Launch of Groundbreaking Book on Genetic Discrimination

Launch of Groundbreaking Book on Genetic Discrimination-image

Friday, 19 December 2014

MEP Marian Harkin and members of the judiciary, as well as leading figures from the areas of disability and genetics joined on Friday night, 12th December, at the European Commission Representation to celebrate the launch of Genetic Discrimination – Transatlantic perspectives on the case for a European-level legal response. The book is edited by Professor Gerard Quinn, (Centre for Disability Law and Policy, School of Law, NUI Galway), Dr Aisling de Paor (School of Law and Government, DCU) and Peter Blanck (Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University, USA) and focuses particularly on the legislative and policy framework in the European Union emphasising gaps in protection and the scope for specific legislative action in the area of genetic discrimination. Professor Quinn said “One reason we are proud of this book is that it brings several disciplines together including the hard sciences, public policy, ethics and law in a common discussion about how to enable genetic and other scientific research to evolve and grow, how to enhance public confidence in the research and how to tame it so that it underpins and not undermines our values.” He continued “This book is written within a context that promises an explosion of scientific insights into what it means to be human and indeed how we might go beyond being human. It is a context that taxes our existing frames of reference to accommodate such changes whether they lie in ethics, public policy or law.” As genetic technologies advance, genetic testing may well offer the prospect of detecting the onset of future disabilities. Some research also posits that certain behavioural profiles may have a strong genetic basis, such as the determination to succeed, or the propensity for risk-taking. As this technology becomes more prevalent, there is a danger that genetic information may be misused by third parties and that particular genetic profiles may be discriminated against by employers, by providers of social goods and services, such as insurance companies and even by educational facilities. This book explores the different forms and potential uses of genetic testing. Drawing together leading experts in disability law, bioethics, health law and a range of related fields, it highlights the ethical and legal challenges arising as a result of emerging and rapidly advancing genetic science. On examining transatlantic perspectives on the matter, chapters in the book ask whether the US Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) is proving to be an effective tool in addressing the issue of genetic discrimination and alleviating fears of discrimination. The book also reviews what insights may be gained from GINA within employment and health insurance contexts, and asks how the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) may impact similar debates within the European Union. This book will be of great interest to scholars and students of discrimination law, bioethics and disability law, and will be of considerable use to legal practitioners, medical practitioners and policy-makers in this area. ENDS

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Participants wanted for this winter’s flu survey

Participants wanted for this winter’s flu survey-image

Monday, 15 December 2014

flusurvey.ie will track the spread of flu across Ireland and provide useful real-time data   Irish people are being asked to volunteer information about their health this winter at flusurvey.ie. Now in its second year, the website is a collaboration between NUI Galway and the HSE - Health Protection Surveillance Centre. Volunteers are asked to register with the site, and log any flu symptoms if and when they develop.   The website asks participants about their overall health and possible influenza symptoms – headaches, fever, sore throats – and maps this information in real-time. This provides valuable real-time information for healthcare professionals on the demographic and geographic profile of people suffering from flu.   The system can map the spread of the disease in its early stages, and provide health professionals with an early warning signal of nationwide outbreaks.   Project Leader Dr Jim Duggan, of NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, says: “Last winter we tracked data from hundreds of volunteers, with the majority coming from Dublin, Cork and Galway. Amongst our participants, we saw particular spikes in illness in mid-to-late February, and also observed the highest percentage of self-reported flu levels from our survey in the under-18 year age group.”   Flusurvey.ie has demonstrated the potential for self-reporting systems, and the team behind it is building on last year’s success to recruit more participants throughout the country. “Our web system is designed to handle a sizeable nationwide survey, and increasing the numbers who volunteer their health symptoms will enhance the overall information we can share with the HSE-HPSC”, adds Dr Duggan.   Dr Darina O’Flanagan of the HSE-HPSC welcomed the re-launch and said that flusurvey.ie is a useful addition to flu surveillance in Ireland and that the information gathered will be aggregated to complement existing methods of influenza surveillance.   Seasonal influenza is a highly contagious viral disease that is characterised by sudden onset of fever, accompanied by muscle pain or headache, and a cough or sore throat. In Ireland, the influenza season typically starts in October, and continues through to late May.   Volunteers register online and self-report by answering short questions relating to demographic, medical, socio-economic and lifestyle issues. The system is secure, and all patient information is analysed at an aggregate and anonymous level. Participants can also view their individual symptom history, and interactive health maps at local and national levels.    Flusurvey is accessible for registration at https://flusurvey.ie  

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NUI Galway staff and alumni row in behind search for bone marrow match

 NUI Galway staff and alumni row in behind search for bone marrow match-image

Thursday, 11 December 2014

“This is a Christmas gift that will keep on giving” Staff and alumni of NUI Galway are getting behind a campaign to encourage people to consider donating bone marrow. The campaign is inspired by the story of Paul Giblin, an engineering graduate and champion rower for the University, who is battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Now 31 years-old, Paul was diagnosed in April 2012 and is currently undergoing his fourth regime of chemotherapy, having also had an autologous (own) stem-cell transplant and radiotherapy. His best, and possibly only chance to return to health, will be to find a match on the Global Registry, the pool from which all bone marrow donations are drawn. Friends are pulling together to spread awareness with a view to increasing the number of potential donors in Ireland on the Global Registry. “We are reaching out to family, friends and friends of friends. We are hoping to significantly increase the numbers signing up to become bone marrow donors, to give people in Paul’s situation a fighting chance”, explains Ruadhán Cooke, who is a lecturer in French at NUI Galway and actively involved in the rowing club. “This is a Christmas gift that will keep on giving and which some day you or a loved one may need and benefit from. The first step is to give a small sample of blood, it’s that simple, and it could be a gift that will someday save a life,” added Ruadhán Cooke. The Irish Blood Transfusion Service will run a dedicated Bone Marrow Recruitment Clinic on Monday,15 December in the Cumasu Centre, Racing Lodge, Doughiska Road, Galway. The clinic will take a small sample of blood to add to the database, and cross check for matches. Anyone interested in attending the clinic on Monday, or other clinics in future, should e-mail BoneMarrow@ibts.ie Paul is one of Ireland’s most decorated rowers, with 17 Irish Senior champion titles, as well as twice taking gold at Henley Royal Regatta. He was also a medalist at the World Under 23 Rowing Championships and World Student Games. In an impressive couple of seasons on the cycling circuit, he rode the 2010 Rás, and also competed at the World Para Cycling Championships as the sighted pilot in the tandem event. A qualified civil engineer, Paul retrained and now works as an Army officer, stationed at Dún Uí Mhaolaíosa in Galway. Last weekend he married his fiancé Cate. For more information on how you can help Paul and others like him visit http://marrowmatch.eu/  -ends-

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NUI Galway signs agreement with leading Chinese university during President Higgins’ State Visit

