ICON plc, a global provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, and the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) have announced a new partnership which will provide funding for inter-county players engaged in undergraduate and postgraduate life sciences courses.

The new ICON-GPA Life Sciences Scholarship programme will deliver support for players entering their second year or above in science-related courses including medicine, pharmacy, biology, science and mathematics.

Funding will be available to players studying in all the main third level institutions in the island of Ireland and will be granted on an annual basis.

“Supporting players through their education is a cornerstone of the GPA Development Programme and our partnership with ICON helps strengthen that commitment” commented GPA Chief Executive Dessie Farrell.

“Targeting specific areas of a player’s education is an important development for the GPA’s Scholarship Scheme and ICON is leading the way for us in this regard. There is a great demand in Ireland for graduates in the Life Sciences sector and we are happy that this new partnership bolsters our strategic objectives to promote the leadership qualities of our players and will encourage our members to pursue courses in this area.”

Ciaran Murray, CEO, ICON plc commented: “We are delighted to partner with the GPA and support their excellent work in the areas of player development and education. Both organisations share values of leadership, excellence and a commitment to developing people, which makes the partnership a good fit.  Today’s announcement is also another example of ICON’s commitment to science and innovation and to creating an environment in Ireland that encourages students to engage in the life sciences.”

Galway hurler and Science student at NUI Galway Niall Burke is pictured with Dessie Farrell Chief Executive Gaelic Players Association and Ciaran Murray CEO ICON plcGPA