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APC SFI Public Service Fellowship

Dr Mary O’Connell Motherway, APC Faculty Member and Research Fellow at the UCC School of Microbiology, has taken up an SFI Public Service Fellowship with the Food Safety Association of Ireland.

Mary is the lead on one of 12 research projects which will receive total funding of €700,000 through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Public Service Fellowship programme. The programme spans across five public service bodies and Government Departments including the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, the Oireachtas Research & Library Services, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth,  the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The fellowships awarded will foster innovation within the Public Sector by supporting the development and implementation of data-driven and evidence-based approaches.

I am delighted to accept the SFI Public Service fellowship to work with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) on assessing the safety of probiotic foods targeted at vulnerable groups in Ireland. I see this as a wonderful opportunity to bring my academic and research background within APC Microbiome Ireland and the School of Microbiology to the FSAI and contribute to the development of guidance for the food industry in relation to probiotics in foods. I see this as a natural extension of my academic, research and industry collaborations that will further develop and influence my research career,” Mary said.

Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO, Food Safety Authority of Ireland commented “The Food Safety Authority of Ireland is delighted to avail of this opportunity to work with an expert in the field of probiotic research. Dr O’Connell Motherway will assist us in assessing the food safety risks with probiotics aimed at vulnerable groups and contribute to the development of much needed industry guidance.”

Professor Anita Maguire, UCC Vice President for Research & Innovation, said “This is a tremendous opportunity for Mary O’Connell Motherway – in addition to the experience she will gain, the award provides an unprecedented opportunity to enhance collaborative links with FSAI as a strategic partner.”

The award was announced today by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, to coincide with Public Service Innovation Week.

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