Aims and Goals
The Network harnesses the knowledge, experience and success of the Irish scientific Diaspora from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to provide an up-to-date and comprehensive global human database. The Network provides, for the first time, a census of Irish scientific, technological and engineering expertise and achievement. It disseminates information on funding and employment opportunities, enhancing bilateral and multilateral partnerships as a mechanism to stimulate innovative paradigm-shifting research. It allows individual members to advertise specific needs such as consultancy, collaborative research requests or positions in industry, internships and post-doctoral fellowships. It provides permanent links to funding agencies in Ireland and elsewhere (such as NIH and NSF in the United States) allowing centralized rapid notice of "Calls for Proposal Announcements" of relevance to the membership. It facilitates the engagement of Irish scientists abroad, and their institutions, in the knowledge-based development of the Irish economy, thereby maintaining the connectivity of scientists both within Ireland and abroad. It provides a forum for the community to policy-makers in the Irish government and associated agencies. Additionally, it promotes mentoring of Irish students and scientists in academia and industry and highlights the achievements and successes of Irish scientists.
Organization and Management
The Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated in Washington DC. The Network is led by a Board of Directors which makes decisions regarding the general direction of the group. The Board acts as liaison with other interested bodies such as Irish embassies and consulates and government science agencies. The Network has an experienced and senior Board of Directors of well recognized business and academic personnel with strong Irish connections. The Board's goal is to help awareness of the network, advise on directions and assist in raising funds to create a sustainable network.
History and Foundation
Inspired by the recognition of Irish contributions to business and culture sectors internationally, The Wild Geese Network of Irish Scientists (WGNIS) recognized the need to advance similar awareness of the Irish contribution in the sciences. Professor Nick Farrell provided the initial scientific vision and he was joined by Ms Cathy O'Connor First Secretary ICT and Energy Policy, Embassy of Ireland. Together they provided the leadership to create the first network engaging others to join them in a steering committee that led to the formation of the organization.
The network was formed in February 2011 in Washington DC at a breakfast hosted by Cathy O’Connor, First Secretary ICT and Energy Policy, Embassy of Ireland and is supported by Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States, Anne Anderson. The inaugural meeting of the network was attended by representatives from Irish Government agencies including Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser, Science Foundation Ireland, Health Research Board and the Marine Institute. The Network is recognized by The Northern Ireland Bureau. In 2014 the organization was incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization culminating in the election of a Board of Directors. The Network provides a forum for discussion, advancement of ideas, consultancy, publicity and engagement of Irish scientists in policy. The depth and breadth of the Diaspora is highlighted by membership from senior faculty and early career professionals in academia, pharmaceutical companies, the energy and biotechnology sectors and science policy and communications. The organization acknowledges the vision and hard work of the original founders Professor Nick Farrell and Cathy O' Connor, and the work of the steering committee including Dr Nick Farrell, Cathy O' Connor, Sam Bunting, Orla Casey, Sinead Farrell, David Loane, Gwen Murphy, and Brid Ryan.