Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Reforming abortion law and policy is a highly contested process. The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway is hosting an international seminar exploring key debates in the law and politics relating to abortion. As the mooted date for a referendum on Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution draws closer, the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has drawn together a number of prominent human rights advocates and academics to consider the challenges and possibilities of abortion law in the event of a post-Eighth Amendment Ireland. Professor Siobhán Mullally of NUI Galway, commented: “Abortion law reform and policy is highly contested in Ireland and elsewhere. This international seminar provides an opportunity to reflect on the regulation of abortion and on the litigation, politics and law reform processes taking place in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the US.” Speakers include Professor Carol Sanger from Columbia University, who recently published the book, About Abortion: Terminating Pregnancy in Twenty-First-Century America, and Les Allamby, Chief Commissioner of the Northern Irish Human Rights Commission, who has led strategic litigation on abortion law reform in Northern Ireland. Responses from the Irish law and policy reform perspective will be delivered by Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, focusing on the context of abortion law reform and human rights standards. Professor Eilionóir Flynn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, will address abortion law reform and the rights of people with disabilities. Professor Carol Sanger from the School of Law, Columbia University, commented: “This discussion presents the United States as a case study of how forty years of decriminalisation has not normalised abortion as a reproductive practice. Indeed, the storm around it has become increasingly virulent, especially under the Trump administration.” As Professor Sanger’s book notes, abortion is one of the most private decisions a woman can make, and is also one of the most contentious topics in American civic life. Until recently, stigma and hostility stifled women’s willingness to talk about abortion, and also distorted public and political discussion on abortion law reform. The seminar will take place in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Friday, 9 March from 11am- 2pm. Advance registration is required at: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/about-abortion-the-law-and-politics-of-reform-tickets-43025789294 The event is in association with NUI Galway’s Gender ARC (Advanced Research Consortium on Gender, Culture and the Knowledge Society). -Ends-

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

NUI Galway will host a series of events to celebrate International Women’s Day on the 8 and 9 March. Events are free and open to the public. Dr Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will give a keynote address on ‘Excellence in higher education through gender equality’ a personal and professional reflection Throughout her career Dr Geoghegan-Quinn has broken new ground, exemplified authenticity, and shown confidence and strong purpose in the exercise of power. She has been a leader among women and men, the first Irish female Cabinet minister, and the first Irish woman to serve as an EU Commissioner. Most recently, she chaired the HEA Expert Group who conducted the extensive National Review of Gender Equality in Irish Higher Education Institutions. The recommendations of the Review are driving further work by universities to address gender equality. Hosted by the University Women’s Network in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building on Thursday, 8 March from 12.30pm-2pm. The LGBT+ and Staff Network will host a talk on ‘Same-sex relationships among Irish-revolutionary women’ Presented by Dr Mary McAuliffe, Professor in Gender Studies, UCD in the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance on Friday, 9 March at 4pm. The Centre for Global Women’s Studies will host two events in conjunction with the NUI Galway Feminist Society, in celebration of International Women’s Day on Thursday, 9 March. 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Masters (MA) in Gender, Globalisation and Rights The Anniversary coincides with International Women’s Day and the 100th anniversary for women's suffrage in Ireland. Speakers will include former and current students and staff and will feature a student-produced documentary on the ways in which the MA has helped NUI Galway students to ‘press for progress’ on gender equality issues. The event will also include an open discussion on the future of women’s and gender studies. The event will take place 3pm-5pm, Arás Moyola, Lecture Theatre MY243. Stories of Una: Remembering Una Taaffe on International Women's Day Elaine Mears, a Masters in Human Rights Law graduate from NUI Galway, in conjunction with Galway Feminist Society, will give a talk on well-known Galway business woman and personality, Una Taaffe. The focus of this talk will be on Una as a strong business woman who transgressed gender norms. The continuing matriarchal nature of business in Galway will also be discussed and key Galway business women will be in attendance. The event will take place from 6.30pm-8pm, CA111, Lecture Hall 1, J.E. Cairnes Building. To register to attend the keynote address by Dr Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and the LGBT+ and Staff network talk, visit:  http://www.nuigalway.ie/equalityanddiversity/events/international-womens-week-2018.html To attend the 10th Anniversary celebration and reception prior to the talk on Una Taaffe please email Molly Geoghegan at m.geoghegan7@nuigalway.ie. For more information about the events, visit: www.nuigalway.ie/womens_studies/ and www.storiesofuna.com or www.facebook.com/FeministSocietyNUIG/ and #pressforprogress. -Ends-

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Professor Cathal O’Donoghue: “Recognising Diversity and Complexity in Policy Formation”.  The College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway will be hosting a series of lectures by recently appointed Professors in the University. The Lectures will be hosted in the Moore Institute beginning on Thursday, 8 March at 5pm. Professor O ‘Donoghue’s lecture will draw upon the results of his research career to date to describe the methodologies he has developed and conclusions he has drawn for policy analysis and design and to reach out to new collaborators in inter-disciplinary research. His research aims to understand how policy impacts across the population, incorporating the breadth of diversity that exists in different population groups. His field of research is in the area of Micro-Simulation Modelling, where for 25 years he has developed tools to simulate the impact of public policy on Micro distributions (individuals, Families, Farms). Fundamentally these are tools to understand complexity. Policy formation involves understanding complexity via complexity of policy, complexity of population structure and complexity of behavioural response. Dr Seán Crosson, Vice-Dean (Research, Reputation and Impact), College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway said: "We are delighted to announce the launch of our New Professor's Inaugural Lecture series. The series provides a great opportunity for the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies in NUI Galway to introduce to the general public and academics across the University new professorial appointments and to foreground the world-leading innovative research being undertaken in the college. The lectures will run on a monthly basis throughout the calendar year in the Moore Institute and all are welcome to attend." In addition, other dimensions that can be considered include spatial and temporal complexity. In this lecture, Professor O'Donoghue will discuss how the development of these tools have been used to consider policy questions such as anti-poverty, environmental, labour market, education, agricultural and rural policy. His work is currently focusing on the interaction between land-use change and demographic both in a contemporary setting and in understanding historical land use drivers of demographic changes.  Professor O'Donoghue is the Dean of Arts and Social Sciences at NUI Galway and a Professor of Public and Social Policy. Prior to this he was Head of Teagasc’s (Irelands Agriculture and Food Development Authority) Rural Economy and Development Programme, one of the 4 research programmes of Teagasc. Subsequent speakers in the series will include: Professor Gerry MacRuairc, School of Education on Thursday, 5 April Professor Brian McGuire, School of Psychology on Thursday, 3 May Professor Niamh Reilly, School of Political Science & Sociology on Thursday, 21 June All lectures will be hosted in the Moore Institute (GO10) from 5-7pm and all are welcome. If you are unable to attend the lecture here is the link to Webstream: http://bit.ly/2trS1DJ   -Ends- 

Thursday, 8 March 2018

A consortium of researchers and health service providers, led by Professor Gary Donohoe from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, has received €1.5 million in funding from the Health Research Board for a new collaborative doctoral program focused on understanding and responding to the mental health needs of young people under the age of 25. Mental health difficulties (including depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia) account for approximately half of all causes of disability in individuals under the age of 25 in Ireland and around the world. Commenting on the funding award, Professor Gary Donohoe from NUI Galway, said: “Despite the fact that difficulties with mental health usually begin between the ages of 15 and 25, and early treatment reduces later risk, people aged 12-25 years have the poorest access to treatment of all age groups. “With this funding, the YOULEAD consortium will address some of the main reasons for this, including an insufficient understanding of youth mental health, difficulties with early recognition of symptoms, a lack of strategic organisation and delivery of health services, and high levels of stigma. The YOULEAD programme will address these issues by establishing an interdisciplinary cross-university PhD training program to equip researchers to better understand youth mental health difficulties and barriers to treatment, and to build an evidence base for treatment.” The consortium will seek to form a new national youth mental health research network, representing key stakeholders in youth mental health, including individuals and families with lived experience of mental health difficulties, national health services, and national/governmental policy makers. This network will provide a much-needed platform for knowledge exchange and dissemination that will help to shape future service delivery, and national youth mental health policy. The YOULEAD consortium consists of leading youth mental health researchers from NUI Galway (Professor Gary Donohoe, Dr Caroline Heary, Dr Padraig MacNeela), UCD (Professor Barbara Dooley, Professor Eilis Hennessey), and RCSI (Professor Mary Cannon, Professor David Cotter), and Ireland’s two main youth mental health service providers, the HSE, and JIGSAW (Dr Aileen O’Reilly). -Ends-

