Parliamentary Party that were detrimental in the organisation and running of the movement.

The winner of the 2015 History Bursary:

Gerald Maher, Strokestown, Co Roscommon

Gerald has obtained a BA in English & History from the University of Limerick.  He is commencing his PhD on Militant Irish-American Organisations and the Irish Revolution, 1912-23 in September in the University of Limerick.

The primary aim of Gerard’s research is to assess and quantify the impact of militant Irish republicanism in the United States on the military landscape of Ireland during the revolutionary period of 1912-1923. Particular attention will be given to Irish-American organisations that had a distinct physical force outlook. How these organisations operated during Ireland’s revolutionary period and how they usurped the popularity of more constitutionally minded Irish-American organisations in the United States will be a significant aspect of the research as it will attempt to ascertain the tone of Irish-American support for Ireland’s war for independence. The critical matter of the research material will be the effect of Irish-American physical force organisations’ on Irish republican military development and strategies. The project will investigate the logistical, tactical and financial support for Irish republican forces that was both directly and indirectly forwarded from Irish-America. Areas such as gun running, military training and exercises and methods used to raise finances for republican military campaigns in Ireland will be examined in detail, along with the operational relationship between militant Irish-American organisations and Irish republican forces. It is hoped that the project will contribute to the currently underdeveloped historiography of the highly sophisticated republican military campaigns in Ireland and their deep-rooted links with Irish-America.