Tuesday, 6 August 2013

‘iPoints’ is first third level digital app for calculating points The first official third level app designed for students to calculate leaving certificate points has been launched by NUI Galway. iPoints -  the free app is a must for all Leaving Cert students expecting their results on Wednesday, 14 August and is available through iTunes as of today (6 August). NUI Galway, in partnership with former information technology student Paul Herron, developed the iPhone app.  The app will allow Leaving Certificate students to quickly and easily calculate their points when they receive their exam results. Paul, originally from Letterkenny, Co Donegal, explained: “This app aims to simplify the point calculation process for students to relieve some of the stress of Leaving Cert’ results day.” CAO points are calculated based on a student’s six highest results in one sitting of the Leaving Certificate. Students using the app will simply enter their results for each subject, indicating whether it is higher or ordinary level. The app calculates the number of points attained in each subject, and indicates the total. The app calculates 25 additional points to be added for Higher Maths if relevant, and allows for Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) scores to be included. The app also gives students the option to share their results by text message, or through social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, if they wish. Commenting on the app, Stephen O’Dea, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway said: “New technology is continually shaping the way we live and manage our lives and the iPoints points calculator is another useful tool in our increasingly hectic lives, and as every Leaving Cert’ student knows, results day is very hectic indeed. As NUI Galway has a well established reputation in software development, the app’s benefits to all Leaving Cert’ students, is a compelling indicator of what can be achieved in third level education.” NUI Galway is the only third level institution to offer a points calculator app to students. The NUI Galway iPoints app is available for all iPhone users on the iTunes store now www.tinyurl.com/NUIGalwayApp  ENDS

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Cardium Therapeutics’ Excellagen gel will be used as a delivery agent for stromal cell therapy REMEDI, The Regenerative Medicine Institute at NUI Galway and Orbsen Therapeutics have entered into an agreement with Cardium Therapeutics to utilise Cardium’s Excellagen® pharmaceutically-formulated gel as a delivery agent for Orbsen Therapeutics’ proprietary stromal cell therapy in pre-clinical studies for the potential treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Excellagen is a syringe-based, professional-use, pharmaceutically-formulated 2.6% fibrillar Type I bovine collagen homogenate that functions as an acellular biological modulator to activate the wound healing process and significantly accelerate the growth of granulation tissue.  The research is being conducted by REMEDI at NUI Galway, a world-class biomedical research centre established with funding from Science Foundation Ireland and focused on mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) research. The research initiative (EU REDDSTAR) is funded under the European Union Framework 7 (EU FP7) research programme focused on treating diabetes and its complications with a defined MSC therapy and enlisting academic and industry partners throughout Europe in the program (www.reddstar.eu). Diabetes is a chronic condition associated with significant morbidity and mortality. About 90% of all diabetes is type 2. In Ireland the number of people with type 2 diabetes is growing as a result of an ageing population and rising obesity rates. The Diabetes Federation of Ireland estimated that 200,000 people had diabetes in Ireland in 2003 and a further 200,000 had the condition but were unaware of it. They also estimated that a further 250,000 had pre-diabetes and 50% would develop diabetes in the ensuing five years if lifestyle changes were not met. Professor Tim O’Brien, Director of REMEDI, NUI Galway said “Diabetic foot ulceration is a frequent cause of amputation in patients with diabetes mellitus. New treatments are urgently required and we have shown that mesenchymal stem cells have the potential to promote healing.” He added “one of the challenges with this approach is how to deliver the cells to the surface of the wound and Orbsen and REMEDI have partnered with Cardium Therapeutics to study the use of their biomaterial to deliver the Orbsen cells to the surface of the wound.”  Orbsen Therapeutics, a spin out company of REMEDI, has received funding from the EU to explore the use of a proprietary stem cell product to treat diabetic foot ulcers.  About REMEDI REMEDI is a world-class biomedical research centre focusing on gene therapy and stem cell research. Based in NUI Galway, REMEDI was established in 2004 through a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Centre for Science Engineering and Technology (CSET) award, and industry funding. More information is available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/remedi/about-us. About CARDIUM Cardium is an asset-based health sciences and regenerative medicine company focused on the acquisition and strategic development of innovative products and businesses with the potential to address significant unmet medical needs and having definable pathways to commercialisation, partnering or other economic monetisations. The Company’s lead commercial product, Excellagen® topical gel for wound care management, has received FDA clearance for marketing and sale in the United States. Further information is available at http://www.excellagen.com -ends-  

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has announced details of a special entrance maths examination to give students a second chance to pursue a career in engineering. The exam, which takes place on Wednesday, 21 August, is for students who achieve the CAO points for an undergraduate engineering degree course at NUI Galway but who have not met the obligatory maths requirement. This year, NUI Galway will hold an intensive preparatory course for applicants intending to sit the exam. This free course will run from 15-20 August. For more than 20 years NUI Galway has provided this special entrance exam to help applicants who did not achieve the required grade C3 or better in higher level mathematics. Those who took lower level maths in the Leaving Cert may also apply for the exam. Students who pass this examination will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and, providing they have the necessary points, will receive an additional CAO offer at Round Two. In addition to preparing students for the special entrance examination, lecturers will demonstrate the relevance and application of mathematics to engineering. The aim of the preparatory course is to bridge the gap between the Leaving Certificate lower level and that required to be successful in the entrance exam. This will be achieved by tackling a variety of problems of increasing difficulty. Learning how to approach a problem and apply the knowledge available will be emphasised. “The nature of engineering programmes is that they are focused on the development of analytical and problem solving skills, and thus require significant use of mathematics and applied mathematics,” said Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. “Every year we see a number of promising students who perform poorly on the day of the Leaving Cert exam. Our Special Entrance Maths Examination provides these students with a second opportunity to demonstrate that they have reached the necessary standard in maths. Over the years, we have had some exceptionally talented students graduate and pursue successful careers in engineering because they were given the second chance which this exam represents.” “Demand for engineering programmes at NUI Galway continues to rise year on year and the College of Engineering has expanded its degree programmes to meet requirements. Engineering is at the heart of the emerging ‘Smart Economy’ and NUI Galway realises its role in providing world-class graduates to meet the needs of industry and the Smart Economy”, continued Professor Lyons. NUI Galway offers students an undenominated entry to engineering. This course is specifically designed for students who are interested in becoming an engineer, but uncertain as to which field they want to specialise in. This course offers students the option of studying engineering in a general way for one year before going on to specialise in their chosen field in year two. To apply for the special maths exam please visit: www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/specialmaths.html. Those interested in the revision maths course and the examination should call 091 492 101 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/specialmaths.html for further details. -ENDS-   Seans Eile á thabhairt ag OÉ Gaillimh do Mhic Léinn na hArdteistiméireachta trí Scrúdú Speisialta Matamaitice a Reáchtáil Tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh i ndiaidh sonraí a chur ar fáil faoi scrúdú speisialta iontrála matamaitice, scrúdú a thugann seans eile do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi ghairm na hinnealtóireachta. Beidh an scrúdú ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 21 Lúnasa, agus tá sé dírithe ar mhic léinn a bhaineann na pointí cuí don CAO amach chun cúrsa céime san innealtóireacht a dhéanamh in OÉ Gaillimh ach nach bhfuil an marc riachtanach acu sa mhatamaitic. I mbliana, beidh dianchúrsa ullmhúcháin ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh roimh ré dóibh siúd ar mian leo an scrúdú a dhéanamh. Beidh an cúrsa saor in aisce seo ar siúl ón 15-20 Lúnasa. Le breis agus scór bliain anuas, tá an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo á reáchtáil ag OÉ Gaillimh chun cabhrú le hiarratasóirí nár éirigh leo an grád riachtanach C3 nó os a chionn a bhaint amach sa pháipéar matamaitice ardleibhéil. Féadfaidh daoine nach ndearna ardleibhéal matamaitice san Ardteistiméireacht cur isteach ar an scrúdú chomh maith. Má fhaigheann mac léinn pas sa scrúdú seo beidh an riachtanas matamaitice sásaithe aige/aici agus gheobhaidh sé/sí tairiscint eile ón CAO i mBabhta 2, chomh fada is go bhfuil na pointí riachtanacha aige/aici. Ní hamháin go n-ullmhófar daltaí don scrúdú speisialta iontrála, ach léireoidh léachtóirí an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an matamaitic san innealtóireacht agus an úsáid is féidir a bhaint aisti. Is é an aidhm atá leis an gcúrsa ullmhúcháin seo cur lena mbíonn foghlamtha ag daltaí ag an ngnáthleibhéal san Ardteistiméireacht, le go n-éireoidh leo sa scrúdú iontrála matamaitice. Cuirfear é seo i gcrích trí dhul i ngleic le fadhbanna éagsúla ag leibhéil éagsúla deacrachta. Cuirfear béim ar conas tabhairt faoi fhadhb agus an t-eolas atá ar fáil a chur i bhfeidhm. “Is é mianach na gclár innealtóireachta go bhfuil siad dírithe ar fhorbairt a dhéanamh ar scileanna anailíseacha agus ar  scileanna chun fadhbanna a réiteach, agus dá bhrí sin caithfear úsáid shuntasach a bhaint as matamaitic agus as matamaitic fheidhmeach,” a deir an tOllamh Gerry Lyons, Déan na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh. “Gach bliain feicimid daltaí cumasacha nach ndéanann chomh maith agus a d’fhéadfaidís ar lá an scrúdaithe Ardteiste. Tugann an Scrúdú Speisialta Iontrála Matamaitice deis eile do na daltaí seo léiriú go bhfuil an caighdeán riachtanach sa mhatamaitic bainte amach acu. Thar na blianta, d’éirigh le roinnt mac léinn a raibh cumas eisceachtúil iontu, céim a bhaint amach agus dul sa tóir ar shlí bheatha dóibh féin san innealtóireacht mar go bhfuair siad an dara deis leis an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo.” “Tá an t-éileamh ar chláir innealtóireachta in OÉ Gaillimh ag dul i méid ó bhliain go bliain agus tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta tar éis na cláir chéime a leathnú chun freastal ar na riachtanais seo. Tá innealtóireacht i gcroí-lár an ‘Gheilleagair Chliste’ atá ag teacht chun cinn agus tuigeann OÉ Gaillimh a ról maidir le céimithe den scoth a chur ar fáil chun freastal ar riachtanais an tionscail agus an Gheilleagair Chliste”, a dúirt an tOllamh Lyons. Tá cúrsa neamhainmnithe san innealtóireacht ar tairiscint do mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an cúrsa seo dírithe go háirithe ar mhic léinn a bhfuil suim acu a bheith ina n-innealtóirí ach nach bhfuil cinnte cén réimse ar mhaith leo díriú air. Tugann an cúrsa seo deis do mhic léinn staidéar ginearálta a dhéanamh ar an innealtóireacht ar feadh bliana sula roghnaíonn siad a réimse speisialtóireachta i mbliain a dó. Chun iarratas a dhéanamh ar an scrúdú speisialta matamaitice téigh chuig: www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/specialmaths.html. Ba chóir dóibh siúd ar spéis leo an cúrsa ullmhúcháin matamaitice agus an scrúdú glao a chur ar 091 091 492 101 nó féachaint ar http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/specialmaths.html chun eolas breise a fháil. -CRÍOCH-  

