Wednesday, 20 June 2018

NUI Galway’s School of Education has received funding from Google’s Educator Grants programme for Professional Development in the area of computational thinking for pre-service and in-service teachers.  In ensuring young people have the opportunity to learn Computer Science, NUI Galway aims to prepare and support teachers with pedagogical content knowledge to teach with confidence and competence. NUI Galway currently offers a BA Mathematics and Education (BME) concurrent teacher education degree programme, which is now over ten years in existence. As well as secondary teachers recognised by the Teaching Council, graduates of the BME are fully qualified mathematicians. This project aims to provide professional development and support to in-service and pre-service teachers in Computer Science education, who will recognise the value of and remain committed to continued professional development throughout their careers. Dr Cornelia Connolly, School of Education, NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is proud to be one of only three education institutes in Ireland (out of a total of thirty-two across sixteen countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa) that were awarded a grant to provide professional development for Computer Science educators. NUI Galway is also currently developing an undergraduate Computer Science teacher education degree.” Claire Conneely, Computer Science Education Programme Manager at Google Ireland, said: “Congratulations to NUI Galway on their award of a 2018 Google Educator Grant. It’s a very exciting time for computing education in Ireland, with the new Leaving Certificate Computer Science subject commencing in 40 schools this September and the possibility of Coding being introduced to the primary curriculum. This funding will enable NUI Galway to make an important contribution to teacher professional development and we look forward to seeing how they will advance Computer Science education in Ireland.”  -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Study will focus on service utilisation for both the carer and the person with dementia and will investigate the type of supports required and valued in the period following a diagnosis The Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia at NUI Galway are leading the first ever study in Ireland looking at supports and services available for people with dementia and their families following a recent diagnosis. The study aims to recruit informal carers, often family members, who are providing regular care and support to a loved one diagnosed with dementia in 2017 or 2018. Carers may feel uncertain following the diagnosis of a loved one with dementia. The study is focused on identifying the most important services and supports at different stages of the illness. The results of the study will inform policy in relation to the supports and services that need to be in place to help carers and people with a recent diagnosis of dementia to deal with uncertainty and plan for future care needs. The aim of the study is to inform practice and policy regarding services and supports required by carers and people with dementia in the period following a dementia diagnosis and how these needs change over time. The primary focus is on post-diagnostic supports for people with dementia and their principal caregiver. The person receiving care must have received a diagnosis of dementia, or probable dementia, since January 2017. Dr Patricia Carney, a Health Economist at the Centre for Economic and Social Research at NUI Galway who is leading the study, said: “New investment in dementia care must reflect the preferences and needs of both the person with dementia and their informal carer. Carers require more tangible and practical supports to allow them do the job that most love doing. The consequences of not supporting them will be significant for people with dementia and for society. This study has the capacity and potential to improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers’ in Ireland, especially in the time following diagnosis.” There are an estimated 60,000 people in Ireland providing unpaid care to a family member or friend with dementia living in the community. Approximately 7,200 new cases of dementia arise each year in Ireland, although it is not known how many of these receive a diagnosis or at what stage. An estimated 55,000 people live with dementia in Ireland and the majority of these people are living at home in the community. Professor Eamon O’Shea, Director of the Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia at NUI Galway, said: “Carers play a crucial role in looking after people with dementia and we need to know much more about their needs and preferences for different kinds of services and supports.” If you provide regular support or care to a person recently diagnosed with dementia and want to participate in the study or find out more, please email DemCarer@nuigalway.ie.  To participate in the study visit: www.nuigalway.ie/dementiacare/

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

NUI Galway recently held a graduation ceremony entitled ‘Follow Your Dream’ for 40 local school children aged between 10 and 12 with guest speaker Connacht Rugby’s sporting legend, Eric Elwood. Three DEIS in Galway City, Scoil Bhríde in Shantalla, Holy Trinity Girl’s School, and St. Michael’s Boy’s Primary School in Mervue, received their graduation certificates from their involvement in Uni 4 U programme. NUI Galway’s Uni 4 U is a primary schools initiative aimed at increasing participation, diversity and equality of opportunity in third level education. Under the supervision of Dr Mary Surlis, and co-ordinated by Mark Dooley, this programme is funded, delivered, and designed by the Access Centre in NUI Galway since 2005. University staff and students from a wide range of disciplines teach, mentor and support the students during their time on campus. Students from fourth, fifth and sixth class are selected by their teachers to participate on this programme over a three year period. During their participation in Uni 4 U students are exposed to, and immersed in University life, spending six weeks on campus during term. Sixth class students also participate in a specifically designed Easter camp, and fifth class pupils attend Summer camps, engaging students in university taster modules, discussion led classes and a range of fun interactive activities all based on campus. The focus of the programme is to engage the students in a positive and fully interactive exposure to life on campus. Uni 4 U aims to promote the value of education, and to develop the pupil’s interpersonal, academic, and confidence skills. It also endeavours to expose both students and parents to opportunities offered by education, demystifying third level education and enabling families to envision a future in third level education. Since 2010, 290 pupils have completed the three year programme and since 2005 approximately 740 pupils have participated on the programme, whilst, annually over 120 pupils take part on the programme. Dr Mary Surlis, Uni 4 U Programme Director at NUI Galway, said: “The success of the ‘Uni 4 U’ programme is due to the commitment of the schools involved in this initiative, and in particular, the principals, Frank Keane, Brendan O’Dwyer and Peter Woods, and the school co-ordinators, Orla Doyle and Adrian Carey. Each school is responsible for the selection process of their students and in doing so they have helped to create a cohort of fully engaged and motivated students. It is envisaged that the Uni 4 U programme will be made accessible to more primary schools in the future, as the central aim of creating educational opportunity, and creating a level playing field, continues to be the core objective of this programme and the mission of this University.” Eric Elwood of Connacht Ruby encouraged the students saying: “If you strongly believe in something you should go for it, anything worth having in life is worth fighting for.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

NUI Galway’s School of Education recently hosted the 14th Annual Conference of the International Society for Design and Development in Education (ISDDE). The ISDDE is one of the preeminent international research communities for educational technology and design, and for researchers and practitioners interested in the design, development and evaluation of educational resources, learning environments, curricular materials and technologies, particularly in the STEM areas. The International Society for Design and Development in Education  was formed to provide a coherent professional community for educational designers internationally, and to help augment the impact of design-based research on educational practice. The conference theme this year was that of ‘Culture and Educational Design’, reflecting the importance of the broader social, cultural and physical environs in the participatory and principled design of educational innovations and technologies. The conference maintained the traditional highly participatory and working focus of previous ISDDE conferences, with delegates collaborating on salient design questions and topics across five key strands: Designing Assessment; Designing Professional Learning; Designing Instructional Materials; Designing for Diverse Learners; and Designing for Learning with Technology. Organised and chaired by Dr Tony Hall, Dr Cornelia Connolly, Dr Eílis Flanagan and Jim Lenaghan of the School of Education, the four-day conference hosted delegates from across the globe, including the US, Australia and Europe. The conference this year featured keynote lectures from: Professor Sarah Moore, University of Limerick; Dr John Breslin, NUI Galway; Professor Merrilyn Goos, University of Limerick; Dr Anna Walshe, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment; Professor Zalman Usiskin, University of Chicago; Dr Michael Hogan, NUI Galway; Professor Akihiko Takahashi, DePaul University Chicago; and Professor Kaye Stacey, University of Melbourne. During this year’s conference, two NUI Galway staff members were elected Fellows of the Society, Dr Eílis Flanagan and Dr Cornelia Connolly. Dr Flanagan is a post-doctoral researcher in the School of Education in English and Mathematics education, and Dr Connolly is a lecturer in the School of Education and joint programme Director of the BA Mathematics and Education. A short video of highlights of the conference can be found on the School of Education’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvqY3zUGSko&feature=youtu.be. -Ends-

Monday, 18 June 2018

NUI Galway has announced that applications are now open for 20 places on a new Masters in AgInnovation (Agricultural Innovation) course. The one-year distance education entrepreneurship development programme aims to fill the gap in entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship skills for people working in the agricultural technology and agricultural ecosystem in Ireland. The new course is targeted towards employees working in key ecosystem stakeholder companies including micro, small, medium and large agricultural technology and agricultural companies, and farmers. The primary aspects of the programme include agricultural needs finding, design thinking for the agricultural sector and disciplined entrepreneurship skills development. Particular consideration is given to helping course participants’ address: Challenges around commercialising innovations (ideas and technologies). Business constraints and guidelines (margins, compound annual growth rate, lifetime value and cost of customer acquisition). Other difficulties related to getting new agricultural products to sizeable markets. The one-year programme is delivered through a distance education model which provides the learner with flexibility in choosing when and where they wish to study, and allowing them to continue to engage in their day-to-day activities within the agricultural domain. For industry employees, 10% of the fees will be paid by their employer. Dr Paul Flynn, TechInnovate Programme Manager at NUI Galway, says: “The aim of this course is to teach people how to identify areas for innovation specifically within the agricultural domain, and to create innovation-driven enterprises or new business units within an existing company. This Masters in AgInnovation aims to support the emerging agricultural start-up innovation pipeline in the years ahead.” The arrival of US agricultural-focused venture capital firms in Ireland is recognition of the potential for innovation in the agricultural technology domain. Ireland’s Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) has committed €20 million to an investment fund managed by Californian venture capital firm Finistere Ventures, targeted at making Ireland the ‘AgTech Island’. Missouri-based venture capital firm The Yield Lab opened one of the first Irish-based Agricultural Technology Accelerators in Galway in 2017, further recognising the requirement for a structured approach to scaling innovation-driven responses to validated agricultural needs. According to Dr John Breslin, TechInnovate Director at NUI Galway: “This is a timely initiative because there needs to be more agricultural technology innovators in companies and start-ups who can avail of the early stage supports, and then scale up to avail of the bigger funds. 2018 is the year to accelerate the agricultural innovation ecosystem in Ireland.” The AgInnovation course is supported by Springboard+ and funding recently announced by John Halligan TD, Minister of State at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Education and Skills. To apply, please go to http://springboardcourses.ie/details/6275 -Ends-

