Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Arjumand Younus, a Computer Science PhD student at NUI Galway has won the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. This is the first time someone from Galway has won this prestigious award and an honour for the College of Engineering and Informatics and the University.  The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship aims to encourage and support women to excel in computing and technology and become active role models and leaders in the field. Arjumand grew up in Pakistan which is well-known for providing outsourcing services in information technology. Arjumand’s passion for Mathematics since she was young has led her to Computer Science. She is the recipient of an NUI Galway Hardiman Scholarship led which allowed her to undertake a PhD in computing at the University. Dr Colm O'Riordan, Arjumand’s supervisor at NUI Galway, said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to advise and work with a student of Arjumand’s calibre. She is very deserving of this prestigious scholarship and I know Arjumand will continue to achieve further success in the field of Computer Science in years to come.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Reáchtáladh Seimineár Cumarsáide in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, An Cheathrú Rua le deireanas. Ba é an fear gnó agus an ceamaradóir aitheanta, Cian de Buitléar, a d’oscail an Éigse go hoifigiúil ar an Aoine, 18 Deireadh Fómhair agus bhí deis ag na mic léinn agus ag an bpobal casadh leis féin agus leo siúd atá ag saothrú i réimsí difriúla d’earnáil na meán. Orthusan a bhí i láthair bhí an t-iriseoir / craoltóir Róisín Ní Eadhra agus an t-eagarthóir físe Conall de Cléir. Roinn iar-mhic léinn de chuid an Acadaimh/ OÉ Gaillimh a n-eispéireas leis an slua agus ina measc bhí Gearóid Mac Donncha, Eagraí Stiúrtha Nuachta RTÉ Raidió an Gaeltachta, Muireann Ní Chíobháin, taighdeoir agus láithreoir teilifíse le RTÉ, Loretta Ní Ghabháin, comhfhreagraí sóisialta Nuacht TG4 agus stiúrthóir an chomhlachta LorGMedia; Eoin Ó Loideáin, scríbhneoir leis an iris Nós agus Katie Ní Chonghaile atá ag obair leis an gcuideachta Carr Communications.  Is faoi chathaoirleacht Norita Ní Chartúir, Feidhmeannach Cumarsáide in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge a bhí an ócáid seo. Chuaigh na haoichainteoirí go mór i gcion ar an lucht éisteachta agus léirigh siad dóibh an éagsúlacht, na dúshláin, na scileanna agus dar ndóigh an buntáiste a bhaineann leis an nGaeilge sa réimse fostaíochta seo. Mhínigh siad gur iomaí cor atá i saol na cumarsáide agus mhol siad do na mic léinn gach uile dheis a thapú agus dua a chaitheamh lena gcuid oibre. D’fhéadfá a rá go raibh an teachtaireacht chéanna acu ar fad: “An té a chuireann san Earrach, baineann sé san Fhómhar!” Tá beagnach 100 mac léinn ag staidéar ar bhonn lánaimseartha ar champas Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh faoi láthair mar atá siad ag tabhairt faoi BA sa Chumarsáid i measc cúrsaí eile. Tuilleadh eolais ó Odí Ní Chéilleachair, odi.nicheilleachair@oegaillimh.ie, 091 595101/ 086 8643125 nó Aoife Ní Ghabhann, a.smith16@oegaillimh.ie, 091 595101. -Críoch-

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

New findings investigating the influence of a stress-sensitive genetic background on pain have been published in the leading journal in the field Pain, by NUI Galway researchers. The work, funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Research Council, was carried out by Dr David Finn and his research team in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Centre for Pain Research and Galway Neuroscience Centre at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, NUI Galway. Heightened pain in individuals who are stressed, anxious or depressed is a widely recognized but poorly understood phenomenon. A key factor is the contribution of genetic background and its influence on stress responding and emotional processing. A particular genetic background can predispose individuals to higher stress, anxiety and pain responses but it is not known why.  Previous findings have shown that pain is subject to influence by marijuana-like chemicals called endocannabinoids in a brain region called the rostral ventromedial medulla.  Working with Dr Finn, first author Dr Kieran Rea was able to show that a genetic background associated with higher stress and anxiety responses was associated with a greater pain response and a blunted response of these endocannabinoids in the part of the brain called the rostral ventromedial medulla. Furthermore, this enhanced pain response was prevented by a drug that increased levels of these endocannabinoids in this part of the brain.  Further experimentation revealed that blockade of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor, at which these endocannabinoids act, exacerbated the pain response. An increased understanding of how genetic background associated with stress and anxiety can influence pain is important from a fundamental physiological perspective and may also aid the identification of new ways of treating  persistent pain and the impact of  stress-related psychiatric disorders such anxiety or depression. Dr David Finn, Leader of the Galway Neuroscience Centre, Co-Director of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway and study leader says: “The link between emotionality and pain is fascinating and highly complex.  This research suggests a key role for the brain’s endocannabinoid system in a genetic background prone to heighted stress or negative emotion. This research, which was funded by a grant from Science Foundation Ireland, advances our understanding of the neurobiology of pain and may facilitate the identification of new therapeutic targets for the treatment of pain and psychiatric disorders.” Rea K, Olango W, Okine B, Madasu M, McGuire IC, Coyle K, Harhen B, Roche M, Finn DP (2013) Pain; Online publication: 24 Sept 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.09.012 -ends-

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

NUI Galway Researchers part of ROBUST, an EU project to capture business community relationships Online communities and enterprise social networks help employees and customers connect and collaborate. They allow employees and customers to talk about their experiences and find answers to questions about company products and services.  Ensuring the success of such online communities is a crucial problem for companies. How can a company make sure that the needs of hundreds of thousands or even millions of members are satisfied? The EU project ROBUST provides novel analytical tools that uncover the parts of a community that are successful and the areas that exhibit problems. To achieve this, ROBUST investigated the objectives of users in business communities and how these users interact with each other. For example, users often know exactly the information that they are looking for. If they repeatedly cannot find this information, they will reduce their activity, will collaborate less with others and eventually leave the community. The project offers a dedicated website to demonstrate, with example applications and videos, how ROBUST technologies can identify dissatisfied users and how different strategies can be applied to determine trends within communities Using a novel visualisation metaphor, ROBUST presents the opinions of users on company-relevant topics as an aquarium. A bad atmosphere in the social network, which means that many negative statements are encountered, is visualised by turbid water and many cavorting sharks. Clicking on the surrounding corals reveals the topics that are being discussed in a negative or positive way. This visualisation provides an intuitive and immediate insight into the state of the community. Using a demonstrator application of ROBUST technology, the software provider SAP AG, one of the project partners, reveals insights into the SAP Community Network (SCN) – a community with more than 2 million members. The ROBUST demonstrator identifies the forums that are flourishing, those that will become unpopular and the underlying trends. Even in large networks this technology allows community managers to keep track of the situation and developments and to identify experts and influential users. More than 600,000 employees of IBM use the IBM Connections platform to exchange ideas and business-relevant information. ROBUST analyses how these business communities develop. The application identifies the branches of the company that are collaborating well and the users that play a central role in this process. Although the "ROBUST" project officially finishes on the 31st of October, its technology will continue to make many communities happier into the future. Further information is available at http://www.robust-project.eu or http://www.robust-project.eu/videos-demos. For more information contact Professor Steffen Staab at staab@uni-koblenz.de -ends-