Friday, 9 March 2018

CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, will partner with five other European institutions to develop new advanced therapies and technologies in skin regeneration for the treatment of burns and chronic wounds. The €4 million NanoGrowSkin project will involve a multidisciplinary healthcare approach to develop an improved chronic wound therapy. The goal of this project is to develop a bioengineered human skin substitute, improving the manufacturing process, shortening the production time, and enhancing its treatment effectiveness. Director of CÚRAM, Professor Abhay Pandit, who will lead the research project from NUI Galway, said: “The skin is the main protective barrier the body has against any external attack. Any skin disease or injury needs to be treated immediately. The most common conditions are wounds, pressure ulcers and burns, and current treatments based on the use of skin grafts, or even on implanting skin originating from a donor, are associated with several problems. In this project we will be investigating the development of a bioengineered human skin substitute that would be a suitable option for treating patients.” Until now, different types of artificial skin covers have been designed, although none of them has successfully reproduced the accurate structure and functions of the native human skin. Moreover, they can also present some disadvantages, such as a high bacterial infection risk, low biological activity and low regenerative effectiveness. “We aim to overcome the two major drawbacks of severe skin wounds, the urgent need of an effective skin implant in life-threatening situations and to avoid/counteract usual bacterial infections”, added Professor Pandit. The international research team will take advantage of their combined expertise on tissue engineering, to manufacture an autologous (from the patient’s own body) skin substitute comprised of materials whose safety and efficacy have already been proven in humans. The first milestone of the NanoGrowSkin project will be the optimisation of human artificial skin models by using pharmaceutical quality products and the implementation of novel methods, such as nanomedicine technologies. Nanotechnology is technology that works at the nano scale (one nanometer is one billionth of a metre). Nanomedicine is utilising nanotechnology for medical purposes. This will allow the development of biomaterials with improved and suitable biomechanical and antimicrobial properties for use in patients with burns and chronic wounds. The second aim of NanoGrowSkin will be to adapt the production of these new tools towards an optimal regulatory framework, including Good Manufacturing Practice regulation and European Medicines Agency guidelines. Finally, the project will include the development of a market access approach in order to estimate the benefits of this treatment for the entire society. The envisaged model will include the calculation of cost per patient as well as potential cost-savings and/or cost-effective measures for the affordable introduction of the tissue-engineered treatment. The project team, led by Professor Miguel Alaminos, Health Research Institute in Granada and the University of Granada, Spain, with partners from the Italian Biochemical Institute, the University of Bordeaux and the University of Technology of Compiègne in France, CÚRAM at NUI Galway and the company OSI Health XXI in Spain. -Ends-

Monday, 12 March 2018

A diabetes research team at NUI Galway’s School of Medicine are looking at ways to improve how diabetes services are delivered to young adults in Ireland. The D1 Now research team, led by Professor Seán Dinneen, has focused on involving young adults at the centre of the research, in order to improve diabetes services by creating flexible young adult-centred clinics. The D1 Now team propose to improve the delivery of diabetes services by using interactive online tools, key staff members dedicated to young adults, and tools to ensure the young adults agenda is heard within the traditional clinic. D1 Now are currently looking to recruit members for a Dublin-based Young Adult Panel (YAP) to broaden the group of people who are involved to directly contribute to the research. The research team and current Young Adult Panel members from Galway will be present to discuss what is involved for potential members and a questions and answers session to share the experience of being a Young Adult Panel member. Research indicates that this particular age group of young adults, aged 18 to 25, with type 1 diabetes often disengage from health services and their general diabetes management. However, young adults do not usually get the chance to make suggestions on how to improve diabetes services or provide feedback on how the service could work best for them. The Young Adult Panel’s involvement has led to a better understanding of what needs to be achieved in order to improve health service delivery in terms of responding to the specific needs of young adults at this transitional time in their lives. The Dublin-based Youth Adult Panel is the next step for the D1 Now programme and spreading the importance of young adult involvement across Ireland. The information evening will take place on Wednesday, 14 March at 6pm in Grantham House, Grantham Street, Dublin 8. The study was funded through a Health Research Board, Definitive Interventions and Feasibility Awards grant. For more information about D1 Now, visit: www.d1now.ie follow on Twitter @d1nowie and on Facebook at D1 Now. -Ends-

Monday, 12 March 2018

Entrepreneurs working with the Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway will benefit from a new partnership between the Blackstone Charitable Foundation and TechStars, a global start-up accelerator and entrepreneurial network. The new effort was announced March 7 at SXSW EDU in Austin, Texas, USA. . The announcement comes as Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway celebrates its second year on campus at NUI Galway. As one of just 20 Blackstone LaunchPad sites across the globe, Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway boasts an entrepreneurial student community that has over 5,000 members.   It has provided over 1,800 coaching sessions since launching and holds 3-4 events each week across campus supporting entrepreneurship. The programme helps students, staff and alumni explore entrepreneurship as a viable career path. The programme is funded in partnership between the Galway University Foundation and the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. Director of Innovation at NUI Galway, David Murphy said: “NUI Galway is ranked as one of the top 250 universities in the world so we must constantly innovate to ensure we deliver a world-class education and experience for our students. The TechStars partnership with the Blackstone Charitable Foundation will provide our entrepreneurs with very valuable access to international expertise, mentors and supports.” Natalie Walsh, Executive Director, Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway, commented: “The announcement this week by Blackstone LaunchPad and TechStars will give NUI Galway staff, students and alumni access to world-class resources and expertise. This is a tremendous opportunity to set NUI Galway apart from other universities across the globe. We are confident that the partnership will complement our fantastic entrepreneurial eco-system on campus and further enhances our position as a place where entrepreneurship and innovation happen.” This year the NUI Galway programme will run its first student accelerator summer programme, in addition it will run a female only InnovatHER programme showcasing some of the Ireland’s leading female entrepreneurs. While in April 2018 a med-tech competition for students focussing on solving unmet clinical needs will take place. Blackstone LaunchPad is one of a portfolio of innovative programme supported by the Galway University Foundation at NUI Galway other programmes include, BioInnovate, BioExel, EXPLORE, and TechInnovate. The future of entrepreneurship at NUI Galway looks bright and promising.  ENDS

Monday, 12 March 2018

Civic and Religious Leaders attended the recent Seas Suas Awards Ceremony at NUI Galway. The Award Ceremony celebrated the successful completion of the Seas Suas training programme undertaken by 250 students. Seas Suas is NUI Galway’s innovative student-to-student mentoring programme and is an initiative between the University’s Student Services and Students’ Union and facilitated by the Chaplaincy team at NUI Galway. Students from a range of academic disciplines in NUI Galway undertake training sessions on topics such as developing positive mental health, alcohol, online wellbeing and suicide prevention. Training includes gaining knowledge about the challenging issues of student life and the corresponding supports; developing strategies for effective helping, and learning skills to intervene safely or refer appropriately.  Dr Pat Morgan, Vice President for the Student Experience at NUI Galway said: “It is so encouraging to see how many of our NUI Galway students are motivated and engaged in promoting health and wellbeing. This has significant benefits for themselves and for others particularly during these formative years in University.” Following successful completion of the Seas Suas programme, participants are encouraged to put the aims of Seas Suas into action in a variety of ways. Participants contribute to a number of specific events such as Mental Health Week, the Green Ribbon Campaign, help with the Exam Support Team and assisting with Student Orientation. The Seas Suas programme has successfully developed sustainable partnerships between students, staff and external agencies. Seas Suas is deepening our awareness about how to live happier and healthier lives so that we can continue to be a compassionate, caring and successful community. John Hannon, Director of Student Services at NUI Galway, congratulated the students for successfully completing the Seas Suas training programme and highlighted the benefits for the students in terms of the academic achievement and their personal development.      For more information on the Seas Suas programme contact Fr Ben Hughes, NUI Galway’s Chaplaincy Services at chaplains@nuigalway.ie or 091 49 5055. -Ends-

