Whizzkids Multimedia Summer Camps return to NUI Galway

Whizzkids Multimedia Summer Camps return to NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 15 July 2010

This week sees see the return for the fifth consecutive year of Whizzkids Summer Camps to NUI Galway. The summer camps offer fun and varied multimedia training to children and teenagers aged 8-15 years. The camps take place over two weeks, the first began on Monday, 12 July, and the second on will start on Monday, July 19. Children can engage in these hi-tech camps that cover web-design desktop publishing, movie-making and a host of hi-tech challenges in their "Spy Academy". Designed for children of all abilities, the week-long camp mixes indoor and outdoor action, with sports, stop-motion video, video game programming, code breaking and Crime Scene Investigation (CSI). The structured programme combines education and entertainment in way that allows children to explore the creative side of technology while acquiring valuable skills along the way. Participants of each camp have the opportunity to use state-of-the-art equipment that is normally only available to third level students. Each child has access to their own computer and get hands on time with mobile technologies such as digital cameras, Personal Digital Assistants (PDA s) and Blackberrys. The "Spy Academy" has proven a very popular facet of the summer programme during which children go on "missions" using digital cameras and hand held computers. Throughout the camp, attendees will learn to design their own website. They will also create a movie by putting together a storyboard, shooting the scenes on campus and editing the film. The videos are premiered at the end of the week on the big screen and each Whizzkid receives a copy of their video on CD along with their website as a keepsake. Garry Lowe, General Manager of Whizzkids Summer Camps, says "NUI Galway is the ideal setting for our hi-tech summer camp. The computing facilities are first class and the beautiful campus has a range of old and modern buildings that we can use for backdrops to our movies which range anything from a Harry Potter spoof to Espionage thrillers." Classes in the camp are broken up by age and those attending are supervised at all times by fully qualified teachers. There is a maximum of 60 places per week of camp and these are broken into three groups of 20. Full day camps are offered to 9-15 year olds from 9.30-3.30 each day. Half day camps are available for 8-ll year olds from 9.30 to 1.00 each day. For further information contact: 061 339178 or visit www.whizzkids.ie Ends

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Funding Secured for Orthopaedic Implant Research at NUI Galway

Funding Secured for Orthopaedic Implant Research at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Researchers at NUI Galway, developing innovative orthopaedic implants for hip and knee replacements, have been awarded an Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund Technology Development Grant. The new implants will be more effective for patients with decreased bone stock in the joint, particularly those who are receiving an implant for the second time and have lost bone from surgery to remove the first implant. Dr Pat McDonnell and Dr Noel Harrison, based in the Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Department at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) in NUI Galway, were awarded €400,000 to build on work completed from a previous Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund Technology Proof of Concept grant. The award will also see the continuation of a successful collaboration with orthopaedic consultant surgeon Bill Curtin of Merlin Park University Hospital, Galway. The implants will be made from titanium and will be designed to give better bone in-growth into the implant to improve the lifespan. Over 3,000 hip replacements are performed in the public sector in Ireland each year. Professor Frank Barry, Director of the NCBES, said: "The use of new engineering approaches to develop orthopaedic implants with enhanced properties is a central part of the NCBES research effort. I am delighted to see that this exciting and innovative project will be initiated in the near future". The project will run for two years where world-class biomechanical engineering facilities will allow the researchers to carry out detailed design, mechanical testing and histological analysis of the new implants, in order to validate the technology to attract potential industry partners and investors. The goal of the project will be to develop the technology to a stage where a partner orthopaedics company can be identified to bring the new implants through to clinical trials. This will be achieved with the support of the Technology Transfer Office at NUI Galway. Professor Peter McHugh, Head of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, said: "This project demonstrates the wonderful synergy that can be achieved by integrating engineering, biology and clinical applications; this approach has been the cornerstone of NUI Galway's international achievements in biomedical engineering and of the development of the crucially important medical technology industry sector in the West of Ireland". Dr McDonnell and Dr Harrison both completed their PhD theses in the Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Department while based in the NCBES in recent years, and their success in achieving this grant demonstrates the progression from fundamental research to innovative product development that is crucial for the enhancement of the knowledge economy in the West of Ireland. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Sees Dramatic Rise in Demand for Places for 2nd Consecutive Year

