Monday, 9 October 2017

Students interested in studying at NUI Galway are invited to an Information Evening in Ennis on Thursday, 19 October. Guidance Counsellors and teachers are also invited to the event, which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis Co. Clare.   The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to its innovative programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. NUI Galway is launching seven new Arts degrees for enrolment in 2018. These include a BA (Music) which gives students a deep immersion in the study of music history, traditional Irish music, vocal and choral skills, composition, keyboard skills, music technology and music management. Information on BA (Music) and the other new Bachelor of Arts programmes will be available at the event.   Sport is integral to student-life at NUI Galway and visitors to the information evening will also have the opportuntiy to learn about the scholarships and supports available to high performing athletes. The event will feature sports at NUI Galway, including a short panel discussion with players from Connacht Rugby and sports representatives from the University.   The event will also have representatives from across the University’s five Colleges available to answer questions about the programmes on offer, entry requirements, and placement and employment opportunities. Shannon College of Hotel Management, now a College of NUI Galway, will also be attending the event.   Sarah Geraghty, Student Recruitment and Outreach Manager at NUI Galway, said: “In recent months NUI Galway was announced as ranked in the Top 1% of universities worldwide and in recent days announced as the Sunday Times University of the Year for 2018. These top accolades are testament to the excellence in teaching and learning at NUI Galway, the focus on developing highly skilled and employable graduates and the overall the richness of the student experience. Our Information Evening in Ennis is an opportunity for students to take a closer look at the opportunities that await them at NUI Galway.”   -Ends-

Friday, 6 October 2017

Ainmníodh OÉ Gaillimh mar ‘Ollscoil na Bliana 2018’ sa Sunday Times University Guide, den tríú huair. Bhuaigh an Ollscoil an gradam mór le rá seo an chéad bhliain ar bronnadh é in 2002 agus arís in 2009. D’éirigh níos fearr le OÉ Gaillimh ná an 21 institiúid tríú leibhéal eile sa tír agus i measc na gcúiseanna ar bronnadh an gradam seo ar an ollscoil bhí an dea-cháil atá uirthi mar ionad barr feabhais i réimse na teicneolaíochta leighis, a sárchaighdeán sna dána agus sna heolaíochtaí, na rátaí maithe maidir le dul chun cinn chomh maith leis na hionchais fostaíochta is fearr as aon ollscoil eile in Éirinn. Dúirt Alastair McCall, Eagarthóir an Sunday Times Good University Guide: “Sna hocht mbliana ó bhuaigh OÉ Gaillimh duais Ollscoil na Bliana cheana tá forás déanta aige i dtéarmaí a cháil domhanda mar cheann de na suíomhanna foghlama is fearr atá le fáil. Tá cuid den lucht acadúil ar na daoine is mó a dtagraítear dóibh ar domhan agus cuimsíonn a cháil na dána agus na heolaíochtaí. Anuraidh thuill an ollscoil ioncam taighde sa bhreis ar €65m, fianaise ar an gceannródaíocht atá ar bun ag an lucht acadúil. “Ina theannta sin, baineann tábhacht ollmhór leis an ollscoil i dtéarmaí an gheilleagair réigiúnaigh, tá sé lárnach sa phobal mórthimpeall ag gach leibhéal. Spreagtar mic léinn na hollscoile chun obair dheonach a dhéanamh agus a bheith mar chuid den phobal úd seachas díreach a bheith ina dturasóirí oideachais i nGaillimh. Nuair a bheidh Gaillimh mar Phríomhchathair Chultúrtha na hEorpa sa bhliain 2020, beidh an ollscoil i gcroílár na féile; agus Ionad Uí Dhonnchadha don Drámaíocht, an Amharclannaíocht agus an Taibhléiriú mar ráiteas ceannasach ar thábhacht na ndán don ollscoil. “Is comhartha ómóis é bua na bliana seo chomh maith do cheannaireacht Uachtarán na hOllscoile, an Dr Jim Browne, a bheidh ag cur deireadh lena théarma deich mbliana in oifig go luath an bhliain seo chugainn. Fágann sé OÉ Gaillimh i staid an-láidir, réidh chun tuilleadh dul chun cinn a dhéanamh i ranguithe ollscoile domhanda agus náisiúnta, agus inniúil ar oideachas tríú leibhéal den scoth a chur ar fáil do mhic léinn sna blianta amach romhainn.” Ní ar chúrsaí na dtáblaí sraithe amháin atá an gradam bunaithe ach ar mheasúnú faoi 22 critéar ar ról na hollscoile ar leibhéal áitiúil, náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. “Táimid i dtiúin go láidir le riachtanais na tíre agus an réigiúin,” a deir an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh. Déanaimid iarracht ár gcláir a dhíriú ar thacaíocht a thabhairt d’uaillmhian ár gcuid mac léinn agus ar riachtanais ár ngeilleagair san fhadtréimhse. Déanaimid iarracht chomh maith cothromaíocht chuí a bhaint amach maidir le léann acadúil traidisiúnta agus foghlaim obair-bhunaithe. Tá sé mar sprioc againn go dtabharfaidh 80% dár mic léinn fochéime faoi fhoghlaim ó thaithí.” Anuas ar an méid sin, dúirt an Dr Browne: “Is iad na mic léinn agus na comhaltaí foirne atá againn croílár na hOllscoile seo agus tugann an gradam seo aitheantas dá gcruthaitheacht, dá nuálaíocht agus don obair chrua a dhéanann siad.  Níl aon teorainn leis an uaillmhian anseo agus táimse muiníneach go bhfuilimid ar an mbealach chun cáil níos mó fós a bhaint amach don institiúid seo agus don réigiún.” Ollscoil na Bliana sa Sunday Times Tá barr feabhais bainte amach ag an Ollscoil sna dána agus sna heolaíochtaí agus rinneadh infheistíocht shuntasach inti le déanaí. D’oscail Micheál D. Ó hUiginn, Uachtarán na hÉireann, Ionad Uí Dhonnchadha don Drámaíocht, an Amharclannaíocht agus an Taibhléiriú in Aibreán agus osclaíodh acadamh leighis chomh maith i nDún na nGall, ar thailte Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Leitir Ceanainn. Tá cáil ar an Ollscoil mar ionad barr feabhais i réimse na teicneolaíochta leighis, rud a bhí soiléir nuair a seoladh Cúram, an t-ionad taighde d'fheistí leighis de chuid Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann i Meán Fómhair 2016. Cuireann an t-ionad naisc chun cinn idir an lucht acadúil agus comhpháirtithe tionsclaíochta. Déanfaidh SFI agus cuideachtaí éagsúla eile infheistíocht €49m thar shé bliana, agus tiocfaidh maoiniú breise €19m ó chlár Dheiseanna Nua an AE, 2020. Tá dlúthbhaint chomh maith ag caighdeán na foirne acadúla in OÉ Gaillimh leis an rath atá ar an ollscoil, agus tá roinnt ollúna cosúil leis an Dr Henry Curran, an tOllamh Colin O’Dowd, an tOllamh Donal O’Regan agus an Dr Ronan Sulpice ainmnithe i measc na dtaighdeoirí is mó a ndéantar tagairt dóibh in anailís ar thaighde foilsithe ag an ngrúpa ilnáisiúnta Clarivite Analytics. Chuidigh tagairtí taighde leis an ollscoil dul chun cinn níos mó a dhéanamh sna ranguithe ollscoile idirnáisiúnta i mbliana. Thuill an lucht acadúil thart ar €89,000 an duine in ioncam taighde de réir an tsuirbhé is déanaí a rinneadh sa Good University Guide ar chumhacht an taighde. Is féidir le OÉ Gaillimh a mhaíomh go bhfuil na hionchais fostaíochta is fearr aige as ollscoileanna uile na poblachta agus ráta dífhostaíochta thar a bheith íseal i measc céimithe ag trí faoin gcéad. Tá ceann de na rátaí dul chun cinn is fearr ag baint leis an ollscoil seo chomh maith, agus críochnaíonn 88% de mhic léinn a gcláir staidéir. Ghlac sa bhreis ar 260 mac léinn páirt i gcúrsaí rochtana agus i mbonnchúrsaí in OÉ Gaillimh i mbliana, agus fuair 150 díbh sin tairiscint ar chlár.  San iomlán, tá os cionn 1,100 fochéimí faoi chúram na hoifige rochtana.  Tá oscailteacht OÉ Gaillimh do mhodhanna éagsúla teagaisc agus foghlama soiléir chomh maith ina chuid oibre leis an nGaeilge. Tá an ollscoil gar do Ghaeltacht Chonamara, an réigiún is mó sa tír ina bhfuil Gaeilge á labhairt ann agus mar sin déanann OÉ Gaillimh ceiliúradh agus cothú ar an nGaeilge ag cur ranganna ar fáil do thosaitheoirí agus do dhaoine le Gaeilge líofa mar aon le cláir a mhúintear trí mheán na Gaeilge. Feidhmíocht OÉ Gaillimh i Ranguithe Domhanda Is é OÉ Gaillimh an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a bhfuil dul chun cinn seasta déanta aige sna Ranguithe Ollscoile Domhanda is iomaíche. Tá dul chun cinn déanta ag an Ollscoil bliain i ndiaidh bliana i Ranguithe QS agus Times Higher Education, agus áirítear an Ollscoil anois ar cheann den 250 ollscoil is fearr sa dá rangú. Dar le QS, tá OÉ Gaillimh i measc an 1% is fearr d’ollscoileanna an domhain. Críoch