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

The trial of Ratko Mladić – An Insider’s View The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host a public seminar on the prosecution of Ratko Mladić on Wednesday, 14 March at 1pm. The lecture will be given by Jonas Nilsson, who was the Senior Legal Officer advising the Trial Chamber in the case against Ratko Mladić before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). On 22 November 2017, Ratko Mladić was convicted by the Yugoslav Tribunal of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The judgment marked the end not only of the proceedings in this case but also of the work of the ICTY. The establishment of the ICTY almost 25 years earlier had come to mark the beginning of a new era for international criminal law and its work triggered the creation of new institutions, in particular the International Criminal Court. As one of the biggest war crimes trials in history, the trial against Ratko Mladić presented numerous challenges and lessons that are relevant for all other present and future international courts and tribunals. As a Senior Legal Officer advising the Trial Chamber of the Yugoslav Tribunal, Jonas Nilsson is in a unique position to provide an insider's perspective of the trial of Ratko Mladić and the challenges and lessons for international criminal justice. Nilsson worked at the ICTY between 2005 and 2017, having previously worked with Amnesty International, the Swedish Helsinki Committee and the Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo. Dr Shane Darcy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, said: “The visit of Jonas Nilsson is an excellent opportunity to learn more about one of the most important trials of the 21st century. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has made a significant contribution to international law and international affairs in the face of various legal, political and practical challenges.” The seminar is taking place on Wednesday 14 March at 1pm in the Seminar Room of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway. -Ends- 

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

NUI Galway today announced the full programme of events for its next CAO Open Day on Saturday, 24 March from 9am to 3pm. The Open Day is an excellent opportunity for schools, students, parents and families to explore the opportunity to study at NUI Galway. There is a packed programme of events, sample lectures and masterclasses lined up for the day, including: Over 80 stands providing information on courses, CAO points, employability, career progression routes, accommodation and fees. Sample subject talks designed to give students a real insight into studying at NUI Galway. Hands-on science workshops. Interactive sessions in Engineering, IT systems and robotics. Talk highlights for students include Sports at NUI Galway, Career Opportunities and Inspiring Women in Engineering. For parents, a range of special talks focusing on topics such as SUSI Grants, Scholarship Applications and Student Life are also scheduled. Tours of the NUI Galway campus will run throughout the day, including tours as Gaeilge. Parents are invited to attend the dedicated Parent’s Talk running at 11am and repeated again at 1pm. This is a chance for parents to experience the full range of Support Services on offer at the University and to be reassured that their sons and daughters will be fully supported during their time at NUI Galway. Visitors will learn first-hand from lecturers about the learning experience at NUI Galway, the skills development and career prospects for each of the degree programmes. Talking about the value of an Open Day for both parents and students, John Hannon, Director of Student Services at NUI Galway said: “Open Days are the opportunity for parents to see ‘under the hood’ of a university, to explore all that is on offer, but also to interrogate, to ask questions and to really see if NUI Galway is the right fit for their son or daughter. NUI Galway has achieved tremendous progress in rankings and has been awarded The Sunday Times University of the year for 2018 is testament to the dedication NUI Galway’s staff has to providing the best possible education and student experience.” To get the most out of your day visitors are encouraged to view the timetable of talks at www.nuigalway.ie/opendays.   -Ends-

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Máirtín Ó Direáin: Fathach File / Reluctant Modernist Exhibition runs in the University’s Hardiman Building NUI Galway is delighted to present a special exhibition on iconic Irish language poet, Máirtín Ó Direáin, thirty years after his death in March 1988. The exhibition was curated by Síobhra Aiken, a PhD researcher in the Centre for Irish Studies, and it draws on University, State and private archives, with many materials on public display for the first time. ‘Máirtín Ó Direáin – Fathach File / Reluctant Modernist’ was launched in the Hardiman Building by NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh. It is a highlight of the University’s celebration of Seachtain na Gaeilge 2018. According to curator, Síobhra Aiken: “While Ó Direáin is considered to be the ‘father of modern Irish poetry’, his legacy has arguably been overlooked and his life story has never been written. I hope that the exhibition will provide new biographical information, which enlightens our understanding of Ó Direáin work and will encourage further academic research on his life and his poetry. The exhibition draws on a range of archival and private material, as well as resources and art collections from within the University and beyond to give a fascinating insight into this iconic literary figure.” The exhibition offers new information on aspects of Ó Direáin’s life, such as the respect he earned as a young actor in An Taibhdhearc theatre, the steps he took to promote the rights of post office workers, and his position as President of Cumann na Scríbhneoirí (The Writers’ Association) in Dublin. Members of the extended Ó Direáin family were present at the launch and gave personal insights into the poet’s life and inspirations. Máirtín Ó Direáin’s only daughter, Niamh Sheridan, spoke at the launch, and was joined by her partner Don, daughter Gráinne McCann and grandson Shane. Also present at the launch were the Mná Fiontracha group from Árainn, who helped source material for the exhibition, and Peadar Mac Mághnais, who has donated art and manuscripts connected to Ó Direáin to the University in recent years. The free exhibition will run in the Hardiman Building on campus from March-July 2018. Máirtín Ó Direáin’s poetry has been a core part of the Irish language Leaving Certificate syllabus, and the exhibition will be of particular relevance to fifth and sixth year secondary school students seeking to gain further insight into his poetry. Find out more about the exhibition at: www.nuigalway.ie/odireain   -Ends- 

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Tá Taispeántas Máirtín Ó Direáin: Fathach File / Reluctant Modernist ar siúl in Áras Uí Argadáin san Ollscoil Tá an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh taispeántas speisialta faoin bhfile Máirtín Ó Direáin a sheoladh, tríocha bliain i ndiaidh a bháis i Márta 1988. Ba í Síobhra Aiken, taighdeoir PhD in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, a chuir an taispeántas le chéile, agus baineann sé úsáid as cartlanna Ollscoile, Stáit agus príobháideacha – cuid mhaith ábhar nach raibh ar taispeáint poiblí go dtí seo ina measc. Ba é Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh a sheol ‘Máirtín Ó Direáin – Fathach File / Reluctant Modernist’ in Áras Uí Argadáin ar an gcampas. Is buaicphointe é de cheiliúradh na hOllscoile ar Sheachtain na Gaeilge 2018. Dar leis an gcoimeádaí, Síobhra Aiken: “Ce go n-áirítear fós é mar ‘athair na nuafhilíochta Gaeilge’, d’fhéadfaí a rá go bhfuil neamhaird tugtha don Direánach le tamall beag de bhlianta anuas agus níor scríobhadh a bheathaisnéis riamh.” Tá súil agam go gcuirfidh an taispeántas eolas nua beathaisnéise ar fáil, rud a thabharfaidh tuiscint níos fearr ar a shaothair agus a spreagfaidh breis taighde ar shaol Ó Direáin agus a chuid filíochta. Tá réimse leathan d’ábhar cartlainne agus príobháideach sa taispeántas, chomh maith le foinsí agus bailiúcháin ealaíne san Ollscoil agus lasmuigh dó, a thugann léargas suntasach ar an bhfile íocónach seo. Cuireann an taispeántas neart eolais nua ar fáil ar ghnéithe éagsúla de shaol Uí Dhireáin, ina measc siúd, an meas a bhí air mar aisteoir óg sa Taibhdhearc, na céimeanna a thóg sé le cearta lucht oibre oifig an phoist a chur chun cinn agus an ról a bhí aige mar Uachtarán ar Chumann na Scríbhneoirí i mBaile Átha Cliath. Bhí gaolta leis an Diréanach i láthair ag an seoladh agus thug siad léargas pearsanta ar shaol agus spreagadh an fhile. Labhair iníon leis an bhfile, Niamh Sheridan, ag an seoladh, agus bhí a páirtnéir Don, a hiníon Gráinne McCann agus a garmhac Shane ina cuideachta. Bhí baill den ghrúpa Mná Fiontracha as Árainn i láthair ag an seoladh, a chabhraigh leis an taispeántas a ullmhú, chomh maith le Peadar Mac Mághnais, a thug roinnt ealaíne agus lámhscríbhinní a bhaineann leis an Direánach don Ollscoil le blianta beaga anuas. Tá an taispeántas saor in aisce agus beidh sé ar siúl in Áras Uí Argadáin ar an gcampas ó Mhárta-Iúil 2018. Tá dánta an Direánaigh ar shiollabas na hArdteiste agus beidh an-suim ag daltaí meánscoile sa chúigiú agus sa séú bliain sa taispeántas ach go háirithe. Tá tuilleadh eolais faoin taispeántas ar fáil ag: www.nuigalway.ie/odireain   -Críoch-