NUI Galway Sees Dramatic Rise in Demand for Places for 2nd Consecutive Year-image

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

CAO First Preferences for NUI Galway increase by 18% in 2 years Figures released by the Central Applications Office (CAO) following the Change of Mind deadline of 1 July show another dramatic rise in demand for places at NUI Galway. First preference applications for undergraduate degrees at NUI Galway have increased by almost 18% in the last two years, as the University's popularity continues to soar. The current Sunday Times University of the Year, NUI Galway's share of the University sector's first preference applications now stands at 14.3%. President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, commented on the rising demand to study at the University: "We are seeing a phenomenal demand for places at NUI Galway. This is driven in part by the 20 new undergraduate courses which we have brought on stream over the last three years. There are also a range of new sports, arts and academic facilities on our state-of-the art campus. Another critical factor in attracting applicants is the University's commitment to providing our students with a learning experience that has relevance for the real world". Newer courses at NUI Galway include the extremely popular Energy Engineering, which was developed in direct response to calls from the energy sector for more energy engineers with the right combination of skills. Also popular is the new Engineering Innovation degree, combining traditional electronic engineering with business and entrepreneurship. The University also offers a Sports and Exercise Engineering degree, which is the first of its kind available in Ireland, and new students can look forward to the opening of a stunning new €40 million Engineering Building next year, which will be the largest School of Engineering in the country. Of the University's traditional courses, the Commerce degree has seen a huge increase in popularity, with a 25% increase in applications in recent months. Much of this success is due to innovative programme developments over the last year, including the addition of an industry-led module on innovation, creativity and enterprise where students are mentored by business leaders. The latest figures also show a dramatic increase of more than 60% in first preference applications to the Computer Science and Information Technology programme at NUI Galway. NUI Galway has also brought eight BA Connect degrees on-stream, in a radical departure from traditional Arts degrees. These four-year degrees are designed to increase the employability of graduates by developing distinctive skills and creating connections with life beyond the campus. This year, a new BA Connect degree with Latin American Studies was introduced, alongside the existing BA Connect programmes with either Children s Studies, Creative Writing, Film Studies, Human Rights, Irish Studies, Women s Studies or Theatre and Performance. At present, NUI Galway is the only Irish university offering a denominated degree in marine science and it now has the highest concentration of marine scientists of any institution in Ireland. This degree also offers training on board national training vessels in the third year of study. NUI Galway is also offering the first Podiatry degree in Ireland, which will train healthcare professionals who specialises in the medicine of the foot and leg. -Ends-

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Protein Identified which Helps Cancer Cells to Survive Stressful Conditions

Protein Identified which Helps Cancer Cells to Survive Stressful Conditions-image

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Researchers at NUI Galway have made a discovery that could lead to the development of more effective treatments for a number of diseases. They have shown that a protein produced when cells are stressed interacts with a stress sensor allowing cells to survive conditions of intense stress. Understanding this interaction may help scientists interfere with cancer cells so they can no longer survive exposure to stressful conditions. These findings are published next week in the online, open access journal PLoS Biology. Healthy cells are not usually under stress, but unhealthy cells, such as cancer cells, are often under considerable stress because they grow rapidly in places where they are not supposed to grow. When a cell is under these stressful conditions, the stress protein Hsp70 is activated to help the cell. Professor Afshin Samali, lead author of the publication and head of the Department of Biochemistry at NUI Galway, and his team have discovered that under cell stress conditions Hsp70 interacts with a receptor in the cell, activating survival mechanisms and preventing apoptosis, the normal cell death mechanism. By understanding more about Hsp70 and the way it functions, scientists can learn how to block its function, allowing unhealthy cells to succumb to stress and die . This could have significant implications in the development of new cancer drugs, which would block the protein to encourage tumor cell death. In contrast in diseases where there is too much cell death such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease, and Diabetes, increasing the levels of Hsp70 could potentially be used to help these cells to survive stressful conditions. Professor Samali added: "Our results have identified a novel protein-protein interaction that helps cancer cells to survive stressful growth conditions. By interfering with this interaction we hope to develop a new class of anticancer drugs. This work was funded by Science Foundation Ireland and will have a significant impact on cancer research and drug design". -Ends-