NUI Galway signs agreement with leading Chinese university during President Higgins’ State Visit-image

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

NUI Galway signed an agreement on Tuesday, 9 December, with Tsinghua University in China, to collaborate on both education and research activities. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was witnessed by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and President of China, Xi Jinping, in The Great Hall of the People in Beijing, immediately prior to the State Banquet to mark the visit. Both national Presidents have links to the universities as President Higgins is an alumnus of NUI Galway, while President Xi graduated from Tsinghua University. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, and Ms Chen Xu, Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council, signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their respective universities. The agreement features: joint research in the fields of mutual interest to both universities; exchange of faculty members and researchers; exchange of students; joint organisation of seminars and academic meetings; exchange of materials in education; and research, publications and academic information. Science and engineering research and teaching is a particular strength for both universities. For the academic year 2015/16, a plan for undergraduate engineering student exchange and increased post-graduate mobility has been agreed. The agreement follows on from existing close ties between the universities. In research, a significant three-year EU project on cancer biomarkers led by NUI Galway, with Tsinghua University as a partner, has just come to completion. Also in research, 27 Tsinghua graduates have come to NUI Galway to pursue postgraduate degrees over the last two decades. In addition, several senior academic positions at Tsinghua University are held by NUI Galway graduates, and Tsinghua University alumni teach at NUI Galway. NUI Galway’s President Browne, has supervised many Tsinghua University graduates who have come to NUI Galway as PhD and masters students in the area of industrial engineering. Commenting on the agreement he said: “This is a historic agreement, which builds on a long tradition of educational exchange between NUI Galway and Tsinghua University, particularly in the area of Engineering. With this signing we look forward to deepening our collaboration, resulting in great student mobility between the two universities at under-graduate and post-graduate levels, as well as building new partnerships on a range of research fronts. It is especially fitting that this agreement is signed in the presence of the national Presidents, both of whom are alumni of the respective universities.” The signing took place during the State Visit of President Michael D. Higgins to China. This is the first State Visit since 2003. Accompanying the President on this three city visit to Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, were the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, T.D. and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, T.D. The visit aims to deepen the political, cultural, business, scientific and educational relationships between the two countries. The President was be accompanied by Sabina Higgins. Dr Jim Browne travelled as part of the delegation on the State Visit, following the invitation from Enterprise Ireland to the International Office of the Irish universities. He was accompanied by colleague, Professor Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs. NUI Galway has a very strong Alumni Group in Beijing, made up of alumni and member of the Irish expat community.

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NUI Galway to sign agreement with leading Chinese university during President Higgins’ State Visit

NUI Galway to sign agreement with leading Chinese university during President Higgins’ State Visit-image

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Agreement with Tsinghua University builds on long-standing tradition of educational and research exchange, and highlights alumni connections NUI Galway will sign an agreement on Tuesday, 9 December, with Tsinghua University in China to collaborate on both education and research activities. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will be witnessed by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and President of China, Xi Jinping, in The Great Hall of the People immediately prior to the State Banquet to mark the visit. Both national Presidents have links to the universities as President Higgins is an alumnus of NUI Galway, while President Xi graduated from Tsinghua University. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, and Ms Chen Xu, Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council, will sign the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their respective universities at 9am GMT (5pm Beijing time) on Tuesday. The agreement will feature: joint research in the fields of mutual interest to both universities; exchange of faculty members and researchers; exchange of students; joint organisation of seminars and academic meetings; exchange of materials in education; and research, publications and academic information. Science and engineering research and teaching is a particular strength for both universities. For the academic year 2015/16, a plan for undergraduate engineering student exchange and increased post-graduate mobility has been agreed. The agreement follows on from existing close ties between the universities. In research, a significant three-year EU project on cancer biomarkers led by NUI Galway, with Tsinghua University as a partner, has just come to completion. Also in research, 27 Tsinghua graduates have come to NUI Galway to pursue postgraduate degrees over the last two decades. In addition, several senior academic positions at Tsinghua University are held by NUI Galway graduates, and Tsinghua University alumni teach at NUI Galway. NUI Galway’s President Browne, has supervised many Tsinghua University graduates who have come to NUI Galway as PhD and masters students in the area of industrial engineering. Commenting on the agreement he said: “This is a historic agreement, which builds on a long tradition of educational exchange between NUI Galway and Tsinghua University, particularly in the area of Engineering. With this signing we look forward to deepening our collaboration, resulting in great student mobility between the two universities at under-graduate and post-graduate levels, as well as building new partnerships on a range of research fronts. It is especially fitting that this agreement is signed in the presence of the national Presidents, both of whom are alumni of the respective universities.” The signing will take place during the State Visit of President Michael D. Higgins to China. This is the first State Visit since 2003.  Accompanying the President on this three city visit to Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, will be the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, T.D. and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, T.D. The visit will aim to deepen the political, cultural, business, scientific and educational relationships between the two countries. The President will be accompanied by Sabina Higgins. Dr Jim Browne is travelling as part of the delegation on the State Visit, following the invitation from Enterprise Ireland to the International Office of the Irish universities. He will also be accompanied by colleague, Professor Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs. NUI Galway has a very strong Alumni Group in Beijing, made up of alumni and member of the Irish expat community.  

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NUI Galway Graduate Nominated for ANNIE International Award

NUI Galway Graduate Nominated for ANNIE International Award-image

Monday, 8 December 2014

A graduate from NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media, Will Collins has been nominated for an ANNIE Award. Now in its 42nd year, the Annie Awards are awarded by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, and recognise the year’s best in the field of animation and is animation's highest honour. Will, originally from Kanturk, Co. Cork, graduated with a Masters in Screenwriting in 2006. The animation, Song of the Sea, has been nominated in the Best Animated Feature and is one of eight films nominated. Produced by Cartoon Saloon which is based in Kilkenny, Song of the Sea has also been nominated in Best Character Development category. “The Huston School of Film and Digital Media is absolutely delighted with the seven ANNIE nominations (the Oscars for animated films) for Song of the Sea and in particular the nomination of our MA Screenwriting graduate Will Collins who wrote the screenplay. To be in the same category as blockbusters like The Lego Movie, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, The Boxtrolls and How to Train Your Dragon 2 is an incredible achievement for an independently produced Irish animation feature and we send our congratulations to all involved” said Tony Tracy, Lecturer with NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media. This week Galway has awarded the first Irish City of Film designation from UNESCO, one of only five cities around the world to hold the title. Over 50 organisations were involved in the Galway bid including NUI Galway. Dr Pat Collins and Dr Jenny Dagg from the University’s Whitaker Institute prepared background data for the bid, while the Huston School of Film and Digital Media were involved through the Audio Visual Forum for the West. The awards ceremony will take place in Los Angeles in January 2015. -Ends-

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Conference on neurodegenerative diseases hailed a success

