Two Irish Scholars Scoop Prestigious Fulbright-Marine Institute Award

Fulbright-Marine Institute Awardees ready to take on the world with their new Fulbright Awards. Pictured L-R: Dr. Brendan Cahill and Dr. Triona McGrath. Photograph courtesy of Conor McCabe Photography.

Thirty-seven Fulbright Awardees were officially announced at an event on MS The World, which was sponsored by a U.S. Fulbright alumnus, Dr. Jack Pinkowski and his wife, Mrs. Monica Pinkowski, as part of The Gathering on July 12th, 2013.

Since 1957, the Fulbright Awards are given annually by the Irish and U.S. governments and provide Irish students, scholars, and professionals with the opportunity to study, lecture, and research at top universities and institutions throughout the United States.

Among the 37 awardees were two Fulbright-Marine Institute Awardees:

Dr. Brendan Cahill is a Fulbright-Marine Institute Scholar Awardee. As a recent PhD graduate of University College Cork’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Brendan will travel to Oregon State University to undertake research on ocean wave energy test sites to assess how accurately they replicate sea conditions.

Dr. Triona McGrath is the Fulbright-Marine Institute Scholar Awardee who is also from Ennis. Triona will go to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego to research ocean acidification in coastal water environments.

This year’s other Fulbright Awardees, from fourteen Irish higher educational institutions, will travel to America on their awards, to study at Rice University in Texas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and to Oregon State University.

Speaking at the launch of this year’s Fulbright Awards, Mr. Patrick McDermott, Chair of the Fulbright Commission Board, said, “year after year, the Fulbright Awards attract Ireland’s top researchers, professionals, and graduates. With the breadth and expertise seen in this year’s winners I know that these current and future leaders will gain invaluable experience that they can share upon their return to Ireland.”

Welcoming the presentation of the Fulbright Marine Institute awards, Ms Caroline Bocquel, Director at the Institute said “research, technology and innovation are key drivers of the economic development and recovery in Ireland, as outlined in the National plan of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth - An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland ( We are therefore delighted to see the Fulbright Awardees’ benefit from this funding opportunity to explore innovative ways in developing excellence in marine research and sciences so as to further encourage sustainability in Ireland. I know that their contributions to the future of Irish marine policy will be informed by their time in the U.S.”

A number of other agencies sponsor Fulbright Awards including CRH plc, Enterprise Ireland, the Marine Institute, and Teagasc. As well as the sponsored awards, the Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht and the National Lottery support the Irish Language Awards for scholars and teachers.

 Ms. Colleen Dube, Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission, said, “the Fulbright Awards continue to reflect the diversity and depth of Irish academia. Although this year’s awardees have a definite science and technology angle, the arts also feature prominently, with awardees going to the School for Improvisational Music in Brooklyn, New York and the California Institute of the Arts. I look forward to seeing, and hearing, the wonderful outputs from each of these 37 awardees at the end of 2014.”

Dube continued, “In this Gathering year we are especially delighted with the Fulbrighters’ role as cultural ambassadors while in the U.S. With 37 Irish awardees going to the U.S. and 13 Americans coming to Ireland this autumn, we are thrilled to be a part of the ongoing cultural and educational exchange between the two countries.”

The next round of applications for Irish Fulbright Awardees will open on Wednesday, August 28th, 2013. Interested applicants in all disciplines are encouraged to visit the Fulbright Commission’s website,, for more information. All applications for the 2014-2015 academic year will be due on Wednesday, November 13th, 2013.