Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Advances in four of the five ranking pillars NUI Galway has consolidated its position as a top 250 Global University in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2017-18, remaining within the 201-250 range, while also improving its scores in four of the five main pillars categorised - international outlook, research, citation impact and industry income. NUI Galway is the only Irish university to maintain or increase its position in two of the main international rankings in the last five years, having recently increased to 243rd in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2017/2018 announced in June 2017. The continuous improvement reflects recent advances by the University, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne explained: “Rankings can’t measure culture or what makes a University a great place to learn, but the fact that we have risen from the Top 500 in 2007 to the Top 250 now is testament to the vision and hard work of our staff and students. We have been fortunate that a combination of philanthropic and exchequer funding has enabled us to transform our campus in recent years, and we’re now starting the see how this is enabling great strides to be made in our teaching and research.   “Ultimately this is important for our students. In an international jobs market, rankings matter. Our students will be the future leaders and innovators and when we look at economic development, we need to make sure we have the supports in place to help our students to dream big and reach their potential.” The Times Higher league table of the world’s top universities is based on 13 separate performance indicators covering all of the core missions of a world class university; teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The survey also includes one of the world’s largest academic reputation survey, with more than 10,000 academics asked to rate the world’s best universities for the 2017/18 ranking.  The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings is available to view online at:  http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/  -ends-  

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Dul chun cinn i gceithre cinn de na cúig réimsí rangaithe Dhaingnigh OÉ Gaillimh a áit mar cheann de na 250 Ollscoil is fearr ar domhan i Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid Times Higher Education (THE) 2017-18, ag fanacht sa réimse idir 201-250, agus ag déanamh dul chun cinn i gceithre cinn de na cúig phríomhchatagóir - dearcadh idirnáisiúnta,  taighde, tionchar tagairtí agus ioncam ó thionscal. D’éirigh linn le gairid an 243ú háit a bhaint amach ar domhan i Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain 2017/2018 a fógraíodh i mí an Mheithimh 2017, agus is é OÉ Gaillimh an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a rinne dul chun cinn nó a choinnigh a áit sa dá phríomhrangú idirnáisiúnta le cúig bliana anuas. Is léiriú é an feabhas leanúnach seo ar an dul chun cinn atá déanta le déanaí ag an Ollscoil a mhínigh Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Ní tomhas iad ranguithe ar chultúr ná ar an gcúis a bhfuil Ollscoil ina háit iontach le foghlaim inti, ach is teist é ar fhís agus ar obair chrua na foirne agus na mac léinn go bhfuilimid ardaithe ón 500 is fearr in 2007 go dtí an 250 is fearr anois. Bhí an t-ádh linn go bhfuaireamar maoiniú daonchairdiúil agus státchiste a chuir ar ár gcumas an campas a athrú ó bhonn le blianta beaga anuas, agus táimid anois ag feiceáil an tionchar atá aige seo agus muid ag déanamh an-dul chun cinn ó thaobh teagaisc agus taighde de.   “I ndeireadh na dála, tá sé seo tábhachtach dár gcuid mac léinn. I margadh poist idirnáisiúnta, baineann tábhacht ar leith le ranguithe. Beidh ár gcuid mac léinn mar cheannairí agus nuálaithe sa todhchaí agus nuair a bhreathnaímid ar fhorbairt gheilleagrach, ní mór dúinn a bheith cinnte go bhfuil na tacaíochtaí cuí ar fáil chun cabhrú lenár mic léinn a bheith uaillmhianach agus barr a gcumais a bhaint amach.” Tá tábla sraithe an Times Higher Education de na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan bunaithe ar 13 tháscaire feidhmíochta ar leith a chlúdaíonn gach croímhisean a bheadh ag ollscoil den scoth; teagasc, taighde, aistriú eolais agus dearcadh idirnáisiúnta. Tá ceann de na suirbhéanna is mó ar domhan maidir le cáil acadúil áirithe sa suirbhé seo chomh maith. Fiafraíodh de bhreis is 10,000 duine acadúil na hollscoileanna is fearr a rátáil do rangú 2017/18.  Tá Ranguithe Ollscoile Times Higher Education (THE) le feiceáil ar líne ag:  http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/  -críoch-

Monday, 4 September 2017

Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Principal and Dean, UCD College of Business, to Commence Term in 2018 NUI Galway today announced that Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh has been appointed the 13th President of the University with effect from January 2018. Professor Ó hÓgartaigh will succeed Dr Jim Browne at the conclusion of his ten year term. Professor Ó hÓgartaigh has served as Principal and Dean of UCD College of Business since 2011, leading its schools in Dublin (UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and UCD Smurfit Executive Development) and its overseas programmes in Hong Kong, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Ciarán has also worked in academic leadership roles in Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and in Dublin City University. Speaking about the appointment, Ms Justice Catherine McGuinness, Chair of NUI Galway’s Governing Authority said: “At the outset, we sought a leader who can build on the significant achievements during Dr Jim Browne’s tenure and inspire NUI Galway’s staff and students to take this remarkable University to new heights. With a track record of leadership and achievement nationally and internationally, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh brings both the necessary experience and vision to this role and I look forward to working with him as we chart the next stage in the University’s journey.” Current President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, commented: “Professor Ó hÓgartaigh brings a wealth of academic leadership experience as well as a proven track record in internationalisation. I welcome Ciarán to NUI Galway and wish him the very best in leading our terrific staff and students into a bright future where they can fully realise their ambitions.” Commenting on his appointment, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “I am honoured to be appointed President of my alma mater, NUI Galway. Given its unique heritage and hinterland, the quality of its people, and the strength and depth of its research and student experience, NUI Galway is exceptionally well-placed to further enhance its reputation and reach both nationally and internationally. I look forward to coming home to the ‘town and gown’ which shaped me and to working together with my new colleagues in the best interests of our students and our society.” Biography Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh is currently Professor of Accounting and Dean of Business at UCD, leading its schools in Dublin (UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and UCD Smurfit Executive Development) and its overseas programmes in Hong Kong, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Having attended Scoil Iognáid and Coláiste Iognáid, Ciarán is a first class honours, first in class graduate of NUI Galway. He trained as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen and has a PhD in Accounting from the University of Leeds. He has been published widely in the accounting field and has previously held academic positions at Dublin City University, UCD and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. A former Fulbright scholar at Northeastern University, he has served as Audit Committee Chair at the Department of Marine, Communications and Natural Resources and is a member of the Audit Committee at the Department of Finance.  ENDS

Monday, 4 September 2017

Cuirfidh an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Príomhoide agus Déan Choláiste an Ghnó sa Choláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath (UCD), tús lena Théarma Uachtaránachta in 2018 D’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh inniu go bhfuil an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh ceaptha mar an 13ú hUachtarán ar an Ollscoil agus go dtosóidh a théarma in Eanáir 2018. Tiocfaidh an tOllamh Ó hÓgartaigh i gcomharbacht ar an Dr Jim Browne ag deireadh a théarma deich mbliana.  Tá an tOllamh Ó hÓgartaigh ina Phríomhoide agus Déan ar Choláiste an Ghnó sa Choláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath (UCD) ó 2011, áit a bhfuil sé i gceannas ar na scoileanna i mBaile Átha Cliath (Scoil Ghnó Lochlann Uí Chuinn UCD, Scoil Chéimithe Ghnó Michael Smurfit UCD, agus UCD Smurfit Executive Development), agus ar na cláir thar lear in Hong Cong, Singeapór agus Srí Lanca. Léirigh sé ceannaireacht láidir acadúil ina róil in Victoria University Of Wellington, sa Nua-Shéalainn agus in Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath. Seo mar a labhair an Breitheamh Onórach Catherine McGuinness, Cathaoirleach Údarás na hOllscoile, faoin gceapachán: “Ó thús an phróisis seo, bhí ceannaire á lorg againn atá in ann cur leis an dul chun cinn suntasach atá déanta le linn uachtaránacht an Dr Jim Browne agus atá in ann foireann agus mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh a spreagadh chun tuilleadh ratha a bhaint amach san Ollscoil iontach seo. Ón méid atá bainte amach aige mar cheannaire go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta, tá sé léirithe ag an Ollamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh go bhfuil an taithí agus an fhís atá riachtanach don ról seo aige, agus táim ag súil go mór le bheith ag obair leis ar chur chun cinn na hOllscoile amach anseo.” Chuir an tUachtarán reatha, an Dr Jim Browne, fáilte roimh an gceapachán: “Tá ceannaireacht láidir acadúil léirithe ag an Ollamh Ó hÓgartaigh agus tá go leor bainte amach aige i réimse an idirnáisiúnaithe. Cuirim fáilte roimh Chiarán chuig OÉ Gaillimh agus guím gach rath air agus é ag tabhairt ceannaireachta ar phobal iontach na hOllscoile – idir chomhaltaí foirne agus mhic léinn – chun go mbeidh deis acu ar fad barr a gcumais a bhaint amach.”  Seo mar a labhair an tOllamh Ó hÓgartaigh faoina cheapachán: “Is mór an onóir dom a bheith ceaptha mar Uachtarán ar OÉ Gaillimh, mo alma mater féin. Nuair a áirítear an oidhreacht agus an réigiún uathúil atá ag an Ollscoil, chomh maith le hardchaighdeán na ndaoine, agus bua agus doimhneacht an taighde agus eispéireas na mac léinn, tá deis iontach ag OÉ Gaillimh cur leis an gcáil atá uirthi agus a tionchar go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta. Táim ag súil go mór le filleadh ar mo chathair dhúchais agus ar an Ollscoil a chuaigh go mór i bhfeidhm orm agus le dul i mbun oibre i gcomhpháirt le mo chomhghleacaithe nua ar mhaithe lenár mic léinn agus leis an tsochaí i gcoitinne.” Beathaisnéis Tá Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh ina Ollamh le Cuntasaíocht agus Déan an Ghnó sa Choláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath (UCD), áit a bhfuil sé i gceannas ar na scoileanna i mBaile Átha Cliath (Scoil Ghnó Lochlann Uí Chuinn UCD, Scoil Chéimithe Ghnó Michael Smurfit UCD, agus UCD Smurfit Executive Development), agus na cláir thar lear in Hong Cong, Singeapór agus Srí Lanca. Ba i Scoil Iognáid agus Coláiste Iognáid a fuair Ciarán a chuid scolaíochta, agus is céimí de chuid OÉ Gaillimh é, áit ar bhain sé céadonóracha amach agus an chéad áit sa rang. Chuaigh sé i mbun traenála mar chuntasóir cairte le Arthur Andersen agus bhain sé céim PhD sa Chuntasaíocht amach in Ollscoil Leeds. Foilsíodh go forleathan é i réimse na cuntasaíochta agus tá sé tar éis tréimhse a chaitheamh ag obair i bpostanna acadúla in Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath agus in Victoria University of Wellington, sa Nua-Shéalainn. Chaith sé tréimhse ar scoláireacht Fulbright in Northeastern University, Massachusetts. Bhí sé ina Chathaoirleach ar an gCoiste Iniúchóireachta sa Roinn Cumarsáide, Mara agus Acmhainní Nádúrtha agus tá sé ina bhall de Choiste Iniúchóireachta na Roinne Airgeadais. Críoch

