Lero will present its 2019 Director’s Prizes at the Lero Summit which takes place in Athlone later this year. The annual awards programme was founded by Lero Director, Professor Brian Fitzgerald to recognise the enormous commitment and contribution of Lero members to the research centre’s success. 

All members of the Lero team across the centre’s nine higher-education institute partners were invited to nominate themselves or Lero colleagues in any of the award categories: Director’s Prize for Research Excellence; Director’s Prize for Entrepreneurship; Director’s Prize for Education and Public Engagement; Director’s Prize for Diversity and Inclusion; and, Director’s Prize for Outstanding Service to Lero.

Entries have been received across all five categories and winners will be selected by the awards’ committee, chaired by Lero Director, Professor Fitzgerald, and the prizes will be presented at the annual Lero Summit in September.  

Director’s Prize for Research Excellence

Research excellence is traditionally measured by publication in high-quality venues or high citation counts for articles. However, the latter are lagging indicators and take time to accrue. In recent times, Altmetrics have focused on leading indicators such as reads or recommends. Research impact is also extremely important and several categories of impact exist, economic or societal benefit, for example. We invite you to submit an example of research excellence, and are happy for you to make the case for excellence in whatever way you choose.

Director’s Prize for Entrepreneurship

Lero recognises the important role that entrepreneurship plays in stimulating economic growth through transitioning basic and applied research into commercially viable products. The centre emphasises its support in this area through promoting participation in entrepreneurial initiatives, such as the Science Foundation Ireland/National Science Foundation I-Corps and NDRC programmes.

Through the introduction of the Director’s Prize for Entrepreneurship the centre can now also recognise notable entrepreneurial capacity of a Lero researcher. The award recipient will demonstrate their ability to identify an area of their research that has significant potential for commercial development.

Director’s Prize for Education and Public Engagement

The Lero Education and Public Engagement programme has been going from strength to strength each year across all Lero sites. The Director’s Prize for Education and Public Engagement will recognise an individual that has demonstrated initiative around developing and delivering innovative EPE activities or events.

Director’s Prize for Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion

Within Lero, we value diversity and inclusion. We have a large international community, with 55 nationalities represented among our researchers and students. Our percentage of female researchers (23%) and female PhD students (22%) is lower than the national average in software engineering (25%) but through our Athena SWAN submission, we have identified actions to strengthen gender equality.

Much Lero research has focused on software to support diversity and inclusion. Examples include software for people with hearing impairments, refugees, older adults and people with intellectual and developmental disability.

The Director’s Prize for Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion will recognise an individual who has contributed to diversity and inclusion within Lero by supporting the centre in becoming more diverse and inclusive, developing a research project supporting diversity and inclusion or being involved in an Education and Public Engagement initiative supporting diversity and inclusion.

Director’s Prize for Outstanding Service to Lero

As a research centre operating across nine higher-education institutes, Lero’s greatest strength is its dedicated team. We welcome nominations for this award which seeks to recognise an individual with an outstanding record of support for, and commitment to, Lero. The Director’s Prize for Outstanding Service to Lero will be presented to a nominee who has made a significant contribution to the centre.