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Award is funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NFSC) Drugs with an increased lifetime in the circulation and improved activity for a broad range of medical conditions are the goal of a strategic new funding award to researchers at NUI Galway and Dalian University in China. Dr Gerard Wall, based in Microbiology and the Network for Excellence in Functional Biomaterials (NFB), a Science Foundation Ireland funded strategic research cluster, and Dr Xuejun Hu, of the Dalian University Medical School, will coordinate the prestigious grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). The award will fund a four-year research programme, beginning in January 2014, to investigate the expression of glycosylated antibody fragments in E. coli and study the effects of engineering the attached sugar components on their therapeutic potential. Antibodies are naturally occurring proteins that are produced by the immune system to protect against pathogens and other foreign substances in the body. Due to their high specificity and strength of binding to their targets, they have enormous potential in the delivery of cytotoxic drugs to cells such as cancer cells, or in targeting of regenerative therapeutics to particular tissues or cells. The focus of the present funding will be to develop improved antibody fragments, expressed in Escherichia coli, with increased stabilities and improved efficacies in vivo through the attachment and manipulation of glycan (sugar) molecules. Attached glycans are known to affect the physicochemical and pharmacological properties of protein-based drugs in the circulation and glycoengineering can be used to tailor drugs to meet specific delivery needs. The work will also have application in immunodiagnostics and monitoring fields. Welcoming the funding announcement, Dr Gerard Wall said “This support will enable us to develop improved, longer-lived biopharmaceuticals using cutting edge protein engineering approaches. The work will complement established research strengths at NUI Galway in biomaterials, drug delivery and glycobiology. The award also establishes an important strategic link between biosciences research at NUI Galway and a major Chinese University and Medical School.” The NSFC funds a combination of basic and applied biological research focusing on research promotion, talent fostering and infrastructure construction for basic research. It provides dedicated support structures for fundamental research, individual awards and infrastructure and has an annual budget in excess of 10 billion RMB (€1.2 billion). Drs Wall and Hu were previously awarded funding from the NSFC in 2010 to establish a research team and carry out pilot work on the current project. The present funding will allow their joint research programme to be significantly expanded and will also see continued, reciprocal research exchanges between the Chinese and Irish laboratories. -Ends-

Monday, 2 September 2013

NUI Galway will have twelve current and former students making up a significant contingent of the Clare Senior hurling panel for this Sunday’s (September 8) All-Ireland Final against Cork. NUI Galway students and alumni representing the Banner County are Pat Kelly, Domhnall O’Donovan, Cian Dillon, John Conlon, Colin Ryan, Conor McGrath, Liam Markham, Aaron Cunningham, Fergal Lynch, Donal Touhy, Colm Galvin and Seadna Morey. In the hurling quarter-finals, Clare proved too strong for a Galway side, which included current NUI Galway students Joseph Cooney and Niall Burke, whilst the semi-final success over Limerick guaranteed Clare their place in the final. Dr Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience at NUI Galway, said: “I am delighted that our students continue to excel, both on and off the field of play, and we wish them the best in their quest to bring the McCarthy Cup back to Clare.” -ENDS-

Monday, 2 September 2013

Dr Breslin brings combination of technology expertise and education experience The American Council on Exercise (ACE) has announced that NUI Galway’s Dr John Breslin, a lecturer in Engineering and Informatics at the University and co-founder of boards.ie, has been appointed to their board of directors for a three-year period. ACE is the largest non-profit fitness certification, education and training organisation in the world, with over 50,000 certified professionals. ACE-certified personal trainers and group fitness instructors are now practising in more than 110 countries worldwide. The organisation recently became the first US-based fitness certification provider to earn approval by the European Health & Fitness Association (EHFA) Standards Council, allowing fitness professionals with ACE certifications to join the European Register of Exercise Professionals (EREPS). In 2010, NUI Galway became the first university outside North America to form a University Course Curriculum partnership with the American Council on Exercise. At NUI Galway, Dr Breslin teaches courses to undergraduate electrical, computer, sports and exercise students, and has worked with ACE on sponsored postgraduate research to examine the relationship between mobile social fitness reporting and exercise adherence. “Personal fitness and fitness training are being increasingly impacted upon by emerging technologies in social media and mobile devices,” says Dr Breslin. “The surge in usage of social media and shared experiences has led many to share details of their daily exercise routines through social networks. These updates are mainly communicated through the proliferation of mobile devices we now carry about our persons daily.” “The same mobile devices used by those measuring their fitness levels can also be used as advanced education delivery platforms for training instructors and fitness professionals,” says Dr Breslin. “ACE is a very forward-looking organisation, always mindful of emerging trends in technology and education, and I will be doing my best to help keep them abreast of current developments based on my technology expertise and education experiences.” “I am honoured and delighted to join the all-star board of directors at ACE, each member having expertise and success in differing domains ranging from government and business to fitness and health.” -- ENDS –    

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The ‘GolfCycle’ undertaken by NUI Galway MA in Digital Media student and former Irish International golfer, Joe Lyons and John McGuire of the Technology Transfer Office at the University, launched the defibme.ie campaign this summer.  The duo cycled from Galway Golf Club to the Irish Open in Mullingar, playing 18 holes across 9 golf courses along the way. The event raised awareness of the University-backed initiative to build smartphone applications to locate your nearest defibrillator while also raising funds for the Irish Heart Foundation. Golf club members across the country also had the opportunity to win some great prizes provided by Revive Active and the Carlton Shearwater Hotel, by taking part in their own club’s weekly medal. The draw for the prizes took place recently at a ceremony in NUI Galway. The results are as follows: First Prize: Mullingar Golf Club Mullingar Golf Club won a weekend trip for four to Oceanico's Amendeoira Golf Resort in the Algarve, sponsored by Revive Active. Second Prize: Galway Golf Club Galway Golf Club won a weekend break for four at the Carlton Shearwater Hotel. Third Prize: Dara Kirwin Dara Kirwin was the winners of the spa day for four in the Carlton Shearwater Spa. Joe Lyons said: “Revive Active and the Carlton Shearwater sponsorship have had a very positive effect on the defibme.ie campaign. Smartphone applications are almost complete and will be available in September. We are continuing to build a list of defibrillator locations to assist the public in times of crises. Without the support of sponsors it would be extremely difficult to do this.” ‘GolfCycle’ was the first in a series of initiatives aimed at encouraging organisations to register defibrillators and highlighting the resource to the general public. Upcoming events will continue to encourage the crowdsourcing of information. The defibme.ie campaign is dependant on crowdsourcing information to build a comprehensive registry. For more information on defibme.ie visit www.defibme.ie. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Partnership launched by NUI Galway alumnus and former Lions, Ireland and Connacht captain Ciaran Fitzgerald 2013 NUI Galway and Connacht Rugby have announced a comprehensive partnership to further develop the sporting, academic, research and educational links between the two. The partnership aims to nurture the next generation of sports performers and scholars. The partnership will see NUI Galway support the Connacht Rugby Academy and the Connacht Rugby Age Grade Representative teams. A key aspect of the partnership is the offer of structured third level education to elite players. This structured education will also involve a mentoring and development programme. Speaking at the launch, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said that the aim is ‘to provide professional players with the opportunity to combine third level study with a professional rugby career which will provide a powerful incentive for talented young players to come to Connacht and NUI Galway.” Connacht Head of Commercial and Marketing, Alex Saul said “We are delighted to welcome NUI Galway on board to support our Academy and Age Grade Programmes. NUI Galway are the perfect partner to have on board to ensure that our development pathway continues to flourish, whilst also opening the door to further commercial, educational and research opportunities. CEO of Connacht Rugby, Tom Sears said ‘Our new partnership with NUI Galway will enable Connacht Rugby to further enhance our holistic approach to elite player development. We have always sought to develop our players in every aspect of their lives, on and off the pitch, to ensure they reach their full potential and this link will provide tremendous opportunities for them. We fully intend to explore all the exciting opportunities of working closely with NUI Galway and see this new partnership as fundamental to our future development in many areas.’ Connacht players and NUI Galway brand ambassadors Robbie Henshaw, Eoin McKeon, Conor Finn and Rory Maloney will be taking an active part in the NUI Galway schools liaison programme, visiting schools and talking to students about the potential to balance elite sport with third level education but also the broader benefits of both an active mind and an active body. Ciaran Fitzgerald, former Connacht, Ireland and Lions captain, launching the partnership, said that the initiative is a wonderful opportunity for young people both inside and outside the province of Connacht to benefit from the combination of two schools of excellence. Today marks the beginning of a broader partnership that will extend beyond school visits, structured education for elite players and underage team support to world class research in areas like psychology, nutrition and performance excellence. The aim is to address challenges facing elite athletes in the professional game and enable leading researchers to address those challenges in rugby played at the highest level. -ends-  