Friday, 9 August 2013

NUI Galway will host the 2013 International Debate Education Association (IDEA) Global Youth Forum where debaters from 48 countries will deliberate on this year’s theme of Digital Freedom. Running from 13-26 August, this is the first time the Forum has been held in Ireland. Organised in cooperation with NUI Galway’s Literary and Debating Society and the Open Society Foundations – Youth Initiative, the 2013 IDEA Global Youth Forum allows an opportunity for local students to participate and meet peers from all over the world. Now in its 19th year, the Forum is aimed at both novice and experienced debaters and offers students training, competition experiences and the chance to participate in cross-cultural exchange, focussing on issues that affect young people within their communities. Last year’s Forum in Mexico saw over 250 participants attend from more than 40 countries across Europe, Central and Eastern Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. The key focus of the Global Youth Forum is cultural exchange and, unlike a traditional debate competition, the participants are mixed in geographically diverse teams, giving young people the chance to meet and work with students from across the world, with very different experiences to their own. Steven Nolan, Youth Forum Director for IDEA said: “The Global Youth Forum is an unrivalled opportunity for young people to develop their skills, meet and interact with people from a different background to their own. It’s an excellent opportunity to host the Forum in Galway, and have some local schools take part for the first time.” Elena Micajkova, a participant from the 2012 Mexico Global Youth Forum said: “The Global Youth Forum is a platform where students train to be world citizens, challenging them to be reasonable, intellectual and to show appreciation for others, giving them an experience in international exchange and co-operation.” The opening ceremony, which takes place on Tuesday, 13 August at 8pm in the O’Flaherty Lecture Theatre, will be addressed by Marian Harkin MEP. For more information about the event visit youthforum.idebate.org where workshops and debate rounds will be streamed live. -ENDS-

Friday, 9 August 2013

Solver competition to tackle key issues around funding and scaling-up in the EU app economy and dealing with EU-wide market conditions   Eurapp, a European Commission-funded study of the EU app economy led by Dr John Breslin of NUI Galway, is now inviting solvers globally to generate ideas to solve major challenges facing the EU app economy, with a total prize fund of €9000 and an additional €15000 to facilitate travel of the top ten solvers to a Eurapp event in Berlin this November.   Research shows that over half a million jobs have been created in the growing US mobile and social app ecosystem. Anecdotal evidence suggests the EU is lagging behind, and Eurapp aims to tackle that by modelling and profiling jobs generated by the EU app economy, as well as highlighting potential opportunities for future success and growth.   Eurapp is launching two innovation challenges in parallel during August 2013 to crowdsource solutions to challenges for the app economy in the EU. During the five weeks for each challenge, solvers will have an opportunity to provide ideas on how to overcome various barriers and to trigger the growth of the app economy in the EU. The two challenges will focus on funding and scaling-up app startups, and on improving the capabilities of app startups to deal with EU-wide market conditions. The first challenge launches today (9 August) with the second challenge beginning a week later.   Martin Hahn from DG CONNECT said: “The European Commission has clearly identified that there is a need for action in the field of web entrepreneurship, and for now, we don’t have sufficient evidential data about what is going on in this market. The market is very new, rapid and diverse, so it is necessary that we have clear objectives and clear data.”   “Around about a fifth of the top-grossing apps in iOS and Android come from European publishers, so the majority are from the US,” according to Mark Mulligan, an analyst with GigaOM Research. “So many developers have a really small reach, and there is almost so much choice that it is becoming increasingly hard for consumers to connect with European developers’ apps.”   NUI Galway’s Dr John Breslin, leader of the Eurapp project, said: “In the interviews carried out so far and in our stakeholders workshop, one key challenge that was iterated again and again was funding. The consensus was that it can be more difficult to get the substantial funding required to sustain or grow an internationally-operating app business in the EU, when compared with our counterparts in the US. It may be the less risk-averse mindset in the US, or a lack of know-how in EU companies about how to promote and position one’s app in the market, or other factors.   “Similarly, issues around regulatory and country-specific barriers - e.g. privacy laws, data access, and working in fragmented national markets - have been cited as problems by stakeholders, and gathered into a challenge we have called ‘EU-wide market conditions’. We hope the solvers can come up with some innovative ideas of how to address these challenges”, continued Dr Breslin. “We have chosen InnoCentive as the platform to crowdsource these solutions due to their large community of solvers and previous challenges around the web and data”.   Kevin Mobbs from InnoCentive, the crowdsourcing platform being used for the challenges, said: “We like to think of our approach as challenge-driven innovation, or open innovation. I think ‘open’ is the key word. Anyone can come along and answer questions: end users, the platform providers, the professional developers and the hobbyists.”   The solvers who put forth the top ten innovative solutions will be invited to a Eurapp event in Berlin in mid-November, where they will present their ideas for discussion with 80 stakeholders from the EU app economy. For further details or to join the challenges visit www.eurapp.eu  -ENDS-  

Monday, 12 August 2013

Recipient of an honorary doctorate, Seán O’Rourke is chair of NUI Galway’s Alumni Board and member of the University's Governing Authority. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway today congratulated alumnus and RTÉ broadcaster Seán O’Rourke on taking over the mid-morning Radio 1 slot from Pat Kenny.  Dr Jim Browne said 'On behalf of NUI Galway I want to wish Seán every success in this exciting new challenge he faces.  I am sure that his integrity and tenacity as a journalist, that made both the News at 1 and The Week in Politics such a success, will bring continued success in the future. Seán is a proud alumnus and supporter of NUI Galway and I know that the whole University community joins with me in congratulating him on this recognition of his achievements as a journalist'. Seán O’Rourke was born in Portlaoise, Co. Laois and grew up in Galway. He completed a BA in English, History and Legal Science at NUI Galway in 1977. Seán was awarded the 2006 NUI Galway Alumni AIB Award for Literature, Communications and Arts.  Seán O’Rourke was conferred with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) by NUI Galway in June 2011. He is the current chair of the NUI Galway Alumni Board and was the founding chairperson of the Alumni Association’s Dublin club. Seán also serves as a member of the current NUI Galway Governing Authority. -ends-

Monday, 12 August 2013

NUI Galway’s Socio Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) will hold its fourth annual Beaufort Marine Socio-Economic Symposium on Tuesday, 27 August. The symposium will focus on valuing the ocean and coastal economies, maritime transport, the valuation of water resources and ecosystem services. Dr Stephen Hynes, Director of SEMRU, NUI Galway, said: “The symposium is a great opportunity for researchers and policy makers in the area of marine socio-economics to get together to meet and discuss their ongoing work.” Speakers at the symposium includes: Dr Maria Feo, University of Jaume I in Spain, who will give a presentation on maritime freight transport models; Captain Raja Maitra, Howth Fishery Harbour and Dublin Institute of Technology, will give an overview of port policy in Ireland; and Dr Ana Corina Miller, Trinity College Dublin, will present her work on employment effects of seafood production growth targets. There will also be an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sponsored session where Dr Cathal Buckley of Teagasc and Dr Craig Bullock, University College Dublin, will present their work on water resources projects in Ireland. The symposium will also include presentations by researchers involved in the Beaufort Award. The Beaufort Award is carried out under the Sea Change Strategy and the Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation (2006-2013), with the support of the Marine Institute, funded under the Marine Research Sub-Programme of the National Development Plan 2007–2013. Places for this free symposium are limited and registration is necessary. To register, visit www.conference.ie by Friday, 23 August at 5pm. For more information contact Rebecca.Corless@nuigalway.ie -ENDS-

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

NUI Galway will once again open its dedicated First Year Student Hotline on Wednesday, 14 August. Now in its fourth year the hotline will be open to students, their parents and their advisers and will run until Monday, 30 September, 2013. The initiative, which was launched in summer 2010 and was the first of its kind across the sector, has been specially designed to help incoming first year students make the transition to third level education. With NUI Galway anticipating an intake of over 3,200 new students in September, a team of specially-trained students will service the hotline Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, and Saturday 17 and 24 August, 10am to 1pm.The availability of the hotline coincides with the period of frantic activity and decision making that immediately follows the release of the Leaving Certificate results. The hotline will be active throughout first year orientation on 7 and 8 September and will remain in service for two weeks after lectures begin on September 9, providing students with a place to direct any conceivable query they encounter as they embark on their journey to NUI Galway. The hotline team will provide an efficient, responsive service to callers and are expected to deal with numerous issues that are of concern to incoming first year students. Anticipated queries include: points requirements for courses; first round offers; registering as a student of the University; start dates; fees and accommodation options. A designated website for first years will also update on a daily basis detailing the information sought and fed through the new hotline. It will be a portal of specific information aimed at demystifying the first few weeks of university life. Stephen O’Dea, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway, says:  “For all students receiving their Leaving Certificate results, the next few weeks will be a very hectic and exciting time indeed, with the transition from second to third-level education representing a major milestone in the lives of these young people. We at NUI Galway recognise the significance of this change and the impact that it will have on the individuals and the families of those entering into University education for the first time. As such, we have setup the First-Year Student Hotline to provide information, support and guidance for all who are involved in the transitions process. We invite students, parents and advisors to avail of this service to make the passage to NUI Galway as smooth as possible.” Students, parents and advisers can contact the First Year Student Hotline at 091 493999 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/new-students/. -ENDS- ______________________ Beolíne ar fáil do Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana in OÉ Gaillimh don Cheathrú Bliain as a chéile Beidh Beolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana ar fáil arís i mbliana in OÉ Gaillimh ó Dé Céadaoin, an 14 Lúnasa ar aghaidh. Don cheathrú bliain as a chéile, beidh mic léinn, a dtuismitheoirí agus a lucht comhairlithe in ann glaoch ar an mbeolíne go dtí Dé Luain, an 30 Meán Fómhair 2013. Bunaíodh an tionscnamh seo, a seoladh i samhradh na bliana 2010 agus arbh é an chéad cheann dá leithéid é san earnáil seo, le cabhrú le mic léinn na chéad bhliana an t-aistriú a dhéanamh chuig an oideachas tríú leibhéal. Tá OÉ Gaillimh ag dúil go mbeidh breis agus 3,200 mac léinn nua ag tosú i mí Mheán Fómhair, agus, dá bhrí sin, beidh foireann de mhic léinn atá oilte ar an gceird i mbun na beolíne ó Luan go hAoine, 9am - 6pm, agus Dé Sathairn, an 17 agus an 24 Lúnasa, 10am - 1pm.Beidh an bheolíne ar fáil sa tréimhse chorraitheach sin ina mbíonn ar dhaltaí cinneadh a dhéanamh díreach i ndiaidh dóibh torthaí na hArdteistiméireachta a fháil. Beidh an bheolíne ar oscailt i rith na seisiún céadbhlaiste do mhic léinn na chéad bhliana, an 7 agus an 8 Meán Fómhair, agus beidh an líne ag feidhmiú ar feadh coicíse i ndiaidh an dáta a gcuirfear tús leis na léachtaí, an 9 Meán Fómhair. Tabharfaidh sé seo deis do mhic léinn glao a chur ar an mbeolíne má bhíonn ceist ar bith acu agus iad ag tabhairt faoina saol in OÉ Gaillimh. Cuirfidh foireann na beolíne seirbhís éifeachtach ar fáil dóibh sin a ghlaonn ar an líne agus meastar go mbeifear ag plé le hábhair go leor a bhíonn ag déanamh tinnis do mhic léinn na chéad bhliana. Meastar go mbeidh ceisteanna á gcur faoi na hábhair seo a leanas: na pointí atá riachtanach do chúrsaí ar leith; tairiscintí sa chéad bhabhta; clárú mar mhac léinn san Ollscoil; dátaí tosaithe; táillí agus roghanna lóistín. Tabharfar láithreán gréasáin ar leith atá ann do mhic léinn na chéad bhliana cothrom le dáta gach lá chomh maith. Beidh eolas le fáil ann faoi na ceisteanna a bhí ag na daoine a ghlaoigh ar an mbeolíne nua. Is tairseach eolais ar leith a bheidh sa láithreán gréasáin agus beidh sé de chuspóir aige cuid den smúit a bhaineann leis an gcéad chúpla seachtain ar an ollscoil a scaipeadh. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Stephen O’Dea, Oifigeach Iontrála in OÉ Gaillimh:  “Is athrú mór saoil an t-aistriú ón dara leibhéal go dtí an tríú leibhéal do gach duine óg agus cé gur tréimhse iontach an tréimhse sin dóibh d’fhéadfadh sí a bheith crua chomh maith.  Aithnímid anseo in OÉ Gaillimh an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an athrú seo agus an tionchar a bheidh aige ar na daoine atá ag freastal ar oideachas Ollscoile den chéad uair, agus ar a dteaghlaigh. Chuige sin, bunaíodh Beolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana chun eolas, treoir agus tacaíocht a thabhairt do gach duine bainteach leis an athrú saoil seo. Tá fáilte roimh mhic léinn, tuismitheoirí agus a lucht comhairlithe úsáid a bhaint as an tseirbhís chun cuidiú leis an aistear chuig OÉ Gaillimh.” Féadfaidh mic léinn, tuismitheoirí agus lucht comhairlithe teagmháil a dhéanamh le Beolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana ar 091 493999 nó dul go dtí http://www.nuigalway.ie/new-students/. -CRÍOCH-

