Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Céim Oinigh le bronnadh ar Ollamh ó Ollscoil Villanova Bainfidh os cionn 2,500 mac léinn céim amach in OÉ Gaillimh sna Searmanais Bronnta Céime a bheidh ar bun idir 17-21 Deireadh Fómhair.Bronnfaidh an Ollscoil Céim Oinigh Dhochtúireachta san Litríocht ar an Ollamh Jim Murphy, Stiúrthóir Emeritus an Chláir sa Léann Éireannach in Ollscoil Villanova. Bronnfar Céimeanna, Ard-Dioplómaí agus Máistreachtaí le linn na gcúig lá ar mhic léinn ó Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte; ó Choláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice; ó Choláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí; ó Choláiste na hEolaíochta; agus ó Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh. Déanfar bronnadh ar Jim ar an méid oibre atá déanta aige ag cur béim idirdhisciplíneach chun cinn ar staidéar staire agus cultúir na hÉireann agus Ghael-Mheiriceá araon. Tá clár Villanova ar an gclár fochéime sa Léann Éireannach is sine agus is mó i Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá anois.  Sa bhliain 2008, d’ainmnigh an irisleabhar Irish America an tOllamh Murphy ar dhuine den 100 Scoth-Ghael-Mheiriceánach. Bronnadh duais Lindback for Outstanding Teaching air chomh maith. Chuaigh sé ar scor ó Ollscoil Villanova sa bhliain 2010. Ag labhairt dó roimh na searmanais bhronnta, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, déanaim comhghairdeas lenár gcéimithe ar fad agus tá fearadh na fáilte roimh a dtuismitheoirí, a dteaghlaigh agus a gcairde. Tá ríméad orainn aitheantas a thabhairt dá gcuid éachtaí agus guímid gach rath orthu san am atá le teacht.” Bhí searmanais bhliantúla an Ionaid Foghlama agus Forbartha Gairmiúla d'Aosaigh ar siúl Dé Sathairn, an 14 Deireadh Fómhair. Bronnadh dámhachtainí ar níos mó ná 800 mac léinn a chríochnaigh a gcúrsaí teastais, dioplóma agus céime in ionaid éagsúla ar fud na tíre. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Villanova University Professor to Receive Honorary Degree Over 2,500 students will graduate from NUI Galway during the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies which take place from 17-21 October.  The University will also confer an Honorary Doctor of Literature on Professor Jim Murphy, Director Emeritus of the Irish Studies Program at Villanova University. Degrees, Higher Diplomas and Masters will be awarded to students graduating over the five days from the College of Engineering and Informatics; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies.   Professor Jim Murphy is to be recognised at NUI Galway with an honorary degree for his dedication in bringing an inter-disciplinary focus to the study of the history and culture of both Ireland and Irish-America. Villanova’s program is now the oldest and largest undergraduate Irish Studies program in the United States.    In 2008, Irish America Magazine named Professor Murphy one of the Top 100 Irish Americans. He has also been awarded the Lindback Award for Outstanding Teaching. He retired from Villanova in 2010.   In advance of the conferring ceremonies, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate all our graduates and extend a warm welcome to their parents, families and friends. We are delighted to acknowledge their outstanding achievements and wish them continued success in the future.”   The annual Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development ceremonies took place on Saturday, 14 October, where awards will be conferred on over 800 students who completed their certificate, diploma and degree courses at many locations across the country.   -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

NUI Galway and Connacht Rugby have announced an extension of their partnership until 2019. NUI Galway became Connacht’s Academy and University partner in 2013, and since then 19 Connacht players have, or are about to, graduate from NUI Galway including current senior squad members Denis Buckley, Eoin Griffin, Eoin McKeon, Andrew Browne, Dave Heffernan, Jack Carty, Darragh Leader, Eoghan Masterson, Sean O’Brien and Conor McKeon. Through the partnership, NUI Galway supports the Connacht Rugby Academy, and Connacht age grade players, particularly through the provision of structured third level education. This year, 18 Connacht players across senior, academy and sub-academy squads are currently studying in NUI Galway in a number of disciplines including Commerce, Leadership, Law, Financial Maths and Economics, Science, Arts, Engineering, Computer Science and IT and Project Management. As part of the partnership there is also an opportunity for athletes from NUI Galway to benefit from Connacht Rugby’s high level strength and conditioning expertise. Commenting on the extended partnership, NUI Galway’s Director of Sport, Mike Heskin said: “This partnership gives Connacht Rugby players the supports to realise their ambitions on and off the field by combining the student experience with life as an elite sportsperson.   Both organisations are focused on excellence, and since the partnership began, Connacht have succeeded in the Pro 12, while NUI Galway has risen to the Top 1% of world universities. As this partnership evolves over the coming years we look forward to developing this culture of success while helping the next generation of leaders to reach their potential on the rugby field and throughout their careers.” Welcoming the continued partnership, Head of Commercial and Marketing at Connacht Rugby, Brian Mahony said: “We are delighted to be announcing the extension of this key strategic partnership with NUI Galway for a further two years. At Connacht Rugby we want our players to excel both on and off the field. Furthering their education is a key component to their personal development and having the opportunity to further their education in such a prestigious university is of huge importance. The partnership has been a huge success over the past few years and I have no doubt that it will continue to flourish into the future.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

 NUI Galway has co-led a major worldwide study with the University of Southern California showing that schizophrenia is associated with widespread changes in how the brain is wired. The study was published today (17 October 2017) in the major impact journal, Molecular Psychiatry. Schizophrenia is a debilitating psychiatric disorder with a considerable societal burden and has been a major focus of neuroimaging studies for decades, yet its neurobiology remains only partially understood. The World Health Organisation has described schizophrenia as a “leading cause of disability, and more disabling that paraplegia or blindness in 18-35 year olds.” The main focus of the study, co-led by Professor Gary Donohoe at the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, was to identify changes in white matter, often thought as the brain’s wiring system that causes this disability. Cumulative evidence has led to a ‘dysconnectivity’ hypothesis that schizophrenia may involve abnormal or inefficient communication between brain regions, due to disturbances in the underlying pattern of white matter. Until now several small studies have tried to identify white matter changes with inconclusive results. In an effort to overcome the problems of previous studies, researchers from around the world came together as part of the ‘ENIGMA consortium’ to carry out the first ever large-scale coordinated study of white matter microstructural differences in schizophrenia. In an unprecedented sample of 4,322 individuals scanned across 29 cohorts from Australia, Asia, Europe, South Africa and North America, data from patients and controls were re-analysed in a manner that allowed greater power to identify changes across the brain. The study also determined if disease-related factors (including duration of illness, age at onset of schizophrenia, antipsychotic medication, smoking, and severity of positive and negative symptoms) are also associated with differences in white matter microstructure. Using an approach known as diffusion tensor imaging, or DTI, the results from the study showed that throughout the brain, the so-called ‘white matter’ fibres which connect different brain regions are slightly altered, or frayed, making communication between different brain regions sub-optimal. While these differences were larger in some areas of the brain than others, an important finding from the study was that these changes were seen right across the brain and not just in one area. In schizophrenia, these changes are likely to help explain several clinical symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions, but also the cognitive difficulties that people experience and that strongly predict a level of disability. Commenting on the study, the studies’ senior author Professor Gary Donohue from NUI Galway, said: “It’s almost 40 years since we had the first clues that schizophrenia was associated with changes in brain structure. What the ENIGMA consortium has achieved here is to provide definitive proof that these changes are not specific to any one area of the brain, but rather reflect subtle yet widespread changes throughout the brain. In terms of the idea that schizophrenia might be caused by a mis-wiring of the brain, this study provides unequivocal evidence that this is the case. The next steps will be to identify the individual genetics variants that lead to this mis-wiring.” Professor Donohoe added: “Schizophrenia can be enormously disabling and is frequently misunderstood. These studies are essential both for explaining the difficulties that those affected experience, but also to bring us further along the pathway to developing new therapies. Towards that end, this study is pointing us in a particular direction to treat schizophrenia as a disorder affecting the whole brain rather than one part of it.” To read the full paper in Molecular Psychiatry, visit: http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/mp2017170a.html?foxtrotcallback=true -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Rinneadh ceiliúradh in OÉ Gaillimh le gairid ar ghrúpa ar leith mac léinn chéad bhliana ag searmanas speisialta an tseachtain seo caite, mar aitheantas ar na pointí arda a ghnóthaigh siad i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta. Mar chuid de shearmanas bliantúil na hOllscoile le Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa a bhronnadh, bronnadh scoláireachtaí ar fiú €1,500 iad ar 56 mac léinn. Bronntar na Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa gach bliain ar mhic léinn atá díreach tosaithe ag freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh agus a fuair 560 pointe, ar a laghad, i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta, seachas mic léinn Leighis. Sa Leigheas, bronnadh deich Scoláireacht bunaithe ar thorthaí na hArdteistiméireachta agus na Tástála Iontrála nua (H-PAT Ireland) araon. Tá na Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa ann chun luach saothair a thabhairt do na daltaí is fearr a n-éiríonn leo san Ardteistiméireacht, agus chun a dtiomantas leanúnach i sárchaighdeán acadúil a spreagadh le linn a dtréimhse in OÉ Gaillimh. D’fhéadfaí go mbeadh scoláireachtaí nó deontais eile ag an té a fhaigheann na scoláireachtaí seo, Scoláireachtaí Iarchéime na hOllscoile, Scoláireachtaí do Mhic Léinn Lánfhásta, Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt na hOllscoile agus scéimeanna a bhaineann go sonrach le coláistí agus iad siúd a n-éiríonn thar barr leo sna scrúduithe Ollscoile san áireamh. Ag labhairt dó roimh bhronnadh na ngradam, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Is cúis áthais dom na scoláireachtaí seo a bhronnadh ar na daoine sármhaithe seo mar aitheantas ar a gcumas acadúil. Déanann OÉ Gaillimh iarracht i gcónaí tacú le sárchaighdeán acadúil i ngach uile dhisciplín agus é a spreagadh. Tá na Gradaim seo ann le gach mac léinn a spreagadh le lántairbhe a bhaint as a gcumas mar mhic léinn, trí thairseach réalaíoch sárchaighdeáin a leagan amach agus luach saothair a thabhairt do gach mac léinn a bhaineann an leibhéal sin amach. Deis atá ann freisin le haitheantas a thabhairt don tsárobair atá déanta ag a dtuismitheoirí agus ag a múinteoirí.” I mbliana bronnadh na Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa ar scoláirí ó 37 scoil ar fud na hÉireann. Bronnadh scoláireachtaí ar mhic léinn as na contaetha seo a leanas – An Clár, Corcaigh, Dún na nGall, Gaillimh, Ciarraí, Luimneach, An Longfort, Lú, Maigh Eo, Uíbh Fhailí, Tír Eoghain agus An Iarmhí. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