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

As part of Culture Night 2013, which takes place on Friday, 20 September, 6pm, the Archives and Special Collections Service at NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library will stage a special evening talk on the connection between The Gathering of 2013 and the original celebration of Irish culture and identity and engagement with Irish diaspora worldwide – the Tóstal events of the 1950s. An Tóstal, first staged in 1953, was a showcase for Irishness, Irish culture and identity. Its events were steeped in spiritual, mythological and national symbolism. It was initiated as a means of attracting visitors and the Irish diaspora to Ireland during the Easter period, as well as giving a platform to Irish culture in a new fledgling Republic. Author, Felicity Hayes-McCoy is the special guest speaker for this Culture Night event, and has been writing specifically on The Gathering and on Irish culture at home and abroad. Felicity is the daughter of Professor Gerard Anthony Hayes-McCoy, former Chair of History at NUI Galway and an advisor and script-writer for the Tóstals of the 1950's. As part of this Culture Night event, there will be a special showcase of digitised archival material from the Hayes-McCoy archive, which is held at the James Hardiman Library. John Cox, University Librarian at NUI Galway comments: “We are delighted once again to take the opportunity offered by Culture Night to engage the public with our archives and in particular to host such a distinguished speaker as Felicity Hayes-McCoy. This event will be a unique opportunity to explore the tradition of Irish culture, its imagery, symbolism and connection to the world, as well as the past connection of NUI Galway to this staging of Ireland, through the Hayes-McCoy archive.” Felicity Hayes-McCoy said: “As a writer with a lifelong interest in mythology and folklore, I am drawn to the imagery, symbolism and ritual invoked in these festivals. And because I come from a background of theatre and broadcast, I am fascinated by the differences and similarities between An Tóstal and The Gathering – not just in terms of the messages they chose to send out, but by the collaborative, and sometimes contentious, process of conceiving and conveying them.” The event will take place in the new Arts, Humanities and Social Science Research Building, adjacent to the James Hardiman Library, with doors opening at 5.30pm. The event is free but booking is essential. For further information, contact barry.houlihan@nuigalway.ie, aisling.keane@nuigalway.ie or phone 091 493476. -ENDS-

Friday, 6 September 2013

More internationals students are enrolled in NUI Galway than any other Irish University NUI Galway welcomed the Brazilian Deputy Ambassador, Minister-Counselor, Chief of Chancery,  Elza Moreira Marcelino de Castro, and over 100 Brazilian students to its campus today. This welcoming reception coinsides with Brazil's National Independence Day, which takes place tomorrow (Saturday, 7 September). To date, 140 students from 69 universities throughout Brazil have been accepted by NUI Galway to study a range of modules from Anatomy to Zoology, and from Artificial Intelligence to Tissue Engineering. NUI Galway, with the highest number of international students in an Irish university, has been central to Ireland’s participation in Brazil’s Science without Borders (Ciência sem Fronteiras). Science without Borders directly funds 75,000 scholarships and a further 26,000 are being funded by the private sector. The programme seeks to add to students’ knowledge of science and technology and improve innovation and competitiveness through international mobility of undergraduate and graduate students and researchers. Dr Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has proven to be the university of choice in Ireland for Brazilian students. 140 students from Brazil are travelling to university in Galway under the CAPES grant programme, and we would hope that following the forthcoming funding round our Brazilian family will grow and grow!” Figures released by the Higher Education Authority show that NUI Galway has over 2,000 International students enrolled on a broad portfolio of courses, arts, business, public policy and law, science, engineering, medicine and health sciences. The students come from over 104 different countries, all continents, with international students making up 16% of the overall student population, and 27% of the University’s PhD students. The University has over 200 student exchange agreements with universities around the world. For more information visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/international-students/yourcountry/brazil/ -ENDS-

Monday, 9 September 2013

Renewable energy tours to boost awareness and eco-tourism along the west coast NUI Galway Ryan Institute is to merge tourism, technology and geography to allow interested parties to witness first hand Ireland’s renewable energy potential. The eco-tour trails, supported by the EU, will offer an insight into the latest renewable energy research against the backdrop of Ireland’s world famous western coast. The tours will provide renewable energy demonstrations and training in new energy technologies, and will bring economic and educational benefits across the region to investors, local authorities, researchers, policy makers, students and the general public. Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute and project leader says “the renewable energy tours will provide an opportunity for local stakeholders to learn about the technology and best practice within the renewable energy sector, which can increase understanding of the technology and potential for rural communities”.  Dr Annette Harte, senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering added that not only will the renewable energy tours create jobs along the western seaboard but, she said, “will help to build expertise and promote the development of a renewable energy network across rural areas that will be sustainable beyond the project activities”. The Ryan Institute was awarded €127,000 from the EU for the REMOTE project (Renewable Energy Training and Demonstration Network for Remote Communities across the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) area). Serena Silke has been appointed to manage the project among the five European partners. Brigit’s Garden in Roscahill, Co. Galway and the BMW Assembly are also on board ensuring the integration of the tourism and technology activities into the educational and industrial sectors along the Western region. The project secured a total of €850,000 across the partnership in Scotland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Ireland. The NPP areas of Ireland include Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, Clare, Limerick, Cork and Kerry. The project’s aim is to increase and support local capacities in renewable energy solutions across the peripheral and remote communities on the northern margins of Europe and to develop their economic, social and environmental potential. -ENDS-  

Monday, 9 September 2013

The HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway, in association with the Heart and Stroke Charity Croí, are inviting members of the public who have sleep problems to avail of free blood pressure checks on Monday, 16 September from 2-7pm at the Croí Heart and Stroke Centre, Moyola Lane, Newcastle, Galway. This initiative is part of ongoing research into reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke, and is specially targeting people with sleep problems, such as difficulty getting to sleep, waking during the night, or people for who sleep disturbance is impacting on their daily lives. Recent sleep-related research has shown that poor sleep can increase the risk of high blood pressure and obesity, which are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. It is well known that a good night’s sleep is essential for good health. However, with the challenges and pressures of modern life and demanding lifestyles, more and more people are experiencing poor sleep patterns. If these sleep deficits are linked to high blood pressure, it has important implications for the prevention of longer term chronic illnesses such as heart disease. People attending the blood pressure check may be suitable to be included in the research study. Nurses from the Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway and the Croí Heart and Stroke Centre will be on hand to carry out the checks and no appointment is necessary. The event is supported by Bristol Myers Squibb. For further information, please contact Alice Power HRB Clinical Research Facility, NUI Galway, on 091 494282 or 086 0220016. -Ends-

