Monday, 10 February 2014

Dr Manus Biggs, a Science Foundation Ireland investigator with NUI Galway’s Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) is the recent recipient of two travel grants. Both travel grants will support his research to improve the design of implanted microelectrodes being used for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. Implantable, electrically stimulating systems consisting of a number of electrodes that transmit signals via electrical conduction in bodily fluids are currently being investigated to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Implanted electrodes work reasonably well for short term applications, but have had limited success over longer implantation times. Currently, the inflammatory response around the electrode interface increases to such an extent that there is neural loss and instability of the electrodes at the implantation site. To address this problem, Dr. Biggs’s research aims to improve long-term function by using conducting polymers to coat the implanted electrodes. Dr Biggs’ Ireland-France Ulysses research funding is designed to support new research collaborations between Irish and French researchers, after James Joyce’s famous novel to celebrate the Joycean links between Ireland and France. The funding will help establish a new collaboration with Professor Dulce Papy-Garcia at the University of Paris, an expert in the glycobiology of neurodegeneration. The use of Dr Biggs’s neuroelectrode technology to treat Parkinson’s disease is of high interest for the French research team and a new collaboration with Dr Biggs will allow the group to get new insights using biomaterials for the treatment of neurodegeneration. Dr Biggs’ Royal Irish Academy Mobility grant that will support continuing research with Dr Mathew Dalby at the Centre for Cell Engineering, and Dr Nikolaj Gadegaard at the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre, both at the University of Glasgow. The University of Glasgow is one of the few places in the world that can fabricate the high-resolution structures needed for Dr Biggs’s research. He also hopes the collaboration will provide a springboard for future student work placements. Professor Abhay Pandit, Director at NFB, said: “The two travel awards are further indication of the relevance of NFB’s research within Europe and the importance of NFB’s translational research programmes. We will continue to initiate collabatory research, with partners from outside of Ireland and look towards funding opportunities within Horizon 2020. -Ends-

Monday, 10 February 2014

Newly Appointed Ombudsman & Information Commissioner, Peter Tyndall to deliver his first public lecture to mark the 10th anniversary of the LL.M in Public Law at NUI Galway The newly appointed Ombudsman and Information Commissioner, Peter Tyndall will deliver his first public lecture since taking up office at NUI Galway. The lecture, hosted by the School of Law to mark the first ten years of its LL.M in Public Law, will take place on Wednesday 19th February at 8pm at the Aula Maxima (lower). The event will be chaired by the former Supreme Court judge, Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness, Chairperson of Udarás na hOllscoile and Adjunct Professor of Law at NUI Galway, who has been associated with the LL.M in Public Law since its inception. The title of Mr. Tyndall’s lecture is: ‘The Ombudsman and Information Commissioner: Delivering Fairness and Transparency’. Speaking at the announcement of the event, Ms Marie McGonagle, Director of the LL.M in Public Law said, “We are delighted to welcome the new Ombudsman and Information Commissioner to NUI Galway to this the first event to mark the 10th anniversary year of the LLM in Public Law. Given the strong public service and public interest law focus of the LL.M, it is fitting that our graduates and current students should have this wonderful opportunity to hear and reflect on the important role recently taken up by the new Ombudsman and Information Commissioner, and to appreciate his goals and the challenges his office faces.” Mr. Tyndall received his warrant of appointment as Ombudsman and Information Commissioner from President Michael D. Higgins on 2nd December 2013. Mr Tyndall succeeded Ms Emily O’Reilly and will also serve as Commissioner for Environmental Information, and as an ex-officio member of the Standards in Public Office Commission, the Office of the Commission for Public Service Appointments, the Referendum Commission and the Constituency Commission. Members of the public are welcome to attend the event. -Ends-

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Three NUI Galway students are among the five finalists announced in the 2014 Making an Impact Competition Three NUI Galway students were announced today by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) as finalists of the 2014 Making an Impact Competition. A total of five finalists were selected. The NUI Galway finalists are Linda Connor for her project 'Improving Honey Bee Health', Robert Mooney for his project 'Movement and Performance in Elite Swimming' and Killian O’Brien for his project 'Blood May Hold the Key to the Riddle of Cancer'. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Irish Independent had invited postgraduate research students in any discipline at an Irish higher education institution on the island of Ireland, to make a short submission on the difference that their research work would make to a particular aspect of Irish life, to the country as a whole or in a global context. The five research finalists, who were selected by an independent adjudication panel, for their innovative or challenging ideas will be invited to present how their research is making an impact at a public event at The Helix at Dublin City University on Wednesday, 12th March. Each finalist will have a maximum of ten minutes to make the presentation, followed by a brief question and answer session with an expert panel. Two awards of €2,500, sponsored by the Irish Independent will be awarded to two individual winners, one of whom will be picked by the panel and the other by second level students in the audience. Each of the five finalists’ research will be profiled in the Irish Independent. For further information on the 2014 Making an Impact Competition visit www.hea.ie -Ends-

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Macromolecular crowding (MMC) for tissue engineering is an approach proposed by researchers at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) as a means to engineer tissues faster for transplantation. Research describing methods to speed up production of extracellular matrix (ECM) by using polydispersed macromolecules has recently been published in the most recent issue of Advanced Materials. With an impact factor of 14.829, Advanced Materials is top among all materials science journals for 2012. Injecting cells to treat injured or degenerated tissues can be used to create tissue-specific ECM which avoids the shortfalls of man-made devices. Scaffolds have been used to help control the retention and distribution of transplanted cells, but their presence hinders tissue remodelling and function. Techniques such as scaffold-free cell-sheet tissue engineering (CSTE) and tissue engineering by self-assembly (TESA) have been developed which do not require the stabilisation of a scaffold. Despite the promising outcomes for various tissue types, considerable time, up to 196 days, is required for the cells to create ECM once they are transplanted and this often results in loss of cell function. Abhigyan Satyam, PhD student at the NFB at NUI Galway, is investigating MMC to increase cellular activities to create ECM-rich tissue equivalents faster. When cells are in the body they are in a crowded space which makes them synthesise collagen quickly. When cells are placed in a less dense population area, such as culture conditions in a lab, collagen production is very slow. Abhigyan’s research, supervised by NUI Galway’s Dr Dimitrios Zeuglolis’s, involves adding inert polydispersed macromolecules into cell cultures to increase the density of the growth area which will, in turn, increase ECM production. The results presented in Advanced Materials describe this innovative strategy, and how an ECM-rich cell sheet was created in just 48 hours without compromising cell function. This platform technology will reduce cultivating time of tissue engineered constructs which will ultimately save money. Among a number of possible applications, the grown tissues can be utilised to replace damaged skin, bones, corneas and tendons. To read the publication visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.201304428/full. -Ends-  

