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Call for Applications for MIC’s Postgraduate Research Award Schemes

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Mary Immaculate College (MIC) is currently accepting applications from eligible candidates for the MIC Postgraduate Awards and Departmental Assistantship Award Schemes. Three categories of awards are being offered under the Postgraduate Awards Scheme including a Doctoral Award, Doctoral Studentship Award and Postgraduate Studentship Award. The Departmental Assistantship Scheme makes provision for the appointment of a number of registered postgraduate research students as Departmental Assistants.  Students pursuing, or intending to pursue research postgraduate degrees in Arts or Education, are eligible to apply for the schemes.

According to Dr Amy Healy, Acting Coordinator of Doctoral Programmes, MIC embraces and supports academic research at the highest level in its core fields of Education and Humanities. Research students benefit from a stimulating research environment, state-of-the art resources, rigorous assessment of research and access to the College’s community of faculty experts. Recognising the need to help meet the real world needs and costs of postgraduate research MIC also offers funding supports of €800,000 per annum through the merit-based Research Masters and Doctoral Awards Scheme and the  Departmental Assistantship Scheme. Both schemes are managed by MIC’s Research and Graduate School (RGSO) and are hugely important to the successful applicants as they engage and progress in their research journeys at Masters and Doctoral levels.”

The Doctoral Award, offered by open competition to eligible applicants, current value is a stipend of €12,600 for a three-year period and a fees contribution for the normal duration of a programme which is four years for a PhD and three years for a Professional Doctorate. A few waiver currently amounts to €4,403 per annum for EU students and €8,781 per annum for non-EU students. In consultation with the Head of Department and Dean of Faculty an awardee can also volunteer teaching and tutorial assistance up to a maximum of 48 hours per annum.

The Doctoral Studentship Award current value is a stipend of €6,900 for years one to three of a programme and a fees contribution for the normal duration of the programme which is four years for a PhD and three years for a Professional Doctorate. As with the Doctoral Award an awardee can also volunteer teaching and tutorial assistance of up to a maximum of 48 hours per annum.

The Postgraduate Studentship Award is currently valued at €6,900 for years one to three of a PhD degree and years one and two of a Masters programme. A fees contribution for the normal duration of a programme – four years for a PhD student, three years for a Professional Doctorate Student and two years for a Masters student – is also on offer. An awardee can again volunteer teaching and provide tutorial assistance. 

Geraldine Mark, Faculty of Arts Doctoral candidate and a recipient of the MIC Doctoral Award, commented that she would have found it difficult to pursue her PhD studies without the award and is very grateful for the opportunity, and financial support, that the award afforded her. Geraldine says, “Receiving the MIC Doctoral Award has allowed me the privilege of dedicating concentrated time to my research. It has had a hugely positive impact in validating the importance of the research and in removing some of the financial stress. The programme resources and supervision expertise in the Applied Linguistics department are outstanding.  This all leads to a very well supported and stimulating experience.

The Departmental Assistantship (DA) Awardees also benefit from the financial support afforded them and gain valuable experience through teaching and working with academic colleagues. One DA Award per annum is available to each Academic Department. This is annually renewable for up to three years in the case of a PhD programme and two years in the case of a Masters programme. DA’s are required to provide up to a maximum of 120 hours of assistance to their home academic department across the academic year or an average of five hours per week per semester. Duties can range from helping with tutorial, lecture, seminar and workshop activities, field work supervision and tutoring on timetabled tutorial sessions.

A Departmental Award currently provides for a stipend of €6,900 per annum along with a few waiver for Years 1,2,3 for PhD students. Where an Awardee enters fourth year of studies, a fee waiver is provided, but no stipend is payable in Year 4 and no duties are required in Year 4. Masters students are entitled to a stipend of €6,900 with a few waiver for a two-year period. 

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MIC Postgraduate Awards and Departmental Assistantship Award Schemes

Dr Healy says, “A critical advantage for students in conducting their research at MIC is the capacity of the College’s small cohesive community to support their research endeavours.  Academic departments and the Research & Graduate School staff work together to provide effective structures to ensure that students are supported in their studies to the maximum possible extent. MIC provides a vibrant postgraduate environment with academic supervision appropriate to the candidate and access to research resources and professional development opportunities.”

There are a multitude of research disciplines that can be the focus of postgraduate research at MIC. The Faculty of Arts offers research opportunities in all of its disciplines including, Drama and Theatre Studies, English Language and Literature, French Studies, Roinn na Gaeilge, Geography, German Studies, Mathematics & Computer Studies, Media & Communications Studies, History, Music, Philosophy, Psychology and Theology & Religious Studies. While the Faculty of Education offers postgraduate study by thesis and research across the departments of Learning, Society & Religious Education; Language & Literacy Education;  Arts Education & Physical Education; Reflective Pedagogy & Childhood Studies;  Educational Psychology, Inclusive and Special Education; STEM Education and the School of Education (Post-Primary).

Dr Healy was also keen to highlight the range of resources available to all MIC postgraduate students, whether studying on a taught or research programme, including peer-to-peer interaction, coaching, and mentoring. Students can also participate in transferrable skills training which takes in research skills, research management practices, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking & collaboration strategies, team-work, and career planning and management. Students also have access to the purpose-designed graduate research and study facility on the John Henry Newman Campus.   

All current and prospective students can apply for the Postgraduate Award and Departmental Assistantship Schemes, but the Award can only be taken up by postgraduate research students once they are registered as such in MIC.

The deadline for receipt of applications for the Postgraduate Award Scheme is 2pm on Thursday 1 April. Applications should be sent directly to MIC’s Research and Graduate School  at rgso@mic.ul.ie

The deadline for receipt of applications for the Departmental Assistantship Award Scheme varies depending on department. Applications should be sent directly to the respective Head of the Department. 

Watch the MIC Postgraduate Virtual Talks Series, which includes a presentation on the awards schemes, here.

For details on scholarship, funding and fees click here.