Trinity College Dublin: Dr Kathy Ruddy wins Irish Research Council 2021 Early Career Researcher of the Year

Dr Kathy Ruddy, postdoctoral researcher in the School of Psychology and Institute of Neuroscience at Trinity, is the winner of the Irish Research Council 2021 Early Career Researcher of the Year Award.

Dr Ruddy’s research projects involve using brain-computer interfaces to ‘hack the brain’, to understand better how it works, and ultimately work towards improving brain function.

The award for Early Career Researcher of the Year is given to a current or former IRC awardee who is at an early stage in their career. They must be currently working in research in an academic institution and have demonstrated an exceptional level of achievement in their field at this stage in their career.

This award category had a number of excellent entries, which is a great reflection of the emerging research talent in Ireland.

In another category focusing on early career researchers, Trinity’s Connor McCabe, was awarded the ‘Eda Sagarra Medal of Excellence’ for being the top-ranked postgraduate researcher in the AHSS category.

Mr McCabe’s research focuses on the relationships between intonation, speech rhythm, and word stress. He said:

“What attracted me to phonetics during my early studies in general linguistics was its data-driven character. At the end of the day, there’s always something hard to fall back on and report, even if it doesn’t necessarily match your hypotheses or theories: physical data in the form of, e.g., the acoustic speech signal or articulatory measurements. I’m motivated by the requirement to evaluate theoretical claims experimentally, instrumentally, and systematically about language. For Irish in particular – in all its forms – there’s still so much work to be done in terms of verifying descriptions, studying changes in progress, and testing the limits of previous work, which leaves a range of exciting opportunities before the researcher.”

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