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Friday, 25 April 2014
Scientists in the NUI Galway Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC) have been conducting research on an oilseed crop, Camelina, to develop new higher-yielding varieties of the crop for Irish growing conditions and new markets. The research team, led by Professor Charles Spillane, has been collaborating with scientists in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to sequence the genome of Camelina. Camelina sativa (false flax or gold of pleasure) was cultivated in Europe for many centuries before being displaced by higher-yielding crops such as oilseed rape. However, Camelina is a low-input crop whose low environmental footprint is driving a resurgence of interest in the crop as a source of sustainable protein and oils for both nutritional and industrial applications (e.g. lubricants). In Ireland, Camelina is currently grown by a small number of farmers, in particular for the production of edible Camelina oil under the Newgrange Gold label. Initial field trials of Camelina conducted in collaboration with Teagasc have already identified some promising high yielding varieties. In addition to field trials, the NUI Galway team has been developing new genetic tools for the breeding of new Camelina lines with higher yields and improved characteristics. In the global aviation sector, Camelina has gained much attention as a crop whose oil profile is suitable for use as a renewable aviation fuel. The airline sector is responsible for 12% of CO2 emissions from all transport sources. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that sustainable next-generation biofuels for aviation could reduce CO2 emissions by 80%, on a full carbon life-cycle basis. A wide range of airlines (e.g. Japan Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa) and the US military have already run successful test (and passenger) flights with planes flown on Camelina biojet fuel. In 2013, Professor Spillane was an invited speaker on Camelina oilseeds at the Europe-Canada Biojetfuel Meeting in Saskatoon. The meeting aimed to advance the development of plant-based aviation biojetfuel supply chains for the European airline industry to meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets. Reetu Tuteja, NUI Galway Bioinformatics PhD student who is working with Professor Spillane, identified genes within the overall genome which are specific to Camelina, and which could be responsible for some of the crop’s unique characteristics. The complete genome sequence of Camelina has now been published in the latest issue of the scientific journal Nature Communications. “The publication of the genome sequence will accelerate research efforts in Europe and globally on this promising oilseed crop” said Professor Spillane. Research on Camelina in Professor Spillane’s Genetics and Biotechnology laboratory is supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. -Ends-
Monday, 28 April 2014
On May 1 and 2 Ireland’s first Intervarsity BioBlitz will take place and the public are invited to take part in events on NUI Galway’s campus. The BioBlitz brings together scientists and recorders in a race against time to see how many species can be recorded in a 24-hour biological survey. From 5pm on Thursday, 1 May to 5pm on Friday, 2 May NUI Galway, UCC, TCD and DCU will race to record as many species as possible over the 24 hour period. The team that records the most species wins. Experts will be on hand to help identify and record the plants and animals found on campus. Biodiversity means the variety of all living things, so we need people to survey and identify birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, higher plants, bryophytes, lichens, fungi and diatoms. By recording as much wildlife as possible, the college can find out how biodiverse the campus is, and it is an important step in our efforts to gain a Green Flag. The Green Campus needs your help! In addition to recording wildlife, we need people to help with organisation and public outreach. Ireland’s BioBlitz is designed to increase public awareness of the variety of life in Ireland and to highlight some of the ecological services that biodiversity provides to enhance our quality of life at the global and the local level. The Bioblitz also demonstrates the high level of skill and expertise necessary to study many aspects of Ireland’s biological diversity. NUI Galway’s Dr Caitriona Carlin explains, “It’s a really unique opportunity to see some of Ireland’s amazing plants and animals on your doorstep. Come and help the staff and students discover the wealth of wildlife that are on the edge of Galway city, and have lots of fun.” Those interested in supporting this unique event and finding out how biodiverse NUI Galway can contact Karen Dooley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know what group/aspect of wildlife you would be able to help identify or what area you might be able to help with. Or come along at any time to the Environmental Science Building in NUI Galway on Friday, 2 May to join in the fun. There are a number of public events running throughout the Bioblitz and everyone is welcome to attend. Events on Thursday include a birdwalk at 6pm with a batwalk taking place at 9pm. On Friday, 2 May events include a small mammal trap opening, moth traps, and NUI Galway flora, slug, butterfly and bumblebee walks. For a full list of events taking place visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/environment/. This initiative is supported by NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, the Buildings Office and the Green Campus team. -Ends-