Conference on neurodegenerative diseases hailed a success-image

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

A major conference on neurodegenerative diseases in Galway last week has been hailed a huge success by organisers. This was the first time the Annual Meeting of the Network of European Central Nervous System Transplantation & Restoration (NECTAR) was held in Ireland. NECTAR saw researchers gather to discuss the latest developments in cell and gene therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. One of the highlights of the conference was a talk by Sheila Roy, who is undergoing an experimental gene therapy treatment for Parkinson’s disease. She first started the treatment in 2011, as part of a trial for ProSavin, a viral gene therapy manufactured by Oxford BioMedica. Sheila Roy has seen some progressive improvements since she volunteered for the radical treatment, and she has been able to reduce her medication by 50 per cent. The Chair of the local organising committee is Dr Eilís Dowd, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology and Therapeutics at NUI Galway, and a member of the University’s NCBES Galway Neuroscience Centre. Speaking about the conference, she said: “Sheila Roy gave a moving depiction of what life is like with Parkinson’s disease, and we are so thankful to her for sharing it with us. Her contribution rounded off a truly successful event.” The major remit of the 2014 NECTAR conference was to bring together scientists, clinicians, patient advocates and industry partners from across Europe and the international community to share the latest research in repairing the damage to the central nervous system as a result of degenerative diseases. At the conference, Dr Dowd was elected as President of NECTAR, an organisation which was founded more than 20 years ago: “Neurodegenerative diseases are currently treated using drugs that neither address the underlying causes of disease nor prevent neurodegeneration. They simply treat the symptoms of the disease. Cell and gene therapies aim to treat the disease itself and try to reprogramme the body’s mechanism to protect or even repair the brain. The science is moving rapidly, and networks such as NECTAR are facilitating the sharing of information among researchers in the field. However, we are still quite a way off any potential cure, but conferences like this renew our determination to succeed.” Eighteen international experts from across Europe, Australia and Canada spoke at the meeting. These included major international scientific speakers such as Professor Colin Masters, University of Melbourne, Australia and Professor Anders Björklund, Lund University, Sweden, as well as policy makers such as Dr Mary Baker, Past President of the European Brain Council, patient advocates, experts in clinical trial design and industrial speakers. In addition to the invited speakers, there were also several “data-blitz” sessions of short oral communications delivered by Irish and international researchers. PhD students and post-doctoral researchers played a significant role at the conference, adding to the environment of vibrancy and collaboration that lies at the heart of NECTAR. Neuroscience research and teaching are very vibrant at NUI Galway, and the University’s Galway Neuroscience Centre is proud to support both the NECTAR and CNS2014 meetings. The conference organisers gratefully acknowledged the support they have received from several funding agencies including the Campaign for Alzheimer’s Research in Europe, Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and Fáilte Ireland. More information on the conference can be found at (http://www.nectar-eu.net/) Ends

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Explore Galway’s Buildings in Stone with the new NUI Galway Guidebook

Explore Galway’s Buildings in Stone with the new NUI Galway Guidebook-image

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Galway City Walks Buildings in Stone was compiled by NUI Galway’s Professor Martin Feely and Dr Alessandra Costanzo and contains an accompanying street map displays the locations of the buildings described along the course of each of three walks. The three walks are as follows: Walk N1 West of the River Corrib starts at NUI Galway and includes Galway Cathedral, City Museum, Spanish Arch and Blake’s Castle; Walk N2 Galway City Centre highlights the buildings along Quay Street, High Street and Shop Street and includes St Augustine’s Church, St Nicholas’s Collegiate Church and Lynch’s Castle; and Walk N3 Eyre Square Area includes the Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland buildings, Meyrick Hotel and the Railway Station. The city’s building stones display a variety of textures and fossils that reflect their geological origins. The walks can be followed by the city's visitors and geologists alike. It will prove very useful for urban geology fieldwork by primary, secondary and third level student parties. It provides an opportunity to study rocks from around the globe including some from China, Finland, Portugal, Italy, South Africa, Norway, Brazil, UK and of course Ireland in a matter of a few hours. The book is an invitation to enjoy learning about the geological heritage that surrounds us in Galway’s inner city. Co-author Professor Martin Feely said: “Dr Costanzo and I would like to thank Dúchas Na Gaillimhe - Galway Civic Trust for assisting with the publication of this book and in particular Delo Collier for her encouragement during the course of this project.” Local Historian, Tom Kenny, launched the new guide book, the latest in a series of Galway City walks called Buildings in Stone at the Hall of the Red Earl, Druid Lane, Galway. Galway City Walks Buildings in Stone is available at the offices of Dúchas na Gaillimhe - Galway Civic Trust, Druid Lane at a special launch price of €3. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Students take to the stage of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe

NUI Galway Students take to the stage of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe -image

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Students will be performing readings of the winning scripts of the Walter Macken New Writing Award 2014 NUI Galway’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance has announced details of a new relationship with Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, with the rehearsed readings of the three winning scripts of the Walter Macken New Writing Award.  The readings will take place on the stage of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe at 7pm on Thursday, 4 December.  The chosen scripts, An Love Micheart by Manchán Magan, Díonta by Biddy Jenkinson and Ar Strae by Éidin Nic Éinrí will all be read by students of NUI Galway’s BA and MA drama programmes. NUI Galway offers classes in performing drama in Irish as part of its BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance and its MA in Drama and Theatre Studies. These drama students have been working closely with the writers, script editors and staff of An Taibhdhearc over the last month as part of the script development process. NUI Galway has a long tradition of supporting the development of new writing in Irish.  In the last five years alone the University has commissioned plays and adaptations from prominent writers such as Biddy Jenkinson, Brendan Murray, Gabriel Rosenstock and Diarmuid de Faoite, which have been performed by drama students of NUI Galway.  “This new relationship between An Taibhdhearc and NUI Galway will open the doors on a whole range of exciting new possibilities within the creative arts as Gaeilge”, says Anne McCabe, Artistic Director of An Taibhdhearc. Tickets are available from the box office of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe on 091 563600. Please contact Marianne Ní Chinnéide on 087 9080194 for any further information.  -Ends- Mic Léinn OÉ Gaillimh ar stáitse na Taibhdheirce Beidh na mic léinn ag léamh na scripteanna a bhuaigh an Gradam Walter Macken 2014 Fógraíonn an Lárionad Drámaíochta agus Léiriúcháin an caidreamh nua leis An Taibhdhearc leis an léamh cleachtaithe ar na thrí dhráma nua-scríofa a bhuaigh an Gradam Walter Macken 2014.  Cuirfear an léamh cleachtaithe ar stáitse na Taibhdheirce ag 7pm, Déardaoinr an 4 Nollaig, áit a bheidh An Love Mícheart le Manchán Magan, Neainí Golue le Biddy Jenkinson, agus Ar Strae le Éidin Nic Éinrí á léamh ag mic léinn drámaíochta Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh. Cuireann OÉGaillimh ranganna ar stáitsiú dhrámíocht na Gaeilge, as Gaeilge, ar fail mar chuid dá BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance agus a MA in Drama and Theatre Studies. Tá traidisiúin fada ag Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh ag forbairt dhrámaí nua-scríofa na Gaeilge.  Le cúig bhliain anuas tá coimisiúniú déanta ag an Ollscoil ar scríbhneoirí ar nós Biddy Jenkinson, Brendan Murray, Gabriel Rosenstock agus Diarmuid de Faoite le drámaí a scríobh agus a athchóiriú do mhic léinn na hollscoile atá ag tabhairt faoi staidéar na drámaíochta.  “Osclóidh an caidreamh nua seo na doirse ar réimse leathan féidireachta ó thaobh na healaíona cruthaitheacha Gaeilge de” a deir Anne McCabe, stiúrthóir ealaíona na Taibhdheirce. Tá na mic léinn Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh tar éis a bheith ag obair go dlúth leis na scríbhneoirí, an eagarthóir scripte agusfoireann na Taibhdheirce mar chuid den phróiséis forbhartha scripte le mí anuas. Ticéid ar fáil ón Taibhdhearc ar 091-563600. Is féidir tuilleadh eolais a fháil ach glaoch ar Mharianne Ní Chinnéide ar 087 9080194. -Críoch-

