The establishment of the National Institute of Health Sciences in 2000 was the Mid-Western Health Board's initiative in developing an educational and research infrastructure. The initiative was also a response to the Health Research Board's recommendation that the nation's Health Boards develop a research infrastructure to target funding from the Health Research Board, Technology Foresight and the National Development Plan, amongst other organisations.
The key concept of the Institute is to focus on the learning dimension of the organisation through knowledge generation, transmission and integration with practice.
The primary aim of the Institute is to create enduring partnerships between professional and academic bodies and the statutory provider of health and personal social services. Ultimately, these new relationships will mutually support the enhancement of healthcare service provision.
Operationally the Institute seeks to remove the separation of information, knowledge and practice, through the formation of a network organisation, which supports the generation of knowledge and the enhancement of service provision. The network organisational structure of the Institute reflects the need to cater for the support and delivery of education, research and information services. It also represents the need to adopt a shared strategic approach across the healthcare and educational sectors.
Structured interaction between academics and scholars from relevant colleges, and professionals within the practice context, will not only serve to enhance both innovative and applied research, but will also facilitate postgraduate education and training.