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NUI Galway Receive Eleven Summer Student Scholarships for Health Research

NUI Galway Receive Eleven Summer Student Scholarships for Health Research-image

Monday, 5 July 2010

Eleven NUI Galway research students were recently awarded Summer Student Scholarships by the Health Research Board (HRB). The aim of the HRB Summer Student Scholarships is to encourage an interest in health research and to give students an opportunity to become familiar with the research process, research techniques and methodologies through conducting a summer project. Nine of the NUI Galway awardees are from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway: Catherine O'Connor from Dunmore, Co. Galway; Maria Costello from Grattan Road, Galway; Blathnaid Murphy from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath; Caitriona Fahy from Loughrea, Co. Galway; Bríd Reale from Murroe, Limerick; Kate Fitzpatrick from Clonmel, Co. Waterford; Ruairí Irwin from Castlebar, Co. Mayo; Nicola Kavanagh from Arklow, Co. Wicklow; and Andrew Carroll from Knocknacarra, Galway. Also included in the scholarships were John Birrane from Ballina, Co. Mayo and Noreen Lenihan from Knocknagoshel, Co. Kerry, from the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies. The Scholarship scheme is open to undergraduate students who are studying in a health-related discipline in a university in Ireland and who are not in the final year of their degree course. The research project must be in one of the following research areas: applied biomedical research, clinical research, health services research and population health sciences research. The Scholarship will support the students' participation in research over the summer and they will receive €250 per week for a maximum of eight weeks. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, said: "The School of Medicine is delighted and proud of our medical students who have been awarded Summer Research Scholarships from the HRB. These awards are highly competitive and reflect the calibre of our students and supervisors. The strategic plan for the School of Medicine aims to embed research as an integral part of the undergraduate curriculum and encourage all students to become research active. These awards will promote this aim". -Ends-

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Final Call for Applications for the NUI Galway Sports Scholarship Scheme

Final Call for Applications for the NUI Galway Sports Scholarship Scheme-image

Monday, 5 July 2010

NUI Galway has issued a final call for applications to its Sports Scholarships Scheme for 2010/11. NUI Galway has a long tradition of excellence in sport and this has been enhanced by the recent success in Rowing, Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby as well as numerous individual achievements. The deadline for application for current and prospective students is Friday, 30 July. The Scholarship Programme is aimed at student-athletes of outstanding calibre who register as students of the University. In the current academic year, student athletes at NUI Galway received significant financial and professional support services. The scholarships aim to help aspiring young sportspeople to continue to develop their sporting prowess. Through the Sports Scholarship Scheme some 50 students were supported in sports such as Athletics, Basketball, Gaelic Football and Hurling, Cycling, Rowing, Rugby, Soccer, Swimming and Tennis. Applicants for sports scholarships must satisfy the academic criteria for entry to NUI Galway and must have applied to the CAO in the usual manner. Gary Ryan is Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway: "The Sports Scholarship at NUI Galway is aimed at helping our athletes get better at their sport while they are succeeding academically at university, it is not just a reward for what you have achieved in the past it is an award to help you get better in the future". A former Irish Olympian and record-breaking sprinter, Gary Ryan sees a bright future for the NUI Galway sports scholarships: "Our efforts in developing a high performance sports environment in NUI Galway have already shown significant success with a large number of our Sports Scholarship students representing national teams and the success of our Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby teams amongst others in the past year. All of these achievements have been secured by students who are also receiving a world class education, and being supported by the scheme to meet the challenges of these dual goals" For the Scholarships, students who meet the University's entry requirements will be selected on merit by an independent panel. In addition to the scholarship, students will receive specialist support including physiotherapy, treatment of injury, fitness training, coaching and support for travel to national and international competitions. More details on the Sports Scholarship Scheme at http://www.nuigalway.ie/student-life/campus-activities/sports.html-Ends-