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

NUI Galway has again increased its position in the QS World University Rankings 2013/2014. Rising 3 places to 284th in this year’s ranking, NUI Galway is one of only two Irish universities to improve their standing in this year’s league table.   Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said of the achievement: “This is good news for NUI Galway and further acknowledgement of the developments in teaching and research that have taken place at this University in recent years.   Although all ranking systems have their limitations in that they seek to measure performance across a narrow range of criteria, the QS World University Rankings is one of the best regarded evaluations of higher education in the world, and it is great to see NUI Galway continue to make its mark on that ranking.”   President Browne added: “It is clear that Irish universities are competing in a global market now. In spite of the economic difficulties the country faces, we need to continue to invest in teaching and research if we are to continue to attract the best staff and students and to maintain and enhance Ireland’s position within higher education globally”.   NUI Galway is now ranks in the top 300 universities in the disciplines of Engineering and Technology (251), Arts and Humanities (276) and Social Sciences and Management (288). It is in the top 350 universities globally for Life Sciences and Medicine (307) and Natural Sciences (348) in the QS World University Rankings’ discipline categories.   QS Head of Research Ben Sowter said that the economic climate of recent years has been very challenging for Irish universities, with recurrent grant allocations falling 25% between 2008 and 2012. Trinity College Dublin was the only other Irish university to improve its position in this year’s ranking. The QS World University Rankings have been running since 2004 and are amongst the highest profile global evaluations of comparative university quality. The World University Rankings were conceived to present a multi-faceted view of the relative strengths of the world’s leading universities. The calculations leading to the QS World University Rankings are based on data gathered in the following categories: Academic Peer Review, Employer Review, International Faculty Ratio, International Student Ratio, Student Faculty Ratio, and Citations per Faculty (citation data supplied by Scopus).   ENDS  

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

ReelLife Science, a novel Science video competition, was recently launched in 316 primary and secondary schools by a team of NUI Galway staff and students. The competition aims to involve school children in Science in a fun way, developing their analytical, creative and communication skills, while enabling NUI Galway researchers and students to engage in Outreach in an innovative manner. The initiative was conceived by NUI Galway’s Dr Enda O’Connell, a winner of the inaugural ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here, Ireland” competition in November 2012, securing funding for a science communication project. Additional funding to expand the project was awarded by the NUI Galway Students’ Union EXPLORE Innovation Initiative and the College of Science. Now supported by a team of NUI Galway Science communicators, ReelLife Science will award a total of €1000 in prizes, while winners will also be invited to attend the Galway Science and Technology Festival on Sunday, 24 November in NUI Galway, where their videos will be on display to the general public. Short (1-3 min) videos may be submitted by the invited schools consisting of all primary and secondary schools in Galway, and the 28 schools which participated in ‘I’m a Scientist, get me out of here, Ireland’ 2012. Videos will be judged by a panel of internationally recognised scientists, including Professor Rhodri Ceredig, REMEDI, NUI Galway and Professor Andrea Brand of Gurdon Institute, Cambridge. Emma Dalton, Science teacher and Transition Year Coordinator in St Enda’s College Galway, said of her students’ upcoming participation: “I am very excited, as this competition offers an opportunity for students to step away from the curriculum and engage in Science in a more fun way. It is also an opportunity for them to guide their own learning and then, even better, to practice sharing what they have learnt with others. I am really looking forward to seeing the ideas they come up with.” The closing date for submissions is Friday, 25 October. The winning videos will be displayed on the projects website, www.reellifescience.com, Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ReelLifeScience, and Twitter feed, @ReelLifeScience, where regular updates, Science news and blog posts can be found.  For further information visit www.reellifescience.com or email reellifescience@nuigalway.ie -ENDS-

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A new app developed at NUI Galway allows users to book appointments 24 hours a day. The free app will be officially launched on Wednesday, 11 September, by Helplink, a new Irish social enterprise. The app means dentist, doctor, beauty salon, physio, hairdressing, and chiropractor appointments can be booked 24 hours a day, seven days a week and in real time. There is also an option to avail of cancelled appointments by viewing appointments in real time and health/wellbeing providers can fill appointments that they may have lost before. Lochlann Scott, Managing Director of Helplink and Psychology graduate from NUI Galway, said: “We all have been in those situations where, for example, it always seems to be out of hours when you need to book an appointment, or you are constantly trying to get through at nine in the morning to an engaged tone or answering machine or wasting time and money ringing around to find a free appointment. Also this service will help free up A&Es because people can find those real time appointments for minor injuries, etc.” Not only does the Helplink’s Directory and Appointment Booking service allow local and out-of-town clients find appointments fast and easily, it also has over 2,500 listings of public and private health and wellbeing services from across the nation. Some of the categories include: hospitals, opticians, home care services, chemists, late night services, yoga centres and many more. The easy to use booking app for iPhones and Androids has been created by Sean Coleman of NUI Galway’s Discipline of Information Technology, under the direction of Dr Owen Molloy. “Financial support was provided by the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher scheme, which provides a very simple and cost-effective way for local industry to engage with our R&D capability”, says Dr Molloy. Helplink’s simple, easy to use website has been created with the support of Eircom. Lochlann, a research psychologist, lecturer and social care worker with the HSE, said: “The reason behind creating Helplink was to use technology to reduce the cost of providing health and support services and also to make these services and health information accessible to everyone in Ireland no matter where they are. Our directory is our first completely free service to the public and this new appointment booking system was a logical next move to my mind.” The Helplink directory is free to use, free to download and use, and details of your chosen listing will be sent to the user’s phone by text for free. The app can be downloaded from the App Store, iTunes and the Google Play Store by searching ‘helplink’. For more information please visit www.helplink.ie or contact directory@helplink.ie. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

NUI Galway’s Astronomy Society will welcome world-renowned astrophysicist Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell for a special public talk entitled ‘A light-weight Introduction to Gravitational Radiation’ on Tuesday, 24 September.  Professor Bell Burnell is renowned for her discovery of pulsars, rapidly rotating neutron stars, in 1967 and has won numerous awards for her strong role in promoting science. In 2008 she became the first female President of the Institute of Physics and is a strong supporter, and role model, of women in science. This talk will introduce the topic of gravitational waves and show that researchers are on the threshold of detecting a whole new spectrum of radiation. These waves, sometimes called ripples in space-time, were first predicted by Albert Einstein. Professor Bell Burns will be examining if Einstein was right, what these ripples are, how are they created and how to detect them.  NUI Galway’s Astronomy Society was established last year and already has over 540 members. Promoting astronomy, both recreationally and academically, the society host a series of talks on astronomy and organise events to increase general awareness and understanding of astronomy. The society also works with the Galway Astronomy Club and is supported by the University's Centre for Astronomy. Professor Bell Burnell's talk will take place at 7pm in the Kirwan Theatre in the Arts/Science Building (Concourse). This talk is free and open to the general public. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Minister Sean Sherlock TD will deliver keynote address NUI Galway will host the ‘People, Policy, Places and the Economy’ Conference from 19-20 September. This two-day conference will showcase some of the research activities that have been supported by the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions Cycle 4 (PRTLI 4) and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part the Irish Social Sciences Platform. Minister Sean Sherlock TD, Department of Enterprise, Job and Innovation, and the Department of Education and Skills, will deliver the keynote address on Thursday, 19 September. Entitled What Ireland Needs and How Universities Can Help, the address and a roundtable discussion with Minister Sherlock will begin at 6.30pm in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway and is open to the public. On Friday, 20 September, NUI Galway will host a day-long conference highlighting examples of NUI Galway’s research and community outreach efforts and contemporary social and business debates that have been enabled through funding from the PRTLI 4 as part of the Irish Social Science Platform. Panel presentations and discussions will focus upon: the Creative Economy and Creative Places; Improving the Lives of People; and Enterprise, Entrepreneurs and the Irish Economy. Kevin Leyden, Professor of Political Science at NUI Galway, said: “At this conference we will introduce a new initiative called ‘Public Policy Puzzles’ that we hope to implement in the coming year. The goal will be to seek new ideas from the public and business on how to improve policy, places, and the economy.”  Information on guest speakers, the conference programme and registration is available at www.conference.ie. -ENDS-  