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

The MA in Writing at NUI Galway and Onslaught Press invite you to celebrate the launch of ‘Flower Press’ poetry collection by Alicia Kinsella on Thursday, 15 March at 6.30pm at the University. Alice was born in Dublin and raised in Claremorris, Co. Mayo, and is currently studying poetry and fiction in the MA in Writing at NUI Galway. This short collection of poems can be described as an elegiac apostrophe. In three sections; Bud, Bloom, and Blood, it explores the growth of love in childhood, the loss of innocence, and the fallout of that loss. Dr John Kenny, Director of the MA in Writing at NUI Galway, said:  “It is a rare occurrence indeed that a student still only halfway through the MA stage would have a range of poetic work of sufficient accomplishment as to be so eminently worthy of a first collection. Alice Kinsella is an impressive devotee of the art of poetry -Flower Press promises to be a real joy in itself for all readers and a major inspiration for other students keen to get their work successfully out into the world.” While these poems take place in the world of pretence: childhood fantasies, imaginings fuelled by mythology, and the unreliable narrative of the human memory, it is the physical details, the lingering on physical sensations, smells, tastes, and personal totems, that gives the poems the life that allows them to explore the emotional, psychological, and moral questions that they raise. However, Flower Press does not claim to offer answers, but the consolation of the act of remembering. Sinéad Gleeson, Writer, Editor, Freelance Broadcaster and Journalist describes Flower Press as “Intimate, lyrical and full of pathos. Alice Kinsella brings an otherworldly quality to the quotidian, in work that is unsettling and transformative. Flower Press is a debut of rare beauty, revealing multiple epiphanies and the power of the poet’s wielded pen.” Alice, Author of Flower Press said: “I'm honoured to have Flower Press launched by the MA in Writing programme. This wouldn't be possible without the generosity and kindness of John Kenny and my classmates. The MA provides a wonderful home for emerging writers in Galway, I'm so lucky to be among them.” The launch will take place in the Moore Institute, Hardiman Research Building, Room G010, NUI Galway. Refreshments will be served on the night and all welcome. For more information visit:  http://aliceekinsella.com/ -Ends-

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Two senior academics from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, have been awarded €1.1 million by Science Foundation Ireland’s Science Policy Research Programme, facilitating doctoral degrees that will generate important new policy insights that can help to bolster Ireland’s knowledge economy. Professor John McHale, Dean of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics and Dr Alma McCarthy, Senior Lecturer and Head of the Discipline of Management, have been awarded grants, aimed at aligning the policies behind Irish science with current best practices. The funds awarded through the research scheme will support research positions for both postdoctoral researchers and PhD students for a period of up to four years. Professor John McHale’s project titled ‘The Impact of International Star Scientists on Irish Science’ was awarded €856,000. The research will explore how the arrival of a star researcher (high profile and renowned for their research) affects institutional performance in terms of inspiring incumbent scientists and the quality of subsequent research recruits. Professor McHale notes that the recruitment of a star researcher can have far-reaching impacts on an organisation and on regional innovation clusters. At a time of heightened interest in scientist mobility due to Brexit, this project aims to evaluate the effect of star recruitment policies on the performance of Irish science and the broader national innovation system. Dr Alma McCarthy’s research project titled ‘Achieving Scientific Excellence and Impact in Ireland: The Role of Talent and Human Capital Management in National Science Foundations’ was awarded €255,000. Dr McCarthy’s project will research, develop and evaluate a talent management model for Science Foundation Ireland, drawing on best practice from four international science foundations globally. These organisations tend to differ from typical public sector organisations as they are characterised by high turnover, contract employment, and highly skilled staff. Therefore, these organisations merit particular research attention in order to better understand specific organisational and contextual factors impacting talent management. The human capital of these leading science funding agencies allows them to impact their nation’s economic and social development effectively and efficiently. Dr McCarthy’s project will employ a cross-national research design across five small advanced and larger economies to set forth a guide for best international practice. The project will also assist Science Foundation Ireland in meeting its Agenda 2020 objectives through effective talent management.   Speaking about the grant in the context of her research project, Dr Alma McCarthy from NUI Galway, said: “The availability and development of talent and human capital is a key strategic Human Resource issue facing most knowledge-intensive organisations in developed economies such as Ireland. This research grant will enable us to examine how Science Foundation Ireland can attract, manage and develop talent and human capital to positively impact Ireland’s research capacity, infrastructure and impact.” Commenting on the awards, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland added: “These awards will build critical knowledge to enable us to develop effective policies on how we fund, evaluate and disseminate scientific research. Building Ireland’s research capacity in science policy will help to solidify Ireland’s position in developing international best practice and encourage collaborations with international experts in the field.” -Ends-

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Researchers from the Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia at NUI Galway, will host a public information meeting ‘Let’s Talk about Dementia: Perspectives and Experiences from NUI Galway’, which aims to increase awareness of dementia and dementia research at the University. The event is free and open to the public, students and academics and takes place on Thursday, 15 March. The event is an opportunity to find out more about research in dementia being carried out at NUI Galway; to hear more about the latest treatment advances in dementia; to see how technology can help people with dementia; and to learn about current national policy initiatives in dementia. Information on local dementia services and supports will also be available at the meeting. There are currently 55,000 people living with dementia in Ireland. By 2046, the number of people with dementia will have almost trebled to 157,883. It is also estimated that there are currently 60,000 family carers providing support for people with dementia living in the community in Ireland. The overall annual cost of dementia is estimated at just under €2 billion euro. The event will showcase NUI Galway dementia and brain health research. There will be a panel discussion, with the opportunity for the audience to ask questions to the expert group. The event will draw to a close with the NUI Galway Staff Choir and refreshments and a light lunch will be provided. The Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s Mobile Information Bus will also be on campus for the day. Professor Eamon O’Shea, organiser of the event and Director of the Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia at NUI Galway, said: “This is an opportunity for people to learn more about dementia and how researchers at NUI Galway are examining the causes, consequences and impact of the disease across a number of different dimensions.” Dr Carol Rogan, Scientific Co-ordinator from Dementia and Neurodegeneration Network Ireland, said: “We hope that anybody with an interest in dementia will join us in NUI Galway on 15 March. NUI Galway researchers are exploring various mechanisms which underlie dementia, as well as searching for innovative ways to improve the lives of people with dementia and family carers.” Ms Maureen Mannion, Dementia Advisor in Galway, Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland, added: “It is important that people living with dementia and carers are to the fore when it comes to undertaking dementia research in Ireland. Dementia is a major health challenge that is facing Ireland and it is important to determine key priorities and fund them appropriately.” The event is supported by the Dementia and Neurodegeneration Network Ireland and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. The event is free and will take place in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway from 11am-1pm on Thursday, 15 March with registration available at the venue.  For more information please email: cesrd@nuigalway.ie or phone 091 495461 or follow @CESRD_NUIG. -Ends-

