The Award

The SFI St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal will be awarded annually to a distinguished Irish scientist, engineer or technology leader living and working in the USA. 

In 2016 the competition was further developed to include a specific award for an industry leader.

Both the industry and academic medals recognize individuals who are not only outstanding in their fields of expertise but who also have demonstrably assisted researchers in Ireland in either academia or industry – via mentorship, supervision, collaboration, industrial development, entrepreneurship or who have made significant contributions to developing the research ecosystem in Ireland.

Prof Mark Ferguson explains how a St. Patricks Day Medal recipient is considered for the prestigious award:

Nominations are now being sought for the 2019 SFI St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal Award.


Nominations must be submitted to by 5pm (Dublin local time) on Wednesday, October 31st 2018


Please email or call + 353 1 607 3211 with any queries

All nominations must be made on the official nomination form and must be accompanied by a brief CV/Resume (max two pages) for the nominee.  Up to two letters of support may also be included with the nomination. 

Note, CVs/Resumes longer than two pages will, without exception, be cut off at the end of page two.

Eligible nominations will be valid for a period of three years, including the year of nomination.

The nominee* must be an Irish** scientist, engineer or industry leader who, at the time of the nomination, is living and working in the USA.

Academic Medal Specific Criteria

  • The nominee should be an outstanding academic researcher and recognised as one of the field-leaders in their discipline
  • The nominee should hold or have held a full professorial position, or equivalent, at a major US research university
  • The nominee should have contributed to academic and/or industrial development in Ireland

Industry Medal Specific Criteria

  • The nominee should be an inspirational business leader operating/have operated in a science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) related business sector
  • The nominee should hold or have held a senior executive position in industry
  • The nominee should have contributed to academic and/or industrial development in Ireland
*Self-nominations are not accepted
**Irish citizens, persons of Irish descent, persons entitled to Irish citizenship or persons with a strong historical and enduring connection to Ireland

The Selection Committee for the SFI St. Patrick’s Day Medal is made up of high ranking individuals, external to Science Foundation Ireland, drawn from academia, industry and Government bodies.

The nominations are reviewed with particular emphasis on:

Scientific and Technical Excellence

  • Scientific and Technical Excellence as demonstrated through leadership in their field of endeavour, research impact (reference SFI Impact Statement) and measurable outputs such as citations and commercial outputs.  Industry candidates should also reach the same levels of esteem both in their field of speciality and their industry accomplishments.

Global Recognition

  • Evidence of recognition of excellence at an international level as demonstrated through achievement of international awards, honours and membership of prestigious societies. Industry leadership and business success particularly in the case of Industry candidates.

Engagement with Ireland

  • Evidence of the nominees’ commitment to the support of the research and/or industry community in Ireland and to Ireland's wider economic development as evidenced through ongoing and meaningful collaboration, mentorship of Irish researchers/companies, national policy dialogue participation, representation of Irish research at an international level.

The Committee will review and evaluate the merit of all nominees and recommend the final selection to the Science Foundation Ireland Executive Committee

Both Medals will be awarded by the Taoiseach during the official St. Patrick’s Day Programme in Washington D.C. in March 2019*

*Subject to final programme arrangements by the Department of the Taoiseach

2018 – Mr David McCourt, Founder and CEO of Granahan McCourt Capital (Industry Medal)

2018 – Prof Margaret Murnane, Professor of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Colorado (Academic Medal)

2017 – Dr T. Pearse Lyons, Founder and President of Alltech (Industry Medal)

2017 – Prof Adrian Raftery, University of Washington (Academic Medal)
2016 – Dr Craig Barrett, ex Intel (Industry Medal)
2016 – Prof Séamus Davis, Cornell University (Academic Medal)
2015 – Prof Katherine Fitzgerald, University of Massachusetts
2014 – Dr Garret FitzGerald, University of Pennsylvania