Monday, 4 September 2017

NUI Galway offers heartiest congratulations to Micheál Donoghue, his talented players and committed backroom team on their massive win yesterday against Waterford in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final, and to the Galway Minor team following their win over Cork to make it an historic double for the west. Their performance over the past season has made the University proud and highlighted the talent and commitment of the players and backroom teams. NUI Galway is particularly proud to have nine players, both students and graduates, on the 2017 panel. Brothers Cathal and Padraic Mannion, Aidan Harte, Daithí Burke, Niall Burke, Joseph Cooney, John Hanbury, Conor Whelan and Sean Loftus. Their coach Francis Forde was a former Fitzgibbon player for NUI Galway, as was Minor manager Jeff Lynskey. They join notable alumni, of what was then UCG, in lifting the Liam MacCarthy Cup. I would like to personally congratulate them all on managing to excel on the field while balancing their academic or work commitments. They have truly inspired our campus community. Comhghairdeas ó chroí le fir ón Iarthar. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway__________________________________________________ Ba mhaith le OÉ Gaillimh comhghairdeas ó chroí a dhéanamh le Micheál Donoghue, lena fhoireann chumasach agus lena fhoireann dhúthrachtach sa chúlra as a mbua ollmhór inné i gcoinne Phort Láirge i gCluiche Ceannais Sinsear Iomána na hÉireann, agus le foireann mionúr na Gaillimhe as a mbua i gcoinne Chorcaí – ócáid stairiúil don Iarthar an dá chluiche a thabhairt leo. Tá an Ollscoil bródúil as a bhfuil bainte amach acu i rith an tséasúir agus léiríonn sé cumas agus dúthracht na n-imreoirí agus na bhfoirne sa chúlra. Is údar mór bróid do OÉ Gaillimh go bhfuil naonúr imreoirí, idir mhic léinn agus chéimithe, ar phainéal na bliana 2017. Na deartháireacha Cathal agus Padraic Mannion, Aidan Harte, Daithí Burke, Niall Burke, Joseph Cooney, John Hanbury, Conor Whelan agus Seán Loftus. Is iar-imreoirí d'fhoireann OÉ Gaillimh a d’imir do chorn Mhic Giobúin iad an cóitseálaí Francis Forde agus Jeff Lynskey, bainisteoir na Mionúir. Áirítear iad i measc alumni iomráiteach de chuid na hOllscoile, nó Coláiste na hOllscoile, Gaillimh mar a bhí ag an am, a d'ardaigh corn Mhic Cárthaigh. Ba mhaith liom go pearsanta comhghairdeas ó chroí a dhéanamh leo ar fad as barr feabhais a bhaint amach ar an bpáirc agus cothromaíocht a bhaint amach ina saol acadúil nó oibre. Tugann siad spreagadh den chéad scoth do phobal an champais. Comhghairdeas ó chroí le fir an Iarthair. An Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh  

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Business Information System students to pilot global digital product that manages complex digital transformation projects as part of their academic studies  The J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway has partnered with Galway based technology start-up Tr3Dent to pilot their new cloud-based project management software tool ‘Transformation Accelerator’ with their Business Information System students for the 2017/2018 academic year. The Transformation Accelerator product is an enterprise software platform that leverages visualisation technology and best practices to enable global companies to plan, build and manage the complex ecosystems required to deliver new digital services and business models. The software is currently being used by global organisations such as Oracle and Huawei technologies.  The software tool can be used for for stress testing a new business model for a software service or product prior to actually launching it into the market. For example, a company interested in adopting blockchain (a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly) could use the platform to map out how it would impact their existing business activities before going to market. The software provides a trial run to eliminate any problems before deploying to a customer base. Transformation Accelerator was launched by Tr3Dent in May 2017, and currently has over 100 companies from Europe, North America and Asia using the product to develop new digital product offerings and to manage complex digital transformation projects such as Smart Cities, eHealth, Utilities, Factory Automation, General Data Protection Regulation and Blockchain. Tr3Dent CEO, Kevin McCaffrey said: “Our Transformation Accelerator product is specifically designed to help companies define the new business models and ecosystems needed to launch new products and services in today’s Digital Economy. By providing this product to the University we are empowering the business students with the same tools, techniques and methodologies that are currently being used by over 100 companies globally.” Chris Barry, Programme Director of the MSc in Information Systems Management at NUI Galway, said: “Our postgraduate students use a wide variety of information systems development software applications and technologies on the programme. We have used conventional project management applications until now so it is a great opportunity for our students to use innovative cloud-based project management tools, provided by Tr3Dent, a local company.” Dr Trevor Clohessy, Information Systems Management major project supervisor at NUI Galway, added: “When I initially trialled the business Transformation Accelerator software, I could immediately see the benefits that our students could derive for project managing their deliverables. It will enable them to work smarter, bridge the gap between business and IT and most significantly gain experience using organisational best practice templates and industry standards.” For more information about Transformation Accelerator, visit: www.Tr3Dent.com -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices based at NUI Galway together with Galway City Arts Office have commissioned a new Community Art-Science project for Westside community in Galway City.Award winning artists Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly, who live and work between Paris and Ireland, have been selected to develop an art-science project with the Westside community using the research being carried out at CÚRAM as their inspiration. Their highly engaging artworks focus on vision, perception of space and the relationship with the public. They design interactive environments that often integrate new technologies and with this project, aim to create a permanent artwork which acknowledges the various communities of Westside and celebrates their connection to CÚRAM and the MedTech Industry. “We are really interested in CÚRAM’s work on corneal implants and also in advanced biomimicry, which is the imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems”, says Anne Cleary. “This project provides us with an opportunity to become familiar with CÚRAM’s research, potentially leading to new avenues for our own work and also to highlight CÚRAM’s work to the local community and through future art events. Our work is all about perception, how people see the world, how they adapt, how they react to a situation, and in fact the success of any medical device or implant is all about adaptation and reaction in the body, so our work has some good parallels with CÚRAMs research.” CÚRAM’s public engagement programme, which incorporates artist-in-residence projects, supports the Science Foundation Ireland objective of having the most scientifically informed and engaged public. “We aim to inspire and engage all communities with current and cutting edge research that’s happening here in Ireland”, said Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM. “Unfortunately chronic illness such as diabetes, Parkinson’s and heart disease are familiar to most Irish communities and it’s important that we provide opportunities for people to find out more about our work in finding solutions to these illnesses and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. That can be through the work of filmmakers, teachers or artists such as Cleary Connolly who use the research as inspiration and break barriers to provide another ‘way in’ to the world of science.” According to James Harold, Galway City Arts Officer, the project is a new and exciting opportunity to bring the worlds of art and science together. “I’m particularly delighted to be able to support this project which will bring a whole new world of creativity and innovation in the sciences to the Westside community. CÚRAM’s public engagement programme has a strong focus on empowering communities with knowledge and providing new and novel ways for people to engage and interact, and I am excited to see what results from the combination of science and art through such a contemporary visual art project.”James Coyne, CEO of Westside Resource Centre and Community Partner on the project says that the Westside community is a strong and vibrant one with its own annual community Arts Festival. “Westside Resource Centre is committed to providing an extensive range of activities for people of all ages. This new Art and Science Project, supported by CÚRAM and Galway City Arts Office, will add a new dimension to our programme and we’re looking forward to working closely with the artists and researchers in the coming months. We will be encouraging local people to get involved and to contribute to this interesting collaboration.” The project will be officially launched at Westside Library in Galway on Culture Night 22 September at 6pm. All are welcome to attend and find out more. Refreshments will be served at the launch and will be followed by a screening of CÚRAM’s Science on Screen documentaries. The artists will also be running public workshops later in November at the Westside Resource Centre during Science Week as part of the project. For more information on the artists and their work please visit www.connolly-cleary.com Cleary Connolly’s work is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.-Ends-