NUI Galway recently celebrated the success of a select group of first-year students with a special ceremony last week, in recognition of the high points they achieved in the recent Leaving Certificate Examination. As part of the University's annual Excellence Scholarships, 56 students received €1,500 each.   Each year the Excellence Scholarships are given to new entrants at NUI Galway who reached a minimum of 560 points in their Leaving Certificate examination, except in Medicine. For Medical students 10 Scholarships were awarded certificates, based on the combined results in the Leaving Certificate and the new Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland).   The Excellence Scholarships are designed to recognise and reward Leaving Cert success for the highest-achieving students, and encourage their ongoing commitment to academic excellence during their time at NUI Galway. The awards may be held with any other scholarships or grants, including the University's Postgraduate Scholarships, Mature Student Scholarships, Sports Scholarship Scheme and schemes specific to individual colleges for those who excel in their University exams.   Speaking in advance of the Awards presentation, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne, said: “I am delighted to present the scholarships to these outstanding individuals in recognition of their academic talent. NUI Galway constantly strives to support and promote academic excellence across all disciplines. The purpose of these Awards is to encourage each student to develop his/her academic potential to the fullest, by setting a realistic threshold of excellence and rewarding every student who attains that level. It is also a chance to give due credit to their parents and teachers for their important contribution to such success.”   This year Excellence Scholarships were awarded to students from 37 individual schools throughout Ireland. The winners represented 12 counties including Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Offaly, Tyrone, and Westmeath.   -Ends-

Friday, 13 October 2017

NUI Galway MA in Literature and Publishing graduate Catherine Doyle has signed a six-figure deal with Bloomsbury Children’s Books for her novel, The Storm Keeper’s Island. The Storm Keeper’s Island tells the story of Fionn Boyle, who is sent away for the summer to stay with his grandfather on the magical island of Arranmore. His arrival awakens an ancient magic buried deep in the island’s layers – and the adventure that follows sees him face his fears and embrace his destiny as the Storm Keeper’s heir. The novel will be published in the UK and Australia in July 2018, and the US in early 2019. Catherine said: “Having grown up listening to my grandfather’s stories of daring sea rescues and adventures on Arranmore Island, it’s wonderful to be able to write a magical island story that has been inspired by them. This is very much the book of my heart and in Bloomsbury I believe it has found the perfect home.” Dr Rebecca Anne Barr, Director of MA in Literature and Publishing at NUI Galway said: “I’m delighted by the success of our recent graduate, Catherine Doyle. Catherine excelled in her MA degree, where she studied literature, contemporary publishing, and the marketing of YA fiction. As a writer she unites this understanding of the publishing world with her individual creativity, earning her a huge following among young readers around the world. Catherine regularly returns to the MA in Literature and Publishing to give talks to our students on the genre of Young Adult Fiction and the use of social media in publishing. We look forward to celebrating her achievement and to reading many more of Catherine’s books in the future.” Catherine’s writing career launched after she secured a three-book deal for her Young Adult Blood for Blood triology with the same international publisher who discovered JK Rowling, the creator of the Harry Potter series. -Ends-

Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) has been awarded Best Contribution to Data Science from an Academic Research Body at the 2017 DataSci Awards NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) received the Best Contribution to Data Science award at the 2017 DataSci Awards for work in producing two high-resolution Numerical Weather Prediction simulations, which will enable ground-breaking climate research for Ireland. The data from these simulations has the potential to inform public policy, the Irish energy sector and a wide range of research in fields such as climate change trends, agriculture, disaster prevention, renewable energy, and socio-economic planning. ICHEC Climate Change lead Dr Paul Nolan said: “This work was made possible through Ireland’s national supercomputer Fionn and ICHEC’s expertise. Weather and climate shape economies and infrastructures that touch upon nearly every aspect of our daily lives, from food supply to recreational activities to energy resources.” Dr Nolan added, “We would hope that this recognition will showcase the importance of homogeneous, long-term, gridded datasets to be utilised within industry, research and public sectors.” The simulations were run on the ICHEC supercomputing systems with the research funded by an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) climate research project. The datasets were analysed in detail for energy applications. This energy research component was funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The aim of this work is to promote and make the data publicly available for researchers, policy makers, the general public and Irish industry. The provision of these datasets support Ireland's renewable energy commitments. For example, under the EU Directive on the Promotion of the Use of Renewable Energy (2009/28/EC, NREAP), Ireland is committed to ensuring that 16% of the total energy consumed in heating, electricity and transport is generated from renewable resources by 2020. -Ends-

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

NUI Galway to host public lecture by leading international war crimes lawyer Peter McCloskey The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host a free public lecture on the prosecution of the Bosnian genocide on Thursday, 19 October at 7:30pm. The lecture will be given by Peter McCloskey, a senior trial attorney in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia who has been working for two decades on cases concerning the massacres which took place in Srenbrenica in July 1995. Peter McCloskey has been closely involved in the prosecution of twenty individuals indicted by the Tribunal for crimes committed in Srebrenica, including most prominently Serbian President Slobodan Milošević, Radovan Karadžić and General Ratko Mladić. He will speak of his experience in prosecuting genocide, the “crimes of crimes,” which aims at the destruction of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague is one of the few international courts to ever prosecute the crime of genocide, the other being the tribunal for Rwanda. Both courts have almost completed their work and this lecture offers a valuable opportunity to reflect on their efforts in addressing the crime of genocide. For Peter McCloskey, these prosecutions provided an opportunity to bring to light the organised and systematic murder of over 7,000 people at Srebrenica. “Over the years,” he explains, “we grew to know many of the survivors, witnesses and victims of Srebrenica and learned from them how much they appreciated our effort and how much our work meant to them.  From their words and warm affection it appears we have been able to bring a small measure of peace and justice to those Bosnians and the Bosnian Muslim community as a whole.” “Dr Shane Darcy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights said: “We are honoured that Peter McCloskey will travel to Galway to share his vast experience in the prosecution of notorious war criminals. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has been a ground-breaking development in international affairs, demonstrating that perpetrators of serious international crimes can be called to account before a judicial body, despite the various legal, political and practical challenges that this may have presented.” The lecture takes place at 7:30pm on Thursday, 19 October in the Tyndall Theatre, NUI Galway concourse. -Ends-  

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Michael M O’Shaughnessy (1864-1934: Engineering the Promised Land An archive of papers belonging to distinguished engineering graduate, Michael M. O’Shaughnessy (1864-1934), who oversaw some of the world’s most iconic engineering projects as city engineer for San Francisco, has been catalogued and digitised, and is the subject of a new exhibition on display at Natioanl University of Ireland (NUI) Galway entitled Michael Maurice O’Shaughnessy (1864-1934): Engineering the Promised Land. Born in Loughill, Co Limerick, Michael M. O’Shaughnessy, moved to Galway in 1882 to study engineering in what was then called Queen's College Galway. In 1885, he emigrated to America, where he embarked on an illustrious career on railways, mines and irrigation projects in California and Hawaii. In 1912, O’Shaughnessy was appointed City Engineer for San Francisco, six years after the city’s devastating earthquake. For over two decades he was involved in many iconic projects in the region. He approved the concept of a bridge crossing the Golden Gate Strait and the subsequent design of the Golden Gate Bridge. He led the development of municipally-owned utilities including the city’s famous streetcar system and hydro-electric power projects. O’Shaughnessy led the Hetch Hetchy reservoir and power project at Yosemite National Park, which is still the primary water source for residents of San Francisco. One of the dams in the project was named the O'Shaughnessy dam in his honour. The archive was donated to NUI Galway in 2016 by Bernadette O’Shaughnessy whose late husband was a grand-nephew of Michael O’Shaughnessy. Its contents include material that documents his time in private practice: a large and fascinating volume of photographs from throughout his professional and personal life, engineering drawings, related reports and correspondence that detail survey work in California, and irrigation design and construction projects in Hawaii. The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, also holds a major collection of archival material donated by his youngest daughter, Elizabeth, in 1992. Speaking at the launch, University Librarian at NUI Galway, John Cox, said: “Michael Maurice O’Shaughnessy had a very distinguished career in the United States and his work continues to be recognised in San Francisco today. This was evident to me when I visited UC Berkeley earlier this year and learned of the extensive use being made of the archive there. The material donated to NUI Galway complements the Berkeley archive and adds new insights into his family life in particular.” Officially launching Michael Maurice O’Shaughnessy (1864-1934): Engineering the Promised Land, Dr Gray Brechin, from University of California Berkeley, said: “The new exhibition of the career of Michael O’Shaughnessy will go far to resurrecting the reputation of one of America’s great engineers whose public works largely created the cities of San Diego and San Francisco and had a profound impact not only on California but on the wider Pacific Basin.”  Professor Padraic O’Donoghue, Civil Engineering at NUI Galway, said: “There is no doubt that Michael O’Shaughnessy was one of our most famous engineering graduates. His achievement in bringing a secure supply of drinking water to San Francisco has contributed enormously to the growth of the Bay area and Silicon Valley. The archive provides fascinating insights to this pioneering work while it also provides interesting commentary on large scale infrastructure projects in a 1920’s Ireland, particularly the Shannon Scheme.” An exhibition based on the archive has been curated in a joint project between the NUI Galway Library and the College of Engineering and Informatics. In addition, a distinct project to explore the archive in O’Shaughnessy’s own words, using his memoir will also be available online. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “The University values archival collections and we are excited to receive a collection of such importance in engineering. Digitisation enables its use globally and we are keen to take all opportunities to collaborate with UC Berkeley on linking the two archives. We are very grateful to Bernadette O’Shaughnessy for this very generous donation.” The archive has been catalogued and digitised in its entirety, and is available to view at https://exhibitions.library.nuigalway.ie/oshaughnessy/.  ENDS  

