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Minister Harris announces appointment of Co-Chairs for the review of PhD supports

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today announced the appointment of Dr Andrea Johnson and David Cagney as Co-Chairs for the national review of State supports for PhD researchers.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “I am pleased to announce these appointments, which bring the right balance of skills and perspectives to lead this review.

“The overarching objective of Impact 2030: Ireland’s National Strategy for Research and Innovation is to maximise the impact of research and innovation on our economy and our society. We have committed to investing in talent, and ensuring that there are appropriate supports for researchers.

“This requires comprehensive and considerate consideration. This review will hear from the frontline.

“We want Ireland to be a leader in talent. In order to do that, we have to ensure that our brightest talent here in Ireland can pursue their research ambitions in a supportive environment. I look forward to receiving the report’s recommendations in early 2023.”

Dr Andrea Johnson is the Chairperson of Women in Technology & Science Ireland (WITS) which has as its 5 year strategic plan to advance the retention of women throughout their STEM careers by researching, developing and sharing insights and best  practice.

Dr. Johnson is also Vice President of Technology at Workhuman, an Irish Technology Unicorn, and has a PhD in Computer Science.

David Cagney has recently retired as Chief Human Resource Officer for the Civil Service, a role he was appointed to in September 2015. Prior to joining the Civil Service, he held the position of Director of Human Resources at the Dublin Institute of Technology and previously worked in a variety of other HR roles.

He also served as a Vice Chairman of the Employment Appeals Tribunal from 2007 to 2010.

The review was announced in October, and its first step will be to engage with relevant stakeholders including PhD researchers, host institutions, research funders, employers and relevant government departments such as Health, Agriculture, Food and Marine, and Justice.

However, if you wish to make a submission, please contact