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

NUI Galway today announced the appointment of Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh as Registrar and Deputy-President. Professor Ó Dochartaigh joins NUI Galway from the University of Ulster, where he has been Dean of the Faculty of Arts and a member of the Senior Management Team since 2008. A Professor of German since 2005, Pól has spearheaded the development of Humanities research at the University of Ulster. He was the founding Director of Ulster’s Humanities Research Institute (2005-8), as well as the founding Dean of the University’s Confucius Institute in 2011. Speaking about his appointment, Professor Ó Dochartaigh said: “NUI Galway is a university that has developed an international reputation for excellence in research and innovation while being firmly rooted in Ireland's communities and cultures, especially the West. I am delighted to be joining NUI Galway and to be bringing my family to Galway, and I look forward to the adventures and challenges ahead.” Professor Ó Dochartaigh was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2010 and is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In April 2014 he will complete a three-year term as President of the Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland. He previously served as Chair of the Royal Irish Academy Committee for Modern Language, Literary and Cultural Studies (2004-8), a member of the UK’s RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) 2008 Panel for German and, until his appointment in Galway, as a member of the Modern Languages Panel for REF 2014, the Research Excellence Framework for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. A native of Belfast, Pól Ó Dochartaigh was educated there, before going on to take a BA Hons in German at University College Cardiff, a PhD in German Literature at Nottingham University, a Postgraduate Certificate in University Teaching at the University of Ulster and a BA Hons in Irish Language and Literature, also at the University of Ulster. His main research interests are German-Jewish literature and history, especially anti-Semitism and the legacy of the Holocaust, the German involvement in Celtic Studies, and Irish-Jewish literature and history. He has authored four books, edited six collections of essays and published over 40 research papers. He is married to Dr Geraldine Cuskelly, a nutritionist, and they have twin daughters, Róise and Treasa. Professor Ó Dochartaigh will succeed Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil, whose term as Registrar and Deputy-President concludes at the beginning of March. Speaking about the appointment of Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “I am delighted to welcome Pól to NUI Galway and look forward to working with him to develop the teaching and research agenda for the University for the coming years. His tenure as Registrar and Deputy-President  begins at a time when NUI Galway is developing a new strategic plan, a blueprint to take us to 2020. Pól’s experience, particularly of the competitive research environment in the UK and Northern Ireland, will bring an invaluable external perspective to this process. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank most sincerely Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil, the outgoing Registrar and Deputy-President, whose outstanding leadership and tireless commitment to the University over many years has enabled NUI Galway to deliver exceptional teaching and research performance across our five Colleges”. Ends  Ceapann OÉ Gaillimh an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh mar Mheabhránaí/Uachtarán Ionaid D’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh inniu ceapachán an Ollaimh Pól Ó Dochartaigh mar Mheabhránaí/Uachtarán Ionaid. Tagann an tOllamh Ó Dochartaigh chuig OÉ Gaillimh ó Ollscoil Uladh, áit a raibh sé ina Dhéan ar Dhámh na nDán agus ina bhall den Fhoireann Shinsearach Bhainistíochta ó 2008. Tá Pól ina Ollamh le Gearmáinis ó 2005, agus bhí sé ina cheannródaí ar thaighde sna Daonnachtaí a fhorbairt in Ollscoil Uladh. Ba é an Stiúrthóir é a bhunaigh Institiúid Uladh ar Thaighde na nDaonnachtaí (2005-08), agus ba é freisin an Déan é a bhunaigh Institiúid Chonfúicias na hOllscoile sa bhliain 2011. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Ó Dochartaigh faoina cheapachán: “Is ollscoil í OÉ Gaillimh a bhfuil cáil idirnáisiúnta forbartha aici i bhfeabhas sa taighde agus sa nuálaíocht agus ag an am céanna tá sí fréamhaithe go láidir i bpobail agus i gcultúir na hÉireann, go háirithe san Iarthar. Tá an-áthas orm a bheith ag teacht chuig OÉ Gaillimh agus a bheith ag tabhairt mo theaghlach liom go Gaillimh, agus táim ag súil leis na heachtraí agus leis na dúshláin amach romham.” Toghadh an tOllamh Ó Dochartaigh mar Bhall d’Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann sa bhliain 2010 agus is Comhalta é den Royal Historical Society. I mí Aibreáin 2014 cuirfidh sé deireadh le téarma trí bliana mar Uachtarán ar an gCumann do Léann na Gearmáinise sa Bhreatain Mhór agus in Éirinn. Roimhe sin bhí sé ina Chathaoirleach ar Choiste Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann do Nua-Theangacha, Léann Liteartha agus Cultúrtha (2004-8), bhí sé ina bhall de Phainéal RAE na Ríochta Aontaithe 2008 don Ghearmáinis agus, go dtí gur ceapadh i nGaillimh é, bhí sé ina bhall de Phainéal REF 2014 do Nua-Theangacha, an Chreatlach Feabhais Taighde chun caighdeán an taighde in institiúidí ardoideachais na Ríochta Aontaithe a mheas.  Is as Béal Feirste do Phól Ó Dochartaigh ó thús, áit ar cuireadh oideachas air sula ndeachaigh sé i mbun BA Onóracha sa Ghearmáinis i gColáiste na hOllscoile, Cardiff, PhD i Litríocht na Gearmáine in Ollscoil Nottingham, Teastas Iarchéime i dTeagasc Ollscoile in Ollscoil Uladh agus BA Onóracha sa Ghaeilge agus i Litríocht na hÉireann, in Ollscoil Uladh chomh maith. I measc a chuid príomhréimsí spéise tá litríocht na Gearmáine agus na nGiúdach, go háirithe frith-Sheimíteachas agus oidhreacht an Uileloiscthe, baint na Gearmáine leis an Léann Ceilteach, agus litríocht agus stair na hÉireann agus na nGiúdach.  Tá ceithre leabhar scríofa aige, sé bhailiúchán aistí curtha in eagar aige agus breis is 40 páipéar taighde foilsithe aige. Tá sé pósta leis an Dr Geraldine Cuskelly, saineolaí cothúcháin, agus tá cúpla acu, Róise agus Treasa. Tiocfaidh an tOllamh Ó Dochartaigh i gcomharbacht ar an Ollamh Nollaig Mac Congáil, a dtiocfaidh críoch lena théarma mar Mheabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid ag tús mhí an Mhárta. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne faoi cheapachán an Ollaimh Pól Ó Dochartaigh: “Tá an-áthas orm fáilte a chur roimh Phól chuig OÉ Gaillimh agus táim ag tnúth a bheith ag obair leis chun clár oibre teagaisc agus taighde a fhorbairt don Ollscoil sna blianta amach romhainn. Cuireann sé tús lena thréimhse mar Mheabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid ag am a bhfuil OÉ Gaillimh ag forbairt plean straitéiseach nua, treoirphlean chun muid a thabhairt go dtí 2020. Tabharfaidh taithí Phóil, go háirithe i dtimpeallacht iomaíoch taighde sa Ríocht Aontaithe agus i dTuaisceart Éireann, peirspictíocht sheachtrach luachmhar go dtí an próiseas seo. Ba mhaith liom an deis seo a thapú chun buíochas ó chroí a ghabháil leis an Meabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid atá ag éirí as, an tOllamh Nollaig Mac Congáil, as an gceannaireacht agus an tsárobair a rinne sé ar mhaithe leis an Ollscoil le blianta anuas a chuir ar chumas OÉ Gaillimh torthaí feidhmíochta den scoth sa teagasc agus sa taighde a bhaint amach inár gcúig Choláiste.” Críoch

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Ennis on Thursday, 27 February. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Templegate Hotel, Ennis, Co. Clare. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics- degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge) which is brand new for 2013-14. Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to County Clare, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Ennis is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them.” Ms Loughnane continued: “We will be inviting a number of graduates and alumni of NUI Galway to join us at the information evening to talk to the students and parents about their careers, experiences and memories of NUI Galway. As this is an open event we would be delighted to welcome any NUI Galway students, past or present, to join us on the evening to both catch up with friends of old and to meet fellow graduates in Co. Clare.” To find out more about the information evening in Ennis, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 2391219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Five alumni award winners will be honoured at a gala night of food, entertainment and dancing NUI Galway has announced that RTÉ broadcaster Gráinne Seoige will host this year’s Gala Ball and that this year’s guest speaker will be fellow RTÉ broadcaster and Chair of the NUI Galway Alumni Board Seán O’Rourke. Gráinne Seoige and Seán O’Rourke are two of the more than 80,000 graduates of NUI Galway worldwide. They are also among the 79 outstanding graduates such as President Michael D Higgins, Ciarán FitzGerald, Professor Frank Gannon and Dr Luke Clancy that have been honoured in this way. The 2014 Alumni Award winners will be presented with their awards at the Gala Ball on Saturday, 1 March, 2014 in the Bailey Allen Wing located in Áras na Mac Léinn on campus. The winners of the five alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2014 are; Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies - sponsored by AIB   -Norah Gibbons, Chairperson, Child and Family Agency. Alumni Award for Business, Public Policy and Law – sponsored by Bank of Ireland    -  Helen Ryan, Former CEO and Non-Executive Director of Creganna-Tactx Medical. Alumni Award for Engineering and Informatics – sponsored by Bank of Ireland  - Michael McNicholas, CEO, Bord Gáis. Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – sponsored by Medtronic  - Professor Ray Dolan, Professor of Neuropsychology, University College London and Head of the Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience at the Institute of Neurology, London. Alumni Award for Science – sponsored by Aramark  - Professor Gerard Jennings, Emeritus Professor, School of Physics, NUI Galway and former Director of the Environmental Change Institute, NUI Galway.              For ticket and booking information contact the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. Online bookings at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends -Ends-