Tuesday, 29 April 2014
A group from the BSc in Biotechnology degree programme recently became the first NUI Galway students to make use of the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Teaching (NIBRT) facilities. As part of their visit the students received training on bioreactor operation, biomolecule separations and how the latest disposable components are used in pharmaceutical production, all bread-and-butter skills for a biotech career. To provide world class training in industry skills the IDA recently established the NIBRT on the grounds of UCD in Dublin. The purpose-built NIBRT facility closely replicates a modern bioprocessing plant with state of the art equipment, but in a format where employees and students get a complete insight into the latest technologies. NIBRT’s Technical and Training Supervisor Dr Kate Cotter commented, “The students were very interested and this practical industrial production training was definitely an important complement to the great biology theory they learn back on campus.” During the trip, the students also made a stop at Pfizer’s Grange Castle site near Lucan where they were hosted by NUI Galway Biotechnology graduate Carmel Jennings. Carmel gave them a tour and a unique insight into how their training and studies are relevant in one of the world’s largest biopharmaceutical production facilities. The training visit to Dublin was an initiative of NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences and acted as a trial for expanding the use of NIBRT facilities and industry visits in the future. NUI Galway has the highest rate of graduate employment amongst Irish universities, and this comes from giving its student’s access to world class facilities on our doorstep as they step from campus to career. Biotechnology uses our scientific understanding of biology to create products like pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The sector contributes over a third of Ireland’s exports and employs more than 40,000 people, making it an important career opportunity for students studying biology. The biotechnology area is expanding fast, with exciting discoveries such as stem cells or personalised DNA sequencing constantly being reported. Graduates need both scientific knowledge and practical “How To” skills to allow them to make Ireland’s biotech labs and factories run. -Ends-
Tuesday, 29 April 2014
The NUI Galway Gala Society Awards 2014 took place recently in the Ardilaun Hotel in which the extraordinary contribution the University’s societies make to campus life and the wider community was celebrated. This year, the societies have organised over 3000 events of educational, cultural, social and humanitarian value and have enhanced the university experience for their fellow students while contributing to both the local community and the wider world. In the last ten years they have contributed over €1.75 million to charity. The 919 committee members have volunteered the equivalent working hours as 110 full time workers this academic year. Speakers on the evening included the University’s Secretary, Gearóid O’Conluain and Head of Careers Development Centre, John Hannon, who spoke about the importance of Societies to campus life and the contribution involvement in Societies makes to the students personal development and education. The NUI Galway Societies who won on the evening represented the University at the National BICS Awards in Belfast recently. NUI Galway currently holds the most BICS trophies in the country. In total 46 awards were presented to Societies and individuals in recognition of their contribution to campus life and the wider community. Amongst the recipients were: The GIG Soc who won Best Society in a Cultural, Academic and Social category; Best Society in a Charity Civic category went to VSA (Voluntary Services Abroad Society); Best New Society went to Astronomy Society; Most Improved Society went to DJ Soc; Best individual went to Eamonn Doran of the Juggling and Lotus Society; Most Soccessful Society for their contribution to campus life, went to the new Disney Society; Best Fresher went to Leah Heffernan of Literary and Debating Society and Shoutout; and Best Event was won by The Musical Society (GUMS) for their production of ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’. For more information on NUI Galway Societies see www.socs.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-
Tuesday, 29 April 2014
Award follows recent success in being only the 3rd European company to join the prestigious New York StartUp Health Academy Pocket Anatomy, a start-up based in NUI Galway’s incubation centre has won the ‘Boost’ startup competition at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam. Pocket Anatomy, from nearly one hundred entrants, was one of ten selected to attend the conference in Amsterdam by popular vote. Pitching on stage at one of Europe’s top tech gatherings attended by over 2,500 web, technology and business leaders, Pocket Anatomy was selected as the winner. CEO Mark Campbell was on hand to collect the Boost Award, which comes hot on the heels of Pocket Anatomy’s remarkable achievement on the other side of the Atlantic of being only the third European company to join the prestigious New York-based StartUp Health Academy. Pocket Anatomy CEO