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Over 200 Primary School Students ‘Graduate’ from NUI Galway

Over 200 Primary School Students ‘Graduate’ from NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

NUI Galway recently conferred special certificates on the sixth cohort of ‘graduates’ from its Youth Academy. 210 primary school children from across the Western region received their certificates, with more than 1000 friends and family attending the ceremony. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing children and their families to University life. Since its foundation, almost 1000 children have graduated from a variety of courses on Saturday mornings ranging from Italian to Water Enginnering, Philosophical Discovery, Psychology, Biomedical Engineering, English Literature, Irish History, Déan Scannán, Eco-Explorers, The World of Cops and Robbers, and Information Technology. The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high ability fourth, fifth and sixth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The Youth Academy is a very important initiative by this University.  We feel that it responds to the educational needs of our young citizens and gives talented young students the opportunity to get experience of learning in a University. NUI Galway is committed to the sharing of knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all. I hope that initiatives such as the Youth Academy can highlight how this University can and does serve its community, not only here Galway but in society in general.” The Youth Academy co-founders received SFI funding for Youth Academy scholarships in STEM courses. This funding enhances community university partnership through STEM knowledge sharing activities offered to DEIS school/communities and elevates the educational potential of children and challenges their academic development. For further information on the courses and participation please contact Geraldine Marley, NUI Galway Youth Academy Coordinator, at youthacademy@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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Threesis Winners Announced

Threesis Winners Announced-image

Monday, 1 December 2014

A first-year biotechnology student, Edel Browne from Athenry, Co. Galway took first prize at NUI Galway’s third annual Threesis Competition which took place last week. The competition consisted of quick-fire presentations, with NUI Galway researchers presenting three slides, in three minutes, to three judges. The competitors had come through a series of heats already held on campus, to take on the final challenge at a public event in An Taibhdhearc. The winners were judged on how well they conveyed and communicated their subject to a general audience. Edel Browne’s presentation was on ‘Free Feet’, a simple and innovative use of laser technology that has revolutionised potential treatment methods for Freezing of Gait in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Second and third prize went to Anne O’Connor from Loughrea, Co. Galway and Killian O’Brien from Bishoptown, Cork City. Anne’s work widens our understanding of cultural exchange in Ireland by studying translation and translators and their impact on Irish history whilst Killian researches exosomes and their potential as a viable method of delivering therapies in breast cancer treatment. Máire-Caitlín Casey from Ballydoolough, Co. Galway won the audience prize for her presentation ‘Now you see me’; her research aims to improve our evaluation of breast cancer, particularly in response to chemotherapy, by investigating a novel imaging technique, photoacoustic imaging (PAI). The event focused on taking researchers out of their comfort zones to present their research to a general audience using only three slides over three minutes to three judges. The focus was on impact; how research at NUI Galway impacts upon our daily lives, those of our family and our broader community. Research areas represented at the event included science, engineering, information technology, humanities, social sciences and medicine, with topics ranging from novel tests for early detection of breast cancer to the transport of pollutants in groundwater. The three judges - Dr Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience, NUI Galway, Caroline Crawford, Western Correspondent for the Irish Independent and Dr Marcus McHale, Postdoctoral Research at the Plant and Agricultural Biosciences Centre, NUI Galway had the responsibility of choosing the overall winners of the night. Jonathan McCrea was Master of Ceremonies for the event. Jonathan is a multi-award-winning TV and radio broadcaster, who presents The Science Squad on RTÉ, The Lie on TV3 and Futureproof on Newstalk 106-108fm. Dr Pat Morgan said: “There are twelve winners here tonight; unfortunately we only have prizes for a small few. I am incredibly proud to call you all members of the NUI Galway family and delighted to preside over such an important event in the University calendar.” Other finalists at the event; James Brown (Discipline of Surgery), Doireann Joyce (Discipline of Surgery), Donna Cosgrove (School of Psychology), Alan Kirwan (AGRC), Martin O’Donoghue (Moore Institute), Bianca Perira (Insight), Ihab Salawdeh (Insight) and Sara Vero (Ryan Institute). Ends

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Human rights symposium at NUI Galway celebrates the late Professor Kevin Boyle

Human rights symposium at NUI Galway celebrates the late Professor Kevin Boyle-image