Monday, 18 June 2018

Students interested in studying at NUI Galway are invited to the CAO Change of Mind Clinic on campus on Monday, 25 June. Parents and guardians are also welcome to attend the event, which runs from 12-3pm in the Aula Maxima in the Quadrangle. The CAO Change of Mind facility closes at 5.15pm on Sunday, 1 July, and the clinic aims to assist with the CAO decision making process. Representatives from all of NUI Galway’s colleges will be available to answer any questions students may have in relation to the course, academic content, admissions and more. There will also be representatives from the Accommodation Office, Access and Disability Services, Admissions, Sports and Fees who will all be there to support students in their transition from secondary school to third level education at NUI Galway. Sarah Geraghty, Student Recruitment and Outreach Manager at NUI Galway, said: “The Change of Mind Clinic at NUI Galway is designed to answer the last minute queries of students and parents and provide advice and reassurance on course choice and entry routes. In our experience, the best way to prepare for unexpectedly low or high Leaving Certificate results is to have a Plan B and a Plan C fully researched. Our clinic on the 25th of June is a great opportunity for students and parents to get ready for the results in August, and more importantly, to get ready for college life in September.” To find out more about the CAO Change of Mind Clinic, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Caroline Duggan on 087 239 1219 or caroline.duggan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 18 June 2018

Funding will be used to advance product development in preparation for follow-up funding and US commercialisation of the device and to progress to first in human trials in 2020 NUI Galway-based medical device company, AuriGen Medical has received €2.5 million in the latest round of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument funding, which receives applications from all over Europe. Ranking number one out of 1,280 applications across all sectors, the company specialises in the treatment of persistent atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) patients and is developing the first cardiac implant to treat both the stroke and heart failure risk associated with this condition. The company was established by Tony O’Halloran and Dr John Thompson who met through NUI Galway’s BioInnovate Ireland Programme with Enterprise Ireland funding the development work at the University through a Commercialisation Fund programme. The Commercialisation Fund programme is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under Ireland’s European Union Structural and Investment Funds Programme 2014-2020. Dr Thompson, a former intensive care physician together with Mr O’Halloran, a highly experienced medical device engineer, formed AuriGen Medical after meeting in 2015 when both were selected by the BioInnovate Ireland Programme at NUI Galway. During this time, they invented the novel device solution to address a large unmet clinical need that they observed. Persistent atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat, affects around 10 million patients across Europe and is associated with direct healthcare costs in the billions of euros each year with patients describing each palpitation as a constant reminder of their own mortality, fearing that the next heart beat could signal a catastrophic stroke. Over 70% of atrial fibrillation patients have persistent or longstanding disease however, the current treatment options including medications, cardioversion and ablation (a keyhole procedure carried out to scar or destroy tissue in the heart that is allowing incorrect electrical signals to cause an abnormal heart rhythm) only address the minority of patients with intermittent disease. AuriGen Medical believe that once approved their medical device could help the majority of patients become free from atrial fibrillation. This funding will be used to advance product development in preparation for first in human trials in 2020. The company will initially target the 200,000 persistent atrial fibrillation patients per year who are having repeat ablations due to reoccurrence after a first failed ablation procedure. With the costs of repeat ablations estimated at over $50,000 AuriGen’s device aims to deliver significant cost savings to healthcare providers.    The AuriGen device is a single shot left atrial appendage implant with additional ablation and sensor technology for fast, simple and permanent electro-mechanical isolation of the Left atrial appendage, a pouch located in the upper chamber of the heart. The AuriGen technology utilises single-use sensors and software algorithms to give doctors a real-time feedback on the quality of the ablation. By making it easier for doctors to tell if they have permanently electrically isolated, AuriGen believes it can increase success rates while shortening procedure times and open the procedure to even more physicians. The technology is based on significant clinical data underpinning the benefits of electrical isolation of the left atrial appendage in persistent atrial fibrillation. AuriGen Medical will compete in both the electrophysiology and structural heart markets, aiming to meet unmet clinical needs for both atrial fibrillation and stroke prevention. Dr John Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of AuriGen Medical, said: “Ranking first in the Horizon 2020 SME instrument is an incredible endorsement of AuriGen Medical’s technology, market opportunity and the company’s management team.” Tony O’Halloran, Chief Technology Officer of AuriGen Medical, said: “Our pre-clinical trials have been very encouraging and the feedback from cardiologists is extremely positive. We are delighted to announce this investment, which will help us make a number of key hire’s, further advance our product development and once approved make a positive impact on the lives of millions of atrial fibrillation patients across the world.” Sean Burke, Horizon 2020 National Contact Point, Enterprise Ireland, said: “The SME Instrument phase 2 funding is complementary to Enterprise Ireland’s supports which facilitate innovation as a driver of business growth and job creation. Our support of close-to-market projects gives companies a head start with fast access to funding and business innovation support. In the latest call results, 64 projects were funded within a budget of €110 million and AuriGen Medical was ranked first amongst these. Enterprise Ireland congratulates AuriGen on its success in acquiring this funding and will work with the company to support its introduction of this innovation to market.” David Murphy, Director of the Technology Transfer Office in NUI Galway, said: “Having supported the development and management of this technology since the team came up with the original concept, we wholeheartedly congratulate Tony and John on securing this investment and wish them well in the next phase of their growth.” Dr Faisal Sharif, Director of BioInnovate Ireland in NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to see AuriGen Medical funded for €2.5 million through H2020 SME Instrument. The funding will allow Aurigen Medical to further develop the technology and plan clinical strategy with ‘First in Man’ clinical trials for patients with persisent atrial fibrillation. The mission of BioInnovate Ireland is to grow the indigenous Medtech sector through dedicated training in medical device innovation. The fellowship programme, co-funded by Enterprise Ireland is instrumental in identifying such patients with limited treatment options.” The Horizon 2020 National Support Network is led by Enterprise Ireland on behalf of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. For more information about AuriGen Medical, visit: http://aurigenmedical.com/ -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

NUI Galway, in collaboration with 14 software industry partners, is offering a limited number of free places on its award winning, innovative Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development Programme – Industry Stream. This programme was recently awarded the accolade of being Postgraduate Programme of the Year in Information Technology by GradIreland. 90% of Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development graduates have secured immediate employment in software development roles. Many of the graduates are employed with some of Ireland’s leading software companies. NUI Galway has designed this one year conversion programme in conjunction with 14 leading IT employers which enables graduates to reskill for employment in the software development area. Student fees for the course are funded by the Higher Education Authority given the strategic importance of developing skills in this area. Successful applicants will therefore, pay no fees. The overall goal of this postgraduate conversion programme is to strategically increase the supply of skilled graduates to meet the needs of Ireland’s high-growth software industry. It will provide graduates with a fast track, focused computing qualification, and presents them with an opportunity to obtain valuable industry work experience. Applicants are paired with an industry partner from the start of the programme and are then trained in key technologies for that employer’s needs, so they are then able to maximise the impact of a paid industry internship towards the end of the programme. The Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region, and will provide graduates with a solid foundation in key areas of software design, a choice of software architecture specialisations in either .NET or Java Enterprise. The final aspect of the course involves a guaranteed three-month paid internship to gain industry experience, and as a result provides the opportunity to kick-start your career as a software developer. Each student on the course will have their training content determined by their associated industry partner. On completion of the course, these students will have transformed their employability in the current economy, with a range of great options opening up to them for further progression either in industry or via more specialisation through a masters.  The industry partners include Avaya, IBM, Cisco, INSIGHT, Storm Technologies, Aspect Software, The Marine Institute, and Schneider Electric, among others. Dr Enda Barrett, Course Director, said: “We are delighted to again offer free places on this unique programme due to funding from the Higher Education Authority and their Springboard initiative. This is a super opportunity for highly motivated analytical graduates particularly from cognate disciplines such as engineering, maths, business and science. We have had huge success with graduates from these areas due to their natural problem solving capacity. By investing just one year of their time in further education, and, through placement experience with our Industry partners; they will have an excellent prospect for recruitment as software developers in Ireland’s high tech ICT sector. This sector is experiencing rapid expansion at the moment, and there is a growing skills shortage for ICT graduate roles that these students are ideally suited to fill. The highly intensive programme is designed for those with little or no knowledge of software development, but we are particularly keen to receive applications from those who have had some exposure to coding and feel that this is something they potentially have a flare for. People with technical or strong numerical backgrounds often perform best in these types of programmes and we strongly encourage applicants who have strong logical reasoning or maths skills. This could be a strong maths result from their leaving cert or from certain modules in their undergraduate degree. This isn’t essential, but often indicates a strong problem solving and logical skillset. Since this programme is funded under the ICT Skills segment of Springboard, there are no limitations regarding the applicant’s current employment or social welfare status.” He added: “The career prospects for our graduates are extremely strong and demand is dramatically outstripping supply. The programme is highly respected among many of Irelands leading software companies many of whom specifically want to recruit graduates who have come through our unique programme. Many of our graduates are receiving multiple job offers before they even complete the programme. Our recognition as Postgraduate Programme of the Year in Information Technology has propelled both the programme and our graduates to the front of the list for many recruiters and we are delighted with the feedback and positivity we have been receiving from our past graduates and their employers alike.” The programme is open to those who have a level 8 degree or alternatively those with a level 7 degree with some relevant industry work experience. Those currently completing their studies or who are currently in some form of employment are also eligible to apply. NUI Galway is now processing applications and those interested can make their application through www.springboardcourses.ie. Significant interest in this free course is expected and early application is advisable as applications will be processed and interviews held on a rolling basis. Deadline for final applications is June 30th. For further information contact the Programme Director, Dr Enda Barrett at Enda.Barrett@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa, the newly-appointed Ugandan judge at the International Criminal Court will deliver a public lecture during this year’s annual Summer School. Organised by NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights since 2000, the world-renowned International Criminal Court (ICC) Summer School will take place on campus from 18-22 June. Judge Bossa will deliver a public lecture on Monday, 18 June at 6pm entitled ‘Africa and the International Criminal Court: Challenges and Prospects’. This public lecture is held in association with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The International Criminal Court seated in The Hague is the world’s principal court for the prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression. In keeping with the theme of Judge Bossa’s lecture, this year’s ICC Summer School will include a special session on Africa and the International Criminal Court convened in association with the Institute for Security Studies of South Africa. Invited experts at the special session will examine the at times fraught relationship between the International Criminal Court and African countries where the Court has focused the most of its attention to date.   Dr Shane Darcy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights said: “We are honoured to welcome Judge Bossa to NUI Galway. We look forward to hearing Judge Bossa and our other participating experts address how the International Criminal Court can contribute to the pursuit of justice in Africa and address the charge that it is unfairly targetting African countries and individuals.” For further information on the Summer School visit http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=551 or contact Dr Shane Darcy at shane.darcy@nuigalway.ie or 091 493947. -Ends-