Friday, 6 October 2017

NUI Galway has been named 'University of the Year 2018' in the Sunday Times University Guide, securing the prestigious accolade for a third time, having won the inaugural title in 2002 and again in 2009. Outperforming 21 other third-level institutions, NUI Galway's strong reputation as a centre of excellence in relation to medical technology, its excellence across the arts and sciences, its impressive progression rates as well as having the best job prospects of any other Irish university were among the reasons for the award. Alastair McCall, Editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: “In the eight years since NUI Galway last won our University of the Year award it has continued to grow its global reputation as one of the great seats of learning. Some of its academics are among the most cited in the world and its reputation spans the arts and the sciences. The university brought in more than €65m of research income last year, evidence of the cutting edge at which many of the academics operate. "It is also pivotal to the regional economy, rooted in its community and playing an active role at all levels. Its students are encouraged to volunteer and be part of that community and not just come to Galway as educational tourists. When Galway is the European Capital of Culture in 2020, the university will be at its heart; the newly-opened O'Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance a bold statement of the importance of the arts to the university. "Its triumph in this year's University of the Year award is also a tribute to the leadership of University President, Dr Jim Browne, whose 10-year term of office ends early next year. He leaves NUI Galway in a position of great strength, ready to make further progress in world and national university rankings, and offering a distinctive third level education to future generations of students.” The award is not only based on league table position but on an assessment under 22 criteria on the university's role on a local, national and international level “We are very well attuned to the needs of the country and the region,” says Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway. “We try to orient our programmes to support the ambition of our students and the needs of our economy in the longer term. We also try to have an appropriate balance of traditional academic scholarship and work-based learning. We have a target that 80% of our undergraduate students would have experiential learning.” Dr Browne added:  “Our students and staff are the vital ingredient that make this University truly special and this award acknowledges their creativity, innovation and hard work.  The ambition here knows no bounds and I am confident that we are on a path for even greater renown for this institution and the region.” Sunday Times University of the Year Statement The University, which excels across the arts and sciences, has seen considerable recent investment. Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland, opened the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance in April and a medical academy has come on stream in Donegal, in the grounds of Letterkenny University Hospital. The University has a reputation as a centre of excellence in relation to medical technology, as evidenced by the launch in September 2016 of Cúram, Science Foundation Ireland's (SFI) centre for research in medical devices. The centre promotes links between academia and industry partners. The SFI and various companies will invest €49m over six years, with €19m more in funding coming from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. The quality of academic staff at NUI Galway is also crucial to the university’s success, with a number of professors such as Dr Henry Curran, Professor Colin O’Dowd, Professor Donal O’Regan and Dr Ronan Sulpice named among the world’s most highly cited researchers in an analysis of published research by multinational group Clarivite Analytics. Research citations have helped the university rise further up the international university rankings this year. Academics garnered around €89,000 per head in research income in the Good University Guide’s latest survey of research power. NUI Galway boasts the best job prospects of any university in the republic with an impressively low three per cent graduate unemployment rate, together with one of the best progression rates, which sees 88% of students complete their studies. More than 260 students took part in NUI Galway access and foundation courses this year, with 150 receiving an offer of entry. In total, the access programme office has 1,100-plus undergraduates on its books.  NUI Galway's openness to alternative means of teaching and learning is evident, too, in its work with the Irish language. The university is close to the Connemara Gaeltacht, the largest Irish-speaking area in the country and as such NUI Galway celebrates and promotes the Irish language offering classes from beginner to advanced level as well as programmes taught through the medium of Irish. NUI Galway Performance in World Rankings NUI Galway has been the only university in Ireland to rise consistently in the most competitive World University Rankings. Both the QS and Times Higher Education Rankings have placed the University in a higher position year-on-year, and the University is now counted among the Top 250 universities in both rankings. According to QS, NUI Galway is among the Top 1% of universities in the world.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

NUI Galway is to become custodian of the extensive archives of Conradh na Gaeilge, Ireland’s oldest Irish language organisation which celebrates its 125th anniversary next year. Conradh na Gaeilge has agreed to permanently deposit archival material spanning over a century of its existence, providing an unparalleled insight into linguistic, cultural, social and political aspects of Ireland’s past. At an event to formally announce the acquisition of the archive, Dr John Walsh, Senior Lecturer in Irish at NUI Galway, said: “This deposit marks a major expansion of the already extensive Irish language archival collections at NUI Galway and is highly significant for Irish language scholarship. The Conradh na Gaeilge archive allows researchers unprecedented access to primary sources about the development of Irish language policy over the past century. By studying Conradh na Gaeilge we can better understand contemporary European minority language movements which continue to have such resonance today.” The Conradh na Gaeilge archive includes previously unseen material and correspondence related to Conradh na Gaeilge figures throughout the organisation’s history such as Douglas Hyde, Patrick Pearse and Thomas Ashe. It also includes documents from Conradh na Gaeilge branches throughout Ireland, press cuttings and material related to various Irish language campaigns. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “This is a very significant milestone for both organisations. NUI Galway is honoured to work with Conradh na Gaeilge to become the custodian of this critically important archive, the significance of which extends well beyond the Irish language and encompasses social, cultural and historical dimensions of Ireland and our development as a nation. It is especially fitting that NUI Galway will host this archive, given our University’s strong commitment to the Irish language and our growing reputation as a centre for archival scholarship.” President of Conradh na Gaeilge, Dr Niall Comer said: “Although historians, academics and scholars have been interested in the Conradh na Gaeilge archive for many years, it was only with the passing of time that the value of the archive was understood fully. The person who spends time looking through the archive material will recognise immediately that it contains a remarkable insight into a decisive period in the country’s history. Now, with NUI Galway’s plan to catalogue and digitise the material, this jewel will be available widely.” The archive is to be housed in NUI Galway’s Special Collection Reading Room which boasts state of the art facilities for researchers. University Librarian, John Cox said: “We look forward to opening this archive for research and teaching once it has been catalogued. Our archives team will provide expert advice in its use and will connect users with the University’s extensive Irish language collections. These include manuscripts related to Douglas Hyde, the Bairéad collection of folklore sources, and papers related to leading Irish language figures of the twentieth century such as Pádraig Ó Mathúna, Proinsias Mac Aonghusa and Éamon de Buitléar.” Under the agreement with Conradh na Gaeilge, NUI Galway will employ an archivist to catalogue the collection and to digitise part of it. In order to ensure maximum use, the University will promote the collection among students and researchers at home and abroad. An Interest Group of experts, internal and external to NUI Galway, will also be established to ensure the active development of the archive. As part of Conradh na Gaeilge’s 125th anniversary, an academic event will be held in the University in 2018 when part of the material has been catalogued. ENDS 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Beidh OÉ Gaillimh ag feidhmiú mar choimeádaí ar chartlanna fairsinge Chonradh na Gaeilge, an eagraíocht Ghaeilge is ársa in Éirinn a bheidh ag ceiliúradh 125 bliain ar an bhfód an bhliain seo chugainn. Tá sé aontaithe ag Conradh na Gaeilge ábhar cartlainne a bhaineann le tréimhse os cionn céad bliain a chur i dtaisce go buan san Ollscoil, rud a thabharfaidh léargas dosháraithe ar ghnéithe teangeolaíocha, cultúrtha, sóisialta agus polaitiúla a bhaineann leis an am a caitheadh in Éirinn. English version available hereAg an ócáid ina ndearnadh sealbhú na cartlainne a fhógairt go foirmiúil, dúirt an Dr John Walsh, Léachtóir Sinsearach le Gaeilge in OÉ Gaillimh: “Cuireann an taisce seo go mór leis na bailiúcháin fhairsinge Ghaeilge atá ag OÉ Gaillimh cheana féin agus tá sé thar a bheith tábhachtach do léann na Gaeilge. Tugann cartlann an Chonartha rochtain nach raibh ar fáil cheana do thaighdeoirí ar fhoinsí príomhúla maidir le forbairt an bheartais teanga i leith na Gaeilge le breis agus céad bliain anuas. Trí staidéar a dhéanamh ar bhailiúchán Chonradh na Gaeilge is féidir linn teacht ar thuiscint níos fearr ar ghluaiseachtaí mionteanga na hEorpa a mbaineann an oiread sin tábhachta leo fós sa lá atá inniu ann.” Tá ábhar agus comhfhreagras i gcartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge nach bhfacthas cheana a bhaineann le daoine a raibh baint acu le Conradh na Gaeilge le linn stair na heagraíochta cosúil le Dubhghlas de hÍde, Pádraig Mac Piarais agus Tomás Ághas. Tá cáipéisí ann chomh maith ó chraobhacha Chonradh na Gaeilge ar fud na hÉireann, gearrthóga nuachtáin agus ábhar a bhain le feachtais Ghaeilge éagsúla. Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Is cor cinniúnach é seo don dá eagraíocht. Is onóir é do OÉ Gaillimh oibriú le Conradh na Gaeilge agus a bheith ina choimeádaí ar an gcartlann thar a bheith tábhachtach seo. Tá tábhacht i bhfad níos leithne ag baint leis an gcartlann ná an Ghaeilge féin mar go gcuimsíonn sí gnéithe sóisialta, cultúrtha agus stairiúla na hÉireann agus an fhorbairt atá déanta againn mar náisiún. Tá sé thar a bheith fóirsteanach gur in OÉ Gaillimh a bheidh an chartlann seo coinnithe, i bhfianaise thiomantas láidir na hOllscoile i leith na Gaeilge agus an cháil atá orainn mar ionad do léann na cartlannaíochta.” Dúirt Uachtarán Chonradh na Gaeilge, an Dr Niall Comer: “In ainneoin go bhfuil staraithe, an lucht acadúil agus scoláirí ag cur spéise i gcartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge le blianta fada anuas, níorbh é go dtí le himeacht cheart aimsire gur tuigeadh go hiomlán an luach a bhí leis an gcartlann chéanna. Don té a chaitheann am ag breathnú trí ábhar na cartlainne, aithneoidh sé nó sí láithreach go bhfuil insint faoi leith ann ar thréimhse chinniúnach i stair na tíre seo. Anois, leis na pleananna atá ag Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh maidir le catalógú agus digitiú an ábhair, beidh an tseoid seo ar fáil go forleathan.” Coimeádfar an chartlann i Seomra Léitheoireachta na mBailiúchán Speisialta in OÉ Gaillimh áit a bhfuil scoth na n-áiseanna do thaighdeoirí. Dúirt Leabharlannaí na hOllscoile, John Cox: “Táimid ag tnúth go mór an chartlann seo a oscailt do chuspóirí taighde agus teagaisc nuair a bheidh catalógú déanta uirthi. Cuirfidh ár bhfoireann cartlainne sainchomhairle ar fáil in úsáid na cartlainne agus gheobhaidh úsáideoirí eolas ar bhailiúcháin fhairsinge Ghaeilge na hOllscoile. Áirítear orthu seo lámhscríbhinní a bhaineann le Dubhghlas de hÍde, bailiúchán Bhairéad d’fhoinsí béaloidis, agus páipéir a bhaineann le daoine mór le rá ón bhfichiú haois cosúil le Pádraig Ó Mathúna, Proinsias Mac Aonghusa agus Éamon de Buitléar.” Faoin gcomhaontú le Conradh na Gaeilge, fostóidh OÉ Gaillimh cartlannaí chun catalógú a dhéanamh ar an mbailiúchán agus chun cuid de a dhigitiú. D’fhonn a chinntiú go mbainfear an úsáid is fearr as an gcartlann, cuirfidh an Ollscoil an bailiúchán chun tosaigh i measc mac léinn agus taighdeoirí sa bhaile agus thar lear. Ina theannta sin, bunófar Grúpa Sainleasa de shaineolaithe, inmheánach agus seachtrach do OÉ Gaillimh, chun forbairt ghníomhach na cartlainne a chinntiú. Mar chuid de cheiliúradh 125 bliain Chonradh na Gaeilge, reáchtálfar ócáid acadúil san Ollscoil in 2018 nuair a bheidh catalógú déanta ar chuid den ábhar. CRÍOCH