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2010 John McGahern International Seminar Announced

2010 John McGahern International Seminar Announced-image

Monday, 5 July 2010

NUI Galway and Leitrim County Council have announced that the fourth John McGahern International Seminar commemorating the work of the renowned Irish writer, will take place from 22-24 July in Co. Leitrim. Last year's International Seminar attracted more than 150 participants from Ireland and overseas. The theme of the seminar is 'Literature and Education', and the keynote lecture will be given by Fintan O'Toole of The Irish Times. Dr John Kenny, John McGahern Lecturer in Creative Writing at NUI Galway says: "It is particularly exciting this year to have Fintan O'Toole as our keynote speaker. Not only is Fintan one of the foremost journalists in the analysis of modern Irish society and politics, as he demonstrates again in his recent book Ship of Fools, but he has also long been one of our most astute cultural and literary critics. His lecture promises to be an ideal combination of attention to McGahern's own work and the context of education in Ireland today". Other speakers at the event will include Dr Stanley van der Ziel of University College Dublin; Professor Joan Dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City; Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement at NUI Galway; and the American short story writer, David Means. Dr John Kenny added: "This year's theme is especially appropriate at a time when Irish education at all levels is experiencing enormous challenges. As the son of a teacher and as a trained primary teacher himself, McGahern had a natural lifelong interest in education and this is deeply reflected in his fiction. He was an articulate exponent of the key role of reading and imaginative development in education – again and again in his essays and lectures he extolled the virtues of literary study". There will also be a viewing of the screen adaptation of McGahern's major novel, Amongst Women, after which the screenwriter, Adrian Hodges, will give a talk and discuss his encounter with McGahern's work. The Seminar will include guided visits to John McGahern's home places in Aughawillan, Ballinamore and Mohill in Co. Leitrim, and Cootehall in Co. Roscommon. As well as appealing to all lovers of McGahern's own work, the International Seminar will be of interest to literary researchers and to book clubs, to readers of contemporary fiction and modern writing, and to all national and international students of Irish literature and culture. This year's Seminar will also see the publication of volume 3 of The John McGahern Yearbook, edited by Dr John Kenny. The Yearbook is a lavishly illustrated hardback and it includes proceedings of the 2009 Seminar as well as a range of articles by writers and critics. The book will be launched on the opening night by Professor Seán Ryder, Head of English at NUI Galway. In addition to the public seminar, NUI Galway has organised the third intensive International Summer School on McGahern's work and its contexts which will form part of the University's 27th International Summer School in Irish Studies. The Summer School is designed for advanced level students and researchers who are interested in the writings of John McGahern and his life and times in 20th Century Ireland. The Summer School incorporates the International Seminar and continues at the County Library, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim the week after the Seminar. The 2009 Summer School was attended by students from Italy and the United States as well as Ireland. Contributors to this year's Summer School, directed by Dr John Kenny, will include David Means; Denis Sampson, author of Outstaring Nature's Eye: The Fiction of John McGahern; Irish authors Kevin Barry and Mike McCormack; Dr Frank Shovlin of the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool and Belinda McKeon of Columbia University, New York. Special guest writers will discuss the creative and local contexts of McGahern's life and work. Announcing the McGahern events, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "Through the John McGahern International Seminar and Summer School NUI Galway is working to broaden access to the study of the craft of writing. We are delighted to share the riches of the McGahern archive with the widest possible audience. In holding this important archive in the West of Ireland, we hold in trust a treasure for the world of literary scholarship; for the Irish nation and especially for this region which we have served for over 160 years. I wish the 2010 McGahern International Seminar & Summer School every success and I welcome the continued partnership of Leitrim County Council in this culturally important endeavour". Speaking at the launch of the 2010 programme, Leitrim County Manager, Jackie Maguire, said: "Leitrim County Council is delighted to work in partnership with NUI Galway in organising the fourth International Seminar and Summer School. The Seminar is now an important part of Ireland's literary calendar and presents an excellent opportunity for both academic and general readers to engage richly with the work of John McGahern". For further details on The John McGahern International Seminar & Summer School contact 091-495442 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/iss -Ends-