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Research excellence was celebrated at NUI Galway this week with the announcement of a series of high-profile awards at the annual Research and Innovation Symposium. The awards were made to members of the NUI Galway research community by the University’s President. Accolades included the annual President’s Awards for Research Excellence and the Ryan Innovation Award. Announcing the awards, which are now in their fourth year, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “These awards are made to members of our research community in recognition of their outstanding and innovative research. Today’s event is an important event in the University’s calendar. It is about recognising and rewarding the very significant research contributions made by our staff and the importance of this in enhancing the reputation of our University internationally. Research affects daily life in many ways and ultimately the goal of most research is to understand and enhance the world around us.” The 2017 Ryan Award for Innovation went to a team led by Dr Michel Dugon at the School of Natural Sciences, whose lab is exploring the venom of Irish spiders as a potential source of antimicrobial compounds. Dr Dugon’s team also included NUI Galway’s Dr Ronan Sulpice, Professor Olivier Thomas, Professor Vincent O’Flaherty and Professor Afshin Samali. The €25,000 Ryan Award for Innovation is aimed at recognising and facilitating the development and translation of innovative ideas in the area of environment, marine and energy, into outputs with societal and economic impact. This initiative has been supported by the Tony Ryan Trust and builds upon past generous support from the Ryan Family. In addition, the winners of the 2017 President’s Awards for Research Excellence were announced as: Early Stage Researcher Dr John Cullinan (School of Business and Economics) Dr Anne O’Connor (School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures) Dr Derek Morris (School of Natural Sciences) Established Researcher Professor Brian McGuire (School of Psychology) Dr Frances Fahy (School of Geography and Archaeology) Dr Paul Buitelaar (School of Engineering and Informatics) Research Supervisor  Professor Kieran Conboy (School of Business and Economics) Dr Conor O’Byrne (School of Natural Sciences) At the event, Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President of Research at NUI Galway, spoke about the focus of the University’s research: “The purpose of our research is to benefit humanity, society and the economy. In pursuit of this, our talented and ambitious research community collaborate with other universities, companies and non-governmental organisations around the world. This capacity to collaborate means that our research reputation takes us from the west of Ireland, to the heart of Europe and into the top 1% of universities in the world.” The Research and Innovation Symposium also included an interactive panel session with a focus on early career researchers, as well on talks on Horizon 2020 by Dr Sean McCarthy of Hyperion, and Research Integrity by Dr Maura Hiney of the Health Research Board. -Ends-

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

NUI Galway’s sixteenth annual Volunteering Fair will take place on Tuesday, 12September in the Bailey Allen Hall, from 11-4pm. Over 60 local, national and international organisations will showcase their work to inspire creative thinking and approaches to social causes. NUI Galway is committed to encouraging the next generation of students to be innovative and entrepreneurial, all qualities needed to be part of the community as an active volunteer in a changing environment.  Charities and campus based programmes attend the Volunteering Fair to empower students. Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, said: “The important skills of empathising, listening and communicating can be taught in a classroom, but our community partners connect our students to action projects to build student’s experience and confidence to be leaders of our community. We need creative problem solving to be able to live in socially and environmentally conscious ways and the Fair sparks and inspires students to be active in creating change for others and themselves.” Volunteering Fair exhibitors include: Irish Wheelchair Association; Music for Galway; The Galway Music Residency; Irish Guide Dogs; Habitat for Humanity Ireland; Galway Autism Partnership; Voluntary Service International; Helplink Support Services; Dogs for the Disabled; Galway Simon Community; Society of St. Vincent de Paul; Croí Heart and Stroke Charity; SERVE; Macnas; Conservation Volunteers Galway; Brighter Communities Worldwide; Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland; Amnesty International   Galway; Western Region Drugs Task Force; GROW Community Mental Health; MADRA; Mutts Anon Dog Rescue & Adoption, amongst others. ALIVE is NUI Galway's student volunteering programme dedicated to providing supports to students to engage in positive volunteering experiences. This has been achieved through community partnerships, events like the Volunteering Fair, and an online website of volunteer opportunities.  To book a stand or for further information visit www.nuigalway.ie/alive or email alive@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Professor William Wijns, a Professor in Interventional Cardiology at the Lambe Institute for Translational Research in NUI Galway, has been honoured with a Gold Medal Award from the European Society of Cardiology in Barcelona, in recognition for his outstanding achievements and international reputation as a leading cardiologist. Professor Wijns joined NUI Galway last October as part of a Science Foundation Ireland Research Professorship Programme, which supports national strategic priorities by recruiting world-leading research and leadership talent to Ireland. This particular programme of work will focus on interventional cardiology and early evaluation of new device-based therapies. More specifically, Professor Wijns’ research focuses on preventing heart attacks and sudden death caused by unexpected blockage of arteries supplying the heart with blood and oxygen. This occurs in people exposed to risk factors such as family history, hypertension, smoking, diabetes or high cholesterol, who exhibit a vulnerable narrowing in the walls of their arteries, without being aware of it. At NUI Galway, Professor Wijns is currently spearheading a €5 million research project that uses wearable or implantable sensors to alert patients at high risk of heart attacks to triggers such as stress or high blood pressure. Pilot patient clinical trials are currently underway at the Cardiology Department at Saolta University Healthcare group, where Professor Wijns will collaborate with other clinicians engaged in translational cardiovascular research. Trigger mechanisms like anger, mental stress, high blood pressure, strenuous exercise and sleep disorders cause the narrowing to rupture inside the conduit, obstructing the artery. Professor Wijns work will look at developing medical devices that can monitor these ‘trigger’ activities electronically, at a distance, using sensors in high-risk subjects who are known to carry this vulnerable narrowing of the artery, and in doing so, anticipate and potentially prevent heart attacks.  Commenting on receiving his award, Professor William Wijns said: “I am extremely honoured to be awarded this prestigious award from the European Society of Cardiology, especially at the moment as the interventional community is celebrating 40 years of coronary dilatation and 15 years of percutaneous aortic valve replacement. I am also very thankful to Science Foundation Ireland for enabling me to continue my scientific journey by contributing to the development and evaluation of new device-based therapies, in the stimulating environment of NUI Galway’s Lambe Institute for Translational Medicine and CÚRAM, right at the centre of the Irish innovation-friendly ecosystem.” In recent years Professor Wijns has held board memberships in the European Society of Cardiology and the World Heart Federation. He is currently Chairman of PCR, co-Director of AfricaPCR and EuroPCR, the official congress of the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions. Professor Wijns previously worked at the Thorax Center in Rotterdam, where he was actively involved with the first applications of nuclear cardiology, thrombolysis and coronary dilatation, at the University of Louvain in Brussels, where he was Clinical Professor of Cardiology and as co-Director at the Cardiovascular Research Center Aalst in Belgium. To watch Professor William Wijns receive his Gold Medal Award, visit: https://youtu.be/7X7eGxMxiUc?t=52m24s. Video courtesey of the European Society of Cardiology. -Ends-

Thursday, 7 September 2017

The School of Education at NUI Galway are hosting a regional Focus Group on the new Computer Science curriculum to give teachers the opportunity to provide feedback on the new Leaving Certificate Computer Science subject that will be introduced, on a phased basis, to schools in September 2018. The curriculum specification for Leaving Certificate Computer Science is currently being developed by the NCCA - National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. Dr Anna Walshe, NCCA Education Officer who will lead the discussion on the draft specification said:  “The needs and views of learners, teachers and schools are central to developments at senior cycle. Teachers and schools are at the heart of leading and supporting change that is deep and lasting. The purpose of this consultation is to achieve a closer understanding of the dynamics of change for the learner, for the teacher as a professional and for the school as an organisation.”  The draft specification, published by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment is available for consultation until 22 September on www.ncca.ie Please contact Cornelia Connolly at cornelia.connolly@nuigalway.ie if you wish to attend and be part of this key regional consultation on the new Computer Science subject for schools. Teachers who attend will have substitution and travel expenses reimbursed.  The Focus Group will be held on Thursday 14 September, 2017. The session will take place between 2–4pm in Room D202, Education Building, Block D (south campus) at NUI Galway. -Ends- 