Friday, 28 November 2014

Former President Mary Robinson today welcomed the fact that the archive of the late Professor Kevin Boyle will be housed at NUI Galway. In a video presentation at a symposium taking place at the University today, celebrating the career of Kevin Boyle, she said: “I’m glad that his papers will enrich scholarship and activism from Galway for the betterment of the world in future.” The world-renowned human rights lawyer and scholar, Professor Kevin Boyle, served as a special advisor to Mary Robinson from September 2001, when she was UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. His personal archive, comprising of over one hundred boxes of manuscripts and printed books, is a record of the varied and rich contribution made by the activist and scholar to international human rights. Also speaking at the international symposium, ‘The Human Rights Scholar-Activist or Activist-Scholar?’ hosted by NUI Galway’s School of Law and the Irish Centre for Human Rights, was Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, Chair of the United Nations Human Rights Committee. In his keynote address he said of Kevin Boyle: “His involvement in resisting discrimination on grounds of religion during the early part of the troubles must have been the defining period of his life….He was scholar and activist and advocate; the dimensions were intricately connected.” The archive, kindly donated by the Boyle family since Kevin’s untimely passing in 2010, has now been catalogued by the University’s James Hardiman Library, and represents a major resource for the study and teaching of human rights. It will be formally launched later today by the Attorney General, Máire Whelan, S.C. The archive includes: Letters between Boyle and various others involved in the Northern Ireland civil rights movement. It offers a new and engaging insight into emotions, tensions and experiences in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s and onwards through the 1970s. Key research and legal arguments on a wealth of areas from Kurdish rights, to Egyptian constitutional and legal reform, to conditions in India, China, Japan, South Africa to the UK, Ireland and Northern Ireland, offering insights into a life lived in defence of others for over five decades. Paperwork from major cases, such as ‘Jersild Vs. Denmark, where a documentary film-maker was accused of inciting hatred owing to a film work he had made focusing on a right-wing group known as ‘The Green Jackets’, in Denmark. “The Kevin Boyle archive bears witness to a life lived greatly in the pursuit of justice by a charismatic man whose indefatigable optimism influenced so many others to continue his good work throughout the world”, said Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of School of Law, NUI Galway. In the late 1970s Kevin Boyle joined NUI Galway where he co-founded the Irish Centre for Human Rights with Denny Driscoll in 1980. Professor Michael O’Flaherty is now the Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights: “I was one of thousands of those who were first introduced to human rights by Kevin Boyle. He had a transformative impact on our lives. As his successors in university centres such as the Irish Centre for Human Rights we seek to respect his legacy and pass on his passion for justice to new generations of students.” For more information on the archive visit http://www.library.nuigalway.ie/archives/depositedcollections/featuredcollections/professorkevinboylearchive/ -ends-

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NUI Galway Student Wins International Undergraduate Award

NUI Galway Student Wins International Undergraduate Award-image

Thursday, 27 November 2014

NUI Galway student, Louisa Brophy Browne was presented with the George Berkeley Gold Medal by the international awarding body The Undergraduate Awards at a special ceremony in Dublin recently. A further ten NUI Galway students were highly commended. Louisa, from Knocknacarra, Galway City, was awarded for her winning paper Discuss and Evaluate the Main Points of the Debate on the Ethics of Archaeological Work in War Zones and Occupied Territories Using Case Studies in the Classical Studies and Archaeology Category. Winners were awarded the George Berkeley Gold Medal for their leading-edge research and course work. The world’s only pan-discipline academic awards programme, the Undergraduate Awards (UA) recognises and rewards innovative young thinkers across 25 disciplines from business and engineering to visual arts and midwifery. Each year, the top performing students – winners and highly commended entrants – are invited to the UA Global Summit. The 2014 UA Global Summit welcomed 120 future leaders from around the world to Dublin, Ireland to spark cutting-edge ideas, forge lasting collaborations, and encourage responsible leadership. The 120 attendees are the top performing entrants out of 4,792 submissions UA received this year from 209 universities across 27 countries. As such, the attendees came from America, Austria, Australia, Bangledesh, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Nigeria, Netherlands, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Congratulating Louise and the other highly-commended NUI Galway students, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “Louisa's success highlights the high quality of study which our undergraduate students are engaged in. Such success in these Awards will undoubtedly add lustre to the academic development of our students as well as underscore NUI Galway’s increasing profile as a centre of world-class research and teaching.”  The Undergraduate Awards also welcomed an inspiring array of thought leaders to speak during the UA Global Summit. This year’s speakers included Oscar-winning film producer Lord David Puttnam; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Maguire; former Legal Counsel and Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs at the United Nations and Irish barrister, Patricia O’Brien; Mars One candidate Professor Joeseph Roche, and critically acclaimed choreographer and MacArthur Genius Kyle Abraham, among others. The Undergraduate Awards Programme 2015 is now open for submissions and registrations. To find out more about The Undergraduate Awards visit http://www.undergraduateawards.com/ . The Undergraduate Awards were founded in partnership with Google, Digicel, the Higher Education Authority and the Department for Employment and Learning. -Ends-

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Three Mitchell Scholars for NUI Galway

Three Mitchell Scholars for NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

NUI Galway is to receive three Mitchell Scholarship Awards for 2015/16. George J. Mitchell Scholarships are highly competitive prizes awarded by the US-Ireland Alliance, and are aimed at supporting distinguished US graduate students to attend Irish universities for one year. With three awards, this places NUI Galway as a leading university of choice for these highly distinguished young people, having attracted 30% of the scholarships awarded in the Republic of Ireland. Overall, the twelve scholarships awarded across the island of Ireland, were made on the basis of a nationwide US competition which attracted 270 applicants. The three NUI Galway Mitchell Scholars each have distinguished academic and civic careers to date. GAVIN LANDGRAF is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College, where he majored in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. As Student Body President, he worked with college administration to develop a $100 million initiative to finance scholarships for low-income students, and to lead high-profile initiatives to address sexual assault on college campuses. He has completed internships at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government, the Washington constitutional law firm Cooper & Kirk, and at Morgan Stanley’s Public Finance Group in San Francisco. At NUI Galway, Gavin will study Natural Resource Economics and Policy. JULIANNE NORTON is currently completing her Bachelor degree at the University of Connecticut, where she studies International Relations, Cross-Cultural Relations, and Studio Art. A celebrated artist, she co-founded an interdisciplinary university arts organisation that provides outreach to schools with underfunded arts programmes. She has completed a series of oil paintings on cultural trauma and has received grant funding to develop a graphic novel from these works. She also serves as a facilitator and counsellor for current and prospective students facing disadvantage. At NUI Galway, Julianne will study Writing. TARA TORABI is currently completing her Bachelor degree at Brown University, where she studies Neuroscience. Her primary interest is in Alzheimer’s disease. She is Co-President of Brown’s Alzheimer’s Activists, and participates in political activism with the Rhode Island chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. She also works as a hospice volunteer and a researcher in the Pathology Department at Rhode Island Hospital. Tara founded the Brown University Brain Bee, a major outreach programme aimed at making neuroscience accessible to high school students and, as an Americorps Access Scholar, she worked with under-represented youth applying to college. At NUI Galway, Tara will study Neuropharmacology. NUI Galway's Dean of International Affairs, Professor Brian Hughes, welcomed the announcement: "We are delighted that such precocious young people saw fit to choose NUI Galway as the venue for their graduate studies, and we are pleased to host these distinguished scholars. We are very conscious of the prestige attached to the George J. Mitchell Scholarship programme and are proud to feature so strongly. This reflects our strong portfolio of academic strengths, as well as the supportive and welcoming environment we provide to students from all over the world." NUI Galway currently hosts over 3,000 international students from 113 countries around the world, comprising 18% of our student population. ENDS

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Archive launch and symposium to mark the legacy of Professor Kevin Boyle