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

NUI Galway will host the first Irish Chapter of the Association for Information Systems (IAIS) Workshop on Cloud Computing Research and on Friday, 27 September. Entitled ‘Research and Practice in the Cloud: What is on the Horizon?’, the workshop welcomes national and international submissions comprising short structured two-page abstracts representing emerging, novel or partially-completed research on cloud computing. At the workshop we will work with the authors to create an architecture and propose a direction for the research. The deadline for submissions is Friday, 23 August, with further details at http://iaiswccr.eventbrite.ie. ‘Research and Practice in the Cloud: What is on the Horizon?’ will focus on the Irish national agenda for research on cloud computing, bringing together researchers and practitioners across the island of Ireland.  The workshop will also focus on the international research stage for cloud computing, providing a forum for the development of research from international authors. In September 2013, NUI Galway began a new Masters degree in Cloud Computing Research, which is already helping to shape the national agenda. This new degree provides a dedicated programme of advanced research on high-value, business-focused aspects of cloud computing. In the current year, students from Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and Eircom amongst others, are covering a number of important issues for businesses, including a study on business success factors for cloud services, a model for return-on-investment for strategic cloudsourcing, user interaction for mobile cloud business applications, Irish legal considerations for cloud strategies, user benefits of cloud services, in addition to other topics of importance to both large businesses and small SMEs. The workshop is supported by IAIS, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre (Lero) and NUI Galway's Whitaker Institute, and is being jointly delivered by the Business Information Systems discipline and Lero at NUI Galway, and the Cloud Computing Services Innovation Centre at Hewlett-Packard. The workshop builds upon NUI Galway, Lero and Hewlett-Packard’s strengths in cloud computing. The University’s research on cloud computing has been published in international outlets, and cloud computing has become a core part of a large SFI-funded research team. Dr Tom Acton, Business Information Systems, NUI Galway, said: “We envisage receiving submissions across a range of cloud-related topics, from early-stage researchers to industry practitioners. All aspects of cloud computing are encouraged, with a particular focus on business needs, encompassing adoption, deployment, strategy, value, impact, business models, services, and so on. Also welcome are cloud-related topics such as the business management of big data, business analytics, and future trends.” The workshop is free and open to authors of accepted submissions, academics and industry persons working with cloud technologies. Online registration will be available from Saturday, 7 September at http://iaiswccr.eventbrite.ie. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

  IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine article rates leading tablets on repairability and sustainability   Dr Peter Corcoran is a lecturer in NUI Galway’s College of Engineering & Informatics and Editor-in-Chief of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Consumer Electronics Magazine. The IEEE won 5 Apex awards but only one ‘Grand Award’, awarded for the “Repairability Smackdown’ feature by Peter Corcoran of NUI Galway and Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit.   The article assesses and rates leading tablets, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD, Galaxy Note 10.1 and the iPad 3 comparing their respective ease of repairability. The repairability of devices is important to prolong their life-cycle and conserve scarce resources used in their manufacture.   Dr Peter Corcoran says ‘The tablet computing sector is growing at a rate of adoption that is 10 times faster than that of the PC in the 1980s; 3 times faster than the rate at which people have signed up to Facebook since it went public in 2007. It’s an awful lot of tablets, 640 million by July of 2012 and more than 1 billion at the time of writing.’   He continued, ‘Sustainability and repairability are key issues given that the last thing that you think about with a 'new' device is how you are going to repair it. There is a strong commercial rationale for manufacturers to discourage the repair of devices; however the reality is that these new device use some quite rare elements in their display and battery subsystems. This article provides new insights into the latest of today's devices and gives consumers a new metric - the repairability score - to consider when buying their next device.’     Tablets consume considerable energy in their manufacture - a typical consumer device can take as much energy to manufacture as it will use in a 2-3 year life-cycle. This manufacturing/operating energy ratio is getting even bigger for today's low-power devices. Thus from a socio-economic perspective it makes a lot of sense to repair and thus extend the life-cycle of these devices as much as possible.   IFixit (www.ifixit.com) was established by the article’s co-author Kyle Wiens to solve this problem by providing a "repair manual for everything written by everyone". A team of expert fixers at iFixit lead by example, taking apart all of the latest consumer devices and figuring out how to do this safely and how to repair them effectively, from simple battery changing to full screen replacements.    Further information on the APEX awards at http://www.apexawards.com/313.htm    -ends-  

Friday, 16 August 2013

Cosán úr i dtreo chraoladh náisiúnta á chruthú ag páirtnéireacht nua idir TG4 agus Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh   : Is iad mic léinn an BA agus MA/Dioplóma Iarchéime sa Chumarsáid in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge,  An Cheathrú Rua, Co. Na Gaillimhe a dhéanfaidh tograí agus coincheapa físe a thabhairt chun forbartha do sceideal TG4 mar dhlúthchuid den fhoghlaim cleachtadh-bhunaithe ar na cúrsaí seo.  Beidh seans ag glúin nua chruthaitheach a gcuid scileanna scríbhneoireachta, láithreoireachta, ceamara agus eagarthóireachta a chleachtadh agus a chur os comhair lucht féachana náisiúnta. Tá ‘DEIS’ á thabhairt ar an scéim cheannródaíoch seo. Leag Micheál Ó Meallaigh, TG4, Eagarthóir Coimisiúnaithe na sraithe nua, béim ar thábhacht an naisc nua: “Tá sé tábhachtach go mbeadh nasc cruthaithe idir mic léinn cumarsáide agus craoltóirí le linn na gcúrsaí cumarsáide in áit a bheith ag brath ar thaithí a fháil ar an saol praiticiúil i ndiaidh an chúrsa. Is fiú an dá oiread CV a bhfuil ábhar craolta luaite air thar CV nach bhfuil air ach na gradaim atá bainte amach. Táimid thar a bheith sásta dul i bpáirtnéireacht le hAcadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge chun deis mar seo a chuir ar fáil do mhic léinn an BA agus an MA sa Chumarsáid. Is léiriú eile é an togra nuálach seo ar mhian TG4 oibriú i bpáirt leis an earnáil oideachais ag gach leibhéal.” Beidh suas le trí clár faisnéise á léiriú ag mic léinn Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge do TG4 i mbliana mar chuid den scéim nua físe seo ‘Deis’ le tacaíocht ó OÉ Gaillimh. I measc na n-ábhar a bheidh faoi chaibidil sna cláir i mbliana, tá: Nua-inseacht ar bhéaloideas agus pisreogra a bhaineann le peileadóirí Mhaigh Eo agus iad ag fiach ar Chorn Sam Mhig Uidhir; Léargas neamhghnách ar shaol iascairí ar bharr toinne ar Bhanc an Torcáin, 150 míle siar ó chósta na hÉireann; Agus bliain i ndiaidh do Katie Taylor an bonn óir a chrochadh léi abhaile as Londain, cuirtear staidéar spéisiúil inár láthair faoi bhanlaochra na dornálaíochta atá ag teacht chun cinn i gceantar Chonamara. Craolfar na scannáin seo ar TG4 ó Mheán Fómhar 2013 agus tá an Taoiseach Enda Kenny i measc na n-aíonna atá páirteach i mbliana. Anuraidh, craoladh an clár faisnéise, Buscáil, a léirigh Fearghal Ó Maolagáin, mac léinn iarchéime de chuid Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge; tá Fearghal anois tar éis coimisiún a fháil ó TG4 agus ón BBC le tacaíocht ón gCiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge a bhuíochas den deis a fuair sé anuraidh: “Ba mhór an cuidiú do mo shaol ghairmiúl an bhliain a chaith mé in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge.  Tríd an chúrsa, bhí an deis agam smaoineamh a fhorbairt agus clár a dhéanamh le tacaíocht ón Acadamh.  Anois tá mé ag tabhairt faoi clár a léiriú do TG4 agus BBC TÉ, tá an taithí fíor-luachmhar, agus is ón méid a d’fhoghlaim mé san Acadamh a bhfuair mé an deis seo.” Is iad Micheál Ó Domhnaill, Léiritheoir Teilifíse leis an gcomhlacht Gaeltachta Fíbín, agus Seán Breathnach, Feidhmeannach Cumarsáide le hOÉ Gaillimh a d’fhorbair an togra seo agus a bheidh ina Léiritheoirí Feidhmeacha ar na cláir. Tabharfaidh Ray Fallon agus Colm Ó Méalóid (OÉ Gaillimh) tacaíocht oiliúna agus forbartha nuair a bheidh an tsraith á léiriú. D’fháiltigh Dónall Ó Braonáin, Príomhfheidhmeannach Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge roimh ‘DEIS’ agus an nasc nua idir an Ollscoil agus TG4: “Tá TG4 ar thús cadhnaíochta maidir le samhlaíocht, físiúlacht agus cruthaitheach ó bunaíodh iad de bharr an luí atá léirithe acu leis an óige agus an nuálaíocht. Tiocfaidh mic léinn cumasacha ó OÉ Gaillimh chomh fada leo ar an gcosán seo agus tá súil againn ar fad go mbeidh a shliocht ar sceideal an stáisiúin amach anseo.” Tá Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge ag glacadh le iarratais ar an MA/Dioplóma Iarchéime (Cumarsáid) anois. Tuilleadh eolais ag www.acadamh.ie. -CRÍOCH- NUI Galway and TG4 Announce Broadcasting Initiative NUI Galway and TG4 create new pathway in national broadcasting   NUI Galway's BA sa Chumarsáid and MA/Dioplóma Iarchéime sa Chumarsáid students in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, An Cheathrú Rua, Co. Galway will the opportunity to broadcast their work TG4 as part of a special initiative, ‘DEIS’. A unique enterprise, ‘DEIS’ will enable students of NUI Galway to showcase their talents in scriptwriting, production, post production and television presenting skills to a national television audience. TG4 Commissioning Editor Micheál Ó Meallaigh is a firm believer in cultivating links with third level institutions and their students: “It is important for third level media and communication students to build links with broadcasters during their courses as well as afterwards. A CV with a full broadcasting credit will be most useful in furthering their post university career. We are delighted to be associated with Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in creating these opportunities for the students of the BA and MA sa Chumarsáid. TG4 welcomes such opportunities to build and develop with all levels of the education sector.” This year, up to three documentaries are being produced through the ‘Deis’ initiative for TG4’s upcoming schedule and amongst the topics included are: An examination of the superstitions linked to the Mayo GAA senior football team’s quest for the Sam Maguire Cup, which they have not been able to win since 1951. A fly on the wall study of the camaraderie and relationships that form on board a Galway fishing trawler as they spend a week on the Porcupine Bank, more than 150 miles off the west coast of Ireland. A portrait of Niamh Ní Chualáin, a young Connemara woman who hopes to emulate Katie Taylor in the often brutal world of women’s boxing. The documentaries will be broadcast from September 2013 and the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny feature among the interviewees. In 2012, NUI Galway graduate Fearghal Ó Maollagáin’s documentary Buscáil, in a pilot version of the initiative, was broadcast on TG4 to great acclaim. This year TG4, BBC Northern Ireland and the Irish Language Broadcast Fund have commissioned Fearghal to produce another documentary on a similar theme.  Fearghal said: “My year with Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge was of tremendous benefit in furthering my professional development. During my time on the course I was able to research, produce and present a television documentary that was subsequently broadcast on TG4.  Due to the support and guidance received from NUI Galway and Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, I’ve now been commissioned to film another documentary for TG4 and BBC NI.” Micheál Ó Domhnaill a producer with the Gaeltacht based production company Fíbín and Seán Breathnach a member of the teaching staff at NUI Galway are the executive producers of the series.  Ray Fallon and Colm Ó Méalóid of NUI Galway provided technical support during the production of the films. Dónal Ó Braonáin, Chief Executive of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway welcomes the link with TG4 and the opportunities for student participation that it will entail: “TG4 lead the field in imaginative, innovative and creative programming and have a history of interacting with and developing new talent.  Students from NUI Galway will partner TG4 in producing exciting, interesting and thought provoking programming through the ‘Deis’ series.” For further information on the MA/Dioploma Iarchéime (Cumarsáid) or the BA sa Chumarsáid please visit www.acadamh.ie. -ENDS-      