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway and Comhrá Ceoil are delighted to host the upcoming International Council for Traditional Music Ireland (ICTM Ireland) Conference from 21 - 23 February.  This is the first time the conference has come to NUI Galway and it is an acknowledgement of the research in Irish music and dance studies taking place at the Centre for Irish Studies and through the research network, Comhrá Ceoil, in Galway.    The Conference runs over three days with the opening event, Oíche ar an Sean-Nós, taking place at An Taibhdhearc at 7.30pm on Friday, 21 February. This concert is open to the public and is a showcase of sean-nós artists in residence at the Centre for Irish Studies over the past number of years.  Entertainers will include singers, Joe John Mac An Iomaire and Treasa Ní Mhiolláin, and dancers Róisín Ní Mhainín and Gearóid Ó Dubháin (NUI Galway Sean-nós Dancer in Residence 2014). Tickets are priced at €10 and €8 and are available from An Taibhdhearc. National and international conference delegates will present papers on a wide range of topics throughout the weekend, speaking to the conference theme of ‘Music, Community and Place’. Among the more than forty speakers, Dr Tim Collins will discuss traditional music composition from East Galway, while NUI Galway Irish Studies graduate, Michael Lydon will explore narration in the jazz performance of Ornette Coleman. From Northumbrian piping to fiddling in Donegal, to Carnival in Rio, the role of place and community will be examined and debated. The keynote address will be given by Professor Martin Stokes, King Edward Professor of Music, King’s College London and is supported by the Millennium Grant Fund at NUI Galway. Further details on the full programme are available at http://www.ictm.ie or contact Samantha Williams on 091 492051 or irishstudies@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-  

Thursday, 13 February 2014

EU Commissioner and Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes and Angry Birds CMO to address “Sizing the EU App Economy” report launch Leaders from the EU app economy will gather in Brussels on 13 February for the launch of the Eurapp study report “Sizing the EU App Economy”, where guest speakers, including Neelie Kroes and Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka, will discuss the future of the EU app economy. Eurapp is a year-long project run by Dr John Breslin of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway and by Gigaom Research to look at the opportunities and challenges facing the EU app economy. Launching the study, Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, will highlight the importance of the app economy – and the importance of having the right skills, rules and innovation-friendly environment to support it. “We have to think about the kind of future we want for our children and grandchildren – and seize the huge digital opportunity on offer. European leadership in the area of apps is fantastic – we should be supporting it, and all those who make it work.  But the current fragmented patchwork is letting them down: we need the rules for a connected continent.” This “Sizing the EU App Economy” report focuses on sizing and qualifying the EU apps ecosystem, with an eye towards revenue generation, jobs supported, and the bottlenecks still facing EU apps developers. Key findings from the analysis by Gigaom’s Mark Mulligan and David Card, which is based in part on two surveys of developers targeting EU markets, include the following: EU developers will take in €17.5 billion in revenue in 2013, and we forecast that figure will increase to €63 billion in five years. However, you might be surprised where a lot of that revenue comes from. In addition to €6 billion in app sales, in-app spending for virtual goods, and advertising, EU developers recognised €11.5 billion in 2013 from contract labour. And much of the developer-for-hire business is for companies that are not really in the apps business per se, but use apps to support and market their mainstream offerings like financial services, retailing, and packaged goods. Fewer than half of the independent developers we surveyed said they were offering services for hire, so that is a potentially untapped market for startups. Similarly, half of the enterprises that did their own in-house development also used third-party developers. Also, in-house developers are by and large more satisfied in achieving their commercial objectives than independents, many of which are frustrated by low prices, free products, or barely-emerging ad revenues. The EU app developer workforce will grow from one million in 2013 to 2.8 million in 2018. Additional support and marketing staff result in app economy jobs of 1.8 million in 2013, growing to 4.8 million in 2018. EU developers face more business than technical bottlenecks. Increasing users' willingness to pay for apps is problematic, but better discovery vehicles could help relieve high customer acquisition costs. Similarly we see an opportunity for an EU marketplace where companies needing app development could identify, negotiate with, and hire contract developers. Eurapp is one strand of the Startup Europe manifesto for entrepreneurship and innovation in the EU, and the project is being carried out by the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway and Gigaom Research. “Throughout the past year, the Eurapp team have interviewed a variety of stakeholders in the EU app economy, and surveyed hundreds of companies that are producing apps, both big and small,” according to NUI Galway’s Dr John Breslin, leader of the Eurapp project. “Some of the main bottlenecks facing app companies in the EU were sourced in these interviews and workshops, followed by crowdsourcing challenges where nearly 100 innovative solutions were submitted to address those bottlenecks.” The launch event will also feature talks from other leading figures in the app and tech startup space: Peter Vesterbacka, Chief Marketing Officer at Rovio, who leads the marketing and brand strategy for the Angry Bird video game franchise, one of the EU’s top app success stories; Simon Schaefer has angel invested in many European startups and app companies (including 6Wunderkinder, the creators of Wunderlist) and founded the Factory in Berlin, a 16,000 square metre startup campus; and Gemma Coles is director of mobile strategy for Mubaloo, one of Europe’s leading enterprise and consumer mobile app development companies. -ends-

