Prof Noel O'Connor

Google Ireland partners with Insight to fund first-of-its-kind AI scholarship programme

Submitted on Monday, 02/10/2023

by Prof Noel O’Connor, CEO Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics

On September 29th Google and Insight launched a groundbreaking scholarship fund for Ireland worth €1.5m, designed to support students from underserved communities to study AI and Digital Safety-related courses. As Ireland’s national research centre for data research, Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics will oversee the dispersal and management of the fund.

The field of artificial intelligence is rapidly evolving, and there is a growing need for scholarships to support students from underserved and socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and communities. This scholarship fund of €1.5m will provide more than 65 individual scholarships to college students from underrepresented and socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and communities. Insight has access to the largest network of AI and Data Analytics students in Ireland and therefore can provide scholarships to the widest group of possible recipients.

Insight as Ireland’s national research centre for data analytics is in a unique position to provide AI and Digital Safety scholarships at a scale that has never been attempted in Ireland.

Insight is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion in AI and Digital Safety. We recognise that these fields have implications for various domains of education and work, and we want to ensure that students from under-represented communities in STEM have equal opportunities to access our scholarship funding. This scholarship will ultimately create a more diverse and representative pool of researchers and practitioners who can contribute to the future of AI and Digital Safety innovation.

Insight will appoint a project manager (PM) who will oversee the administration of the scholarship programme. The PM will work closely with each of the participating universities to coordinate the allocation of scholarship places.

Google Scholarship key details:

€1.5M in funding, providing 65+ individual scholarships, distributed annually in individual €5k scholarships over the length of three to four year undergraduate courses.

The scholarship programme will support under-represented communities in the field of digital safety and artificial intelligence at undergraduate level.

The groups that will be supported as part of this programme include but are not limited to:

●       People with disabilities

●       Women in STEM

●       1st generation students with no history of 3rd level education in the family

●       Members of the Traveller community

These scholars will not only benefit personally from their engagement with the programme, they will also enrich the field of AI and digital scholarship and innovation in Ireland, and create role models for those who come after them.