Monday, 19 August 2013

  34 NUI Galway courses increase CAO points, 15 courses by more than 20 points There has been a huge increase in demand for Commerce courses in NUI Galway with General Commerce increasing from 340 to 375 points.  Reflecting students’ awareness of the need for language mobility in a global jobs market Commerce (International) with French has increased by 30 points to 525, Commerce (International) with German is up 45 to 450 and Commerce (International) with Spanish is up 50 points to 460. Business Information Systems recorded an increase of 30 points to 400 while Commerce (Accounting) is up 20 to 440.   Science courses, equally, show increased demand. Against the backdrop of NUI Galway’s national and international leadership in biomedical science programmes, Biomedical Science rose from 540 to 545, Biopharmaceutical Chemistry is at 505 (up 10), Biotechnology is at 465 (up 20) and Environmental Science is up 25 at 400. A new course in Physics is offering places to those students with 400 CAO points or more.   Another new course Arts with Journalism at 480 points generated significant interest. Arts, the second largest CAO undergraduate course in the country remains unchanged at 300 points despite the downward trend in Arts courses nationally.  In Law, both Civil Law (up 10) and Corporate Law (up 15) recorded increases.   Engineering courses remain popular with Leaving Cert students with Electrical and Electronic Engineering soaring 60 points to 515, while Civil Engineering and Project and Construction Management both increased by 30 points.   Energy Systems Engineering, taught in NUI Galway’s award winning Engineering Building and home to the largest School of Engineering and Informatics in Ireland, increased 10 points to 440.   Podiatry, the only course of its’ kind in Ireland, is up 10 points to 470. There was also an increase in demand for General Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing and Midwifery courses while  the demand for Medicine remained largely unchanged.   NUI Galway’s Admission Officer, Stephen O’Dea, said: ‘This year, CAO applicants have their eyes firmly the jobs market with marked increases in demand for Commerce and Science courses in particular. Demand for all Commerce courses has increased substantially with Commerce (International) with French up 30 to 525. NUI Galway’s strength and reputation in bioscience is also reflected with Biomedical Science (545) continuing to perform well and Biopharmaceutical Chemistry increasing to 505 points. In Engineering Electrical and Electronic Engineering soared 60 points to 515.’   He continued ‘Incoming students will be well placed to benefit from NUI Galway’s significant capital investment programme facilitating staff and students in embracing innovation, entrepreneurship and research. Our new course Arts with Journalism has performed particularly well, at 480 points, contrasting with the downward trend in demand for Arts courses nationally.’   -ENDS-   Pointí CAO méadaithe go mór do chúrsaí Tráchtála agus Eolaíochta in OÉ Gaillimh   Méadú ar phointí CAO do 34 cúrsa in OÉ Gaillimh, méadú sa bhreis ar 20 pointe ar 15 chúrsa Tá méadú ollmhór ar an éileamh ar chúrsaí Tráchtála in OÉ Gaillimh agus líon na bpointí don Tráchtáil Ghinearálta méadaithe ó 340 go 375.  Tá méadú 30 pointe go 525 tagtha ar Thráchtáil (Idirnáisiúnta) le Fraincis,  méadú 45 pointe go 450 tagtha ar Thráchtáil (Idirnáisiúnta) le Gearmáinis agus méadú 50 pointe go 460 tagtha ar Thráchtáil (Idirnáisiúnta) le Spáinnis. Léiríonn an méadú seo tuiscint na mac léinn ar an riachtanas a bhaineann le teangacha sa mhargadh domhanda. Tháinig méadú 30 pointe go 400 ar Chórais Faisnéise Gnó agus tá Tráchtáil suas 20 pointe go 440.   Tá méadú tagtha chomh maith ar an éileamh ar chúrsaí Eolaíochta. I gcomhthéacs cheannródaíocht náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta OÉ Gaillimh i gcláir eolaíochta bithleighis, tá méadú ó 540 go 545 tagtha ar Eolaíocht Bhithleighis, méadú 10 bpointe go 505 ar Cheimic Bhithchógaisíochta, méadú 20 pointe go 465 ar Bhiteicneolaíocht agus méadú 25 pointe go 400 ar Eolaíocht Chomhshaoil. Tá cúrsa nua Fisice ag tairiscint áiteanna do mhic léinn le 400 pointe CAO nó os a chionn.   Is léir go raibh spéis ar leith i gcúrsa nua eile - Na Dána le hIriseoireacht - agus 480 pointe ag teastáil chun tabhairt faoi.  Níl aon athrú tagtha ar na pointí don chúrsa sna Dána (300 pointe), an dara cúrsa fochéime CAO is mó sa tír, in ainneoin an laghdaithe ar phointí i gcúrsaí sna Dána ar fud na tíre.  I gcúrsaí Dlí, tháinig méadú ar na pointí do Dhlí Sibhialta (suas 10 bpointe) agus do Dhlí Corparáideach (suas 15 phointe).   Tá tóir i gcónaí ag mic léinn Ardteistiméireachta ar chúrsaí Innealtóireachta agus tháinig méadú ollmhór 60 pointe go 515 ar an Innealtóireacht Leictreach agus Leictreonach, agus tháinig méadú 30 pointe ar Innealtóireacht Shibhialta agus ar Bhainistíocht Foirgníochta.   Tá méadú 10 bpointe go 440 tagtha ar Innealtóireacht Chóras Faisnéise, cúrsa a dhéantar a theagasc san Fhoirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta a tógadh ag baint úsáide as modhanna éiceolaíocha tógála.   Tháinig méadú ar na pointí don chúrsa Cosliachta, an t-aon chúrsa dá leithéid sa tír, suas 10 bpointe go 470, agus bhí méadú ar an éileamh ar chúrsaí san Altranas Ginearálta, Altranas Síciatrach agus Cnáimhseachas agus is beag athrú a tháinig ar an éileamh ar Leigheas.   Dúirt Oifigeach Iontrála OÉ Gaillimh, Stephen O’Dea: ‘I mbliana, tá iarratasóirí CAO ag coinneáil súil ghéar ar mhargadh na bpost agus tá sé le feiceáil againn sa mhéadú atá tagtha ar na pointí a theastaíonn do chúrsaí Tráchtála agus Eolaíochta go háirithe. Tá méadú suntasach tagtha ar an éileamh ar gach cúrsa Tráchtála agus méadú 30 pointe go 525 ar Thráchtáil (Idirnáisiúnta) le Fraincis. Tá láidreacht agus cáil OÉ Gaillimh san eolaíocht bhitheach le feiceáil sa tóir atá i gcónaí ar an Eolaíocht Bhithleighis (545) agus méadú go 505 pointe tagtha ar an Eolaíocht Bhithchógaisíochta. San Innealtóireacht tháinig méadú ollmhór 60 pointe go 515 ar an Innealtóireacht Leictreach agus Leictreonach.’   Dúirt sé freisin, ‘Bainfidh mic léinn tairbhe as an gclár suntasach infheistíochta caipitil in OÉ Gaillimh a chuireann ar chumas na foirne agus na mac léinn aghaidh a thabhairt ar nuálaíocht, ar fhiontraíocht agus ar thaighde. D’éirigh go han-mhaith leis an gcúrsa nua - Na Dána le hIriseoireacht - agus 480 pointe ag teastáil chun tabhairt faoi, téann sé seo i gcoinne an éilimh laghdaithe ar chúrsaí sna Dána go náisiúnta.’    -CRÍOCH-      

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

  NUI Galway and Galway businesses and business leaders to the fore in US feature   Quotes from NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne and Galway business leaders are prominent in an extensive Washington Post feature ‘Can Ireland’s Celtic Tiger roar again?’ published at the weekend.   The article, written by Steve Pearlstein, analyses the post-crash economy through the views of observers in Dublin and Galway, with NUI Galway, Galway Chamber and Galway businessman John O’Shaughnessy featuring in the lengthy analysis.   NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne is quoted as saying, in the context of the Irish recovery, "We need to talk not about recovering the economy but recasting it, since in some important ways, what we had before was a disaster."   The feature followed a visit to Ireland by the Washington Post journalist Steve Pearlstein in June and was published this weekend on August 16th. The article is available at the Washington Post online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/can-irelands-celtic-tiger-roar-again/2013/08/16/1462304c-0460-11e3-a07f-49ddc7417125_story.html   -ends-  