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Following a hugely successful pilot of its Teachers in Residence Programme, CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, is now enrolling for the second year of the programme with applications being accepted up to 11 October, 2017. The Teachers in Residence programme supports both primary and secondary school teachers in science education and promotes equal opportunities in science for all students in the classroom. The programme has ten places available annually, for five primary and five secondary school teachers, with priority placement given to teachers from DEIS schools. The residency runs for ten evenings over six months from October to March. Teachers work directly with researchers  to develop content for the classroom, while learning about the medical device research being carried out at CÚRAM that will improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses like Parkinson’s and heart disease. Scientific Director of CÚRAM Professor Abhay Pandit said: “We were really impressed with the level of dedication and creativity shown by the primary and secondary teachers in the pilot year of the programme. We now have a suite of excellent resources developed for both primary and secondary school classrooms which will be built on year by year by these teachers, who are the real experts when it comes to engaging the next generation of scientists and engineers. Our goal is to provide inspiration for teachers by providing access to current, cutting edge research happening here in Ireland and working with them to incorporate it into classroom activities. If we can inspire and excite the teachers, our hope is it passes onto their students for years to come.” During the residency, teachers are introduced and linked to the range of educational resources provided by Science Foundation Ireland and to the ReelLife Science video competition for primary and secondary schools. A guest speaker will lead a discussion around encouraging equal opportunities in STEM careers for both boys and girls, and teachers will be invited with their classes to attend educational workshops run by CÚRAM during the Galway Science and Technology Festival in November 2017. Lesson plans and classroom activities developed during the pilot programme will be made available online at the end of October and participants in this year’s programme will evaluate and develop these further. The resources developed through the programme constitute a ‘learning module’ about CÚRAM and MedTech in Ireland that links with multiple streams and themes in the primary and junior cycle curricula. -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Researchers from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway have developed the world’s first verified identification guide and symptoms checklist for General Practitioners and the public on how to treat bites from the False Widow spider. The study was recently published in two separate research papers in international journals, one in the journal, Biology and Environment, which showed that the False Widow spider (Steatoda nobilis) is taking over Ireland and is an invasive species with a detrimental effect on native species. This study also featured on the journals front cover. The second journal, Clinical Toxicology showed five reported cases of False Widow bites in the UK and Ireland that have provided the world’s first verified identification guide on how to treat bites from this spider.   Led by Dr Michel Dugon, the research team based at the Venom Systems and Proteomics laboratory in NUI Galway made the discovery while investigating the potential of local bugs that included the venom from the False Widow spider, as a source of novel therapeutics to develop medication to treat illnesses ranging from bacterial infection to cancer. This is the only laboratory in the world currently working on extracting venom from The False Widow spider for potential therapies. This particular species of spider is having a detrimental effect on other local species and spiders in Ireland due to their competitiveness and fast breeding nature. The False Widow lives for five to seven years whereas most other spider and bug species in Ireland only lives for a maximum of one year. In Ireland False Widow spiders live close to buildings and houses inhabited by people, they only survive in cities and not in rural areas. Dublin, Cork and Wexford have the highest number of False Widows to date. Dr Michel Dugon, lead author of the study from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, said: “While it is extremely unlikely that a bite will ever be fatal, we do need to consider bites from False Widows as a potential health risk given the increase of this species not just in the UK and Ireland but also mainland Europe and the US. We hope that our study will help to address some of the public’s concerns about these spiders and will provide healthcare professionals with the information required to accurately diagnose and report bites associated with the False Widow.” The False widow spider arrived in the UK about 100 years ago and has steadily invaded Ireland over the past 20 years through human transport of goods, a by-product of globalisation. The first true case of a False Widow spider bite was identified in the UK in the 1990’s and in Chile last year. There has since been five additional reported cases, three in Ireland and two in the UK, leading to the NUI Galway study being the most intensive research carried out on this species to date. Bites from a False Widow spider are not fatal with identified symptoms resulting in a large swelling within three minutes of being bitten, sometimes followed by the formation of a dry necrotic wound when the swelling subside, and inflammation for a few days afterwards. The venom from a False Widow spider is a lot more powerful than the researchers expected, producing about one tenth of a millionth of a litre of venom. This study was funded by the Irish Research Council. -Ends- https://youtu.be/3YEaGnl4Mlg

Monday, 2 October 2017

More than 90 recruiting companies from a wide range of sectors will bring a potential 4,500 graduate jobs to the NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair in the Bailey Allen Hall, on Tuesday, 3 October from 12.30 - 4pm. The fair will open at 12pm exclusively for students with disabilities, providing them with a more comfortable environment to meet with employers This annual event, coordinated by the Career Development Centre in NUI Galway,   showcases graduate employment opportunities for students and graduates from all disciplines, with a diverse number of fields such as accountancy, IT, law, science, retail, civil and public sectors, consultancy and many others. Visitors to the event are invited to spend the afternoon networking with leading graduate recruiters. Major local employers such as Medtronic, SAP, Enterprise Ireland and Smyths will attend, in addition to international companies including Abbott, Siteminder, Smartbear, SITA Inc., Workday and Accenture. Josephine Walsh, Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre, said: “This year’s Graduate Jobs Fair is our biggest one yet with national and international employers looking to recruit NUI Galway graduates across all academic disciplines. This is an ideal opportunity to meet with employers who are targeting NUI Galway students and graduates and to find out more about the jobs available and the skills employers are looking for.” Josephine also has some advice for those attending the Graduate Jobs Fair: “Don’t forget your main objective on the day is to secure your first graduate job. Many graduate employers now recruit graduates from all academic disciplines so don’t be misled by an organisation’s name as they may have the perfect graduate opportunity for you. Prepare for your visit by downloading the Careers Fair Plus App which is new this year. This will help you research the companies you are interested in and the type of opportunities they have available. The App also has hints and tips on how to make a good impression and prepare your career pitch. Be confident, positive, enthusiastic and dress appropriately. Arrive with a ‘can do’ attitude and be prepared to network!” Details on participating exhibitors is available from www.nuigalway.ie/careers -Ends-  

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

New offerings include Music, Film & Digital Studies, Arts & Technology, International and Global Languages NUI Galway this week launched seven new Arts degrees for enrolment in 2018. The new offerings respond to feedback from students, industry and employers and further expands the specialised Arts study options at NUI Galway. The programmes have a strong skills development focus and are preparing students to work in high growth industries, with an emphasis on placements, employability and provide students with an important balance of expertise in a particular field combined with a foundation in the broad study of Arts and Humanities.   With Galway the designated European Capital of Culture for 2020, Galway city is fast becoming a global creative capital. According to Professor Cathal O'Donoghue, Dean of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway: “With this comes tremendous opportunities for careers in the creative industries ranging from careers in drama, film and theatre and emerging areas such as creative production and arts entrepreneurship. Four of the new Arts programmes being launched by NUI Galway are preparing students for such careers.” The BA (Music) is a much anticipated new programme. The four year degree is the study of Music along with another Arts subject. The BA (Music) will give students a deep immersion in the study of music history, traditional Irish music, vocal and choral skills, composition, keyboard skills, music technology and music management. A distinctive characteristic of the degree is the opportunity to collaborate with other students in the creative arts at NUI Galway (in film, drama and related areas) and to study in a true cultural campus. The BA (Film and Digital Media) offers students a unique combination of theory and practice across the areas of film and digital media, providing them with practical skills in filmmaking, screenwriting, and digital development and design. The programme, which includes internships with media and arts organisations and supervised research and creative projects, will position graduates for a wide range of roles in the creative industries, including film and television production, digital content creation, cultural administration, screenwriting and digital marketing. The focus of the BA (Digital Arts and Technology) is on digital technology applications in the creative arts. With extensive integration of arts and humanities with information technology and data science, students will graduate with a much sought after combination of creativity, analytic skills and advanced digital literacy. The new BA (English and Media) includes the theoretical study of media in critical and historical perspective and equip students with transferable communications and critical thinking skills that will prepare them for future success in the labour market. Professor O’Donoghue added: “The expected fallout of the exit of UK from the EU increases the need for Arts graduates to develop a global outlook and gain international experience during their studies and early in their career. The value that employers place on these graduate attributes has informed two of the new offerings.” The BA (International) is aimed at students interested in studying Arts and gaining international experience (either studies abroad or overseas work placement) as part of their degree with opportunities in year three to be based in South America, North America and beyond.  The BA (Global Languages) is a highly flexible languages degree to prepare students for careers in areas such as linguistics, translation, media, teaching, Finally, the new BA (Arts with Data Science) allows students to study and arts subject in parallel with maths, IT and data science modules, qualifying graduates for roles in applying data analytics techniques to solve global real-world human problems. The NUI Galway undergraduate Open Days are taking place on the 6 and 7 October, 2017. ENDS