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

D’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh inniu an clár iomlán imeachtaí don chéad Lá Oscailte CAO eile a bheidh ar siúl Dé Sathairn, an 24 Márta ó 9am go dtí 3pm. Deis iontach é an Lá Oscailte do scoileanna, daltaí, tuismitheoirí agus teaghlaigh blaiseadh a fháil de shaol staidéir OÉ Gaillimh. Tá clár lán le himeachtaí, léachtaí samplacha agus máistir-ranganna eagraithe don lá, lena n-áirítear: Os cionn 80 seastán ag cur eolais ar fáil faoi chúrsaí, pointí CAO, deiseanna fostaíochta, deiseanna le dul chun cinn gairme a dhéanamh, lóistín agus táillí. Seisiúin eolais chun léargas ceart a thabhairt do mhic léinn ar an staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh. Ceardlanna praiticiúla eolaíochta. Seisiúin idirghníomhacha san Innealtóireacht, córais IT agus róbataic. I measc na gcainteanna do mhic léinn beidh cainteanna ar Spóirt in OÉ Gaillimh, Deiseanna Gairme agus Mná Spreagúla san Innealtóireacht. Do thuismitheoirí, beidh raon cainteanna speisialta ag díriú ar ábhair cosúil le Deontais SUSI, Iarratais ar Scoláireachtaí agus Saol na Mac Léinn. Eagrófar turais den champas i gcaitheamh an lae, a áiríonn turais i nGaeilge. Tugtar cuireadh do thuismitheoirí freastal ar Chaint do Thuismitheoirí a bheidh ar siúl ar 11am agus arís ar 1pm. Is deis é seo do thuismitheoirí blaiseadh a fháil ar raon iomlán Sheirbhísí Tacaíochta na hOllscoile agus iad a chur ar a suaimhneas go mbeidh gach tacaíocht ar fáil dá n-iníon nó mac le linn a gcuid ama in OÉ Gaillimh. Gheobhaidh cuairteoirí eolas ó léachtóirí faoin taithí foghlama in OÉ Gaillimh, forbairt scileanna agus deiseanna gairme do gach clár céime. Ag labhairt dó faoin bhfiúntas atá le Lá Oscailte do thuismitheoirí agus do dhaltaí araon, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag John Hannon, Stiúrthóir Sheirbhísí na Mac Léinn in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is deis iad na Laethanta Oscailte do thuismitheoirí forléargas a fháil ar ollscoil, foghlaim faoi gach atá ar fáil, ach freisin is deis atá iontu fiosruithe a dhéanamh, ceisteanna a chur agus fáil amach an mbeidh OÉ Gaillimh oiriúnach dá mac nó n-iníon. Tá an-dul chun cinn déanta ag OÉ Gaillimh sna ranguithe agus bronnadh gradam The Sunday Times air i leith Ollscoil na Bliana 2018. Is léiriú é seo ar dhíograis chomhaltaí foirne OÉ Gaillimh i leith eispéireas oideachais agus mac léinn den chéad scoth a chur ar fáil. Chun an tairbhe is mó a bhaint as an lá moltar do chuairteoirí breathnú ar amchlár na gcainteanna ar www.nuigalway.ie/opendays.   -Críoch-

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Medical device research in cardiovascular illnesses will allow surgeons to support minimally invasive procedures and improve outcomes for patients. An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, today announced a new research project between CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at NUI Galway, and Boston Scientific. The research will enhance medical devices that allow surgeons to support minimally invasive procedures when carrying out life-saving repairs for aneurysms and aortic valve repair. It is one of several new research projects emerging from the collaboration between CÚRAM and Boston Scientific. Speaking at a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) event in Washington DC to celebrate and build scientific collaboration between Ireland and the United States as part of the St Patrick’s Day Festival, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said, “These new research projects are further evidence of the high calibre of our research talent and the continued growth of the medical devices sector in Ireland.” “Thanks to significant Government investment in R&D through Science Foundation Ireland, we have built a world-class research ecosystem, and Ireland is now recognised as a global leader in creative, innovative technologies. By collaborating with industry on innovative research, I hope we can look forward to the development of new and affordable solutions for chronic diseases, which can have a transformative effect on people's lives.” Boston Scientific products touch the lives of more than 25 million patients each year. Its Galway facility, which focuses on cardiovascular devices, is the company’s largest facility in Ireland. Key product lines include drug-eluting stents, biliary stents, and catheters. This new project, led by CÚRAM Principal Investigator (PI) Dr Niamh Hynes, NUI Galway offers the exciting potential to develop new devices by bringing together clinical and industry expertise and experience with biomedical and scientific research excellence. “This unique, multi-disciplinary, specialist environment is key to CÚRAM’s success in developing strong programmes of work with our industry partners; in this case bringing substantial investment from Boston Scientific,” said Prof Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of the SFI Research Centre CÚRAM based at NUI Galway. “This project is in addition to three other ongoing research projects with Boston Scientific.” Interventional cardiology is a branch of cardiology dealing specifically with catheter-based treatment of structural heart diseases. Minimally invasive transcatheter procedures for aortic valve repair, which involve inserting a replacement valve are being used more frequently, reducing the risk of surgery for patients. Research is now focusing on the development of novel interventional solutions, which allow blood to flow in the correct direction through the heart. CÚRAM Principle Investigator, Dr Faisal Sharif, in collaboration with Boston Scientific, is developing technology to further reduce risk and improve outcomes for patients undergoing these surgeries. Another research project, led by CÚRAM Investigator Prof Tim O’ Brien at NUI Galway, is carrying out a preclinical evaluation of a catheter device to support muscle and vascular regeneration in patients suffering from critical limb ischaemia; a severe obstruction of the arteries which reduces blood flow to the extremities. CÚRAM investigators Prof Gearoid Ó Laighin and Dr Leo Quinlan are also collaborating with Boston Scientific on the development of a novel implantable electrical stimulation device to improve cardiovascular circulation. Prof Mark Ferguson, Science Foundation Ireland Director General and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said “The significant work being carried out by the SFI Research Centre CÚRAM continues to position Ireland at the forefront of the world medical device industry. I am delighted with the announcement of this new research partnership, which highlights the world-class reputation of Ireland as an important centre for R&D. The deepening of CÚRAM’s industry research collaborations is a testament to the research talent and collaborative environment which companies can access in Ireland. I am also confident that the project outcomes have the potential to positively transform human health across the world.”  “CÚRAM’s goal is to establish long-term strategic relationships with our industry partners, to complete projects that advance medical device technologies and inventions and convert these into products and services that benefit the patient,” said Prof Pandit. “Our Industry Programme Team facilitates and supports collaborations such as the projects we are working on with Boston Scientific; from the initial enquiry right through to knowledge transfer and the identification of future projects.” CÚRAM is a world-leading SFI Research Centre that brings together researchers from NUI Galway, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University College Cork, University Limerick. Its overarching aim is to radically improve quality of life for patients suffering from chronic illness. CÚRAM’s clinical targets include cardiovascular disease, respiratory illnesses, diabetes, neural disorders, musculoskeletal issues, soft tissue repair and renal and urological disease. -Ends-

Friday, 16 March 2018

The College of Science at NUI Galway in association with the British Council in Ireland hosted FameLab Galway 2018, the world’s biggest science competition this March in An Taibhdhearc. The event saw nine scientists compete for two places in the national final, despite Storm Emma causing a last minute rescheduling. The goal of FameLab is to explain scientific concepts to a general audience in just three minutes. The competition is open to scientists, mathematicians, and engineers working across Ireland in both the public and private sectors. The nine participants in FameLab Galway 2018 came from a variety of backgrounds and career stages ranging from undergraduate students to established Post-Doctoral researchers from fields as diverse as Anatomy and Data Analytics. Presentations given were similarly diverse, featuring glowing fish, the importance of vaccination and a cardboard model of how gravitational waves affect lasers. The winner of this year’s FameLab Galway was Eoin Murphy, a full-time PhD student and Science Ambassador at NUI Galway studying at the Centre for Chromosome Biology. His presentation, titled ‘The Ultimate Puzzle’, detailed the effects of Huntington's disease and offered hope for potential treatments from the cutting edge of biotechnology. The runner-up was Christopher Lally for his presentation ‘Genetically Modified Foods’. Christopher is also a PhD student at NUI Galway working in CÚRAM (Centre for Research in Medical Devices). Christopher also spent time in the biopharma industry making pain medication for cats and dogs. His presentation about the revolutionary effects of plant breeding on food production and the future potential of genetic engineering won the public vote. Dr Patrick Ryan, one of the event organisers and runner-up of last year’s competition commented on the success of the event: “FameLab is a wonderful opportunity for science enthusiasts to communicate their passion and the impact science has had on all our lives. Science communication is becoming increasingly relevant to modern scientists and the high standard of this year’s competition is testament to the huge amount of work each competitor put into their presentation.” Eoin and Christopher will both have the opportunity to participate in the FameLab Ireland Final which will be held at the Science Gallery in Dublin on Thursday, 12 April. The winner of the National competition will have a chance to compete in the International FameLab final at the Cheltenham Science Festival, the UK in June 2018.  For more information on FameLab visit www.britishcouncil.ie/famelab or follow on twitter @FameLab_Ireland and @FameLab_Galway. -Ends-

