Teagasc has announced that it will increase the annual stipend for Walsh Scholars to €25,000 this year, an increase from €19,000.

The Teagasc Walsh Scholarship Programme is a postgraduate programme for research in agriculture, food, environmental science, agri-food economics, rural development, horticulture and other related disciplines.

The decision to increase the stipend was made at a Teagasc board meeting this week.

An independent national review of State supports for PhD researchers last May recommended the increase, on top of a contribution towards the cost of their university fees up to a maximum of €6,000.

According to Teagasc, the stipend is intended to cover the amount equivalent to the capped standard EU fee and a maintenance award equivalent to that, as would be received by an EU national.

Teagasc Walsh Scholars

The closing date for applications to the programme is January 31.

Administrators of the Walsh Scholarships Programme in both Teagasc and the Universities or Technological Universities will begin implementing the new rates.

It is expected that students will receive the increase in March. The stipends will be backdated to January 1. 

Teagasc director Frank O’Mara said: “It creates a flow of well-trained graduates up to doctoral level, thus providing high calibre individuals to work in the agri-food and related sectors in Ireland and abroad.”

For Walsh Scholars funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the Irish Research Council (IRC) and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the increased stipends are currently being processed.

It is expected the increase for these scholars be paid in the January stipend.

Head of research development and Walsh Scholarships in Teagasc, Jane Kavanagh said:

“The increased stipend will provide much needed support for graduates to meet increased cost of living expenses, as they pursue their PhD and masters qualifications.”