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

NUI Galway has announced new partnerships with a multitude of new universities worldwide as part of the new Bachelor of Commerce (Global Experience) programme at J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. NUI Galway now partners with over 60 universities across the globe across all their business programmes, and are committed to providing students with a global education. Numbers on the Global Experience programme have increased significantly, and it is expected that 135 students will partake on a study abroad during the forthcoming academic year. Some of the new partner universities include:Aichi Shukutoku University, Nagakute-City, Japan Kobe University, Japan Pusan National University, Korea Nanjin University of AA, China Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada University of Manitoba, Canada Susquehanna University, Pennsylvania, USA University of Redlands, California, USA Karlstad University, Sweden University of Antwerp, Belgium University of Florence, Italy Students complete modules from all different areas of business in the first two years of the degree. In year three, students undertake a work placement and/or study abroad. In final year, students specialise in one of the following nine streams: Accounting and Performance Measurement; Economics and Public Policy; Management of Human Resources; Marketing Management; Digital Business and Analytics; Finance; Business Law; Enterprise or International Business. “This degree offers the unique opportunity of a work placement and a study abroad in the same year, while still delivering a broad business degree combined with a business specialism in final year. This programme is designed to prepare students for the challenges of working in today’s global business environment”, explained Programme Director, Dr Gerard Turley. Dr Ann Torres, Vice-Dean of Internationalisation at NUI Galway, said: “In order to flourish future business graduates will need to adapt to an ever more global work environment. Global business requires globally confident and culturally aware graduates. The Bachelor of Commerce (Global Experience) course responds to the needs of employers and will produce highly sought after graduates in all areas of business.” Deloitte has also partnered with NUI Galway on this globally focused course, and will provide funding over five years to support students while studying abroad, Insight Days at Deloitte offices, Internships, and Career Mentoring Opportunities will also be provided. Students will also be recognised as ‘Deloitte Global Scholars’ -Ends-

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

NUI Galway, in collaboration with the 30% Club, are offering two scholarships targeted at high potential women in two part-time Masters courses, the Executive MBA and the MSc in Technology Management. Irish businesses compare badly when it comes to female representation at board level, with an average of only 12.5% women compared to 23% in the US. Women accounted for less than 12% of plc board appointments in Ireland last year, according to research carried out by the 30% Club in Ireland. The 30% Club is a collaborative business-led effort which aims to have 30% female representation in senior management and on boards by 2020. One of the mechanisms being employed to improve gender balance on senior boards is through partnering with universities to support women undertaking postgraduate business and technology courses. “As well as seeing 30 per cent of women on boards, we are also focused on growing the pipeline of women in management,” says Carol Andrews, Managing Director, BNY Mellon and Ireland Chair of the 30% Club. “Executive education is a powerful tool in building a career.” Last year Galway businesswoman Sandra Divilly fought off tough competition to win the 30% Club Scholarship for the NUI Galway Executive MBA programme. Ms Divilly said: “I am greatly honoured to be chosen to receive the 30% Club Scholarship for an Executive MBA at NUI Galway. The 30% Club is an inspiring initiative to address global gender imbalance issues in organisations. I commend NUI Galway for joining the list of successful universities across the world that support and drive the 30% Club goals. Having graduated from NUI Galway in 1996 with a degree in Industrial Engineering and Information Systems, I have since enjoyed a varied and challenging career in private industry and as a self-employed businesswoman. I am very grateful to NUI Galway and the 30% Club for providing me with this exciting opportunity to undertake the Executive MBA.” To watch a video of Sandra remarking on what the 30% Club Scholarship has meant to her and how it is helping her achieve her career goals visit https://youtu.be/lWTs0X_i5-o For more information on the 30% Club scholarship application process, or to submit an application contact Mairead McKeon, MBA Programme Administrator at mairead.mckeon@nuigalway.ie, or Dr Niamh Nolan, Flexible Programmes Development Officer for Adult Learning & Professional Development at niamh.nolan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Pupils from Primary Schools in Co. Kerry, Co. Westmeath and Co. Galway were the first, second and joint third place winners of the recent 2018 Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials (START) Competition, which took place at NUI Galway. The triumphant young scientists were presented with their winning trophies from BT Young Scientist winner 2018, Simon Meehan from Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig, Co. Cork and BT Young Scientist runner-up winners 2018 Darragh Twomey, Neil O’Leary and Andrew Heffernan from Colaiste Treasa, Kanturk, Co. Cork. The START competition, now in its third year, is run annually by the Health Research Board - Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) based at NUI Galway. The programme is designed to increase young children’s understanding and awareness of randomised clinical trials and educate pupils about why we need randomised trials to improve healthcare nationally and globally. St. Joseph’s National School, Kinvara, Co. Galway won first place for their randomised clinical trial, The effect of fidgeting on concentration. The pupils noticed that some students fidget a lot when listening. They investigated the effect this had on their concentration by comparing concentration scores between the control groups who sat with their arms crossed, and the test group, who had blu-tack to fidget with, whilst listening to their teacher. Somewhat surprisingly, results suggest that fidgeting is good for concentration…as long as it’s silent! Glinsk National School, Castlerea, Co Galway won second place for their randomised clinical trial, Do extra educational maths games improve test results? The pupils investigated whether extra educational maths improve test results. They found that playing a maths game did in fact improve maths scores, in both addition and subtraction, for the most part. Due to the quality of the entries, the judges were unable to pick a stand-alone third place winner and a joint third place was announced. Pupils from St. Michael’s National School, Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath won joint third place for their randomised clinical trial, Can ten minutes of daily exercise increase students’ fitness? They evaluated if ten minutes of daily exercise increased the pupils’ fitness and found a slight effect but not enough to be conclusive about this result. Pupils from Meentogues National School, Headford, Killarney, Co Kerry also won joint third place for their randomised clinical trial, How much can teachers influence us? The pupils investigated how much teachers influence pupils and found that having a teacher in the room does indeed influence a pupil’s choice. Professor Devane, Director of the HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network at NUI Galway, said: “The START competition shows that with the support of their teachers, children can not only engage in research, they can also do it to a really high standard. Every day children, like adults, are exposed to health claims. Many people, including health care professionals, lack the knowledge and skills needed to access and assess the reliability of information underpinning these. We believe that the START project helps empower children to think critically about health claims and make better informed choices. The Schools and parents of these children and teachers should be very proud indeed.” Sarah Chapman, Knowledge Broker at Cochrane UK based in Oxford, added: “I was privileged to be one of the judges for the START competition this year, and was so impressed by what these pupils achieved. Not only have they shown that they can choose a research question and then design and run a trial to answer it, they have also presented their work with such clarity and creativity that many ‘real life’ trialists could learn from them.” The Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials (START) Competition, is an initiative of the NUI Galway-based Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network, to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day, and the anniversary of the first clinical trial which was carried out in 1747 in the British Navy. For more details about the START Competition, visit: https://www.hrb-tmrn.ie/public-engagement/start-competition/ -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

NUI Galway today (12 June) conferred degrees on over 290 students. Among that number, over 30 were conferred with doctoral degrees. The largest cohort of students to graduate was 176 future doctors who received their Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree. Among this outstanding group of medical students, Esther Macken from Galway City received 5 out of 14 Final Medical Medals for her outstanding academic performance. Every year, NUI Galway awards the Final Medical Medals to the student who receives the highest mark in each subject area. Speaking at the ceremony, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate each of today’s graduates. We in NUI Galway are determined that this University will play its full part in developing graduates who will make a real difference in the world and for the world, and will shape the future needs of our society.” International students were well represented at the ceremony, with the University welcoming graduates from, among other countries, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Brazil, who along with students from across Ireland received Diplomas, Degrees, Masters, and PhDs. -Ends- A gCéimeanna Bronnta ar bhreis is 290 Mac Léinn ag Searmanas Bronnta an tSamhraidh in OÉ Gaillimh Inniu (12 Meitheamh) bhronn OÉ Gaillimh céimeanna ar bhreis is 290 mac léinn. Ina measc siúd, bhí 30 duine ar bronnadh céimeanna dochtúireachta orthu. Grúpa de 176 ábhar dochtúra an grúpa ba mhó díobh a bhain Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Leigheas, Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Mháinliacht agus Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Chnáimhseachas (MB, BCh, BAO) amach. Sa ghrúpa de mhic léinn leighis eisceachtúla sin bhí Esther Macken as an Daingean i nGaillimh. Bronnadh 5 Bhonn as 14 Bhonn don Bhliain Deiridh Leighis uirthi as a fheabhas a d’éirigh léi go hacadúil. Gach bliain, bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Boinn don Bhliain Deiridh Leighis ar an mac léinn is airde marcanna i ngach ábhar. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, ag an searmanas: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, tréaslaím le gach duine agaibh. Táimidne in OÉ Gaillimh diongbháilte de go ndéanfaidh an Ollscoil seo a cion féin le céimithe a oiliúint a fhágfaidh a lorg ar an domhan trí chéile, agus a bheidh ábalta freastal ar riachtanais ár sochaí amach anseo.” Bhí neart mac léinn idirnáisiúnta ag an searmanas, agus chuir an Ollscoil fáilte chroíúil roimh na céimithe sin ón Malaeisia, Singeapór, an Astráil agus an Bhrasaíl, i measc tíortha eile, mar aon le mic léinn as gach cearn den tír seo ar bronnadh Dioplómaí, Céimeanna, Máistreachtaí, agus PhDanna orthu. -Críoch-  

