The Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is located in the South East Region of the Republic of Ireland. It is one of Ireland’s leading Institutes of Technology and is highly committed to be a research-led institute, recognized for its distinctive, high quality centres of research. WIT has approximately 450 full-time academic staff members, approximately 214 of this cohort actively engage in research. Research activity has been a key defining feature of WIT since early in its development and WIT Academics have added hugely to the development of a strong research culture through individual effort and collaboration. Crucially, this has resulted in research informing teaching and curriculum development across the Institute.
WIT sees itself as one of the leaders in research in the Institute of Technology (IoT) sector. In the past 12 years WIT has secured in excess of €130m in competitive research funding. The Institute has secured funding from all of the major funding agencies including: The European Commission’s (FP4, FP5, FP6, FP7 and Horizon 2020); Science Foundation Ireland’s Research Frontiers, Strategic Research Cluster and Research Centre programmes; The Higher Education Authority’s Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) cycles 3 and 4; Government agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, COFORD; and the Irish Research Councils. Within WIT there are three Enterprise Ireland (EI) funded Applied Research Enhancement Centres in the areas of applied materials research, telecommunication research and pharmaceutical and biotechnology research.
Walton Institute has pioneered the development of research in the Institute. The group carries out large-scale applied research and commercialization in communications software services at the Institute. Two further multidisciplinary research centres have been established with the aim of replicating this success: The Pharmaceutical & Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC) and the Eco-Innovation Research Centre (EIRC). The Office of the Head of Research & Innovation supports the development and delivery of the Institute’s Research & Knowledge Strategy, which manages all aspects of externally funded research at the Institute. The Institute first gained the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award in May 2014. The award recognizes the practices in place to support researchers’ career and professional development in line with the European Charter for Researchers and The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. In January 2017, WIT successfully retained the HR Excellence in Research Award from the European Commission for a further two years. Following an internal self-evaluation, the Institute retains the award at the two-year stage and goes forward with an evolved Action Plan for the 2019- 2020 period. Through the effort undertaken to gain and retain the award, WIT has demonstrated commitment to improving the working conditions and career development for research staff.