Friday, 16 March 2018

Applications open to female engineering students NUI Galway is delighted to announce that applications are now open to undergraduate female engineering students for scholarships to attend a unique and challenging engineering summer academy at the Univer­sity of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. The Academy, offered to only 30 female students from 15 different countries, is a two and a half week intensive programme com­bining theory with hands-on practical experience in engineering, informatics and natural sciences. In addition to knowledge transfer in these fields, social, cross-cultural and gender aspects are covered and discussed during lectures and workshops. Speaking about the scholarships and the International Summer Academy, Mary Dempsey, Senior Lecturer at the School of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway, said: “This is a super opportunity for young female students involved in the sciences and engineering. Those interested in pursuing a career or further studies in this area get a unique chance to broaden their technical and scientific knowledge, to develop international contacts and to experience learning in a creative and fun way.” The Academy programme is based around thematic areas of Natural Sciences, Engineering and Technology, and Computer Sciences and Informatics. Specific subject areas look at issues such as Synthetic biology: promises and dangers for society; Molecular biology: forensic DNA profiling and its computational analysis; Special high voltage applications in modern day technology; What computer science can learn from nature - Evolutionary optimization algorithms and data mining; Importance of online privacy; and Human and computer interaction Four NUI Galway students secured scholarships from the University to attend the Academy in July 2017, and biomedical student Aoife Fitzgerald said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Coming from a biomedical background I learnt a lot about the field of engineering that I did not know before. It really broadened my knowledge and changed the way I think about a variety of topics. I met girls from all over the world, learning about loads of different types of cultures. It is an experience I will never forget. We visited so many different places here that I would love to return to again one day.” For further information on scholarship applications please contact: Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering & Informatics: Mary.Dempsey@nuigalway.ie ENDS

Friday, 16 March 2018

‘Illusions of Progress?’ symposium puts national action plans on business and human rights under the spotlight The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host a symposium on Friday, 23 March exploring the role of national action plans in furthering the business and human rights agenda. Professor Anita Ramasastry, a renowned expert from the University of Washington and a member of the United Nations Working Group on business and human rights, will speak at this event on relevant international and national developments in this emerging field of policy and practice. Dr Shane Darcy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: “The momentum of the business and human rights agenda risks stalling in the absence of meaningful progress on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights. This symposium will consider whether national business and human rights plans constitute an effective means of ensuring corporate respect for human rights or merely serve to give the illusion of progress.” National action plans have become the primary means of implementing the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights (2011), an authoritative policy framework aimed at addressing the potentially harmful effects of business activities on human rights. The Irish Government adopted its National Plan on Business and Human Rights 2017-2020 in November 2017 on foot of recommendations by the European Commission and the United Nation Human Rights Council. This symposium will bring together a number of legal and policy experts working in the field of business and human rights who will discuss and explore the prospects and problems associated with such national action plans, and their implications for States, business and civil society. -Ends- 

Friday, 16 March 2018

NUI Galway has signed the Charter for the Galway and West of Ireland Region of Gastronomy which commits the University to a range of initiatives to support food culture in the region as part of its designation as European Region of Gastronomy 2018. These initiatives will include featuring local produce in campus food outlets; hosting high-profile food-related conferences and a series of public lectures on theme related to gastronomy and food culture. The 17 restaurants on the NUI Galway campus serve approximately 30,000 customers each week and under the Charter, campus caterers have committed to sourcing as much produce as possible from local producers and suppliers as well as supporting food waste minimisation actions within the home and workplace. Dr Philip Smyth, Head of Shannon College of Hotel Management, which is now a college of NUI Galway, said: “Our food culture is vitally important for our health and wellbeing, and signing the charter highlights the University’s commitment to supporting this important sector. We look forward to working with our campus community to highlight the richness of our region of gastronomy and to support sustainable development and innovation.” Over the coming months, the University will host a range of high-profile food conferences, including the Good Food Ireland Conference and Food on the Edge. As part of the programme of events on sustainability, the University in partnership with Teagasc will host an Agri-Food Seminar on Sustainability as well as a Beef and Sheep Workshop in June. Ann Duggan, Commercial Manager at NUI Galway, commented: “Local seasonal produce forms the key ingredient across menus on a daily basis and the five catering companies providing services on campus are enthusiastically working with growers/ producers and wholesalers to create nutritional, tasty dishes for our campus community of approximately 20,000. We also welcome over 10,000 conference delegates and visitors to campus annually. In recent years local, artisan and craft producers have exhibited at receptions for international delegates which has added enormously to the enjoyment of their experience in Galway.   Food is central to the delegates’ experience and having such a wealth of wonderful fresh produce on our doorstep differentiates Galway and gives us a strong competitive edge when competing for international events.” Throughout 2018 NUI Galway highlight areas where it is making a contribution to Gastronomy under the key focus areas, such as Sustainability, Health and Nutrition and Cultural Diversity already established as themes for Galway’s year as European Region of Gastronomy. These will feature in a Public Lecture Series on campus in autumn 2018 which will be which will be free and open to the public. Speaking on the announcement, Elaine Donohue, Programme Lead, Galway European Region of Gastronomy, said: “The European Region of Gastronomy is thrilled to have such committed support from NUI Galway for the year of our designation. They have gone above and beyond in their commitments to develop more local supply chains through our Galway & West of Ireland Food Charter and are looking to engage a large number of their schools in our themes for the year. Through their support, both TouRRoir, a Global Forum from Good Food Ireland, and Food on The Edge, an International Chef's Symposium will be hosted at NUI Galway.” ENDS

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Mayor of Chicago to be conferred with Honorary Doctorate At a ceremony in NUI Galway on Tuesday 3 April, an Honorary Degree will be conferred on Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago and former White House Chief of Staff in the Obama administration. NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán ó hÓgartaigh, speaking in advance of the conferring ceremony, said:  “The cities of Galway and Chicago are twinned as Sister Cities for over twenty-one years. Since then a strong and dynamic relationship has developed bringing social, cultural, educational and economic benefits and reflecting the many personal and professional links between our two great cities. In honouring Mayor Emanuel, we as a University signal what we value. We recognise not only these ties which bind Galway and Chicago in our role as Galway’s University. We also signal the importance of public service, of acting locally with global impact, and of democracy, sanctuary and freedom – in the world and for the world.” Rahm Emanuel is the 55th mayor of Chicago. He has led the passage of budgets containing reforms and investments to solidify Chicago’s financial future. He has successfully enacted numerous education reforms including lengthening the school day and year, creating universal full-day kindergarten and making Chicago the first big city in the country to offer free community college to all high school students who graduate with at least a B average. Under Mayor Emanuel’s leadership, Chicago has led economic reforms which have seen the city become more attractive for companies and, foreign direct investment. Chicago is in the midst of an $8 billion infrastructure modernization to strengthen the city’s roads, rails and runways. Before becoming Mayor, he was the White House Chief of Staff in the Obama administration and served three terms in the US House of Representatives representing Chicago’s 5th District. Prior to his election to Congress, he was a key member of the Clinton White House from 1993 to 1998, rising to senior adviser to the President for policy and strategy. He graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1981 and received a master’s degree in speech and communication from Northwestern University. Mayor Emanuel will be conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) and joins the ranks of previous honorary alumni which include, among many others, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Cyril Ramaphosa, Enya, Anjelica Huston, and Margaret Atwood. -Ends- 

