Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The strong medical device cluster and close links with Stanford Biodesign programme led to NUI Galway being chosen NUI Galway, in conjunction with Stanford Biodesign, recently hosted the first ever Biomedical Engineering Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Alliance (BME-IDEA) International Workshop to be held in Europe. BioInnovate Ireland Director, co-founder and lecturer in Biomedical Engineering Dr Mark Bruzzi says “The (BME-IDEA) represents 95 participating institutions in North America, and since2000, BME-IDEA has held one-day working meetings to share innovation, design, technology transfer and entrepreneurship “best practices” from different university programs with the community. As IDEA programs develop beyond the US, particularly in Europe, it seemed timely to convene a day-long planning workshop to extend the BME-IDEA internationally.” Galway’s strong medical device cluster, the location of BioInnovate Ireland, the national medical device innovation training programme and close links with the Stanford Biodesign programme led to NUIGalway being chosen as the first host location in Europe. The meeting, held during the summer, was attended by over 30 delegates from 15 different BioInnovate/Biodesign style university programmes from across Europe and the US, including, Stanford, Northwestern and John’s Hopkins Universities, the Imperial College London, IHU Strasbourg, Aarhaus University Denmark and the Centre for Technology in Medicine and Health (CTMH), Sweden. The meeting served as a forum for the programme representatives to share experiences and perspectives on a variety of topics including programme design, delivery, funding and outcomes. Each of the programmes in attendance applies a similar process to foster innovation in medical technology design, with a focus on developing new medical technologies, and a new generation of entrepreneurs with a focus on improving healthcare and patient outcomes. Director of the Stanford Biodesign programme, Dr Paul Yock, said “such a forum is an excellent opportunity to share experiences and learning across the European and US programmes, and will facilitate further development of a global network of people and programmes interested in medical device related innovation/entrepreneurship education.” The meeting has resulted in enhanced collaboration between European programmes, particularly with the more established programmes such as CTMH and BioInnovate aiding the development of newer programmes, and an annual BME-IDEA Europe Meeting. Further information about BME-IDEA and medical technology innovation programmes can be obtained by contacting BioInnovate Ireland at info@nuigalway.ie or by calling us at 091 494212. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Scholarships and Awards valued in the region of €800,000 were awarded to scholars from constituent universities and recognised colleges of the NUI NUI Galway was strongly represented in the National University of Ireland (NUI) academic excellence awards, presented this week by the Chancellor of the NUI Dr Maurice Manning. The annual NUI Scholarships and Awards are valued in the region of €800,000. NUI Galway Registrar and Deputy President of NUI Galway, Nollaig MacCongáil congratulated the scholars saying that the University was ‘delighted with the performance of so many of its graduates across a plethora of disciplines in the various Colleges. It reflects well on them as scholars and on the excellence of the scholarship and teaching to which they were exposed during their years at NUI Galway. Comhghairdeas leo agus guímid gach rath orthu sna blianta atá amach romhainn.’ NUI Awards for Senior Scholars were awarded to Dr Colmán Ó Clabaigh and Dr John Cunningham, both of NUI Galway, while students from across the NUI’s constituent universities and recognised colleges competed for awards in a wide range of disciplines. The award winners include representatives from NUI Galway, UCD, UCC, NUI Maynooth, RCSI, St. Angela’s College and NCAD. Senior Scholar Dr Colmán Ó Clabaigh was awarded the NUI Irish Historical Research Prize for The Friars in Ireland, 1224-1540, published in 2012 by Four Courts Press. This prestigious prize of €5,000 is offered in alternate years for the best work of original Irish historical research by a graduate of the National University of Ireland. The Selection Panel for the prize was drawn from the community of historians in the NUI universities. The NUI Publication Prize in Irish History was awarded to Senior Scholar Dr John Cunningham for The Transplantation to Connacht, 1649-1680, published in 2011 by the Royal Historical Society, Boydell Press. This prize of €3,000 was awarded for a first sole author book by an NUI scholar whose doctoral degree was awarded no earlier than 1 January 2005. The awards also include the prestigious NUI Irish Historical Research Prize and funding for eleven major PhD studies through the NUI Travelling Studentships. These PhD studies will undertake research in areas such as Ophthalmology, Biomedical Engineering, Music and History. Other awards include the Mansion House Fund Scholarships in Irish and Irish History Dr H.H. Stewart Literary and Medical Scholarships, the Dr Mary L. Thornton Scholarship in Education, the Denis Phelan Scholarship for doctoral study, and the NUI Art and Design Award. -ends- Onóir tugtha do 39 Scoláire OÉ Gaillimh ag Gradaim Bhliantúla Ollscoil na hÉireann Bronnadh Scoláireachtaí agus Duaiseanna arbh fhiú timpeall €800,000 iad ar scoláirí as ollscoileanna agus coláistí aitheanta Ollscoil na hÉireann. D’éirigh thar barr le céimithe OÉ Gaillimh ag gradaim feabhais acadúla Ollscoil na hÉireann, a bhronn Seansailéir Ollscoil na hÉireann, an Dr Maurice Manning, an tseachtain seo. Meastar gur fiú timpeall €800,000 Scoláireachtaí agus Gradaim Ollscoil na hÉireann. Rinne Meabhránaí agus Leas-Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, Nollaig MacCongáil, comhghairdeas leis na scoláirí ag rá go raibh an Ollscoil thar a bheith bródúil gur éirigh chomh maith sin le líon mór dá cuid céimithe i réimse disciplíní sna Coláistí éagsúla. Is maith an aghaidh orthu féin é mar scoláirí agus ar an scoláireacht agus an teagasc a fuair siad le linn a gcuid staidéir in OÉ Gaillimh. Comhghairdeas leo agus guímid gach rath orthu sna blianta atá amach romhainn. Bronnadh Gradaim Ollscoil na hÉireann do Scoláirí Sinsearacha ar bheirt as OÉ Gaillimh - an Dr Colmán Ó Clabaigh agus an Dr John Cunningham, agus bhí mic léinn as ollscoileanna agus coláistí aitheanta uile Ollscoil na hÉireann san iomaíocht do ghradaim i réimse leathan disciplíní. I measc na mbuaiteoirí bhí mic léinn as OÉ Gaillimh, UCD, UCC, OÉ Má Nuad, RCSI, Coláiste San Aingeal agus NCAD. Bronnadh Duais Ollscoil na hÉireann do Thaighde Stair na hÉireann ar an Dr Colmán Ó Clabaigh as The Friars in Ireland, 1224-1540, a d’fhoilsigh Four Courts Press in 2012. Bronntar an duais iomráiteach €5,000 seo gach ré bliain ar an mbunsaothar is fearr ar thaighde stair na hÉireann a dhéanann céimí de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann. Is staraithe as na hollscoileanna éagsúla de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann a bhí ar an bPainéal Roghnúcháin don duais. Bronnadh Duais Foilseacháin Ollscoil na hÉireann i Stair na hÉireann ar an Dr John Cunningham as The Transplantation to Connacht, 1649-1680, a d’fhoilsigh an Royal Historical Society, Boydell Press in 2011. Bronntar an duais €3,000 sep ar an gcéad leabhar le húdar amháin a d’fhoilsigh scoláire Ollscoil na hÉireann agus ar bronnadh a c(h)éim dhochtúireachta air/uirthi ón 1 Eanáir 2005. I measc na ngradam chomh maith bhí Duais Taighde Stair na hÉireann agus maoiniú ar aon mhórstaidéar déag PhD trí Scoláireachtaí Taistil Ollscoil na hÉireann. Tabharfaidh na PhDanna seo faoi thaighde i réimsí cosúil le hOftailmeolaíocht, Innealtóireacht Bhithleighis, Ceol agus Stair. I measc na ngradam eile bhí Duaischiste Theach an Ardmhéara sa Ghaeilge agus i Stair na hÉireann, Scoláireachtaí Liteartha agus Leighis an Dr H.H. Stewart, Scoláireacht Oideachais an Dr Mary L. Thornton, Scoláireacht Denis Phelan do staidéar dochtúireachta, agus Gradam Ollscoil na hÉireann san Ealaín agus sa Dearadh. -Críoch-

