Three MIC Academics Secure Irish Research Council Awards

Irish Research Council Awards

Three academics from Mary Immaculate College, Limerick were amongst those named as recent recipients of the Irish Research Council Awards (IRC) New Foundation Awards. The awards are part of the IRC ‘New Foundations’ Scheme, which aims to support eligible researchers who seek to pursue research, networking and/or dissemination activities within and across a diversity of disciplines’.  The award winners include Dr Ailbhe Kenny, lecturer in Music Education, Dr Gwen Moore, lecturer and coordinator of the MA in Music Education programme, and Dr Eoin Flannery, lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature at MIC.

This year the IRC ‘New Foundations’ Scheme focused on three distinct themes: Engaging Society for International Development; Building engagement of civil society groups in Horizon 2020 Societal Challenges and Enhancing knowledge exchange including marking the National Decade of Centenaries.

Dr Ailbhe Kenny secured the award for her project entitled Music at the margins: Exploring the musical lives of children living under direct provision. The project, a collaboration between MIC and Doras Luimni, will explore the musical lives of children of asylum seekers living under direct provision in the Mid-West of Ireland. According to Dr Kenny a knowledge gap exists on the cultural rights and needs of these marginalised children and so the research “will address an urgent need to examine the musical values, identities and needs of marginalised children living in direct provision in order to improve their quality of life.”               
Ailbhe Kenny, originally from Co. Offaly holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and publishes internationally on music, arts and teacher education. As a Fulbright Scholar, she spent the academic year 14/15 at Columbia University and New York University.

Dr Gwen Moore secured the research award for her project Musical Futures Ireland: Establishing a Network and Pilot Study.  Drawing on international research spanning twelve years on informal learning in music education, this project will bring together a network of key stakeholders from education, policy and music contexts to launch a pilot of the internationally renowned music education project Musical Futures. Musical Futures is a successful international music project that focuses on group music-making using non-formal teaching approaches. Established first in the UK, it has been rolled out in Canada, Australia, Brazil, Northern Ireland and now the Republic of Ireland.  According to Dr Moore  “This award provides key opportunities for debate and research on non-formal musical learning within the Irish context and is especially timely in the context of Junior Cycle reform and the development of a National Cultural Policy.”
Dr Gwen Moore’s professional experience combines a decade of experience in teacher education as well as over twelve years working as a music specialist teacher in primary and secondary schools. She is founding member and Chairperson of the Society for Music Education in Ireland.

Dr Eóin Flannery’s project, entitled Crisis and Commemoration: Towards a Critique of the Closed Cycle, will comprise of a conference on the 14th October 2016 with the aim to investigate the ways in which modern and contemporary Irish history can be read as dialectical processes of crises and then commemoration of those crises.  According to Dr Flannery “By bringing scholars together to analyse the relationship between crisis and commemoration through literary and cultural lenses, the notions of ‘commemoration,’ ‘crisis,’ and ‘criticism’ will be interrogated.”
Dr Flannery is the author of four books: most recently, Ireland and Ecocriticism: Literature, History, and Environmental Justice published by Routledge in 2015, and also, Colum McCann and the Aesthetics of Redemption (2011).

Congratulating the recipients Prof. Michael Healy, Assoc. Vice President of Research, MIC, said; “I warmly congratulate Dr Kenny, Dr Moore and Dr Flannery on securing these IRC awards, providing further evidence of the rising profile of research and scholarship in Mary Immaculate College.”

Established in 2012 under the Government’s Public Sector Reform Plan, the Irish Research Council is an associated agency of the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and operates under the aegis of the Higher Education Authority.

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