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

  NUI Galway School of Nursing and Midwifery partner with 3 UK universities in research findings on models of maternity care Maternity care that involves a midwife as the main care provider leads to better outcomes for most women, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. Researchers found that women who received continued care throughout pregnancy and birth from a small group of midwives were less likely to give birth pre-term and required fewer interventions during labour and birth than when their care was shared between different obstetricians, GPs and midwives.   In many countries, including the UK and Australia, midwives act as the main providers of care for women throughout pregnancy, labour and birth. In midwife-led care, there is an emphasis on normality, continuity of care and being cared for by a known, trusted midwife during labour.   Midwife-led continuity of care is provided in a multi-disciplinary network of consultation and referral with other care providers. This contrasts with medical-led models of care, where an obstetrician or family physician is primarily responsible for care, and with shared-care, where responsibility is shared between different healthcare professionals. There has been some debate about whether the midwife-led model of care is more effective.   The researchers reviewed data from 13 trials involving a total of 16,242 women. Eight trials included women at low risk of complications and five trials included women at high risk of complications. They looked at outcomes for mothers and babies when midwives were the main providers of care, compared to medical-led or shared care models.   When midwives were the main providers of care throughout, women were less likely to give birth before 37 weeks or lose their babies before 24 weeks. Women were happier with the care they received, had fewer epidurals, fewer assisted births, and fewer episiotomies. An episiotomy involves making a surgical incision to reduce the risk of a tear. In addition, women who received midwife-led care were no more likely to have a caesarean birth, but they were in labour for about half an hour longer on average.   Researchers from the School of Nursing and Midwifery in NUI Galway joined with Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Warwick to form an interdisciplinary team of researchers led by Jane Sandall of the Division of Women’s Health at King’s College London.   Professor Declan Devane of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway said ‘this work has important policy implications and provides high quality evidence of the benefits for women and their infants of midwife-led models of care supported by appropriate multi-professional referral. Other countries are using this to inform their maternity care policy and Ireland should do likewise.’   Five studies considered the cost of midwife-led compared to shared care. While care provided by midwives was more cost-effective during labour, the results for postnatal care were inconclusive. “There was wide variation in the way that maternity care costs were estimated in the included studies, but what was there suggested cost-saving effects of midwife-led care,” said Professor Devane.   -ends-  

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Four programmes to run for three years are among 40 selected from over 209 applications NUI Galway has secured funding from the Health Research Board (HRB) worth €1.3m for four research programmes to run over the next three years.The HRB is to invest €12m in a total of 40 projects focused on different areas of research.   Questions addressed nationally include; Are current increases in suicide rates linked to the recession? Does our blood group determine our risk of heart attack? How do we improve outcomes for young adults with diabetes?  Four of the research projects will be conducted at NUI Galway.   Dr Sean Dinneen is investigating an intervention that will improve outcomes for young adults living with Type 1 Diabetes. Dr Thomas Ritter, National University of Ireland Galway aims to develop a new topical treatment for skin inflammation using adult stems cells.   Dr Wenxin Wang will seek to develop a new topical treatment for RDEB (Recessive Dsytrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa) which causes severe skin blistering in sufferers. Dr Dara Cannon aims to identify the biological subtypes of Bipolar Disorder to better understand the illness and speed up patients’ relief from symptoms.   Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway welcomed the awards, adding that ‘today’s announcement is further endorsement of the calibre and relevance of research underway at NUI Galway.  In particular, this research will improve health outcomes for patients with type 1 diabetes, skin inflammation, RDEB, and bipolar disorder.  As a research-led University, innovative research is central to our objectives and I congratulate each of the researchers on their success under the HRB programme’.   'This funding will address a wide range of subjects, including mental health, cancer, diabetes and arthritis, says Enda Connolly, Chief Executive at the HRB. 'It will support health professionals and researchers to examine pressing research questions that will deliver strong evidence to enhance patient care, improve people's health or lifestyle and positively influence how we deliver our health services'.   The HRB selected a total of 40 projects from 209 applications. These were assessed by international peer review panels who believed the nature, scope and relevance of the proposals demonstrated great ambition and innovation that would lead to results that are relevant both nationally and internationally.   -ends-  

Friday, 23 August 2013

Higher uptake among well-off in Ireland, UK, US but among less well-off in Northern Ireland A working paper published this week by NUI Galway economists points to important differences in uptake of cervical cancer screening. The study compared uptake of cervical cancer screening in Ireland, Northern Ireland, England and the US. It found that while cervical cancer is known to be more prevalent among those from lower socio-economic groups, uptake of screening in Ireland, England and the US all evidenced a pro-rich inequality – the better off were more likely to avail of it.   By contrast in Northern Ireland, the less well-off were more likely to avail of it; a pro-poor inequality was evident. Interestingly, this was driven by the behaviour of Catholics where a marked pro-poor inequality was evident, no such inequality being evident among Protestants.   While incidence rates and mortality rates associated with cervical cancer have been shown to evidence a pro-poor pattern (poor people are more likely to have and to die from cervical cancer), the study results show that in Ireland, England and the US a pro-rich pattern of screening exists. Why Northern Ireland should evidence a pro-poor pattern of service use and why Catholics in particular should do so is unclear but suggests that opportunities exist for shared learning.   NUI Galway researchers point to this as an example of how economists can help inform cancer control policies. Further work by economists from NUI Galway will be presented at the Inaugural Economics of Cancer Research Symposium to be hosted by NUI Galway on Monday 2nd September. The Symposium, funded as part of a Health Research Board (HRB) Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme (KEDS) initiative, will include presentations that explore various economic aspects of cancer care, policy formulation and research.   Contributors include speakers from the National Cancer Institute (USA), University of Washington, Imperial College London, the Stockholm School of Economics, Irish Cancer Society and Health Research Board. Dr Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer of Northern Ireland will provide the opening address. A range of poster presentations based on work conducted in Ireland will be on display.   Professor Ciaran O’Neill, Dean of Business, Public Policy and Law says “Every decision has an economic dimension. Whether or not an individual decides to avail of screening, a government decides to fund a particular service or a pharmaceutical company decides to invest in a new treatment, choices are made; choices that have consequences for individuals, families and society. If we are to have an effective cancer control strategy it is crucial that we understand how choices are made, what impact they have and how we might seek to improve upon them. While research at NUI Galway has helped inform the development of policy in Ireland we recognise that no one individual or group has all the questions let alone all the answers. This symposium and the Group it will launch will create an international forum where we can explore the issues and seek answers to the questions together.”   Brendan Walsh, co-organiser and HRB/NCI Fellow states “The Economics of Cancer Research Symposium will bring together stakeholders involved in cancer research including clinicians, patient groups, policy makers, the media and economists. It is hoped that Group to be launched at the symposium will provide an infrastructure that will facilitate communication and knowledge exchange amongst cancer researchers from multidisciplinary backgrounds, both in Ireland and internationally, and allow evidence-based research to be easily disseminated to help inform policy across the cancer care pathway.”   Registration for The Economics of Cancer Research Symposium is free and available at http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/menu.asp?menu=1363&Conference=243 or by emailing b.walsh4@nuigalway.ie or economicsofcancerresearch@gmail.com   The Symposium will be live broadcast online at the Health Economics and Policy Analysis webpage http://www.nuigalway.ie/health-economics/   Follow this Group on https://twitter.com/EconCancerRes or using the hashtag #EconCancer Working paper “Exploring inequalities in service use: the case of cervical cancer screening in Ireland, the United Kingdom and United States” can be found here: http://db.tt/bH6Cjfj1   -ends-    

Monday, 26 August 2013

NUI Galway will host Ireland’s largest surgical conference, the 38th Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium, on 6-7 September. Internationally renowned surgeon, Professor Leslie Nathanson will deliver the Memorial Lecture entitled ‘A Journey Towards the Perfect Fundoplication’.  Dr Nathanson is a General Surgeon and Head of the Hepatobiliary Unit at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Queensland, Australia with special interests in laparoscopic, hepatobiliary and upper gastrointestinal surgery, especially the evolution of laparoscopic fundoplication surgery for reflux. Best known for the Nathanson laparoscopic liver retractor and development of a common bile basket used for extracting common bile duct stones, Dr Nathanson randomised trial of ERCP vs Laparoscopic treatment of CBD stones was published in 2005, and was a landmark trial in the treatment of common bile duct stones. His recent work on measuring adult oesophageal junction distensiblity during general anaesthetic assessed with the EndoFLIP (endoscopic functional luminal imagery probe) was published in 2011. He was awarded an honorary fellowship from the Edinburgh College of Surgeons in 2012. Professor Patrick Broe will deliver the State of the Art Lecture entitled ‘Irish Surgery: The Need for Vision and Leadership’on Saturday, 7 September at 1pm. Professor Broe is President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Consultant General Surgeon at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin with a special interest in Upper Gastrointestinal and Laparoscopic Surgery. He has been a member of the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland since 1991 and during this time he has been Chairman of the College Committee, the CME Committee, the General Surgery Sub-Committee and the Irish Surgical Postgraduate Training Committee. He was President of the Surgical Section of the Royal Academy of Medicine (RAMI) from 2006-2008. In Beaumont Hospital Professor Broe has served as chairman of the Surgical Division, the Medical Board and the Ethics Committee. He held the Chair of Clinical Governance from 2007-2009 after which he became Clinical Director for Surgery. He has been the Lead Clinical Director for Beaumont Hospital since 2011.  Michael Kerin, Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Nathanson and Professor Broe to our University. Dr Nathanson is one of the pioneers of minimal access surgery and is highly regarded internationally within his field.  Both lectures are the centre-points of a large programme containing some of the best surgical research from this country.”  The annual Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium provides a platform for healthcare professionals to present their research and clinical work and allows for the merging of both scientific and clinical information. It is named in memory of the Galway-born surgeon, Sir Peter Freyer, who performed the first successful surgical operation to remove an enlarged prostate in 1900. The venue for the 38th Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium will be the Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway. For further information call 091-524390 or visit www.freyer.ie -ENDS-

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Two NUI Galway Bachelor of Science students, Catherine McIntyre and Sinead Curran, recently completed summer studentships, carrying out work on undergraduate research projects at the University. The studentships have been funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry Analytical Chemistry Trust Fund (ACTF) Catherine McIntyre worked in the group of Professor Dónal Leech, School of Chemistry, on research to develop alternate systems for monitoring the extent of carbonaceous waste in wastewater plants. During her undergraduate degree, Catherine from Naas, Co. Kildare, became interested in environmental chemistry, and the chemistry of the environment, and the summer studentship allowed the opportunity to gain firsthand experience in this area. Catherine worked on development of a novel system for monitoring biological oxygen demand (BOD) in wastewaters. Traditional BOD measures the amount of carbonaceous material in wastes that can be biologically degraded, and is therefore an important parameter for wastewater and water quality management and determinations take 5-7 days. Research by Catherine focused on growing microbial biofilms on electrode surfaces and using these to generate a signal related to BOD of wastewaters, to provide a more rapid means of monitoring BOD in the samples. A native of Headford, Co. Galway, Sinead Curran worked with NUI Galway’s Dr Andrea Erxleben on the development and analysis of co-amorphous composites of the active pharmaceutical ingredient acyclovir with small-molecule excipients. The studentship has allowed Sinead to gain first research experience in pharmaceutical chemistry. Sinead worked on the development and analysis of co-amorphous composites of the antiviral drug acyclovir with small-molecule excipients. So-called composite amorphous systems, in which a more soluble form of a poorly soluble drug is stabilized, are a relatively new approach to overcome poor water solubility of therapeutics. Poor solubility in water is one of the major hurdles in drug development today. The summer project gave Sinead the opportunity to apply analytical techniques that she had studied in her analytical chemistry course module to a compound of pharmaceutical interest and to use the state-of-the-art analytical equipment in the School of Chemistry. NUI Galway’s Professor Dónal Leech said: “The prestigious ACTF studentships were awarded to Sinead and Catherine, who have demonstrated excellence in their undergraduate Chemistry studies, to allow them have fun and expand their knowledge undertaking research in NUI Galway School of Chemistry research projects.” -ENDS-