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The 30% Club, a global group of company Chairs and CEOs committed to achieving better gender balance in business, held its first event in Galway on Monday, 25 September in partnership with NUI Galway and KPMG. The event, which was hosted in NUI Galway, focused on the theme of ‘Growth through Diversity’ and had an attendance of over 140 business leaders, academics and MBA students from across Galway and the wider Connacht region. Guests were welcomed by President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne and heard insightful contributions from speakers including;  Deirdre McLoughlin, Leadership and Resilience Coach and accredited Psychotherapist: Margaret Sweeney, Non-Executive Director, Dalata Hotel Group Plc and Galway University Foundation; Tony Neary, Vice President and General Manager, Medtronic; Brid Horan, Steering Committee member of 30% Club in Ireland; Martin Hughes, Executive MBA Programme Director, NUI Galway; and Professor Anne Scott, Vice-President for Equality and Diversity, NUI Galway. The key message for attendees was how better diversity leverages better decision making and performance in all types of organisations, regardless of size or sector. Attendees were challenged to kick-start their diversity journey to ensure that their processes are not only fair and equal, but encourage a balance that makes business sense and will encourage future growth and development. The event also formally recognised the first winner of the NUI Galway and 30% Club scholarship programme for an executive MBA at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, which aims to advance female leadership and executive representation in organisations. The scholarship, valued at over €13,000, was won by Galway businesswoman, Sandra Divilly. Speaking at the event, Vice President for Equality and Diversity at NUI Galway, Professor Anne Scott said: “I am delighted to see the interest in the topics of equality, diversity and inclusion both within NUI Galway and in our local business community. We are really delighted to welcome so many leaders from both the private and public sector to our event today. It is an excellent opportunity for the wider community in the West of Ireland to link with us in NUI Galway in order to share our various journeys, learn from and spread learnings and good practice in this important area.” Professor Scott added: “The recent publication of our first Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Annual report highlights NUI Galway’s commitment to openness and transparency in tackling issues relating to equality and diversity. Cultural change in this area will take time, but as we implement our initiatives and continue to seek feedback from external experts in this area, we look forward to seeing the impact and improved inclusivity throughout the University.” Outlining the importance of the event, 30% Club Steering Committee member, Brid Horan, added: “The 30% Club is delighted to join with KPMG and NUI Galway in highlighting the value and importance of improving gender balance at all levels of leadership and particularly welcome the strong interest shown by attendees from leading businesses in the west of Ireland.” Darina Barrett, Partner, KPMG and 30% Club Steering Committee member, concluded “KPMG is a founding member of the 30% Club in Ireland and we are delighted to be supporting this event in partnership with NUI Galway. We firmly believe that diversity contributes to better all-round business performance and it’s vital that inclusivity is at the top of the agenda for business leaders across Ireland.” -Ends-

Monday, 25 September 2017

NUI Galway study looks to understand how Twitter is shaping the new political landscape New research from NUI Galway explores the ‘realities’ contained within the tweets of several American presidential nominees from three of the main political parties in the United States: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Jill Stein in the months leading up to Election Day on 8 November 2016. The research, which has been published by the International Conference on Information Systems (2017) in Seoul, South Korea, is one of the first studies to use a magical realism perspective to examine the manner with which several main 2016 US presidential election candidates used Twitter as a tool for strategic storytelling and creating specific narratives for their electorate. Magic realism is a literary style used by writers to portray irony, surreal fantasy and hyperbole within their narratives in a realistic way. Consequently, the reader’s ability to distinguish between fiction and reality becomes blurred. Magical realism has appeared in print with increasing frequency over the last few decades, appearing in a vast number of television advertisements and in the popular press. The results show that Twitter served as an effective power knowledge transfer medium for the several presidential nominees by enabling them to create political narratives which were underpinned by specific magical realism techniques. Dr Trevor Clohessy, lead author of the study and post-doctoral researcher from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: “Political actors are now eager to catch Twitter users’ attention, because they not only produce word-of-mouth effects but influence other online users’ informational choices. In this sense, Twitter users are not just passive information recipients. Rather, they are conceived as power shareholders who control information flow through their interaction with mainstream media. “Existing research suggests that users’ experiences of the credibility of a social medial platform affect their perceptions pertaining to the quality of the message being conveyed. Given the brevity and the ambiguous nature of information contained within a 140 limit tweet, users often have to rely on the credibility of the Twitter platform to interpret the extent of the credibility of the tweets being pushed out by the individuals they are following.” Dr Clohessy added: “The recent emergence of the fake news concept has threatened to negatively impact social media platforms such as Twitter’s credibility as a valid source of information. This is concerning given the power a single political tweet can wield. For instance, when Donald Trump tweeted in January 2017 that Toyota would face a ‘big border tax’ if the company went ahead with plans for a new plant in Mexico, Toyota’s shares subsequently plummeted resulting in a loss of $1.2 billion in a mere five minutes following the posting of the tweet. “As a final reflection, Twitter was a novelty in American politics in 2009, a necessity in 2012 and predicted as a medium for facilitating a more progressive and inclusive politics for the 2016 Presidential campaign. However, our findings demonstrate that in the six months prior to the 2016 US Election Day, Twitter was used as a powerful tool to deliver messages which were underpinned by magical realism elements aimed at eliciting partisan animosity and widespread popularisation. It is interesting to note that Donald Trump tweeted just 1,904 times when compared to Hilary Clinton’s 2,906 and Dr Stein’s 2,604 tweets. Whilst both other candidates may have been more active on Twitter, the divisive, incendiary and almost unfiltered nature of Donald Trump’s tweets were more successful in generating global media news coverage. The following questions then arise: What role will Twitter play in the 2020 Presidential campaign and in more immediate election cycles? Will the 2016 Presidential election serve as a blueprint for future politicians on how to use Twitter to engage the emotions and the attentions of the electorate?” To read the full study, visit: http://novoverse.nuigalway.ie/new-research/ -Ends-

Monday, 25 September 2017

NUI Galway will bring International Scholars, Artists and Non-Profit Organisations (NGOs) to discuss the culture of migration in contemporary Ireland at the upcoming symposium ‘My Story, My Words – Language and Migration’ on Friday, 29 September. The one-day symposium is part of the collaboration between the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at NUI Galway and the Immigrant Council of Ireland, on a research project concerning the language experience of migrants in Ireland. In the 2016 Irish census, more than 600,000 people reported speaking a language other than English or Irish at home; this research looks at language as a key to intercultural communication in an increasingly multicultural country. The project is financed by the Irish Research Council under the New Foundations Scheme. During the event, scholars from across Europe will bring a European perspective on language learning and language policy in multicultural societies. The staff of the Immigrant Council of Ireland will talk about their work promoting diversity in Ireland, while Irish-based artists from all over the world will perform and talk about the challenges and possibilities of making Ireland a home for their art. This includes theatre companies OT Platform - Polish Theatre Ireland, visual artist Marta Golubowska, poets Christodoulos Makris, Nita Mishra, Nithy Kasa, Ozgecan Kesici and Fiona Bolger, and film director Jijo Sebastian. Their talks and performances will show a glimpse of the innovative contribution that artists from different backgrounds are making to Irish culture and society. The day concludes with the annual Máirtín Ó Briain Lecture given by Professor Patrick Stevenson of the University of Southampton. The annual lecture is organised to commemorate the Irish scholar Máirtín Ó Briain. This year Professor Stevenson will speak about ‘Language and Migration in a Multilingual Metropolis.’ The event is open to the public and a full schedule for the day is available on the project website at https://mystorynuig.wordpress.com/symposium-2/ For further information contact: Andrea Ciribuco at andrea.ciribuco@nuigalway.ie or Anne O’Connor at anne.oconnor@nuigalway.ie    -Ends-

Friday, 29 September 2017

NUI Galway Professor discusses life on Earth, alien existence, and the vast Universe in his new book ‘Life through Time and Space’ Wallace Arthur, an NUI Galway Emeritus Professor of Zoology and Visiting Scientist at the Kielder Observatory in Northumberland, will launch his new book, Life through Time and Space next Tuesday, 3 October. Life through Time and Space brings together the latest discoveries in both biology and astronomy to examine our deepest questions about where we came from, where we are going, and whether we are alone in the cosmos. It also considers if intelligent aliens exist on a distant planet in the Milky Way, having similar evolutionary and developmental origins to life on Earth. In addressing this issue, Life through Time and Space tackles the many riddles of our place and fate in the universe that have intrigued human beings since they first gazed in wonder at the night time sky. A distinctive voice in the growing field of astrobiology, Professor Wallace Arthur combines embryological, evolutionary, and cosmological perspec­tives to tell the story of life on Earth and its potential to exist else­where in the universe. In this novel combination of biology and astronomy, Arthur provides detailed insights into the evolution of higher forms of life and the development of brains and intelligence. Speaking about his new book, Professor Wallace Arthur said:“This is a fascinating time to be alive. Our past speculations about the existence of planets and life beyond our own solar system are fast being replaced by facts, many of which are described in this book. Three years ago we found the first near-twin to Earth. We don’t yet know if it has life, but we have begun to analyse exoplanet atmospheres, and this may yield the evidence we seek. If life is indeed found soon, as seems likely, it will be one of the most significant discoveries in the history of humanity.” Along the way, readers can learn about the evolution of life from a primordial soup of organic molecules to complex plants and animals, about Earth’s geological transformation from barren rock to diverse ecosystems, and about human development from embryo to infant to adult. Professor Arthur looks closely at the history of mass extinctions and the prospects for humanity’s future on our precious planet. -Ends-

Friday, 29 September 2017

Best to Forget? Conflict, Memory, and Memoir-Writing by Irish Emigrants to the United States, c1870-c1950 The distinguished American historian Kerby A. Miller will hold a public lecture on Tuesday, 3 October in the Moore Institute at 4pm on the writing of memoirs by Irish migrants to America. Miller presents the results of his investigation into 30 different memoirs by Irish men and women from the later nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth. His talk discusses how memoirists addressed the ambiguities and conflicts in the Irish immigrant experience. He asks whether their narratives expressed a novel “American” individualism or conformed to traditional ethno-religious expectations. How did factors such as social class, religious culture, gender, and language shape their narratives? How did the weave their way between competing value systems? Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute, at NUI Galway said: “The vivid experience of Irish men and women who made their way to the New World is nowhere more apparent than in their own words. Kerby Miller, one of the most prominent historians of Irish America, brings his remarkable scholarship to the study of these little-known narratives.” Kerby Miller is Curators’ Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Missouri. His book Emigrants and Exiles: Ireland and the Irish Exodus to North America (1985) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His other books include Irish Immigrants in the Land of Canaan (2003), and Ireland and Irish America: Culture, Class, and Transatlantic Migration (2008), and Catholics and Protestants in Eighteenth-Century Ireland: The Irish Religious Censuses of the 1760s (forthcoming). -Ends-

