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Minister Heydon calls for research proposals to inform policy


Minister Heydon launches a call for research proposals to inform policy and strategic needs

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for research and innovation Martin Heydon T.D., today announced the opening of the 2023 Policy and Strategic Studies Research Call (PSSRC).

Minister Heydon stated “This is the second year of this research funding instrument, one that is key to ensuring the required evidence base for informing a wide range of policies and strategies of my Department and the wider agriculture, food and bioeconomy sectors”.

Minister Heydon remarked “The 13 topics in this Call have been identified by my Department to address immediate strategic and policy needs. They range from animal health, biosecurity, antimicrobial resistance and food safety, to environment, sustainable food systems, forestry, and gender balance in farming”.

The PSSRC was first launched in 2022 to support research that serves to expand the evidence and knowledge base for the Department. This in turn underpins the development of policy, strategy and regulation connected with the functions of the Department and the wider agri-food, forest, and biobased sectors.

Following the 2022 Call, funding of €4.2 million was awarded to 19 projects across a wide range of areas including climate adaptation, plant health regulation and pesticides, forestry, animal health and welfare, the bioeconomy, and women in farming.

Concluding, Minister Heydon said “our world class research community has a strong record of producing research for policy needs, and this initiative will build on this by providing a more formal mechanism for collaboration and knowledge exchange between researchers and policymakers. I strongly encourage researchers to examine the broad range of topics in this Call and to submit relevant proposals.”



The Policy and Strategic Studies Research Strand


  • This strand is designed to provide a more flexible funding vehicle capable of addressing mainly policy issues more rapidly whilst still requiring scientific rigour. More information can be found here:
  • Projects can be up to 1 or 2 years in duration
  • The PSSRC is a “public good” competitive research call and the process, along with relevant outputs, will be widely published and made freely available in line with state aid rules and the principles of open science.
  • Details of the awards made under the 2022 PSSRC can found here: - Minister Heydon announces €4.2 million for 19 new policy-focused research projects (


The 2023 PSSRC Call

  • The 2023 call is now open for applications for eligible Research Performing Organisations (RPOs) from Ireland. Call documents can be found here:
  • Research proposals should be submitted through the DAFM FlexiGrant online submission portal. The deadline for submissions is 29th September 2023 at 16:00.
  • The full list of topics in the 2023 Call is as follows:
  1. Development of a risk-based quantitative approach and platform for optimisation of sampling plant-based food products on the Irish market under the National Control Programme for Pesticide Residues.
  2. Evaluating the impact of the national BVD eradication programme on livestock health, welfare and productivity.
  3. Development of a spatio-temporal predictive tool to support risk-based surveillance for avian influenza.
  4. Estimating the animal health losses in the Irish pig sector using the methodology of the Global Burden of Animal Diseases project.
  5. Investigating the impacts of dog bites and policy tools to reduce harm in people and sheep
  6. Spatial variation in potential drivers of Antimicrobial Resistance.
  7. An examination of the behaviours, beliefs, economics and other relevant factors preventing farmers from adopting best biosecurity practices to prevent the entry and spread of bTB within their herds.
  8. Qualitative and quantitative risk assessment for unpasteurised cheese, produced from milk supplied by herds which subsequently lose their TB free status.     
  9. Role of Age and Gender on Farm Performance – Examining if women and young farmers are more innovative and more likely to deliver better environmental and economic performance.
  10. Development of an economic impact scoring framework for invasive plant pests on Irish crop production sectors.
  11. Meta-Analysis and Summary of GHG, Nitrogen and Phosphorous Reduction Practices in Pasture Based Production Systems and pathways for Policy Makers.
  12. Sustainable Food Systems: Mapping Ireland’s Institutional Interactions. 
  13. Broadleaf Tree Seed Species Strategies.


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