IrishRSA’s Reducing the Precarity of Academic Research Careers in Ireland report


Consultation: Policies and practices relating to job precarity and career options for research staff: Stakeholder consultation

The Irish Research Staff Association are conducting a consultation as part of a project, undertaken with Professor Cláudia Sarrico, to better understand career options for research staff in Ireland, building on work described in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report Reducing the Precarity of Academic Research Careers. This project is supported by general funds from the Irish Research Council towards the activities of the Irish Research Staff Association. However, the views expressed in any of the outputs of this project do not necessarily reflect the views of the Irish Research Council.

Although different policies in the area of research careers have been developed, as well as broader policy instruments with relevance for research careers, there is still relatively little known about how these policies may affect research careers. The relatively high degree of international and intersectoral mobility among research staff, and high staff turnover, can make it difficult to gather information on research staff. To this end, we wish to consult with relevant stakeholders (e.g. research staff, policymakers, representatives of HEIs). We will consult with stakeholders who have a range of expertise and viewpoints on recent, existing, and planned policies, information on the policy process, observed effects of policy and factors influencing impact. We will be conducting a limited number of focus groups with relevant representatives. Feedback from these focus groups will help guide and improve policy in this area and its implementation.

If you have any questions about this consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us at irishrsa@gmail.com

Welcome to the IrishRSA official website

The Irish Research Staff Association (IrishRSA) represents salaried research staff in Ireland, including researchers within Research Staff Associations and individual researchers who lack representation through an RSA, and to advocate for their common interests at a National and International level in particular towards the goal of sustainable research careers.

The IrishRSA consists of members from

  • Trinity College Dublin TCD
  • University College Cork UCC
  • University College Dublin UCD
  • National University of Ireland Galway NUIG
  • Maynooth University MU
  • Technological University TU Dublin
  • Royal College of Surgeons Ireland RCSI

and actively welcomes research staff from all higher education institutes across the island of Ireland to contact us and join the association.


VISION: Nurturing communities of Irish researchers

IrishRSA supports the development of Irish HEI research staff associations (RSA) by:

  • facilitating communication between the RSA and
  • sharing of best practices of research careers.

IrishRSA plays an important role in the Irish research enterprise by enhancing the productivity and experiences of Irish research staff, postdoctoral scholars, and early-career researchers, who together are the lifeblood of the Irish research enterprise.


MISSION: Providing a voice for Irish research staff and postdoctoral scholars

Researchers are a highly mobile part of the Irish research enterprise. Policy concerning research careers in Ireland is determined through a variety of policy stakeholders. These consist of:

  • Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (FHERIS)
  • Irish University Association (IUA)
  • Higher Education Authority (HEA)
  • Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
  • Irish Research Council (IRC)

At present, there is no voice representing research staff in Irish policy determining research careers in Ireland. The Irish Research Staff Association (IrishRSA) will provide this collective voice, advocate on behalf of research staff and postdoctoral scholars, and inform policy stakeholders on best practice research policy; both national and international. The mission of IrishRSA is to expand its network among existing Irish university researcher associations, as well as reach out to other national RSA (e.g. UKRSA) as well as the International Consortium of Research Staff Associations (ICoRSA), of which IrishRSA is a member. Importantly, IrishRSA wants to sow the seeds of formation of new university associations and technology institutes where RSA do not yet exist.



  • IrishRSA’s Reducing the Precarity of Academic Research Careers in Ireland report
    The precarity of academic research careers in Ireland is a pressing issue that demands attention. This report’s recommendations serve as a roadmap for stakeholders, including policymakers, universities, and funding bodies, to collectively take action. By working together to enhance working conditions, promote diversity, and align policies with researcher needs, Ireland can pave the way for […]
  • The Irish Research Staff Association – 2022 in Review
    Irish RSA has had a busy and successful year, advocating for researchers and the research profession, promoting and working to support sustainable, inclusive, and rewarding research careers, collaborating with a range of organisations, representing researchers in various initiatives, events, and organisations, and much more. Irish RSA Year in Review 2022    
  • Research project
    We are seeking a highly qualified and experienced researcher to assist in the research study conducted by IrishRSA on “Reducing the Precarity of Academic Research Careers in Ireland“ This will complement a larger study undertaken by the OECD: Reducing the Precarity of Academic Research Careers. The key purpose of this role will be the development of a country note […]
  • IrishRSA virtual AGM
    Join the Irish Research Staff Association at the VIRTUAL 2022 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM). Our guest speaker is Prof Cláudia S. Sarrico, who will present the OECD Report “Reducing the precarity of academic research careers”. More information and registration
  • 2nd IrishRSA Forum on Research Careers
    After our successful Online Forum on Research Careers & Policy last year, we are delighted to announce our second Irish RSA Online Forum on Research Careers , which will include presentations from key speakers and panel discussions. The Forum will be organised as a virtual event via Zoom. We intend to facilitate a discussion on sustainable careers for researchers, with […]