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Brain Care Ireland (BCI), was located in the Research and Innovation Centre in NUI Galway, and brings new Telemedicine technologies for Central Nervous System Disorders (CNSD) that includes Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, early Alzheimer’s, MCI, Psychiatry and Senior Mental Health in Ireland today. A person with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's or another dementia so early detection makes sense so we should can place person on the appropriate MCI  programme to offset the onset and progress of the disease by up to 5 years (ref Dr Arun Bokde TCD). This early intervention approach is supported by Neil of Trinity College (Prof Brian Lawlor, Prof Ian Robertson and Sabina Brennan) and has indicated that ‘’Even modest therapeutic advances that delay disease onset and progression could significantly reduce the global burden of the disease and the level of care required by patients.” Prof Lawlor research interests are in the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease, the neurobiology and treatment of behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia and mental disorders in the community dwelling elderly. The king’s College of London’s recent research finding that ‘Alzheimer’s Disease; Online brain training improves the lives of over 60’s. So on the back of such endorsements we should be integrating this global validated programme as these Technologies are used in many countries especially in the Memory Clinics in America and are reimbursable through Medicare. We make this technology available to all those involved in AD especially the Alzheimer’s Association of Ireland. Care must be taken to differentiate between companies that have spend vast monies on validating their research and those companies that simply present games as the latter are not research based, do not have scientific standing nor are they directly monitored by professionals. These latter programmes have damaged legitimate programme that have proven to be of benefit in the eyes of Medical Institutes et al. The major advantage of Telemdicine is that, in addition to no side effects as in prescription drugs, Telemedicine can cater for thousands upon thousands of patients at the same time, which is ideal to Ireland with no side effects, at a fraction of the pharmaceutical cost, utilizes little manpower; a huge advantage over traditional methods where time, staff and funding are in major shortage. Contact Brain Care Ireland on 085 217 1800 or email james@braincare.ie (www.braincare.ie) -Ends-

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Biggest display of biomethane/CNG vehicles ever assembled in Ireland An exciting alternative for fleet owners is just around the corner. The biomethane for transport industry is in its infancy in Ireland, but holds great potential to realise the benefits of our extensive bioenergy resource, for the benefit of vehicle fleet owners in particular. “This is proven technology – in Germany, Sweden, Austria and Italy, as we speak, buses and large trucks are already running on biomethane / compressed natural gas,”commented Fred Tottenham, President of the Irish BioEnergy Association (IrBEA). “The technology for the production of the biomethane is also proven technology and Ireland has the second generation biofuel resources in particular to produce environmentally sustainable biogas,”he added. Fred Tottenham was speaking ahead of IrBEA’s Biomethane for Transport morning seminar and vehicle demonstration focused on biomethane for transport fleets which takes place in Dublin today (14th November). The seminar will include a demonstration of commercial and private vehicles adapted to use biomethane/CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) as a vehicle fuel. This will be the biggest display of biomethane/CNG vehicles ever assembled in Ireland. The programme includes presentations from Bord Gáis Networks, technology providers, a project leader of an EU-sponsored initiative in Italy, and an experienced Irish fleet operator. In addition to direct use in vehicles of biomethane sourced from organic, renewable materials, information will be provided on the use of CNG in vehicles and the related area of grid injection of renewable gas. “Historically, biogas in Ireland has been targeted for use in Combined Heat and Power (CHP). With the right commercial framework in place for biomethane as a transport fuel for fleet owners, Ireland could be making a big impact on meeting its renewable energy targets for transport and safeguarding its environment. There is also the very real potential here to recover biogas from organic second generation sources and to reduce both emissions and running costs for the state and for transport fleet owners” said Bart Bonsall, Technology Leader at the Technology Centre for Biorefining & Bioenergy, one of the event sponsors. Bord Gáis Networks is proactively supporting the development of this new industry and recognises several key benefits for Ireland: • Biomethane can be a renewable and indigenous source of gas for Ireland to drive economic development and create local employment opportunities across the country. • Biomethane and natural gas are clean and efficient transport fuels that can reduce Ireland’s dependence on imported fuel and improve our security of energy supply. • Ireland has particularly significant opportunities for biomethane production from waste sources such as waste water, agri-food industry waste, agricultural residues & waste, sorted refuse, etc. 10% of Ireland’s gas demand could be met from these sources with currently available and proven technologies. • All forms of biodegradable waste can be treated to produce biomethane and reduce or eliminate landfill and other waste disposal burdens including greenhouse gas emissions. “We are committed to working with industry and the relevant government bodies to facilitate Biogas grid injection and access to the market. We are now actively promoting and supporting the benefits of gas and renewable gas in transport”added Ian Kilgallon, Bord Gáis Networks, who will give the grid operator’s perspective on biogas at today’s event. -Ends-

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Minister for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock, TD officially launched the Education Matters Yearbook 2013 this week at the National University of Ireland in Dublin. In his address, the Minister outlined how the Education Matters Yearbook is now established as a key publication in Irish education, that provides its readers with a critical and informative insight into the whole of the Irish educational system in a given year. Minister Sherlock said: “Education Matters Yearbook is a unique resource, one that gives a voice to the important contemporary concerns, issues and questions in Irish education. It provides the reader with this information in an attractive, easily-accessible and engaging format. In time of important change, development and reform in Irish education, the Yearbook articulates the broad context of this change – from early childhood education and early years care through post-primary, further education, lifelong learning, teagasc trí mheán na Gaeilge, and research and innovation at fourth level.” Acknowledging the representativeness of the Yearbook for all sectors of the Irish educational system, Minister Sherlock further added: “one does not have to agree with every opinion or point-of-view outlined in the Yearbook but it is exactly this critical, dialogic perspective which makes Education Matters animportant and highly valuable contribution to the debate, discussion and reflection that are so central to education.” In his address at the launch, Chancellor of the NUI, Professor Maurice Manning, especially noted the Yearbook’s comprehensiveness in its engagement with, and synthesis of current, key issues in Irish education: “For many of us involved in education, there is a natural tendency to become very focused on our own area of the educational system and the issues immediately relevant to our own role. However, the constituent parts of the education system have a high degree of interdependence and it is important that we have an awareness of the issues affecting other areas within education, and indeed the operation of the system as a whole.” Education Matters began as a newsprint publication in 1987. Over the years it was carried as a supplement by various national newspapers, including The Sunday Times and The Sunday Tribune. Contributors included Dr Anthony Clare, Gemma Hussey, Cynthia Ní Mhurchú, Vivian Cassells, Louis O’Flaherty, Dr Eileen Doyle and other well-known and respected writers. The first Education Matters Yearbook was published in 2006. Also at the launch, NUI Galway’s School of Education announced the development of its new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): Talking about Teaching. Though designed principally for teachers in Ireland, this new online course will also be freely and openly available to all with an interest in Irish education. Talking about Teaching will focus on key contemporary issues in Irish Education, with input from key stakeholders. The course can be undertaken online for free, as and when suitable, or the whole course and a small assessment can be completed for certification. -Ends-