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

NUI Galway will hold an Adult Learners Information Evening on Wednesday, 20 June from 5-7pm in the Orbsen Building. The information evening will allow attendees to find out more about the extensive range of part-time, flexible-learning programmes on offer. Members from the Career Development Centre will also be on hand to offer free, one-to-one career at the event. Nuala McGuinn, Director at the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development at NUI Galway, said: “With ever-changing business processes, increasing global competition and new demands being placed on employees in today’s workplace, keeping your skills up-to-date and advancing your qualifications has never been as important as it is today.” NUI Galway offers a wide range of part-time courses from taking a module on a standalone basis to full award options at Certificate, Diploma, Degree and Masters level. Over 40 part-time programmes will be showcased at the event including those in subject areas of Business and Management, Community Education, Adult Training and Education Studies, Early Childhood Studies, Languages, Information Technology, Pre-University Courses, and Science and Technology programmes. Ms McGuinn continued: “Flexibility in learning is key for adults, as they balance the many requirements of work and family life. With this in mind our courses are offered through classroom-based mode, online or through a blend of both, giving maximum flexibility to students to achieve their learning goals.”  Among the new programmes which will be launched on the night is the Higher Diploma in Arts (Politics and Society), due to begin in September 2018. This is a two-year, part-time course which has been specifically designed to meet the needs of second level teachers who wish to teach ‘Politics and Society’ on the Leaving Certificate curriculum. Dr Michelle Millar, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Political Science and Sociology, explains: “We are delighted to offer this new dynamic programme to second level teachers and to be the first university in the country offering a third level qualification in this subject.” The Diploma in Earth and Ocean Sciences is also new for 2018 and will appeal to those with an interest in the natural environment and the outdoors. It may also be professionally beneficial for geography teachers, environmental scientists, engineers and archaeologists. Course Director Dr Sadhbh Baxter said: “The course provides students with a broad introduction to the study of the Earth’s solid geology and its coastal ocean, with exciting hands-on, practical experience of the techniques employed within the fields of geology, oceanography, and Earth observation.” Another of the new programmes to be launched for September 2018 is the one-year, part-time Diploma in Learning and Development which is targeted at those who have managerial and supervisory responsibilities in corporate Learning and Development roles. “The course focuses on skills development around Coaching, Human Resource Management and Online Learning Development in industry today”, highlights Programme Co-ordinator, Paul Gormley, and provides candidates with the skills to design, develop and operationalise strategic plans within their areas of responsibility. Information on Springboard+ courses offering in excess of 80 free places on the Science and Technology and Technology Management programmes for employed and unemployed candidates will be available on the night.  Interest in these programmes has grown steadily over the past number of years as a direct result of industry requiring increasing skills in these areas. Diplomas are also available in a selection of high quality language courses for adult learners.Other related professional development opportunities are offered in Early Childhood Studies, Information Technology, Play Therapy, Community Education, Business and Adult Training and Education Studies.  For further information on this event and to register your interest visit www.nuigalway.ie/learnwithoutlimits or call 091 494066 to speak with a programme coordinator, or visit the Centre’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nuigalway.adulted. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

CÚRAM the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre in Medical Devices will host Professor David Mooney from Harvard University as part of its Distinguished Seminar Series at NUI Galway on Tuesday, 12 June. Professor Mooney’s seminar is entitled ‘Building Immunity with Biomaterials’. Professor Mooney is the Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a Core Faculty Member of the Wyss Institute. The basic question that drives Mooney's research is: how do mammalian cells receive information from the materials in their environment. He studies the mechanisms by which chemical or mechanical signals are sensed by cells and alter their development to either promote tissue growth or destruction. Results from these studies are to design and synthesize new biomaterials that regulate the gene expression of interacting cells for a variety of tissue engineering and drug delivery projects. Professor Mooney’s current projects focus on the therapeutic development of blood vessels, regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues, and cancer therapies. Professor Mooney is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Inventors and has won numerous awards, including the Clemson Award from the Society for Biomaterials, MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health, Distinguished Scientist Award from the IADR, Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and the Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award from Harvard College. His inventions have been licensed by numerous companies, leading to commercialised products, and he is active on industrial scientific advisory boards. Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said: “We are delighted to be hosting a speaker of David’s caliber. We are continuously building our research, industry and clinical networks at CÚRAM and David’s work aligns perfectly with our aim to translate exciting work in the laboratory to raise quality of life for people living with chronic illness.” The seminar will take place at 4pm on Tuesday, 12June in the Biomedical Sciences Building, North Campus at NUI Galway. -Ends-

Monday, 11 June 2018

NUI Galway collaborative international study develops novel minimally-invasive device that can increase heart function after a heart attack Imagine being able to deliver therapy directly to the heart multiple times from a port under the skin to heal the heart? A new study led by researchers from NUI Galway, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology among others, describes a novel implantable tool that could make this a reality. The study was published today (11, June 2018) in the internationally respected journal, Nature Biomedical Engineering. When a patient has a heart attack, additional scarring and remodelling can occur and ultimately lead to heart failure. Multiple therapies are being explored to prevent this disease progression including drugs, proteins and adult stem cells. The problems with delivering these treatments currently are that they don’t stay at their intended site on the beating heart, can cause toxic side effects and often require multiple doses to elicit a clinical effect. A group of investigators that included eight Irish researchers, have recently designed a device called Therepi that can be placed directly on the heart, comprising of a reservoir for drugs or cells that can be refilled multiple times from a port under the skin. This allows localised, refillable, heart targeted therapy delivery. The researchers showed in a pre-clinical model of myocardial infarction (heart attack) that this device can increase heart function over four weeks when stem cells are repeatedly delivered to the reservoir. This system has vast potential for advancing research as a tool to characterise optimal targeted drug dosing. Additionally, the study describes the first step towards translating a device to the clinic that allows multiple non-invasive therapy replenishments over time. The published study was the result of a collaboration between Harvard, MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital in the USA, and NUI Galway, RCSI, TCD and AMBER, the Science Foundation Ireland funded materials science centre in Ireland. Professor Ellen Roche, co-first author of the study and Assistant Professor at MIT, and a former researcher at NUI Galway who won international acclaim in 2017 for her work in creating a soft robotic sleeve to help patients with heart failure, said “Our study demonstrates that Therepi can repeatedly deliver drugs, and increase retention of cells at the heart to increase function. For us, this is only the beginning of multiple ongoing studies that will use this system as a platform device for therapy delivery to the diseased heart, and as a research tool to further scientific understanding of the effects of a localised, refillable treatment regimen at various diseased organs. It was a privilege to work with a talented multi-disciplinary, inter-institutional team to make this study possible.” Professor Garry Duffy, AMBER Investigator and Personal Professor in Anatomy at NUI Galway and a senior co-author of the study, added: “I have no doubt that the development of Therepi will impact care for patients with heart disease in the future and its main advantage allows for treatment to be tailored to individual patient need. Therepi is a medical device that allows keyhole surgical placement of a depot or pouch to the outside surface of the heart, and this pouch can be topped-up with drugs or stem cells using a port that sits just below the skin. “Our study shows that this local delivery with top-ups improves heart function after a heart attack in a pre-clinical model. It builds on a strong trans-Atlantic collaboration which has seen multiple researchers train at MIT and Harvard from Irish Institutions. Along with Professor Ellen Roche at MIT we are currently assessing Therepi’s utility in disease conditions where cell therapies can offer potential cures including Type 1 Diabetes. This collaboration builds on the strength of the ecosystem here for translational medicine at NUI Galway, and we hope to see devices like Therepi reach clinical trials over the coming years.” Professor Peter McHugh, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, and co-author of the study, said: “This publication in Nature Biomedical Engineering clearly demonstrates the brilliance of Irish researchers and the world-class standing of Irish research, and the benefits of working with the very best researchers internationally. It is also an excellent example of the application of scientific, clinical and engineering excellence to develop new and innovative treatment methods that will ultimately significantly improve patient outcomes.” Other researchers involved in the study include postdoctoral researchers, Fiona Weafer and Reyhaneh Shirazi from NUI Galway, William Whyte (co-first author) a TCD/AMBER PhD student who spent time at Harvard to work on the study, Hugh O’Neill, RCSI PhD graduate and Bruce Murphy, Associate Professor in Biomechanical Engineering at TCD. To read the full study in Nature Biomedical Engineering, visit: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41551-018-0247-5 Supporting videos of the Therepi device: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MyWsPTkgNM  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Slb_CoWQhYY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBSZ4c5j5Yk  -Ends-

Monday, 11 June 2018

Archive tells story of Ireland’s most significant rural community development movement of the twentieth century NUI Galway is opening to scholars and the public the archive of Muintir na Tíre (People of the Land), Ireland’s most significant rural community development movement of the twentieth century. The archive, donated to the University in 2016, is a major resource for understanding the development of rural Ireland in the last century and is now catalogued, selectively digitised and available for use. Professor Maurice Manning, Chancellor of the National University of Ireland, opened the archive during a two-day conference at NUI Galway on rural Ireland in the twentieth century. Muintir na Tíre, was founded as a rural renewal movement in 1931. Its extensive archive, contains an abundance of material relating to social and economic conditions in rural Ireland, Irish rural civil society, the involvement of the Catholic clergy in local community organising, and rural civil society/state relationships over a period spanning more than 80 years. The collection consists of the administrative records of the headquarters of Muintir na Tíre, based in Tipperary Town, as well as records of some of the leading figures within the movement including Canon John Hayes, Archbishop Thomas Morris, Tomás Roseingrave, Jim Quigley and Pat Doyle. Coverage includes rural electrification, the parish plans of the 1950s, and a variety of national and European community development schemes from the 1970s onwards, most notably the Community Alert scheme. There are around 400 archival boxes of material in the collection. Dr Caitriona Clear, Department of History, observes that “The Muintir na Tire archive tells of a hidden twentieth-century Ireland of community effort and enterprise, of men and women coming together to try to improve the lives of the many, rather than the few.   We are accustomed to seeing the history of early-twentieth-century Ireland as a narrative of failure, stagnation and repression. The story of Muintir and its members testifies to energy, optimism and sheer hard work over decades of difficulty.” Over many years NUI Galway, in its teaching and research, has developed an internationally recognised specialist expertise in rural and community development. In addition, the more recent developments in Health Studies and Family Studies have witnessed fresh attention being paid to issues of social inclusion and intergenerational relationships in rural society. The Muintir na Tíre archive will significantly complement the University Library’s existing extensive collections relating to landed estates and social and economic conditions in rural Ireland. In tandem with collections at NUI Galway such as the John McGahern and Thomas Kilroy papers it will facilitate a better understanding of both the representation of Irish rural life in Irish fiction and of the social, cultural and political conditions in which Irish writers have functioned in the post-independence period. Researchers from outside the University will make extensive use of the archive. The catalogue of the archive is accessible at https://tinyurl.com/yaf8l2fs and two of Muintir na Tíre’s journals, The Landmark and Rural Ireland, have been digitised and published online at https://tinyurl.com/ya8d2vt6. John Cox, University Librarian, commented: “The archive of Muintir na Tíre is a great addition to our collections on rural Ireland. I have been particularly struck by the huge interest in it across a range of disciplines expressed by researchers at NUI Galway and other institutions in and beyond Ireland. It will be a valuable resource for teaching as much as research and our students will get great benefit from this generous donation by Muintir na Tíre.” ENDS

