The aim of ISAI is to promote research and scholarship in the fields of Irish and Scottish culture.

In particular, it seeks to develop research in certain key areas; Irish and Scottish history; Irish literature in English and Scottish literature; and Irish and Scots Gaelic language and literature.

Distinctive aims of the Initiative are:

  • A collaborative, interdisciplinary approach, which pools the resources and expertise available in the relevant departments of the four universities: Trinity College, Dublin; Queen's University, Belfast; the University of Aberdeen; the University of Strathclyde, and the University of Edinburgh.
  • Academic exchanges, involving members of staff, postgraduate students and undergraduates in all five universities.
  • Joint research projects, rendered possible by the critical mass of key researchers delivered by the Initiative
  • Enhanced supervision of research students, who have the opportunity to access the research resources and research cultures of four universities instead of one.
  • Undergraduate exchanges, to encourage 'East-West' contacts in the younger generation.
  • Public lectures, seminars, symposia and cultural events to reach out to the wider public in both Ireland and Britain.