Thursday, 14 November 2013

NUI Galway researchers Professor Caroline McIntosh and Dr Georgina Gethin are linking up with the Western Branch of the Wound Management Association of Ireland, UCHG, Community nursing services HSE West to raise awareness of pressure ulcers and their prevention. As part of ‘Worldwide Stop Pressure Ulcer Day’ on Thursday, 21 November, information sessions and workshops will be available in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway from 1-2pm and in the foyer of UCHG all day. Students of NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and Discipline of Podiatry along with the wound management association of Ireland western branch have been awarded a grant from EXPLORE grant scheme in NUI Galway to develop information leaflets for patients, families and carers to raise awareness and help in prevention. This project will run over the next year and will be of strategic importance as it engages future generations of health professionals, researchers, and voluntary organisations and will tap into the creativity and enthusiasm of these students for the benefit of all. What are pressure ulcers? A pressure ulcer or bed sore is not just a short term problem, it can cause immense suffering, inconvenience, reduced quality of life and in some cases death and are extremely costly and time consuming to treat.  Pressure ulcers, first recorded in Egyptian mummies, are still a problem today despite significant advances in healthcare, increased technology, more complex surgeries and increased survivorship from major traumas. Much can still be done to prevent them, including raising awareness, increased education and the use of modern technology and equipment. A pressure ulcer, also called a pressure sore or bed sore, is localised injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue usually over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure, or pressure in combination with shear. The term bed sore is misleading as it implies that the development of sores or ulcers is limited to those confined to bed. However, anyone with limited or restricted mobility is at risk and this risk increases if they become acutely ill, if they cannot feel their skin is under pressure or from a variety of other factors. The changing profile of the population with people living longer but also with increased prevalence of chronic disease, increased prevalence of diabetes and obesity means that the risk of pressure ulcers will remain well into the future. The costs of pressure ulcers There are no European wide estimates of the total cost of pressure ulcer prevention and treatment. Within specific countries the high cost of pressure ulcers has been identified. In the Netherlands, 1% of all health care expenditure was calculated to be spent on pressure ulcer care. In the UK national the cost of pressure ulcers to the NHS is between £1,760 million and £2,640 million each year, making pressure ulcers the single most costly chronic wound to the Health Service. Further information is available at www.epuap.org or www.wmai.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 14 November 2013

An information evening for prospective mature students will take place at NUI Galway on Thursday, 21 November. The event will take place from 7-9pm in the O’ Flaherty Theatre, Arts/Science Concourse, NUI Galway. The information evening is designed for people aged 23 and over who are considering embarking on full-time undergraduate degree programmes in NUI Galway in the 2014/2015 academic year. Information will be provided at this session on entry criteria to each of the University’s five Colleges: College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; College of Engineering and Informatics; and College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies. Sessions will also cover topics such as, application and selection procedures, financial queries and other support systems available within NUI Galway.  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 a high level.” Applications for third-level are done mostly through the CAO, which has a deadline of the 1 February, 2014.  To qualify as a mature student you must be 23, or over, on or before 1 January, 2014. Mature applicants for programmes in The College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies degrees at NUI Galway are also required to register prior to 1 February 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-

Friday, 15 November 2013

The exhibition, at the NUI Galway Gallery in the Quadrangle will run between 12-4pm, Tuesday to Saturday 23 November to 20 December The NUI Galway Gallery will host the ‘Taking Note or The Curious Eye’ in association with NUI Galway Arts & Theatre Office. The exhibition, organised by Robin Jones, will run from the 23 November to 20 December 2013 and will be open to the public 12pm to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday. Participants include Silvia Bächli, Will Self, Joe Fyfe, Paul Doran, Olwen Fouèré, Karin Ruggaber, John Rocha, Jürgen Simpson, among a wide range of people. This exhibition explores the idea of the note, the notebook and the idea of noticing. Noticing and recording are very human activities. Whether noticing comes in the form of a sketchbook or written notebook, on a scrap of paper or via a laptop or maybe iPhone, whether these notes are for some type of personal research, or come from a general curiosity to register “noticing”, or perhaps even drawings made to explain something to another person, they are all about developing a contact with the world. While writing is woven into the fabric of a huge part of human life and has an acknowledged position as such, drawing too can be thought of in a similar way - though far less acknowledged - in everyday life. It is integrated into an enormous range of human activity. Both drawing and writing - and the use of digital media - can be thought of as registers of complex moments of experience. This exhibition possibly allows a glimpse into the variable, semi-visible processes of human thought. Irit Rogoff said that “ curiosity implies a certain unsettling, a notion outside the realm of the known - of things not quite yet understood or articulated...the hidden or the unthought,” which is followed then by the optimism of finding out something you had not known or been able to conceive of before. Virtually all the work in the show tends towards the quiet and modest, the ruminations of the mind at some stage before an object is made or a conclusion has been drawn, the necessary exploration, searching and grasping towards an often undefined and indefinable end point, or perhaps exploration and examination with no end point in mind at all. The show brings together a variety of works, written, drawn and digital forms of note-taking –sketchbooks, notebooks, diagrams, the archetypal note on the back of an envelope, digital code, mobile phone photos, sketch models, sound recording, short films and marginalia from writers’ manuscripts. It will include some powerful and interesting work from the NUI Galway archives, such as mediator Brendan Duddy’s notebook, Kevin Doyle’s handwritten ‘Document on Civil Disobedience” sketches from Jack B Yeats and items from the John Huston archive. The opening reception will take place on Friday, 22 November at 6pm. Further information on the exhibition is available at http://takingnoteorthecuriouseye.wordpress.com/ or visit www.robinjones.ie. For more information contact Robin Jones at fjonesrobin@gmail.com.   -Ends-

Monday, 18 November 2013

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Thurles on Thursday, 28 November. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Horse and Jockey Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. 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 Tipperary, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Thurles 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 Thurles, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 2391219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Scientists from NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute photographed a vertical rock face half a mile below the sea’s surface covered in bivalves and corals Scientists from NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute have published the discovery of novel deep-sea habitats in Irish Waters. Published in the international academic journal PLOS ONE, their findings describe for the first time a rock face half a mile below the sea’s surface. NUI Galway Zoologist Dr Louise Allcock led the team which explored the Whittard Canyon, an undersea canyon system, using the Irish deep-water remotely operated vehicle, ROV Holland I.  The scientists discovered a vertical rock face half a mile below the sea surface, which extended upwards for about 150 metres, and was covered in a rich assemblage of bivalves and corals. “It is really unusual to see so many conspicuous animals so close together at these depths” explains Mark Johnson, Professor of Marine Environment at NUI Galway.  “The bivalves are also remarkably large, and we know that deep-water oysters of this size elsewhere in European Seas may be more than 200 years old.  So we are probably seeing an exceptionally long-lived and stable community”. The bivalves and the corals are filter feeders and are reliant on particles derived from surface waters for their food.  The researchers studied the water column to work out how sufficient food might be arriving at the site to support such a large and vibrant community. NUI Galway oceanographer Dr Martin White said “We were particularly intrigued as to how food particles might be concentrated into one particular area and we found evidence for an internal wave caused by the shape of the canyon, which could be delivering food to the foot of the wall.” Deep-sea habitats are known to play many important roles in ecosystems, including recycling of nutrients, carbon sequestration and can act as nursery areas for other species, so the scientists are keen to discover more. Remote-operated-vehicles (ROVs) have made many of these habitats accessible for the first time. This deep-sea research is guided by ocean floor mapping around Ireland’s coast (INFOMAR) and the knowledge that similar canyon systems around the world are home to the kinds of organisms likely to yield  novel pharmaceuticals; an aim of Ireland’s biodiscovery programme. Dr Allcock says “this habitat, because of its age and fragile structure is potentially extremely vulnerable to damage.  We need to establish where else it occurs and what measures are needed to protect it.” NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute was formed in 2010 by the merging of the Environmental Change Institute and the Martin Ryan Institute for Marine Science. It promotes interdisciplinary excellence in environmental, marine and energy research. It is committed to international collaboration, and a regional, national and EU sustainable development agenda. This research survey was carried out under the Sea Change strategy with the support of the Marine Institute and the Marine Research Sub-programme of the National Development Plan 2007–2013. -ends-

