The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, has today announced funding of $60,000 (approx. €57,000) towards the establishment of short-term research fellowships for Irish postgraduate students at three of the top museums in the United States.
The funding is being made available under the Creative Ireland Programme in a joint collaboration with the Fulbright Commission.
This exciting development, initiated by former US Ambassador to Ireland Kevin F. O’Malley, will see a total amount of $120,000 made available to fund twelve fellowships over a four-year period from 2018 to 2022.
The participating museums are The Smithsonian Institution, The Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas, and The Exploratorium in San Francisco, California. Known as The Fulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellowships, these honours will be awarded directly by the Minister.
Speaking today, Minister Humphreys said:
“I am delighted to announce this wonderful opportunity for Irish postgraduate students to study in three of the world’s most celebrated museums, recognised leaders in the fields of science, art, and the humanities.
“This fellowship programme is based on the principle that culture, creativity, scientific inquiry, arts and heritage preservation are of intrinsic value to individuals and to society. These are all key elements of the Irish Government’s five-year Creative Ireland Programme, which aims to place culture at the centre of our lives for the betterment of our people and for the strengthening of our society.
“The setting up of The Fulbright Creative Ireland Museum Fellowships sends a very important message internationally about how Ireland values its culture and how the Irish Government is setting out an ambitious creativity agenda. A key part of the Creative Ireland Programme is to unify Ireland’s global reputation, engender new, exciting creative networks, learn from international examples, and explore how other countries prioritise arts and culture, and I am delighted that Irish students will be able to experience this firsthand.”
The Fulbright Commission in Ireland is a bilateral partnership supported by the US Department of State and the Department of Foreign Affairs. The flagship international educational exchange programme sponsored by the US Government, it is designed to increase mutual understanding by harnessing the transformative potential of arts, culture, creativity, scientific inquiry and heritage preservation through research collaborations.
It provides post-graduate students with dedicated access to internationally-renowned research collections and enhances the depth, range and quality of research activities conducted by Irish students in the United States, thereby creating opportunities for collaboration between Irish, US, and other international scholars.