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

New Bus Service from Waterford to NUI Galway   NUI Galway is introducing a new bus service for students from Waterford to NUI Galway, serving the following the towns: Carrick-on-Suir, Clonmel, Cashel, Cahir, Tipperary town and Limerick. This service will be operated by JJ Kavanagh and Sons, Urlingford, Co. Kilkenny. The introduction of this new service is to cater for the increasing numbers of students from these towns who are choosing to study at NUI Galway. There is currently no direct transport link in place from Waterford to Galway which makes commuting regularly difficult for students. This service will commence operating on Friday, 13 September from the Galway Cathedral  and will     Friday Sunday Price Galway-Cathedral 16.15 21.00 €15 Limerick – Arthurs Quay 17.55 22.40 €15 Tipperary – Abbey Street 18.35 23.20 €15 Cahir-Car Park 18.55 23.40 €15 Cashel – Buckleys 19.15 00.00 €14 Clonmel – Army Barracks 19.45 00.30 €14 Carrick-on-Suir – Park 20.05 00.50 €10 Waterford – Dooleys Hotel 20.30 01.15 €10     Friday Sunday Price Waterford – Dooleys Hotel 11.00 16.00 €15 Carrick-on-Suir – Park 11.25 16.25 €15 Clonmel – Army Barracks 11.45 16.45 €15 Cashel – Buckleys 12.15 17.15 €15 Cahir – Car Park 12.35 17.35 €14 Tipperary – Abbey Street 12.55 17.55 €14 Limerick – Arthurs Quay 13.35 18.35 €10 Galway – Cathedral 15.15 20.15 €10   For further information on the service, contact JJ Kavanaghs at 0818 333 222 or visit www.jjkavanagh.ie, or Celine O’Donovan, NUI Galway Schools Liaison Officer, at 087 2391219. -ENDS-  

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

SPIN Campus Bikes offers 45 bikes at eight stations across the 102 hectare campus   NUI Galway today launched Ireland’s first bike hire scheme outside Dublin. It is part of NUI Galway’s Green Campus Initiative to allow for sustainable transport for both students and staff on and off the 102 hectare campus. The SPIN Campus Bikes are part of NUI Galway’s Travel Plan aimed at reducing the environmental impact of intra-campus travel and congestion on campus. It follows the introduction of a ‘Park and Ride’ bus facility for students and staff on the Galway campus. The scheme is the first of its kind to launch in Ireland since the highly successful ‘dublinbikes’ scheme launched in 2006. The new service will see 45 ‘intelligent’ bikes, in NUI Galway ‘Spin Campus Bikes’ colours available to hire from eight self-service stations across the campus, including the library, park and ride station and university sports centre. Students and staff must pay a €10 per year registration fee to access the bikes. They are then issued an access code which they use to hire any bike free for the first half an hour. The cost rises the longer the hire time is to encourage users to return the bikes to any station quickly, ready for the next user. NUI Galway’s Vice President for Student Experience Pat Morgan said “This scheme sits within NUI Galway’s wider vision of a sustainable, green campus as outlined in its Travel Plan 2011-2014. It is however, an eminently practical way for both students and staff to make their way around a campus that has grown considerably under the University’s capital investment plan in recent years. It further allows those who choose to ‘Park and Ride’ the option of either bus or bike when travelling from place to place on campus.” The facility, offered by GrandScheme Ltd. has been specially designed to offer utmost flexibility and minimise the on-street infrastructure required. The Newcastle-upon-Tyne based company behind the system has recently launched schemes at the University of Sunderland and Oxford, in the UK. Each bright purple custom branded bike comes with an integrated keypad unit that dispenses the lock key once the user has entered their access code. The bikes can be locked up anywhere during a hire using the lock provided. On-board GPS tracking is used to tell members how far they have ridden and ensure that bikes are returned to the dedicated racks at the end of the hire. Unlike systems found across Europe and the US, the Spin scheme does not require large heavy infrastructure docking stations and uses standard bike racks. Maintenance of the system is being provided by West Ireland Cycling, an established local business. Rob Grisdale, CEO of Grand Scheme Bike Share Limited said “Putting the technology on the bike rather than on the street in heavy docking stations makes a lot of sense. You get more data about how the scheme is being used and the whole system is more flexible. This approach is also very cost effective, meaning that we can set schemes up on any scale, from large city wide programs to smaller schemes like Spin.” More information about the scheme including details on registering with Spin can be found at www.grandscheme.co.uk/galway. -ends-

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Community initiative asks; how should Galway develop in the next 25 years?   How would you like to see Galway? What type of transport system should we have? Where and how should the city develop? Galway 2040 is a community initiative to address these questions and create a vision for the future of Galway city and its environs. The initiative began in 2010 and is divided into a number of key pillars including (i) Education, (ii) Innovation and Industry and (iii) Infrastructure and Environment.  Galway 2040 is about stimulating ideas, self-determination, about setting out objectives and developing strategies to meet them. Planning for medium to long term, including inter-generational planning, is not something that always comes easy but it is critical for the growth of the region that there is a clear vision for the future – 2040.  Earlier this year, a highly successful seminar was held by the Galway 2040 Education pillar. A follow-up seminar that focuses on Infrastructure and Environment will take place on Friday, 27 September. The seminar will be held in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway beginning at 9am and finishing at lunchtime. The challenge of creating and managing a sustainable infrastructure to meet the needs of Galway in 2040 is of great significance. The seminar will discuss many aspects associated with the growth of a city in the 21st century so that it will best meet the needs of the people who live, work and visit the city.  Among these issues that are critical are (i) the identification of the necessary infrastructure and transportation systems that will facilitate the growth of the city, (ii) the development of a modern infrastructure for the city that is in harmony with the rich environment (iii) the impact of the built environment on the natural environment and (iv) the interaction between the people and the infrastructure/environment. The seminar will feature a number of speakers from diverse backgrounds who have considerable expertise in the wide range of aspects that impinge on infrastructure and the environment. The speakers are drawn from the public, academic and private sectors and include Professor Greg Lloyd, University of Ulster, Brendan McGrath, Galway City Manager, Professors Kevin Leyden and Colin Brown, NUI Galway, and Gavin Duffy of Realsim.  There will be a very strong emphasis on constructive discussion where audience participation will be encouraged. This will be facilitated by a panel session with participants drawn from various sectors and interest groups in Galway. The objective of the seminar is to identify the critical infrastructure/environment issues which will help chart a path for the next steps in Galway 2040. Further information regarding the seminar, including the full programme, and on the Galway 2040 initiative may be found on http://galway2040.ie/ or by contacting at info@galway2040.ie. Attendance at the seminar is free of charge and attendees may register in advance through the website. -ends-

Friday, 13 September 2013

NUI Galway PhD Researcher, Yvonne Lang, was recently awarded the ‘Best Oral Presentation in the Life Sciences prize at the 37th Annual Symposium of the Microscopy Society of Ireland (MSI). A native of County Leitrim, Yvonne is currently pursuing her PhD under the supervision of Professor Abhay Pandit and Dr David Finn at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway. Yvonne's PhD research focuses on the use of diatoms as biotemplates to generate structures with elaborate hierarchical architecture. Diatoms are ubiquitous in freshwater and seawater environments and to date over 100,000 different species have been identified, each with its own unique architecture. The potential applications of these ornate algae range from roles in photonics to separation science to catalysis to drug delivery. Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the NFB at NUI Galway, said:  “Yvonne’s achievement is a testament to the high quality of research being carried out in the NFB at NUI Galway. Her presentation described how various microscopy techniques enabled her to monitor chemical and architectural modifications to microscopic unicellular algae called the diatom.” Professor Pandit’s goal at the Science Foundation Ireland funded NFB is to harness this natural resource to prepare biocompatible structures for drug delivery. -Ends-