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

NUI Galway’s School of Humanities is hosting two public events this coming weekend on the topic of Famine, and on the Great Irish Famine in particular. On Friday, 22 November, Professor Cormac Ó Gráda, world expert on famine, will be giving a talk entitled 'Reflections on Famine'. Professor Ó Gráda is known for his work on the Irish Famine in books such as Black '47 and Beyond and The Great Irish Famine: interdisciplinary perspectives and more recently has published a general study of famines, Famine: a short history. This talk will take place in the D'Arcy Thompson Theatre in the Arts/Science Building at 6pm. This will be followed on Saturday, 23 November, by a round table discussion in which the authors of acclaimed books on the Famine reflect on the challenges of representing and doing justice to such a complex and controversial event. The featured writers are Enda Delaney, author of The Curse of Reason: The Great Irish Famine, Peter Gray, author of The Irish Famine and Famine, Land and Politics, and Ciarán Ó Murchadha, author of The Great Famine: Ireland's Agony and Sable Wings Over the Land: Ennis and its wider community during the Famine. The discussion will be chaired by Professor Ó Gráda, and will be held in the O’Tnuathail Theatre, Arts Millennium Building from 11.30am to 1pm. These events are free and all interested members of the public are invited to attend. They are part of the annual conference of the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland which is taking place this weekend in NUI Galway. Full details are available on http://eshsigalway2013.wordpress.com/. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Four NUI Galway students received their awards at a ceremony last week, after having been announced as category winners of the Undergraduate Awards in September. The four NUI Galway students  who received their Bram Stoker Gold Medals at a special presentation ceremony in Dublin City Hall were: Marcus Byrne, who won the Ancient & Classical Studies for his paper entitled Inferring Status From Early Bronze Age Burial; Aisling Ní Churraighín, who won the Irish Language, Literature and Folklore catergory for her essay Seán Ó hEochaidh – Bailitheor Béaloideasa in Iardheisceart Thír Chonaill sna 1930aidí: Léargas ón Dialann; Khai El Baba Jones, who won the the Philosophical Studies and Theology category for his essay Faith in Kant: The religiosity of moral faith and its relation to ecclesiastical faith in Kant’s thought; and John Birrane, who won the Psychology category for his essay his essay on Is There a Need for Positive Psychology?. John’s essay not only won the Irish category for Psychology, but also won the overall international award. Dr Mae Jemison, a retired NASA astronaut who was the first African-American woman in space, delivered the keynote address at the event. The Undergraduate Awards is the only international pan-discipline academic awards programme in the world, in operation across the island of Ireland since 2009 and operating globally since 2011. It aims to recognise the best students in the world and to connect them to one another so as to encourage inter-disciplinary co-operation that also transcends borders. The awards ceremony last week was the final event of the three-day UA Global Summit, which saw the winners from both the international and Irish categories attend a series of talks and workshops, delivered by acclaimed international field experts. The 2014 Undergraduate Awards Programme is now open for registrations and submissions. You can do so here http://www.undergraduateawards.com/submit  -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The NUI Galway student and staff collaboration is also announcing the winners of EXPLORE initiative ReelLife Science; Ireland’s only School’s Science Video Competition EXPLORE, NUI Galway’s staff / student collaboration brings ideas to life. Those ideas and initiatives have engaged with over 10,000 people in the 18 months since the scheme was established as a unique, joint initiative of NUI Galway and NUI Galway Students’ Union. Those 39 ideas have seen over 2,000 primary, secondary and third level students gain new experiences; YouTube views of over 8,000 on various projects over 300 have attended social connector meetups through the work of 200 students and staff of NUI Galway. ReelLife Science, Ireland’s first Schools Science Video competition, is one of the innovations of EXPLORE, and today announces the winners (listed below) of their inaugural competition. A showcase of EXPLORE’s work will be held between 12.30 to 14.00 on Wednesday 20th November 2013 in the Bailey Allen Hall, opened by NUI Galway Vice President for Innovation & Performance Professor Chris Curtin and Students’ Union President Seán Kearns. Other initiatives include a locator app for defibrillators in the West of Ireland, bilingual video teaching aids for primary, secondary and third level students, and a mental health awareness initiative for secondary schools. Over 500 primary school students have participated in Cell Explorers science outreach programmes, around 300 people have attended Exponential social connector meet ups, while Video Lab chemistry teaching aids have already had in excess of 2,000 views. Project themes span areas including technology, the arts, outreach, the environment, health, employability, mentoring, and teaching/learning/skills development. ReelLife Science Winners (Can be seen at www.reellifescience.com.) Secondary Schools; St. Enda’s College Transition Year student Michael McAndrew scoops first prize for his production of an animated video entitled ‘Life in Space’. The video combines a fantastic concept and cartoon style with an intelligent script, wonderful delivery and original score.  Second place; Students from St. Mary’s College in Galway who produced an imaginative film about ‘The Future for Stem Cells’. Third place; Claregalway College first year student Natasha Feery Byrne who warns of the perils of ‘Littering’ in her video. Primary School; 5th and 6th class students in Scoil Mhuire Rosmuc, a video as Gaeilge with humorous sketches about the dispersal and germination of different varieties of seeds. Runners-up; Cloghans Hill National School, Tuam with a video called ‘Germ Busters’. Third place; Junior and Senior infants of Belmont National School, Milltown, who described the ‘Five Senses’. -ends-

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

An Dr Lillis Ó Laoire, Ceann Scoile, Scoil na dTeangacha, na Litríochtaí agus na gCultúr a dhéanfaidh an seoladh. Seolfaidh An Dr Lillis Ó Laoire, Scoil na dTeangacha, na Litríochtaí  agus na gCultúr, leabhar nua curtha i dtoll a chéile ag Pádraig Ó Cíobháin in Áras na Gaeilge ag 7.30 i.n.  Déardaoin 21 Samhain 2013. Is é Pádraig Ó Cíobháin, scríbhneoir agus múinteoir teanga páirtaimseartha i Roinn na Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh, an t-idirghabhálaí. Sé atá i Gon uige seo, diolaim den ábhar a cumadh le linn shraith ceardlanna feé stiúir Phádraig Uí Chíobháin i Seanscoil Shailearna i gCois Fharraige ó Shamhain 2010 go Bealtaine 2011. Litríocht phobail , sa chiall is leithne, dar le Ó Cíobháin, atá sa bhailiúchán seo. Deir Ó Ciobháin nach saothar éinne amháin a bhfuil fé chlúid ach saothar mheithil scríbhneoirí a chuir a gcroí is a n-éirim go huile is go hiomlán san obair a bhí idir lámha acu. An táirge seo atá mar thoradh air, ábhar léitheoireachta is spreagtha dá bpobal féin, agus do Ghaelaibh go bhfuil d’aidhm acu an teanga gur dual dóibh í labhairt, a chothabháil is a choinneáil beo. Prós, filíocht, seanchas, dinnseanchas, scríbhneoireacht taistil is araile atá sa chnuasach seo, chomh maith le cur síos ar an ileolaí Tony Christofides, scríofa ag Pádraig Ó Cíobháin fhéin. Gréigeach ab ea Christofides, atá i bpictiúir atá ceangailte le seo leis an Uachtarán Michael D. Higgins agus iad ar stailc ag deireadh na seascaidí. Fear ildánach, ileolach ab ea Christofides, a raibh idir theangacha agus mhatamaitic ar a thoil aige. Cailleadh é tamall do bhlianta ó shin. Tá an saothar seo tiomnaithe do Tony i measc daoine eile. Siad Coiscéim atá i mbun a fhoilsithe agus tá fáilte roimh chách ag ócáid a sheolta in Áras na Gaeilge.   -críoch-