Friday, 8 September 2017

NUI Galway researchers provide the first assessment of microplastic pollution in marine sediments from the Irish continental shelf  Researchers from the School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway have conducted the first study that investigates microplastic pollution of marine sediments on the Irish continental shelf. The study was published this week in the international journal Scientific Reports. Pollution from plastic entering into the ocean is a global issue that impacts marine life at all trophic levels as well as economically important ecosystems. Microplastics (plastics smaller than 0.5mm) are widely dispersed throughout the marine environment. An understanding of the distribution and accumulation of this form of pollution is crucial for gauging environmental risk. In this study the researchers provide the first assessment of microplastic pollution in sediments and bottom waters collected from the Irish continental shelf. More specifically, this study investigated the history of microplastic deposition on the seafloor and examined how sedimentation regimes, proximity to densely populated areas, and maritime activities may impact microplastic pollution and deposition in marine sediments. The results demonstrate that microplastic contamination is present along the western Irish continental shelf regardless of proximity to densely populated areas. The study found that a shallow layer of microplastics has formed along the Irish seafloor within marine sediments and their overlaying bottom waters. It also found a statistically significant trend of a rapid decrease in microplastic abundance with sediment depth within the fisheries near Galway Bay, which supports the assumption that microplastic deposition is increasing over time in this area. All recovered microplastics were classified as secondary microplastics as they appear to be remnants of larger items; fibres being the principal form of microplastic pollution (85%), followed by broken fragments (15%). The range of polymer types, colours and physical forms recovered suggests a variety of sources that may originate from plastic polymer fishing gear or land based contributions from nearby industry, water treatment plants, or households. Dr Audrey Morley, senior author of the study and lecturer in Physical Geography at NUI Galway, said: “The pervasive presence of microplastics on the Irish Sea floor bares significant risks for economically important Irish fisheries, for example the Galway Bay Prawn (Nephrops Norvegicus). A previous study from Scottish fisheries has shown that prawns tend to ingest high concentrations of microplastic fibres when exposed to this type of pollution. “Our results show that the Galway Bay Prawn fishery may be experiencing high exposure to this form of pollution with potential detrimental repercussions for this species, including reduced fitness and potential reproductive failure. However, more research is needed to understand the mechanisms influencing interactions of microplastics with individual species and ecosystems.” This research was an NUI Galway student-led investigation by Mr Jake Martin, a graduate of the Masters Programme in Marine and Coastal Environments: Policy and Practice within the Discipline of Geography. For his achievements he has received the Professor Micheál Ó Cinnéide Award for Academic Excellence and is the lead-author of this publication. This research was funded by a GSI Short Call from the Geological Survey of Ireland and a grant-in-aid for Ship-time on the RV Celtic Voyager from the Marine Institute of Ireland. To read the full paper in Scientific Reports, visit: http://rdcu.be/vECw -Ends-

Friday, 8 September 2017

An international touring exhibition on The Irish in Latin America, commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, is now on display at NUI Galway’s Hardiman Research Building, and open to the public. This display describes the extensive but often overlooked Irish heritage in Latin American countries, with shared histories of colonialism, subsequent independence and revolutionary struggles. Each panel features an Irish figure who helped to shape art and cultural heritage, intellectual tradition, scientific scholarship as well as politics and foreign policy throughout Latin America, from Argentina to Mexico and the Caribbean. There are strong Galway connections in the exhibition, the most famous being Che Guevara, hero of the Cuban revolution, who descended from the “Tribes of Galway” through his paternal grandmother. John Riley from Clifden, Co. Galway less well known in Ireland is honoured annually in Mexico for organizing the San Patricio Battalion in the Mexican-American war of 1846-47. Irish woman Eliza Lynch, born in Charleville County Cork, is a national heroine in Paraguay. Living in Paris at a young age she met Francisco Solano-López (1826-1870), the billionaire heir to the President of Paraguay. When he became President in 1862, Eliza Lynch assumed the position of unofficial Queen of Paraguay and is immortalized in Anne Enright’s novel, The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch (2002) and in numerous films and books. They had seven children and his entire estate was left to her in 1870 making her one of the wealthiest women in Latin America.   At the inauguration of the Cork exhibition in January of this year, President Michael D. Higgins said:  “that Irish men and women had played a profound role in the development of the modern and independent republics of the region.” The President added  that the exhibition “did not shirk from showing us the complex truth that, alongside those Irish workers who were exploited as railroad workers in Cuba, were families of Irish origin who operated large sugar plantations worked by slaves.”   The exhibition is curated by Dr Margaret Brehony, currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the School of Geography, NUI Galway. She is president of the Society for Irish Latin American Studies and co-editor of the journal of Irish Migration Studies in Latin America and has taught in Latin American Studies and Irish Studies at NUI Galway. Margaret has published on Irish migration to Cuba in the nineteenth century. The Spanish translation of the exhibition opened in Mexico City in October 2016 and has since travelled to Guadalajara; Bogotá, Colombia and Montevideo, Uruguay. It was launched in Havana, Cuba by President Higgins during the first Irish State visit to Cuba in February of this year. The exhibition will tour different public venues in Ireland during 2017, including the National Ploughing Championships. The exhibition at NUI Galway will be launched on the 13 September by Professor Nuala Finnegan (UCC), a Galway native. She will be joined by experts at NUI Galway working on Ireland and Latin America, including Professor Bill Richardson speaking on the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges on Ireland.The launch and seminar takes place at 3pm on Wednesday 13 September in the Hardiman Research Building, the Bridge Seminar Room, 1st Floor. For further information contact: Professor Daniel Carey, Moore Institute, NUI Galway at +353 83 400 2097 or Dr Margaret Brehony, NUI Galway at +353 86 805 3587. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway will welcome over 350 international delegates from across the US, South Africa, Egypt, Europe, South America and Australia, to mention a few, to the 17th International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement Annual Conference between the 14-16 September. NUI Galway is particularly proud to host this important event as this marks the first occasion that it will be held outside North America. The University has been chosen given its international reputation for placing civic engagement and service learning as a core pillar of the university experience. For three days, delegates will discuss the role of higher education within society through community engagement and service learning.  Keynote speeches will be offered by a range of international experts including Professor Imanol Ordorika from the University of Mexico on the theme of “Social Activism and Politics: A New Paradigm for Universities?” Also an international keynote panel will address the impact of community engagement on students, community and universities which will include perspectives from the US, South Africa, Europe and Ireland. Service learning is a teaching approach that connects student learning to the needs of the community. Lorraine McIlrath, Director of the Community Knowledge Initiative at  NUI Galway and Conference Programme Chair, said: “Students at NUI Galway have an opportunity to use their knowledge to connect with real world problems. Biomedical Engineering students design and build prototypes for people with physical disabilities; nursing students address the implications of nursing in an Irish multi-cultural context and law students offer pro bono legal information to community partners. We feel that this type of learning can open students’ minds to their role as agents of change within the community and society.” The theme of the 2017 conference “Gateways - Charting New Territories & Forging Relationships” has been inspired by numerous of international debates, concerns and discourses. Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland has spearheaded the discourse of ethical renewal within the context of Ireland. He is a former academic from NUI Galway, a poet, a cultural icon and philosopher who has a sharp sense of the role a university offers within the society.  Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland’s, “Presidency of Ideas” continues to encourage all to recognise and be open to new concepts of thought and action; to develop a new public discourse that places human flourishing and an ethic of active citizenship at its heart. He believes in the practice of knowledge, democracy and that “knowledge, insight and vision are but the service of the community. With the privilege to pursue knowledge comes the civic responsibility to engage and put that knowledge to work in the service of humanity.” (2012). While this is an on-going Irish debate it has international application, and is at the heart of the conference ethos and mission.  For further information contact Lorraine McIlrath, Director of the Community Knowledge Initiative on +353 87 7682099 -Ends-  

Monday, 18 September 2017

Culture Night kicks off in Galway city on the NUI Galway campus with a unique lunchtime event in a hidden part of the University. The public is invited to wander through the old Geology and Physiology floors upstairs in the Quadrangle building, under the eye of the iconic clock tower. Taking the theme of ‘Time’ as inspiration, ConTempo Quartet, the Galway Ensemble in Residence, will join with students of Drama, Theatre and Performance, the NUI Galway Staff Choir, the Arts Office and the Discipline of Earth and Ocean Science for a lunchtime feast of music, drama, photography and song. The free event begins at 1pm in the Geology corner of the Quadrangle*, on the left-hand side underneath the Archway. Other Culture Night events on campus include: The Computer and Communications Museum of Ireland at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics will open its doors from 5-7pm. The public are invited to step back in time to the early days of computer gaming and enjoy the sights and sounds of the great classics, like Space Invaders, Pacman and Sonic, on renowned vintage consoles such as Atari, Nintendo, Sega Mega Drive and Playstation 1. The O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance on campus will host ‘The Spaceman’, a one-man show by Galway playwright, actor and Colours Street Theatre founder, James Fleming. The show begins at 6pm and entry is free. The James Hardiman Library will host special talks by archivist, Fiona Kearney, on the theme of ‘Periodical Literature in the Muintir na Tíre archive’, and Special Collections Librarian, Marie Boran, on the theme of ‘James Hardiman, the Historian of Galway’. These events commence at 6.30pm in the Hardiman Building foyer. -Ends-

Monday, 18 September 2017

 The science video competition, ReelLIFE SCIENCE, is open to all primary and secondary schools, community groups and clubs in Ireland NUI Galway is challenging science enthusiasts and filmmakers of all ages to produce an engaging and educational short science video for this year’s ReelLIFE SCIENCE competition. For the first time since launching in primary and secondary schools in 2013, the contest is now also inviting participants from community groups and clubs around Ireland to show their passion for science and technology. Videos can be produced on smartphones or cameras and can communicate any aspect of science. Supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme, the Community Knowledge Initiative and the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, ReelLIFE SCIENCE will award more than €5,000 for the best science videos. The winning videos will be selected by a panel of guest judges, including BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year 2017, Shane Curran from Terenure College Dublin; NASA Spacecraft systems engineer and aspiring astronaut Amber Gell, who said: “Videos are a great way to get students more interested and researching science-related topics and presenting in a manner reflective of this generation and their preferred communication styles. This competition seems like a lot of fun!” Closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 October and the best videos at each level (primary, secondary and community) will be announced during Science Week 2017. The winning filmmakers will be invited to attend a public screening and awards ceremony during the Galway Science and Technology Festival on 26 November. ReelLIFE SCIENCE is organised by Dr Enda O’Connell and a team of science communication enthusiasts from NUI Galway. In previous years more than 7,000 people have participated. For further information about the 2017 competition contact Dr Enda O’Connell, NCBES, NUI Galway at enda.oconnell@nuigalway.ie or 091-495435. Previous year’s winning videos and more information about the 2017 competition can also be found at www.reellifescience.com. -Ends-