Archive launch and symposium to mark the legacy of Professor Kevin Boyle-image

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The legacy of world-renowned human rights lawyer and scholar, the late Professor Kevin Boyle, endures at NUI Galway with the launch of his personal archive on Friday, 28 November by the Attorney General, Máire Whelan, S.C. The archive contains a wealth of material and unique insights into the field of human rights, legal research and scholarship. An international symposium, hosted by NUI Galway’s School of Law and the Irish Centre for Human Rights, will take place on the same day to celebrate Professor Boyle’s career, with Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, Chair of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, providing the keynote address. Professor Boyle, who came originally from Newry, began his career at Queen’s University Belfast where he was deeply engaged in the civil rights movement. In the late 1970s he joined NUI Galway where he co-founded the Irish Centre for Human Rights with Denny Driscoll in 1980. In the early 1980’s he was involved with Amnesty International, Ireland, which saw him compile research and observations on trips to countries like Gambia and South Africa - where Boyle compiled key reports on the effect on the 'pass law' system and of the wider apartheid regime. “The legacy which Kevin Boyle has left our University is one of which we are proud and which reverberates to this day”, said Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway. “Our internationally recognised expertise in international human rights law embeds NUI Galway in a global movement seeking to change the world for the better. This we owe in huge part to Kevin, who pioneered scholarship in this area, founded our centre for human rights and for over four decades pushed for change for human rights for all. His archive is a permanent reminder of this legacy and one with which we are delighted to be associated.” The last two decades of Professor Kevin Boyle’s life were spent at the University of Essex, where, for various periods, he directed its Human Rights Centre. In addition to his enormous academic contribution, Professor Boyle was active with important international NGOs such as Article 19, of which he was the founding director. He served as a special advisor to Mary Robinson when she was UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2001. Professor Boyle appeared frequently before the European Court of Human Rights, winning important cases that dealt with a broad range of issues, including freedom of expression, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and torture. Comprising of over one hundred boxes of manuscripts and printed books, the Boyle archive is a documented record of the varied and rich contribution made by the activist and scholar to international human rights. The archive, kindly donated by the Boyle family since Kevin’s untimely passing in 2010, has now been catalogued by the University’s James Hardiman Library, and represents a major resource for the study and teaching of human rights. The library at NUI Galway holds a unique collection of more than 350 literary, theatrical, political and historical archives, dating from 1485 to the present. John Cox, University Librarian, NUI Galway, explains the significance of the Boyle archive: “The sheer breadth of subject matter, as well as the vast amounts of personal correspondence, allow for new insights and understandings of Kevin Boyle’s contributions to the discipline of human rights and the practice of law. It is an honour for the Library to be entrusted with this archive, one which illustrates the far reaching effect Kevin Boyle’s work had on individual people’s lives. Now and into the future, the archive will serve as a valuable resource to researchers in the field.” The Human Rights Scholar-Activist or Activist-Scholar? The symposium, ‘The Human Rights Scholar-Activist or Activist-Scholar?’ runs from 10am to 4pm on Friday 28 November at NUI Galway. The event will explore issues and themes surrounding archives, human rights, law and memorialisation. Visiting speakers include Sir Nigel Rodley, University of Essex; Michael Farrell, Senior Solicitor, FLAC; Professor Francoise Hampson, University of Essex; Professor Tom Hadden, Queen’s University Belfast; Professor Brice Dickson, Queen’s University Belfast; Bernadette McAliskey, South Tyrone Empowerment Programme; and Kevin’s brother, Louis Boyle. NUI Galway participants will include, Dr Jim Browne, President, NUI Galway; Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head, School of Law; Professor Michael O’Flaherty, Director, Irish Centre for Human Rights; Mrs. Marie McGonagle, (retired); John Cox, University Librarian; Barry Houlihan, Archivist, James Hardiman Library; and Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, NUI Galway Registrar. Professor Michael O'Flaherty, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, described the upcoming symposium: “Human rights has evolved over the decades as a fundamental concept in terms of justice, and one which transcends every geographical boundary. Many of the academic foundation stones were laid by people such as Kevin Boyle, whose own interests were ignited by his early years in a conflict torn country. The symposium will explore these concepts and the interplay between the drivers of scholarship and the drivers of activism.” The seminar will also feature a video presentation by former President Mary Robinson. For full details of the symposium visit http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=401 -ends- Seoladh Cartlainne agus Siompóisiam mar cheiliúradh ar Oidhreacht an Ollaimh Kevin Boyle Mairfidh oidhreacht an dlíodóra agus an scoláire ar chearta an duine, an tOllamh Kevin Boyle, in OÉ Gaillimh nuair a sheolfaidh an tArd-Aighne, Máire Whelan, S.C. a chartlann phearsanta Dé hAoine, an 28 Samhain. Tá ábhar agus léargas uathúil sa chartlann ar réimse chearta an duine, ar thaighde agus ar scoláireacht dhlíthiúil. Ar an lá céanna reáchtálfar siompóisiam idirnáisiúnta, faoi stiúir Scoil an Dlí agus Ionad na hÉireann do Chearta an Duine in OÉ Gaillimh, chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar shaol oibre an Ollaimh Boyle. Is é an tOllamh Sir Nigel Rodley, Cathaoirleach Choiste Chearta an Duine sna Náisiúin Aontaithe, a thabharfaidh an phríomhóráid. Ba as an Iúr é an tOllamh Boyle ó dhúchas, agus chuir sé tús lena shaol oibre in Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste áit a raibh baint ollmhór aige leis an ngluaiseacht cearta sibhialta. I ndeireadh na 1970idí tháinig sé chun oibre in OÉ Gaillimh áit ar chomhbhunaigh sé Ionad na hÉireann don Staidéar ar Chearta an Duine le Denny Driscoll. I dtús na 1980idí bhí baint aige le Amnesty International, Éire, agus chuir sé taighde agus breathnóireachtaí le chéile ar thurais go dtí tíortha cosúil leis an nGaimbia agus an Afraic Theas. Chuir Boyle príomhthuairiscí le chéile ar éifeacht chóras dhlí na bpasanna agus ar an réimeas cinedheighilte níos leithne. “Táimid bródúil faoin oidhreacht atá fágtha ag Kevin Boyle san Ollscoil agus atá fós le brath sa lá atá inniu ann”, a deir an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh. “Cuireann ár saineolas ar dhlí idirnáisiúnta chearta an duine atá aitheanta go hidirnáisiúnta OÉ Gaillimh ar ardán domhanda gníomhairí atá ag iarraidh an domhan a athrú chun feabhais. Tá buíochas ollmhór ag dul ina leith seo do Kevin, a bhí ar thús cadhnaíochta i gcúrsaí léinn sa réimse seo, agus a bhunaigh ár n-ionad do chearta an duine agus a chaith breis is daichead bliain ag obair i dtreo athrú do chearta an duine do chách. Is meabhrúchán buan é a chartlann ar a oidhreacht agus táimid thar a bheith sásta a bheith bainteach leis.” Chaith an tOllamh Kevin Boyle an scór bliain deiridh dá shaol in Ollscoil Essex, áit a raibh sé ina stiúrthóir ar Ionad Chearta an Duine ar feadh tréimhsí éagsúla. Chomh maith leis an obair ollmhór acadúil a rinne sé, bhí an tOllamh Boyle gníomhach le gníomhaireachtaí neamhrialtais tábhachtacha cosúil le Article 19, a bhunaigh sé. Bhí sé ina chomhairleoir speisialta do Mháire Mhic Róibín nuair a bhí sí mar Ard-Choimisinéir na Náisiún Aontaithe le haghaidh Chearta an Duine ón mbliain 2001. Ba mhinic leis an Ollamh Boyle a bheith os comhair na Cúirte Eorpaí um Chearta an Duine, ag buachan cásanna a dhéileáil le réimse leathan ceisteanna, lena n-áirítear saoirse tuairimíochta, leithcheal mar gheall ar chlaonadh gnéis, agus céas. Tá os cionn céad bosca lámhscríbhinní agus leabhar clóite sa bhailiúchán, agus is léiriú é ar an obair mhór agus éagsúil a rinne an gníomhaí agus an scoláire ar mhaithe le cearta an duine go hidirnáisiúnta. Bhronn teaghlach Boyle an chartlann ar an Ollscoil tar éis gur cailleadh Kevin gan choinne sa bhliain 2010, agus tá sí anois sa chatalóg i Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin san Ollscoil, agus tá sí mar acmhainn ollmhór do staidéar agus do theagasc chearta an duine. Tá bailiúchán uathúil i leabharlann OÉ Gaillimh ina bhfuil níos mó ná 350 cartlann liteartha, amharclannaíochta, polaitíochta agus stairiúil, ón mbliain 1485 go dtí an lá inniu. Labhraíonn John Cox, Leabharlannaí na hOllscoile, OÉ Gaillimh faoin tábhacht a bhaineann le cartlann Boyle: “Tugann fairsinge an ábhair, mar aon leis an méid ollmhór comhfhreagrais phearsanta, deis dúinn léargais agus tuiscint a fháil ar an obair a rinne Kevin Boyle ar mhaithe le disciplín chearta an duine agus le cleachtadh an dlí. Is onóir é don Leabharlann an chartlann seo a bheith bronnta uirthi, cartlann a léiríonn tionchar forleathan shaothar Kevin Boyle ar shaol daoine aonair. Anois agus amach anseo, freastalóidh an chartlann mar acmhainn luachmhar do thaighdeoirí sa réimse.” The Human Rights Scholar-Activist or Activist-Scholar? Beidh an siompóisiam, ‘The Human Rights Scholar-Activist or Activist-Scholar?’ ar siúl ó 10am go 4pm Dé hAoine, an 28Samhain in OÉ Gaillimh. Le linn na hócáide breathnófar ar cheisteanna agus ar théamaí a bhaineann le cartlanna, cearta an duine, dlí agus cuimhneachán. I measc na gcainteoirí beidh Sir Nigel Rodley, Ollscoil Essex; Michael Farrell, Aturnae Sinsearach, FLAC; an tOllamh Francoise Hampson, Ollscoil Essex; an tOllamh Tom Hadden, Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste; an tOllamh Brice Dickson, Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste; Bernadette McAliskey, Clár Cumasúcháin Thír Eoghain Theas; agus deartháir Kevin, Louis Boyle. I measc rannpháirtithe OÉ Gaillimh beidh anDr Jim Browne, Uachtarán, OÉ Gaillimh; an tOllamh Donncha O’Connell, Ceann Scoil an Dlí; an tOllamh Michael O’Flaherty, Stiúrthóir, Ionad na hÉireann do Chearta an Duine; Marie McGonagle, (ar scor); John Cox, Leabharlannaí na hOllscoile; Barry Houlihan, Cartlannaí, Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin; agus an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Meabhránaí. Labhair an tOllamh Michael O’Flaherty, Stiúrthóir Ionad na hÉireann do Chearta an Duine, faoin siompóisiam a rá: “Tá athrú tagtha ar chearta an duine in imeacht na mblianta mar choincheap bunúsach i dtéarmaí ceartais, agus mar choincheap a thrasnaíonn gach teorainn thíreolaíoch. Leag leithéidí Kevin Boyle go leor de na bunchlocha acadúla, fear ar spreagadh a spéis féin mar gheall ar na blianta a chaith sé ina óige i dtír lán le coimhlint. Breathnóidh an siompóisiam ar na coincheapa seo agus ar an idiroibriú idir daoine a chuireann léann chun cinn agus iad siúd a chuireann gníomhaíochas chun cinn.” Beidh láithreoireacht físe ón iar-Uachtarán Máire Mhic Róibín le feiceáil chomh maith mar chuid den seimineár. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoin siompóisiam féach ar http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=401 -críoch-