Monday, 16 September 2013

NUI Galway will hold their annual Open Days on Friday, 4 October and Saturday, 5 October. The Open Days will provide an opportunity for prospective students to talk to NUI Galway students and staff, explore the campus and its facilities, and find out more about courses of interest. Friday's Open Day, on 4 October, will run from 9am to 3pm and is aimed at school groups, although individuals are also welcome to attend. Running from 10am to 3pm, Saturday's Open Day on 5 October is for students thinking about university and their parents and families. The Open Days are expected to attract some 8,000 visitors and are tailored towards Leaving Certificate and mature students who are interested in studying at NUI Galway. Parents, guardians and teachers are also invited on campus to sample life at university. With over 60 degree programmes on offer at NUI Galway, lecturers and students will be on hand at more than 80 exhibition stands to answer questions on courses, CAO points, employability, and career progression routes. Many of the newer courses at the University have been designed to be responsive to the changing needs of the employment market and meet the needs of the Smart Economy. Mature students are also welcome to attend the Open Days to meet with current mature students and lecturers, to learn more about the third-level options available to them. This year’s Open Days include a dedicated talk for mature students, highlighting the wide range of support available at the University.  NUI Galway has currently over 900 Mature Students studying across all degree programmes and make up approximately 16% of the student undergraduate population. Trish Bourke, NUI Galway Mature Students Officer, said: “Embarking on third-level education can be quite a challenge for many mature students. Some may have been out of formal education for some time but it is important to highlight that mature students still perform very well academically each year with 30 mature scholarships awarded for excellence in September 2013. Open Day is the opportune time to meet with lecturers and find out all you need to know before applying through the CAO.” The Saturday Open Day also includes a Parents’ Programme including an introduction to the University life and a panel information session on key issues such as fees, funding, accommodation, as well as looking ahead to the jobs market for graduates. The Open Days will feature a mix of taster sessions and short lectures to provide a feel for university life. Events will include hands-on science workshops, interactive demonstrations with cameras, media equipment and podcasts, an expert panel to talk about jobs for Arts students, and interactive sessions with IT systems and robotics. Commenting on the importance of the NUI Galway Open Days, Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications, says: “Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions a student will ever make. Parents play a key role in supporting students as they take this important next step. Open Day is the perfect opportunity for parents to ensure they have access to all of the information they need to support sons and daughters through their university career. We are encouraging anyone with an interest in studying at NUI Galway to come along, talk to our lecturers and current students, find out about the courses, check out the facilities and decide for yourself whether NUI Galway feels right for you.” During the Open Days, tours of the campus will allow prospective students to visit the Engineering Building, the largest of its kind in Ireland; state-of the-art sports complex and gym, home to 45 student sports clubs; and Áras na Mac Léinn, the base for over 100 student societies. Tours of the University library and student accommodation will also be available to visitors on the day. For further details on NUI Galway Open Days, or to view the full programme, visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/opendays/. -ENDS- Laethanta Oscailte an Fhómhair in OÉ Gaillimh  Beidh Lá Oscailte OÉ Gaillimh ar siúl Dé hAoine, an 4 Deireadh Fómhair agus Dé Sathairn, an 5 Deireadh Fómhair. Deis atá sna Laethanta Oscailte do dhaoine ar spéis leo freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh amach anseo labhairt le mic léinn agus foireann OÉ Gaillimh, seal a chaitheamh ag siúl thart ar an gcampas agus na háiseanna breátha ar fad a fheiceáil agus níos mó eolais a fháil faoi chúrsaí. Dírithe ar ghrúpaí scoile atá an Lá Oscailte a bheidh ar siúl idir 9am agus 3pm Dé hAoine, an 4 Deireadh Fómhair, cé go mbeidh fáilte roimh dhuine ar bith cuairt a thabhairt ar an Ollscoil an lá sin chomh maith. Is do mhic léinn atá ag smaoineamh ar aghaidh a thabhairt ar an Ollscoil, dá dtuismitheoirí agus dá dteaghlach an Lá Oscailte, a bheidh ar siúl idir 10am agus 3pm Dé Sathairn, an 5 Deireadh Fómhair. Táimid ag súil go mbeidh breis is 8,000 cuairteoir ag triall ar an Ollscoil an dá lá seo a bhfuil sé mar aidhm leo aird mic léinn Ardteistiméireachta agus mic léinn lánfhásta araon a tharraingt ar OÉ Gaillimh. Tá míle fáilte roimh thuismitheoirí, roimh chaomhnóirí agus roimh mhúinteoirí cuairt a thabhairt ar an gcampas freisin chun blaiseadh a fháil de shaol na hollscoile. Tá breis is 60 clár céime á reáchtáil in OÉ Gaillimh anois, agus beidh léachtóirí agus mic léinn ag breis is 80 seastán agus iad ar bís le ceisteanna faoi chúrsaí éagsúla, faoi phointí CAO, faoi dheiseanna fostaíochta agus faoi ghairmeacha beatha a fhreagairt. Is é atá mar aidhm le go leor de na cúrsaí atá bunaithe san Ollscoil le blianta beaga anuas a chinntiú go mbeidh na céimithe in ann poist a fháil dóibh féin agus go mbeidh siad breá ábalta dlús a chur faoi fhorbairt an Gheilleagair Ghlic amach anseo. Tá fáilte roimh mhic léinn lánfhásta, chomh maith, chuig na Laethanta Oscailte chun go gcasfaidh siad le mic léinn lánfhásta reatha agus le léachtóirí chun eolas a fháil faoi na roghanna tríú leibhéal atá ar fáil dóibhsean. Beidh caint ar leith ar siúl do mhic léinn lánfhásta chun léargas a thabhairt dóibh ar an réimse mór tacaíochta atá ar fáil san Ollscoil.  Faoi láthair, tá breis is 900 Mac Léinn lánfhásta ag staidéar ar chlár céime san Ollscoil agus is ionann iad agus timpeall 16% de líon iomlán na mac léinn fochéime. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Trish Bourke, Oifigeach na Mac Léinn Lánfhásta in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is mór an dúshlán do roinnt mac léinn lánfhásta aghaidh a thabhairt ar oideachas tríú leibhéal. D’fhéadfadh an t-oideachas a bheith fágtha ina ndiaidh ag roinnt acu le tamall fada ach tá sé tábhachtach a léiriú go n-éiríonn go hiontach le mic léinn lánfhásta ó thaobh na hacadúlachta de gach bliain agus bronntar 30 scoláireacht ar mhic léinn lánfhásta as a sárchaighdeáin i Meán Fómhair 2013. Deis iontach atá sa Lá Oscailte le casadh le léachtóirí agus aon eolas atá uait a fháil sula ndéanfaidh tú iarratas ar an CAO.” Beidh Clár do Thuismitheoirí ar siúl Dé Sathairn, chun eolas a thabhairt do thuismitheoirí faoi shaol na hOllscoile agus beidh seisiún eolais painéil ann chun eolas a thabhairt faoi tháillí, maoiniú, lóistín agus an fhostaíocht a bheidh ar fáil amach anseo do na céimithe. Beidh idir sheisiúin agus léachtaí gairide ar siúl i rith na Laethanta Oscailte le blaiseadh a thabhairt do chách ar an gcineál saoil a chaitheann mic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. I measc na n-imeachtaí a bheidh ar siúl beidh ceardlanna praiticiúla eolaíochta, taispeántais idirghníomhacha le ceamaraí, ríomhairí agus podchraoltaí, painéal saineolaithe a labhróidh faoi phoist do mhic léinn sna Dána, agus seisiúin idirghníomhacha le córais IT agus le róbataic. Ag labhairt di faoi thábhacht na Laethanta Oscailte, dúirt Caroline Loughnane, an Stiúrthóir Margaíochta agus Cumarsáide in OÉ Gaillimh: “Ceann de na cinntí is tábhachtaí a dhéanfaidh mac léinn go brách an ollscoil a bhfreastalóidh sé/sí uirthi a roghnú. Tá ról tábhachtach ag tuismitheoirí tacú le mic léinn agus iad i mbun an cinneadh sin a dhéanamh. Is é an Lá Oscailte an deis is fearr do thuismitheoirí a chinntiú go bhfuil an t-eolas ar fad acu chun tacú le mac nó le hiníon i rith a dtréimhse ag an ollscoil. Molaimid do dhuine ar bith ar spéis leo staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh teacht chuig an Lá Oscailte, labhairt leis na léachtóirí agus leis na mic léinn reatha, eolas a fháil faoi chúrsaí, breathnú ar na háiseanna agus a fháil amach duit féin an bhfeileann OÉ Gaillimh duitse.” I rith na Laethanta Oscailte, tabharfar deis do chuairteoirí sciuird a thabhairt ar an bhFoirgneamh Innealtóireachta, an foirgneamh is mó dá leithéid in Éirinn; ar an ionad spóirt den scoth agus giomnáisiam, ionad a bhíonn in úsáid go rialta ag baill an 45 club spóirt atá bunaithe anseo san Ollscoil; agus ar Áras na Mac Léinn – áit a mbíonn imeachtaí ar siúl ag an mbreis is 100 cumann atá bunaithe anseo san Ollscoil. Beidh deis ag cuairteoirí cuairt a thabhairt ar leabharlann na hOllscoile agus dul chomh fada leis na háiseanna lóistín atá ar fáil anseo ar an gcampas freisin más mian leo. Tá tuilleadh eolais maidir leis na Laethanta Oscailte agus clár iomlán le fáil ag http://www.nuigalway.ie/opendays/. -CRÍOCH-