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Co-organiser aims to improve awareness of the role of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in cancers of the oropharynx region An NUI Galway symposium jointly organised by the Department of Economics and the Academic Department of Otolaryngology was acknowledged in the “Best Educational Meeting” category at the annual Irish Healthcare Awards. There were thirteen entries short-listed and the HPV and Head and Neck Cancer symposium received a commendation from the expert judging panel at the recent award ceremony. Professor Ivan Keogh, Director of the Academic Department of Otolaryngology at NUI Galway said “It is a real honour to have our symposium acknowledged at these prestigious awards. I am really very impressed by the extremely high standard of the activities which achieved short listing.” The symposium, held on May 17th 2013, highlighted the significant role that the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) plays in cancers of the oropharynx region. Symposium co-organiser Mr. Tony O’Connor, ENT Surgeon at the Bon Secours Hospital commented: “Our next step is to bring awareness to GPs of the signs and symptoms of this type of cancer”. The symposium was funded by the Health Research Board (HRB) Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme Grant. The HRB has also funded the development of the Economics of Cancer Research Group at NUI Galway under the auspices of Professor Ciaran O’Neill and Brendan Walsh. For more information on the HPV and Head and Neck Cancer symposium, please visit http://www.economicsofcancer.com/ -ends-

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Professor Michael O’Flaherty recently stepped down from his role as Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission 2013 NUI Galway Professor Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has issued a statement in reaction to Northern Ireland Attorney General John Larkin’s stated view on prosecutions linked to events that predate the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. Text of statement; “Today’s intervention in the Northern Ireland peace process by John Larkin, as reported in the media, is deeply unhelpful.  By proposing that a line be drawn in the sand regarding pre-1998 atrocities he is defying everything that has been learned internationally on healing the wounds of conflict.  Northern Ireland needs to confront its past and not run away from it.  Unconditional amnesties can never be countenanced, and, like any other post-conflict society, Northern Ireland needs a comprehensive programme of what is called “transitional justice”. Society, north and south of the border, is suffering because of the failure to address the past.  Some of the most vulnerable in society remain at the margins, with inadequate acknowledgement of their suffering; many are dying without ever being able to share their stories of pain and loss.  There is not a day that goes by without the unresolved senses of neglect and injustice triggering societal problems. The lack of a truth recovery process means that tribal myths will continue to trump actual memory. It is not as if we do not have a decent road map regarding how to proceed.  Back in January 2009, a “consultative group on the past”, chaired by Archbishop Robert Eames and Denis Bradley published a report that proposed a carefully considered process overseen by a Legacy Commission.  The Eames Bradley report reflected the views of a wide cross-section of society and mirrored international good practice.  Just a few weeks ago, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission published its own paper that considered how best “to move towards a more integrated and holistic transitional justice policy” and called for a fresh look at the Eames/Bradley recommendations.  If John Larkin’s comments have any merit it is to have triggered media attention to a neglected aspect of the peace process.  Now the debate needs to move past his own comments and to how best to ensure truth, justice and healing for those whose lives were devastated by the Troubles.” -ends-

Thursday, 21 November 2013

First year students at NUI Galway can now enjoy a new free booklet which gives helpful advice on low and no cost ways to take the stress out of student life. The new publication, ‘Risky Bizzness: Student Wellbeing for Successful Students’, was commissioned by the Health Promotion Service, part of NUI Galway Student Services, which aims to assist students to reach their full potential by providing non-judgemental and up-to-date information to help students make informed decisions. ‘Risky Bizzness: Student Wellbeing for Successful Students’ is based on the popular blog riskybizzness.blogspot.ie which mixes facts and humour to encourage students to look after their health and wellbeing and boost their resilience. A healthy lifestyle has been proven to have a positive impact on grades and on a person’s ability to deal with the stresses of study, research and exams. Like the blog, the new booklet provides information on relationships, study tips, nutrition, budgeting and much more. There are facts, ideas, contact details and also plenty of online links to articles and video clips. Cindy Dring, Health Promotion Coordinator at NUI Galway, said: “One way to help students cope with the challenges of third-level education is to give them the knowledge they need to prevent, or to identify and address common problems. We hope that this booklet provides students with the information necessary to succeed academically and to lead full lives while at university and beyond.” Declan Higgins, Vice-President and Welfare Officer with NUI Galway’s Students’ Union, , said: “The booklet offers students very practical advice and guidance in their day to day lives and affords them a good to guide for a variety of different resources so they know where to turn when they need to.” The booklet was written Rab Fulton, the editor of the riskybizzness blog, with Cindy Dring, Health Promotion Coordinator, NUI Galway student services. For more on Health Promotion in NUI Galway visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/student_services/health_promotion/. More information on Rab Fulton is available at http://rabfultonstories.weebly.com/. -Ends-

Friday, 22 November 2013

App aimed at Leaving Certificate students launched in August 2013 NUI Galway scooped a major award at the prestigious Appy Awards, which took place in Dublin last night (Thursday, 21 November). The University took home a Bronze Award in the ‘Best Educational App’ category for their iPoints app, and was shortlisted in the ‘Best Productivity App’ category. The NUI Galway iPoints app is the first official third-level app designed for students to calculate Leaving Certificate points. The free app was launched in August 2013, ahead of Leaving Certificate results being released and has been downloaded over 6,000 times. The winning entries are judged on the overall strategy, campaign execution, design, innovation and results. With stiff competition within each category, NUI Galway was the only higher education institution to be shortlisted and the first third-level institution to win an Appy award. Past winners for these awards have included brands such as Vodafone, Sky, TV3, The Journal.ie and Facebook. NUI Galway, in partnership with former information technology student Paul Herron, developed the iPhone app. Students using the app can simply enter their results for each subject, indicating whether it is higher or ordinary level and the app calculates the number of points attained in each subject, and indicates the total. The app calculates 25 additional points to be added for Higher Maths if relevant, and allows for Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) scores to be included. Commenting on the awards, Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said “We are delighted to have done so well in such a hotly contested category. The key objective for NUI Galway was to provide a useful app that allows Leaving Certificate students to quickly and easily calculate their points when they receive their exam results.”   The annual Appy Awards celebrate the very best in app development and design. The 2013 Appy Awards received a bumper number of exceptionally high quality apps in this year’s awards programme. The NUI Galway iPoints app is available for all iPhone users on the iTunes store www.tinyurl.com/NUIGalwayApp. -Ends-

Monday, 25 November 2013

Researchers at INSIGHT@NUI Galway have been awarded the ‘Best Paper Award for Completed Research’ at the International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV), which was held in Korea recently. INSIGHT@NUI Galway, formerly known as DERI, hosts the Centre for Data Analytics and is an acknowledged leader in semantic web research. The award-winning paper, ‘Harnessing the Duality of Participation - Social Software Infrastructure Design’, was co-authored by INSIGHT’s Lukasz Porwol and Dr Adegboyega Ojo, along with Dr John Breslin from the College of Engineering and Informatics. The paper describes the design and implementation of the socio-technical infrastructure required for harnessing political deliberations on social media platforms, and outlines the challenges for implementing and sustaining such an infrastructure in governments. The judges praised the manner in which the paper deciphered the area of citizen participation, translating it from art to science. In their comments they said that the paper investigated the very difficult and unbounded area of citizen participation and demystified the art of citizen involvement. The judges described the paper as a pleasure to read, thoughtfully bringing the reader through the reasoning, research and issues that need to be understood and addressed to successfully ensure citizen participation. Lukasz Porwol, the report’s lead author said “It’s great to be recognised for our work at such a high-profile conference, one of the biggest e-government events with participants from over 60 countries.” The ICEGOV conference is attended each year by major stakeholders from academia, government, the UN system and other international organisations, civil society and the private sector involved in the technology-enabled transformation of government. The ICEGOV conference series was founded by the United Nations University and involves several UN organisations in its organisation to highlight its strong UN character. -ends-