Monday, 26 March 2018

Arts in Action at NUI Galway will host its finale concert in The Cube at Áras na Mac Léinn on Wednesday, 4 April at 6.30pm. This event will feature an ensemble of 20 musicians from the NUI Galway Medical Orchestra directed by traditional musicians, Máirtín O’Connor and Garry O’Briain, along with special guests, including Arts in Action Creative Director, Mary McPartlan, who was instrumental in establishing the Medical Orchestra in 2010. The NUI Galway Medical Orchestra has become an important outlet for medical student expression and creativity and has had successful public performances in Ireland and overseas. A choral ensemble was created in 2016. Participation in the Medical Orchestra is eligible for academic credit as a special study module in Years One and Four of the undergraduate medical programme. Previous performances of the Orchestra at University Hospital Galway and in the regional Medical Academies in Donegal, Sligo and Mayo have highlighted the healing influence of music in the lives of patients and their care-givers. There is a growing scholarship in medical humanities and NUI Galway recently established a medical humanities committee. Its special study module in Medicine and the Arts, directed by Mary McPartlan and Dr Eva Flynn, Lecturer in General Practice, is very popular among the students. This year saw the introduction of an additional special study module in Creativity, led by a local artist, Finbar McHugh. Reflecting on the commitment of NUI Galway to the integration of the Arts in Medicine, Undergraduate Programme Director, Professor Gerard Flaherty, commented: “All aspects of artistic creativity and expression have a role to play in the recovery and rehabilitation of patients and in the personal development and self-care of medical students and doctors. Our university medical school is leading the way in embedding the Arts in its medical curriculum and we look forward to further exciting opportunities for collaboration with colleagues in the Arts community and in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway.” Professor Maccon Keane, Consultant Medical Oncologist at University Hospital Galway and a member of the Board of the Galway International Arts Festival, said: “Recognising the role of music in oncology care where it creates solace and space to depart from the difficulties of treatment and a mental safety net in which normal life can exist.  However this particular piece is unique in that it fuses the sounds of oncology care with music bringing the science and art of healing together.” This is a free public concert and no prior booking is necessary. For further information visit: https://www.nuigalway.ie/artsinaction/ -Ends-

Monday, 26 March 2018

Ag searmanas speisialta in OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Déardaoin, 22 Márta), bhronn Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Dochtúireacht san Fhealsúnacht (PhD) ar bhreis agus 70 mac léinn. Ina theannta sin, bronnadh Dochtúireacht Leighis ar mhac léinn amháin ag searmanas an lae inniu. Bhí céimithe ó gach Coláiste san Ollscoil i measc na gcéimithe sin ar bronnadh PhD orthu, Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh; Coláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí & an Dlí; Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice; Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte; agus Coláiste na hEolaíochta. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le gach céimí as a gcáilíocht dochtúireachta a bhaint amach ar an lá mór seo, a chuireann bailchríoch ar a dtallann, a n-iarracht agus a ndúthracht thar blianta fada. Tá OÉ Gaillimh bródúil as líon na gcéimithe a chuirtear ar fáil agus a bheidh mar cheannairí a mhúnlóidh an todhchaí agus a mbeidh tionchar dearfach acu ar fud an domhain - go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta.  Is é misean na hOllscoile seo domhan níos fearr a chruthú tríd an teagasc, taighde agus an tionchar atá againn agus déanaimid é seo go follasach leis an méadú mór atá tagtha ar líon na gcéimithe PhD le blianta beaga anuas.” -Críoch-

Friday, 23 March 2018

Friday, 23 March 2018: Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Education and Skills, and John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation and Research and Development, have announced almost €3 million investment by the Irish Research Council in ‘frontier research’ projects at NUI Galway.  Six NUI Galway researchers will receive funding under the Irish Research Council’s new Laureate Awards to conduct ground-breaking research in the Biomedical Science and Engineering, and the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Announcing the awards, Minister Bruton said: “Frontier basic research is very much at the cutting edge of new knowledge.  It is research that is daring, that pushes boundaries, and that moves beyond the frontiers of our current understanding. “Innovation 2020, Ireland’s five-year strategy for science and technology, research and development, identified a significant gap in the Irish research and innovation landscape in the area of frontier basic research. The Laureate Awards scheme was designed specifically to address this gap, and the Irish Research Council has, through the programme, identified a wealth of clearly talented researchers with brilliant ideas. Investing in cutting-edge, world-class research will strengthen our knowledge base and enhance Ireland’s international reputation, taking us further along our journey to becoming the best education and training service in Europe by 2026” Minister Halligan said: “Frontier research is key to understanding the world around us and developing the bedrock of knowledge necessary for social, technological and environmental progress. We would not have devices like mobile phones, or indeed the internet, without frontier basic research.  Innovation 2020 targets Ireland to become an Innovation Leader, and the investment being announced today by the Department is a very positive step on the way to achieving this.” Researchers who will be funded by these Laureate Awards at NUI Galway include: Dr Jacopo Bisagni, who is researching intellectual exchanges between Ireland, Brittany and Francia in domains such as astronomy, cosmology and biblical exegesis during the Carolingian age (c. AD 750-1000), namely the period that laid the foundations of Europe as we know it. Dr Álvaro Llorente-Berzal will research the implication of the endocannabinoid system in sex differences in chronic neuropathic pain. Professor Laoise McNamara is developing experimental models to mimic the complex multicellular and mechanical environment of bone metastases for investigating potential therapies Dr Rióna Ní Fhrighil is researching Human Rights and Modern Irish Poetry. Dr Ted Vaughan is researching the multiscale mechanics of bone fragility in Type-2 Diabetes. Dr Katarzyna Whysall is researching potential microRNA-based therapeutics for muscle wasting. “I welcome the government’s support and commitment to frontiers research, and the IRC’s leadership in supporting some of the greatest research minds working in Ireland today”, said Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway. “There is incredible talent in this country, and supporting the unknown potential of basic research is key to underpinning the research and innovation prowess of Ireland. The Laureate Awards recognise and support this, and I would like to congratulate the six exceptional individuals at NUI Galway who are part of this announcement today.” Funding for Laureate Awards Two streams of funding announced: ‘Starting’ Laureate Awards, which are aimed at supporting excellent early-career researchers to establish their own independent research programme. Eighteen awards – totalling €7 million – were announced today, three of which were secured by NUI Galway. ‘Consolidator’ Laureate Awards, which provide funding for excellent mid-career researchers with an established track record to progress to the next level. €10.6 million in funding was announced for the Consolidator Laureate Awards, to fund a further eighteen new Laureates, three of which were secured by NUI Galway. In addition to the investment in the first round of awards, the Department of Education and Skills also announced today a further investment of €12 million for a series of Advanced Grants under the Laureate programme. Senior researchers in Ireland’s higher education and research institutions will have the opportunity to compete for an Advanced Laureate grant with a value of up to €1 million over four years. The Advanced Grant call will be opened by the Irish Research Council in the coming weeks. Welcoming the announcements, Peter Brown, Director of the Irish Research Council, said: “Supporting research that pushes out the frontiers of knowledge is a key priority of the Irish Research Council. With the establishment of the Laureate Awards we are taking steps to ensure that exceptional individual researchers are supported to achieve world-class standing in their respective areas of expertise. “The independent international panels that assessed applications for the Laureate Awards were extremely impressed with the quality of individual researchers in the Irish research system. With continued investment in frontier research across all disciplines, Ireland will reap benefits for the long-term and will leverage greater success in European research programmes, in particular the European Research Council.” ENDS