Monday, 16 September 2013

NUI Galway’s twelfth annual Volunteering Fair will take place on Wednesday, 25 September in the Bailey Allen Hall, from 1-5pm. With over 2,000 students, staff and members of the general public expected to attend, the Fair is part of a week-long celebration of volunteering at NUI Galway. Over 80 charities and community organisations will showcase the wide range of volunteer opportunities in Galway. The Fair will be officially opened by Ruairí McKiernan, Social Innovator and member of the Council of State. He is a multi-award winning social innovator who was appointed to the Council of State last year by President Michael D. Higgins. Ruairí is the founder of the pioneering SpunOut national youth organisation and his work focuses on social justice, health and community empowerment campaigns, projects and publishing. He works internationally with numerous non-profit organisations and contributes regularly to the national media. He has recently completed a 'Hitching for Hope' hitch-hiking tour of Ireland and is currently writing a book about social change in Ireland. Lorraine McIlrath, Coordinator of the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway, said: “The ALIVE student volunteering programme at NUI Galway celebrates a decade of activity with over 9,000 students attaining the ALIVE Certificate.  Our community partners are essential to ALIVE and play a central role in providing volunteer roles within the community. Volunteering and civic engagement are a hallmark of the NUI Galway experience and  students continue to actively seek volunteering opportunities with homework clubs in local schools, fundraising for national charities, befriending people with a disability, or volunteering abroad. Students benefit enormously from getting involved and gain valuable experience, while bringing energy, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.” Exhibitors at the Volunteering Fair will include: Gorta, COPE Galway, Amnesty International, Brothers of Charity, Croí Na Gaillimhe, Home Start Athenry, Ability West, Green Sod Ireland, Goal, Age Action West, AIDS West and Hope Foundation. ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience – was established by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution the University students make to Galway by volunteering. Through this programme students can access an online database of volunteer opportunities. The programme also includes a series of workshops to help students make the most of their volunteering experience. At the end of the academic year students can apply for an ALIVE Certificate which is awarded by NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne. To date over 9,000 students have been recognised for their volunteering commitment within a variety of pathways, enabling NUI Galway to become a role model in promoting skills related to democratic participation and civic engagement amongst the student body. To book a stand or for further information, please go to www.nuigalway.ie/cki or contact the ALIVE office on 091 493823 or email cki@nuigalway.ie -ENDS-

Monday, 16 September 2013

On one of the greatest days for Galway Camogie, NUI Galway is proud of its links with the Intermediate and Senior All-Ireland titles coming to the county yesterday with a total of 16 former and current students involved in the three finals. At Senior and Intermediate level, both captains Lorraine Ryan and Sinead Keane, are former students of NUI Galway and played for the University’s camogie club for many years, winning a number of Ashbourne shield titles. Current students on the Galway Senior side include current NUI Galway Sports Scholarship students Niamh McGrath, Ailish O’Reilly, whilst Sports Scholarship student Aisling Dunphy was centre forward on the Kilkenny side. Former Sports Scholarship holders Niamh Kilkenny and Susan Earner were also on the Galway side. Current student Siobhan Coen was on the panel for yesterday’s game, as were former students Noreen Coen, Aoife Donohue, Colette Gill and Sinead Keane. At Intermediate level a number of senior substitutes starred on the winning side of the All-Ireland final. Colette Gill, Sinead Keane, Caitriona Cormican and Aoife Donohue were on the starting line-up with current medical student Caitriona Lee on the panel. A further link with the Galway success is NUI Galway Camogie Ashbourne Cup manager Tony Ward, who was the manager of both successful sides. The NUI Galway link to All-Ireland final Sunday was not just confined to the senior game. Apart from Aisling Dunphy on the Kilkenny side, there were a number of current and former students with other sides. On the Kildare side that captured the All-Ireland junior side were former student Niamh Concannon and current Ashbourne player Melissa Lyons. On the Limerick panel was Mary O’Callaghan, who is also a current student in NUI Galway. NUI Galway Gaelic Games Officer Michael O’Connor is not surprised at the huge contribution of NUI Galway players on all sides on All Ireland weekend: “A significant number of players that starred on the Galway sides are part of the long running scholarship programme initiated by NUI Galway sport. A big cohort of the women who played on Sunday have a past and present involvement with NUI Galway camogie, having played with the University’s many winning awards and starring in many games over the last decade, or as recent at the most recent Ashbourne cup.” He added: “No fewer than 16 players were involved in the three finals with huge performances provided by all, no more so than in the Senior final with Niamh McGrath as top scorer and Ailish O’Reilly grabbing the all-important goal. I would also like to pay a special tribute to dual winning manager Tony Ward who has transformed NUI Galway camogie in his role as Ashbourn manager with his efforts over the last season.” -ENDS-

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway will host a series of Sean-Nós Singing workshops beginning in September. The workshops will be led by the Sean-Nós Singer-in-Residence Joe John Mac An Iomaire, a singer of international renown, in the sean-nós tradition.    Joe won the prestigious Corn Uí Riada (1975, 1977) and Comórtas na bhFear (1968, 1978) at the Oireachtas, and has travelled to sing at festivals throughout Ireland and overseas, particularly in Boston. The workshops will take place at the Centre for Irish Studies on Distillery Road at 7pm each Wednesday, beginning 25 September. The workshops are free of charge and everyone is welcome to attend. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon, in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. For further details contact Samantha Williams at 091 492051 or samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS- ___________________________ Ceardlann amhránaíochta ar an sean-nós in Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh Cuirfear tús le sraith ceardlann amhránaíochta ar an sean-nós in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh ag 7pm, Dé Céadaoin, 25 Meán Fómhai, 2013. Is é Joe John Mac An Iomaire atá ceaptha mar Amhránaí Cónaitheach in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh i mbliana a bheidh mar stiúrthóir na gceardlann. Tá Corn Uí Riada buaite faoi dhó ag Joe (1975, 1977), agus Comórtas na bhFear ag an Oireachtas (1968, 1978) agus is minic ó shin é ag canadh ag féilte in Éirinn agus thar lear, go mórmhór i mBoston mar aoí speisailta de chuid  Chonradh na Gaeilge sa chathair sin. Is sa Seomra Seimineáir in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, Bóthar na Drioglainne, Gaillimh a bheidh na ceardlanna ar siúl. Tá cead isteach saor in aisce agus fáilte roimh chách. Tuilleadh eolais ó Samantha Williams ag 091 512428 nó samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie. -CRÍOCH-