Friday, 30 August 2013

A delegation of Irish representatives from the industry, policy and research sectors will be leaving for Canada in early September to stimulate further use of our marine biological resources through marine biotechnology driven R&D initiatives. The initiative is overseen by the Office of the Vice-President for Research of NUI Galway and is activated by the Marine Biotechnology Research Coordination Unit, a trans-institutional initiative based in NUI Galway, supported by the Marine Institute.   The delegation gathers the interests of research partners such as NUI Galway, Teagasc Ashtown Food Research Centre and other research centres that are focused on the goals set out by Ireland’s Marine Knowledge, Research and Innovation Strategy, 2007-2013 (Sea Change) for the National Marine Biotechnology Programme. In particular, NUI Galway is a key component of the Marine Institute Beaufort Award for Marine Biodiscovery Research and have responsibilities in the national Marine Functional Foods Research Initiative (NutraMara), coordinated by Teagasc Ashtown. Both programmes are funded by the Marine Research sub-programme of the current National Development Plan (NDP, 2007-2013) with the aim to mine our marine biological resources to bring novel materials in the health & wellbeing, biomaterials and food sectors.   Among the research performers, and with a strong vocation for services to industry is also the Shannon ABC group, an Enterprise Ireland funded Research Gate infrastructure and a collaboration between Limerick IT and Tralee IT. Industry delegates include the historical business of Arramara Teo, the main supplier of raw seaweed material from the west coast; and Oilean Glas Teoranta (OGT), an Irish company with a core business based on the harvesting and processing macro algae from the Donegal coast, for applications in the horticulture, animal health, cosmetics, human nutrition, biopharma sectors and other value-added markets.   Dr Ilaria Nardello, Marine Biotechnology Research Coordinator, NUI Galway, said: “It’s very novel that such a combination of industry, research and agencies aggregates in a short time to engage in a long distance business-opportunity trip. The participation of representatives from the development agency Údarás na Gaeltachta is particularly significant given the agency’s awareness of the need to add value to our marine biological resources and be integral part of the innovation process.”    The delegation will attend the international business convention ‘Biomarine 2013’ in Halifax. NUI Galway’s Professor Deniz Tasdemir and Dr Ilaria Nardello and Declan Troy of Teagasc, have been invited to participate in the conference’s panel discussions, producing relevant visibility for Ireland in the convention. The panels will debate the emergence and role of marine biotech clusters, in various areas of the world, including Ireland, France and USA, and the relevance of our natural product research outputs to application sectors such as healthcare, biomaterials, nutrition and environment.      The conference will be followed by a dedicated visit to the Technopole Maritime du Quebec (TMQ), at Rimouski. A Memorandum of understanding between NUI Galway and the TMQ will describe their mutual interests and intention to jointly apply for funding for marine biotech R&D initiatives. A call will be issued to small, medium and large size industry to engage in collaborative research programmes under the Eureka and Atlantic Area Cooperation programmes, as well as EU Horizon 2020, to develop collaborative activities in the health & wellbeing sectors, diagnostics, biosensors and novel biomaterials.   Dr Nardello continued: “These events demonstrate that the marine environment’s potential has been fully recognised by the policy, industry and research sectors. The marine biotechnology community appears poised to unite and collaborate around concrete initiatives. In line with the recent 'Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation', the Atlantic is proving to be an area of convergence for research and development endeavours around ‘the marine environment’, which can fuel Ireland’s ‘Blue Economy’ and create business and employment opportunities.”   -ENDS-  

Monday, 1 July 2013

The IUA has announced changes to the HPAT-Ireland examination which is used for entry to all undergraduate medical courses at Irish Higher Education Institutions. The main focus of these changes is to enhance equity of access and transparency.  Note: Students with Leaving Certificates from previous years can still apply for entry to medicine it is only the HPAT test that has to be sat in the year of entry. The changes are as follows: Change 1: Revised Weighting of HPAT- Ireland Test Sections. Effective from 2014 The revised weighting scheme as outlined in Table 1 below will be implemented for the 2014 HPAT-Ireland test.  The change in weighting of the 3 sections aims to reduce the potential benefits of repeating the examination, as an evaluation of HPAT-Ireland has shown that Non-Verbal Reasoning scores can be improved through repeating the exam. HPAT-Ireland Test Section Old Weighting New  Weighting 2014 1. Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving 1 (33.3%) 2 (40%) 2. Interpersonal Understanding 1 (33.3%) 2 (40%) 3. Non-Verbal Reasoning 1 (33.3%) 1 (20%) Table 1: revised weighting for each of the three sections of the HPAT–Ireland test Change 2: HPAT-Ireland Examination Results Valid for One Year Only. Effective from 2013 The results of HPAT-Ireland examinations sat in 2013 and subsequent years will only be valid for a single year for admission to undergraduate medical courses. This means that it will not be possible to present results achieved in the 2013 sitting of the HPAT-Ireland test for admission to undergraduate medical courses in 2014. Applicants who sat the HPAT-Ireland exam in 2012 will still be able to present their 2012 HPAT-Ireland result when applying for admission to undergraduate medicine in 2013. Change 3: HPAT-Ireland Practice Material Being Made Available to All Applicants. Already effective. Students who registered for the HPAT-Ireland 2013 test received, as part of their registration, a copy of the HPAT-Ireland Practice Test booklet, which contains worked answers to assist them with their test preparation.  This change will continue to apply in subsequent years. The changes apply to: National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) Trinity College, Dublin (TCD) University College Cork (UCC) University College Dublin (UCD) These changes are based on a number of recommendations made in July 2012 by a National Research Group which evaluated Revised Entry Mechanisms to Medicine.  The full report of the National Research Group is available on http://www.iua.ie/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/HPAT-report-July2012.pdf Ends

Monday, 1 July 2013

Galway Arts Festival has announced details of its partnership with NUI Galway for this year’s Festival, which runs from the 15-28 July. One key element of the partnership is to offer participants the opportunity to be part of the SELECTED professional development programme for emerging artists and producers. Eight candidates will be chosen to be part of SELECTED, and given access to all areas to the festival for an intensive two-week submersion ‘behind the scenes’. Participants are drawn from NUI Galway’s theatre and drama postgraduate courses who will join four other emerging Irish theatre makers, producers and visual artists. The SELECTED programme offers participants the opportunity to experience how Galway Arts Festival is produced, attend key elements of the festival programme, participate in talks and discussions, and in lectures and seminars facilitated by Irish and international arts professionals.  NUI Galway offers a very successful BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance, which began at the University this year, and a new part-time MA in Drama and Theatre Studies is currently enrolling for September 2013. Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, coordinates the SELECTED programme with Galway Arts Festival. Speaking about the SELECTED Programme, Professor Lonergan said: “This unique ‘behind the scenes’ programme gives candidates an unparalleled experience. Last year’s participants in the SELECTED programme benefited hugely from being at the heart of such a dynamic, international, arts festival.” Galway Arts Festival Chief Executive, John Crumlish, commented: “This programme provides a very exciting opportunity for ourselves and our partner NUI Galway. The ultimate aim is to see course participants develop careers in culture and contribute significantly in that field in the future. Hopefully even returning someday to Galway Arts Festival and becoming a festival highlight.” Festival Artistic Director Paul Fahy added: “We have a hugely exciting programme in place for SELECTED 2013 and participants will enjoy a wealth of knowledge from international producers, directors and programmers in addition to enjoying all aspects of this year’s Festival.”   -ends-

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Croí recently announced the launch of five bursaries for students of NUI Galway’s new MSc in Preventive Cardiology, which commences this September. The bursaries, in the amount of €1,000 each, are sponsored by MSD Ireland. “We believe that for Irish healthcare professionals to have access to a Masters in Preventive Cardiology will ultimately be of enormous benefit to Irish patients” said Mairead McCaul of MSD at the announcement of their sponsorship of the bursary fund for the programme. “We are very pleased to be involved in this partnership and to further enhance our commitment to Croí and NUI Galway. We are delighted to announce that successful applicants to the Masters programme can apply through Croí for the MSD Preventive Cardiology Bursary.” NUI Galway will become the first university in Ireland to provide postgraduate training at Masters level in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in a unique community partnership with Croí and the West of Ireland Cardiac Foundation, in a collaborative partnership with industry partners Kerry Group, MSD Ireland and HSE West. This innovative postgraduate course is only one of two of its kind in the world and the collaboration with Croí makes it unique. The founder course at Imperial College London is fully supportive of the NUI Galway programme. Assistant Course Director of the Galway programme, Jenni Jones, recently joined Croí from Imperial College London, where she was Programme Leader for their Masters in Preventive Cardiology course. All students who accept a place on this new MSc course are eligible to apply for a bursary. Further details on the bursaries are available directly from Croí, by contacting Neil Johnson at neil@croi.ie or 091 544310. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

NUI Galway recently held their fourth annual Computing Summer Camp. Due to the high demand for places, this year the Computing Summer Camp ran over a two-week period with 100 students participating. Students ranged in age from 13 to 17, and came from secondary schools across Galway City and County, as well as from Dublin, Clare, Mayo, Roscommon, Westmeath and Sligo. Throughout the camp students participated in a number of activities including writing computer games in Scratch, creating web apps with HTML5 and JavaScript, building and programming autonomous robots, and making 3D computer models. On each Friday, a competition was held where students work on solo or group projects using their favourite technologies from the week, and prizes were awarded for the best ones. Organised by the Discipline of Information Technology at NUI Galway, this year a Computer Science and Information Technology Experience Day was organised for the first time organised by Drs Enda Howley and Conor Hayes. The aim was to provide senior-cycle students with a taste of university life, and featured lectures, demonstrations of research projects and hands-on software development activities. Dr Michael Madden, Head of the Information Technology Discipline at NUI Galway, said: “With our Summer Camp and Experience Day, as well as introducing second-level students to exciting technologies, we wanted to help dispel some incorrect stereotypes about degrees and careers in computer science and information technology, such as that they are male-only, solitary, and desk-bound. To that end, we particularly welcomed female participants, we arranged group projects, and we encouraged outdoor activities during break times.” The huge interest in this year’s Computing Summer Camp is mirrored by the increasing number of applications for computing degree programmes such as the BSc in Computer Science and Information Technology at NUI Galway, as well as the rapid growth of CoderDojo nationally and internationally. For more information contact Dr Michael Madden, Head of Information Technology Discipline, NUI Galway at 091 493797 or 086 7952802. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