Monday, 11 June 2018

Professor Theresia Degener, Chairperson of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Committee, will deliver keynote address The world’s largest Disability Law Summer School focusing on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will take place in NUI Galway from 18-22 June. Entitled ‘Moving forward: Intersectionality as a tool of social change’, this is the 10th International Disability Law Summer School hosted by the University’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy. Dr Eilionóir Flynn, Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy said: “Like all of us, disabled people hold many different and intersecting identities. They have also participated in many different movements for social change, including the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the LGBTQI movement, migrant justice, ethnic minority and refugee movements. This year’s summer school will explore how intersectional approaches to disability rights can achieve greater social justice for all.” Professor Theresia Degener, Chairperson of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Committee will deliver a keynote address at the Summer School. Other speakers will include academics, practitioners, activists, members of different UN agencies and policy makers from around the world. Many of the speakers have been directly and actively engaged in drafting and implementing the UN Convention. Over 220 delegates from over 50 countries are registered to attend the Summer School, including persons with disabilities, civil society groups, as well as disability activists, feminist activists, older people’s advocates, children’s rights activists, lawyers, policy makers and policy analysts. The Co-Director of the Summer School, Dr Maria Laura Serra, said: “We live in a globalized world with a globalized human rights crisis. The combined effect of discrimination on the basis of disability on women, migrants, older persons and children has had and continues to have devastating consequences for the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in both the public and private spheres. “The 10th summer school will examine creative advocacy in terms of intersectionality from around the world. It will learn from advocates in academia, members of UN agencies, NGOs, persons with lived experience, policymakers and other stakeholders. It will facilitate participants to think in a more inclusive way, about all the different oppressions that women, older persons and children with disabilities are facing in their daily life.” Registration for the Summer School is still open but very limited number of spaces available. Further information is available at https://bit.ly/2LD6KRu or contact Joanna.Forde@nuigalway.ie or 086 4181673. Participant accessibility (physical or communicational) requests and enquiries are welcomed. -Ends-

Monday, 11 June 2018

NUI Galway’s Marketing and Communications Office has been awarded the ‘Small Communications Team’ award at the recent US based Ragan and PR Daily’s Ace Awards. The award was in the In-house Team Division and it was presented for the success of the media campaign for the visit of the Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in 2015. The Ragan and PR Daily's Ace Awards Ace Awards honour individuals, in-house teams and agencies in communications and marketing, and celebrates the greatest campaigns, initiatives and one-offs in the global communication, PR, marketing and media industries. The in-house team of Michelle Ní Chróinín, Press and Information Officer, Ruth Hynes, Sheila Gorham, Neasa O’Shea and Zara Sheerin were recognised alongside Microsoft News Center, Cisco Systems, The Narrative Group, Los Angeles/Chicago/New York City, and Juniper Networks at the awards. The PR campaign around the visit of Prince Charles and Lady Camilla was recognised as a successful national and international media campaign organised by the Marketing and Communications Team at NUI Galway. The University hosted a designated media centre, catering for some 120 credentialed journalists, and the visit produced 27,000 column inches of print, 329 minutes of airtime and 23,000 visits to the website. NUI Galway’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Lorna Farren, said: “Our University prides itself on making an impact locally and globally, primarily through our teaching and research but also through our events and outreach activities. The role of the University’s Marketing and Communications team is to share this work with the world and it’s great to see the impact of that work recognised internationally.”   For more information on the Ragan and PR Daily’s Ace Awards visit http://www.ragan.com/Main/AceWinners2017.aspx. -Ends-

Friday, 8 June 2018

European ENERGISE team launches new online interactive dataset, which maps over 1000 sustainable energy initiatives across Europe NUI Galway, lead coordinators of the €3.7 million pan-European Horizon 2020 project, ENERGISE (European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy), along with their partner collaborators, have launched an online database of best practice examples of energy initiatives from 30 European countries including Ireland. The database was launched this week in Brussels as part of European Sustainable Energy Week. In ENERGISE, sustainable energy consumption initiatives are defined as activities that deal with reducing energy related carbon dioxide emissions from households. This can either be in reducing the actual energy consumption or substituting fossil fuels with renewable energy sources. In response to the increasingly urgent climate change challenge, the European Commission is promoting several climate and energy targets with the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonise the economy. However, the current pace and scale of change is insufficient to achieve the necessary sustainability transitions in the energy system as there is an increasing realisation that meeting energy targets is highly dependent on several complex aspects of final energy consumption patterns or energy demand. Recognising these concerns, the innovative ENERGISE research initiative aims to achieve a greater scientific understanding of the social and cultural influences on energy consumption. The project develops, tests and assesses options for a bottom-up transformation of energy use in households and communities across Europe. The ENERGISE research team has conducted a systematic classification of over 1,000 existing sustainable energy consumption initiatives from 30 European countries. The open access online database informs users about the content, scale and objectives of sustainable energy consumption initiatives that specifically address final consumption, as well as providing an assessment of how the challenge of addressing excessive energy consumption is understood. Dr Frances Fahy, lead coordinator of the ENERGISE project from NUI Galway, said: “The database and interactive map will be an invaluable resource for energy practitioners, researchers, community groups or anyone seeking good practice examples of energy initiatives from all over Europe.” Examples of sustainable energy consumption initiatives in Ireland and how they approach the challenge of climate change and the need for energy use reduction: Changes in Complex Interactions - Cloughjordan Eco-Village in Tipperary - An eco-village that promotes sustainable ways of living and encourages knowledge exchange across different levels of society. Changes in Everyday Life Situations - Power of One Street - This initiative was about changing energy practices, educating those involved in the study about how to reduce their energy consumption, and setting them a challenge to do just this. Changes in Individuals’ Behaviour - Be Your Own Energy Manager - This is a ‘train the trainer’ programme which began in a housing estate in County Louth. Changes in Technology - Renewable Energy Dublin (CODEMA and Dublin City Council) - The project promotes the uptake of renewable energy in Dublin through free access to and interaction with up-to-date information on renewable technology installations and capacity in County Dublin. The ENERGISE project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme for three years (2016-2019). The consortium includes ten research partners (universities, research institutes, enterprises and NGOs) from Ireland, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. For more information about ENERGISE or if you if you know of sustainable energy consumption initiatives that are not yet included in the database, visit: http://www.energise-project.eu/ or email info@energise-project.eu -Ends-

Friday, 8 June 2018

An Examination of Lengthy, Contested and Complex Child Protection Cases In the District Court The findings of a two-year research study: An Examination of Lengthy, Contested and Complex Child Protection Cases in the District Court has been published. The report, launched this week by Chief Justice Mr Frank Clarke, was carried out by the Childcare Law Reporting Project (CCLRP) directed by Dr Carol Coulter, Adjunct Professor in the School of Law at NUI Galway. Limited specialist services for victims of child sex abuse, lack of cooperation between the Garda Siochána and Tusla social workers, and problems in the organisation and practice of the courts all contribute to certain child protection cases lasting up to three years, according to the new report which was prepared for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA).  The Childcare Law Reporting Project undertook research on exceptionally lengthy and complex cases which were already reported on its website to examine why some cases become highly contested, protracted and complex. As well as examining the cases in detail, the CCLRP interviewed 40 key participants in these and other complex cases. Main Findings from the Final Report: Some cases take up to three years to come to conclusion Child sex abuse a major complicating factor in child protection cases Lack of cooperation between Gardaí and social workers Inadequate resources to support courts dealing with complex cases Small minority of child protection cases consume a disproportionate amount of court and Tusla time and resources. The prolonged and complex cases examined share certain features, including allegations of very serious harm to a child or children, involving the likelihood of a criminal investigation; lack of coordination between State agencies concerning the allegations made; the involvement of a substantial number of expert witnesses; the requirement for professional assessments of the children and sometimes also of the parents; difficulties and delays in obtaining such assessments; disputes between experts as to the findings of the assessments and disputes between the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) and other parties on the admissibility of evidence. Of the ten cases examined, the longest ran for 52 days in court over a period of nearly three years. Adjournments were common, for example, there were 22 adjournments in one case. Multiple witnesses were called to give evidence, including expert witnesses from outside the jurisdiction, in one case there were 24 witnesses and in another there were 13 expert witnesses heard. The numbers of lawyers involved was high, with up to 10 lawyers in some cases. Seven of the ten prolonged cases examined, and all except one of those that took over a year, were heard outside Dublin, with six of them heard by ‘moveable’ judges, who are called in by the local judge when he or she does not have time to hear a lengthy case. This can cause a range of logistical problems for hearing the case. Eight cases involved allegations of child sexual abuse and the remaining two involved allegations of physical abuse, including one case alleging non-accidental injury to an infant. Statistics collected by the Childcare Law Reporting Project, and separate research by the Legal Aid Board, suggests that child protection cases involving sex abuse allegations make up only 5-6 per cent of all child protection cases coming before the courts, which in turn form only a minority of all Tusla interventions on behalf of children at risk, so these cases are not at all typical of the bulk of work undertaken by Tusla. Nonetheless, they demonstrate systemic problems with the child protection system as overseen by the courts. This study highlights issues that require attention from various State agencies: The early identification of complicating issues in a case. Careful preparation of cases by the Child and Family Agency for court. The management of cases to ensure that all evidence and witnesses are assembled in advance and timetabled into the proceedings. The early identification and completion of necessary assessments. The need for coordination between different State agencies involved in the welfare and protection of children, including the Garda Síochána. Dr Charles O’Mahony, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “The Child Care Law Reporting Project is a critical tool that informs Government policy on this important area of law and practice. The School of Law at NUI Galway is delighted to support this project, which bridges important gaps in our understanding of child care proceedings.” The Child Care Law Reporting Project was set up in November 2012 by Dr Carol Coulter, with the support of Atlantic Philanthropies, the One Foundation and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and with administrative and technical support from Free Legal Advice Centres with a five-year programme of work, which ended in February 2018. As well as Dr Coulter, the project has the assistance of five part-time reporters in attending court cases around the country, including Maria Corbett, who was awarded a Hardiman scholarship by NUI Galway to undertake research on child care proceedings. Along with her duties as supervisor, Dr Coulter delivers occasional lectures to NUI Galway students of law and social science. Dr Coulter said: “I am delighted to have the support of NUI Galway’s School of Law in continuing the work of the Child Care Law Reporting Project. It reflects the School’s commitment to excellence in public law, and I look forward to closer collaboration with the School in the future.” Dr Connie Healy from the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “We at the School of Law would like to congratulate Dr Coulter on her success with the Child Care Law Reporting Project to-date and look forward to working closely with her in her role as Adjunct Professor during the next phase of the project. Her insight into the Child Care System in Ireland has contributed greatly to both our undergraduate and PhD candidates’ knowledge on this important area of law.” The report by Carol Coulter, Director of the Child Care Law Reporting Project, was commissioned by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and is available at: https://www.childlawproject.ie/ -Ends-