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Director of NUI Galway’s UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre is co-editor of new handbook bringing together leaders in the field of Children’s Rights in the UK and Ireland A new book, the Routledge Handbook of Global Child Welfare, co-edited by Professor Pat Dolan from NUI Galway, provides a compelling account of child welfare, grounded in the latest theory, policy and practice. The book will beofficially launched at the House of Lords in Westminster, London next Tuesday 17 October by Doreen Elizabeth Massey, Baroness Massey of Darwen and Labour member of the House of Lords. The launch at the House of Lords will bring together leaders in the field of Children’s Rights from across the UK and Ireland. Briefings will be delivered on key themes from selected chapters such as preventing child sexual exploitation, the de-institutionalisation of children and the process and outcomes relating to multidisciplinary work with children and young people. Briefings will be presented by Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, Professor Jenny Pearce, University of Bedfordshire, Georgette Mulheir, Lumos Foundation (whose founder and President is the Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling) and Professor Nick Frost, Leeds Beckett University. Speaking in advance of the launch, Professor Pat Dolan co-editor of the book and Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “This ambitious and far-reaching handbook is essential reading for everyone working to make the world a better and safer place for children. Whether it is deaths resulting from child protection failures, sexual abuse and exploitation or the impact of war and famine, child refugees, or the simple fact that corporal punishment is still in existence in a third of the world’s countries, the effects of these issues on children requires collective responses and calls for something to be done. This book brings together a group of leading commentators, academics and activists to offer a considered examination of the challenges and hopefulness towards solutions.” Co-editor of the book, Nick Frost from Leeds Beckett University, said: “It was a great pleasure to work with Pat Dolan in editing this collection of articles. We hope we have provided a comprehensive overview of global developments. Whilst it was impossible to cover every country and every theme, we hope we have highlighted the key challenges and suggested some realistic directions of travel for the future. Our volume does not explicitly cover issues common to all children, health and education, for example: it is concerned with children who may be regarded as ‘vulnerable’ and/or amongst the most disadvantaged on the planet.” Drawing on eminent international expertise, the book offers a coherent and comprehensive overview of the policies, systems and practices that can deliver the best outcomes for children. It considers the challenges faced by children globally, and the difference families, services and professionals can make. -Ends-  

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Galway City Council and NUI Galway have signed an agreement to formalise joint plans for collaboration and development in Galway city. The signing of the “Poitiers Declaration” means NUI Galway is the latest of the Coimbra Group of long-established, multidisciplinary research European universities to agree cooperation initiatives within their local socio-economic environment.   Galway joins cities from Barcelona to Vilnius in setting a programme of collaboration in areas as diverse as economic development, public transport and sport. Over the coming years, joint initiatives will include: Sharing the benefits and impact of research and education locally, nationally and internationally. Development of policies to attract companies as well as medical, social and cultural services and activities. Internationalisation of the activities of the University and the city. Support for the expansion of youth entrepreneurship directly linked to research. Rethinking of public transport and urban mobility, with attention to the needs of the student population. Promotion of sport among students and all citizens. Speaking at the signing, The Mayor of the City of Galway, Councillor Pearce Flannery said, “This is a unique occasion for Galway City Council to hold its meeting in the Aula Maxima and to sign and endorse the Potiers declaration to enhance collaboration between the University and Galway City Council.” The University has made it a strategic priority to serve and engage with its diverse communities through enhanced relationships on campus, in the region and around the world. As a hub for start-ups, and through extensive research collaboration with industry and public bodies, the University places a strong focus on supporting regional economies. Through community engagement and partnerships, particularly in the arts and sport, the University supports social and cultural development as part of a holistic approach to regional development. Speaking today, Dr Jim Browne, NUI Galway President added: “NUI Galway has a strong tradition of collaboration within our region, and we are delighted to formalise these commitments with Galway City Council. For our communities to flourish, we need an environment which cultivates talent. The West is renowned for this, and we look forward to working with Galway City Council to develop supports that encourage social prosperity and economic growth.”  -Ends-

Monday, 9 October 2017

Students interested in studying at NUI Galway are invited to an Information Evening in Ennis on Thursday, 19 October. Guidance Counsellors and teachers are also invited to the event, which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis Co. Clare.   The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to its innovative programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. NUI Galway is launching seven new Arts degrees for enrolment in 2018. These include a BA (Music) which gives students a deep immersion in the study of music history, traditional Irish music, vocal and choral skills, composition, keyboard skills, music technology and music management. Information on BA (Music) and the other new Bachelor of Arts programmes will be available at the event.   Sport is integral to student-life at NUI Galway and visitors to the information evening will also have the opportuntiy to learn about the scholarships and supports available to high performing athletes. The event will feature sports at NUI Galway, including a short panel discussion with players from Connacht Rugby and sports representatives from the University.   The event will also have representatives from across the University’s five Colleges available to answer questions about the programmes on offer, entry requirements, and placement and employment opportunities. Shannon College of Hotel Management, now a College of NUI Galway, will also be attending the event.   Sarah Geraghty, Student Recruitment and Outreach Manager at NUI Galway, said: “In recent months NUI Galway was announced as ranked in the Top 1% of universities worldwide and in recent days announced as the Sunday Times University of the Year for 2018. These top accolades are testament to the excellence in teaching and learning at NUI Galway, the focus on developing highly skilled and employable graduates and the overall the richness of the student experience. Our Information Evening in Ennis is an opportunity for students to take a closer look at the opportunities that await them at NUI Galway.”   -Ends-

Friday, 6 October 2017

Ainmníodh OÉ Gaillimh mar ‘Ollscoil na Bliana 2018’ sa Sunday Times University Guide, den tríú huair. Bhuaigh an Ollscoil an gradam mór le rá seo an chéad bhliain ar bronnadh é in 2002 agus arís in 2009. D’éirigh níos fearr le OÉ Gaillimh ná an 21 institiúid tríú leibhéal eile sa tír agus i measc na gcúiseanna ar bronnadh an gradam seo ar an ollscoil bhí an dea-cháil atá uirthi mar ionad barr feabhais i réimse na teicneolaíochta leighis, a sárchaighdeán sna dána agus sna heolaíochtaí, na rátaí maithe maidir le dul chun cinn chomh maith leis na hionchais fostaíochta is fearr as aon ollscoil eile in Éirinn. Dúirt Alastair McCall, Eagarthóir an Sunday Times Good University Guide: “Sna hocht mbliana ó bhuaigh OÉ Gaillimh duais Ollscoil na Bliana cheana tá forás déanta aige i dtéarmaí a cháil domhanda mar cheann de na suíomhanna foghlama is fearr atá le fáil. Tá cuid den lucht acadúil ar na daoine is mó a dtagraítear dóibh ar domhan agus cuimsíonn a cháil na dána agus na heolaíochtaí. Anuraidh thuill an ollscoil ioncam taighde sa bhreis ar €65m, fianaise ar an gceannródaíocht atá ar bun ag an lucht acadúil. “Ina theannta sin, baineann tábhacht ollmhór leis an ollscoil i dtéarmaí an gheilleagair réigiúnaigh, tá sé lárnach sa phobal mórthimpeall ag gach leibhéal. Spreagtar mic léinn na hollscoile chun obair dheonach a dhéanamh agus a bheith mar chuid den phobal úd seachas díreach a bheith ina dturasóirí oideachais i nGaillimh. Nuair a bheidh Gaillimh mar Phríomhchathair Chultúrtha na hEorpa sa bhliain 2020, beidh an ollscoil i gcroílár na féile; agus Ionad Uí Dhonnchadha don Drámaíocht, an Amharclannaíocht agus an Taibhléiriú mar ráiteas ceannasach ar thábhacht na ndán don ollscoil. “Is comhartha ómóis é bua na bliana seo chomh maith do cheannaireacht Uachtarán na hOllscoile, an Dr Jim Browne, a bheidh ag cur deireadh lena théarma deich mbliana in oifig go luath an bhliain seo chugainn. Fágann sé OÉ Gaillimh i staid an-láidir, réidh chun tuilleadh dul chun cinn a dhéanamh i ranguithe ollscoile domhanda agus náisiúnta, agus inniúil ar oideachas tríú leibhéal den scoth a chur ar fáil do mhic léinn sna blianta amach romhainn.” Ní ar chúrsaí na dtáblaí sraithe amháin atá an gradam bunaithe ach ar mheasúnú faoi 22 critéar ar ról na hollscoile ar leibhéal áitiúil, náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. “Táimid i dtiúin go láidir le riachtanais na tíre agus an réigiúin,” a deir an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh. Déanaimid iarracht ár gcláir a dhíriú ar thacaíocht a thabhairt d’uaillmhian ár gcuid mac léinn agus ar riachtanais ár ngeilleagair san fhadtréimhse. Déanaimid iarracht chomh maith cothromaíocht chuí a bhaint amach maidir le léann acadúil traidisiúnta agus foghlaim obair-bhunaithe. Tá sé mar sprioc againn go dtabharfaidh 80% dár mic léinn fochéime faoi fhoghlaim ó thaithí.” Anuas ar an méid sin, dúirt an Dr Browne: “Is iad na mic léinn agus na comhaltaí foirne atá againn croílár na hOllscoile seo agus tugann an gradam seo aitheantas dá gcruthaitheacht, dá nuálaíocht agus don obair chrua a dhéanann siad.  Níl aon teorainn leis an uaillmhian anseo agus táimse muiníneach go bhfuilimid ar an mbealach chun cáil níos mó fós a bhaint amach don institiúid seo agus don réigiún.” Ollscoil na Bliana sa Sunday Times Tá barr feabhais bainte amach ag an Ollscoil sna dána agus sna heolaíochtaí agus rinneadh infheistíocht shuntasach inti le déanaí. D’oscail Micheál D. Ó hUiginn, Uachtarán na hÉireann, Ionad Uí Dhonnchadha don Drámaíocht, an Amharclannaíocht agus an Taibhléiriú in Aibreán agus osclaíodh acadamh leighis chomh maith i nDún na nGall, ar thailte Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Leitir Ceanainn. Tá cáil ar an Ollscoil mar ionad barr feabhais i réimse na teicneolaíochta leighis, rud a bhí soiléir nuair a seoladh Cúram, an t-ionad taighde d'fheistí leighis de chuid Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann i Meán Fómhair 2016. Cuireann an t-ionad naisc chun cinn idir an lucht acadúil agus comhpháirtithe tionsclaíochta. Déanfaidh SFI agus cuideachtaí éagsúla eile infheistíocht €49m thar shé bliana, agus tiocfaidh maoiniú breise €19m ó chlár Dheiseanna Nua an AE, 2020. Tá dlúthbhaint chomh maith ag caighdeán na foirne acadúla in OÉ Gaillimh leis an rath atá ar an ollscoil, agus tá roinnt ollúna cosúil leis an Dr Henry Curran, an tOllamh Colin O’Dowd, an tOllamh Donal O’Regan agus an Dr Ronan Sulpice ainmnithe i measc na dtaighdeoirí is mó a ndéantar tagairt dóibh in anailís ar thaighde foilsithe ag an ngrúpa ilnáisiúnta Clarivite Analytics. Chuidigh tagairtí taighde leis an ollscoil dul chun cinn níos mó a dhéanamh sna ranguithe ollscoile idirnáisiúnta i mbliana. Thuill an lucht acadúil thart ar €89,000 an duine in ioncam taighde de réir an tsuirbhé is déanaí a rinneadh sa Good University Guide ar chumhacht an taighde. Is féidir le OÉ Gaillimh a mhaíomh go bhfuil na hionchais fostaíochta is fearr aige as ollscoileanna uile na poblachta agus ráta dífhostaíochta thar a bheith íseal i measc céimithe ag trí faoin gcéad. Tá ceann de na rátaí dul chun cinn is fearr ag baint leis an ollscoil seo chomh maith, agus críochnaíonn 88% de mhic léinn a gcláir staidéir. Ghlac sa bhreis ar 260 mac léinn páirt i gcúrsaí rochtana agus i mbonnchúrsaí in OÉ Gaillimh i mbliana, agus fuair 150 díbh sin tairiscint ar chlár.  San iomlán, tá os cionn 1,100 fochéimí faoi chúram na hoifige rochtana.  Tá oscailteacht OÉ Gaillimh do mhodhanna éagsúla teagaisc agus foghlama soiléir chomh maith ina chuid oibre leis an nGaeilge. Tá an ollscoil gar do Ghaeltacht Chonamara, an réigiún is mó sa tír ina bhfuil Gaeilge á labhairt ann agus mar sin déanann OÉ Gaillimh ceiliúradh agus cothú ar an nGaeilge ag cur ranganna ar fáil do thosaitheoirí agus do dhaoine le Gaeilge líofa mar aon le cláir a mhúintear trí mheán na Gaeilge. Feidhmíocht OÉ Gaillimh i Ranguithe Domhanda Is é OÉ Gaillimh an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a bhfuil dul chun cinn seasta déanta aige sna Ranguithe Ollscoile Domhanda is iomaíche. Tá dul chun cinn déanta ag an Ollscoil bliain i ndiaidh bliana i Ranguithe QS agus Times Higher Education, agus áirítear an Ollscoil anois ar cheann den 250 ollscoil is fearr sa dá rangú. Dar le QS, tá OÉ Gaillimh i measc an 1% is fearr d’ollscoileanna an domhain. Críoch

