iCRAG PI Prof. Maria McNamara has received €472,995 in SFI Frontiers for the Future funding announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD. Entitled “The Evolution of Melanin in Vertebrates: Using taphonomy to record the history of metal-melanin functions through deep time” the work will investigate how, and why, melanin evolved in vertebrates. The research will help to understand the biology of melanin in modern-day vertebrates and how to reconstruct the chemical and functional evolution of melanin in fossil vertebrate animals through deep time.
Commenting on the SFI Future Frontiers Programme, Minister Harris TD, said: “Congratulations to all the researchers who have received funding today as part of the SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme. I am delighted to support this programme which funds individual-led research, with an emphasis on fundamental research at the cutting edge of science and engineering which will help us build a better future for Ireland through discovery, innovation, and impact.“
“Not only will these grants support research in important areas for Irish society, they will also fund the support 216 people in varying research positions across 10 Higher Education Institutes to further develop their research careers. We are investing in talent. I would like to offer my thanks to the Higher Education Institutions for their support in delivering this programme again this year.”
Professor Philip Nolan, Director General of SFI said: “After the success of the first SFI Future Frontiers Programme in 2020, I am delighted to see 76 research grants awarded. The research programmes are wonderfully diverse, but they have one thing in common: they ask fundamental questions and will lead to important scientific breakthroughs, with important applications in areas such as climate action, biodiversity, human and animal health and digital transformation, with real and lasting benefits to our society and economy. The SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme is a key element of SFI’s new strategy – Shaping Our Future providing support for excellent research.“
“It is really encouraging to see that 42% of the research grants are led by female researchers for the second year running. SFI is committed to addressing the gender imbalance evident in areas of Irish research and this is another example of that commitment in action.”