Thursday, 7 June 2018

The Great March of Return, Israel’s Assault on Gaza and the Struggle for Justice in Palestine The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host a timely and important talk by Shawan Jabarin, Director General of the largest and oldest Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq, and will address the recent developments in Gaza, on Friday, 8 June. Mr Jabarin’s talk will discuss the remarkable mass movement that emerged in the form of the Great March of Return, and the response of the Israeli military, including the use of lethal force and explosive bullets against civilians, as well as rules of engagement allowing the use of lethal force. Jabarin will also address the diverse range of ongoing attempts to hold Israel to account for its violations of international law in the Palestinian territories, from potential war crimes investigations by the International Criminal Court, to forthcoming proposed legislation in Ireland to ban trade with illegal settlements in occupied territories.  Professor Ray Murphy from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, said: “Shawan Jabarin is amongst the most pre-eminent of Palestinian human rights defenders and most qualified to speak about the ongoing oppression and human rights violations of the Palestinian people.” In 2011 Jabarin was appointed to the Human Rights Watch Middle East Advisory Board, and in 2013 he was elected as a Commissioner for the International Commission of Jurists. In 2016 he was elected Secretary-General of FIDH: International Federation of Human Rights. After studying sociology at Birzeit University in the 1980s, Shawan Jabarin later studied human rights law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway, where he completed the LL.M programme in 2004-05, supported by a grant from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Irish Aid programme. In 2010, the Irish Centre for Human Rights presented Mr Jabarin with its first and only distinguished graduate award. Shawan Jabarin has been subject to administrative detention without trial, travel bans and death threats for his work as a human rights defender, and has been supported in campaigns by Amnesty International, Front Line Defenders, Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, and others. He was awarded the Reebok Human Rights Award in 1990 for his defence of freedom of expression and human rights, and has received numerous other human rights awards since, both personally and on behalf of Al-Haq. The talk is free and open to the public and will take place in the Seminar Room at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway on Friday, 8 June at 5pm. -Ends-

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Study seeks people with chronic pain and at least one other chronic condition to test online treatment for multimorbidity Thursday, 7 June, 2018: A new online treatment programme called ACTION, set up by expert psychologists and physiotherapists at NUI Galway, aims to help those who are managing multiple chronic health conditions. In Ireland, over half a million people suffer from chronic pain on a daily basis. This study is open to people all over Ireland, and the first wave of participants will start the study in June and July. General Practitioners and other health professionals around the country are being encouraged to refer suitable people to the study. The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, with support from the Health Research Board, is currently recruiting people with chronic pain and at least one other chronic health condition to take part in the research. The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) trial will provide eight online sessions to people in the comfort of their own home. At the moment, such supports are scarce and generally aimed at the self-management of single specific chronic conditions, such as chronic pain alone. Research has shown that having multiple chronic conditions, also known as multimorbidity, is associated with a number of negative outcomes, such as a decline in physical and mental functioning, a decreased quality of life and a greater risk of mortality. The ACT trial is based on emerging clinical science that demonstrates the usefulness of managing health conditions through mindfulness and psychological wellbeing. Dr Brian Slattery, coordinator of the study at the Centre for Pain Research in NUI Galway, said: “We know that psychological therapies provided to people with chronic conditions are beneficial, but can be hard to access. In this trial, we will offer the online programme to people all over the country, with any combination of conditions and chronic pain, to try alongside any existing treatments they are already using.” The free online sessions in the ACT programme will focus on values and goals that are individual to each person in the trial. Participants will be provided with instructions on a range of activity-pacing techniques to encourage more consistent levels of activity from day-to-day. In addition, mindfulness techniques and cognitive behavioural therapy will help identify both negative thinking patterns and the development of effective challenges. People who take part in the ACTION trial will not need to attend any clinic or the University at any stage. Materials are tailored for those wishing to learn effective ways of managing their health conditions. Participants can access physiotherapy and all medical services as usual while involved in the trial. For further information and to participate in the study, email painresearch@nuigalway.ie, or visit the website http://www.nuigalway.ie/centre-for-pain-research/. GPs or physiotherapists who are interested in referring suitable patients to the trial can also use these contact details. -Ends-

Thursday, 7 June 2018

NUI Galway recently hosted the inaugural meeting of the Cell EXPLORERS Network, an expanding group of scientists and students from ten Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across Ireland who are committed to bringing science out of the lab and into the classroom. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland and coordinated from the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway, Cell EXPLORERS is a science outreach and public engagement initiative.   Cell EXPLORERS aims to inform, inspire and involve people in the excitement of science, increase the general public’s engagement with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and advocates for its importance in society.   Professor Ciaran Morrison, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, said: “The programme is unique, and has involved 850 team members to reach more than 21,000 members of the Irish public since 2012. It is a unique collaborative approach between 10 higher education institutions that has an impact both on the young people reached but also on our students and researchers. Dr Grenon has also started to develop education research to inform the future development of the programme. The overall impact of Cell EXPLORERS has in fact won her a Societal Impact Award from NUI Galway in 2017.”   Delegates from across Ireland attended the meeting to consolidate the recent expansion of the project, from five partner institutions, to a current total of ten HEIs nationally. The Cell EXPLORERS project now covers twelve counties, including nine of those previously identified as having poor exposure to STEM-related activities. The first year of activity for the Network has resulted in the direct engagement of 6,700 young people and their families by over 250 volunteer scientists who continue to give their time, passion and knowledge to inspiring the next generation of scientific explorers.   Dr Muriel Grenon, Founding Director of Cell EXPLORERS, said: “It is so important to engage our young people in STEM from an early age to break the stereotypes around science and scientists. It was great to meet with all the coordinators to discuss the impact that we see in the classroom and plan for the future of our community of practice.”   The research developed by Cell EXPLORERS aims to evaluate the impacts of the programme on all participants. In particular, it focuses on understanding how demonstrator scientists impact on the opinions and attitudes of children to science and scientists, which could strongly affect the dissemination of science education and public engagement activities in Ireland. Some of this research – assessing the impact on young children’s confidence in conducting science – has won postgraduate researcher and NUI Galway Cell EXPLORERS volunteer coordinator Sarah Carroll a poster prize at the third Scientix (the Community of Science Education in Europe) Conference in Brussels last month.   Cathy Foley, Senior Executive at Science Foundation Ireland, said: “This project is a strong example of public engagement at work and the well-developed model could be used in many other settings across a myriad of subject areas. The programme will inform best practice for the involvement of HEIs in public engagement in science: this Network meeting is a first step in achieving that.”   The long-term goal of Cell EXPLORERS is to strengthen its nationwide programme by incorporating best practice from both its team’s experience and research findings to making the Irish public the most scientifically-informed globally.   -Ends-

Thursday, 7 June 2018

NUI Galway continues to perform strongly in the QS World University Rankings, ranked 260 this year out of the 1,233 Universities considered in this year’s QS ranking, maintaining its position among the world’s elite educational institutions. Although its ranking has fallen slightly this year, since 2014 NUI Galway has moved up 24 places, and it was the only Irish institution to increase its ranking year on year in the previous five years. NUI Galway continues to perform strongly in its international scores, reflecting the welcoming nature and vibrant international population of Galway city.  The impact of investment and improvement in education and research in other nations has meanwhile resulted in Ireland’s universities improving research performance, yet other nations have caught up.  Speaking on the announcement of this year’s QS rankings, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh observed that “We are on a flat curve where small changes make for a potentially large change in our rankings. In that context, we will continue to focus on what makes a difference for our students and for our society, drawing on the strengths of our hinterland to further enhance our international reputation and reach." Noting the QS comments on Irish Universities more generally and that the rest of the world is ‘catching up’, Professor Ó hÓgartaigh commented that this suggests that “investment in education is critically important as Ireland’s consistent source of economic and social development. Our students compete with the best in the world and, for them, so do we.” Globally, Massachusetts Institute of Technology is named the world’s leading university for a record-breaking seventh consecutive year. QS now rank the world’s top 1000 universities, which hail from 85 different countries, and their flagship website, www.TopUniversities.com is due to be visited over 65 million times this year. The full rankings can be found at www.TopUniversities.com from Wednesday, 6 June, 2018. ENDS Gaisce déanta ag OÉ Gaillimh arís i Ranguithe Ollscoile Domhanda QS Tá gaisce déanta ag OÉ Gaillimh arís i Ranguithe Ollscoile Domhanda QS. Rangaíodh ar an 260ú Ollscoil i mbliana í as 1,233 Ollscoil a ndearnadh measúnú orthu i ranguithe QS. Léiríonn sin go bhfuil sí ar cheann de scoth-institiúidí an domhain i gcónaí. Cé go bhfuil an rangú a rinneadh uirthi beagán níos ísle i mbliana, ó 2014 tá OÉ Gaillimh i ndiaidh bogadh suas 24 áit ar an liosta, agus ba í an t-aon institiúid Éireannach í a raibh a rangú ag ardú bliain i ndiaidh bliana le cúig bliana roimhe sin.  Tá OÉ Gaillimh ag déanamh gaisce sna ranguithe idirnáisiúnta i gcónaí, agus is léiriú é sin ar a fháiltiúla atá cathair na Gaillimhe agus ar an bpobal bríomhar idirnáisiúnta atá sa chathair.  Chuir an infheistíocht a rinneadh san oideachas agus sa taighde i dtíortha eile brú ar ollscoileanna na hÉireann cur leis an méid taighde a bhí ar siúl acu, ach tá tíortha eile sna sála againn anois.  Ag labhairt dó nuair a fógraíodh ranguithe QS na bliana seo, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Táimid ar chuar comhréidh agus d’fhéadfadh tionchar nach beag a bheith ag athruithe beaga ar an rangú a dhéantar orainn. Ina fhianaise sin, leanfaimid orainn ag díriú ar nithe a mbíonn tionchar acu ar ár gcuid mac léinn agus ar ár sochaí, agus beimid ag tarraingt ar láidreachtaí an cheantair mórthimpeall orainn le cur leis an gcáil idirnáisiúnta atá orainn.” Agus é ag tagairt don mhéid a bhí le rá ag QS faoi Ollscoileanna na hÉireann i gcoitinne agus an chaoi a bhfuil an chuid eile den domhan ‘sna sála’ orainn, dúirt an tOllamh Ó hÓgartaigh go léiríonn sin go bhfuil “infheistíocht san oideachas thar a bheith tábhachtach mar fhoinse sheasmhach forbartha eacnamaíochta agus sóisialta. Bíonn ár gcuid mac léinn in iomaíocht leis na mic léinn is fearr ar domhan agus caithfimidne dul in iomaíocht le scoth na n-ollscoileanna chomh maith, ar mhaithe leis na mic léinn. Tá curiarracht bainte amach ag Massachusetts Institute of Technology ar tugadh séala na hollscoile is fearr ar domhan di don seachtú bliain as a chéile. Déanann QS rangú anois ar an 1000 ollscoil is fearr as 85 tír ar fud an domhain, agus tabharfar níos mó ná 65 milliún cuairt i mbliana ar an láithreán gréasáin den scoth atá acu, www.TopUniversities.com. Beidh na ranguithe ar fad le feiceáil ag www.TopUniversities.com ó Dé Céadaoin, 6 Meitheamh CRÍOCH