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Pictured R-L:  NUI Galway researchers Nikita Burke, Physiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics and Elaine Jennings, Pharmacology and Therapeutics and who won first and second prizes, respectively, for their posters at the 6th Annual Faculty of Pain Meeting at the College of Anaesthetists in Dublin recently. Both are members of the NCBES Galway Neuroscience Centre and the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Five honoured for outstanding community work and achievements by Patron of Gaisce -The President’s Award, President Michael D. Higgins Five NUI Galway students and graduates were among a special group of inspirational young people presented with the Gaisce Gold Award by President Michael D. Higgins for their outstanding community work and significant personal achievements at a special ceremony in Dublin Castle recently. The NUI Galway awardees were Sarah Kilduff from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, Christina Quinn from Galway City, Lorraine Farrell from Dromard, Co. Sligo, David McGurrin from Hazelwood, Co. Sligo, and Oisin O’Carroll from Birr, Co. Offaly. Gaisce – the President’s Award is a programme that aims to foster and develop young people's potential. It is a guided and supported framework that is provided for young people to explore their natural skills and gain confidence in their abilities, while contributing to their community. This year 50 Gaisce Gold Awards were presented to young people who excelled and achieved their goals. This year’s Gold Award recipients included young people who spent time volunteering with charity organisations, working with the poor, the elderly, people with disabilities, and getting involved in youth groups and clubs. Gaisce Award recipients also work with community groups, sporting organisations and charity shops. A Bachelor of Nursing graduate, Sarah Kilduff volunteered with the Civil Defence with a view of expanding her first aid knowledge and assisted with her community in times of floods, removing people from danger and helping to treat them. At the beginning of her Gold Gaisce Award, Sarah went on the 133km pilgrimage of El Camino de Santiago in Spain with fellow members of the Gaisce Society in NUI Galway and also embarked on a journey to Talamarang, Nepal to volunteer in the orphanage Little Angels Children’s Home. When in Nepal, Sarah volunteered with other Irish people taking part in various activities including teaching the children English, helping them with their homework, assisting on the farms and general housekeeping. A keen photographer, Sarah is/was a member of the NUI Galway photography Society and was involved in a number of exhibitions on campus. Christina Quinn, a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science graduate, still holds the position of Development Officer for the NUI Galway Sub-Aqua Club. As part of her role she has organised fundraising events for charities such as Helping Hands and Temple Street Hospital. As part of the Physical Recreation section of the Gaisce Gold challenge, Christina took part in her first marathon in Dingle, Co. Kerry in September 2012 and has since participated in many other races including Galway Bay 10km, Run-a-Muck Challenge, Kinvara 10km and the Craughwell 10 Miler. A member of the University’s Art Society, she helped organise various exhibitions around campus, including the University’s annual arts festival, Múscailt. Christina has also volunteered in an orphanage in Nepal and hiked towards the Himalaya’s, reaching Sherpa Village, at a height of 3,600m. Bachelor of Education graudate from St Angela’s College in Sligo, Lorraine Farrell achieved her Bronze and Silver Awards while attending St Mary’s College in Ballisodare, Co. Sligo. She has trained both the U12’s girls basketball and football team and played Gaelic football for St Farnan’s, winning the Junior Shield Cup in the Connaught Club Blitz in Castlebar. She has also partaken in jazz, tap and ballet classes. Lorraine travelled to Solio in Keyna to volunteer on a development project with the Moving Mountains Organisation, helping some of the 20,000 families of Internally Displaced People who were relocated to the region in 2008. NUI Galway Higher Diploma in Applied Science student David McGurrin joined the Reserve Defence Forces learning valuable skills including first aid, map reading, public speaking and marching. Originally from Hazelwood, Co. Sligo, David became involved in Tidy Towns in Sligo and has marched in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York. He learnt to play the guitar as part of the Personal Skills section of the Gaisce Award and running for the Personal Recreation which saw him complete the Warriors Run and the Sligo Half Marathon. David embarked on the El Camino de Santiago in Spain and did a Potential Non Commissioned Officers course to complete his Gold Gaisce Award. Medical student, Oisin O’Carroll, received his Bronze and Silver Gaisce Awards while attending St Brendan’s Community School in Birr, Co. Offally. During his time at NUI Galway, Oisin has held the positions of Secretary and then Captain of the Athletics Committee and has had many achievements such as the 24-hour Challenge, the Inter-College Games, an NUI Galway Participation Award and the President’s Award for Volunteering. To complete the goals of the Gold Gaisce Award Oisin has learnt French, taken up circuit training with the Irish Defence Forces and embarked on an expedition to the Alps. To prepare himself for the expedition, he undertook an optional course in NUI Galway called High Altitude Medicine as a supplement to his medical degree. Oisin has also spent ten days as an activity instructor in Lilliput Adventure Centre where he participated in various outdoor activities such as rock climbing, orienteering, team building exercises, bog jumping, canoeing and hiking. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “I am delighted to congratulate these five inspirational young people on their Gasice Gold Awards. At NUI Galway we encourage all students to prioritise civic engagement and volunteerism, so it is especially heartening to see our students and graduates receive their Gaisce Gold Awards in recognition of their personal achievements and community and civic contributions.” -Ends-

Monday, 17 February 2014

A special evening with Ireland’s gifted writers, actors, artists and musicians in a celebration of the life and work of the late Seamus Heaney at NUI Galway   Join famous writers, actors, artists and musicians in a special tribute to the late Seamus Heaney taking place on Wednesday 26th February at 7.30pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway. Tickets cost €10 and will be donated to local cancer charity Cancer Care West. The special evening of readings, performance and music will feature Stephen Rea, Tom Kilroy, John Behan, Sean McGinley, Marie Mullen, Brendan Flynn, Eva Bourke, Moya Cannon, Rita Ann Higgins, Mary O’Malley, Mairtin O’Connor, Brendan O’Regan, Jimmy Higgins, Kathleen Loughnane, Mary McPartlan and more. The event will honour and celebrate the life and work of the late Seamus Heaney. As one of the most famous Irish poets, Seamus Heaney was also a playwright, translator and lecturer. He was famously the recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature among many other prestigious awards and achievements. Tickets cost €10 with all proceeds going to Cancer Care West, the West of Ireland Cancer Charity. Tickets include entry to a draw for a signed copy of ‘Human Chain’, the 12th and final poetry collection by Seamus Heaney that deals with many themes including how human relationships are created and broken. All are welcome to this unique event, which promises a memorable and enjoyable night while supporting a worthy charity. Tickets available from OMG @ Zhivago, Shop Street, Galway, from Inis Aoibhinn, Cancer Care West, Socs Box, Áras na Mac Léinn or Room 337, Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway.  Doors open at 7pm with the event starting at 7.30pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway. For further information visit www.cancercarewest.ie or phone 091 545000. Ends.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability and Law Policy will ask “Is it time for the US landmark decision, Brown v. Board of Education, to be applied to children with disabilities?”   Tuesday, 18th February 2014 On the 60th Anniversary of the seminal case of Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Centre for Disability and Law Policy at NUI Galway in association with Leuven Institute for Human Rights and Critical Studies (LIHRICS) will host a conference to discuss the Concept of the Right to Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities, on Saturday 22nd February in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway from 9.15am to 5pm. Sixty years after the landmark case, separate educational provision is still the norm for many children with disabilities throughout Europe, where parents of disabled children are not being provided with access to mainstream schools and staff, which have the capacity to meet the needs and provide appropriate education for disabled children. In 2006 the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) Article 24 entered into force recognizing the right to education for people with disabilities, and the right it recognizes is the right to an effective and inclusive education. The conference will discuss the concept of inclusive education, what is meant by inclusive education and what can lawyers do to ensure that the right to inclusive education becomes a reality for all. It will look at the particular legal tools that could be used to further the right to education for people with disabilities, and will raise the question, “Is it time for the decision taken at the case of Brown v. Board of Education, be applied to children with disabilities?”  This unique conference will bring together academics and practitioners from the fields of law and education as well as parents who, because of their circumstances had to become advocates and litigants on behalf of their children. The US Supreme Court stated, “In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he or she is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms…Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” Shivaun Quinlivan, Director LL.M in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy, School of Law, NUI Galway commented “As Ireland prepares to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) we ask the question, are we ready? To attempt to answer that question we have set out a programme which we hope covers the aspects of concern and offers potential solutions.”   Conference attendees will hear about the background and history behind the negotiations and the drafting of Article 24 of the UNCRPD from Professor Arlene Kanter from Syracuse University. Professor Michael Shevlin from Trinity College Dublin will discuss ‘Inclusive Education’ and what it means, while Dr. Gauthier de Beco from KU Leuven will discuss the content of Article 24 and what obligations it imposes on State parties. This session is followed by a Q&A and lunch.  Mr. Luk Zerderloo from the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) willpresent an‘Overview of Inclusive Education in Europe’. In a session on teaching, primary school Principal, Mr. Cóilín O’Coigligh will present a case study on the challenges to inclusion that exist in the Irish context today. This is followed by Mr. Richard Rieser from the World of Inclusion who has recently completed a review for UNICEF on preparing teachers for children with disabilities from an inclusive perspective.  This will be followed by a Q&A session. The conference will then address the issue of litigating the right to education, Mr. James McNabb a parent of a child with a disability will discuss his story of litigating against the Department of Education to ensure that his son accessed an appropriate education. This is followed by Lycette Nelson, the Litigation Director from Mental Disability Advocacy Centre (MDAC) who will discuss ‘Strategic Litigation and the Right to Education.’ This is followed by a Q&A session. Finally Professor Gerry Whyte from Trinity College Dublin who has written the seminal work on the topic of “Social Inclusion and the Legal System: Public Interest Law in Ireland” will act as Rapporteur for the conference.  Separatelya Student Conference will take place on Friday 21st February from 5pm to 7pm, the event is free to all and students will address issues related to Article 24 of the UNCRPD.  The Friday event is split into two panels, the first panel will discuss, “Discreet Issues in respect of Inclusive Education” addressing issues such as inclusive education, early intervention and reasonable accommodation.  The second panel will discuss the “Implementation of Article 24 UNCRPD in Various Jurisdictions”. The students will focus on their countries of origin, including, China, Kenya, Nepal and Uganda.  For further details on the conference, speakers and registration visit www.conference.ie Ends.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Taoiseach Enda Kenny presented the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal to the NUI Galway Professor of Physics, Colin O’Dowdin recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Environmental and Geosciences. In presenting the medals the Taoiseach congratulated the medallists on their many achievements and paid tribute to the RIA for providing a platform to celebrate academia and the role it plays in our society and economy, saying: “Education and innovation are central to the Government's ambition of achieving economic recovery and the creation of jobs. The education and training system is a critical part of our recovery and growth. That is why, among the wide range of measures to boost job creation and improve the environment for business, R&D forms a central pillar of our Action Plan for Jobs.” Also presented on the day was a Gold Medal for the Social Sciences to NUI Maynooth Professor Rob Kitchin. Each medal is a testament to a lifetime of passionate commitment to the highest standards in scholarship and they are a well-deserved recognition of scientific excellence. Professor Colin O’Dowd, through his pioneering work in the field of atmospheric physics, has become internationally renowned as one of the leading scientists in the field of climate change. He is also the Director of the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, at the Environmental Change Institute. He is an alumnus of NUI Galway, having completed his Bachelor of Science in 1987. Professor O’Dowd is credited with driving the development of the Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station in Galway, a new supersite which has resulted in it becoming one of the most advanced Global Atmosphere Watch stations in the world. Professor O’Dowd has been a member of the Royal Irish Academy since 2011. Speaking about the award, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, congratulated Professor O’Dowd on this prestigious accolade, which, he said: “recognises the outstanding quality of Professor O’Dowd’s research in environmental and atmospheric physics. It is a mark of the high esteem in which he is held by his academic peers and it follows his being awarded the Appleton Medal by the Institute of Physics last year. This honour serves to underline the calibre of scholarship underway at NUI Galway and on behalf of the University, I extend warmest congratulations to Colin on his award and on the scholarship which the RIA Gold Medal represents.” After been awarded the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal in Environmental and Geosciences Professor Colin O’Dowd said “It is a great honour to receive the RIA Gold Medal. The award is in geophysics, and in terms of my research, this means air pollution and climate change. Thus, the award is very timely in that it reinforces climate change awareness, particularly in light of the extreme weather conditions encountered over the last weeks; the next step is to see some practical climate action.” Guests at the ceremony included members of the Irish higher education system, funding agencies, the British and Greek ambassadors to Ireland and friends and family of the medallists. The Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals are awarded to two outstanding academics each year and are recognised as a truly national expression of celebration for scholarly achievement. The medals are sponsored by The Higher Education Authority. -Ends-