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Over 1,300 students will graduate from across the five colleges at NUI Galway at the University's winter conferring ceremonies, which take place from Tuesday, 26 November to Thursday, 28 November. Dr Marion Broderick will also be conferred with a Master of Health Sciences (honoris causa) degree. A native of Galway, Dr Marion Broderick will receive an honorary degree in recognition of her services to community medicine. As a GP on the Aran Islands for over 30 years, Dr Broderick has been an advocate for better healthcare facilities for the Aran Islands. She featured on RTÉ’s production of ‘Rescue 115 – Ireland’s Air Sea Rescue series. Her work has been described as making a vital contribution to saving lives, not only those resident on the Aran Islands but the many mariners who owe their lives to the swift care administered by Dr Broderick with the assistance of the crews of the RNLI Aran Lifeboat. Speaking in advance of the ceremonies, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “I would like to congratulate all those graduating this week during Winter Conferrings. I am especially pleased that the University will honour the achievements of our alumnus, Dr Marion Broderick, a committed advocate for better community and medical facilities for the Aran Islands, which she has served as GP for many years, often in arduous and challenging conditions.” In addition, degrees, higher diplomas, Masters and PhDs will be awarded to students graduating over the three days from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Engineering and Informatics; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. -Ends- Bronnadh an Gheimhridh in OÉ Gaillimh Bronnfar céim ar bhreis agus 1,300 mac léinn as cúig choláiste OÉ Gaillimh ag searmanais bhronnta céime an gheimhridh san Ollscoil, a bheas ar siúl ó Dé Máirt an 26 Samhain go dtí Déardaoin an 28 Samhain.  Bronnfar céim Mháistreachta le hEolaíochtaí Sláinte (honoris causa) ar an Dr Marion Broderick chomh maith. Is as Gaillimh ó dhúchas don Dr Marion Broderick, a mbronnfar céim oinigh uirthi mar aitheantas ar a cuid seirbhísí don leigheas pobail. Tá os cionn 30 bliain caite ag an Dr Broderick mar Dhochtúir Teaghlaigh ar Oileáin Árann, agus tá sí de shíor ag achainí ar son áiseanna cúraim sláinte níos fearr d’Oileáin Árann. Ghlac sí páirt sa tsraith teilifíse ‘Rescue 115 – Ireland’s Air Sea Rescue’ a bhí ar siúl ar RTÉ. Déantar cur síos ar a cuid oibre mar shaothar a chuireann go mór le saol daoine a shábháil, ní hamháin iad siúd atá ag cur fúthu ar Oileáin Árann ach is iomaí sin mairnéalach atá tugtha slán ag an gcúram sciobtha a chuireann an Dr Broderick ar fáil dóibh le cabhair ó chriúnna Bhád Tarrthála RNLI Árann. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr James J. Browne, roimh na searmanais: “Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le gach duine a mbeidh céim á bronnadh orthu ag Bronnadh an Gheimhridh. Tá mé thar a bheith sásta go mbeidh an Ollscoil ag ceiliúradh éachtaí duine dár lucht alumni, an Dr Marion Broderick, atá ag argóint de shíor le haghaidh áiseanna pobail agus leighis níos fearr a fháil d’Oileáin Árann, áit a bhfuil sí ina Dochtúir Teaghlaigh le blianta fada, go minic faoi choinníollacha deacra agus dúshlánacha.” Chomh maith leis sin, beifear ag bronnadh céimeanna, ard-dioplómaí, Máistreachtaí agus PhDanna i rith na dtrí lá ar mhic léinn ó Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte; ó Choláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice; ó Choláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí; ó Choláiste na hEolaíochta; agus ó Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The  Centre for Climate Change & Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS) pilot forecasting service will provide an air pollution prediction for the following 2-3 days for Ireland and the greater European area NUI Galway's Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS) at the Ryan Institute has launched an air pollution forecast service will help advise the public of periods of imminent outdoor pollution levels likely to exasperate health problems, in particular, those associated with heart and lung conditions. The advanced service demonstrates the new air quality forecasting capacity that has been developed in NUI Galway. The forecasts can also provide a warning system and planning aid for potential large-scale air pollution events such as that associated with the 2003 heat-wave which led to high numbers of air pollution-related deaths across Europe. The forecasts can be accessed via http://www.macehead.org/ under 'Air Quality Forecasts' menu bar. NUI Galway’s development of advanced air quality forecasting capacity is has been facilitated through meteorological support from Met Éireann and has been produced via the supercomputing services by the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC). The main pollutants forecast are Ozone (O3), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), and Particulate Matter (PM). Professor Colin Dowd said "Ireland’s location on the western boundary of Europe means that it generally experiences better air quality than other European counties and pollutant levels are typically below the level prescribed by the EU. However, even in Ireland, meeting the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, which are more conservative than the current EU regulatory limits, remains a challenge. Given the lower WHO limits, the need for forecasts informing potential exposure levels and risks is pressing" The forecast model is continually under development to improve the predictions for the Irish environment; to implement improved and higher-resolution emissions inventories as they become available; and to implement the most up-to-date pollution evolution modules.  In addition, the model is also being used and further refined to predict volcanic ash cloud dispersion and to advise the aviation industry and to assess the effects of air pollution on climate change.   This work was predominantly funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Change Research Programme with contributions from synergetic programmes funded by the European Space Agency, Science Foundation Ireland and the Higher Education Authority’ s  Programme for Research in Third Level Institutes. -ends-

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Conference on ‘Health and Gender Equity in a Period of Global Crisis’ in Galway, jointly organised by the Development Studies Association (DSA) Ireland, Irish Forum for Global Health & Gender ARC on the eve of World AIDS Day,December 1st. Fr. Michael Kelly, based in Zambia, is a noted AIDS activist who has written and spoken extensively about the need to curb the spread of AIDS, using education as a ‘social vaccine’ to empower women to make informed choices.  Fr. Kelly presents the keynote speech on ‘Gender, Sexuality and HIV’ at a major conference on ‘Health and Gender Equity in a Period of Global Crisis’ on 28-29 November, ahead of World AIDS Day on 1st December. The conference is being held in the Galway Bay Hotel & Conference Centre, Salthill, Galway. Fr. Michael Kelly says “Gender inequalities continue to be a major driving force behind the AIDS epidemic. Many factors increase the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV, such as denying women sexual health knowledge as well as practices that prevent them from controlling their bodies or deciding the terms on which they have sex. This is made worse by their limited access to economic opportunities and the multiple household and community roles they are saddled with, as can be seen very clearly in my own country Zambia”. The conference is hosted by NUI Galway and jointly organised by the Development Studies Association (DSA) Ireland, Irish Forum for Global Health & Gender Advanced Research Consortium and sponsored by Irish Aid. The conference heard that health, gender and employment issues are emerging as major challenges as the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) period draws to a close in 2015.  The speakers described how the current economic downturn has affected poorer countries, worsening their problems and reversing earlier improvements in gender and health equality in the developing world.  Olivia Mitchell TD, member of the Women’s All-Party Interest Group on Development and Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights said “the participation of women is indispensable to development that is sustainable and equitable. Barriers to women’s participation must be addressed and initiatives to bring about the advancement of women must be prioritised. Unless women’s reproductive health is central to development policy, the poorest women in the most disadvantaged societies will continue to be trapped in cycles of poverty and ill health, to the detriment of their countries’ development. When women’s reproductive health needs are met, women can transform their countries’ future.” Speaking on the importance of the decent work agenda in the post MDG period, Sally Anne Kinahan, Deputy General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions said “Workers’ rights and a decent work agenda are crucial if we are to deliver on development.  Development and decent work are inextricably linked”. The conference brought new perspectives from the emerging large economies of Brazil and India to the discussion of global development prospects. Dr Ram Reddy, editor of the popular Indian publication, The Economic and Political Weekly, spoke about the role of democratic institutions, giving an assessment of what is happening in India, while Sue Branford of Latin America Bureau discussed striking trends of reducing poverty and lessening inequality in Brazil. Leading experts stress how the on-going economic crisis from 2008 creates a significant challenge to women and men across the globe with adverse effects on health and gender inequality.  The gaps between rich and poor and between men and women are widening between and within countries. While the provision and access to quality health services has improved for some people, overall economic, food and fuel poverty create negative effects on physical and mental health, making poor people more vulnerable and affecting the ability of individuals and communities to cope. -Ends-