Thursday, 28 September 2017

NUI Galway has this week announced the appointment of Natalie Walsh as Executive Director of Blackstone LaunchPad. Blackstone LaunchPad is a campus-based experiential entrepreneurship program open to students, alumni, staff and faculty; offering coaching, ideation and venture creation support. Blackstone LaunchPad is modelled on a successful program that originated at the University of Miami and was further expanded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “Blackstone LaunchPad is an integral part of the vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem here at NUI Galway. Natalie has been instrumental in its success to date, which has seen the LaunchPad work with over 3,500 individual members of the NUI Galway community.  In her new role as Executive Director, Natalie will undoubtedly increase the positive impact the Launchpad has on entrepreneurial activities and ideation on campus.” Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, said: “We are thrilled to have Natalie assume this leadership role with Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway. We are grateful for her contributions to our growing global network to date and look forward to seeing Blackstone LaunchPad’s continued success at the University as Natalie takes the helm.” Prior to taking up the role of Executive Director of Blackstone LaunchPad, Natalie has worked as the Programme Manager of this initiative in addition to being the administrative lead on the original proposal which saw Blackstone LaunchPad choose NUI Galway as its first international site outside of the US. Natalie brings a decade of experience working in the technology and software space in addition to over 10 years’ experience working in senior roles at NUI Galway including leading the EU Horizon 2020 funding team which was announced as the highest performing Higher Education Institute in Ireland for the programme in 2015. She has worked across the public and private sectors as a mentor, program developer and lecturer. In 2016, Natalie was a finalist in the WMB Boots Empowering Women Awards.  Last week saw the announcement of the 2017 finalists and her work within the Blackstone LaunchPad programme has again been acknowledged for empowering female students on campus through a variety of supports and initiatives. The award ceremony will take place in the Shelbourne Hotel on the 2 October. A graduate of NUI Galway, with a Masters in Strategy, Innovation and People Management and a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours Degree), Natalie is also studying for a PhD in Entrepreneurship at Trinity College Dublin. Blackstone LaunchPad is co-funded by the Galway University Foundation and Blackstone Charitable Foundation. Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway: http://www.nuigalway.ie/blackstonelaunchpad/ -Ends-

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Elizabeth Reapy, author and former student of NUI Galway, has won the €10,000 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature 2017 for her debut novel Red Dirt. Red Dirt was published in June 2016 by Head of Zeus. The story takes place in Australia, telling the tales of three young Irish migrants escaping the collapsing economy at home. Surrounded by cheap drink and drugs, they make dangerous and impulsive choices—finding themselves in unfathomable situations. Elizabeth Reapy, from Claremorris, Co Mayo, has a BA in English literature and history from NUI Galway, a diploma in education from University College Cork and an MA in creative writing from Queen’s University Belfast.  The €10,000 prize is awarded for a body of work by a young Irish writer that shows exceptional promise. The event this year, while awarding Elizabeth, also paid tribute to its benefactors, Dan and Patricia Rooney. Dan, a former US ambassador to Ireland, died this year. Literary agent Jonathan Williams, Chair of the Selection Committee for the award, said: “Red Dirt is timely in its subject matter – the migration of Ireland’s young generation - inventively narrated in three voices, and displays a sure-footed mastery of the novel form.”  The novel also won the Newcomer of the Year at the 2016 Irish Book Awards. The Irish Times review said: “Red Dirt takes the modern Irish immigrant experience and turns it into a thought-provoking, vibrant novel that grips the reader from the start.”  -Ends- 

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Dr Manus Biggs, Investigator at CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices based at NUI Galway, has just published two separate research papers in top tier international journals, one in the Nature journal Nature Biomedical Engineering and another in the prestigious materials journal, Advanced Materials. Both research papers by Dr Biggs describe advances made in the fields of biomaterials and engineered bioreactor systems to direct the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), in the laboratory. Advances in stem cells, gene therapy, biomaterials, medical device technology, growth and differentiation factors, as well as biomimetic environments have created unique opportunities to fabricate tissues in the laboratory from combinations of engineered extracellular matrices (scaffolds), cells, and biologically relevant stimulation or cues. In the study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, the researchers from NUI Galway and University of Glasgow describe how they have used measurement technology, based on the sophisticated laser interferometer systems built for gravitational wave detection of astrophysical objects, to grow three-dimensional samples of mineralised bone in the laboratory for the first time. These 3D living bone grafts, when implanted into patients in the future, will be able to repair or replace damaged sections of bone. Mesenchymal stem cells, which are naturally produced by the human body in bone marrow, have the potential to differentiate into a range of specialised cell types such as bone, cartilage, ligament, tendon and muscle. Using patients’ own mesenchymal cells means surgeons will be able to prevent the problem of rejection, and can bridge larger gaps in bone. Dr Biggs describes his research into the stimulation of bone formation from stem cells using a nanovibrational bioreactor. This study, conducted in conjunction with Professor Matt Dalby, at the University of Glasgow, was focused on identifying the roles of high-frequency, low-amplitude mechanical stimulation in inducing mesenchymal stem cells to differentiate into bone cells (the process by which a cell becomes specialised in order to perform a specific function, as in the case of a bone cell). “After blood, bone is the most transplanted tissue used in patients in the form of bone graft. Autologous graft (bone grafts taken from the patient’s own body and commonly employed for the treatments of bone cancer, trauma or infection) is in short supply and can be associated with pain and donor site morbidity. Tissue engineered bone-like graft would help meet this clinical demand as well as provide researchers with a potential tissue model for drug screening”, Dr Manus Biggs explains.  Dr Biggs research showed for the first time, that high-frequency vibrations of nanoscale amplitude alone can be used to differentiate patient derived stem cells, to form mineralised tissue in 3D. To achieve this, Professor Dalby designed and developed a totally new genre of vibrational bioreactor (a bench-top cell conditioner, which constantly vibrates lab-grown cells). Using this bioreactor, Dr Biggs and the team from the University of Glasgow demonstrated that vibrations which produce tiny nanoscale deformations (1 millionth of a millimetre), to stem cells encapsulated in a collagen gel - a process termed “Nanokicking”  can induce these stem cells to become bone-like cells without any further conditioning. By doing this they have provided a scalable pathway to control the differentiation of stem cells to bone cells for the generation of lab-grown bone tissue. In his second study published in Advanced Materials, Dr Biggs and his team collaborated with Professor Shalom Wind at Columbia University. Speaking about the study, Dr Biggs said: “Pervious studies indicate that stem cells can be easily persuaded to become bone-like cells when grown on a material which physically and chemically resembles bone tissue. In particular, substrates posessing a rigidity similar to that of bone have been shown to be favourable in inducing stem-cells to become bone cells in the lab. Although tissues can easlily be classified as rigid (bone tissue) or easily deformable (brain tissue), microscopically, tissues are comprised of a variety of micron and nanoscale elements (such as fibres, cells, crystals) with widely differing rigidity. In this way an individual cell carrying out its work in a specific tissue is subjected to many kinds of small structures, some of these small features are rigid, like the mineral deposits found in bone, while some of these features are very elastic such as neighbouring cells.” Dr Biggs and his team investigated whether a fine beam of electrons could be used to alter the rigidity at discrete regions on a soft polymer, thereby enabling the development of a new class of 2D materials possessing patterned features of increased rigidity, ranging from the micron to the nanoscale level. Electron-beam patterning allows for the fabrication of devices with nanoscale features, and has been used extensively in the microelectronics industry for the production of integrated circuits or microchips. In this work, the team showed for the first time that a beam of electrons can significantly alter the rigidity of an elastic polymer. The team then went on to investigate the response of human mesenchymal stem cells when grown on electron-beam patterned polymers, which posessed millions of ordered dots of increased rigidity. Interestingly it was observed that cells were able to perceive the tiny ‘rigid’ features beneath them and responded by changing their function – becomning more bone and cartillage like when grown in the lab. Commenting on Dr Biggs success, Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway, said: “This work will establish the groundwork for a new generation of biomimetic materials. Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine is a key area of research at CÚRAM with a goal of finding solutions to chronic health problems and addressing unmet medical need and the use of these technologies to develop clinically translatable reparative and regenerative approaches to chronic illnesses is a major goal.” To read the Advanced Materials paper in full, visit: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.201702119/full To read the Nature Biomedical Engineering paper in full, visit: http://rdcu.be/vMwt -Ends-