Friday, 6 October 2017

NUI Galway has been named 'University of the Year 2018' in the Sunday Times University Guide, securing the prestigious accolade for a third time, having won the inaugural title in 2002 and again in 2009. Outperforming 21 other third-level institutions, NUI Galway's strong reputation as a centre of excellence in relation to medical technology, its excellence across the arts and sciences, its impressive progression rates as well as having the best job prospects of any other Irish university were among the reasons for the award. Alastair McCall, Editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: “In the eight years since NUI Galway last won our University of the Year award it has continued to grow its global reputation as one of the great seats of learning. Some of its academics are among the most cited in the world and its reputation spans the arts and the sciences. The university brought in more than €65m of research income last year, evidence of the cutting edge at which many of the academics operate. "It is also pivotal to the regional economy, rooted in its community and playing an active role at all levels. Its students are encouraged to volunteer and be part of that community and not just come to Galway as educational tourists. When Galway is the European Capital of Culture in 2020, the university will be at its heart; the newly-opened O'Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance a bold statement of the importance of the arts to the university. "Its triumph in this year's University of the Year award is also a tribute to the leadership of University President, Dr Jim Browne, whose 10-year term of office ends early next year. He leaves NUI Galway in a position of great strength, ready to make further progress in world and national university rankings, and offering a distinctive third level education to future generations of students.” The award is not only based on league table position but on an assessment under 22 criteria on the university's role on a local, national and international level “We are very well attuned to the needs of the country and the region,” says Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway. “We try to orient our programmes to support the ambition of our students and the needs of our economy in the longer term. We also try to have an appropriate balance of traditional academic scholarship and work-based learning. We have a target that 80% of our undergraduate students would have experiential learning.” Dr Browne added:  “Our students and staff are the vital ingredient that make this University truly special and this award acknowledges their creativity, innovation and hard work.  The ambition here knows no bounds and I am confident that we are on a path for even greater renown for this institution and the region.” Sunday Times University of the Year Statement The University, which excels across the arts and sciences, has seen considerable recent investment. Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland, opened the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance in April and a medical academy has come on stream in Donegal, in the grounds of Letterkenny University Hospital. The University has a reputation as a centre of excellence in relation to medical technology, as evidenced by the launch in September 2016 of Cúram, Science Foundation Ireland's (SFI) centre for research in medical devices. The centre promotes links between academia and industry partners. The SFI and various companies will invest €49m over six years, with €19m more in funding coming from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. The quality of academic staff at NUI Galway is also crucial to the university’s success, with a number of professors such as Dr Henry Curran, Professor Colin O’Dowd, Professor Donal O’Regan and Dr Ronan Sulpice named among the world’s most highly cited researchers in an analysis of published research by multinational group Clarivite Analytics. Research citations have helped the university rise further up the international university rankings this year. Academics garnered around €89,000 per head in research income in the Good University Guide’s latest survey of research power. NUI Galway boasts the best job prospects of any university in the republic with an impressively low three per cent graduate unemployment rate, together with one of the best progression rates, which sees 88% of students complete their studies. More than 260 students took part in NUI Galway access and foundation courses this year, with 150 receiving an offer of entry. In total, the access programme office has 1,100-plus undergraduates on its books.  NUI Galway's openness to alternative means of teaching and learning is evident, too, in its work with the Irish language. The university is close to the Connemara Gaeltacht, the largest Irish-speaking area in the country and as such NUI Galway celebrates and promotes the Irish language offering classes from beginner to advanced level as well as programmes taught through the medium of Irish. NUI Galway Performance in World Rankings NUI Galway has been the only university in Ireland to rise consistently in the most competitive World University Rankings. Both the QS and Times Higher Education Rankings have placed the University in a higher position year-on-year, and the University is now counted among the Top 250 universities in both rankings. According to QS, NUI Galway is among the Top 1% of universities in the world.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