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Over 100 young people from second and third-level institutions across County Galway and Mayo were honoured with a Gaisce Medal for their outstanding community work and significant personal achievements at a special awards ceremony at the University last week. Organised by the University’s Gaisce Society the Awards were presented by NUI Galway Deputy President and Registrar, Dr Nollaig MacCongáil on behalf of the Patron of Gaisce -The President’s Award, President Michael D. Higgins. 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 is provided for young people to explore their natural skills and gain confidence in their abilities, while contributing to their community. This year’s 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 worked with community groups, sporting organisations and charity shops. Two NUI Galway students, Cathy Gormley from Trim, Co. Meath and Ciara Luke from Cork City, were presented with a Gaisce Bronze Award.  This year’s Bronze and Silver Award recipient bodies include: Coláiste Iognáid Galway City; Dunmore Community School, Co. Galway; Dominican College, Taylors Hill, Galway City; Mount St. Michael’s, Claremorris Co. Mayo; St. Brigid's School Galway City; St. Killian's College Ballinasloe Co. Galway; and Youthreach, Galway City. Rebecca Tierney, Auditor of Gaisce Society and Bachelor of Arts student at NUI Galway said “it was an honour for the society to host the awards for the exceptional people receiving their awards as the Gaisce Award allows young people all over Ireland to show what they are capable of and we are more than happy to enable this to continue to happen.” On average, Gaisce participants contribute over 100,000 voluntary hours in their local communities each year. A total of six million voluntary hours have been completed since the Gaisce Award programme was established in 1985. For more information on the Gaisce Awards visit www.gaisce.ie. -Ends -

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Tralee on Wednesday, 16 October. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Brandon Hotel, Tralee, Co. Kerry. 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 Kerry, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Tralee 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 Tralee, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 2391219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

On a recent public lecture visit to NUI Galway, Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, world-renowned astrophysicist and strong supporter of gender equality in science, congratulated the University’s School of Physics on receiving the Juno Practitioner Award of the Institute of Physics. Professor Bell Burnell, who was the first female President of the Institute of Physics, met with members of the Juno committee at the lecture and expressed her delight that NUI Galway was the first university in Ireland to achieve Practitioner status. Professor Bell Burnell is best known for her discovery in 1967 of pulsars, rapidly rotating neutron stars, and has won numerous awards for her strong role in promoting science. The Juno Programme aspires to redress the long-standing issue of the under-representation of women at the highest levels of physics academia in the UK and Ireland, and recognises and rewards departments that can demonstrate a proactive approach in this area. While women make up 20% of physics undergraduates across Ireland and the UK, this number drops to 7% further along academia at the level of university professor, suggesting that female physicists are less likely than their male counterparts to progress into the most senior positions in physics. The Juno principles improve working culture for all staff, creating, for example, flexible working arrangements, provision for childcare and a more transparent organisational structure. The potential for improvement has driven high levels of engagement amongst Irish and UK physics departments.  Dr Miriam Byrne, Chair of the NUI Galway Juno Committee, said: “It is a significant achievement for NUI Galway to obtain recognition for our work on promoting gender equality in Physics, and to be the first university in Ireland to do so. The lack of female role models in senior positions in the physical sciences is an issue that must be addressed, as it may discourage our female undergraduates from considering scientific careers. For this reason, the Juno committee is delighted to support the initiative taken by the NUI Galway Astronomy Society in inviting such a leading role model as Jocelyn Bell Burnell to Galway”. Further information on the Institute of Physics’ Juno programme can be found at http://www.iop.org/policy/diversity/initiatives/juno/. -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore TD says that the Forum will support growth and job creation The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Eamon Gilmore, T.D., today announced the Galway element of the Global Irish Economic Forum. NUI Galway will host a Regional Roundtable, including a public forum, on October 3 ahead of the Dublin Castle events on October 4 and 5.   An Tánaiste, a graduate of NUI Galway said “The forum will focus on opportunities in technology, education, industrial development and the SME sector. We will also examine high potential sectors including financial services, smart ageing technologies, food and agri-tech, social innovation and the digitisation of the global economy.”   The Global Irish Economic Forum is organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The programme includes the regional event to be held in Galway, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and NUI Galway which will bring together members of the Global Irish Network, SMEs in the West region, and the academic community.   NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said “We are delighted to host this new element of the Global Irish Economic Forum at NUI Galway.  The Forum is an important national initiative and ensures that Ireland can benefit from the advice and engagement of many global Irish leaders, which will ultimately help this country’s economic, social and cultural development.  I am also very pleased to welcome a number of distinguished alumni back to campus as part of the Regional Roundtable event.  I look forward to hearing their perspectives on Ireland’s future.”   Members of the Network who will participate in the public forum, moderated by NUI Galway graduate Dr Gavin Jennings of RTÉ,  include  fellow graduates Irial Finan, Executive Vice President of Coca-Cola and Aedhmar Hynes CEO of Text100 along with Gerald Lawless, President of Jumeirah Group and Martin McCourt, Executive Vice-President, of Gemalto. Places are limited and those wishing to attend the public forum are required to register in advance at www.conference.ie The forum will be in the Aula Maxima (Lower), Quadrangle Building, NUI Galway. The event begins at 1pm.  The event will be streamed live online at www.nuigalway.ie   This is the third Global Irish Economic Forum. The 2009 and 2011 Fora transformed the way in which the Government does business with leading international figures that are connected to Ireland. For example, the earlier fora lead to the launch of The Gathering, the largest ever tourism initiative organised by the State and the Global Irish Contacts Programme, which directly links the leading business figures abroad with Irish companies seeking to break into new markets and increase their exports.   -ends-

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Run forms part of the NUI Galway Alumni Gathering schedule for students, staff and alumni NUI Galway, in association with the Kingfisher Club, will host a charity 8K Run on Saturday 12thOctober at 10am. This is a spectacular run around the University Campus along the banks of the river Corrib. The official charity partner for this event is Jigsaw Galway. Jigsaw Galway is a free and confidential support service for young people, their mental health and wellbeing, aged 15 – 25 living in Galway city and county. All funds raised from this event will go to Jigsaw Galway. This Charity event is forming part of the NUI Galway Alumni Gathering schedule which takes place the weekend of the 11th to the 13th of October 2013 on the NUI Galway campus. The event was launched by NUI Galway alumni Paul Hession and Olive Loughnane. NUI Galway Vice President for the Student Experience Dr Pat Morgan said ‘this is a wonderful opportunity to welcome staff, students and alumni to the campus as part of the Gathering 2013. Equally, however, it is part of a wider campus initiative to encourage physical activity, and I want to thank our alumnus Olive Loughnane and student Paul Hession for agreeing to launch the Fun Run.’ As 2013 is the year of the gathering, this event gives a great opportunity to bring together students, staff, alumni and friends of NUI Galway in one place to take part in a fun event for all ages and abilities. The run is open to everyone, and runners and walkers of all fitness levels will be catered for. To register for this fantastic event please log on to the Kingfisher Club Website http://www.kingfisherclub.com/nuigalway8k.html. Registration is quick and easy. So why not set yourself the goal and register today. All queries on the event can be sent to nuigalway8k@kingfisherclub.com. -ends-

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

REDDSTAR, an EU project co-ordinated by NUI Galway, has partnered with eight other collaborators to deliver the All-Ireland schools’ science debate competition, Debating Science Issues. Now in its seventh year, the biomedical, bioethical programme involves a workshop series and debate competition and involves 36 schools across the island of Ireland. The workshop phase of the Debating Science Issues project has recently launched. However, many partners are still recruiting schools. The pre-competition workshops provide an open and impartial environment and challenge the students to consider the ethical impacts of contemporary research. After the workshops, a debate competition ensues narrowing the field of 36 schools down to one 2014 All-Ireland winner. Debate adjudicators represent various stakeholder sectors including science, communications/journalism, religion, medicine, ethics, patients, and interested publics. Debating Science Issues encourages young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. The project addresses contemporary scientific issues such as lifestyle-related disease, stem cells, nanotechnology, genetically modified food, immunology practices, organ transplantation allocation and health and self-testing.  “We are thrilled to continue this cross border science project for another year and welcome the University of Ulster as a new collaborator. Students involved in Debating Science Issues will shape the future direction of biomedical science; they will govern legislation within which biomedical research is carried out; as taxpayers they will fund future research; they will work at our lab benches. Consequently, they may be opposed to the direction some of this research takes, and this is important as public engagement with science needs to be a dialogue not a lecture”, says Danielle Nicholson, REDDSTAR Dissemination Officer. For 2013-14, nine collaborators are involved in organising the workshop series and debates: REDDSTAR, an EU project co-ordinated by NUI Galway partnering with APC at UCC, BDI at DCU, W5 in Belfast, CRANN at Trinity College, INSIGHT at UCD, NUI Galway, CIT, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the University of Ulster.  For information and updates on the progress, please see www.debatingscienceissues.com.  -Ends-