Monday, 24 February 2014

The School of Psychology at NUI Galway is currently inviting adults who have completed their treatment for cancer at least six months ago, for a series of focus groups on the experience of cancer-related fatigue in cancer survivors. The group discussions will offer participants the opportunity to share their experiences with, and thoughts about cancer-related fatigue, in a casual environment and with complete confidentiality. Persistent fatigue is often a common consequence of cancer treatment. Participant views and personal experiences are extremely valuable and their input will greatly help the researcher in the development of an intervention for individuals who suffer with fatigue after their treatment has ended. They may also benefit from discussing their fatigue with others who also experience persistent fatigue. The focus groups are part of a PhD research project being carried out at NUI Galway by student Teresa Corbett with Dr Jane Walsh, Dr Brian McGuire and Dr AnnMarie Groarke of the University’s School of Psychology. The study is supported by Cancer Care West and Galway University Foundation. The focus group session will include 4-6 other volunteer participants and will be led by Ms Corbett. Refreshments will be provided to participants and each session is scheduled to last approximately 90 minutes. The focus groups will be held in the School of Psychology in the Arts Millennium Building Extension at NUI Galway. NUI Galway PhD student and facilitator of the focus groups, Teresa Corbett, said: “Persistent cancer-related fatigue is a common complaint. With an increasing focus on quality of life in survivorship, we believe that it is essential that people have the opportunity to discuss this often debilitating consequence of cancer. Participation is voluntary and anything you say during the focus group will be kept strictly confidential. The focus groups will give individuals the chance to inform our research by telling us of their own personal everyday experiences with fatigue.” For further information or to participate in the focus groups contact Teresa Corbett, at t.corbett2@nuigalway.ie or 0860705826. -Ends-

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Six new plays compete for the coveted Jerome Hynes One-Act-Play Award NUI Galway is celebrating Drama in many forms during its Theatre Week, which runs from 10 to 14 March. Now in its fifth year, the event showcases through theatre, literature and film, the many talents of NUI Galway students, societies and alumni. The week features the popular Jerome Hynes One-Act Play Series with six new plays. The playwrights have been mentored through the process and one of the highlights of the week will be the Omnibus Edition for all the plays, with an award ceremony of the coveted Jerome Hynes best play award on Friday, 14 March in the Cube Theatre at 6pm. Since the inauguration of the series in 2001, many of the playwrights have gone on to win national and international awards and acclaim and to see their work produced professionally, and many new theatre companies have emerged from the process.  This year the NUI Galway’s Centre for Drama will present Frank McGuinness’s adaptation of Sophocles’ Electra, running from 9-11 March at 8pm, with two 10am shows on the 10 and 11 March. Frank McGuinness will attend the Monday morning performance, followed by a talk. Theatre Week will also feature a schools outreach programme with Shakespeare Workshops from ThereisBear! Theatre Company. This vibrant young company, with its roots in NUI Galway, will bring the visiting students on an in-depth journey of the scripts of Macbeth, Othello and The Merchant of Venice. Bookings for the workshops and performance are still being taken for any interested schools. Cyclone Rep will make a welcome return to campus with their version of Julius Caesar, inspired by Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment on Robben Island where a forbidden copy of Julius Caesar helped Mandela cope with his confinement. Mandela’s inspiration has, in turn, inspired Cyclone Rep to revisit the play in an Irish context.  The time is 1981 and the place is Northern Ireland and an illegal copy of Julius Caesar is performed by prisoners struggling with their internment and the spectre of the hunger strikes. Drama will be plentiful with Dramsocs’ production of a new adaptation of George Orwell’s masterpiece 1984, directed and adapted by Chris Moran. It runs nightly at 8.30pm in the Bank of Ireland Theatre. As part of the Arts in Action Programme, Anam Theatre presents Granuaile. Directed by Sarah O’Toole, Granuaile will take place on Thursday, 13 at 1pm in the Bank of Ireland Theatre. The Galway University Musical Society (GUMS), who recently wowed audiences with their production of The Drowsy Chaperone in the Black Box, are setting themselves the task of casting, producing and performing a mini musical in 14 days. The GIG (Gay in Galway) Society is hosting a Variety Show with MC drag queen Pixie Woo. The week will also include an Improv night with Dramsoc and the Comedy Society, a series of theatrical films from Filmsoc and an exhibition by the Art Society in Aras na Mac Léinn. The India Society will be celebrating Holi, the Festival of Colours, on campus on Thursday, 14 from 3-5pm beside the IT building.  Holi commemorates the victory of good over evil and the end of winter and the coming of spring and is celebrated by putting coloured powders on friends, families and strangers alike. Festival Director and NUI Galway Societies Officer, Riona Hughes, said: “The week is an opportunity for us to welcome our friends in the wider community onto campus to celebrate the great tradition of drama in NUI Galway. We are delighted to welcome our professional guest companies and to afford our students and staff an opportunity to showcase their talents and the importance of theatre to the University. We will have three venues in operation and over 40 individual performances over the five days, new writing and new takes on the classics.” Information and tickets are available from The SocsBox, Áras na Mac Leinn, on 091 492852 or socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. Full details of each event can be found at www.nuigsocs.wix.com/theatreweek.     -Ends-