Monday, 18 September 2017

The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway will host a series of sean-nós singing workshops starting Wednesday, 27 September.  The workshops will be taught by Sarah Ghriallais, the recently appointed Sean-nós Singer in Residence at NUI Galway for 2017. Sarah who is originally from Muiceanach, Camus, is a renowned sean-nós singer with exceptional talent, a previous winner of the prestigious Corn Uí Riada, the premier sean-nós singing competition at the Oireachtas. Sarah’s singing has also featured on stage, in documentaries and in films. Sarah will give a series of five sean-nós singing workshops at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway. The first workshop in this series will take place on Wednesday, 27 September at 7pm. Workshops are free and open to all. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta, An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. For further information contact: Samantha Williams at 091-492051 or Samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Monday, 18 September 2017

Eagróidh Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh in OÉ Gaillimh sraith ceardlann san amhránaíocht ar an sean-nós. Beidh an chéad cheardlann ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 27 Meán Fómhair.  Is í Sarah Ghriallais, a ceapadh mar Amhránaí Cónaitheach ar an Sean-nós in OÉ Gaillimh don bhliain 2017 a bheidh i mbun na gceardlann. Is as Muiceanach, Camus do Sarah agus is amhránaí ar an sean-nós den scoth í, bhuaigh sí Corn Uí Riada, an comórtas amhránaíochta ar an sean-nós is mó le rá ag Oireachtas na Gaeilge. Bhí amhránaíocht Sarah le cloisteáil ar stáitse, i gcláir faisnéise agus i scannáin. Déanfaidh Sarah cúig cheardlann amhránaíochta in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh. Beidh an chéad cheardlann sa tsraith ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 27 Meán Fómhair ag 7pm. Tá na ceardlanna saor in aisce agus tá fáilte roimh chách. Is iad Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta agus an Chomhairle Ealaíon i bpáirt le hIonad an Léinn Éireannaigh in OÉ Gaillimh atá i mbun na scéime seo. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil téigh i dteagmháil le: Samantha Williams ag 091 492051 nó Samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie -Críoch-

Thursday, 31 August 2017

A European network called ‘Citizen's health through public-private Initiatives, Public health, Market and Ethical perspectives’ will hold its final European conference in Galway under the leadership of NUI Galway lecturer, Dr Heike Felzmann from the Centre for Bioethical Research and Analysis. Taking place at NUI Galway, the conference will focus on emerging developments in genetic testing and research in the context of healthcare and health research across Europe. It will discuss the impact of recent innovations in the field of genomics and emerging ethical, legal and social challenges with regard to the increasing availability of genomic information and novel forms of intervention. Core themes to be discussed will include: How could genetic information be shared across Europe to increase knowledge and improve public health while respecting research participants’ wishes about the use of their information? What roles and responsibilities should be fulfilled by commercial, citizen-driven and public providers of genetic testing, and how much power should patients and citizens have with regard to the use of their genetic information? How can all affected stakeholders be involved in decision-making in a meaningful way, so that scientific and service developments in the field occur in a socially responsible manner? How should society respond to the possibilities of targeted human intervention into our genome brought about by new gene editing technologies? The network called COST (Cooperation in Science and Technology) is the longest-running European framework supporting trans-national cooperation among researchers, engineers and scholars across Europe. Based on a European intergovernmental framework for cooperation in science and technology, the framework has been contributing - since its creation in 1971 - to closing the gap between science, policy makers and society throughout Europe and beyond. Dr Oliver Feeney from NUI Galway and Co-Chair of one of the working groups of the project, said: “European-wide importance of the research network is evidenced by the fact that it has successfully brought together cutting-edge multidisciplinary expertise from 26 European countries while creating a distinctly European perspective and international model for continued developments in health and research into the future.” With this mission in mind, the network has focused on bringing together a multidisciplinary team of experts whose focus has been on coordinating research and providing guidance on ethical, legal and social issues with regard to rapidly evolving developments in genetic testing and research that include: Consent and return of results, and new genomic technologies in clinical practice and biobanking. Public health and private sector involvement in genomics from patient-centred research initiatives to consumer genomics companies. Data-sharing and the potential of information technology developments with regard to genomic information. Participatory and public engagement in genetics, science and research. Gene editing: new ethical, legal and regulatory challenges  The conference is free and open to the public, and will take place in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway from the 4-6 September. To register and for further conference details, visit: http://www.bit.ly/2wCFr54 For more information about CHIPME, visit: www.chipme.eu -Ends-  

Monday, 28 August 2017

NUI Galway will host a major international symposium entitled ‘Multi-Scale Fatigue, Fracture and Damage of Materials in HarshEnvironments’this week. Engineers are continually pushing the boundaries of material design, in the application of experimental, computational and theoretical methodologies to address operational challenges in harsh conditions. Examples include the high temperatures and pressures experienced in power plants and the extreme wave and temperature loadings that are experienced by offshore oil and gas installations. Engineers and scientists face significant challenges today that include the responsibility for sustainable use of earth’s resources, in the context of climate change and global warming. State-of-the-art multi-scale assessment methods enable much greater understanding of how the material behaves in these difficult conditions and so it is now possible for more detailed and accurate analysis and design against failure. The symposium will host world-leading researchers in engineering and material science to discuss recent advances and ground-breaking developments that are now taking place such as the adoption of multi-physics techniques for more realistic simulation and prediction of environmental, industrial and operational conditions. High and low temperatures, high pressures, corrosive environments, fluid-solid interaction, interaction of failure mechanisms are some of the difficulties which require novel design, testing and analysis methodologies to help address current global challenges. This covers a wide range of materials to meet the demands of light weight, sustainability and high performance. The symposium is being run under the auspices of the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM) and is co-chaired by NUI Galway’s Professors Padraic O’Donoghue and Sean Leen from the College of Engineering and Informatics.  Speaking in advance of the symposium, Professor Padraic O’Donoghue commented: “It is very prestigious to bring an IUTAM symposium to Galway as it always attracts the very best researchers from around the world.  This is only the sixth time that a symposium in this series has come to Ireland and the second time to Galway with the previous one being in 1991.” The symposium is also supported by the College of Engineering and Informatics and the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, and by ESB International.  For more details, visit: http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=493 -Ends-

Monday, 28 August 2017

NUI Galway and Galway Neuroscience Centre will host the 10th Neuroscience Ireland Conference from 28-29 August in the University’s new Human Biology Building. The bi-annual Neuroscience Ireland Conference serves as a multidisciplinary forum for knowledge and expertise sharing, and facilitating excellence in neuroscience research in Ireland.                         Neuroscience continues to deliver some of the most exciting breakthroughs of any biological sciences. This years’ meeting has assembled an outstanding line-up of world-renowned speakers from nine different countries who will speak over the two-day conference. The programme will feature a selection of talks on topics ranging from drugs of abuse, brain injury and repair and pain. It will cover new and emerging technology and methodology, with speakers describing how they use a range of experimental models from model organisms through to human studies, and approaches and techniques from pharmacology through to genetics and imaging. The programme will also include a selection of short oral talks and poster presentations from students and researchers from across Ireland.  The Neuroscience Ireland Distinguished Investigator Award, in memory of former Neuroscience Ireland President Professor Tom Connor, will be awarded to Professor John Cryan from UCC. As both were former NUI Galway graduates, friends and colleagues, it is particularly fitting that Professor Cryan will be presented with his award at the conference. Professor Cryan will also give a plenary lecture on his stellar research career and achievements on the first day of the conference. Dr Michelle Roche, Lecturer in Physiology at NUI Galway and Chair of the local conference organising committee, added: “The Galway Neuroscience Centre are excited to be hosting the 10th Neuroscience Ireland Conference in Galway and anticipate an informative and interactive conference  covering the latest cutting edge Neuroscience research in Ireland and beyond.” Further details can be found at https://neuroscienceireland.com/neuroscience-ireland-2017/ -Ends-