Thursday, 3 October 2013

NUI Galway only Irish university to increase ranking in both QS and THE world rankings NUI Galway is one of only three Irish universities to move up the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2013-14. With an increase of 22 places, NUI Galway is now ranked 314th in the THE Rankings 2013/2014.   NUI Galway is now the only Irish university to increase its position in the two main international rankings, having recently increased to 284th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2013/2014.   NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said: “This is very good news for NUI Galway. As the only Irish university to increase our position in both the 2013 THE World University Rankings and the recently published QS World University Rankings, I am pleased to see that our position globally is on the rise. We have experienced significant cuts in overall funding at third-level in Ireland, while student numbers have continued to rise. Despite this, our university has gone against the tide to secure a marked improvement in these very competitive rankings. This is a testament to our high standards in teaching and research, and an affirmation of our very focused approach to developing an international reputation in a select set of research areas.”   The Times Higher Education World University Rankings were developed in concert with rankings data provider, Thomson Reuters, with expert input from more than 50 leading figures in the sector from 15 countries across every continent.   The Times Higher league table of the world’s top universities is based on 13 separate performance indicators covering all of the core missions of a world class university; teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The survey also includes the world’s largest academic reputation survey, with more than 10,000 academics asked to rate the world’s best universities for the 2013 ranking.   President Browne added: “It will be critical for Ireland to maintain its investment in its universities if we are to remain internationally competitive. Every year, rankings such as this are broadened to include a burgeoning number of world-class universities. While the rankings evaluate universities against a limited range of measures, there is no doubting their influence on a University’s ability to attract international students. We operate in a global market, competing for students and research support on an international playing field. Support on a national level must be maintained for universities such as NUI Galway to continue with their success.”   The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2013-14 is available to view online at:  http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/  -ends-   Léimeann OÉ Gaillimh 22 áit i Ranguithe Domhanda mór le rá Times Higher Education OÉ Gaillimh an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a rinne dul chun cinn i ranguithe domhanda THE agus QS   Tá OÉ Gaillimh ar cheann de thrí ollscoil in Éirinn a rinne dul chun cinn i Ranguithe Ollscoile Times Higher Education (THE) 2013-14. Tá OÉ Gaillimh anois sa 314ú háit i Ranguithe THE 2013/2014, sin ardú 22 áit ó anuraidh. D’éirigh linn le gairid an 284ú háit a bhaint amach ar domhan i Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain 2013/2014, agus is í OÉ Gaillimh anois an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a rinne dul chun cinn sa dá phríomhrangú idirnáisiúnta. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Is iontach an dea-scéala é seo do OÉ Gaillimh. Ó tharla gur muid an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a rinne dul chun cinn i Ranguithe Ollscoile THE an Domhain 2013 agus i Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain a foilsíodh le gairid, táim ríméadach go bhfuil ár stádas domhanda ag dul ó neart go neart. Tá gearradh siar uafásach déanta ar mhaoiniú ag an tríú leibhéal in Éirinn agus ag an am céanna tá líon na mac léinn ag dul i méid. In ainneoin sin, tá an ollscoil s’againne ar a mine géire chun dul chun cinn a chinntiú sna ranguithe seo atá thar a bheith iomaíoch. Is cruthúnas é seo ar an ardchaighdeán teagaisc agus taighde atá againn agus deimhníonn sé an cur chuige dearfach atá againn chun cáil idirnáisiúnta a bhaint amach i réimsí áirithe taighde.” Cuireadh Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain Times Higher Education le chéile i gcomhar le soláthróir sonraí na ranguithe, Thomson Reuters, le hionchur sainiúil ó bhreis is 50 duine iomráiteacha san earnáil ó 15 thír i ngach mór-roinn. Tá tábla sraithe an Times Higher de na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan bunaithe ar 13 tháscaire feidhmíochta ar leith ag clúdach gach croímhisean a bheadh ag ollscoil den scoth; teagasc, taighde, aistriú eolais agus dearcadh idirnáisiúnta. Tá an suirbhé is mó ar domhan maidir le cáil acadúil áirithe sa suirbhé seo chomh maith. Fiafraíodh de bhreis is 10,000 duine acadúil na hollscoileanna is fearr a rátáil do rangú 2013. Dúirt an tUachtarán Browne chomh maith: “Is den riachtanas é go gcoinneoidh Éirinn ag infheistiú ina cuid ollscoileanna le gur féidir leo bheith iomaíoch go hidirnáisiúnta. Gach bliain, leathnaítear ranguithe den chineál seo chun ollscoileanna eile den scoth a thógáil ar bord. Cé go measann na ranguithe ollscoileanna de réir slat tomhais atá sách srianta, níl aon dabht ach go bhfuil an-tionchar acu ar chumas Ollscoil mic léinn idirnáisiúnta a mhealladh. Táimid ag feidhmiú i margadh domhanda, san iomaíocht do mhic léinn agus do thacaíocht taighde ar pháirc idirnáisiúnta. Caithfear an tacaíocht ag leibhéal náisiúnta a choinneáil d’ollscoileanna cosúil le OÉ Gaillimh chun go mbeidh an rath céanna uirthi amach anseo.” Tá Ranguithe Ollscoile Times Higher Education (THE) 2013-14 le feiceáil ar líne ag:  http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/  -críoch-      

Monday, 7 October 2013

            NUI Galway’s fully accredited online Diploma in Italian is first of its kind in Ireland NUI Galway’s Diploma in Italian Online, launched in September 2012, has been a major success and has just been awarded the prestigious European Language Label, which recognizes innovation in the field of language teaching and learning. Italian Studies at NUI, Galway is the first discipline in Ireland to offer a fully accredited Online Diploma in Italian so that it is now possible to study Italian anywhere and any time. Dr Laura McLoughlin, programme co-ordinator said “unlike many distance learning programmes designed for independent learning, this diploma course is based on a collaborative, communicative approach and students are encouraged to participate in virtual class activities with their peers and e-tutors”. The Diploma is open to everybody and is designed for those who have no previous experience of the language. It is particularly suited to those who need flexibility in their time and mode of study and/or live away from Galway. Basic computer skills are sufficient. Professor Paolo Bartoloni, Head of Italian at NUI Galway, said “learning Italian provides invaluable transferable skills. There is no doubt that the profile of the professional of the future will be that of a person who can adapt quickly and effectively to new situations and environments, who speaks more than one language, and who is at home in more than one country.” He added “He and she will be mobile, cosmopolitan, and ready to embrace and negotiate different cultures and traditions. We in Italian at NUI Galway are committed to introducing and exploring new technology in the area of second language acquisition, while enhancing learning and teaching flexibility which respond to the needs of the community.” The course concentrates on all four main language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and provides a gradual introduction to the structures of the language. In addition, a module on oral and intercultural skills introduces aspects of Italian life from an intercultural prospective. Italian is a major language and its culture had and continues to have a central place in the shaping of Europe. Italian is also the language of a vibrant and creative EU country that has made extraordinary contributions to all forms of culture down through the centuries. For further information contact: Dr Laura Incalcaterra McLoughlin, 091-492240 or laura.mcloughlin@nuigalway.ie -ends-