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Educate to Innovate

Educate to Innovate -image

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

NUI Galway calls on industry to strenghten partnerships in graduate education The College of Science at NUI Galway will host a workshop to meet the regional ecosystem of industries and jointly set the course for a new generation of highly-skilled graduate students, who will have the capacity to enter the job market where Ireland’s regional industry needs it most. The ‘Regional Innovation through Graduate Education’ workshop will take place on Monday, 1 December, starting at 1pm with a networking reception. Dr Gerard O'Connor, Vice-Dean for Graduate Studies with the College of Science at NUI Galway, said: “Industry-University partnerships in graduate education can address key barriers to innovation by providing access to research expertise, technological infrastructures and market insights. This approach is the foundation to a fuller realisation of the scientific, technological and commercial potential of Ireland.” The workshop will provide an opportunity for companies with interests in R&D collaboration to network with NUI Galway academics and discuss mechanisms of reciprocal engagement. The executives of smaller companies as well as representatives of the R&D and engineering departments of larger enterprises are invited to attend and share their expectations from joint postgraduate education experiences. Attendees will be particularly encouraged to explore the possibility of establishing enterprise-led graduate research projects and joint employment-based MSc and PhDs; as well as shorter-term feasibility studies at NUI Galway's laboratories; and research placements for students at industrial sites. The workshop will also provide an opportunity to learn from established collaborations between the University’s research centres and industries, such as Boston Scientific and Complete Laboratory Solutions Ltd. to mention just a few. Dr Ilaria Nardello, Industry Research Specialist with the College of Science at NUI Galway, said: “Industry-University parnerships in education can create a sustainable and durable mechanism to unlock the innovation potential of the west of Ireland.” The participation of public agencies, such as the Irish Research Council and the European Commision’s Smart Specialisation Platform, with a stake in the delivery respectively of postgraduate education and regional development, will provide guidance on existing and forthcoming opportunities. Registration for the event is available at: https://educate-to-innovate.eventbrite.com. For more information: email IRS@nuigalway.ie or call 091 494135. The event will take place in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway. -Ends-

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Call for Submissions for ROPES Literary Journal