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

NUI Galway recently conferred special certificates on the third cohort of ‘graduates’ from its Youth Academy. 208 primary school children from across Galway City and County received their certificates, with more than 1000 friends and family attending the ceremony. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing children and their families to university life. Since its foundation, over 600 children have graduated from a variety of 13 courses on Saturday mornings ranging from Italian to Mandarin, Philosophical Discovery, Psychology, Engineering, English Literature, History, Drama, Bio-Explore, Ocean Physics, and Information Technology. The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high ability fourth and fifth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The Youth Academy is a very important initiative by this University.  We feel that it responds to the educational needs of our most important young citizens and gives talented young students the opportunity to get experience of learning in a university. NUI Galway is committed to the sharing of knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all.I hope that initiatives such as the Youth Academy can highlight how the university can and does serve its community, not only here Galway but in society in general.” For further information on the courses and participation please contact Geraldine Marley, NUI Galway Youth Academy Coordinator, at youthacademy@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Prestigious JAG Trio to celebrate the memory of Emily Anderson and her link to one of the world’s greatest composers, Mozart NUI Galway and Music for Galway come together to celebrate the memory of one of Galway’s famous scholars, Emily Anderson, and her link to one of the world’s greatest composers, Mozart, with a concert on Friday 28th February at the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway at 8pm. Performing on the night will be the prestigious JAG Trio, comprising of UK violinist Jack Liebeck, known to many as soloist on the 2011 Jane Eyre movie soundtrack, the internationally acclaimed viola player Alexander Zemtsov, and cellist Guy Johnston who returns to Ireland following his appearance as soloist with the RTE National Symphony at the National Concert Hall Dublin this January. They will be joined by Scottish International Piano Competition Winner Tom Poster. Emily Anderson was born in 1891 and as daughter of the President of Queen’s College Galway, Alexander Anderson, she grew up inside the very walls in which many of the Music for Galway concerts are being held, the Quadrangle of NUI Galway. Emily went on to study German in Berlin and Magdeburg, returned to Galway and worked for a brief time as professor of German at the college, before leaving for London to join the foreign office. Possessing a strong interest in music Emily Anderson eventually translated the full correspondence of Mozart and, ten years later, of Beethoven from German into English. To this day musicians, musicologists, film makers and music lovers all over the English-speaking world consult her translations when enquiring into the lives of these giants of music.  The programme this year will be dedicated entirely to Mozart and features the Divertimento, one of the finest string trios ever composed, his second Piano Quartet K 493, and Mozart arrangements of Bach Preludes and Fuges for string trio. Here is a chance to hear the best of music performed by international artists at the top of their game. Tickets are €20 / MfG Friends and Concessions €16 / students (full time) €6 and are available from Music for Galway 091 705962, Opus 2, No. 4 High Street, Galway or online at www.tht.ie Music for Galway gratefully acknowledges the support of the Arts Council. Ends.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Almost 80 students were recognised by NUI Galway today (Thursday, 27 February) at a special ceremony when they were conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne. Two students were also conferred with a Doctor of Medicine at today’s ceremony. All Colleges of the University were represented at the ceremony, with graduands from the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, the College of Business, Public Policy and Law; the College of Engineering and Informatics; the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; and the College of Science. NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said: “I would like to congratulate each graduate on their achievement in earning their doctorate degrees. We in NUI Galway are determined that this University will play its full part in producing the graduates and the leaders who will create the future. We have significantly increased our number of PhD graduates in recent years as we strive to meet the needs of the knowledge and innovation economy.” Over 105,000 graduates have benefited from higher education at NUI Galway since it opened its doors in 1849. The next conferrings to take place at NUI Galway will be the summer conferring on Thursday, 19 June and the conferring of Honorary Degrees on Friday, 27 June. -ENDS- Searmanas Bronnta PhD in OÉ Gaillimh Ag searmanas speisialta in OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Déardaoin, an 27 Feabhra), bhronn Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, Dochtúireacht san Fhealsúnacht (PhD) ar bhreis is 80 mac léinn. Bronnadh Dochtúireacht Leighis ar bheirt mhac léinn ag searmanas an lae inniu chomh maith. Bhí céimithe ó gach Coláiste san Ollscoil i measc na gcéimithe sin ar bronnadh PhD orthu - Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh; Coláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí & an Dlí; Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice; Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte; agus Coláiste na hEolaíochta. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le gach céimí as a gcáilíocht dochtúireachta a bhaint amach. Cuirimidne in OÉ Gaillimh romhainn go ndéanfadh an Ollscoil seo a cion féin le céimithe agus ceannairí a chur ar fáil a mhúnlóidh an todhchaí. Tá méadú suntasach tagtha ar líon na gcéimithe PhD le blianta beaga anuas chun freastal ar riachtanais an gheilleagair eolasbhunaithe agus nuálaíochta.” Tá céim bainte amach ag breis is 105,000 mac léinn in OÉ Gaillimh ón uair a d’oscail sí a cuid doirse i 1849. Beidh an chéad searmanas bronnta céimeanna eile ar bun in OÉ Gaillimh i rith an tsamhraidh – Déardaoin, an 19 Meitheamh agus is ar an Aoine, an 27 Meitheamh, a bhronnfar na Céimeanna Oinigh. -Críoch-

Friday, 28 February 2014

Calling all first year, final year and postgraduate taught students in NUI Galway add your voice to the National Student Survey between February 24th and March 16th Between February 24 and March 16 you are invited to have your say on StudentSurvey.ie. This is the first national survey of Irish students and is being carried out in all Irish Universities, Institutes of Technology and Colleges of Education around the country. The aim of the survey is to help enhance the quality of education Irish students receive by asking them in detail about their experiences, and it is important for the University to make sure that our students’ views are well represented. NUI Galway Deputy President and Registrar Professor Nollaig MacCongáil says, “Students are the lifeblood of both NUI Galway and every third level institution in the country. Your views as students will help inform the decisions NUI Galway make in ensuring we remain at the leading edge of research, innovation and learning.” For every submitted survey, the University will donate €1 to the NUI Galway Financial Aid Fund for students. StudentSurvey.ie comprises 100 questions and should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. The survey is supported by the HEA, IUA and USI and was developed in response to a key recommendation of the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030. The results will inform institutional and programme/course development, as well as national policy. Your answers could have a real impact on higher education in Ireland, so make sure to take the survey at: www.studentsurvey.ie -Ends-   A Mhic Léinn OÉ Gaillimh - Insígí dúinn céard a cheapann sibh! Tabhair do bharúil i Suirbhé Náisiúnta na Mac Léinn Iarrtar ar gach mac léinn sa chéad bhliain, sa bhliain deiridh agus ar chláir iarchéime mhúinte in OÉ Gaillimh Suirbhé Náisiúnta na Mac Léinn a líonadh idir an 25 Feabhra agus an 16 Márta Iarrtar ort do bharúil a thabhairt idir an 24 Feabhra agus an 16 Márta ar StudentSurvey.ie.  Is é seo an chéad suirbhé náisiúnta ar mhic léinn na hÉireann agus táthar ag tabhairt faoi i ngach Ollscoil, Institiúid Teicneolaíochta agus Coláiste Oideachais sa tír. Is é aidhm an tsuirbhé, cuidiú le caighdeán an oideachais a fhaigheann mic léinn na hÉireann a fheabhsú trí eolas sonrach a bhailiú uathu faoin dtaithí, agus tá sé tábhachtach don Ollscoil a chinntiú go gcloistear an méid atá le rá ag ár mic léinn. Dúirt Meabhránaí agus Leas-Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Nollaig MacCongáil, “Murach na mic léinn ní bheadh OÉ Gaillimh ann ná aon institiúid tríú leibhéal eile sa tír. Cuideoidh tuairimí na mac léinn leis na cinntí a dhéanfaidh OÉ Gaillimh lena chinntiú go bhfanfaimid ar thús cadhnaíochta ó thaobh an taighde, na nuálaíochta agus na foghlama de.” As gach suirbhé a líonfar, tabharfaidh an Ollscoil €1 do Chiste Cabhrach Airgid na mac léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. 100 ceist atá ar StudentSurvey.ie agus níor chóir go nglacfadh sé níos faide ná 15 nóiméad an suirbhé a líonadh. Tá tacaíocht ag an suirbhé ón HEA, IUA agus USI agus d’eascair sé as príomh-mholadh na Straitéise Náisiúnta d’Ardoideachas go dtí 2030. Beidh impleacht ag na torthaí d’fhorbairt institiúideach agus forbairt clár/cúrsaí, agus do bheartas náisiúnta. D’fhéadfadh an-tionchar a bheith ag do chuid freagraí ar an ardoideachas in Éirinn, mar sin bí cinnte an suirbhé a líonadh ar: www.studentsurvey.ie -Críoch-