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PhD in New Media and Film launched by NUI Galway and the University of Limerick

PhD in New Media and Film launched by NUI Galway and the University of Limerick-image

Thursday, 1 July 2010

The University of Limerick and NUI Galway today (Thursday, 1 July) launched a new four-year structured PhD in New Media and Film. This development is one of the initiatives to come out of the NUI Galway-UL Alliance recently launched by An Taoiseach Brian Cowen T.D and will start in September 2010. Also announced at the launch was a Fellowship initiative to support the joint PhD through the award of a Doctoral Scholarship to the value of €15,000, to a student of the programme at each institution. The Scholarships are tenable for a maximum of four years. This structured doctoral programme is run jointly by the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway and the School of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication at University of Limerick. It aims to promote research that integrates theoretical discourses on the impact of digital media on cultural and social expression with practical concerns and the media industries. Dean of UL's Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science, Professor Pat O'Connor, welcomed the announcement: "This exciting development at fourth level exemplifies the way in which cross institutional collaboration can advance the Arts and Humanities in an innovative medium. The collaboration demonstrates that the combined strengths of universities can create innovative teaching programmes and move research to a higher level". Professor Pat O'Connor added: "The issues this new research initiative promises to address are of great significance for the art of cinema and for culture. The impact of digital technologies on the way audio visual works is produced and, importantly, how they are received and understood by audiences, will be at the centre of media research for some time". Dr Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway, said: "Access to a wider range of complementary courses in a neighbouring university will enhance the possibilities for research in both institutions and build on our strengths". Contemporary work in this area is at the leading edge of study linking digital media to the traditions of narrative and image making. Whilst academically strong, the research should also lead to new concepts that are applicable to practice. It is based on the complementary nature of developed areas of teaching and research at both institutions. Dr David Coughlan, of UL's School of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication: "Recent recognition of Irish achievements in film and visual effects shows that Ireland can compete internationally in the fields of new media and film, combining artistic brilliance with technical excellence. In the context of a media industry constantly seeking technical innovation and original vision, this unique programme, the result of UL's alliance with NUI Galway, represents an important investment in, and commitment to, Ireland's creative future." The NUI Galway-UL Alliance is an institution-wide alliance across all areas of activity including teaching, research, technology transfer, lifelong learning and the provision of services. The new Alliance will see NUI Galway and UL collaborate extensively in the area of teaching and learning. Exciting new initiatives include a unique 'Link to Learn' student exchange programme, which will enable students at either university to choose modules from the other institution as part of their programme. Other developments include the creation of a new joint Medical Academy at Portiuncula and Roscommon Hospitals, in addition to the development of a programme of activities to respond to the national objectives of building strong foundations in mathematics and science in primary and second level education. -Ends-

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New Legal Book Focuses on the Criminal Process