NUI Galway is to become custodian of the extensive archives of Conradh na Gaeilge, Ireland’s oldest Irish language organisation which celebrates its 125th anniversary next year. Conradh na Gaeilge has agreed to permanently deposit archival material spanning over a century of its existence, providing an unparalleled insight into linguistic, cultural, social and political aspects of Ireland’s past. At an event to formally announce the acquisition of the archive, Dr John Walsh, Senior Lecturer in Irish at NUI Galway, said: “This deposit marks a major expansion of the already extensive Irish language archival collections at NUI Galway and is highly significant for Irish language scholarship. The Conradh na Gaeilge archive allows researchers unprecedented access to primary sources about the development of Irish language policy over the past century. By studying Conradh na Gaeilge we can better understand contemporary European minority language movements which continue to have such resonance today.” The Conradh na Gaeilge archive includes previously unseen material and correspondence related to Conradh na Gaeilge figures throughout the organisation’s history such as Douglas Hyde, Patrick Pearse and Thomas Ashe. It also includes documents from Conradh na Gaeilge branches throughout Ireland, press cuttings and material related to various Irish language campaigns. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “This is a very significant milestone for both organisations. NUI Galway is honoured to work with Conradh na Gaeilge to become the custodian of this critically important archive, the significance of which extends well beyond the Irish language and encompasses social, cultural and historical dimensions of Ireland and our development as a nation. It is especially fitting that NUI Galway will host this archive, given our University’s strong commitment to the Irish language and our growing reputation as a centre for archival scholarship.” President of Conradh na Gaeilge, Dr Niall Comer said: “Although historians, academics and scholars have been interested in the Conradh na Gaeilge archive for many years, it was only with the passing of time that the value of the archive was understood fully. The person who spends time looking through the archive material will recognise immediately that it contains a remarkable insight into a decisive period in the country’s history. Now, with NUI Galway’s plan to catalogue and digitise the material, this jewel will be available widely.” The archive is to be housed in NUI Galway’s Special Collection Reading Room which boasts state of the art facilities for researchers. University Librarian, John Cox said: “We look forward to opening this archive for research and teaching once it has been catalogued. Our archives team will provide expert advice in its use and will connect users with the University’s extensive Irish language collections. These include manuscripts related to Douglas Hyde, the Bairéad collection of folklore sources, and papers related to leading Irish language figures of the twentieth century such as Pádraig Ó Mathúna, Proinsias Mac Aonghusa and Éamon de Buitléar.” Under the agreement with Conradh na Gaeilge, NUI Galway will employ an archivist to catalogue the collection and to digitise part of it. In order to ensure maximum use, the University will promote the collection among students and researchers at home and abroad. An Interest Group of experts, internal and external to NUI Galway, will also be established to ensure the active development of the archive. As part of Conradh na Gaeilge’s 125th anniversary, an academic event will be held in the University in 2018 when part of the material has been catalogued. ENDS 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Beidh OÉ Gaillimh ag feidhmiú mar choimeádaí ar chartlanna fairsinge Chonradh na Gaeilge, an eagraíocht Ghaeilge is ársa in Éirinn a bheidh ag ceiliúradh 125 bliain ar an bhfód an bhliain seo chugainn. Tá sé aontaithe ag Conradh na Gaeilge ábhar cartlainne a bhaineann le tréimhse os cionn céad bliain a chur i dtaisce go buan san Ollscoil, rud a thabharfaidh léargas dosháraithe ar ghnéithe teangeolaíocha, cultúrtha, sóisialta agus polaitiúla a bhaineann leis an am a caitheadh in Éirinn. English version available hereAg an ócáid ina ndearnadh sealbhú na cartlainne a fhógairt go foirmiúil, dúirt an Dr John Walsh, Léachtóir Sinsearach le Gaeilge in OÉ Gaillimh: “Cuireann an taisce seo go mór leis na bailiúcháin fhairsinge Ghaeilge atá ag OÉ Gaillimh cheana féin agus tá sé thar a bheith tábhachtach do léann na Gaeilge. Tugann cartlann an Chonartha rochtain nach raibh ar fáil cheana do thaighdeoirí ar fhoinsí príomhúla maidir le forbairt an bheartais teanga i leith na Gaeilge le breis agus céad bliain anuas. Trí staidéar a dhéanamh ar bhailiúchán Chonradh na Gaeilge is féidir linn teacht ar thuiscint níos fearr ar ghluaiseachtaí mionteanga na hEorpa a mbaineann an oiread sin tábhachta leo fós sa lá atá inniu ann.” Tá ábhar agus comhfhreagras i gcartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge nach bhfacthas cheana a bhaineann le daoine a raibh baint acu le Conradh na Gaeilge le linn stair na heagraíochta cosúil le Dubhghlas de hÍde, Pádraig Mac Piarais agus Tomás Ághas. Tá cáipéisí ann chomh maith ó chraobhacha Chonradh na Gaeilge ar fud na hÉireann, gearrthóga nuachtáin agus ábhar a bhain le feachtais Ghaeilge éagsúla. Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Is cor cinniúnach é seo don dá eagraíocht. Is onóir é do OÉ Gaillimh oibriú le Conradh na Gaeilge agus a bheith ina choimeádaí ar an gcartlann thar a bheith tábhachtach seo. Tá tábhacht i bhfad níos leithne ag baint leis an gcartlann ná an Ghaeilge féin mar go gcuimsíonn sí gnéithe sóisialta, cultúrtha agus stairiúla na hÉireann agus an fhorbairt atá déanta againn mar náisiún. Tá sé thar a bheith fóirsteanach gur in OÉ Gaillimh a bheidh an chartlann seo coinnithe, i bhfianaise thiomantas láidir na hOllscoile i leith na Gaeilge agus an cháil atá orainn mar ionad do léann na cartlannaíochta.” Dúirt Uachtarán Chonradh na Gaeilge, an Dr Niall Comer: “In ainneoin go bhfuil staraithe, an lucht acadúil agus scoláirí ag cur spéise i gcartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge le blianta fada anuas, níorbh é go dtí le himeacht cheart aimsire gur tuigeadh go hiomlán an luach a bhí leis an gcartlann chéanna. Don té a chaitheann am ag breathnú trí ábhar na cartlainne, aithneoidh sé nó sí láithreach go bhfuil insint faoi leith ann ar thréimhse chinniúnach i stair na tíre seo. Anois, leis na pleananna atá ag Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh maidir le catalógú agus digitiú an ábhair, beidh an tseoid seo ar fáil go forleathan.” Coimeádfar an chartlann i Seomra Léitheoireachta na mBailiúchán Speisialta in OÉ Gaillimh áit a bhfuil scoth na n-áiseanna do thaighdeoirí. Dúirt Leabharlannaí na hOllscoile, John Cox: “Táimid ag tnúth go mór an chartlann seo a oscailt do chuspóirí taighde agus teagaisc nuair a bheidh catalógú déanta uirthi. Cuirfidh ár bhfoireann cartlainne sainchomhairle ar fáil in úsáid na cartlainne agus gheobhaidh úsáideoirí eolas ar bhailiúcháin fhairsinge Ghaeilge na hOllscoile. Áirítear orthu seo lámhscríbhinní a bhaineann le Dubhghlas de hÍde, bailiúchán Bhairéad d’fhoinsí béaloidis, agus páipéir a bhaineann le daoine mór le rá ón bhfichiú haois cosúil le Pádraig Ó Mathúna, Proinsias Mac Aonghusa agus Éamon de Buitléar.” Faoin gcomhaontú le Conradh na Gaeilge, fostóidh OÉ Gaillimh cartlannaí chun catalógú a dhéanamh ar an mbailiúchán agus chun cuid de a dhigitiú. D’fhonn a chinntiú go mbainfear an úsáid is fearr as an gcartlann, cuirfidh an Ollscoil an bailiúchán chun tosaigh i measc mac léinn agus taighdeoirí sa bhaile agus thar lear. Ina theannta sin, bunófar Grúpa Sainleasa de shaineolaithe, inmheánach agus seachtrach do OÉ Gaillimh, chun forbairt ghníomhach na cartlainne a chinntiú. Mar chuid de cheiliúradh 125 bliain Chonradh na Gaeilge, reáchtálfar ócáid acadúil san Ollscoil in 2018 nuair a bheidh catalógú déanta ar chuid den ábhar. CRÍOCH

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Following a hugely successful pilot of its Teachers in Residence Programme, CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, is now enrolling for the second year of the programme with applications being accepted up to 11 October, 2017. The Teachers in Residence programme supports both primary and secondary school teachers in science education and promotes equal opportunities in science for all students in the classroom. The programme has ten places available annually, for five primary and five secondary school teachers, with priority placement given to teachers from DEIS schools. The residency runs for ten evenings over six months from October to March. Teachers work directly with researchers  to develop content for the classroom, while learning about the medical device research being carried out at CÚRAM that will improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses like Parkinson’s and heart disease. Scientific Director of CÚRAM Professor Abhay Pandit said: “We were really impressed with the level of dedication and creativity shown by the primary and secondary teachers in the pilot year of the programme. We now have a suite of excellent resources developed for both primary and secondary school classrooms which will be built on year by year by these teachers, who are the real experts when it comes to engaging the next generation of scientists and engineers. Our goal is to provide inspiration for teachers by providing access to current, cutting edge research happening here in Ireland and working with them to incorporate it into classroom activities. If we can inspire and excite the teachers, our hope is it passes onto their students for years to come.” During the residency, teachers are introduced and linked to the range of educational resources provided by Science Foundation Ireland and to the ReelLife Science video competition for primary and secondary schools. A guest speaker will lead a discussion around encouraging equal opportunities in STEM careers for both boys and girls, and teachers will be invited with their classes to attend educational workshops run by CÚRAM during the Galway Science and Technology Festival in November 2017. Lesson plans and classroom activities developed during the pilot programme will be made available online at the end of October and participants in this year’s programme will evaluate and develop these further. The resources developed through the programme constitute a ‘learning module’ about CÚRAM and MedTech in Ireland that links with multiple streams and themes in the primary and junior cycle curricula. -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Researchers from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway have developed the world’s first verified identification guide and symptoms checklist for General Practitioners and the public on how to treat bites from the False Widow spider. The study was recently published in two separate research papers in international journals, one in the journal, Biology and Environment, which showed that the False Widow spider (Steatoda nobilis) is taking over Ireland and is an invasive species with a detrimental effect on native species. This study also featured on the journals front cover. The second journal, Clinical Toxicology showed five reported cases of False Widow bites in the UK and Ireland that have provided the world’s first verified identification guide on how to treat bites from this spider.   Led by Dr Michel Dugon, the research team based at the Venom Systems and Proteomics laboratory in NUI Galway made the discovery while investigating the potential of local bugs that included the venom from the False Widow spider, as a source of novel therapeutics to develop medication to treat illnesses ranging from bacterial infection to cancer. This is the only laboratory in the world currently working on extracting venom from The False Widow spider for potential therapies. This particular species of spider is having a detrimental effect on other local species and spiders in Ireland due to their competitiveness and fast breeding nature. The False Widow lives for five to seven years whereas most other spider and bug species in Ireland only lives for a maximum of one year. In Ireland False Widow spiders live close to buildings and houses inhabited by people, they only survive in cities and not in rural areas. Dublin, Cork and Wexford have the highest number of False Widows to date. Dr Michel Dugon, lead author of the study from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, said: “While it is extremely unlikely that a bite will ever be fatal, we do need to consider bites from False Widows as a potential health risk given the increase of this species not just in the UK and Ireland but also mainland Europe and the US. We hope that our study will help to address some of the public’s concerns about these spiders and will provide healthcare professionals with the information required to accurately diagnose and report bites associated with the False Widow.” The False widow spider arrived in the UK about 100 years ago and has steadily invaded Ireland over the past 20 years through human transport of goods, a by-product of globalisation. The first true case of a False Widow spider bite was identified in the UK in the 1990’s and in Chile last year. There has since been five additional reported cases, three in Ireland and two in the UK, leading to the NUI Galway study being the most intensive research carried out on this species to date. Bites from a False Widow spider are not fatal with identified symptoms resulting in a large swelling within three minutes of being bitten, sometimes followed by the formation of a dry necrotic wound when the swelling subside, and inflammation for a few days afterwards. The venom from a False Widow spider is a lot more powerful than the researchers expected, producing about one tenth of a millionth of a litre of venom. This study was funded by the Irish Research Council. -Ends- https://youtu.be/3YEaGnl4Mlg