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Over 70 students were recognised by NUI Galway today (Thursday, 22 March) at a special ceremony when they were conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh. One student was also conferred with a Doctor of Medicine at today’s ceremony. All Colleges of the University were be represented at the ceremony, with graduands from the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, the College of Business, Public Policy and Law; the College of Engineering and Informatics; the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; and the College of Science. NUI Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I would like to congratulate each graduate on their achievement in earning their doctoral degrees on what is a milestone day in their lives, marking the culmination of their talent, effort and commitment over many years. NUI Galway is proud of our record of developing graduates as leaders who will create the future and make a positive impact in the world - and for the world - nationally and internationally.  It is the mission of this university to make the world a better place through our teaching, research and impact and we do this tangibly through the increased number of PhDs graduating in recent years.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Project aims to promote STEM amongst student teachers The School of Education at NUI Galway, supported by Google Ireland, has announced an innovative project titled “Creative Coding for Maths Makers.” The new project integrates mathematical and computer programming concepts, with a specific focus on promoting STEM amongst student teachers. BA Mathematics and Education student teachers at NUI Galway will be working with primary and post-primary school children to promote mathematics and computer programming integration. Both student teachers and school children will develop an understanding and design of innovative mathematical concepts by a coding interface and will then render their virtual models physically in the MakerSpace. Unique, and the only facility of its kind in an Irish university, the MakerSpace in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway is a space purposefully designed to facilitate engaged teaching and learning. It's a space where students can be creative, collaborate, share, develop ideas, innovate, and generally just ‘make stuff’. The computers available in the MakerSpace have a higher specification than those available in most of the PC suites on campus. MakerSpace offers a 3D printing service*. Such exposure and experience is of value to students as it replicates life in a STEM industry. Claire Conneely, Computer Science Education Programme Manager at Google Ireland said: “We are excited to support the Creative Coding for Maths Makers programme at NUI Galway. Embedding Computer Science as a fundamental and rigorous subject throughout the entire school curriculum - including the introduction of Computer Science as a Leaving Certificate subject later this year - will ensure that students have a deeper understanding of how they can use technology to be creative and solve problems. Equally important is growing the confidence and skillset of the next generation of teachers, so that Computer Science will be accessible and available to all students across Ireland in the coming years.”  Professor Gerry MacRuairc, Professor of Education and Head of School, commented: “this Google funded programme reinforces the philosophy of the School that technology will not replace teachers but it is essential that teachers are introduced to many forms of technology in their teacher education programmes.” In order to be a catalyst for positive change in computer science education, Google has sponsored projects like the NUI Galway ‘Creative Coding for Maths Makers’ program in order to help address a key challenge for computing education in Ireland, in the preparation and up-skilling of teachers to deliver the new Computer Science curricula in primary and post-primary Irish schools. Leading the project is Dr Cornelia Connolly in the School of Education at NUI Galway: “The introduction of coding in schools and the new Computer Science Leaving Certificate present a landmark opportunity for STEM advancement in Ireland; however, there is the challenge now to prepare teachers properly to teach these key STEM areas in an engaging and effective way. Projects like ‘Creative Coding for Maths Makers’ enable us to start doing this in Galway, in partnership with schools in the city and region.” -Ends- 

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Connacht Rugby, along with players from NUI Galway women’s and men’s rugby teams will deliver an informal rugby skills session at NUI Galway’s Open Day on Saturday, 24 March. The session will take place at 12.30pm outside the Bailey Allen Hall, the main exhibition hall for Open Day. NUI Galway Sports will also be running a Sports Talk at 11am for those interested in all sports, and there will be an opportunity to meet current athletes who are representing the University at intervarsities, at national, European and International competitions. There will be information on Sports Scholarships, and coaches will be present to give first-hand information on facilities and coaching services. Mike Heskin, Director of Sport at NUI Galway stresses that Sport is for everyone at NUI Galway: “NUI Galway sports teams and athletes are competing and winning on the national and international stage, and through a range of scholarships and supports our athletes are fully supported while at University, enabling them to compete and study to the best of their ability. As well as supporting accomplished athletes in their chosen sports, we also have many athletes taking up a new sport for the first time while at University and, with the support of our coaching teams, are very quickly competing on a provincial, national and international stage. Sport is truly for everyone at NUI Galway. We recognise the relationship between academic performance and health and wellbeing and our mission is to encourage all students to participate in physical activity.” NUI Galway lecturers and current students will be on hand to talk to students and parents at the main exhibition area in the Bailey Allen Hall, with over 80 subject-specific stands. The ‘Parents Programme’ will provide parents and students with information on important issues such as fees and funding, careers, accommodation and support services for students. Open Day tours will include the state-of the-art sports complex and gym, the newly built Human Biology Building and the Alice Perry Engineering Building. Tours of student accommodation will also be available to visitors on the day, with the tour shuttle bus departing regularly from outside the Orbsen Building. Guided walking tours of the main campus will also take place throughout the day. Open Day is the perfect opportunity to explore all NUI Galway has to offer. A programme of talks, workshops and masterclasses will run throughout the day. Talk highlights include: Sports at NUI Galway, including a guest appearance by Connacht Rugby players Career talks - “What are my employment prospectus after university?” Volunteering and the value of NUI Galway’s extra-curricular programmes SUSI- Applying for a student grant Access routes into Education, including HEAR/DARE and FETAC To find out more visit www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, phone +353 91 494398 or email visit@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Friday, 16 March 2018

The School of Education at NUI Galway are launching a Design Competition that is open to post-primary school students in Galway city and county. First prize of €500 cash is being sponsored by Iceland Ireland Ltd. This is a fantastic initiative calling for students to design an art piece that combines their creativity, design thinking and environmental awareness while highlighting the significance of the theme ‘Why making Galway plastic free matters to you’.  Designs can consist of art work, design prototypes, models, algorithms, digital stories, sculptures. that build awareness of plastic usage in our world or that offer design solutions to this global issue. The closing date for application is 6 April 2018. Leading the project is Dr Eílis Flanagan in the School of Education at NUI Galway, said: “I am delighted to host a ‘Plastic Free’ design competition for all post-primary schools in Galway city and county. While encouraging pupils' talent for design thinking and creativity, this competition offers an exciting opportunity for young people to think responsibly about their environment and to become part of the global discourse concerning the dangers of plastic pollution in our world.”  Prize winners will be invited to the MakerSpace at NUI Galway to create a prototype of their designs and will showcase their designs and artefacts at the International Society for Design and Development in Education conference at NUI Galway on 28 May.  For more information on the competition visit: http://bit.ly/2FPMnxb -Ends-

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Signal processing technology to help vehicles see and adapt better to complex environments NUI Galway campus to serve as testbed Researchers from the Lero SFI Research Centre at NUI Galway have signed an autonomous vehicles Research and Development partnership with Valeo, the major automotive supplier headquartered in Paris, France. Funding for the programme comes from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Valeo. The research will focus on helping autonomous vehicles to better navigate in complex, real world conditions using sensor signal processing technology. A team of up to 30 Lero NUI Galway and Valeo engineers based in Tuam, Ireland, will work on the project. In support of the programme, Lero NUI Galway is hiring ten PhD and two post-doctoral researchers. Valeo, which employs 1,100 people in Tuam, operates the largest Research and Development team in the West of Ireland with over 400 engineers. The project team at Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre, supported by Science Foundation Ireland, will be headed by Dr Martin Glavin and Dr Edward Jones of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. Dr Ciarán Hughes, Senior Expert in Computer Vision, leads the Valeo research team. Dr Edward Jones from NUI Galway, said: “In many ways perception of the current state of autonomous vehicle technology is more advanced than reality. While autonomous vehicles are currently operating successfully in several locations, particularly in the US, this is often under road landscape and weather conditions very different to the more complex city and rural environments that would commonly be found in locations such as Ireland or elsewhere in Europe.” As part of the research programme a semi-autonomous car will be equipped to navigate every day hazards on the NUI Galway campus, although the test vehicle will be under human control at all times. Critical use cases will be examined at Valeo’s secured test facility in Tuam. Dr Martin Glavin from NUI Galway, said: “Working with the Valeo Research and Development team, our research aims to develop sensor technology that can see further and adapt to difficult driving conditions such as fog, heavy rain and darkness. It will also be designed to better deal with real life road situations such as cyclists, pedestrians or animals wandering on to the road.” Dr Ciarán Hughes, Senior Expert, Valeo added: “This collaboration brings an 18-year relationship with NUI Galway to a new level, a step that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Lero. At a broad level, the project will look at how to extract the most information possible from automotive sensors, which is critical for highly complex autonomous driving systems.” Speaking about the partnership, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “It is a tribute to researchers in Ireland that Valeo has chosen to work with Lero, the SFI Research Centre for Software Research, and establish this Research and Development partnership here. SFI Research Centres such as Lero continue to make important scientific advances which support enterprise and industry, develop critical skills, support regional development and enhance Ireland’s international reputation. We look forward to seeing the results of the partnership and the sharing of knowledge and expertise it will facilitate.” Joe Gibbs, Business Development Manager at Lero, the SFI-funded Irish Software Research Centre, added: “This is an exciting project at the cutting edge of advanced autonomous vehicle technology. It is significant that this research is taking place in Ireland.” For more information about the research contact Dr Edward Jones at edward.jones@nuigalway.ie or 091 492720 and Dr Martin Glavin at martin.glavin@nuigalway.ie or 091 492035. -Ends-