O'Reilly Foundation Scholarship

The O'Reilly Foundation is a personal charitable trust set up in 1998 by media magnate, and former CEO of Heinz, Sir Anthony "Tony" O'Reilly. It's function is the funding of educational projects; the two main work areas are capital developments at Irish colleges and a annual post-graduate scholarship programme for young people normally resident in Ireland, with the aim of "supporting charitable endeavours for the betterment of Ireland and to promote excellence, global vision, community responsibility and leadership. General authority is vested in a Board of Trustees including, from the beginning, O'Reilly's current wife Chryss Goulandris, Lady O'Reilly as chairperson, plus his six children from his first marriage: Susan Wildman, Cameron O'Reilly, Justine O'Reilly, Gavin O'Reilly, Caroline Dempsey, and Tony O'Reilly, Junior. The oversight of the postgraduate scholarship scheme, is vested in the Scholarship Board, first chaired by the economist T. K. Whitaker, and subsequently by former Registrar of University College Dublin, Professor Emeritus John Kelly. The Foundation has just one staff member, an executive secretary.

The programme, which began in 1999, provides awards of around 25,400 euro annually. In most years, two Scholars are nominated, for two years each, but in some years, there are three Scholars, and in some years, there will be a Scholar with a one-year award. The Foundation sponsors scholars who have an excellent academic record (First Class Honours - in the Irish / British systems - preferred) and who "have demonstrated leadership qualities", as well as the "potential and desire to make a significant contribution to the future of Ireland" .

The scholarships are stated to be chiefly aimed at Ph.D. candidates but have in fact been awarded for a wide range of types of student. Certain disciplines are noted as preferences, namely Business Studies and Marketing, Science and Technology, Arts, Media Studies and Law.

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