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Áirítear i measc na roghanna nua seo: Ceol, Scannán & Staidéar Digiteach, na Dána & Teicneolaíocht, Teangacha Idirnáisiúnta agus Domhanda D’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh, an tseachtain seo, seacht gcéim nua sna Dána a bheidh ar fáil in 2018. Is toradh iad na cláir nua seo ar aiseolas a fuarthas ó mhic léinn, ó earnáil na tionsclaíochta agus ó fhostóirí agus cuirfidh siad go mór leis an rogha leathan de shainchláir sna Dána atá ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh. Díríonn na cláir seo go láidir ar scileanna ar leith a fhorbairt agus ar mhic léinn a ullmhú chun obair a aimsiú i dtionscail a bhfuil borradh mór fúthu, le béim ar shocrúchán oibre, infhostaitheacht agus cothromaíocht thábhachtach idir shaineolas i réimse faoi leith agus bhuneolas ar an staidéar leathan a bhaineann leis na Dána agus na Daonnachtaí a sholáthar do mhic léinn.   Agus Gaillimh ainmnithe mar Phríomhchathair Chultúir na hEorpa don bhliain 2020, is príomhchathair dhomhanda chruthaitheach í cathair na Gaillimhe. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Cathal O'Donoghue, Déan Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh in OÉ Gaillimh: “Leis seo cuirtear deiseanna gairme as cuimse ar fáil sna tionscail chruthaitheacha, lena n-áirítear gairmeacha sa drámaíocht, scannánaíocht agus amharclannaíocht chomh maith le réimsí nua eile lena n-áirítear léiriúchán cruthaitheach agus fiontraíocht a bhaineann leis na healaíona. Cuirfidh ceithre cinn de na cláir nua sna Dána a d’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh oiliúint ar mhic léinn chun gairmeacha beatha a bhaint amach sna réimsí seo.” Clár nua a bhfuiltear ag súil go mór leis is ea an BA (Ceol). Sa chlár céime ceithre bliana seo, déanfar staidéar ar an gCeol in éineacht le hábhar eile sna Dána. Tabharfaidh an BA (Ceol) léargas domhain do mhic léinn ar stair an cheoil, ceol traidisiúnta na hÉireann, scileanna gutha agus córúla, cumadóireacht, scileanna méarchláir, teicneolaíocht an cheoil agus bainistíocht ceoil. Ar cheann de shaintréithe na céime seo tabharfar deis do mhic léinn comhoibriú le mic léinn eile sna healaíona cruthaitheacha in OÉ Gaillimh (i réimse na scannánaíochta, drámaíochta agus réimsí gaolmhara eile) agus staidéar a dhéanamh ar champas fíorchultúrtha. Beidh deis ag mic léinn an BA (Scannán agus na Meáin Dhigiteacha) meascán faoi leith a fháil de theoiric agus de chleachtadh i réimsí a bhaineann le scannán agus na meáin dhigiteacha, mar aon le scileanna praiticiúla i scannánóireacht, scríbhneoireacht scáileáin agus forbairt dhigiteach agus dearadh. Cuirfidh an clár, a áiríonn intéirneachtaí le heagraíochtaí a bhaineann leis na healaíona agus na meáin móide taighde agus tionscadail chruthaitheacha faoi mhaoirseacht, céimithe ar fáil do réimse leathan ról sna tionscail chruthaitheacha ina measc:  léiriúchán teilifíse agus scannán, cruthú ábhar digiteach, riarachán cultúrtha, scríbhneoireacht scáileáin agus margaíocht dhigiteach san áireamh. Díreoidh an BA (na Dána Digiteacha agus Teicneolaíocht) ar úsáid na teicneolaíochta digití sna healaíona cruthaitheacha. Leis an gcomhtháthú cuimsitheach idir na dána agus na daonnachtaí agus teicneolaíocht faisnéise agus eolaíocht sonraí, cáileoidh mic léinn le rogha tharraingteach de scileanna cruthaitheachta, anailíseacha agus ardscileanna digiteacha. Sa chlár nua BA (Béarla agus na Meáin) déanfar staidéar ar theoiric na meán i bpeirspictíocht chriticiúil agus stairiúil agus cuirfidh sé ar chumas na mac léinn scileanna cumarsáide inaistrithe agus scileanna smaointeoireachta criticiúla a fhoghlaim, a chuirfidh ar a gcumas rath a bheith orthu sa mhargadh fostaíochta amach anseo. Dúirt an tOllamh O’Donoghue an méid seo a leanas chomh maith: “Leis an Ríocht Aontaithe ar tí imeacht ón AE, tiocfaidh ardú ar líon na gcéimithe sna Dána a bheidh de dhíth d’fhonn dearcadh domhanda a fhorbairt agus taithí idirnáisiúnta a fháil le linn a gcuid staidéar agus i dtús a saol oibre. Is ann do dhá chlár nua i ngeall ar an luach a chuireann fostóirí ar thréithe na gcéimithe áirithe seo.” Tá an BA (Idirnáisiúnta) dírithe ar mhic léinn ar spéis leo staidéar a dhéanamh ar na Dána agus taithí idirnáisiúnta a fháil (bíodh sin ag staidéar thar lear nó ar shocrúchán oibre thar lear) mar chuid dá gcéim le deiseanna lonnú i Meiriceá Theas, Meiriceá Thuaidh nó níos faide i gcéin, i mbliain a trí dá gcéim.  Céim teangacha thar a bheith solúbtha atá sa BA (Teangacha Domhanda), céim a chuirfidh ar chumas na mac léinn gairm bheatha a bhaint amach i réimsí éagsúla ar a n-áirítear teangeolaíocht, aistriúchán, na meáin, teagasc. Tabharfaidh an BA (na Dána le hEolaíocht Sonraí) deis do mhic léinn staidéar a dhéanamh ar ábhar sna dána chomh maith le modúil sa mhata, IT agus eolaíocht sonraí, ag cur céimithe cáilithe ar fáil chun tabhairt faoi róil éagsúla i gcur i bhfeidhm teicnící anailísíochta sonraí chun fadhbanna domhanda an tsaoil seo a bhaineann leis an duine a réiteach. Beidh Laethanta Oscailte fochéime OÉ Gaillimh ar siúl an 6 agus an 7 Deireadh Fómhair. CRÍOCH

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

BioExcel Accelerator programme at NUI Galway, supported by Enterprise Ireland is now open to applications from entrepreneurs working in the medical technology sector An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald T.D., today announced the launch of the BioExel Accelerator programme at NUI Galway, supported by Enterprise Ireland, to further enhance the medical technology sector start-up ecosystem within Ireland and attract global talent to the Galway region. The BioExcel Accelerator programme is open to applications from potential teams or individuals both in Ireland and overseas, working in the medical technology sector. There are up to 14 slots available within the Enterprise Ireland supported Accelerator Programme over two cohorts with the first to commence later this year. Successful applicants of the BioExel Accelerator programme will receive membership and a place within NUI Galway for a period of six months, where teams will be able to build and commercially validate their technologies by working with existing entrepreneurial networks and mentors.  Announcing the launch of the BioExel Accelerator programme while on an Enterprise Ireland and IDA Multi Sectoral Trade Mission in Singapore, An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald T.D., said: “Ireland is recognised as a key hub for medical technology and innovation and the launch of this new accelerator is an opportunity to further build on our strong international reputation for excellence and innovation in healthcare and medtech. The Accelerator programme located at NUI Galway and supported by my Department through Enterprise Ireland will further enhance the High Potential Start-up (HPSU) eco-system and develop start-up capability, infrastructure and capital investment within the Galway region. We are delighted to support the initiative, which will go towards sustaining Ireland’s status as a global leader in medical technology innovation.” Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “The vision here is to create innovative medical technologies which are affordable and transformative for patients with both acute and chronic conditions. The BioExel Accelerator programme will bring us closer to this patient-focused vision, while also stimulating innovation and job creation though high-potential start-ups. NUI Galway is proud to promote and manage this MedTech Accelerator, which will in turn benefit from our strengths in biomedical science and engineering teaching and research, as well as the CÚRAM Centre for Medical Device Research and the entrepreneurial BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship Programme which are both based here.” The Medtech Accelerator programme is part of Enterprise Ireland’s overall strategy to increase the number and quality of start-ups that have the potential to employ more than ten people and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years. Tom Early, Start Department Manager from Enterprise Ireland, said: “Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting early stage collaborative innovative opportunities between the enterprise sector and health system with the aim of internationalising medtech technologies. New and emerging enterprises will benefit from the Accelerator programme through direct collaboration and co-ordination with technology and healthcare sector stakeholders on opportunities within the marketplace. The BioExel Accelerator programme aims to improve the efficiency of the commercialisation process of new technologies, products and services, benefitting the health sector and society as a whole.” Other partnership sponsors for this Enterprise Ireland supported accelerator programme are the Western Development Commission, Galway University Foundation and the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund.  -Ends-

Monday, 25 September 2017

Who was St. Vincent de Paul? The charitable organisation founded in his name ensures that he remains familiar, but what was the background and history of this French Catholic priest, canonized in the eighteenth century? This year is the 400th anniversary of organisations taking him as patron and source of inspiration. A major new book by NUI Galway historian Alison Forrestal explores the thought and activities of the most famous figure of the seventeenth-century French Catholic Reformation. Her new book, Vincent de Paul, the Lazarist Mission, and French Catholic Reform, published by prestigious Oxford University Press, will be launched at NUI Galway’s Moore Institute on the Wednesday, 27 September.  Dr Forrestal’s book explores how Vincent de Paul turned a personal vocational desire to evangelise the rural poor of France into a congregation of secular missionaries, known as the Congregation of the Mission or the Lazarists. In the process he created a distinctive and influential vision for missionary life and work, and transformed the character of devotional belief and practice within the church. This is the first book to assess de Paul’s activities against the backdrop of religious reform and rule by the French Bourbon monarchy.  Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute, said: “This book is a major new contribution, bringing fresh perspectives on a figure of huge significance in the history of the Catholic faith and charitable missions. This important anniversary year provides food for thought on the influence of this famous figure on the ethos and works of vital charitable organizations.” -Ends-

