Teagasc invests €5.2m in next generation of research leaders
Teagasc will invest €5.2m to fund 20 new experienced researchers for 36 months each, over the next five years, writes Enda Carr.

The project is operated by Teagasc, with co-funding from the European Commission. The programme will open on Monday 2 July.

The programme aims to develop the next generation of research leaders to underpin the objectives of Ireland’s Food Wise 2025 strategy launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

What the programme offers

The programme offers applicants the opportunity to conduct their research in an academic, or non-academic organisation of their choice. Applicants also have the opportunity to study abroad for a portion of the programme, if they chose To.

“The fellowship programme represents a unique opportunity to take the most talented early-career researchers and develop them into a cohort which will become the research and innovation leaders of tomorrow," said Minister Creed.

The programme will also address the “leaky pipeline” whereby many promising female researchers do not achieve senior positions. Successful female applicants will be facilitated in finding a senior female researcher to serve as a career mentor.

Speaking about the new programme, Professor Gerry Boyle, director of Teagasc, said: “I encourage potential candidates to engage with Teagasc researchers with a view to designing an impactful project which builds on their existing strengths and linking with a suitable host outside of Ireland for the outgoing phase”.

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Summer holidays a high risk time for children on farms – HSA
The HSA and primary school principals have joined forces to promote farm safety before high-risk summer holiday period.

Summer holidays are a high-risk time for children who are off school and spend a lot of time on their family farm or visiting friends’ and relatives’ farms.

It is also a very busy time for farmers when much work needs to be done.

The Health and Safety Authority (HAS) and the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN) have issued a joint appeal to primary schools to promote a strong farm safety message to children before they break for the summer.

Farm accidents have claimed the lives of 23 children in the last decade and account for 11% of all farm fatalities over the period.

Farms remain the only workplace in Ireland where children still continue to die. Farm deaths involving children are always a horrific tragedy for families and heartbreaking for communities and schools alike.

The HSA website has numerous online farm safety resources for teachers to use in the classroom which can be covered in an interactive, fun and stimulating way. IPPN is supporting the HSA in communicating this important message to its members.

HSA education manager Joanne Harmon said: “Teachers can access a range of online farm safety resources for primary schools on our website at www.hsa.ie/education, under teacher supports and resources and some are available as gaeilge.

“These can be run on the classroom whiteboard or printed off to photocopy.

“The HSA’s elearning portal also hosts a short course entitled Keep Safe on the Farm which can be found at http://hsalearning.ie. This is aimed at primary school children and comes with teachers’ guidelines and is linked to the SPHE curriculum.”

Harmon added that farm safety is an explicit topic in the SPHE curriculum at primary level.

“Schools can make a real difference by empowering children to raising their own awareness of farm hazards and encouraging them to bring the safety message home to parents and grandparents,” she said.

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Two injured in under-age tractor driving incident
Police in Northern Ireland said two juveniles were injured in an incident with a tractor driven by a third one.

The PSNI's Cookstown unit said on its Facebook page that it joined two ambulances and paramedics at the scene in Coagh, Co Tyrone this Sunday.

"Two juveniles fell from a tractor being driven by a third juvenile," police said. "Both sustained injuries significant enough that they required transfer by ambulance to hospital. The tractor should not have been on the road and should not have been carrying passengers."

Officers have prepared a file for the Public Prosecution Service against the driver for "a range of offences," adding that the incident "could have been a lot worse".

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