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In SETU we have established our community as a hub for ambitious researchers and innovative businesses resulting in development of talent, ideas, and a space to grow. For several decades, our Waterford and Carlow campuses have built reputations for postgraduate and cross-disciplinary research. We are building on this strong start to create a culture for research and innovation that brings together students, researchers, entrepreneurs and industries.

SETU researchers are recognised nationally and internationally with active partnerships globally making SETU a catalyst for growth and success resulting in impact. It ensures that our postgraduate masters and PhD programmes provide our students with opportunities to carry out research with some of the leading research centres around the world. our research activities are internationally benchmarked, strategic and economically relevant. The strong research culture is the result of individual effort and collaboration by academics, researchers, and a dedicated Research Support Unit.

As a signatory of CoARA and DORA, SETU promotes responsible research assessment, incorporating a holistic emphasis on the quality of diverse outputs from different disciplines. This ethos underpins the annual Research excellence awards evaluation process, recognising excellent, impactful research and supervision by staff across the university. With a view to conducting societally relevant and accessible research and innovation SETU implements an open research policy and currently, over 50% of research publications are in Open access journals.

Our Waterford campus has held the "HR Excellence in Research" Award from the European Commission (EC), which recognises institutional practices in place to support researchers' career and professional development in line with the European Charter for Researchers and The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, since 2014. The award acknowledges SETU for providing attractive working conditions and equipping researchers with the broad skills and experience necessary to develop their research careers. This designation is a clear statement of our dedication to provide an excellent and supportive environment to researchers. A suite of training courses and wellbeing initiatives are held annually. At SETU adherence with the highest standards of research integrity has long been a priority. SETU staff, researchers and students are expected to adhere to relevant regulations and the “Code of Conduct for the Responsible Practice of Research”.

SETU research is committed to building a diversified, innovative and inclusive workforce and the EDI unit leads various networking and training initiatives, a Women in Research network was established in 2022.