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The project will locate research at the heart of patient care at University Hospital Galway Work has begun on NUI Galway’s €20m Clinical Research Facility and Translational Research Facility (CRF-TRF). The contract to construct the four-storey building (gross floor area 5,345m²) has been awarded to BAM Building Ltd. The construction period is anticipated to be 16 months and will create 125 construction jobs at its peak. The CRF-TRF aims to facilitate cutting-edge medical research side-by-side with patient care in University Hospital Galway. This sharing of medical expertise and accommodation including HSE in-patient facilities will help inform new strands of clinical research. The Clinical Research aspect of the facility is being largely funded by the Health Research Board (HRB). The CRF-TRF building is located on the grounds of University Hospital Galway and is directly adjacent to the University’s Clinical Science Institute, UHG’s Critical Care Facilities, Ward Accommodation Block and the Maternity Wards. NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said “this development captures the essence of our work in biomedicine at NUI Galway, allowing clinicians that work with patients the scope to undertake research at the highest level, and inform that research with the daily reality of patient needs. I welcome the support of the HRB which has allowed us to locate the CRF-TRF facility adjacent to Galway University Hospital in partnership with the Health Services Executive.” He added “The benefits of this facility include the ability to provide access to cutting-edge clinical trials and access to novel therapies for patients in the West of Ireland. Clinical care provided in a research-intensive environment has been proven internationally to result in the best patient outcomes. As a result, patient care will improve, and the ability of our hospital to attract and retain the very best medical and allied health staff will be improved.” The Translational Research Facility will be on the second and third floor of the building and will accommodate open and flexible lab spaces. It will have direct links to the Clinical Science Institute where many of the University’s medical students are located, at both ground and second floor levels. The TRF will be fully owned and operated by the National University of Ireland Galway. The HRB Clinical Research Facility occupies the ground and first floors. This facility will form part of an Irish Network of Clinical Research Facilities which will allow patients access to state of the art clinical research in stem cells, gene therapy, biomaterials and immunology. It will also have a space specially designed for clinical research in regenerative medicine. The CRF will have direct links to the existing hospital at both ground and first floor levels. The CRF will be fully owned and operated by the Health Services Executive and University Hospital Galway. -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

NUI Galway will have seven current and former students on the Mayo Senior football panel for the All-Ireland Football Final against Dublin on Sunday, 22 September. In this year’s Championship, Mayo qualified for their second successive All-Ireland final by defeating Tyrone, and will now face Dublin in the final. The Mayo squad contains a large number of current and former students including Ger Cafferkey, Jason Doherty, Alan Dillon, Conor O’Shea, Shane McHale, Chris Barrett and Cathal Freeman. Former Inter-County star James Nallen, who is a selector with the Mayo side, is a Chief Technical Officer in NUI Galway’s School of Physics. Dr Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience at NUI Galway, said: “So many of our students have represented Mayo in football over the years, and we hope this year that our students and graduates will have cause to celebrate, bridge the 62 year gap, and bring the Sam Maguire home to Mayo.” Dr Morgan also invited NUI Galway alumni, friends and supporters to a pre-match breakfast brunch and panel discussion in the Gresham Hotel. The event starts at 11am and the panel will include NUI Galway graduates, John Maughan, John O’Mahony and Tommy Carr, with Éamon Horan of RTÉ Sport as MC. Tickets cost €15 and pre-booking is necessary, online at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni or by telephone on 091 493750. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research is hosting its annual Research Open Day on Tuesday, 24 September, from 9am to 5.30pm.  The day will include keynote talks from experts including Dr Niall McDonagh, Executive Scientific Secretary of the European Marine Board, and Tony Juniper, leading UK Sustainability Campaigner, who will focus on how to prioritise the environment in the face of ongoing economic struggles.  Research leaders from the Ryan Institute will also be on hand to address the priorities in areas including Energy, Biodiversity and Bioresources, and Climate Change, and attendees will have the opportunity to meet researchers and discuss issues during the poster and networking sessions.  The afternoon will be dedicated to a special session highlighting research in the University’s Centre for Health from Environment. According to Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway: “Understanding how global concerns relate to our region, and likewise putting local research in a global context, is important for the Institute. Our annual Research Day provides the opportunity for us to share our work with the local community, and getting thoughts and insights from those for whom our work aims to benefit.” Dr Martina Prendergast, Strategic Development Manager with the Ryan Institute, added: “We are also delighted to welcome Dr Cathal Gallagher, Head of Research and Development of Inland Fisheries Ireland.  Given the interest in the West of the possible development of a major aquaculture operation, we expect Cathal’s talk and the following Q&A session to be of particular interest.” The Ryan Institute Research Day will take place in the Orbsen Building, NUI Galway, with registration beginning at 8:30am. The Research Day is free to attend and open to all, but please RSVP to ryaninstitute@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Thursday, 19 September 2013

UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre study aims to give recognition to children’s voices NUI Galway researchers are seeking volunteers to help answer questions about how children and young people in Ireland experience, and cope, with the process of their parents’ separation and divorce and subsequent changed family life. The research has been approved by NUI Galway’s Ethics Committee and will be conducted by Professor Chris Curtin, Dr Bernadine Brady and Ms Ann O’Kelly at the NUI Galway UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre. Ann O’Kelly, the main researcher on this project, is a doctoral fellow at the UNESCO Centre and is also a family mediator with the Family Mediation Service, with many years’ experience of working with parents and children who are experiencing separation and divorce.  She says “Children’s views are vital to research of this kind to develop more knowledge about what parents’ separation or divorce is like for children in Ireland and is particularly important given that separation and divorce are increasing in this country. Research of this kind has the potential to inform children, parents and policy makers about services needed by children at this time.” Children and young people aged 8-17 years are invited to participate, provided they and their parents have given informed written consent. Informed consent means that a person gives their permission to take part in research with full knowledge of what the research is about, what it is for and what risks, if any, it might involve. The research team only will have access to the data gathered, with confidentiality being guaranteed in accordance with the NUI Galway Code of Practice relating to research data.  Each child and young person will be invited to choose a ‘nickname’ and no identifying information (such as location) will be used when reporting on the research findings. As a family mediator with over fourteen years’ experience, the researcher is aware that speaking about sensitive issues that have occurred within a child’s or young person’s family may cause some distress and can offer assurance that the research will be conducted in a caring and sensitive manner, using tried and tested child appropriate research methods.  Details of appropriate support services will be provided to participants and their parents should a child or young person become distressed and, if necessary the research will not continue. The safety of each participant will be paramount throughout the research process and will be conducted in line with the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre’s Child Protection Policy. The location of the interview can be decided by the volunteers. Each interview will last about one hour and will be audio recorded and may employ the use of visual aids, drawings and story-telling.  Each participant will receive a token of appreciation from the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre. Past research has shown that children and young people benefit from participating in research of this kind, even though they may not directly reap the benefits. It has also been shown that children and young people appreciate being given an opportunity to have their views heard and are pleased to be involved in research that might bring about change for other children and young people. Volunteers are asked to contact Ann O’Kelly at a.okelly2@nuigalway.ieor 085 7412711. Ann will answer questions and provide more information for parents, children and young people about the research and what it will involve. Further information available at http://childandfamilyresearch.ie/anne-okelly -ENDS-