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PhD Research Programme

The Ireland Fellows Programme Pilot PhD Research Programme is a new initiative under the Ireland Fellows Programme to provide a prestigious award for excellent research. It offers selected suitably qualified PhD students in partner higher education institutions in Vietnam the opportunity to study for one year at a higher education institution in Ireland as part of their PhD programme. The award is fully funded and covers programme fees, flights, accommodation and living costs for the year in Ireland, as well as eligible direct research expenses of up to €3,250 to enable the awardee to carry out the research project in Ireland. Up to three awards will be made in 2024. The Ireland Fellows Programme promotes gender equality, equal opportunity, and welcomes diversity. The aims of the Programme are:

  • To nurture world-class future leaders;
  • To develop in-country capacity to achieve national SDG goals;
  • To build positive relationships with Ireland.

The Programme is intended to enable researchers on their return home and on completion of their PhD to leverage their high-level skills, knowledge, and talent to contribute to capacity building in their home country. Successful awardees under the programme are recognised as demonstrating world-class potential as future leaders in their respective fields. It is also envisaged that they will contribute to building enduring positive personal and professional relationships with Ireland, promoting institutional linkages.

The Ireland Fellows Programme is fully funded by the Irish Government and is offered under the auspices of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The Programme aligns with the Irish Government’s commitments under Global Ireland and the national implementation plan for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), The Global Island: Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World, A Better World: Ireland’s Policy for International Development, and Ireland's International Education Strategy.

The Ireland Fellows Programme PhD Research Programme is managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs in partnership with the Irish Research Council (IRC). Programme implementation in Ireland is supported by the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS).

The support provided is for research purposes and will not result in a separate qualification.

Eligible Countries: 
Applications for the academic year 2024-25 are now open!


Potential applicants should carefully ascertain whether or not they are eligible in advance of applying to the programme. To be eligible for an Ireland Fellows Programme – PhD Research Programme award commencing at the beginning of the academic year 2024, applicants must:

  • Be a resident national of Vietnam.
  • Be currently enrolled full time in year 1 or year 2 of a PhD programme at a Higher Education Institution or research performing organisation in Vietnam. In the case of PhD programmes that run for 5 years or more, students in year 3 are also eligible to apply (in addition to those in year 1 or 2).
  • Be engaged in a PhD research topic in an eligible subject area aligned with Ireland’s Development Programme. (Please see list of eligible subject areas in annex 2 in the Call for Applications).
  • Be in receipt of an agreement from both the applicant’s own Higher Education Institution and a partner Higher Education Institution in Ireland to complete one year of their PhD programme in the Higher Education Institution in Ireland, and to return to their own Higher Education Institution to complete their PhD.
  • Not already hold a qualification at PhD level.
  • Be applying to commence a one-year placement at an HEI in Ireland no sooner than August 2024, and be in a position to take up the Fellowship in the academic year 2024/2025 if successful.
  • Be able to demonstrate the following: leadership abilities and aspirations; a commitment to the achievement of the SDGs within your own country; and a commitment to contribute to building positive relationships with Ireland.

Have the English language certification required by the Higher Education Institution in Ireland. 


Applicants who are interested in making an application for the Programme should complete and submit an application form. The application form should be submitted by email to the Embassy of Ireland, Hanoi, at, by 16 February 2024.  

Applicants who are shortlisted and who do not yet have the English language certification required by the Higher Education Institution in Ireland can request a coupon in order to take the Duolingo English Language Test. This is an online test that can be taken at home. Those who achieve a score of 120 or above will be invited to interview in early March 2024 . Preparation materials for English language testing are available at Duolingo English Test as well as and Road to IELTS (

Application Information

Applications will not be considered for this fellowship unless all eligibility criteria are met. You should carefully check that you can meet the above criteria before requesting application information.


For queries, please contact the relevant Embassy of Ireland.

Additional Information

To find out what Ireland is doing in Asia, visit
For information on the Department of Foreign Affairs, visit
To learn about education in Ireland, visit
For information about IELTS, visit