Friday, 25 August 2017

The Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway will host the 21st McGill International Entrepreneurship Conference from 30 August to 1 September, the first time the conference will be hosted in the Republic of Ireland. The theme of the three-day event will address, ‘Speed, Diversity, Complexity in International Entrepreneurship. The aim of this annual conference is to invite research papers that examine and bring to light the frontier issues related to entrepreneurial internationalisation and internationalisation of entrepreneurially oriented small firms in increasingly diverse, complex and fast-moving global markets. International entrepreneurs, international new ventures, born globals, high growth and rapidly internationalising enterprises, have significantly contributed to the growth of the global economy in recent decades. Conference Chair, Dr Natasha Evers from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, explains: “Born global firms are unique types of entrepreneurial ventures, in that they set out with clear intention to exploit and serve a global niche market from the first day of their founding. Only in the last two decades has the study of born globals drawn significant scholarly attention, even though these firms have been around well before then, and many of which are now multinational giants such as Honda. With radical scientific advancements in sectors such as life science and medical technologies, there has been a greater urgency for Irish entrepreneurs to form born global ventures to rapidly exploit proprietary knowledge on global markets. Hosting the McGill conference this year at NUI Galway, affords us the opportunity to further strengthen our knowledge of international entrepreneurship to inform our teaching, research and policy.” Sponsoring the ‘Best Paper’ award, born global entrepreneur, John Power, CEO of Aerogen, said: “For the Irish technology entrepreneur located on Europe’s most Westerly Isle, born global is not an option but a necessity. I think this need to internationalise early has by default created a breed of Irish entrepreneurs equally at home in Silicon Valley and Frankfurt as Galway, and the enriched pool of global business experience brought home will help drive our future innovation, culture and economy.” The conference will bring together state-of-the art International Entrepreneurship research from academic scholars in over 20 countries including Canada, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, UK, Brazil, Columbia, Spain, China, and Italy. Dr Evers adds: “Once their profit potential is established we have seen many capital-intensive Irish grown born globals such as those in the medtech sector, being acquired by multinationals as part of the venture capital exit strategy. We need more Irish born globals that ‘grow global’, in terms of scaling themselves up into bigger international firms for sustainable job creation in Ireland and economic impact. This is not just an Irish issue but a European one, hence the focus of the policy and research agenda for Irish SMEs needs to identify more effective measures to support Irish born global firms to grow global.”   The event will feature renowned co-founder of the conference and editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Entrepreneurship (Springer), Professor Hamid Etemad, McGill University, Canada; Professor Alistair R Anderson, Robert Gordon University, Scotland; Professor Antonella Zucchella, University of Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge and Milan; and Professor Olli Kuivalainen, University of Manchester and Lappeenranta, University of Technology, Finland.  For conference details, visit: http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=488 -Ends-

Monday, 21 August 2017

The 17th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Irish Pain Society will be held at NUI Galway on Saturday 26 August. It will mark the 10-year anniversary since the establishment of the Centre for Pain Research at the University, Ireland’s first multidisciplinary pain research centre. The theme of this year’s meeting will focus on the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) theme for 2017, ‘Pain After Surgery’. Professor David Finn, Co-Director of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway and President of the Irish Pain Society, said: “Unfortunately, pain can be a serious unwanted consequence of surgery, affecting millions of people worldwide and exacting a very significant toll on health, wellbeing, society and the economy. To address this important unmet clinical need, we require a better understanding of pain neurobiology, and the mechanisms and factors influencing the transition from acute to chronic pain. The Irish Pain Society meeting this year has been organised to increase our understanding of postoperative pain and its treatment.” The event will welcome international speakers from across the key disciplines relevant to post-surgical pain to discuss:   Prediction and prevention of pain after surgery - Professor Esther Pogatzki-Zahn, Germany Postoperative pain management in children - Professor Alison Twycross, UK The transition from acute to chronic pain - Dr Patricia Lavand’homme, Belgium The profile and management of persistent pain following breast cancer treatment - Dr Niamh Moloney, Guernsey The psychological aspects of understanding and reducing postoperative pain - Dr Rachael Powell, UK The meeting will also include poster presentations by Irish pain researchers, a data blitz short oral symposium in association with the Irish Pain Research Network, and a masterclass in the use of ultrasound imaging to aid with pain treatment. The meeting will provide an opportunity to broadening knowledge and networks across Pain disciplines, with the aim of moving towards a more enlightened approach for improved understanding and management of pain post-surgery. Professor Finn added: “I am really excited to be hosting this year’s Irish Pain Society meeting in Galway and anticipate a day filled with informative and thought-provoking talks covering the cutting edge of research on pain after surgery, as well as fruitful discussions and interactions with colleagues.” Further details can be found at www.irishpainsociety.com -Ends-

Monday, 21 August 2017

NUI Galway will host the 42nd Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium, the largest Surgical Conference in Ireland, from 1-2 September. The annual event provides a platform for healthcare professionals to present their research and clinical work, and allows for the merging of both scientific and clinical information. It is named in memory of the Galway-born surgeon, Sir Peter Freyer, who performed the first successful surgical operation to remove an enlarged prostate in 1900. It comprises multiple research and education sessions across the various surgical subspecialties, two keynote addresses and discussion around the future of Irish Surgery. Michael F. Collins, MD is Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School & Senior Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts will deliver the Memorial Lecture entitled ‘In Search of the Tossed Cap: Following Medicine’s Privilege’ on Friday, 1 September.  Dr Collins currently oversees the University of Massachusetts system-wide health and life sciences portfolio, charged with leading strategic initiatives to strengthen the university’s efforts in the area and to engage more fully with the Commonwealth’s dynamic health and life sciences sector. Dr Collins is actively engaged in service to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and has amassed vast experience in governance of not for profit and educational entities. Currently, he serves on the boards of UMass Memorial Health Care, Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives, The American University of Beirut, Commerce Bancshares Corp., Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Greater Worcester Community Foundation and the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts. He is a Board Certified Physician in Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Professor Calvin Coffey is the Foundation Chair of Surgery in University of Limerick and University Hospitals Limerick Group. Professor Coffey will deliver the State of the Art Lecture entitled ‘Da Vinci and Colorectal Surgery’ on Saturday, 2 September.  Professor Coffey in 2016 pioneered robotic intestinal surgery in Ireland and led the team that set up the first multidisciplinary robotic program in Ireland. He is the chief author of the book Mesenteric Principles of Gastrointestinal Surgery: Basic and Applied Science. This book is the first reference test on the human mesentery, related diseases and surgical treatment strategies. He is editor in Chief of the journal, Mesentery and Peritoneum. The Programme also features a Session on the Role of Research in Surgical Training discussing the optimisation of the potential and opportunities for all Surgeons and trainees to take part in research, acquiring necessary skills and methodology throughout their careers. Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway, Michael Kerin, who is hosting the event along with his colleague Professor Oliver McAnena, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Collins and Professor Coffey to our University. Dr Collins is a sought-after motivational speaker, who draws from his decades-long experiences in academic medicine to frame the enduring role of physicians in a profession that continues to evolve from and be shaped by external forces.”   Professor Coffey has published ground-breaking research which has identified an emerging area of science having reclassified a part of the digestive system as an organ. Professor Coffey’s research proposes that the mesentery, which connects the intestine and the abdomen, is an organ. For hundreds of years it had been seen as a fragmented structure made up separate parts. Their lectures are the focal points of a large programme containing some of the best surgical research from this country”. -Ends- 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has announced details of this year’s Engineering Maths Qualifying Exam which gives students a second chance to pursue a career in engineering. The exam, which takes place on Wednesday, 23 August, is for students who achieve the CAO points for an undergraduate engineering degree course at NUI Galway but who have not met the obligatory maths requirement. For more than 20 years NUI Galway has provided this exam to help applicants who did not achieve the required grade H4 or better in higher level mathematics. Those who took lower level maths in the Leaving Cert may also apply for the exam. Students who pass this examination will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and, providing they have the necessary points, will receive an additional CAO offer at Round Two. NUI Galway will also hold an intensive preparatory course for applicants intending to sit the exam. This free course will run from 17-22 August. The aim of the course is to bridge the gap between the Leaving Certificate lower level and that required to be successful in the exam. This will be achieved by tackling a variety of problems of increasing difficulty. Learning how to approach a problem and apply the knowledge available will be emphasised. Professor Peter McHugh, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “Engineers are designers and problem solvers, who innovate and generate the technology of tomorrow. Because of this, engineering programmes are focused on developing analytical and problem solving skills, and therefore require significant use of mathematics and applied mathematics. Every year we see a number of promising students who perform poorly on the day of the Leaving Cert exam. The Engineering Mathematics Qualifying Examination provides students with a second chance to demonstrate that they have the necessary standard in maths. Over the years, we have had some exceptionally talented students graduate and pursue successful careers in engineering because they were given the second chance which this exam represents.” NUI Galway offers students an undenominated entry to engineering. This programme is specifically designed for students who are interested in becoming an engineer, but are uncertain as to which field they want to specialise in. This programme offers students the option of studying engineering in a general way for one year before going on to specialise in their chosen field in year two. To apply for the Engineering Maths Qualifying Exam please visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/undergraduatestudents/engineeringmathsqualifyingexamination/ Those interested in the revision maths course should visit  http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/undergraduatestudents/engineeringmathsqualifyingexaminationpreparatorycourse/    for further details. -Ends- ______________________________________  Seans Eile á thabhairt ag OÉ Gaillimh do Mhic Léinn na hArdteistiméireachta trí Scrúdú Cáilíochta Matamaitice de chuid na hInnealtóireachta a Reáchtáil Tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh i ndiaidh sonraí a chur ar fáil faoi Scrúdú Cáilíochta Matamaitice de chuid na hInnealtóireachta, scrúdú a thugann seans eile do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi ghairm na hinnealtóireachta. Beidh an scrúdú ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 23 Lúnasa, agus tá sé dírithe ar mhic léinn a bhaineann na pointí cuí CAO amach chun cúrsa céime san innealtóireacht a dhéanamh in OÉ Gaillimh ach nach bhfuil an marc riachtanach acu sa mhatamaitic. Le breis agus scór bliain anuas, tá an scrúdú seo á reáchtáil ag OÉ Gaillimh chun cabhrú le hiarratasóirí nár éirigh leo an grád riachtanach H4 nó os a chionn a bhaint amach sa pháipéar matamaitice ardleibhéil. Féadfaidh daoine nach ndearna ardleibhéal matamaitice san Ardteistiméireacht cur isteach ar an scrúdú chomh maith. Má fhaigheann mac léinn pas sa scrúdú seo beidh an riachtanas matamaitice comhlíonta aici/aige agus gheobhaidh sí/sé tairiscint eile ó CAO i mBabhta 2, ach na pointí riachtanacha a bheith aici/aige. Chomh maith leis sin, beidh dianchúrsa ullmhúcháin ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh roimh ré dóibh siúd ar mian leo an scrúdú a dhéanamh. Beidh an cúrsa saor in aisce seo ar siúl ón 17-22 Lúnasa. Is é an aidhm atá leis an gcúrsa seo cur lena mbíonn foghlamtha ag daltaí ag an ngnáthleibhéal san Ardteistiméireacht, le go n-éireoidh leo sa scrúdú matamaitice. Cuirfear é seo i gcrích trí dhul i ngleic le fadhbanna éagsúla ag leibhéil éagsúla deacrachta. Cuirfear béim ar an gcaoi le tabhairt faoi fhadhb agus ar an gcaoi a gcuirfear an t-eolas atá ar fáil i bhfeidhm. Dúirt an tOllamh Peter McHugh, Déan na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is ionann innealtóirí agus dearthóirí agus daoine atá go maith ag réiteach fadhbanna, a chruthaíonn agus a chuireann teicneolaíocht na linne seo romhainn ar fáil. Dá bharr seo, tá na cláir innealtóireachta seo dírithe ar fhorbairt a dhéanamh ar scileanna anailíseacha agus ar scileanna chun fadhbanna a réiteach, agus dá bhrí sin, caithfear úsáid shuntasach a bhaint as matamaitic agus as matamaitic fheidhmeach. Gach bliain feicimid daltaí cumasacha nach ndéanann chomh maith agus a d’fhéadfaidís ar lá an scrúdaithe Ardteistiméireachta. Tugann an Scrúdú Cáilíochta Matamaitice de chuid na hInnealtóireachta deis eile do dhaltaí léiriú go bhfuil an caighdeán riachtanach sa mhatamaitic bainte amach acu. I gcaitheamh na mblianta, d’éirigh le roinnt mic léinn a raibh cumas eisceachtúil iontu céim a bhaint amach agus dul sa tóir ar shlí bheatha dóibh féin san innealtóireacht mar go bhfuair siad an dara deis leis an scrúdú áirithe seo.” Tá cúrsa céime neamhainmnithe san innealtóireacht ar tairiscint do mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an clár seo dírithe go háirithe ar mhic léinn a bhfuil suim acu a bheith ina n-innealtóirí ach nach bhfuil siad cinnte cén réimse ar mhaith leo díriú air. Tugann an clár seo deis do mhic léinn staidéar ginearálta a dhéanamh ar an innealtóireacht ar feadh bliana sula roghnaíonn siad a réimse speisialtóireachta i mbliain a dó.  Chun iarratas a dhéanamh ar an Scrúdú Cáilíochta Matamaitice de chuid na hInnealtóireachta téigh chuig: http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/undergraduatestudents/engineeringmathsqualifyingexamination/ Ba chóir do dhaoine ar spéis leo an cúrsa ullmhúcháin a dhéanamh dul chuig  http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/undergraduatestudents/engineeringmathsqualifyingexaminationpreparatorycourse/ chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil. -Críoch-

