Ireland’s Martin Hynes Appointed as Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation


Martin Hynes with Prof. Paddy Cunningham, Chief Science Adviser to the Taoiseach, earlier this year.

The European Science Foundation (ESF), an independent, non-governmental organisation dedicated to European scientific networking and collaboration, announced this morning that Martin Hynes has been appointed as Chief Executive of the ESF for a three-year term.

The Chief Executive manages the office of the Foundation along with a team of international staff, and the post is held by Prof. Marja Makarow until the end of the year. Mr. Hynes is currently the Executive Director of the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET). Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Hynes said: “The values held by the European Science Foundation are very close to my heart, from research excellence and openness, to ethical awareness and a pan-European approach.”

Established in 1974, the ESF consists of 87 member organisations (responsible for about €25 billion of funding annually) across 30 countries, and has its headquarters in Strasbourg. ESF coordinates a variety of efforts including: COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) which facilitates members of the European scientific community to cooperate on common research projects; the Latsis Prize for outstanding and innovative contributions in a selected field of European research; EUROCORES (European Collaborative Research Scheme) which enables researchers in different European countries to develop collaboration in areas where European scale and scope are required; Research Networking Programmes that allow networking and international collaboration between nationally-funded research groups; and a series of ESF sponsored research conferences.

Mr. Hynes has been the Director of IRCSET since 2002, and previously worked as a senior policy analyst with Forfás and Enterprise Ireland. IRCSET funds early-stage graduate and postgraduate research in Ireland, and runs an Enterprise Partnership Scheme where research is co-funded by the Council and an industry partner. Its annual resources are around €26 million. As reported in an article in today’s Irish Times, IRCSET is due to merge with the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences in due course to form a single Irish Research Council.

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