Sinn Féin spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Rose Conway-Walsh TD, has welcomed the move by Trinity College Dublin to increase the pay of full-time PhD researchers from a range of €6,500-€18,000 to €25,000.
Teachta Conway-Walsh said:
“I welcome Trinity’s decision to increase the annual pay for PhD researchers.
“This needs to be built upon because we need to see reform across higher education.
“PhD researchers are hugely undervalued in our education and research system, and the cost-of-living crisis has pushed them to the pin of their collar.
“They have not benefited from a number of government supports such as the rent credit because they do not have worker status.
“Instead, they are paid a stipend often far below minimum wage.
“Our post graduate education and research system is in danger of collapse unless we see a step change in pay for PhD researchers.
“The government must intervene to support all research funding bodies – such as Universities, Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council – to provide PhD researchers with a wage they can live on.
“There is an ongoing review of the PhD system at the moment that needs to result in PhD researchers being recognised as workers and provided with decent terms and conditions.
“PhD researchers need this review to be fast-tracked and reform implemented as soon as possible.”