Two Bernal Institute researchers Dr Aisling Ross, and Dr Joseph Mooney have been awarded highly prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships by the European Commission.

University of Limerick succeeded in winning four MSCA awards to the tune of €280,000 each.

Dr Aisling Ross gained her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the School of Engineering UL in 2020. Dr Ross was one of two researchers to achieve the top score in the Life Sciences panel in Europe this year. Dr Ross will spend two years of her fellowship at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), University of Melbourne, Australia working on the contribution of the Epstein-Barr Virus and the Tumour Microenvironment to Anti-Apoptotic Mechanisms in Diffuse Large B-Cell (lymphoma). In the third year, she will re-join Prof Paul Murray’s lab at the Health Research Institute, UL.

Dr Joseph Mooney will research passive, carbon-neutral, clean water technologies for tacking the ever-increasing global water crisis. He graduated in 2022 with a PhD in passive thermal management of 5G Data Centres at the U School of Engineering UL and is currently pursuing a postdoc in Trinity College Dublin. Dr Mooney will work with Prof Evelyn N Wang at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA for two years and Dr Vanessa Egan and Prof Jeff Punch at Stokes Laboratories in the University of Limerick’s Bernal Institute, UL. Dr Mooney was placed second in the Engineering panel in Europe with a scoring of 99.2% for his project.

Professor Norelee Kennedy, Vice President Research, UL said: “The University has a strategic focus on supporting early career researchers to enhance their research excellence through forging international links with leading universities.

“The Marie Curie Fellowship is a beacon of excellence and enhances UL’s long-standing international collaborations with leading research groups around the world. By working with teams at MIT, Baylor University in the US and University of Melbourne, Australia, these talented researchers will be addressing grand challenges and building partnerships for the future.”

Luuk van der Wielen, Director of the Bernal Institute added: “I’m delighted to welcome back Aisling Ross and Joseph Mooney to the Bernal Institute, bringing topics that align perfectly with our strategic focus on grand challenges in health, energy and the environment. Aisling and Joseph will complement our fast growing pool of successful and ambitious early career researchers, contributing to the conducive research ecosystem that the Bernal Institute ambitions to be.”

Marie Curie Fellowship success at UL has increased steadily with a total of 88 Marie Curie Fellows, funded here since 2014. The European Commission received more than 8,356 proposals in the latest round of applications and across Europe around 14% of the applications were successful. UL’s success rate of 24% demonstrates the talent of UL’s early career researchers, the contribution of their mentors and dedicated supports available at the University.

To find out about applying for an MSCA fellowship click here