Minister for Foreign Affairs Announces New Postgraduate Scholarships in Conflict Resolution
Meeting a commitment of the Programme for Government, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern T.D., today announced the establishment of a new scheme of fourth-level scholarships in the area of conflict resolution.
The Minister said: “Ireland can make a distinctive contribution to the resolution of conflict internationally. The Conflict Resolution Unit of my Department is actively engaged in developing Irish support for peace efforts in conflict-torn areas. Irish academia also has an important role to play in supporting the resolution of conflicts internationally. I am convinced of the importance of further developing national academic capability in this area and so I am establishing this scholarship scheme in partnership with the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences.”
The Minister said “The establishment of this scholarship scheme is an important step in developing Ireland’s academic capacity and expertise in the area of conflict resolution. In tandem with the establishment of an Academic Centre for Conflict Resolution, which will be advanced during 2008, the scheme will over time help build up Ireland’s capacity to support the resolution of conflicts around the globe. This will add an important new dimension to our foreign policy activities.”
Note for Editors:
The Programme for Government emphasises the importance of conflict resolution as a theme in Irish foreign policy. The Conflict Resolution Unit was established within the Political Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and is leading work in the Department, in conjunction with Irish Aid and the Anglo-Irish Division, on enhancing Irish engagement in conflict resolution activities. In addition to the establishment of this scholarship scheme, the Conflict Resolution Unit will lead the development of an Irish Academic Centre for Conflict Resolution, oversee a Stability Fund to support specific efforts in the area of conflict resolution and manage a system of roving ambassadors to crisis regions.
The scheme will be administered in partnership between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS). The scheme will fund an initial two researchers from 2008 to undertake research work in the area of conflict resolution leading to the award of Ph.D. degrees, with a further two scholarships being awarded on an annual basis. Applications for the scholarships will be invited from holders of degrees at bachelor or masters level, who will be funded for a maximum of three years’ research work, based at an Irish institution. Applications will be assessed by an international panel assembled by IRCHSS, led by a specialist in the field of conflict resolution. It is intended that recipients of the scholarships will have an opportunity to spend a period working with the Conflict Resolution Unit in the course of their studies.