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DRI Early Career Research Award 2021 is now open!

Submitted on 1st August 2021

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The DRI Early Career Research Award grants a prize for an original piece of research (e.g. research done for master’s or PhD thesis, article or publication) informed in whole, or in part, by objects/collections deposited in DRI. Unpublished research is also considered, as long as the work is intended for eventual publication. 

Submissions are assessed by a panel that includes representatives from the DRI as well as an external assessor. The winner is granted a bursary award of €500.

The DRI Early Career Research Award  is open to early career researchers, including (but not limited to):

  • Senior undergraduates 
  • Master’s students
  • Those recently awarded a master’s degree 
  • PhD students or post-doctoral level researchers who do not hold an established academic post

DRI is committed to supporting early career researchers through initiatives like the DRI Early Career Research Award and through supporting best practice in research data management and Open Research in alignment with the Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) principles.

If you are in need of a little inspiration, check out our 'Using Digital Archives for Academic Research' booklet, which showcase some of the collections in DRI, DRI’s member institutions, and other online resources.

Application Details and Timeline

The DRI Early Career Research Award 2021 has opened to applications on 31 July 2021 and closes on 30 September 2021

Applicants should submit the following to

1) A short (1000 – 2000 word) essay or article. Though the topic, focus, and field is unrestricted, the research presented must have used (in whole or part) objects or collections from the Digital Repository of Ireland. 

Materials must be cited using Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) from DRI throughout. These can be found in the metadata for each object in DRI, viewed by clicking ‘Cite’ under ‘Object Tools’.

2) Accompanying the above, a 1-2 page summary that details your research process using DRI materials, covering the following areas: 

How was DRI content used in your research?

Why was it relevant to the research?

How has digital preservation and access to materials facilitated/advanced your research process?

Applications from social science students assembling data sets are also welcome. These datasets should fit within the remit of DRI, and have been created as part of your research. All or part of the data set, together with some contextual data, should be submitted. This contextual data could include any metadata templates (with examples of metadata used), consent forms, ethics documents, and/or interview questions. 

The submission should also include a summarising text of between 800 and 1500 words that explains the research questions behind your dataset, and why you think that dataset should be preserved and made available through the DRI. One criterion for judging data set submissions will be the completeness or comprehensiveness of the archival package. If you have any questions regarding these requirements, please email the DRI team at

Please attach submissions to the email in the relevant document formats (.docx for written submissions, .csv or a similar format for data sets in the case of social science applications).

The winning research will be promoted on the DRI website, along with quotes from the judges, and preserved in the DRI’s repository under a CC-BY licence. The winner will also be asked to work with the DRI team to adapt their research statement into a short post on the DRI Blog.


Read more about the previous winners of the award here.

DRI is funded by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS) via the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Irish Research Council (IRC).

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