Friday, 22 September 2017

Two new NUI Galway research projects have been awarded funding under the Science Foundation Ireland Investigators Programme announced this week by Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan, T.D. A total of €2.6 million has been allocated to NUI Galway, with each project focused on generating new knowledge and improving patient care and outcomes. Minister John Halligan said: “This funding recognises some of Ireland’s top researchers and enables them to advance vital research areas in Ireland including health and technology. I am confident that the teams being supported will generate important new scientific breakthroughs.” Professor Paul Murphy from the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway leads one of the research programmes which focuses on ‘Enhancing the scientist’s toolbox using synthetic carbohydrate chemistry for glycomimetic research’. The project involves special sugars that stick to other molecules on our organs and on our immune system, which are called sugar-binding proteins. The sugar-binding proteins cause cancer and inflammation, and can lead to infections as bacteria or viruses stick to our sugars. Professor Murphy’s project aims to develop even stickier molecules called glycomimetics to block them. This research will focus on developing these glycomimetics, which are mimics of the naturally occurring sugars. It is hoped that once the glycomimetics are developed they will be very effective in treating diseases like cancer and asthma, and preventing infections like HIV and influenza which affect millions of people globally. Commenting on his award, Professor Murphy said: “The development of new therapies or drugs based on sugars found in living organisms is still underexplored and considered difficult.  However progress is being made and some glycomimetics have recently been introduced to the clinical setting. This research funding will enable us to design and synthesise novel mimics of naturally occurring sugars (glycomimetics) that will be evaluated for their potential to block cancer and infection and importantly new design concepts for glycomimetic research will be explored in the project. The work will include collaboration with international experts in drug development based on glycomimetics.” Professor Corrado Santocanale from the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway has been funded to uncover ‘The fundamental roles of the CDC7 kinase and of its regulatory subunits through genome editing technology’. This research will focus on a protein called CDC7, which is essential for cell division. Drugs that block CDC7 are a potential treatment for cancer. However, little is known about how CDC7 works. Using novel genetic technologies this research is now, for the first time, in a position to discover the role that CDC7 plays in several processes important for cell division. The project will greatly contribute to understanding how cells multiply and to the development of new therapeutic strategies for cancer patients. Commenting on his award, Professor Santocanale said: “This research will expand our knowledge of genome duplication and will inform us on cellular liabilities when specific CDC7 functions are compromised, contributing to the development of CDC7 inhibition as a strategy for the treatment of cancer. The research will not only indirectly contribute to the development of CDC7 inhibition as an anti-cancer strategy, but more importantly will contribute to the advancement of human knowledge on crucial processes leading to cell duplication.” Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “The Science Foundation Ireland Investigators Programme funds outstanding individuals performing excellent, impactful research. The standard of applications for the SFI Investigators Programme was exceptionally high. The quality and quantity of excellent projects on the reserve list is clear evidence of the increasingly high standard of research in Ireland. I have the highest expectations for the projects funded today, and look forward to seeing the benefits to Ireland’s society and economy.” -Ends-

Thursday, 21 September 2017

An online training programme developed by NUI Galway for patients with psychosis and schizophrenia has resulted in significant improvements to cognitive performance, social function, and changes in brain activity A new randomised controlled trial led by Professor Gary Donohoe from the School of Psychology and Centre for Neuroimaging and Cognitive Genetics at NUI Galway, has found that when cognitive remediation (CR) training, more commonly known as brain training, is provided even with low support in a community setting, psychosis patients’ scores improved on measures of memory, intelligence, and social and occupational functions. This first in Ireland study published today (21 September 2017) in the international journal Psychological Medicine investigated the effectiveness of a low support, and hence low cost, remotely accessed computerised working training program in patients with psychosis. An online web-based cognitive remediation training programme was developed by the researchers and specifically targeted ‘working memory’ – the ability to hold information online so that it can be used for planning and problem solving, and a key ingredient of intelligence. Funded by the Health Research Board, a total of 90 community-based and clinically stable people took part in the study aged between 18 to 65 years who had a history of psychosis, and were engaged in some activity such as, part-time work or attending a rehabilitation clinic for at least two days each week. Participants were recruited from community health teams from various clinical services in Dublin, Wicklow and Galway, and through the Dublin branch of the National Learning Network, a community based rehabilitation service.  Patients were referred by their local treatment or rehabilitation teams following a series of presentations made about cognitive remediation by the study team. Effectiveness of the intervention was assessed in terms of cognitive performance, social and occupational function, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scanning) two weeks post- intervention, with neuropsychological and social function again assessed three to six months post-treatment. Trial outcomes were registered in advance, with neuropsychological performance designated as the primary outcome measure for the study, and social function and MRI task performance designated as secondary outcome measures. Lead author of the study, Professor Gary Donohoe from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, said: “Psychological treatment for major mental disorders are significantly lacking for adults, particularly for those with psychosis. Many patients only partly respond to medication, and deficits in cognition – which often drive the level of disability experienced by patients, are not improved by treatment. Cognitive remediation is known to be effective, but these programs usually require a significant amount of direct contact with clinicians. What is important about this program is that it involved only one hour of weekly contact with a psychologist (the same as for other psychological therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), with most of the training work being done at home. What is remarkable about this study is that, despite the challenges faced by patients with psychosis, over half were able to complete the training with relatively little support. Following this, the treatment group showed significant recovery not just of memory function and general intelligence, but also in day to day social and occupational function. Perhaps most interesting of all was that, based on MRI scanning, these changes were associated with increased cortical connectivity, which can be thought of as a strengthening of neural networks related to cognitive function.” Results from the study found that patients who completed the intervention, which consisted of 30 minutes of training at home, five days a week, supported by weekly one hour sessions with a psychologist for a total of eight weeks, showed significant gains in both cognitive and social function at both the two week follow-up and later 3-6 month follow-up timeframes. Patients who completed MRI scanning also showed improved functional brain connectivity relative to patients in the placebo condition (talking weekly to a psychologist without practicing the computerised program). The study concluded that cognitive remediation training improved cognitive and social function in patients with psychosis. This study demonstrates that, at least for some chronic but stable outpatients, a low support treatment was associated with gains that were comparable to those reported for cognitive remediation training delivered entirely on a one-to-one basis. The researchers found that cognitive remediation has the potential to be delivered even in services in which psychological supports for patients with psychosis are limited. To read the full study in Psychological Medicine, visit:  https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/psychological-medicine/article/effectiveness-of-a-low-support-remotely-accessible-cognitive-remediation-training-programme-for-chronic-psychosis-cognitive-functional-and-cortical-outcomes-from-a-single-blind-randomised-controlled-trial/99E28C54D71FC8B67536C98CC0D974A5   -Ends-  

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Sheol OÉ Gaillimh clár i leith na Laethanta Oscailte fochéime a bheidh ar siúl Dé Aoine agus Dé Sathairn, an 6 agus 7 Deireadh Fómhair. Deis iontach atá sna Laethanta Oscailte do scoileanna, mic léinn, tuismitheoirí agus teaghlaigh blaiseadh a fháil de shaol staidéir OÉ Gaillimh, atá rangaithe i measc an 1% is fearr d’ollscoileanna an domhain, de réir Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain QS le gairid. Túsphointe maith atá sa phríomhthaispeántas i Halla Bailey Allen le breis is 80 seastán d’ábhar ar leith, chomh maith le cuairt a thabhairt ar cheardlanna praiticiúla eolaíochta agus seisiúin idirghníomhacha in Innealtóireacht, córais IT agus Róbataic.  Beidh turais den champas ar siúl ar feadh an dá lá agus tugtar cuireadh do thuismitheoirí freastal ar Chaint do Thuismitheoirí a bheidh ar siúl Dé Sathairn ar 11am agus a bheidh ann arís ar 1pm. Ar cheann de bhuaicphointí an chláir tá na cainteanna a thugtar ar na scoláireachtaí i dtaca le pointí breise CAO (do mhic léinn a dhéanann éacht i Spóirt nó sna hEalaíona Cruthaitheacha). Ábhar breise atá ar chlár Laethanta Oscailte 2017 is ea rogha de mháistir-ranganna, a chuimseoidh sraith de shaincheardlanna ar réimsí staidéir faoi leith, fostaíocht nó saol an mhic léinn. I measc na máistir-ranganna le linn na Laethanta Oscailte seo beidh ceardlann phraiticiúil drámaíochta, máistir-rang ar innealtóireacht sa todhchaí agus ceardlann chun léiriú do mhic léinn conas is féidir leo rath a bheith ar a gcuid oibre trí ithe go sláintiúil.  Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Sarah Geraghty, Bainisteoir Earcaíochta Mac Léinn agus For-rochtana in OÉ Gaillimh: “Am maith is ea an fómhar do mhic léinn Ardteistiméireachta agus a gcuid tuismitheoirí tús a chur leis an bpróiseas ullmhúcháin agus fáil faoi réir don tríú leibhéal sula dtosaíonn brú mór na scrúduithe. Beidh na daoine is oilte ar an láthair le linn na Laethanta Oscailte chun ceisteanna a bheadh ag mic léinn faoi phointí CAO, infhostaitheacht agus an phleanáil riachtanach ó thaobh cúrsaí lóistín, táillí agus deontais a fhreagairt. Agus an Ollscoil i measc an 1% is fearr d’ollscoileanna an domhain, beidh deiseanna den scoth ar fáil do mhic léinn nua OÉ Gaillimh ó thaobh infhostaitheachta agus aitheantas domhanda ar a gcuid cáilíochtaí.” Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil téigh chuig www.nuigalway.ie/opendays Má tá sé ar intinn agat freastal ar an Lá Oscailte moltar duit súil a chaitheamh ar an gclár, atá ar fáil anseo (http://www.nuigalway.ie/opendays/programme/) agus do lá ar an gcampas a phleanáil. -Críoch-

Thursday, 21 September 2017

NUI Galway, WestBIC and GMIT recently welcomed InBIA to Galway to share knowledge and explore opportunities for collaboration. InBIA is among the world’s largest member-based entrepreneurial support network and a leader in building thriving, sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems, and supporting programs across a wide range of industrial sectors. In over 62 countries it represents 2,200 businesses, co-working spaces and entrepreneurship support organisations who are dedicated to encourage unique start-ups in their communities. InBIA is interested in integrating Galway’s dynamic start-up ecosystem with its international network of entrepreneurial supports. The meeting in Galway identified reciprocal opportunities for ‘soft-landing’ supports by facilitating west of Ireland early-stage companies to enter the US and other international markets, and for InBIA’s global network of companies to enter the EU through Galway’s start-up ecosystem. Fiona Neary, Innovation Manager at NUI Galway’s Business and Innovation Centre, said: “The region already has a strong brand globally in Research Development and Industry support, so we must continue to put the structures in place to ensure we are the go-to location for start-up supports, accelerator programmes, co-working spaces and other entrepreneurial supports committed to nurturing start-ups in the community.” InBIA’s visit was a timely follow-up to a recent report by WestBIC and Galway City Council on Enterprise and Incubation supports in Galway. An inadequate pipeline of suitable enterprise development space was identified as a key deficiency. The report also identified a key opportunity for greater co-operation between the key institutions supporting the region’s enterprise development ecosystem. As long-established key innovation enablers within this ecosystem, NUI Galway, GMIT and WestBIC deliver a closely aligned and complimentary portfolio of support measures for the start-up community. The meeting with InBIA explored further opportunities to combine these resources to enhance the participation of the west region in growing knowledge-based jobs, and accelerate regional enterprise creation. These supports are delivered from four Business Innovation Centers (covering over 120,000 square feet) including co-working space, company offices, labs, training, and innovation space. Collectively these facilities house over 160 innovative start-up companies, employ hundreds of staff, and offer enterprise supports and many regional initiatives such as; BioInnovate, Halo Business Angel programme, Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers programme, Blackstone LaunchPad, TechInnovate, Accelerator programmes, and the Empower Women’s Entrepreneurship programme. Chris Coughlan, Chair of WestBIC, says: “This opportunity could facilitate Galway to compete globally with the east coast not to mention other countries also trying to attract such start-ups to their market. By the reciprocal nature of such an arrangement, West of Ireland companies looking to enter the US market could avail of low cost support partners on the ground brokering more accurate targeting of relevant supports, plus supply of services as well as networking opportunity this brings to everyone.” “The opportunities for new business development in Galway and the West of Ireland are really exciting”, said Rick Officer, GMIT Vice President for Research and Innovation. “We look forward to working collaboratively with InBIA and our regional partners to resource and deliver even better enterprise supports. Together we can make Galway an internationally recognised hub for enterprise creation and incubation.” -Ends-