A team of 14 scientists, led by NUI Galway’s Dr Louise Allcock, recently returned to Galway following a three-week deep sea research survey aboard the Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer. Building on the success of two previous research surveys, the Biodiscovery and Ecosystem Function of Canyons Survey investigated a wide diversity of habitats and underwater communities in the Whittard Canyon system on the Irish Atlantic margin.  Whittard Canyon is one of many subsea canyons that incise the eastern margin of the North Atlantic.  From its head on the continental shelf, to its mouth out on the abyssal plain, the depth of Whittard Canyon is more than twice the depth of the Grand Canyon. Speaking about the success of the survey, chief scientist Dr Louise Allcock of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway said: “The survey is part of an ongoing effort to understand Ireland’s deep-sea biodiversity working in parallel with a national biodiscovery programme.” Outlining the work of the scientists, Dr Allcock explained: “In addition to collecting samples of various marine organisms, the research team investigated the impact of food quality and distribution upon life in these canyons. There was a notable difference between the delivery of food particles in the different arms of the canyon that were explored, mirrored by the types of communities found.” Dr Allcock also noted the interdisciplinary nature of the research team, which included PhD students from NUI Galway, Queens University Belfast, Trinity College Dublin, and University College Cork. Two undergraduate Marine Science students from NUI Galway, Feilim O’Toole and Sorcha Cronin O’Reilly, were selected to participate in the survey earlier this year. The 3rd year students collected data for their final year projects. The research team used the Marine Institute’s Deepwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), Holland 1, to collect to specimens of coral, sponges, sediment samples and other marine organisms. Spectacular footage captured by the ROV’s high definition camera included a rare giant hydroid over half a metre in diameter, clams and oysters that are over 200 years old and a deep-water rough shark (Oxynotus paradoxus). Aodhan FitzGerald, Research Vessel Program Coordinator at the Marine Institute congratulated the team’s effective use of the ROV, which logged almost 150 user hours in water depths ranging from 400 to 2500 metres. He said: “This has been a highly successful survey for the Holland 1, or Holly as the scientists on-board refer to it. The ROV sampled a vast array of specimens in a variety of terrain including sheer cliff faces at amazing depths in dives that lasted up to 14 hours.” “This survey has proven the capability of the Holland 1 as a deep-water scientific ROV”, he added. Many of the specimens collected by the research team, including a rare five kilogram sponge, will be used in biodiscovery research. Marine organisms, including the bacteria in sediment, often produce complex chemicals, some of which are likely new to science.  Biochemists and chemists will extract these chemicals and test them for antibacterial and other pharmaceutical properties with the ultimate aim of synthesising useful new chemicals in the laboratory. Dr Kostas Kiriakoulakis of Liverpool John Moores University, along with Dr Martin White, an earth and ocean scientist at NUI Galway and his PhD student Annette Wilson, conducted an extensive series of water measurements during the cruise as part of their research on the relationship between the ecosystems of the canyons and marine particles. These particles, often called ‘marine snow’, are key to understanding how the quantity and quality of available food impacts upon the creation of the underwater communities found in these canyons. Marine particles are the result of the decay of phytoplankton blooms; as the bloom sinks to the seafloor, the material provides food and nutrients to underwater communities.   By analysing the water quality and food quality data together with the video from the ROV, the scientists hope to enhance their understanding of how this complex ecosystem functions. This research survey and the Beaufort Marine Research Award are carried out under the Sea Change strategy with the support of the Marine Institute and the Marine Research Sub-programme of the National Development Plan 2007–2013. The Beaufort award in Marine Biodiscovery is a consortium between NUI Galway, UCC and Queen’s University Belfast. The Ship-Time Programme provides access to the National Research Vessels (Celtic Explorer / Celtic Voyager) for research organisations based in Ireland. The scientists blogged about their experiences and discoveries aboard the RV Celtic Explorer throughout the survey on Scientists@Sea, http://scientistsatsea.blogspot.ie/. -ends-

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

: The Galway Fringe Festival takes place from 12 to 30 July and features art, music, readings, comedy, exhibitions, workshops and theatre. A number of the events will take place in the Cube Theatre, Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway. Darren Coppinger, Venue Manager of the Cube Theatre, NUI Galway, said: “When preparing our programme, we wanted to present an exciting line of new, fresh voices. Most of the groups performing are students themselves or have recently graduated from university, and are beginning their own careers in the performing arts. So, it’s a really wonderful mix of styles on offer.” Among the productions scheduled at NUI Galway is One Last Drop which runs from 22-25 July. From the choreographer of last year’s most successful Fringe show Rewind, Claudia O’Sullivan, in collaboration with Kori Kilduff, will premier the Fringe’s only dance piece. Both women have been choreographing in collaboration for children and young adults since 2005 and are graduates of NUI Galway. In One Last Drop, we follow the stories of man and woman as they struggle with an addiction to alcohol. Watch as their stories unfold through dance and music and see how quickly life can fall from happiness and belonging to destruction and numbness. Made to Shiver by NUI Galway student Rory O’ Sullivan runs from 26-29 July. The stories of this work are rooted in the context of last summer with the events that unfolded at the Swedish House Mafia Concert and Katie Taylor’s Olympic exploits. With friendships forged from pain and a family crippled by shame, the characters look back to that cold tickle in their chest that warmed and changed their lives forever. The play was highly successful at the University’s Jerome Hynes One Act Play Series, as part of the NUI Galway Theatre Festival, where it won Best Actor and Best Sound. The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband Theatre byDebbie Isitt is a darkly comic take on contemporary love and marriage. The show was selected from among 40 others to represent Trinity College at this year's Irish Student Drama Association (ISDA) Awards, where it won Best Director and Best Actor, as well as being nominated for numerous awards, such as Best Production. It runs in Galway from 21-24 July. Theatre company 'Play Dough Productions' will present This is the Day, a new piece of writing by the up and coming playwright Cristin Kehoe, a participant on acclaimed new artist development programme 'Play On' (as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival, 2012).  The play offers a snapshot of present day rural Ireland – staging a community where everyone knows everyone and everything is as it’s always been and always will be. This is the Day runs from 15-18 July. La Petite Famille, who are travelling from France for the festival, will perform Tomorrow’s Dawn, a musical about love and friendship. The work explores intergenerational relationships between young people and parents, young people and teachers, and young people between themselves. The music seeks to immerse its audience into the heart of what it means to be young today. This new musical, which is performed in English, runs from 12-16 July. According to Riona Hughes, Society Officer at NUI Galway: “'The University Societies participation in the Galway summer festivals and the theatre programme in the Cube as part of the Galway Fringe are a testament to the talent and creativity of the students involved in societies. It is particularly gratifying for me that this year the summer programme, now in its third year, is being directed and managed by students with a very exciting and diverse selection of productions both featuring our students and guest productions. I hope that the city and its many visitors will come onto campus to enjoy our beautiful grounds and to enjoy the high quality shows and I wish all involved in the Galway Fringe a very successful festival.” The summer programme for the Cube Theatre will be launched on Wednesday, 10 July at 5.30pm in the Cube Theatre. During the launch artists from the Festival will present excerpts from their work. There will also be readings from Galway writers Kernan Andrews, Arts Editor with the Galway Advertiser, and Ruth Quinlan, the recent winner of the Hennessy First Fiction Literary Award 2013, plus a performance by the new NUI Galway Staff Choir.  A selection of music, dance, theatre and readings will also take place at a variety of locations around Galway City. Tickets are from €10-12 and are available from the Fringe Box Office or online at www.galwayfringe.ie, and from the SocsBox, Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway. See www.festivals.nuigalway.ie for more details. -ENDS-

Thursday, 4 July 2013

NUI Galway has issued a final call for applications to its Sports Scholarships Scheme for 2013/14. The University has a long tradition of excellence in sport and this has been enhanced by the recent success in Rowing, Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby as well as numerous individual achievements. The deadline for application for current and prospective students is Wednesday the 31st July at 5 pm. The Scholarship Programme is aimed at student-athletes of outstanding calibre who register as students of the University. The scheme is also open to students already studying at NUI Galway. In the current academic year, student athletes at NUI Galway received significant financial and professional support services.  The scholarships aim to help aspiring young sportspeople to continue to develop their sporting prowess. Currently 60 students receive support under the scheme in a broad range of sports. The scheme has assisted dozens of athletes’ progress to the highest levels of their sport in recent years and is aimed at providing them with the tools for success in the long term. Applicants for sports scholarships must satisfy the academic criteria for entry to NUI Galway and must have applied to the CAO in the usual manner. Gary Ryan is Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway: “The strongest selling point of our Sports Scholarship program is the results that it is producing. We have supported the development of numerous Irish Internationals including some World Champions and medallists over the last number of years as well as the enormous success that so many of our GAA players have enjoyed at Senior and U21 level in recent years.” A former Irish Olympian and record-breaking sprinter, Gary Ryan sees a bright future for the NUI Galway sports scholarships: “Our focus is on the support of our student athletes in their dual careers. We strive to offer world class supports in one of the Ireland’s leading Universities. Our scholarship students develop skills that will sustain them in their future sporting and professional careers and the long list of successful sporting alumni is testament to that.” For the Scholarships, students who meet the University’s entry requirements will be selected on merit by an independent panel. In addition to the scholarship, students will receive specialist support including physiotherapy, treatment of injury, fitness training, coaching and support for travel to national and international competitions. More details on the Sports Scholarship Scheme at http://www.nuigalway.ie/sports/scholarships_info.html  or by calling the Sport and Recreation Unit at NUI Galway on 091 495979. All applications must be submitted online at http://www.sports.nuigalway.ie/scholarshipform.html Ends Iarratais le haghaidh Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh – an Ghairm Dheiridh Tá Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh tar éis an ghairm dheiridh a eisiúint i leith iarratais ar an Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt, 2013/14. Tá barr feabhais á baint amach le fada an lá ag an Ollscoil i gcúrsaí spóirt, agus tá ag éirí thar cionn léi le tamall anuas i Rámhaíocht, Iománaíocht, Cispheil, Sacar agus Rugbaí; tá gaiscí go leor déanta freisin ag iomaitheoirí aonair.  Glacfar go dtí 5pm, Dé Céadaoin, an 31 Iúil le hiarratais ó mhic léinn reatha agus mic léinn atá le bheith ar an Ollscoil amach anseo. Tá an Clár Scoláireachtaí ann ar mhaithe le mic léinn chláraithe de chuid na hOllscoile ar lúthchleasaithe den scoth freisin iad. Féadfaidh mic léinn atá ag staidéar in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh cheana féin iarratas a dhéanamh chomh maith ar thacaíocht faoin scéim. Le linn na bliana acadúla seo, fuair mic léinn/lúthchleasaithe in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh tacaíocht shuntasach airgid agus bhí seirbhísí tacaíochta gairme ar fáil freisin dóibh.  Tá na scoláireachtaí ann ar mhaithe le lúthchleasaithe agus imreoirí óga agus iad ag iarraidh barr feabhais a bhaint amach ina spórt féin. Faoi láthair, tá 60 mac léinn ag fáil tacaíochta faoin scéim agus is iomaí cineál spóirt atá i gceist. Tá na scórtha lúthchleasaithe ann ar éirigh leo, de thoradh na scéime, barr feabhais a bhaint amach ina spórt féin le blianta beaga anuas; is é aidhm na scéime cuidiú leo ionas go mbeidh rath orthu i bhfad na haimsire. Iarratasóirí ar scoláireachtaí spóirt, ní mór dóibh na critéir acadúla a bhaineann le háit a fháil ar chlár léinn in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh a chomhlíonadh; ní mór dóibh freisin iarratas a dhéanamh tríd an Lár-Oifig Iontrála ar an ngnáthbhealach. Is é Gary Ryan an tOifigeach Forbartha Spóirt – Éilít, in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh: “Is é an cháil is mó atá ar ár gClár Scoláireachtaí Spóirt na torthaí atá ag teacht as. Is iomaí lúthchleasaí idirnáisiúnta Éireannach atá tagtha in inmhe faoin scéim seo le blianta beaga anuas – seaimpíní domhanda agus buaiteoirí boinn i gcomórtais dhomhanda ina measc. Agus tá ag éirí thar cionn freisin leis na himreoirí CLG atá againn agus gaisce déanta acu sna Sinsir agus Faoi 21 le tamall de bhlianta.” Is iar-lúthchleasaí Oilimpeach de chuid na hÉireann é Gary Ryan a bhain curiarrachtaí nua amach agus é san iomaíocht mar rábálaí. Éireoidh thar cionn amach anseo le scoláireachtaí spóirt Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, dar leis: “Tacaíocht a thabhairt dár lúthchleasaithe ollscoile agus iad ag iarraidh an dá ghairm bheatha a thabhairt leo – sin é is cás linn. Tá an Ollscoil seo ar cheann de na hollscoileanna is fearr in Éirinn, agus teastaíonn uainn tacaíocht den chéad scoth a chur ar fáil dár lúthchleasaithe dá réir. Na mic léinn scoláireachta atá againn, sealbhaíonn siad scileanna a sheasfas dóibh ina saol spóirt agus ina saol gairmiúil amach anseo; níl léiriú is fearr air sin ná an liosta fada alumni a bhfuil gaisce déanta acu i gcúrsaí spóirt.” I gcás na scoláireachtaí seo, roghnóidh painéal neamhspleách na mic léinn ar bhonn fiúntais; ní mór riachtanais iontrála na hOllscoile a bheith comhlíonta ag na mic léinn. Le cois na scoláireachtaí féin, tabharfar tacaíocht speisialtóireachta do na mic léinn; áirítear ar an tacaíocht sin fisiteiripe, cóir leighis le haghaidh gortuithe, traenáil corpacmhainne, cóitseáil, agus tacaíocht le gur féidir leo taisteal chuig comórtais náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. Tá tuilleadh eolais faoin Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt le fáil ag http://www.nuigalway.ie/sports/scholarships_info.html nó trí ghlaoch a chur ar an Aonad Spóirt agus Áineasa in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh: 091 495979. Ní mór iarratais a chur isteach ar líne: http://www.sports.nuigalway.ie/scholarshipform.html  Críoch

Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD today (Thursday, 4 July) announced new funding support of €8 million to the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) which will support 25 top-class computational scientist positions over the next three years. The funding will also allow ICHEC to maintain truly cutting edge high performance computing equipment which will complement Ireland’s ambitions to be a global leader in Big Data/Data Analytics and High-Performance Computing. ICHEC is hosted by NUI Galway, with the 25 staff based in Galway and Dublin. ICHEC provides computational and data analytical support for a range of research activities and services across Ireland’s higher education and industry sectors. For example, ICHEC works with partners such as Met Éireann, Tullow Oil and Paddy Power in areas that require expert computational staff to resolve complex business issues. It is also directly involved in European high performance computing activity through the EU supported PRACE programme. Making the announcement Minister Sherlock said: “As part of the measures contained in the Action Plan for Jobs 2013, the Government has committed to making Ireland a leading country in Europe for Big Data, a sector currently growing at 40% per annum worldwide and in which Ireland has significant competitive advantages. We are all aware of the massive volume of data being created through the explosion of social media, increased usage of mobile devices and scientific advances in recent years. It seems that 90% of data that now exists has been created in just the last two years or so. This is phenomenal. Governments and industry globally are now presented with major challenges in the management and usefulness of this data – but this also presents significant commercial opportunities too. We believe that Ireland is in a prime position to lead in the area of Big Data/Data Analytics and High Performance Computing with many large multinationals already located here including Intel, Accenture, Google, Facebook, EMC and Data Direct Networks. However Big Data also needs the computational horsepower and talented personnel to be able to store, analyse and interpret the vast amount of data being generated.” “The ICHEC team of computational scientists and technologists, which is hosted by NUI Galway, goes some significant way to providing Ireland with this much needed “compute horsepower”, and talented personnel, who can make sense of the data. I am delighted to be able to announce this funding to ICHEC via the Higher Education Authority to sustain this much needed resource. As a direct consequence ICHEC should be able to help with the leveraging of new investments and the creation of quality jobs in Ireland,” Minister Sherlock concluded. The funding announced by Minister Sherlock is being provided to NUI Galway by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Education and Skills through the Higher Education Authority. It includes an investment of €3.7 million awarded through Science Foundation Ireland’s Infrastructure Programme call in 2012. Speaking at today’s announcement held at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin, the Chairman of the Higher Education Authority, John Hennessy said: “ICHEC provides a vital service to the higher education and research community through the provision of expert computational staff and high end computing technology to support scientific discovery. This funding will reinforce ICHEC as a national facility to provide a cost effective and efficient means of delivering high-performance computing.” Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is delighted to host this cutting-edge facility on our campus and welcomes the very significant level of investment announced by Minister Sherlock today. As a university engaged in international research in the field of Big Data, we understand well the role played by ICHEC in ensuring organisations maximise the potential of their data collection and analytics. Big Data will transform so many aspects of our everyday lives from healthcare provision to financial services, and high-performance computing is the engine that will power that transformation.” Professor JC Desplat, ICHEC Director, stated: “The ability to harness novel technologies such as Big Data, Data Analytics and High-Performance Computing will have a dramatic effect on Ireland’s competitiveness. ICHEC is committed to making the high-end expertise of its domain-experts available to industry, the public sector and academia. We anticipate that these partnerships will develop in areas as diverse as biomedical research, materials science, weather forecasting and geophysics.” There was a significant industry presence at today’s event. Martin Curley, Vice President, Director, Intel Labs Europe, Intel Corp said: “To out-compute is to outcompete. Ireland cannot be the world leader in the high performance in computing but Ireland can be a leader in the application of high performance computing - for example accurately predicting where and when the wind will blow while simultaneously aggregating energy demand requirements so Ireland can optimally use the availability of renewable energy.” Joe Mongan, Global Manager, Geophysical Technology Group, Tullow Oil, commented: “Tullow Oil welcomes today’s announcement. It further consolidates and enhances our existing advantage to have near-line access to ICHEC’s state-of-the-art, high-performance computing facilities and its highly competent professional staff.” Pascal Barbolosi, Vice President, EMEA Sales, DataDirect Networks said: “DataDirect Networks (DDN) is delighted to be here today to see continued government investment into ICHEC’s important Big Data and Analytics work in research, education and industry. DDN storage is the backbone of more than two-thirds of the world’s top 100 supercomputers and nearly half of the top 500. This innovative technology is enabling organisations and governments to extract maximum value from their Big Data and Analytics, to accelerate workflows, gain valuable insight, shorten time to discovery and gain a competitive advantage. Therefore, it is important to see continued investment into Big Data and Analytics as this will create business growth and success.” -ends-

Monday, 8 July 2013

NUI Galway recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with representatives from the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies and intellectual disability service providers including Ability West, Brothers of Charity Services Galway, Brothers of Charity Services Roscommon and Western Care. The Memorandum of Understanding outlines the partner’s strong commitment to the ‘Going to College’ initiative at NUI Galway and their agreement to provide direct funding for the coming academic year.  ‘Going to College’ is a pioneering higher education initiative, supporting the full inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities at NUI Galway. Students are registered full-time students and are fully included in all class activities. Students also have opportunities to undertake meaningful work placement and volunteering opportunities that will enrich their lives into the future.   Aiming to support each student to develop the vision, knowledge and transferrable skills to live a more independent, inclusive life after university, the ‘Going to College’ initiative is underpinned by a rights base and recognises the strengths and potential of each student to achieve in a mainstream higher education environment. Consistent with UNESCO’s principles for inclusion in education and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it promotes citizenship, inclusion and participation, with a focus on the will and preferences of each individual student.  Professor Pat Dolan, Director, UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway, said: “This is a significant development for NUI Galway and for students with intellectual disabilities and their families. We warmly welcome the strong university/community partnership forged with intellectual disability service providers today. Our aim is to provide each student with opportunities to engage in the full college experience here at NUI Galway, to broaden their social networks and undertake meaningful work placement and volunteering opportunities that will enrich their lives into the future. This partnership with our community partners will provide a very strong foundation in achieving this aim.”   Anne Geraghty, Director of Services with Brothers of Charity Galway, said: “Just like many people of their age, young people with intellectual disability have hopes and dreams about going to college, learning new things, making new friends and becoming part of the whole college experience. The ‘Going to College’ project supports this to happen, and the Brothers of Charity Services Galway is delighted to partner with NUI Galway.”  Breda Crehan-Roche, Chief Executive with Ability West, said: “We are delighted to support the ‘Going to College’ project.  This project is unique in that it is fully integrated in the college as students with intellectual disability are recognised as students and they are supported and encouraged to take part in all mainstream college activities.” For further information on the Going to College initiative contact Breda Casey, Going to College Co-ordinator, NUI Galway, at breda.casey@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Monday, 8 July 2013

This summer, a group of student teachers at NUI Galway will hold a four-day maths summer camp for sixth class primary pupils. Those attending MATH (Making Awesome Things Happen) will have the opportunity to learn maths and social skills in preparation for the transition to second-level. Running from 19-22 August, students will experience a range of maths activities, such as pop math, introduction to triangles, the fun circle and more. In previous years, those attending found the camp to be a great help in their transition to second-level, both through learning about maths and meeting new friends. Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin, Lecturer on the BA in Mathematics and Education programme at NUI Galway, said: “This Maths Summer Camp provides meaningful, stimulating, challenging, and engaging activities for primary pupils. It gives an opportunity for all pupils, irrespective of their ability, to participate successfully in maths activities, gaining a sense of pride in their learning and improving attitudes towards maths. The success of this is due to our enthusiastic student teachers and their commitment to providing positive experiences of maths for their pupils.” The programme is open to any student who will be commencing their first year in secondary school in September 2013. The fee for the four-day camp is €30 and materials such as calculators, pens and stationery will be provided. Early registration is advisable as places are limited. Further details on the camp including registration details may be found at www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=230  or by contacting Meighan on 0876242071. -ENDS-

Monday, 8 July 2013

First University in Ireland to Achieve Practitioner Award NUI Galway’s School of Physics’ work in promoting equal opportunities in science has been rewarded by the Institute of Physics. The School has been made a Practitioner under the Institute’s Juno Project, the first university in Ireland to achieve this status.  The Juno Project, established by the Institute of Physics in 2007, aspires to redress the long-standing issue of the under-representation of women at the highest levels of physics academia in the UK and Ireland. The aim of Juno is to recognise and reward departments that can demonstrate that action has been taken to address the under-representation of women in university physics and to encourage better practice for both women and men. While women make up 20% of physics undergraduates across Ireland and the UK, this number drops to 7% further along academia at the level of university professor, suggesting female physicists are less likely than their male counterparts to progress into the most senior positions in physics. The Juno principles improve working culture for all departmental staff, creating, for example, flexible working arrangements, provision for childcare and a more transparent organisational structure. The potential for improvement has driven high levels of engagement amongst Irish and UK physics departments.  Dr Miriam Byrne, Co-ordinator of the Juno project in NUI Galway, said: “Whilst this is a significant achievement within NUI Galway, the first university in Ireland to attain this status, it must also be acknowledged that both nationally and internationally, women at every level in physical science are under-represented. We have a reasonable proportion of women in our undergraduate cohort but at postgraduate and senior academic staff level there are far fewer women. This is a concern if female undergraduates do not see role models to encourage them to take up careers in science.” Professor Andy Shearer, Head of the School of Physics, NUI Galway, said: “The School of Physics is committed to increasing the number of women taking Physics courses and our participation in the Juno project is part of this. We hope that in future years this will increase the number of female graduates coming out NUI Galway with a Physics degree.” -ENDS-