Friday, 28 February 2014

Pictured (l to r) NUI Galway REMEDI PhD student Stephanie Slevin who won First Prize for her poster "The effects of anti-TNF antibody therapy on blood monocytes in patients with inflammatory bowel disease", and Irene Calvo Asensio who won Second Prize for her poster "Hypoxia enhances the radio-resistance of mouse mesenchymal stromal cells", at the 9th Annual Meeting of the Irish Cytometry Society (ICyS) 2014 held at the Astra Hall, UCD last Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th February.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Letterkenny on Thursday, 16 January. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics- degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge) which is brand new for 2013-14. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Donegal, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Letterkenny is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Letterkenny, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne at: grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie or 087- 2440858. -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The study will gather data from across the EU and identify both the pan-European factors that lead to the loss of a home and measures to counter homelessness Dr Padraic Kenna of the School of Law, NUI Galway will lead a major €1m EU-funded research project on evictions across the 28 European Union (EU) Member States. The research will investigate the national legal frameworks and extent of evictions across Europe. The research will identify effective early intervention and preventative measures and create a profile of evicted households, risk factors and risk groups.  Patterns of evictions across all EU Member States will be analysed in the context of diverse structural factors including the economic crisis, welfare systems and legal practices and protections. The project, which will take two years, was awarded following a competitive tendering process by the European Commission. It will examine evictions from mortgaged, rental and other properties, with a focus on the right to housing within the context of national and EU law all areas in which Dr Kenna is a leading European expert. NUI Galway will lead a consortium of University and housing research agencies in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Spain. Dr Kenna, as Research Director/Principal Investigator will lead the network of national experts on housing law and policy across all EU Member States. The researchers will collate national and local data, as well as legal materials for the project’s report to the European Commission. Dr Kenna said, “In Ireland we have a deeply historical sentiment on evictions. Michael Davitt wrote that an eviction was the expression of the power of profit and of property over the right of a family. Today, an eviction represents the collision of basic human rights with property rights, and while the European Union is committed to the protection of human rights, the balance of these interests represents the contemporary fault line between market forces and people’s right to housing.” Measures to prevent homelessness within all EU Member States remain a priority for the European Commission. This project will collate and evaluate the most cost-effective measures which can be advanced to mitigate evictions across the EU. The project team will prepare reports and recommendations for the European Commission on best practice models, to monitor, alleviate and prevent evictions, within the framework of national and EU law and policy. Welcoming the announcement of this award, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said “This is a highly prestigious and worthwhile project led by my colleague, Dr Padraic Kenna. It is a concrete recognition of his standing as a major player in the field of housing law, rights and policy in Europe; and a great boost to his tireless and impactful work in this area at national and international level.” -ends-

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Insight, Centre for Data Analytics partnered initiative aims to encourage students on the island of Ireland to develop ideas and apps using publicly available data Tuesday, 07 January, 2014 The Insight Centre for Data Analytics is inviting primary, secondary and third level students to take part in an Island of Ireland competition to create apps from freely available and publicly accessible data. Individuals and teams of up to three participants can enter in one of two ways, either by submitting an idea for an app as a concept entry or by creating an app and submitting a working app using data from Census 2011. The aim is to develop ideas and create applications (apps) that will provide innovative and fresh ways of exploiting the Open Data available from the 2011 Census, in areas such as transport, housing and planning. January 31st is the closing date to register as a competition entrant and the closing date for concept entry or a working app entry is April 11th. Entry forms for teams of three must be signed by a teacher, lecturer or course instructor from the students’ educational primary, secondary or third level institution. Brendan Smith, Outreach Officer at Insight NUI Galway (formerly known as DERI) said, “Apps, in this case software that can operate on a mobile telephone or any other online accessible device, is a communications icon of our Internet age. We want to empower and up-skill our youngsters to learn how to make their own powerful modern technology applications from freely available data.” He added “Apps4Gaps promotes the ethos that the software thus created from the freely available social and economic data contained in the Census 2011 should be used to improve the lives of ordinary peoples, their communities or society generally.” Apps4Gaps is a partnership between the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) in conjunction with the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Education Northern Ireland, Project Maths, Coderdojo and the Digital Repository of Ireland. Further Apps4Gaps information such as registration, datasets and rules as well as examples of civic apps that can be created from open data, can be found at www.apps4gaps.ie. -ends-

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Billy Lawless, Galway native and Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform Chair named among IrishCentral.com Top Ten Community Leaders   NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne congratulated Galway native and tireless advocate for US Immigration Reform Billy Lawless on being named as one of IrishCentral.com’s Top Ten Community Leaders for 2013. Billy Lawless is Chair of Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform and was described by IrishCentral.com as ‘a great activist on immigration issues, who made sure that Obama’s local Chicago operatives were well aware of the Irish American interest in reform. A tireless worker for new immigration legislation.’ NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne congratulated Billy Lawless describing him as ‘a great friend of NUI Galway who, along with his wife Anne a graduate of NUI Galway, has welcomed many NUI Galway visitors, students and alumni alike to Chicago over the years. His inclusion among the Top Ten Community Leaders is fitting recognition of his unyielding drive to secure immigration reform in the US.’ Billy Lawless has facilitated several NUI Galway events in his well-known Chicago restaurants over the years. His wife Anne (formerly O’Toole) graduated from NUI Galway with a BA in 1970. His wide range of contacts has proved invaluable in providing links for the University and alumni in the city. Billy Lawless and his family own and operate The Gage gastropub and other well-known restaurants in Chicago. They moved to the US from Galway in 1997 and opened the ‘Irish Oak’ in Wrigleyville in the city in 1998.   -ends-

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Health Research Board invests €9m in huge research initiative which will create 22 new research jobs 3 of the 6 HRB Research Leaders for Ireland are based in NUI Galway. Professor Ciaran O’Neill, Dr Molly Byrne and Dr Brian Maguire have been chosen as research leaders to deliver relevant and timely evidence that can be used in health care decision-making and are designed in consultation with leading healthcare decision makers. The Health Research Board (HRB) has appointed six new HRB Research Leaders as part of an €9 million investment to address strategic gaps and leadership capacity in population health and health services research in Ireland. Many of the research programmes are addressing areas which have traditionally been under-funded, but are crucial, such as health economics and biostatistics. All the research leaders will create a solid foundation of expertise and evidence to deliver better health, reduced health care costs and new approaches to care that benefit patients, care providers and the economy. President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne congratulated Professor Ciaran O’Neill, Dr Molly Byrne and Dr Brian Maguire and said ‘this is a significant investment by the HRB to ensure that the work carried out by our research leaders helps society by helping decision makers make better choices. NUI Galway is focused on ensuring that our research improves the world around us through discovery and innovation, further education and greater choice.’ Teresa Maguire, Head of Population Health and Health Services Research at the HRB says ‘The HRB Research Leaders Awards are a significant investment to ensure that our health research community in Ireland are in a position to provide strong research and evidence in relation to current, emerging and often complex challenges in healthcare that of concern to decision makers, practitioners and policy makers. This funding for leaders at a senior level complements other investments made by the HRB in the last four years at early and mid-career level. The awards will also create 22 new research jobs as the HRB Research Leaders grow their existing teams to support the work programmes’. The six new HRB Research Leaders will deliver research programmes which will: - Develop an internationally recognised research group focusing on the design and evaluation of effective behavioural interventions that will improve our health. Focus on the need to maximise prevention and treatment strategies for the increasing numbers living with chronic conditions such as diabetes. Assess the impact of online psychological interventions for people with multiple illnesses including chronic pain. Improve the national infrastructure to be able to accurately count and compare the costs and cost effectiveness of non-acute health services in Ireland. Assess the costs and benefits of personalised healthcare interventions to assist decision making in a time of resource constraints. Use mathematical modelling and statistical techniques to interrogate large health information datasets to improve decision making in relation to provision of health care interventions.   -ends-  