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

NUI Galway has launched the programme for the upcoming undergraduate Open Days taking place on Friday, 6 and Saturday, 7 of October. The Open Day is an excellent opportunity for schools, students, parents and families to explore the opportunity to study at NUI Galway, ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world, according to the recent QS World University Rankings report.  The main exhibition in the Bailey Allen hall with over 80 subject-specific stands is a great starting point, followed by a visit to the hands-on science workshops and interactives sessions in Engineering, IT systems, and Robotics. Tours of the campus will run throughout each day and parents are invited to attend the dedicated Parent’s Talk running on the Saturday at 11am and repeated again at 1pm. Talks on the bonus CAO performance points scholarships (for students who excel in Sports or the Creative Arts) are always a highlight of the programme. New for 2017, the Open Day Programme includes a range of Masterclasses, a series of specialised workshops on unique areas of study, employment or student life. The Masterclasses at the upcoming Open Days include a practical drama workshop, a masterclass on engineering in the future and a workshop to show students how they can fuel for success through good nutrition. Sarah Geraghty, Student Recruitment and Outreach Manager at NUI Galway, said: “Autumn is a good time for Leaving Certificate students and their parents to start the preparation for progression to third level before the significant pressure of exams begins. The Open Day will have the right people on the ground to answer questions on CAO points, employability and essential planning such as accommodation, fees and grants. Being in the top 1% of universities worldwide, means that the incoming students of NUI Galway have tremendous opportunities in terms of employability and global recognition of their qualification.” To find out more visit www.nuigalway.ie/opendays If you are planning to attend the Open Day you are encouraged to view the programme, available here (http://www.nuigalway.ie/opendays/programme/) and plan your day on campus.  -Ends-

Monday, 18 September 2017

Eagróidh Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh in OÉ Gaillimh sraith ceardlann san amhránaíocht ar an sean-nós. Beidh an chéad cheardlann ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 27 Meán Fómhair.  Is í Sarah Ghriallais, a ceapadh mar Amhránaí Cónaitheach ar an Sean-nós in OÉ Gaillimh don bhliain 2017 a bheidh i mbun na gceardlann. Is as Muiceanach, Camus do Sarah agus is amhránaí ar an sean-nós den scoth í, bhuaigh sí Corn Uí Riada, an comórtas amhránaíochta ar an sean-nós is mó le rá ag Oireachtas na Gaeilge. Bhí amhránaíocht Sarah le cloisteáil ar stáitse, i gcláir faisnéise agus i scannáin. Déanfaidh Sarah cúig cheardlann amhránaíochta in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh. Beidh an chéad cheardlann sa tsraith ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 27 Meán Fómhair ag 7pm. Tá na ceardlanna saor in aisce agus tá fáilte roimh chách. Is iad Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta agus an Chomhairle Ealaíon i bpáirt le hIonad an Léinn Éireannaigh in OÉ Gaillimh atá i mbun na scéime seo. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil téigh i dteagmháil le: Samantha Williams ag 091 492051 nó Samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie -Críoch-

Monday, 18 September 2017

The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway will host a series of sean-nós singing workshops starting Wednesday, 27 September.  The workshops will be taught by Sarah Ghriallais, the recently appointed Sean-nós Singer in Residence at NUI Galway for 2017. Sarah who is originally from Muiceanach, Camus, is a renowned sean-nós singer with exceptional talent, a previous winner of the prestigious Corn Uí Riada, the premier sean-nós singing competition at the Oireachtas. Sarah’s singing has also featured on stage, in documentaries and in films. Sarah will give a series of five sean-nós singing workshops at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway. The first workshop in this series will take place on Wednesday, 27 September at 7pm. Workshops are free and open to all. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta, An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. For further information contact: Samantha Williams at 091-492051 or Samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Monday, 18 September 2017

Culture Night kicks off in Galway city on the NUI Galway campus with a unique lunchtime event in a hidden part of the University. The public is invited to wander through the old Geology and Physiology floors upstairs in the Quadrangle building, under the eye of the iconic clock tower. Taking the theme of ‘Time’ as inspiration, ConTempo Quartet, the Galway Ensemble in Residence, will join with students of Drama, Theatre and Performance, the NUI Galway Staff Choir, the Arts Office and the Discipline of Earth and Ocean Science for a lunchtime feast of music, drama, photography and song. The free event begins at 1pm in the Geology corner of the Quadrangle*, on the left-hand side underneath the Archway. Other Culture Night events on campus include: The Computer and Communications Museum of Ireland at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics will open its doors from 5-7pm. The public are invited to step back in time to the early days of computer gaming and enjoy the sights and sounds of the great classics, like Space Invaders, Pacman and Sonic, on renowned vintage consoles such as Atari, Nintendo, Sega Mega Drive and Playstation 1. The O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance on campus will host ‘The Spaceman’, a one-man show by Galway playwright, actor and Colours Street Theatre founder, James Fleming. The show begins at 6pm and entry is free. The James Hardiman Library will host special talks by archivist, Fiona Kearney, on the theme of ‘Periodical Literature in the Muintir na Tíre archive’, and Special Collections Librarian, Marie Boran, on the theme of ‘James Hardiman, the Historian of Galway’. These events commence at 6.30pm in the Hardiman Building foyer. -Ends-

Monday, 18 September 2017

 The science video competition, ReelLIFE SCIENCE, is open to all primary and secondary schools, community groups and clubs in Ireland NUI Galway is challenging science enthusiasts and filmmakers of all ages to produce an engaging and educational short science video for this year’s ReelLIFE SCIENCE competition. For the first time since launching in primary and secondary schools in 2013, the contest is now also inviting participants from community groups and clubs around Ireland to show their passion for science and technology. Videos can be produced on smartphones or cameras and can communicate any aspect of science. Supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme, the Community Knowledge Initiative and the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, ReelLIFE SCIENCE will award more than €5,000 for the best science videos. The winning videos will be selected by a panel of guest judges, including BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year 2017, Shane Curran from Terenure College Dublin; NASA Spacecraft systems engineer and aspiring astronaut Amber Gell, who said: “Videos are a great way to get students more interested and researching science-related topics and presenting in a manner reflective of this generation and their preferred communication styles. This competition seems like a lot of fun!” Closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 October and the best videos at each level (primary, secondary and community) will be announced during Science Week 2017. The winning filmmakers will be invited to attend a public screening and awards ceremony during the Galway Science and Technology Festival on 26 November. ReelLIFE SCIENCE is organised by Dr Enda O’Connell and a team of science communication enthusiasts from NUI Galway. In previous years more than 7,000 people have participated. For further information about the 2017 competition contact Dr Enda O’Connell, NCBES, NUI Galway at enda.oconnell@nuigalway.ie or 091-495435. Previous year’s winning videos and more information about the 2017 competition can also be found at www.reellifescience.com. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway will welcome over 350 international delegates from across the US, South Africa, Egypt, Europe, South America and Australia, to mention a few, to the 17th International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement Annual Conference between the 14-16 September. NUI Galway is particularly proud to host this important event as this marks the first occasion that it will be held outside North America. The University has been chosen given its international reputation for placing civic engagement and service learning as a core pillar of the university experience. For three days, delegates will discuss the role of higher education within society through community engagement and service learning.  Keynote speeches will be offered by a range of international experts including Professor Imanol Ordorika from the University of Mexico on the theme of “Social Activism and Politics: A New Paradigm for Universities?” Also an international keynote panel will address the impact of community engagement on students, community and universities which will include perspectives from the US, South Africa, Europe and Ireland. Service learning is a teaching approach that connects student learning to the needs of the community. Lorraine McIlrath, Director of the Community Knowledge Initiative at  NUI Galway and Conference Programme Chair, said: “Students at NUI Galway have an opportunity to use their knowledge to connect with real world problems. Biomedical Engineering students design and build prototypes for people with physical disabilities; nursing students address the implications of nursing in an Irish multi-cultural context and law students offer pro bono legal information to community partners. We feel that this type of learning can open students’ minds to their role as agents of change within the community and society.” The theme of the 2017 conference “Gateways - Charting New Territories & Forging Relationships” has been inspired by numerous of international debates, concerns and discourses. Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland has spearheaded the discourse of ethical renewal within the context of Ireland. He is a former academic from NUI Galway, a poet, a cultural icon and philosopher who has a sharp sense of the role a university offers within the society.  Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland’s, “Presidency of Ideas” continues to encourage all to recognise and be open to new concepts of thought and action; to develop a new public discourse that places human flourishing and an ethic of active citizenship at its heart. He believes in the practice of knowledge, democracy and that “knowledge, insight and vision are but the service of the community. With the privilege to pursue knowledge comes the civic responsibility to engage and put that knowledge to work in the service of humanity.” (2012). While this is an on-going Irish debate it has international application, and is at the heart of the conference ethos and mission.  For further information contact Lorraine McIlrath, Director of the Community Knowledge Initiative on +353 87 7682099 -Ends-