Reap the rewards
Our collaboration has led to many great publications, which have been very well recognised in our field. But the benefits to those researchers who relocated across the pond are possibly more important. Firstly, the researchers themselves often drove the application for seed/travel funding, providing them with their first experience of conceiving a project and securing funding. What is most striking is their transformation in terms of confidence, leadership and interpersonal skills, and their career successes thereafter. They have gone on to successful careers in medical device and pharmaceutical companies (Boston Scientific, Medtronic, GE Healthcare/Cytiva), small start-ups, or have become academic faculty. Many secured their own prestigious research awards (Royal Society Fellowship (Dr. Eimear Dolan), ERC Starting Independent Investigator Award (Dr. Ted Vaughan)). Eimear was named as one of 10 global visionaries on MIT Technology Review’s annual list of Innovators Under 35. I do not doubt that these international experiences, which enhanced their personal development, played a part in their successes.
Eimear is now working with Notre Dame to explore future Undergraduate student exchanges between Notre Dame and NUI Galway, so we can continue this relationship for many more years. We have also had discussions with Lisa Caulfield about running some joint research meetings in the beautiful Kylemore Abbey Global Centre, which we are excited to progress once travel restrictions lift.