Monday, 14 August 2017

NUI Galway has relaunched its iPoints app, addressing the new Common Points Scale, which is now in effect for all Leaving Certificate students.  The app will allow Leaving Certificate students to quickly and easily calculate their points when they receive their exam results and is available through iTunes for both iPhone and iPad. The NUI Galway iPoints app is available for all iPhone and iPad users on the iTunes store now www.tinyurl.com/NUIGalwayApp  The app calculates the number of points attained in each subject, in line with the revised Common Points Scale, and indicates the total. The app calculates 25 additional points to be added for Higher Maths if relevant, and allows for Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) scores to be included. The app also gives students the option to share their results by text message, or through social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, if they wish. Commenting on the app, Stephen O’Dea, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway said: “Unlike the old Leaving Certificate points, the new Common Points Scale is designed to minimise the impact of random points’ allocation as fewer individuals will end up with the same score. This has been achieved by using a non-linear scale. The downside of this of course is the points awarded for individual grades are slightly less memorable than before. As it’s the first year of operation, many will be unfamiliar with the new scale so the iPoints app will offer Leaving Certificate students an easy way to quickly calculate their total score.” ___________________________________________________ Déanann OÉ Gaillimh an aip iPoints a athsheoladh chun teacht leis an gComhscála Pointí nua don Ardteistiméireacht Tá an aip iPoints athsheolta ag OÉ Gaillimh, ag tabhairt san áireamh an Comhscála Pointí nua, atá i bhfeidhm anois do gach scoláire Ardteistiméireachta.  Tabharfaidh an aip deis do scoláirí Ardteistiméireachta a gcuid pointí a ríomh go tapa agus go héasca nuair a fhaigheann siad a gcuid torthaí scrúdaithe agus tá sé ar fáil ar iTunes don iPhone agus don iPad. Tá aip iPoints OÉ Gaillimh ar fáil do gach úsáideoir iPhone agus iPad sa siopa iTunes anois www.tinyurl.com/NUIGalwayApp Ríomhann an aip líon na bpointí a bhaintear amach i ngach ábhar, ag teacht leis an gComhscála Pointí leasaithe, agus tugann sé an t-iomlán. Ríomhann an aip 25 pointe breise don Mhatamaitic Ardleibhéil más cuí, agus cuimsíonn sé na scóir do Ghairmchlár na hArdteistiméireachta (GCAT). Tugann an aip deis do mhic léinn chomh maith a gcuid torthaí a roinnt ar theachtaireacht téacs, nó ar na meáin shóisialta cosúil le Facebook agus Twitter, más mian leo sin a dhéanamh. Ag labhairt dó faoin aip dúirt Stephen O’Dea, Oifigeach Iontrála in OÉ Gaillimh: “Ní hionann agus seanchóras pointí na hArdteistiméireachta, tá an Comhscála Pointí nua leagtha amach chun tionchar leithdháileadh randamach na bpointí a laghdú mar ní bheidh an oiread céanna daoine ag fáil an líon céanna pointí. Bainfear é seo amach trí scála neamhlíneach a úsáid. Is é an míbhuntáiste a bhaineann leis seo ar ndóigh ná nach bhfuil sé chomh héasca cuimhneamh ar na pointí a bhronntar do na gráid ar leith is a bhí cheana.  Ós rud é gurb é seo an chéad bhliain don chóras seo, beidh go leor daoine nach bhfuil ar an eolas faoin scála nua agus mar sin is bealach éasca é an aip iPoints ag scoláirí Ardteistiméireachta a scór iomlán a ríomh.” -Críoch- 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Pioneering project to determine the potential of a synthetic product to advance the study and treatment of respiratory disease CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, has recently signed a collaborative research agreement with Factor Bioscience, a US based biotechnology SME that is pioneering nucleic-acid and cell-based technologies to advance the study and treatment of disease, including respiratory disease. This is the US company’s first collaboration in Ireland. The project goal is to determine the translational potential of a synthetic product from Factor Bioscience for use in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). ARDS often affects the elderly and occurs when fluid builds up in the air sacs in the lungs and prevents them from filling with enough air. This means less oxygen is available to reach the bloodstream which deprives the organs of the oxygen they need to function properly. ARDS typically occurs in people who are already critically ill or who have significant injuries, and many people who develop ARDS don’t survive. Those who do can experience lasting damage to their lungs. “Factor engages in research collaborations to advance and deploy our technologies as quickly and broadly as possible”, says Matt Angel, Co-founder of Factor Bioscience. “We are an early-stage biotechnology company based in the Boston area with an Irish subsidiary, and we are looking to grow our operations in Ireland. By partnering with CÚRAM on this project we can access leading experts and resources in the medical device field, which will hopefully allow us to progress much faster in finding a better solution for patients suffering from ARDS. Currently we are developing synthetic protein-encoding RNA therapeutics using our patented and patent-pending chemistries and sequences. In the near term, we are interested in expanding our technology in the area of delivering these therapeutics to various tissues and organs in the body.” Dr Daniel O'Toole, a CÚRAM collaborator in the School of Medicine will coordinate the collaborative laboratory research at NUI Galway, said: “Factor Bioscience has an exciting panel of innovative and highly promising therapeutics that we feel have real potential to address unmet clinical needs. We’re looking forward to developing and testing these for treatment of a range of inflammatory and infectious diseases.” CÚRAM is working to develop a positive, long lasting impact on the MedTech sector as well as for patients suffering from chronic illness. The global financial cost of managing chronic illnesses are ever increasing and both clinical and economic needs have to be met. CÚRAM’s goal is to come up with affordable solutions to meet these needs. The project was developed following an introduction to both partners, facilitated by IDA Ireland in Boston. “I am delighted to have been able to make the introduction between CÚRAM and Factor Bioscience and to hear it has resulted in an exciting new research partnership”, said Ivan Houlihan, Vice President of IDA Ireland, Boston. “Making connections and facilitating introductions between companies and third-level institutions and research centres is a key function of IDA Ireland, we try to ensure the necessary skills, experience and research capabilities exist to drive their business forward.” Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said: “Key to our success is our collaboration with industry partners to continue to enhance medical device technologies and their clinical application. Through collaborations such as these we can strengthen the R&D capability in Ireland to support the growth of a vibrant start up community within the MedTech ecosystem.” -Ends-