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Enactus NUI Galway were recently awarded runners up at the 2018 Enactus Ireland National Competition. This innovative competition sees students from ten Higher Educational Institutes, compete for the champion title. Enactus NUI Galway presented two innovative projects: -          Le Chéile, is an anti-bullying workshop co-designed with a student with autism. The team empowered a person with autism to deliver the autism awareness workshop which educates secondary school students to be more empathetic and compassionate towards their peers. -          HearMe, is a programme that aims to empower individuals with communication impairments. These individuals, along with Speech and Language Therapy students, train those in the service industry to implement practices which break down communication barriers. They also train professional Speech and Language Therapists to set up Hear Me training in their respective counties. Terence O’Rourke, Chairperson of Enactus Ireland, said: “All the student teams involved this year have shown tremendous understanding of how their entrepreneurial skills and talents can be used to bring about real change in their communities.” Founded in November 2011, Enactus Ireland is one of 36 country organisations around the world that operates an Enactus programme, bringing together student, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to solve community challenges. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement community empowerment projects and this experience not only transforms lives, it helps students develop the kind of talent, skills and perspective that are essential to leadership in an ever-more complicated and challenging world. For more information on Enactus, visit http://enactusireland.org/ -Ends-

Friday, 1 June 2018

Impact of mindfulness in health, education and justice systems to be the subject of “Ireland’s Mindful Journey” Event on 14 June The development and impact of policy relating to mindfulness will be explored at a conference in NUI Galway on Thursday, 14 June. The “Ireland’s Mindful Journey” event will explore how mindfulness is steadily making its way into our health, education and justice systems from the ground up, to examine policy in these areas.      Mindful Way @ NUI Galway was established in 2015, and the community has grown to approximately 800 staff, students and members of the local community who participate in shared practice and events across campuses in Galway, Shannon and Letterkenny. Mindful activities relating to teaching, research and the practice of mindfulness are ongoing at the University, where mindful spaces are also being created.   Speaking about the forthcoming event, Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “As mental health is becoming more of a priority issue for governments and policy makers, this conference will share experiences of mindfulness programmes nationally and internationally with a view to developing best practice and informing policy.   “Through research and a range of activities on our campuses, we are exploring how mindfulness contributes to improved wellbeing in our society. While there is often a focus on meditation, mindfulness is about far more than that. Its techniques can change how we relate to ourselves and to those around us by keeping us in the present moment to better respond to the situations we face. While there are many successful initiatives, mindfulness has yet to permeate policy in many areas, and we hope that these examples from the health, justice and education systems can highlight the potential for mindfulness to transform culture in a range of settings.”    Speakers include: Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Education with special responsibility for Higher Education  Kate O’Flaherty, Head of Health and Wellbeing at Healthy Ireland, a Government-led initiative which promotes physical and mental health, and wellbeing Dr Ann Caulfield of Mindfulness Matters, a Mayo-based initiative, which has endeavoured to embed mindfulness into primary level education since 2011 Professor Craig Hassed of Monash University in Australia, whose teaching, research and clinical interests include mindfulness-based stress management Dr Paul D’Alton, Head and Clinical Lead of the Department of Psycho-oncology at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin and Founder and Co-Director of the MSc in Mindfulness Based Interventions in University College Dublin Mary Lovegrove of Mindful Nation Ireland, a not-for-profit organisation supporting and encouraging mindfulness and compassion initiatives in public life. The conference will be of particular interest to researchers and policy makers working in the area of mindfulness. For more information and to book a place at this one day free event, visit www.nuigalway.ie/mindfulway.   -Ends- 

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

  NUI Galway congratulates TG4 and Gifted Empire Productions following their win at the Irish Film and Television Awards for their live production from the University campus in October 2016. The outstanding production provided by Gifted Empire Productions for TG4XX Beo, TG4's 20th-anniversary celebrations, was acknowledged last week by the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) at their Gala 2018 Awards in Dublin’s RDS.  Taking home the IFTA for “Best Live Event”,  Gifted Empire’s production was broadcast live from NUI Galway on Halloween night, 31st October 2016 on TG4.  President Michael D Higgins along with TG4’s Director General, Alan Esslemont gave addresses, the show also featured a music, dance and performance extravaganza including appearances from Hothouse Flowers, Duke Special with Ulaid and Prodijig. The production involved constructing a glass pavilion structure in the University’s historic Quadrangle which accommodated 500 guests on the night including President of Ireland, Connacht Rugby team and over 100 live performers.  The location of the event in the heart of the University was symbolic and highlights the relationship between NUI Galway and Gaeltacht communities across Ireland and in its hinterland. NUI Galway is proud to work with TG4 to facilitate broad civic participation in an inclusive Irish language identity since 1996. Graduates and staff of NUI Galway have played significant roles on- and off-screen in the development and identity of TnaG since 1996 and TG4 since 1999.  Academic projects such as NUI Galway’s conference TG4@10 in October 2006 examined the impact of TG4 on the language and media community.  Programmes such as An tArd-Dioplóma sa Chumarsáid Fheidhmeach provided an important talent stream in the initial years of the channel and production programmes such as An Dioplóma i Scileanna Físe (Gaoth Dobhair) was a key contributor to sectoral capacity building for TG4 and the audio-visual sector nationally Speaking on taking home the IFTA, NUI Galway graduate Paul McKay, who was Executive Producer of TG4XX Beo, and is Director of Gifted Empire Productions, said: “We are so proud of the work we delivered on TG4XX Beo and we are delighted that IFTA has recognised it with this (Best Live Event win).  We worked very hard to deliver the most memorable birthday celebration for TG4 on Halloween night and to win the IFTA award for it is the icing on the cake.” The IFTA’s were held in Dublin on Thursday 31st May 2018 and were be broadcast on TG4 on Saturday 2nd June. Take a look at TG4's 20th Anniversary Live Concert from NUI Galway which took place on Halloween night 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=picpFAcOXho

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at NUI Galway will host its Annual Symposium on Higher Education on Friday, 15 June in Áras Moyola. The conference theme is “Design for Learning” and will focus on the design and use of teaching and learning spaces that facilitate active learning, collaboration, and student engagement.   The Symposium will explore a wide range of aspects of designing for learning: from state-of-the-art learning spaces to inspiring examples of 'hacking' spaces, from classrooms and labs to libraries and learning commons, and from physical to online, hybrid, and open environments. Professor Iain MacLaren, Director of the Centre for Excellence and Teaching at NUI Galway, said: “At this symposium, participants will explore the question of how the design of the spaces in which we teach or study might shape the experience. Are there different ways of designing classrooms, for example, that would enable more active, engaged learning and discussion? If we are using a wide range of technologies to support learning, what kinds of study spaces would be best for students, particularly when working in teams or on projects? We'll be looking at examples from around the world and also considering the important role of virtual and online spaces. Through a combination of presentations, workshops, and discussions – involving international speakers, university staff, and students – we hope to generate practical ideas for the future of university learning and teaching.” The conference will feature keynote speakers:  Dr Alastair Blyth is an architect and research analyst specialising in learning environments and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster. Alastair aims to help people re-imagine the creation of learning environments – educational and physical – that motivate, engage, and inspire students and teachers alike, to enable societies to produce students with the creative, collaborative, and communication skills they need. Alastair is the co-author of several OECD surveys and policy reviews, including ‘Higher Education Spaces and Places’ for learning, innovation and knowledge exchange. Dr Donna Lanclos is an anthropologist working with ethnographic methods and analysis to inform and change policy in higher education, in particular in and around libraries, learning spaces, and active learning pedagogies and practices. Lorna Campbell works for the University of Edinburgh’s Open Educational Resources (OER) Service within the Learning, Teaching, and Web Services Directorate, where her work includes strategies for embedding and supporting open education and OER within the institution. Lorna is a Trustee of Wikimedia UK and of the Association for Learning Technology and a member of the Open Knowledge Open Education Working Group Advisory Board. The Symposium will also contain presentations, workshops, and discussion sessions offered by staff from NUI Galway and other Irish higher education institutions.          The event is free and open to all. For further information or to register visit celt18.eventbrite.ie.   -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Summer School led by KPMG Principal and NUI Galway Adjunct Professor Laurence May NUI Galway recently hosted the inaugural KPMG-led Analytics Summer School, the first of its kind in Europe. The Summer School will be a recurring annual programme and available to students who are undertaking either NUI Galway’s Master of Accounting or MSc (International Accounting and Analytics), and focuses on auditing and accounting analytics and cognitive technologies using KPMG software and tools.   The Summer School uses KPMG tools which were developed to harness the power of technology and bring greater vigour, precision and meaningful insights to the increasing age of data. In addition, participants also heard from a number of guest speakers throughout the programme including: Marie Joyce, CFO at National Toll Roads;, Mathieu D'Aquin, Professor of Informatics at Insight Centre for Data Analytics; Joe Smyth, Vice-President of R&D AI Group at Genesys; Mark Gantly, Senior R&D Director Software Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise; and Gearoid Hynes, Head of Product at Orreco.   Laurence May, Principal at KPMG and Adjunct Professor at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted with the success of the inaugural programme and with the enthusiastic response it has received in the business community and in academia. The key to its success was twofold – the calibre of the KPMG and guest speakers and the practical application of the tools by participants. KPMG is proud to be associated with this innovative programme.”   Dr Geraldine Robbins, Programme Director, NUI Galway said: “It is important that accountants are well positioned to play a leading role in reaping the benefits from growth in data analytics capabilities as the accounting/finance function often has responsibility for analytics in their organisation. Accountants are at a distinct advantage when implementing data analytics not only because they have ready access to data but they also have the training and expertise to make sense of financial data. Data analytics in accounting can help in boosting competitiveness, enhancing financial reporting, managing risks and identifying fraud.”   For more information about the Accounting Masters programmes available email accounting@nuigalway.ie or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/taught-postgraduate-courses/.   -Ends-  