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Closing date for applications now extended to 31January 2014 NUI Galway’s School of Education has announced that the closing date for applications for two new Masters level post-primary teaching qualifications has been extended to January 31 2014. The School of Education is accepting applications for both the new Professional Master of Education and the Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas for the academic year 2014/2015, both commencing in September 2014. These two year full-time Masters programmes will replace the Professional Diploma in Education (formerly the Higher Diploma in Education) and the Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas as the recognised postgraduate qualification for teaching (post-primary). Dr Mary Fleming, Head of the School of Education, said: “This move to Masters level post-primary teaching programmes is in line with best practice internationally. The new Professional Master of Education and the Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas programmes will provide an opportunity for the teachers of the future to engage with evidence and inquiry based reflective practice, as recommended by international research and the recent International Review of Teacher Education in Ireland. We at NUI Galway look forward to being part of this new era in initial teacher education in Ireland”. Applications are made via the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC) at www.pac.ie, with the closing date now extended to Friday, 31 January, 2014. The programmes are professionally accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland for the purposes of registration as a post-primary teacher in Ireland and internationally. Further information on the new programmes visit NUI Galway’s School of Education website at www.nuigalway.ie/education. -ends-

Friday, 10 January 2014

Eleven MSc in Sustainable Resource Management Policy and Practice students at NUI Galway recently carried out surveys of the biodiversity found along the Sandybanks lane for Headford Environmental Group and the local community. As part of the project the students carried out habitat mapping, and recorded plants and animals along stretches of the lane. The taught MSc in Sustainable Resource Management Policy and Practice is a multidisciplinary course jointly run by NUI Galway and UL. As part of the project the students gave an informative talk and created a leaflet for people from Headford town to find out more about the lane’s biodiversity as they walk along the lane. -Ends-

Monday, 13 January 2014

NUI Galway is hosting a Mature Students Open Evening on Thursday, 23 January from 5-8pm in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle. The open evening is an opportunity to find out more about courses on offer, entry requirements, CAO application procedure, mature scholarships and practical student supports within the University.   The information evening is designed for people aged 23 and over who are considering embarking on full-time or part time undergraduate degree programmes in NUI Galway in the 2014/2015 academic year. Talks will be given by NUI Galway’s Careers Service who will help potential applicants to plan their future career, the Mature Students Officer who will guide on important dates and personal statements and by current mature students who will share their experience of retuning to study. NUI Galway’s Mature Students Officer, Trish Bourke, said: “Mature Students are a welcome addition to our growing population of undergraduate students. They bring with them vast life experience, a commitment to study and a determination to perform at an exceptionally high level. This is an excellent opportunity to speak one to some of the University’s senior lecturers who will inform you on the degrees themselves so you can make well equipped CAO choices.” Applications for third-level are done mostly through the CAO, which has a deadline of the 1 February, 2014.  Mature applicants for programmes in The College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies degrees at NUI Galway are required to register prior to 1February 2014 for the Mature Students Admissions Pathway (MSAP) exam which takes place on Saturday, 8 March, 2014. For more information on future upcoming public information events see http://www.nuigalway.ie/mature/publicevents.html or email Trish Bourke at maturestudents@nuigalway.ie.  A Mature Students Guidebook is also available with further information at www.nuigalway.ie/mature. -Ends-

Monday, 13 January 2014

NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies has announced the appointment of Gearóid Ó Dubháin as Sean-nós Dancer in Residence for 2014. A native of Ardmore, Connemara, Gearóid draws his dancing from both sides of his family. Séamus Ó Dubháin (or Séamusín Devaney as he is widely known) is a well-known sean-nós dancer, as was his father before him, Colm Ó Dubháin and his brother Joe. Annie, his father’s sister is also a renowned dancer. Sean-nós dancing runs through the generations, as Gearóid’s own brother Pádraig is known in his own right for his award-winning sean-nós style. Dancing was also in Gearóid’s mother’s family and the strength of this family background contributes to his own dance style and skill. Gearóid has been successful in many competitions including: Oireachtas na Samhnna (2010), Craobh na hÉireann (2011), Féile na Mí (2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012), Féile Chóilín Clesham and many others. Now teaching workshops to young and old throughout Galway, Gearóid also gives workshops and master classes nationally. Key to Gearóid’s teaching and performance philosophy is to keep faithful to the older dance style of his father, and this is apparent in his dancing. During his residency, Gearóid will participate in a series of performances and workshops at the Centre for Irish Studies and other venues in Galway. A selection of his repertoire will also be recorded to deposit in the Sean-nós Archive at the Centre for Irish Studies.  Sean-nós dance workshops will take place at 7pm in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway, commencing on Wednesday, 5 February. These workshops which run for five weeks are free of charge and all are welcome to attend. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. -Ends- Rinceoir Cónaitheach ar an Sean-nós 2014, ceaptha ag Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh Tá sé fógartha ag Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh, go bhfuil Gearóid Ó Dubháin ceaptha mar Rinceoir Cónaitheach ar an Sean-nós as seo go ceann bliana. D'fhás Gearóid aníos ar an Aird Mhóir i gConamara agus is ann a fuair sé a chuid steipeanna. Damhsóir sean-nóis cáiliúil é a athair, Séamus Ó Dubháin, nó Séamuisín Devaney mar is fearr aithne air. Bhí athair a athar, Colm Ó Dubháin, ina dhamhsóir ar an sean-nós, chomh maith lena dheartháir, Joe. Ina theannta sin, bíonn deirfiúr a athar, Annie, ag rince ar an sean-nós. Is damhsóir aitheanta é a dheartháir, Pádraig, a bhfuil neart duaiseanna bainte amach aige ar fud na tíre. Ní hamháin sin, ach bhí damhsa ar thaobh a mháthar freisin. Is beag an t-iontas, agus a leithéid de dhúchas aige, go bhfuil an rince de dhlúth agus d’inneach in Gearóid. Tá go leor duaiseanna bainte amach ag Gearóid mar dhamhsóir ar fud na tíre, ina measc tá Oireachtas na Samhna (2010), Craobh na hÉireann (2011), Féile na Mí (2006, 2008, 2010 agus 2012), Féile Chóilín Clesham (buaite cúpla uair), mar aon le neart comórtais eile.  Tá Gearóid i mbun ranganna damhsa ar an sean-nós le blianta beaga anuas, i gConamara agus in áiteanna eile i gContae na Gaillimhe. Go deimhin, tá máistir-ranganna tugtha aige fud fad na tíre. Tá sé tábhachtach do Ghearóid go gcoinneofar sean-stíl a athar beo sa sean-nós agus tá sé sin le feiceáil ina chuid damhsa. Beidh sraith de cheardlanna ar siúl ar feadh cúig seachtaine san Aula Maxima ag tosnú ag 7pm ar an 5ú Feabhra, 2014. Is iad Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta agus An Chomhairle Ealaíon, i bpáirt le hIonad an Léinn Éireannaigh, atá ag maoiniú an togra seo. -Críoch-