Dr Siobhán Howard, lecturer in Psychology in Mary Immaculate College (MIC) was recently awarded a 2016 Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Grant to fund a research project studying the biological stress reactions of military veterans. Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Award
Named in honour of the Academy’s first President, James Caulfeild, the 1st Earl of Charlemont (1728–99), this Charlemont Award schemes are unique in offering funding for short international research trips, to support primary research in any area. The Charlemont Grants facilitate access for early-career researchers to important international scientific and cultural resources.
According to Prof. Mary E Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy “The Charlemont Grants are designed to act as a career springboard to assist scholars in strengthening their international mobility and developing international collaborative networks. In short, to fund excellent people with excellent ideas.”
As part of the 2016 Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Grant, Dr Howard will spend four weeks at the research laboratories of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA. During this time, she will be working on a research project studying the biological stress reactions of military veterans. This exciting research will be completed in collaboration with Prof. Krys Kaniasty of Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Dr Howard, originally from Co. Mayo, completed her PhD in 2009 at NUI Galway, and after working as three years as a post-doctoral researcher at NUI Galway, took up appointment as Lecturer in Psychology at the Department of Psychology, MIC in 2011. Since then, Dr Howard has worked extensively on research projects examining the influence of personality and individual differences on how our bodies react to stressful situations, with a particular focus on blood pressure and heart rate. This research has seen her receive a 2015 Mary Immaculate College Research Sabbatical Award allowing her to engage in multiple research visits with leading institutions in personality and stress research.
On receiving the award the 2016 Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Grant Dr Howard said “I’m honoured and delighted to be a Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Scholar for 2016. This award allows me to travel to a centre of excellence in the USA to study in more detail how our bodies respond to acute stressful situations in a very unique population who have already experienced high levels of chronic stress; military veterans. I am looking forward to engaging in this important piece of research and thank the Royal Irish Academy for allowing me this exciting and worthwhile opportunity”.
Congratulating Dr Howard on becoming the first Charlemont Scholar from MIC Dr Kerry Greer, Head of Psychology, MIC, said “I am delighted with the successes of my valued colleague, Dr Siobhán Howard. This award is the result of intense competitions for funds against world class researchers from other institutions, and are based on merit. Dr Howard’s personal achievements in winning this award reflect not only her standing as a researcher on the national and international Stage, but also the high levels of support that MIC affords their brilliant young researchers through the offices of the MIC Arts Faculty, and the MIC Research and Graduate School”.
Also offering his congratulations was Prof. Michael Healy, Associate Vice President of Research at MIC who said “Siobhán is building a formidable professional research profile internationally, nationally and locally. We at Mary Immaculate College are very proud of her excellent work in research and the award of the 2016 Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Grant is a testament to her contribution to her field. She has much to offer to Psychology now and in the future”
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