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New Fulbright-Creative Ireland Fellowships Launched


New Fulbright-Creative Ireland Fellowships Invest in Next Generation of Scholars,
Strengthen U.S.-Irish Creative Ties

March 13, 2017 – The Fulbright Commission in Ireland, in partnership with the U.S. Embassy and the Irish Government’s Creative Ireland initiative, is pleased to announce the launch of the Fulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellowships.

Each year for four years, beginning with the 2018-19 academic year, three Irish post-graduate students will be awarded a Fulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellowship to complete short-term research at one of three world-class museums in the United States: The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and The Exploratorium in San Francisco, California. Proposed research projects must demonstrate a commitment to innovation and creativity, and include substantive community engagement.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. Department of State’s flagship international educational exchange program. Creative Ireland is the Irish Government’s ambitious five-year initiative to place culture and creativity at the heart of public policy.

John Hegarty, Chairman of the Board of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland, said:
“For some time, the Fulbright Commission in Ireland has been working with educational and cultural institutions and industry to create new awards, to build on our long-standing student and scholar exchanges. The Fulbright Creative Ireland Museum Fellowship initiative is profoundly exciting and innovative, linking the Creative Ireland program and some of the most renowned museums in the United States. I am confident these fellowships will unleash a new level of creativity in those lucky enough to win the awards.”

Reece Smyth, Charge d’affaires a.i., U.S. Embassy in Ireland, said:
“These fellowships will harness the transformative potential of creativity, scientific inquiry, and heritage preservation through innovative research collaborations. In addition to realizing the Fulbright program’s goal of mutual understanding, these fellowships will strengthen U.S.-Ireland ties in creativity and innovation for the next generation.”

Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, said:
“The setting up of ‘The Fulbright Creative Ireland Museum Fellowships’ sends a very important message internationally about how Ireland values its culture and how the Irish Government is setting out an ambitious creativity agenda. A key part of the Creative Ireland Programme is to unify Ireland’s global reputation, engender new exiting creative networks, learn from international examples, and explore how other countries prioritise arts and culture and I am delighted that Irish students will be able to experience this first hand”.

Eric Woodard, Director of Fellowship and Internships at The Smithsonian Institution, said:
“With unique access to the Smithsonian’s facilities, collections, and experts at the world’s largest museum the opportunities for fellows participating in this program are boundless. These fellowships represent a great investment in the U.S.-Ireland relationship by bringing together our cultural preservationists to exchange best practices. The Irish fellows will enhance their knowledge at the Smithsonian and then be able to bring that knowledge back to Irish museums and cultural institutions.”

Stephen Enniss, Director of the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, said:
“Irish literature collections are a cornerstone of the Ransom Center holdings, so we are delighted to join the Fulbright Creative-Ireland initiative. Along with the recent establishment of an Irish Consulate in Austin, this fellowship provides a concrete opportunity to build creative and cultural ties between Texas and Ireland.”

Chris Flink, Executive Director at The Exploratorium, said:
“The Exploratorium is more than a museum; it’s an ongoing exploration of the world through science, art, and human perception. Through this fellowship, Irish researchers will have the opportunity to innovate and pursue their own work alongside thought-leaders in an institution that is committed to transforming learning worldwide. We’re delighted to join the Fulbright-Creative Ireland initiative, putting creativity at the heart of scientific inquiry and combining the inspirational spirit of Ireland with the culture of innovation in the Bay Area.”

Application details for the Fulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellowships and eligibility information will be announced on the Fulbright Commission Ireland Website in August 2017: https://www.fulbright.ie

For further information, please contact:
Emma Loughney
Communications Manager, Fulbright Commission of Ireland
Emma.loughney@fulbright.ie / 01.230.9802


Further background on the partner institutions:

The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and other locations across the United States
Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities. Its mission is to shape the future by preserving heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing resources with the world. The collections include 154 million artifacts, works of art and specimens. Scholars and scientific researchers at the Smithsonian use these vast collections in their research to expand human knowledge. From arts engagement to cultural heritage, marine science, artifact preservation, to historical inquiry, the opportunities with the Smithsonian are boundless.


The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin
The Ransom Center is an internationally-renowned humanities research library and museum that encourages discovery, inspires creativity, and advances understanding of the humanities through the preservation and sharing of its collections. The collections provide insight into the creative process of writers and artists, deepening understanding and appreciation of literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts. A cornerstone of the Ransom Center holdings are Irish Literature collections, including the papers of W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Bowen, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, Louis MacNeice, and Sebastian Barry.


The Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA
The Exploratorium is a public learning laboratory exploring the world through science, art, and human perception. It has been described by the New York Times as the most important science museum to have opened since the mid-20th century, and “a mad scientist’s penny arcade, a scientific funhouse, and an experimental laboratory all rolled into one.” Through research, innovation, and inquiry-based education, Exploratorium manifests its vision of a world where people think for themselves, confidently ask questions, question answers, and understand the world around them.



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