Monday, 2 October 2017

More than 90 recruiting companies from a wide range of sectors will bring a potential 4,500 graduate jobs to the NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair in the Bailey Allen Hall, on Tuesday, 3 October from 12.30 - 4pm. The fair will open at 12pm exclusively for students with disabilities, providing them with a more comfortable environment to meet with employers This annual event, coordinated by the Career Development Centre in NUI Galway,   showcases graduate employment opportunities for students and graduates from all disciplines, with a diverse number of fields such as accountancy, IT, law, science, retail, civil and public sectors, consultancy and many others. Visitors to the event are invited to spend the afternoon networking with leading graduate recruiters. Major local employers such as Medtronic, SAP, Enterprise Ireland and Smyths will attend, in addition to international companies including Abbott, Siteminder, Smartbear, SITA Inc., Workday and Accenture. Josephine Walsh, Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre, said: “This year’s Graduate Jobs Fair is our biggest one yet with national and international employers looking to recruit NUI Galway graduates across all academic disciplines. This is an ideal opportunity to meet with employers who are targeting NUI Galway students and graduates and to find out more about the jobs available and the skills employers are looking for.” Josephine also has some advice for those attending the Graduate Jobs Fair: “Don’t forget your main objective on the day is to secure your first graduate job. Many graduate employers now recruit graduates from all academic disciplines so don’t be misled by an organisation’s name as they may have the perfect graduate opportunity for you. Prepare for your visit by downloading the Careers Fair Plus App which is new this year. This will help you research the companies you are interested in and the type of opportunities they have available. The App also has hints and tips on how to make a good impression and prepare your career pitch. Be confident, positive, enthusiastic and dress appropriately. Arrive with a ‘can do’ attitude and be prepared to network!” Details on participating exhibitors is available from www.nuigalway.ie/careers -Ends-  

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

New offerings include Music, Film & Digital Studies, Arts & Technology, International and Global Languages NUI Galway this week launched seven new Arts degrees for enrolment in 2018. The new offerings respond to feedback from students, industry and employers and further expands the specialised Arts study options at NUI Galway. The programmes have a strong skills development focus and are preparing students to work in high growth industries, with an emphasis on placements, employability and provide students with an important balance of expertise in a particular field combined with a foundation in the broad study of Arts and Humanities.   With Galway the designated European Capital of Culture for 2020, Galway city is fast becoming a global creative capital. According to Professor Cathal O'Donoghue, Dean of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway: “With this comes tremendous opportunities for careers in the creative industries ranging from careers in drama, film and theatre and emerging areas such as creative production and arts entrepreneurship. Four of the new Arts programmes being launched by NUI Galway are preparing students for such careers.” The BA (Music) is a much anticipated new programme. The four year degree is the study of Music along with another Arts subject. The BA (Music) will give students a deep immersion in the study of music history, traditional Irish music, vocal and choral skills, composition, keyboard skills, music technology and music management. A distinctive characteristic of the degree is the opportunity to collaborate with other students in the creative arts at NUI Galway (in film, drama and related areas) and to study in a true cultural campus. The BA (Film and Digital Media) offers students a unique combination of theory and practice across the areas of film and digital media, providing them with practical skills in filmmaking, screenwriting, and digital development and design. The programme, which includes internships with media and arts organisations and supervised research and creative projects, will position graduates for a wide range of roles in the creative industries, including film and television production, digital content creation, cultural administration, screenwriting and digital marketing. The focus of the BA (Digital Arts and Technology) is on digital technology applications in the creative arts. With extensive integration of arts and humanities with information technology and data science, students will graduate with a much sought after combination of creativity, analytic skills and advanced digital literacy. The new BA (English and Media) includes the theoretical study of media in critical and historical perspective and equip students with transferable communications and critical thinking skills that will prepare them for future success in the labour market. Professor O’Donoghue added: “The expected fallout of the exit of UK from the EU increases the need for Arts graduates to develop a global outlook and gain international experience during their studies and early in their career. The value that employers place on these graduate attributes has informed two of the new offerings.” The BA (International) is aimed at students interested in studying Arts and gaining international experience (either studies abroad or overseas work placement) as part of their degree with opportunities in year three to be based in South America, North America and beyond.  The BA (Global Languages) is a highly flexible languages degree to prepare students for careers in areas such as linguistics, translation, media, teaching, Finally, the new BA (Arts with Data Science) allows students to study and arts subject in parallel with maths, IT and data science modules, qualifying graduates for roles in applying data analytics techniques to solve global real-world human problems. The NUI Galway undergraduate Open Days are taking place on the 6 and 7 October, 2017. ENDS

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The 30% Club, a global group of company Chairs and CEOs committed to achieving better gender balance in business, held its first event in Galway on Monday, 25 September in partnership with NUI Galway and KPMG. The event, which was hosted in NUI Galway, focused on the theme of ‘Growth through Diversity’ and had an attendance of over 140 business leaders, academics and MBA students from across Galway and the wider Connacht region. Guests were welcomed by President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne and heard insightful contributions from speakers including;  Deirdre McLoughlin, Leadership and Resilience Coach and accredited Psychotherapist: Margaret Sweeney, Non-Executive Director, Dalata Hotel Group Plc and Galway University Foundation; Tony Neary, Vice President and General Manager, Medtronic; Brid Horan, Steering Committee member of 30% Club in Ireland; Martin Hughes, Executive MBA Programme Director, NUI Galway; and Professor Anne Scott, Vice-President for Equality and Diversity, NUI Galway. The key message for attendees was how better diversity leverages better decision making and performance in all types of organisations, regardless of size or sector. Attendees were challenged to kick-start their diversity journey to ensure that their processes are not only fair and equal, but encourage a balance that makes business sense and will encourage future growth and development. The event also formally recognised the first winner of the NUI Galway and 30% Club scholarship programme for an executive MBA at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, which aims to advance female leadership and executive representation in organisations. The scholarship, valued at over €13,000, was won by Galway businesswoman, Sandra Divilly. Speaking at the event, Vice President for Equality and Diversity at NUI Galway, Professor Anne Scott said: “I am delighted to see the interest in the topics of equality, diversity and inclusion both within NUI Galway and in our local business community. We are really delighted to welcome so many leaders from both the private and public sector to our event today. It is an excellent opportunity for the wider community in the West of Ireland to link with us in NUI Galway in order to share our various journeys, learn from and spread learnings and good practice in this important area.” Professor Scott added: “The recent publication of our first Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Annual report highlights NUI Galway’s commitment to openness and transparency in tackling issues relating to equality and diversity. Cultural change in this area will take time, but as we implement our initiatives and continue to seek feedback from external experts in this area, we look forward to seeing the impact and improved inclusivity throughout the University.” Outlining the importance of the event, 30% Club Steering Committee member, Brid Horan, added: “The 30% Club is delighted to join with KPMG and NUI Galway in highlighting the value and importance of improving gender balance at all levels of leadership and particularly welcome the strong interest shown by attendees from leading businesses in the west of Ireland.” Darina Barrett, Partner, KPMG and 30% Club Steering Committee member, concluded “KPMG is a founding member of the 30% Club in Ireland and we are delighted to be supporting this event in partnership with NUI Galway. We firmly believe that diversity contributes to better all-round business performance and it’s vital that inclusivity is at the top of the agenda for business leaders across Ireland.” -Ends-

Monday, 25 September 2017

NUI Galway study looks to understand how Twitter is shaping the new political landscape New research from NUI Galway explores the ‘realities’ contained within the tweets of several American presidential nominees from three of the main political parties in the United States: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Jill Stein in the months leading up to Election Day on 8 November 2016. The research, which has been published by the International Conference on Information Systems (2017) in Seoul, South Korea, is one of the first studies to use a magical realism perspective to examine the manner with which several main 2016 US presidential election candidates used Twitter as a tool for strategic storytelling and creating specific narratives for their electorate. Magic realism is a literary style used by writers to portray irony, surreal fantasy and hyperbole within their narratives in a realistic way. Consequently, the reader’s ability to distinguish between fiction and reality becomes blurred. Magical realism has appeared in print with increasing frequency over the last few decades, appearing in a vast number of television advertisements and in the popular press. The results show that Twitter served as an effective power knowledge transfer medium for the several presidential nominees by enabling them to create political narratives which were underpinned by specific magical realism techniques. Dr Trevor Clohessy, lead author of the study and post-doctoral researcher from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: “Political actors are now eager to catch Twitter users’ attention, because they not only produce word-of-mouth effects but influence other online users’ informational choices. In this sense, Twitter users are not just passive information recipients. Rather, they are conceived as power shareholders who control information flow through their interaction with mainstream media. “Existing research suggests that users’ experiences of the credibility of a social medial platform affect their perceptions pertaining to the quality of the message being conveyed. Given the brevity and the ambiguous nature of information contained within a 140 limit tweet, users often have to rely on the credibility of the Twitter platform to interpret the extent of the credibility of the tweets being pushed out by the individuals they are following.” Dr Clohessy added: “The recent emergence of the fake news concept has threatened to negatively impact social media platforms such as Twitter’s credibility as a valid source of information. This is concerning given the power a single political tweet can wield. For instance, when Donald Trump tweeted in January 2017 that Toyota would face a ‘big border tax’ if the company went ahead with plans for a new plant in Mexico, Toyota’s shares subsequently plummeted resulting in a loss of $1.2 billion in a mere five minutes following the posting of the tweet. “As a final reflection, Twitter was a novelty in American politics in 2009, a necessity in 2012 and predicted as a medium for facilitating a more progressive and inclusive politics for the 2016 Presidential campaign. However, our findings demonstrate that in the six months prior to the 2016 US Election Day, Twitter was used as a powerful tool to deliver messages which were underpinned by magical realism elements aimed at eliciting partisan animosity and widespread popularisation. It is interesting to note that Donald Trump tweeted just 1,904 times when compared to Hilary Clinton’s 2,906 and Dr Stein’s 2,604 tweets. Whilst both other candidates may have been more active on Twitter, the divisive, incendiary and almost unfiltered nature of Donald Trump’s tweets were more successful in generating global media news coverage. The following questions then arise: What role will Twitter play in the 2020 Presidential campaign and in more immediate election cycles? Will the 2016 Presidential election serve as a blueprint for future politicians on how to use Twitter to engage the emotions and the attentions of the electorate?” To read the full study, visit: http://novoverse.nuigalway.ie/new-research/ -Ends-