New Legal Book Focuses on the Criminal Process -image

Thursday, 1 July 2010

A new book entitled The Criminal Process by Tom O'Malley, Senior Lecturer in Law at NUI Galway, provides a detailed analysis of all the key elements of the criminal process. Among the topics covered are the essential ingredients of a fair trial, the allocation of criminal jurisdiction, arrest and detention, investigation and search powers, prosecution and indictment, bail, the trial process, summary procedure, prejudicial publicity, delay, disclosure and preservation of evidence, confessions and the right to silence, the jury, sentencing principles, judicial review and other post-conviction remedies. While primarily devoted to Irish law and the relevant jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, it also draws extensively for comparative purposes on case law from other common-law jurisdictions such as England and Wales, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This text, published by the leading international publishers Thomson Reuters, runs to 1,200 pages and is the only comprehensive legal text to deal with recently enacted legislation including the Criminal Justice Acts 2006 and 2007, the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009, the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009. In the Preface to his book, Mr O'Malley highlights the need for more parliamentary scrutiny of criminal legislation before enactment; the desirability of monitoring the operation and implementation of legislation once it comes into force; and the urgent need for a systematic consolidation of existing criminal justice legislation. "The Criminal Process is set to establish itself as the leading text for criminal lawyers and is our best-selling law book for Round Hall this year. It has been extremely well received by criminal law practitioners" says Catherine Dolan, Commercial Manager at Round Hall, a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters. Tom O'Malley is a Senior Lecturer in Law at NUI Galway and a practising barrister. He has served on several law reform bodies, including a committee established to review the qualifications for appointment to the High Court and Supreme Court judiciary. He is currently a member of a steering committee appointed by the Courts Service to consider the establishment of a sentencing information system. He is the author of the leading Irish treatises on sentencing, sexual offences and sources of law, and has published many law journal articles. The Criminal Process is available to buy from Round Hall, www.roundhall.ie or 01 662 5301. -Ends-

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June 2010

NUI Galway Launch First Graduate Programme in Clinical Research in Ireland

NUI Galway Launch First Graduate Programme in Clinical Research in Ireland-image

Monday, 28 June 2010

NUI Galway, through the Health Research Board (HRB) Clinical Research Facility and the University's College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, recently announced the launch of a new graduate programme in Clinical Research. Medical research is an area of increasing focus within the Irish health sector, and the proposed MSc in Clinical Research will be the first of its kind in Ireland. The MSc in Clinical Research will begin this September and will provide training for the next generation of healthcare workers in research design, biostatistics and administration. Specifically, the course targets individuals who wish to become Principal Investigators or pursue a career in the operation, monitoring and control of clinical research. Initial intake will be restricted to ten places and will involve blended learning through a combination of didactic lectures, problem-based learning and distance learning and will be provided on a full-time or a part-time capacity. Course contributors include senior academics and medical professionals, who are actively engaged in clinical research from NUI Galway, Galway University Hospitals and McMaster University Canada. Commenting on the new course, Professor Larry Egan, Vice-Dean of Research, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, NUI Galway and Interim Director, HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway said: "The absence of a graduate programme in Clinical Research has been a deficit in Irish education and healthcare. We welcome the MSc in Clinical Research, which will support our research activity at the HRB-Clinical Research Facility". "This innovative course will train a new generation of Clinician Scientists to the highest level. It addresses an important unmet need in medical education. We are especially excited about the association with McMaster University, a world-leader in clinical research" said Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of School of Medicine at NUI Galway. Aimed at individuals employed in the healthcare sector, this course has been developed to meet the needs of working graduates who wish to up-skill, specialise or change career direction. Course directors for the MSc in Clinical Research are Professor Martin O'Donnell and Dr John Newell of the HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway, and Dr Aideen O'Doherty, National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, NUI Galway. NUI Galway welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Health & Children Mary Harney TD earlier this year that € 7.5m in capital funding is being provided for the construction of a new Clinical Research Facility on the grounds of University Hospital Galway. The HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway is a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals and NUI Galway. The facility is supported by funding from the Health Research Board and has been operating since March of 2008. The purpose of the Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is to improve human health through the generation of new medical knowledge from patient based research. The guiding philosophy of the CRF is to stimulate, engage and support health care professionals from diverse areas of expertise to undertake high quality clinical research. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 15 July. For further details on the course visit www.crfg.ieor www.nuigalway.ie/courses/taught-postgraduate-courses/clinical-research.html. -Ends-

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Launch First Graduate Programme in Clinical Research in Ireland

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