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DkIT Research Students Receive Prestigious Government of Ireland Awards

03 October 2022

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) were absolutely thrilled to hear that two of the Institutes’ PhD Students, Leandro Pessina and Benedict Lamb O'Sullivan, are the recipients of the esteemed Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme funding for new research projects under the Irish Research Council’s flagship Government of Ireland programmes.

Louise Callinan, Director of the Irish Research Council, said:

“The prestigious Government of Ireland awards recognise and fund pioneering research projects, along with addressing new and emerging fields of research that introduce creative and innovative approaches across all disciplines, including the sciences, humanities and the arts

Funding schemes like the IRC’s Government of Ireland programmes are vitally important to the wider research landscape in Ireland, as they ensure that researchers are supported at an early stage of their career and are given an opportunity to direct their own research.”


The two students who have been awarded this prestigious scholarship are both within the School of Informatics and Creative Arts in DkIT. The awardees are Leandro Pessida under the supervision of Dr Daithi Kearney for his project which is “Listening to Louth’s Heritage: The role of local culture and traditions in enhancing the tourist experience”. The other recipient who is Benedict Lamb O’Sullivan and is under the supervision of Dr Claire Fitch received the award for his project “Creative Practice using New Interfaces for DIY Music Production and Performance”.

Leandro Pessina is a graduate of the University of Milan, University of Bergamo and the Milan Music Academy. A geographer with a keen interest in music, he has an Undergraduate Degree in Human and Environmental Geography and Master’s Degree in Planning and Management of Tourism, as well as an Undergraduate Degree in Classical concert flute. At DkIT, he has the opportunity to approach and combine music, geographical, ethnographical and tourism studies. Leandro notes that his decision to moving to Ireland for the purpose of furthering his studies on Tourism, Geography and (Irish) Music was influenced by the opportunity to work with Dr Kearney in a very stimulating environment at DkIT and to move to a country he has always felt affinity and interest for.

The award is very significant for Leandro, who notes:

‘This award means many things for me. First of all, the fact that my application for the 2022 Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme has been recommended for funding makes me feel very proud of myself and my project idea. Since it is very difficult to obtain this award, it gives me and my research great prestige.  Moreover, from a practical level, this fund will assist me during the period of research, while I have to live on my own in a new country’.

Benedict Lamb O’Sullivan who also received the award holds an MA in Music Technology from the Dundalk Institute of Technology (2021), MA in Music Performance and Higher Diploma in Arts (Music) from University College Cork, B.Sc. from Maynooth University, and Diploma in Professional Musicianship (Guitar) from BIMM Dublin. Ben is a musician with over 20 years of experience as a performer and songwriter. He is a music tutor based in Co. Monaghan who previously taught on the ‘Music in Modern Ireland’ module in UCC. Conducting his research at DkIT offers the opportunity to combine academic and musical interests in musicology, technology, and culture. DkIT’s reputation for forward thinking approaches in creative technology, knowledge of arts practice and music within culture represents an ideal place to conduct the research project.

Ben Said

‘Receiving an award from the Irish Research Council under the Postgraduate Research Scholarship gives me a deep sense of pride in my work to date and in the ongoing project. Knowing the highly competitive nature of IRC Awards, I am thrilled to have this prestigious award against my name. It gives me and my supervisory team great confidence in the validity of the project idea and the work done to date. On a personal level, the award represents a level of security to complete the research without distraction. ‘


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