Gender ARC Seed Fund Awards

Gender ARC Seed Fund Awards
Mar 08 2016 Posted: 09:21 GMT

Gender ARC is pleased to congratulate the recipients of the Gender ARC Seed Fund Awards 2015-2016: The first was awarded to PhD candidates Seán Burke (NUI Galway) and Ann Marie Joyce (IRC Scholar, UL), supported by Dr Eilís Ward (NUI, Galway); and the second to Dr Ciara Breathnach (UL) and Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley (NUI Galway).

The Seed Fund Awards are small, externally adjudicated, competitive grants intended to recognise excellence in gender-focused research. The grant uniquely supports joint initiatives, led by at least two academics or two PhD candidates (one from UL and the other NUI Galway). The funding is provided by the NUI Galway-UL Strategic Alliance fund (NUI Galway) and the Gender, Culture and Society Programme (UL).  We are grateful for the time and expertise of this year’s Gender ARC Seed Fund reviewers, Professor Emerita Pat Coughlan (English, UCC) and Professor Sarah Combellick-Bidney, Political Science, Augsburg College, MN, USA.

This year’s Award recipients offered well-constructed research proposals for two important initiatives, one in the social science and one in the humanities. The first, coordinated by Seán Burke (School of Sociology and Political Science, NUI Galway) and Ann Marie Joyce (Gender, Culture and Society programme, UL), is for a one-day colloquium entitled ‘Research on the margins? Commercial sex, the researcher and the researched’ sponsored by the Commercial Sex Research Network Ireland (CSRNI). The CSRNI is an all-Ireland interdisciplinary network for researchers critically engaged in researching issues related to commercial sex. The colloquium, taking place on the Wednesday 3 May 2016, features a key-note address from Dr. Lorraine Nencel, (VU University, Amsterdam) entitled: ‘Researching Sex Work: A job like any other?’ in addition to two interactive workshops lead by Dr Eilís Ward and Dr Leigh Ann Sweeney. The event provides a platform for a timely discussion of current policy issues and debates in the Irish and European context, such as the high-profile ‘Turn off the Red Light’ campaign in addition to the potential introduction of the sex purchase ban in the Republic of Ireland and similar legislative statutes in Northern Ireland. As Seán states:

“We very grateful to have received this award – the funding has allowed us the opportunity to collaborate with other researchers focused on the area of commercial sex […] the idea was to foster links already forged between CSRNI in addition to inviting international experts to shed new light on the legislative changes that are imminent in the republic of Ireland.”

This event is free and all are welcome. For more information, or to reserve a place, contact Seán directly at

The second Award went to Dr Ciara Breathnach (History, UL) and Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley (History, NUI Galway). Ciara and Sarah-Anne have been collaborating over the past three years on research exploring lifecycles, gender and the family in historical perspective. The Seed Fund Award supports these efforts by enabling collaboration in research events and conferences in 2016, in Europe and the USA, to underpin the development of bids for further international funding. Their work sheds light on Irish women’s resilience through time, most notably through experiences of transnational migration, and the ability to keep their families together despite great hardship.

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