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Three clinical fellows have been appointed to NUI Galway in first intake of ICAT programme The Wellcome-HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme (ICAT) has welcomed its first intake of fellows at an induction event, held recently at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Three of the eight ICAT fellows have been appointed to NUI Galway. The eight fellows, from a range of clinical specialties, including Psychiatry, Infectious Diseases, Endocrinology, Dermatology, Nephrology and Public Health Medicine, were appointed after a rigorous selection process and have now commenced their integrated academic and specialist clinical training. Several leaders in Irish research including Professor Louise Kenny from the INFANT Centre in Cork, Professor Jose Bengoechea from the Centre for Experimental Medicine in Belfast and Professor Orla Sheils from the Trinity Translational Medicine Institute presented at the induction event, along with clinician academics who spoke about their varied career paths. At the core of the event was the opportunity for the ICAT fellows to introduce themselves and their research interests, and analyse their training needs with mentors. ICAT organises several events throughout the year for the fellows, including an annual scientific retreat and monthly meetings hosted by each participating academic institution across Ireland. Dr Conall Dennedy, Director of the Wellcome-HRB ICAT Programme and Senior Lecturer in Therapeutics at NUI Galway, said: “This year has seen three ICAT fellows embark upon their academic careers at NUI Galway. We look forward to working with them and supporting them in the coming years. For prospective applicants, ICAT provides a fantastic opportunity and is a well-supported programme with an important integrated training approach to foster the skills and excellence of emerging clinician scientists at specialist registrar level across the island of Ireland.”  The fellows embark on the first year of the programme in their institution of choice (NUI Galway, TCD, RCSI, UCC, UCD or QUB). Fellows use this year to design and conduct a mini-project, access a large curriculum of educational modules and develop PhD projects with ICAT supervisors, selected for their research excellence. ICAT fellows will spend 70% of their time in clinical training in year one. Following the development of their PhD proposals, ICAT fellows will register for a full-time three-year PhD. ICAT fellows will benefit from continuing mentorship throughout the programme, up to completion of their PhD and clinical training to Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training. Other partners in ICAT include the Wellcome Trust, the Health Research Board, the Health Service Executive National Doctors Training and Planning, the Health and Social Care Research and Development in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency and the Forum of Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies. The ICAT Programme is coordinated by Molecular Medicine Ireland.  The next call for applications to ICAT will open in September 2017. More information about the programme structure and how to apply can be found at: www.icatprogramme.org  -Ends-  

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Health Research Board awards promising researchers including NUI Galway biostatistician whose work will start with interventions targeting heart disease and stroke  The new HRB Emerging Investigator Awards announced this week by the Health Research Board, will enable researchers at the mid stage of their career to shift gear to become independent investigators. The HRB is investing €8.3 million through this scheme to support researchers who have demonstrated real promise as they take their first step to research independence. Award recipients include Dr John Ferguson, a Senior Research Fellow in Biostatistics at the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway for his research in the area of population health research and public health, which studies determinants of health and disease with the goal of identifying interventions that promote health and reduce the burden of disease.  Dr Ferguson’s research involves deciding on an appropriate intervention that mandates a prior forecast of the intervention’s effect on disease. The proposed project will develop methods for estimating the long-term effects on disease prevalence for any planned disease intervention. The methods will initially be developed for interventions targeting stroke, but will later be extended to several other diseases. Speaking about the award, Dr John Ferguson said: “My research methods will allow more accurate predictions of the effect of population health interventions - for instance how a successful promotion of daily exercise might affect the prevalence and incidence of heart disease and stroke as well as better estimate risk factor burden. The HRB Emerging Investigator Award will help to develop my career as a researcher working on the joint interface between statistics, medicine and population health.” According to Mairead O Driscoll, Interim CEO at the Health Research Board: “What set these successful individuals apart was their diversity and ability to multitask. Their challenge now is to build their research team, advance their research programmes, foster collaborations and leverage funding to build a sustainable research programme.  Everyone is well qualified for the challenge.” The HRB will support these investigators for four years with a maximum of €800,000 including the investigators’ salary and support for research staff. Areas that will benefit from this investment include: Health Economics Biostatistics Immunology Respiratory Medicine Pharmacology Neurology and Neuroscience Psychology Molecular and Cellular Biology Health Services Research. Successful individuals will be recognised as principle investigators in their institutions, As well as doing research that would ultimately improve people’s health, or positively influence policy or practice; they will also be expected to act as mentors and work well in collaboration with other disciplines. -Ends-

Monday, 14 August 2017

Charity renews its call for a specific family homelessness strategy following an independent research report carried out by NUI Galway and TCD Focus Ireland welcomed a new independent research report on the difficulties faced by families that are homeless in accessing healthy food and having normal family meals. The report, which was jointly funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) and the Department of Health, was carried out by Marita Hennessy at NUI Galway and Dr Michelle Share, who is an internationally recognised expert on food poverty and a Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin. The new report entitled Food Access and Nutritional Health among Families in Emergency Homeless Accommodation, outlined the negative impact food poverty has on the health and wellbeing of children living in emergency homeless accommodation in Dublin. The Food Report was launched by the Director of Investigations at the Ombudsman for Children, Nuala Ward. Mike Allen, Director of Advocacy in Focus Ireland said: “This report highlights the enormous difficulties faced by the over 1,000 families that are homeless and living in emergency accommodation. But it is also a very positive and forward looking report, setting out useful guidelines and standards which should inform the development of the new Family Homeless Hubs. It also clearly sets out the answer for these families must be homes of their own.” Focus Ireland managed the commissioning and publication of the report on behalf of the DCYA and Department of Health. The research outlines parents’ daily struggle to provide healthy meals for their children and themselves due to the challenging circumstances of living on very low incomes in emergency homeless accommodation.  Mr Allen said: “This research highlights the complex issues arising in trying to support families that are homeless. It reinforces Focus Ireland’s call for a specific homeless sub-strategy for families, with a cast-iron commitment families will not spend more than 6 months in emergency accommodation.” The Food Report highlighted the lack of access to cooking and storage facilities, it has led to families supplementing their diets with noodles, instant pasta, chicken and chips and pizza. The research included detailed interviews with ten parents living in emergency homeless accommodation and also six service providers involved in the provision of health and social services for people who are homeless.   The study sought to explore the food situation for these families and to make recommendations for policy-makers and front-line service providers to help improve food security, health and well-being among families who are homeless. The parents interviewed spoke of huge difficulties finding healthy meals for their children due to restricted times of access to kitchen facilities, communal eating facilities and a lack of storage facilities and utensils for food. The research has found that regimented meal times and the constrained food provision conditions in homeless accommodation services negatively influence children’s dietary intake. Dr Michelle Share from TCD explained: “It’s not just about food and nutrition: families have to rely on takeaways and convenience foods. It makes it harder for children to develop good eating habits as they have to eat in socially unacceptable circumstances, like dining on the bed, or on the floor, lined up at a counter and sometimes even under CCTV surveillance. “They get used to dining in communal settings or with tourists - rather than as a family around their own table. All of this means a loss of dignity. On a practical level it can inhibit other important parts of children’s lives such as free play and completing homework.” The research found that all families interviewed shared a bedroom, and just one of the ten families surveyed were provided with breakfast and dinner in their emergency accommodation. All parents highlighted that their children’s food was a priority for them and that they went to considerable efforts in challenging circumstances to provide for them. This was clearly shown by parents who always tried to provide fruit for their children to ensure they received vitamins.  The key recommendations of the research include: Rules and regulations in relation to the use of kitchens and eating facilities across all emergency accommodation for families need to be flexible to meet the different routines and need for privacy for families and to help avoid ‘institutionalisation’ arising from extended stays in emergency accommodation. All emergency accommodation must provide a kitchen table in a private and appropriately sized space. The challenges families face in the preparation of nutritious meals are primarily due to practical barriers and restricted facilities, rather than any lack of awareness of healthy eating. All emergency accommodation must provide a kitchen table in a private and appropriately-sized space. The challenges families face in the preparation of nutritious meals are primarily due to practical barriers and restricted facilities, rather than any lack of awareness of healthy eating. A set of standards in relation to any premises defined as family emergency accommodation. While the Department of Housing and the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) have emphasised the range of improved facilities that will be available in Family Hubs, no standard framework has been published to set out minimum standards to apply to the operation of Hubs. Rebuilding Ireland should outline this. Emergency accommodation must be a temporary measure. No matter what improvements are made in the physical quality and access to services in emergency accommodation, living there still has a detrimental impact on the health and well-being of family members. Over time, poor nutrition can lead to a decline in general health and mental health of families. The most effective improvement in the provision of emergency accommodation is to ensure that it is for the shortest time possible, through the provision of secure and affordable homes. Focus Ireland’s family team works hard with Dublin Region Homeless Executive to support families and children who are homeless. The Focus Ireland Advice and Information services based in Dublin and elsewhere are funded by a range of statutory and non-statutory funders. The service plays a vital role in preventing families and individuals becoming homeless. This new report comes at a time of change in the policy guiding the provision of family emergency homeless accommodation as up to 600 families are due to be moved into family hub accommodation. The DRHE has indicated that family hubs will feature permanent on-site support services (in some cases 24/7) and access to cooking and laundry facilities. Focus Ireland Director of Advocacy Mike Allen said: “The report underlined the fact that the longer the stays in emergency accommodation, the more difficult it can be for families to move on from homelessness to independent living. We are repeating our call for a dedicated sub-strategy to address family homelessness that includes a target of supporting all families out of homelessness within six months and also providing a range of supports to avert the potentially devastating effects on the children involved.” To read the full report, visit: http://bit.ly/2vUlpCM -Ends-