Monday, 25 September 2017

NUI Galway will bring International Scholars, Artists and Non-Profit Organisations (NGOs) to discuss the culture of migration in contemporary Ireland at the upcoming symposium ‘My Story, My Words – Language and Migration’ on Friday, 29 September. The one-day symposium is part of the collaboration between the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at NUI Galway and the Immigrant Council of Ireland, on a research project concerning the language experience of migrants in Ireland. In the 2016 Irish census, more than 600,000 people reported speaking a language other than English or Irish at home; this research looks at language as a key to intercultural communication in an increasingly multicultural country. The project is financed by the Irish Research Council under the New Foundations Scheme. During the event, scholars from across Europe will bring a European perspective on language learning and language policy in multicultural societies. The staff of the Immigrant Council of Ireland will talk about their work promoting diversity in Ireland, while Irish-based artists from all over the world will perform and talk about the challenges and possibilities of making Ireland a home for their art. This includes theatre companies OT Platform - Polish Theatre Ireland, visual artist Marta Golubowska, poets Christodoulos Makris, Nita Mishra, Nithy Kasa, Ozgecan Kesici and Fiona Bolger, and film director Jijo Sebastian. Their talks and performances will show a glimpse of the innovative contribution that artists from different backgrounds are making to Irish culture and society. The day concludes with the annual Máirtín Ó Briain Lecture given by Professor Patrick Stevenson of the University of Southampton. The annual lecture is organised to commemorate the Irish scholar Máirtín Ó Briain. This year Professor Stevenson will speak about ‘Language and Migration in a Multilingual Metropolis.’ The event is open to the public and a full schedule for the day is available on the project website at https://mystorynuig.wordpress.com/symposium-2/ For further information contact: Andrea Ciribuco at andrea.ciribuco@nuigalway.ie or Anne O’Connor at anne.oconnor@nuigalway.ie    -Ends-

Friday, 29 September 2017

NUI Galway Professor discusses life on Earth, alien existence, and the vast Universe in his new book ‘Life through Time and Space’ Wallace Arthur, an NUI Galway Emeritus Professor of Zoology and Visiting Scientist at the Kielder Observatory in Northumberland, will launch his new book, Life through Time and Space next Tuesday, 3 October. Life through Time and Space brings together the latest discoveries in both biology and astronomy to examine our deepest questions about where we came from, where we are going, and whether we are alone in the cosmos. It also considers if intelligent aliens exist on a distant planet in the Milky Way, having similar evolutionary and developmental origins to life on Earth. In addressing this issue, Life through Time and Space tackles the many riddles of our place and fate in the universe that have intrigued human beings since they first gazed in wonder at the night time sky. A distinctive voice in the growing field of astrobiology, Professor Wallace Arthur combines embryological, evolutionary, and cosmological perspec­tives to tell the story of life on Earth and its potential to exist else­where in the universe. In this novel combination of biology and astronomy, Arthur provides detailed insights into the evolution of higher forms of life and the development of brains and intelligence. Speaking about his new book, Professor Wallace Arthur said:“This is a fascinating time to be alive. Our past speculations about the existence of planets and life beyond our own solar system are fast being replaced by facts, many of which are described in this book. Three years ago we found the first near-twin to Earth. We don’t yet know if it has life, but we have begun to analyse exoplanet atmospheres, and this may yield the evidence we seek. If life is indeed found soon, as seems likely, it will be one of the most significant discoveries in the history of humanity.” Along the way, readers can learn about the evolution of life from a primordial soup of organic molecules to complex plants and animals, about Earth’s geological transformation from barren rock to diverse ecosystems, and about human development from embryo to infant to adult. Professor Arthur looks closely at the history of mass extinctions and the prospects for humanity’s future on our precious planet. -Ends-

Friday, 29 September 2017

Best to Forget? Conflict, Memory, and Memoir-Writing by Irish Emigrants to the United States, c1870-c1950 The distinguished American historian Kerby A. Miller will hold a public lecture on Tuesday, 3 October in the Moore Institute at 4pm on the writing of memoirs by Irish migrants to America. Miller presents the results of his investigation into 30 different memoirs by Irish men and women from the later nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth. His talk discusses how memoirists addressed the ambiguities and conflicts in the Irish immigrant experience. He asks whether their narratives expressed a novel “American” individualism or conformed to traditional ethno-religious expectations. How did factors such as social class, religious culture, gender, and language shape their narratives? How did the weave their way between competing value systems? Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute, at NUI Galway said: “The vivid experience of Irish men and women who made their way to the New World is nowhere more apparent than in their own words. Kerby Miller, one of the most prominent historians of Irish America, brings his remarkable scholarship to the study of these little-known narratives.” Kerby Miller is Curators’ Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Missouri. His book Emigrants and Exiles: Ireland and the Irish Exodus to North America (1985) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His other books include Irish Immigrants in the Land of Canaan (2003), and Ireland and Irish America: Culture, Class, and Transatlantic Migration (2008), and Catholics and Protestants in Eighteenth-Century Ireland: The Irish Religious Censuses of the 1760s (forthcoming). -Ends-

Thursday, 28 September 2017

NUI Galway has this week announced the appointment of Natalie Walsh as Executive Director of Blackstone LaunchPad. Blackstone LaunchPad is a campus-based experiential entrepreneurship program open to students, alumni, staff and faculty; offering coaching, ideation and venture creation support. Blackstone LaunchPad is modelled on a successful program that originated at the University of Miami and was further expanded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “Blackstone LaunchPad is an integral part of the vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem here at NUI Galway. Natalie has been instrumental in its success to date, which has seen the LaunchPad work with over 3,500 individual members of the NUI Galway community.  In her new role as Executive Director, Natalie will undoubtedly increase the positive impact the Launchpad has on entrepreneurial activities and ideation on campus.” Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, said: “We are thrilled to have Natalie assume this leadership role with Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway. We are grateful for her contributions to our growing global network to date and look forward to seeing Blackstone LaunchPad’s continued success at the University as Natalie takes the helm.” Prior to taking up the role of Executive Director of Blackstone LaunchPad, Natalie has worked as the Programme Manager of this initiative in addition to being the administrative lead on the original proposal which saw Blackstone LaunchPad choose NUI Galway as its first international site outside of the US. Natalie brings a decade of experience working in the technology and software space in addition to over 10 years’ experience working in senior roles at NUI Galway including leading the EU Horizon 2020 funding team which was announced as the highest performing Higher Education Institute in Ireland for the programme in 2015. She has worked across the public and private sectors as a mentor, program developer and lecturer. In 2016, Natalie was a finalist in the WMB Boots Empowering Women Awards.  Last week saw the announcement of the 2017 finalists and her work within the Blackstone LaunchPad programme has again been acknowledged for empowering female students on campus through a variety of supports and initiatives. The award ceremony will take place in the Shelbourne Hotel on the 2 October. A graduate of NUI Galway, with a Masters in Strategy, Innovation and People Management and a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours Degree), Natalie is also studying for a PhD in Entrepreneurship at Trinity College Dublin. Blackstone LaunchPad is co-funded by the Galway University Foundation and Blackstone Charitable Foundation. Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway: http://www.nuigalway.ie/blackstonelaunchpad/ -Ends-

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Elizabeth Reapy, author and former student of NUI Galway, has won the €10,000 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature 2017 for her debut novel Red Dirt. Red Dirt was published in June 2016 by Head of Zeus. The story takes place in Australia, telling the tales of three young Irish migrants escaping the collapsing economy at home. Surrounded by cheap drink and drugs, they make dangerous and impulsive choices—finding themselves in unfathomable situations. Elizabeth Reapy, from Claremorris, Co Mayo, has a BA in English literature and history from NUI Galway, a diploma in education from University College Cork and an MA in creative writing from Queen’s University Belfast.  The €10,000 prize is awarded for a body of work by a young Irish writer that shows exceptional promise. The event this year, while awarding Elizabeth, also paid tribute to its benefactors, Dan and Patricia Rooney. Dan, a former US ambassador to Ireland, died this year. Literary agent Jonathan Williams, Chair of the Selection Committee for the award, said: “Red Dirt is timely in its subject matter – the migration of Ireland’s young generation - inventively narrated in three voices, and displays a sure-footed mastery of the novel form.”  The novel also won the Newcomer of the Year at the 2016 Irish Book Awards. The Irish Times review said: “Red Dirt takes the modern Irish immigrant experience and turns it into a thought-provoking, vibrant novel that grips the reader from the start.”  -Ends- 