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, has been elected as a Member of the Royal Irish Academy for his contribution to Humanities and Social Sciences, during a special admittance ceremony recently in Dublin. Professor Lonergan was one of 28 new Members of the Royal Irish Academy elected for their exceptional contribution to the sciences, humanities and social sciences as well as to public service. New members joining Professor Lonergan include the poet Eavan Boland, public servant, Martin Mansergh, geologist Koen Verbruggen and educationalist Áine Hyland. Professor Peter Kennedy, President of the Royal Irish Academy, said: “We should be proud of these new Members of the Academy for the honour their work brings to this country and the impact of this research on the quality of the higher education provided by our universities.” Professor Patrick Lonergan is one of Ireland’s foremost theatre scholars and Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway. He is academic leader of the digitisation of the archives from the Abbey and Gate Theatres, the world’s largest multi-media digital theatre archive collection, making possible a new era in Irish theatre scholarship, which is digitised at the James Hardiman Library in NUI Galway. Professor Lonergan is the author of several books on Irish theatre including the award-winning Theatre and Globalization (winner of the Theatre Book Prize UK in 2008), The Theatre and Films of Martin McDonagh (2012), and Theatre and Social Media (2015). In 2019 his History of Irish Theatre since 1950 will be published by Bloomsbury. He is a board member of Galway International Arts Festival and Galway Music Residency, and has lectured on Irish theatre at many venues internationally including Princeton, Florence, Florianapolis (Brazil), Wroclaw, and Tokyo. Congratulating Professor Lonergan on this honour, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I am delighted to see the work of Professor Lonergan being recognised by the Royal Irish Academy. Admission to the Academy is the highest academic honour in Ireland and it is a testament to the high calibre of Professor Lonergan’s academic work and achievements to date.” The Royal Irish Academy is Ireland’s leading body of experts in the sciences and humanities. The Academy has been honouring Ireland’s leading contributors to the world of learning since its establishment in 1785. Past Members have included Maria Edgeworth, a pioneer of the modern novel and Nobel laureates: WB Yeats; Ernest Walton, Erwin Schrödinger and Seamus Heaney. -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins will be the keynote speaker at a symposium on Conradh na Gaeilge and the Revival of Irish which will be held at NUI Galway on Friday, 15 June.   The day-long symposium, ‘125 Bliain ag Fás – An Athbheochan agus Conradh na Gaeilge’, is the University’s main event for Bliain na Gaeilge, which marks the 125th anniversary of the establishment of Conradh na Gaeilge.   The event also celebrates the decision of Conradh na Gaeilge in 2017 to deposit its archives in NUI Galway. An archivist has recently been appointed to catalogue the archive, including some material to be selected for digitisation.   Dr John Walsh, Senior Lecturer in Irish at NUI Galway and symposium organiser, said: “This event includes papers on a range of research topics related to 125 years of the Revival. Researchers and leading public figures will speak about this topic and draw attention to the fantastic research opportunities presented by the Conradh na Gaeilge archives.”   “The Conradh na Gaeilge archive is a very significant resource for teaching and research and is a major addition to the University’s extensive Irish language collections”, said James Hardiman Librarian, John Cox.   Speaking about this symposium, NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hOgartaigh said: “The Irish language is uniquely and centrally important to the mission and ethos of NUI Galway, our heritage and our hinterland.  By holding the archive of Conradh na Gaeilge in trust for scholars and the Irish nation our University will act as custodian of an important part of the history of our language.  We’re proud to do so and we look forward to the new perspectives for international scholarship which the archive will offer.  This symposium serves as a major contribution to Bliain na Gaeilge, marking 125 years of Conradh na Gaeilge, and will enable scholars and language policy makers to reflect on language development over the past century while also looking to the future of the Irish language.”   Along with President Higgins, speakers will include: Alan Esslemont, Ard-Stiúrthóir of TG4 Dr Mary Harris of the Department of History, NUI Galway Professor Regina Uí Chollatáin, UCD Cuan Ó Seireadáin, Conradh na Gaeilge Dr Hugh Rowland, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway Dr John Walsh, Department of Irish, NUI Galway Professor Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin,  Department of Irish, NUI Galway Dr Niall Comer, Uachtarán of Conradh na Gaeilge, said: “We are delighted that our archive is being deposited permanently in NUI Galway. We believe that regular opportunities will become available to use the archival material and we are looking forward to the first such opportunity at the symposium being organised by the University and Conradh na Gaeilge on 15 June.”    The symposium is jointly organised by NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library and the Department of Irish, and Conradh na Gaeilge. The event is free to attend but registration is required by Friday, 8 June. Details are available at http://www.conference.ie/index/index.asp   -Ends-

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Is é Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUigínn a thabharfaidh an príomhaitheasc ag siompóisiam faoi Chonradh na Gaeilge agus an Athbheochan a reáchtálfar in OÉ Gaillimh Dé hAoine, an 15 Meitheamh. Is é an siompóisiam lae, ‘125 Bliain ag Fás – An Athbheochan agus Conradh na Gaeilge’, príomhócáid na hOllscoile le haghaidh Bhliain na Gaeilge atá ag ceiliúradh 125 bliain ó bunaíodh an Conradh. Ceiliúradh atá san ócáid seo chomh maith ar an gcinneadh a rinne Conradh na Gaeilge in 2017 a chartlann a chur i dtaisce in OÉ Gaillimh. Le déanaí ceapadh cartlannaí chun an chartlann a chatalógú agus le digitiú a dhéanamh ar chuid den ábhar. Dúirt an Dr John Walsh, Léachtóir Sinsearach le Gaeilge agus fear eagair an tsiompóisiam: “Ag an ócáid seo, léifear páipéir ar réimse téamaí taighde a bhfuil baint acu le 125 bliain den Athbheochan. Labhróidh taighdeoirí agus pearsana poiblí iomráiteacha eile faoin téama seo agus tarraingeoidh siad aird ar na deiseanna iontacha taighde a eascraíonn as cartlann an Chonartha.” “Acmhainn ríluachmhar teagaisc agus taighde atá i gcartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge agus cuireann sí go mór leis na bailiúcháin thábhachtacha Ghaeilge atá ag an Ollscoil cheana”, a dúirt Leabharlannaí Shéamais Uí Argadáin, John Cox. Ag labhairt faoin siompóisiam seo, dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: "Tá an Ghaeilge uathúil agus thar a bheith tábhachtach do mhisean agus d’éiteas OÉ Gaillimh, dár n-oidhreacht agus dár gceantar máguaird.  Trí chartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge a choinneáil faoi iontaobhas anseo do scoláirí agus do phobal na hÉireann, beidh an Ollscoil seo ina caomhnóir ar chuid thábhachtach de stair ár dteanga.  Táimid bródúil é seo a dhéanamh agus táimid ag tnúth leis na peirspictíochtaí nua a chuirfidh an chartlann ar fáil do léann idirnáisiúnta.  Is cuid thábhachtach de Bhliain na Gaeilge é an siompóisiam, bliain atá ag déanamh ceiliúradh ar 125 bliain ó bunaíodh Conradh na Gaeilge, agus cuirfidh sé ar chumas scoláirí agus lucht déanta polasaí teanga a machnamh a dhéanamh ar fhorbairt na teanga le céad bliain anuas agus iad ag breathnú san am céanna ar thodhchaí na Gaeilge. " Beidh na cainteoirí eile seo páirteach sa siompóisiam chomh maith: Alan Esslemont, Ard-Stiúrthóir TG4 An Dr Máire Harris ó Roinn na Staire, OÉ Gaillimh An tOllamh Regina Uí Chollatáin, COBÁC Cuan Ó Seireadáin, Conradh na Gaeilge An Dr Hugh Rowland, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh An Dr John Walsh, Roinn na Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh An tOllamh Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin, Roinn na Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh Dúirt an Dr Niall Comer, Uachtarán Chonradh na Gaeilge: “Tá ríméad orainn i gConradh na Gaeilge go bhfuil ár gcartlann á cur i dtaisce go buan in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. Creideann muid go dtiocfaidh deiseanna rialta chun cinn le hábhar na cartlainne a úsáid agus táimid ag súil leis an gcéad deis sin ag an siompóisiam lae a bheidh á reáchtáil ag an Ollscoil agus ag an gConradh ar an 15 Meitheamh.” Tá an siompóisiam lae seo á reáchtáil ag Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin, ag Roinn na Gaeilge agus ag Conradh na Gaeilge. Níl aon chostas air ach is gá clárú faoin 8 Meitheamh. Tá breis eolais ar fáil ag http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=561  -Críoch-


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