Call for Submissions for ROPES Literary Journal-image

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Students of NUI Galway’s Masters in Literature and Publishing programme are currently looking for submissions for this year’s ROPES (Review of Postgraduate English Studies) literary Journal. The theme is conversations that can be explored through poetry, prose, art work and photography. The journal will be launched at Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Spring 2015. ROPES is an annual literature and art review publishing original poetry, prose, photography, artwork, as well as excerpts from scripts and screenplays. ROPES is published in association with NUI Galway and this year all proceeds from the journal will go to ACT! for Meningitis. Please send your submissions to ropes.submissions@gmail.com by Tuesday, 30 December. For more information follow Ropes 2015 on Facebook and Twitter @Ropes2015. -Ends-

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Conference at NUI Galway Attracts Top Global Education Expert

Conference at NUI Galway Attracts Top Global Education Expert-image

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Professor Pasi Sahlberg, the Finnish Educator and now Visiting Professor in Harvard Graduate School of Education will deliver the keynote address 'Lessons from top education systems around the Globe' at the 'Reforming Learning: Driving Success' conference at NUI Galway on Friday, 5 December, 2014. Conference Chair, Senator Dr Fidelma Healy Eames: “There is a lot to be excited about with this conference which asks the fundamental question 'Is the education system at senior cycle in second level and as they transition into third level, preparing our young people adequately for their futures?' Emer Smyth's (ESRI) keynote would suggest that it is not, given that 50% of our young people are disappointed with their College choices by the time they reach the age of 21.” Policy makers, researchers and practitioners with experience of change and policy development within education and enterprise, both national and international, will share their knowledge and expertise in what promises to be an engaging conference. Former Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn will deliver the opening address; and various panel discussions will include John Lonergan, Former Governor, Mountjoy Prison; Helen Mortimer, National Parents Council. Dr Mary Fleming, Head of the School of Education at NUI Galway: "This conference will provide an opportunity for constructive dialogue and engagement with the important theme of quality student learning and engagement within the Irish Education System." Comprising two exciting keynotes and three robust panel discussions, this one-day conference will provide an opportunity for those interested in education and its future to engage in collaborative discourse and sharing of ideas. A primary focus of the conference will be the learner experience at upper second level, whether it enables smooth transition to third level, the learner experience in third level and their preparedness for the workplace. Senator Healy Eames added: “As educators and policy makers we must always be open to improvement. It is not to say that we are not good but rather to suggest that we can be much better. I'm particularly interested in seeing what key policy shifts we can make that will deliver better educational outcomes. A successful society needs a successful education system and it is in all our interests to know how we can better serve our children, our students, our changing nation.” Registration will take place at 8.45am in the Arts Millenium Building, NUI Galway. For further information and conference programme details please see www.conference.ie ENDS

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NUI Galway Public Talk on The Future of the Smartphone

NUI Galway Public Talk on The Future of the Smartphone-image

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

It has taken only seven years for smartphones to become the dominant mobile device. A public talk at NUI Galway will investigate what the next seven years might hold in terms of smartphone technology. Hosted by NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics ‘The Future of the Smartphone’ will take place on Thursday, 4 December. Smartphone technology continues to evolve and develop at a rapid pace and ‘The Future of the Smartphone’ will examine how this technology will continue to develop. Recently a group of International experts from Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) met in Galway to discuss and create out a roadmap for Smart Advanced Mobile Power (SAMP) solutions for these mobile devices. Four separate aspects will be addressed during the public talk including: Tom Coughlin, Coughlin Associates and Lee Stogner, Vincula Group - Smart Advanced Mobile Power for our handheld devices. William Lumpkins, IEEE Radio Frequency Identification Technical Council – Near-Field Technologies turn your phone into a mobile wallet. Petronel Bigioi, FotoNation – Next Generation Imaging and Camera Technology for Smartphones. Dr Peter Corcoran, NUI Galway – Security, Privacy and Biometric Technology in Smartphones. The content of these talks is at a technical level suitable for members of the public with an interest in current and emerging technology. Dr Peter Corcoran, lecturer in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway said: “It was on 29 June, 2007 that the first generation iPhone was released by Apple Inc., a little over seven years ago. In that short time this ‘new’ consumer electronic device has come to symbolise the disruptive capabilities of consumer electronics, devices and gadgets that have come to define and mostly improve our daily lives.” The IEEE was formed in 1963 and is the world's largest association of technical professionals with more than 400,000 members in chapters around the world. Its objectives are the educational and technical advancement of electrical and electronic engineering, telecommunications, computer engineering and allied disciplines. Its underlying mission is the advancement of technology for humanity. ‘The Future of the Smartphone’ will take place from 6-8pm in room ENG-G018 in the Engineering Building at NUI Galway. The event sponsored by IE Consumer Electronics Society and IEEE Future Directions and hosted by NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics. For more information visit http://bit.ly/galwaysmartphone -Ends-

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Fictional Sport comes to Life in Galway

Fictional Sport comes to Life in Galway-image

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Quidditch, the magical game from Harry Potter, is coming to the city. Galway Quidditch Club will hold an open day at NUI Galway at 12pm on Saturday, 6 December, with events consisting of a training Quidditch session aimed at beginners followed by practise matches later in the afternoon. Quidditch has been growing in popularity as a real sport in many countries across the world. It started out as a fun filled game for Harry Potter fans when it was adapted into real life by students in the US in 2005, but Quidditch soon made the transition into a fast paced, full contact, mixed gender sport. Galway Quidditch Club is home to the local team, the Galway Grindylows, who have competed internationally and are currently ranked as one of the top Irish teams. The events are open to all participants over the age of 16 and people attending the event are advised to wear football boots or old runners. More details on the event can be found on the club’s Facebook page: Galway Grindylows. -Ends-

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Medical Academy under construction at Sligo Regional Hospital

Medical Academy under construction at Sligo Regional Hospital-image

Monday, 24 November 2014

NUI Galway and Saolta Hospital Group are delighted to announce the development of a new purpose built Medical Academy, and undergraduate education facility on the site of Sligo Regional Hospital. The €2 million euro (700 M2) state of the art facility will include a lecture theatre, clinical skills laboratory, tutorial rooms, mock consultation rooms, tutor offices, and study spaces for the students. The new landmark development will be constructed at levels 7 and 8 above the existing Library. This is a major investment by the University into Clinical training in Sligo one of a series of proposed medical academies in the West/North West region. Construction of similar facilities at Mayo and Letterkenny General Hospitals is due to commence early in the New Year. The new academy will allow doctors of the future to fine tune their clinical skills under the watchful eyes of 11 part time tutors/lecturers covering all medical specialties. 60 students per semester from 3rd, 4th and final medical years rotate through Sligo for one year clinical training. Work is commencing on site today, 24 November 2014, with an anticipated completion date of September 2015. ENDS

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