The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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National Open Research Coordinator - 18-month FTC

27 January 2020

An 18-month post with Digital Repository Ireland (DRI) as national open research coordinator to drive the open research agenda in Ireland, reporting to both the DRI and an oversight group made up of the Department of Education and Skills (DES), the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI), the Higher Education Authority and the Health Research Board.

About Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI)

Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) is the national trusted digital repository for Ireland's social and cultural data. The repository links together and preserves both historical and contemporary data held by Irish institutions, providing a central internet access point and interactive multimedia tools. As a national e-infrastructure for the future of education and research in the humanities and social sciences, DRI operates as a community hub for policy, advocacy, training, and best practice in digital preservation, digital archiving, FAIR data management, and Open Science. Originally awarded €5.2M from the Higher Education Authority PRTLI Cycle 5 to build the repository and research centre, DRI is funded from 2017 by the Department of Education and Skills via the Higher Education Authority and the Irish Research Council. For more information see

The Position

Ireland’s “National Framework on the Transition to an Open Research Environment”, prepared by the National Open Research Forum (NORF) was published in July 2019 and represents the ambition of the research community to engage with and deliver the Open Research agenda in Ireland. The Framework is a first step in the process of preparing a National Action Plan. 

The National Open Research Coordinator will play a key role in the national higher education landscape in driving the next phase of implementation of Ireland’s Open Research policy agenda. The successful candidate will be tasked with critically assessing Ireland’s preparedness to support the various components of the European Open Science/Open Research landscape, and preparing a roadmap on the development and delivery of a National Action Plan for the implementation of open research across Ireland.

This post is based at the Digital Repository of Ireland, within the Royal Irish Academy. This post will report to the NORF Co-Chairs in the first instance, via the Director of DRI and onward to the Open Research Core Oversight Group made up of representatives from the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, the Higher Education Authority, and the Health Research Board.

Key responsibilities

  • Advance higher education Open Research policy, working with DES, DBEI and other stakeholders, within the framework of Ireland’s Strategy for Research and Development, Science and Technology, Innovation 2020; and any successor Strategy.
  • Develop an evidence-base to delineate and critically assess the current state of affairs in Ireland for each priority area in Open Research, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and priorities for developing Open Research activities.
  • Build a centralised source of information and analysis on Open Research activities (‘observatory’) to monitor and respond to the diverse and evolving national and EU landscape. This should build on and integrate existing data and reports, gathering additional information to inform and to enable decision-making on priority national actions.
  • Prepare a roadmap for delivery of a National Action Plan that builds on the NORF ‘National Framework on the Transition to an Open Research Environment‘ which covers concrete objectives on the transition to Open Research, and indicators to measure progress on these objectives:
  • The roadmap should cover all disciplines, scope potential cost implications and outline responsibilities;
    • It should incorporate priority areas already identified by NORF as critical for transitioning to open research, including: Open Access to research publications; Enabling FAIR research data; Infrastructure for access to and preservation of research; Skills and competences; and Incentives and rewards
    • Preparation will include working closely with NORF and its working groups to gather, analyse and interpret stakeholders’ perspectives and inputs, and holding national and special interest group consultation and awareness raising workshops to build the Framework.
    • Liaise with the NORF Secretariat in DBEI in relation to meetings of the NORF Committee and communications with the co-chairs.
    • Prepare progress reports for the Oversight Group and follow-up on agreed actions. 
  • In the preparation for the reports, liaise as appropriate with relevant stakeholders including the HEA and relevant Government Departments; NORF working groups; IReL; HEANet; Research funding agencies; and Infrastructures and relevant European networks (may need to attend some relevant European meetings).
  • Present progress / updates to the Innovation 2020 Implementation Group as required. 
  • Any other duties as deemed appropriate for the position by the Oversight Group.

Essential Criteria

  • A degree level qualification in a relevant discipline
  • At least 5 years appropriate professional experience in academic, governmental, commercial or not-for-profit settings.
  • Highly motivated with demonstrable evidence of planning, organising and leading from the front across a range of projects.
  • Experience with Open Research, preferably in the context of a higher education and/or research environment
  • Demonstrable knowledge of the higher education system and research environment both nationally and at EU level
  • Strong project management, planning and organisation skills
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills
  • Proven leadership skills with the ability to think strategically and deliver results
  • Keen problem-solving skills with ability to analyse complex issues.
  • Excellent communications skills with a clear track record of networking and collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders

Desirable Criteria

  • A post-graduate qualification in a relevant discipline
  • Background in research/experience as an academic


The salary range for this position is Assistant Principal Officer / Grade 8 Public Sector scale €68,310 to €81,830. The rate of remuneration may be adjusted from time to time in relation to government pay policy.

Entry point shall be commensurate with relevant experience and qualifications and shall be in line with the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2013. 

Hours of Work

The normal hours of work are 37 hours per week

Hours of work may be adjusted from time to time in line with government policy.  Overtime is not paid in respect of excess attendance. Some flexibility around working hours will be required in response to the varying demands of the Office.


The annual leave entitlement for this post is 30 days per annum pro-rata for shorter periods. Entitlement to leave for Public Holidays is in accordance with the terms of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.  There is a requirement to take annual leave where the Academy is closed at Easter and Christmas.


Staff shall, if required, and at the expense of the Academy, submit to a medical examination by a registered medical practitioner nominated by the Academy and shall authorise such medical practitioner to disclose and to discuss with the Academy the results of the examination and the matters which arise from it so that the Academy can ascertain any matters that they consider might impair a staff member from properly discharging his/her duties.


Details of the appropriate pension scheme will be provided upon determination of appointee’s status.

Permanent Pension Contribution

This appointment is subject to the Additional Superannuation Contribution (ASC) effective from the 1st of January 2019.

Application Process

Completed applications consisting of one electronic copy with all documents contained in one MS Word file (not pdf) as set out below must be submitted by e-mail to in the order as set out below:

  • A statement, in the form of a letter, demonstrating how you meet the requirements for the position.
  • A curriculum vitae summarising your qualifications and relevant experience

Applicants will be shortlisted based on information provided in their application.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

We are happy to consider applications from suitably qualified public servants who are in a position to avail of a secondment opportunity out of their current position.

Please note: Failure to fulfil the application requisites will deem the application invalid.

Closing date

24th February 2020, 12 noon. Late applications will not be considered.

It is likely that interviews will be scheduled for the week beginning 30 March 2020.

The Royal Irish Academy is an equal opportunities employer

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