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Dr Manus Biggs, Investigator at CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices based at NUI Galway, has just published two separate research papers in top tier international journals, one in the Nature journal Nature Biomedical Engineering and another in the prestigious materials journal, Advanced Materials. Both research papers by Dr Biggs describe advances made in the fields of biomaterials and engineered bioreactor systems to direct the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), in the laboratory. Advances in stem cells, gene therapy, biomaterials, medical device technology, growth and differentiation factors, as well as biomimetic environments have created unique opportunities to fabricate tissues in the laboratory from combinations of engineered extracellular matrices (scaffolds), cells, and biologically relevant stimulation or cues. In the study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, the researchers from NUI Galway and University of Glasgow describe how they have used measurement technology, based on the sophisticated laser interferometer systems built for gravitational wave detection of astrophysical objects, to grow three-dimensional samples of mineralised bone in the laboratory for the first time. These 3D living bone grafts, when implanted into patients in the future, will be able to repair or replace damaged sections of bone. Mesenchymal stem cells, which are naturally produced by the human body in bone marrow, have the potential to differentiate into a range of specialised cell types such as bone, cartilage, ligament, tendon and muscle. Using patients’ own mesenchymal cells means surgeons will be able to prevent the problem of rejection, and can bridge larger gaps in bone. Dr Biggs describes his research into the stimulation of bone formation from stem cells using a nanovibrational bioreactor. This study, conducted in conjunction with Professor Matt Dalby, at the University of Glasgow, was focused on identifying the roles of high-frequency, low-amplitude mechanical stimulation in inducing mesenchymal stem cells to differentiate into bone cells (the process by which a cell becomes specialised in order to perform a specific function, as in the case of a bone cell). “After blood, bone is the most transplanted tissue used in patients in the form of bone graft. Autologous graft (bone grafts taken from the patient’s own body and commonly employed for the treatments of bone cancer, trauma or infection) is in short supply and can be associated with pain and donor site morbidity. Tissue engineered bone-like graft would help meet this clinical demand as well as provide researchers with a potential tissue model for drug screening”, Dr Manus Biggs explains.  Dr Biggs research showed for the first time, that high-frequency vibrations of nanoscale amplitude alone can be used to differentiate patient derived stem cells, to form mineralised tissue in 3D. To achieve this, Professor Dalby designed and developed a totally new genre of vibrational bioreactor (a bench-top cell conditioner, which constantly vibrates lab-grown cells). Using this bioreactor, Dr Biggs and the team from the University of Glasgow demonstrated that vibrations which produce tiny nanoscale deformations (1 millionth of a millimetre), to stem cells encapsulated in a collagen gel - a process termed “Nanokicking”  can induce these stem cells to become bone-like cells without any further conditioning. By doing this they have provided a scalable pathway to control the differentiation of stem cells to bone cells for the generation of lab-grown bone tissue. In his second study published in Advanced Materials, Dr Biggs and his team collaborated with Professor Shalom Wind at Columbia University. Speaking about the study, Dr Biggs said: “Pervious studies indicate that stem cells can be easily persuaded to become bone-like cells when grown on a material which physically and chemically resembles bone tissue. In particular, substrates posessing a rigidity similar to that of bone have been shown to be favourable in inducing stem-cells to become bone cells in the lab. Although tissues can easlily be classified as rigid (bone tissue) or easily deformable (brain tissue), microscopically, tissues are comprised of a variety of micron and nanoscale elements (such as fibres, cells, crystals) with widely differing rigidity. In this way an individual cell carrying out its work in a specific tissue is subjected to many kinds of small structures, some of these small features are rigid, like the mineral deposits found in bone, while some of these features are very elastic such as neighbouring cells.” Dr Biggs and his team investigated whether a fine beam of electrons could be used to alter the rigidity at discrete regions on a soft polymer, thereby enabling the development of a new class of 2D materials possessing patterned features of increased rigidity, ranging from the micron to the nanoscale level. Electron-beam patterning allows for the fabrication of devices with nanoscale features, and has been used extensively in the microelectronics industry for the production of integrated circuits or microchips. In this work, the team showed for the first time that a beam of electrons can significantly alter the rigidity of an elastic polymer. The team then went on to investigate the response of human mesenchymal stem cells when grown on electron-beam patterned polymers, which posessed millions of ordered dots of increased rigidity. Interestingly it was observed that cells were able to perceive the tiny ‘rigid’ features beneath them and responded by changing their function – becomning more bone and cartillage like when grown in the lab. Commenting on Dr Biggs success, Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway, said: “This work will establish the groundwork for a new generation of biomimetic materials. Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine is a key area of research at CÚRAM with a goal of finding solutions to chronic health problems and addressing unmet medical need and the use of these technologies to develop clinically translatable reparative and regenerative approaches to chronic illnesses is a major goal.” To read the Advanced Materials paper in full, visit: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.201702119/full To read the Nature Biomedical Engineering paper in full, visit: http://rdcu.be/vMwt -Ends-

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Áirítear i measc na roghanna nua seo: Ceol, Scannán & Staidéar Digiteach, na Dána & Teicneolaíocht, Teangacha Idirnáisiúnta agus Domhanda D’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh, an tseachtain seo, seacht gcéim nua sna Dána a bheidh ar fáil in 2018. Is toradh iad na cláir nua seo ar aiseolas a fuarthas ó mhic léinn, ó earnáil na tionsclaíochta agus ó fhostóirí agus cuirfidh siad go mór leis an rogha leathan de shainchláir sna Dána atá ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh. Díríonn na cláir seo go láidir ar scileanna ar leith a fhorbairt agus ar mhic léinn a ullmhú chun obair a aimsiú i dtionscail a bhfuil borradh mór fúthu, le béim ar shocrúchán oibre, infhostaitheacht agus cothromaíocht thábhachtach idir shaineolas i réimse faoi leith agus bhuneolas ar an staidéar leathan a bhaineann leis na Dána agus na Daonnachtaí a sholáthar do mhic léinn.   Agus Gaillimh ainmnithe mar Phríomhchathair Chultúir na hEorpa don bhliain 2020, is príomhchathair dhomhanda chruthaitheach í cathair na Gaillimhe. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Cathal O'Donoghue, Déan Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh in OÉ Gaillimh: “Leis seo cuirtear deiseanna gairme as cuimse ar fáil sna tionscail chruthaitheacha, lena n-áirítear gairmeacha sa drámaíocht, scannánaíocht agus amharclannaíocht chomh maith le réimsí nua eile lena n-áirítear léiriúchán cruthaitheach agus fiontraíocht a bhaineann leis na healaíona. Cuirfidh ceithre cinn de na cláir nua sna Dána a d’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh oiliúint ar mhic léinn chun gairmeacha beatha a bhaint amach sna réimsí seo.” Clár nua a bhfuiltear ag súil go mór leis is ea an BA (Ceol). Sa chlár céime ceithre bliana seo, déanfar staidéar ar an gCeol in éineacht le hábhar eile sna Dána. Tabharfaidh an BA (Ceol) léargas domhain do mhic léinn ar stair an cheoil, ceol traidisiúnta na hÉireann, scileanna gutha agus córúla, cumadóireacht, scileanna méarchláir, teicneolaíocht an cheoil agus bainistíocht ceoil. Ar cheann de shaintréithe na céime seo tabharfar deis do mhic léinn comhoibriú le mic léinn eile sna healaíona cruthaitheacha in OÉ Gaillimh (i réimse na scannánaíochta, drámaíochta agus réimsí gaolmhara eile) agus staidéar a dhéanamh ar champas fíorchultúrtha. Beidh deis ag mic léinn an BA (Scannán agus na Meáin Dhigiteacha) meascán faoi leith a fháil de theoiric agus de chleachtadh i réimsí a bhaineann le scannán agus na meáin dhigiteacha, mar aon le scileanna praiticiúla i scannánóireacht, scríbhneoireacht scáileáin agus forbairt dhigiteach agus dearadh. Cuirfidh an clár, a áiríonn intéirneachtaí le heagraíochtaí a bhaineann leis na healaíona agus na meáin móide taighde agus tionscadail chruthaitheacha faoi mhaoirseacht, céimithe ar fáil do réimse leathan ról sna tionscail chruthaitheacha ina measc:  léiriúchán teilifíse agus scannán, cruthú ábhar digiteach, riarachán cultúrtha, scríbhneoireacht scáileáin agus margaíocht dhigiteach san áireamh. Díreoidh an BA (na Dána Digiteacha agus Teicneolaíocht) ar úsáid na teicneolaíochta digití sna healaíona cruthaitheacha. Leis an gcomhtháthú cuimsitheach idir na dána agus na daonnachtaí agus teicneolaíocht faisnéise agus eolaíocht sonraí, cáileoidh mic léinn le rogha tharraingteach de scileanna cruthaitheachta, anailíseacha agus ardscileanna digiteacha. Sa chlár nua BA (Béarla agus na Meáin) déanfar staidéar ar theoiric na meán i bpeirspictíocht chriticiúil agus stairiúil agus cuirfidh sé ar chumas na mac léinn scileanna cumarsáide inaistrithe agus scileanna smaointeoireachta criticiúla a fhoghlaim, a chuirfidh ar a gcumas rath a bheith orthu sa mhargadh fostaíochta amach anseo. Dúirt an tOllamh O’Donoghue an méid seo a leanas chomh maith: “Leis an Ríocht Aontaithe ar tí imeacht ón AE, tiocfaidh ardú ar líon na gcéimithe sna Dána a bheidh de dhíth d’fhonn dearcadh domhanda a fhorbairt agus taithí idirnáisiúnta a fháil le linn a gcuid staidéar agus i dtús a saol oibre. Is ann do dhá chlár nua i ngeall ar an luach a chuireann fostóirí ar thréithe na gcéimithe áirithe seo.” Tá an BA (Idirnáisiúnta) dírithe ar mhic léinn ar spéis leo staidéar a dhéanamh ar na Dána agus taithí idirnáisiúnta a fháil (bíodh sin ag staidéar thar lear nó ar shocrúchán oibre thar lear) mar chuid dá gcéim le deiseanna lonnú i Meiriceá Theas, Meiriceá Thuaidh nó níos faide i gcéin, i mbliain a trí dá gcéim.  Céim teangacha thar a bheith solúbtha atá sa BA (Teangacha Domhanda), céim a chuirfidh ar chumas na mac léinn gairm bheatha a bhaint amach i réimsí éagsúla ar a n-áirítear teangeolaíocht, aistriúchán, na meáin, teagasc. Tabharfaidh an BA (na Dána le hEolaíocht Sonraí) deis do mhic léinn staidéar a dhéanamh ar ábhar sna dána chomh maith le modúil sa mhata, IT agus eolaíocht sonraí, ag cur céimithe cáilithe ar fáil chun tabhairt faoi róil éagsúla i gcur i bhfeidhm teicnící anailísíochta sonraí chun fadhbanna domhanda an tsaoil seo a bhaineann leis an duine a réiteach. Beidh Laethanta Oscailte fochéime OÉ Gaillimh ar siúl an 6 agus an 7 Deireadh Fómhair. CRÍOCH