Mark Campbell said this was a big win for the company “It’s fantastic that Ireland is punching above its weight in the healthcare and medical innovation space, with Pocket Anatomy receiving the top startup award at The Next Web Conference, and also recently joining the StartUp Health Academy,” said Dr John Breslin from NUI Galway, an advisor to Pocket Anatomy. “Galway is already home to many SMEs and multinationals in the medical technologies domain, and local start-ups like Pocket Anatomy are a key part of this vibrant ecosystem”. Pocket Anatomy's award-winning 3D visual software solution is the Google Earth for healthcare, facilitating doctor-patient diagnoses communication and promoting patient well-being and personal healthcare understanding. Our existing educational healthcare iOS apps are in use by 250,000 students and educators, as well as 50 educational institutions in the US. Our aim is to take this underlying technology and make it more relevant and meaningful to the patient market - empowering patients to understand and manage their own health and well-being. The target markets are: Healthcare Professionals who need to communicate and explain anatomical abnormalities and health conditions with patients. Healthcare Consumers (healthy and unhealthy) who need to understand prevention and well-being. Pocket Anatomy is based in NUI Galway’s Business Innovation Centre which provides an entrepreneurial working environment, general business advice and advice on access to finance, serviced office space and meeting facilities for start-ups and NUI Galway spin out companies. -ends-
Wednesday, 30 April 2014
The Discipline of Accounting and Finance in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway has recently launched Accounting Nuggets, a series of online tutorials for Leaving Certificate Accounting students. The EXPLORE funded project is a student-staff collaboration where a series of step-by-step guided online tutorials have been created to support students with bite-sized chunks of the Leaving Certificate Accounting syllabus. Team members consist of: Lecturers Mary Barrett and Riona Lyons; Bachelor of Commerce students Rita Breen and Sarah Kelly; Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) students Patric Evason, Natasha Caulfield, Michael Loftus and Kelley Hession; and Masters of Accounting student Owen Wyer. The project team consulted with Leaving Certificate students and secondary school teachers to select topics that students found most difficult at Leaving Certificate level. Accounting Nuggets team member and final year student on the Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) degree at NUI Galway, Michael Loftus, said: “It was a fantastic experience to work alongside our lecturers and give something back to the university and wider community. I have been able to improve my teaching and presentation skills no end but most importantly I think this project will benefit Leaving Certificate students with their accounting studies.” Attending the launch of Accounting Nuggets, was secondary school student Declan McGoldrick from Summerhill College, Sligo. “I am currently a fourth year student and I am studying Accounting for my Leaving Cert. I believe that the Accounting Nuggets developed by NUI Galway is a fantastic resource to have as a student. It offers top quality online tutorials in Accounting and it will be a great revision aid for me when revising for my Leaving Cert next year.” Mary Barrett, Programme Director for Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) is keen to encourage the study of accounting at leaving cert and emphasise the benefits of pursuing an accounting career. “Students pursuing accounting careers continue to successfully find employment even during the recession, with 41% of all graduate jobs in 2012 in the area of accountancy, banking and finance (GradIreland 2013). We have long standing relationships with employers at NUI Galway and they return year on year, competing with one another to recruit our graduates from the Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) degrees. Many of our students choose to pursue a professional accounting qualification from CAI, ACCA, CIMA or CPA. Our programmes provide significant exemptions from these professional body exams which means that our graduates are well on the way to qualifying as a professional accountant on completion of their studies at NUI Galway.” The online tutorials are an ideal support for anyone studying accounting for their Leaving Certificate and can be accessed at www.nuigalway.ie/cairnes/leavingcert. The website also provides information on the career paths of many of our accounting graduates. -Ends-
Friday, 21 March 2014
NUI Galway Dance Artist in Residence, Ríonach Ní Néill curates a compelling line-up for Galway Dance Days Festival and Corp_Real International Symposium 2014 For the third year running, NUI Galway and Galway City plays host to a distinctive dance festival and symposium. Galway Dance Days presents a series of powerful, ambitious and captivating world and Galway premieres throughout the city from the 28-30 March 2014. Ríonach Ní Néill, NUI Galway Dance Artist in Residence and curator of the festival said, “Ireland is creating really exciting dance, and I'm delighted that Galway Dance Days is hosting such a diversity of premieres, from intimate solos to large-scale theatrical spectacles. It's a real dialogue with the city, as dance spills out of the theatre and turns up in unexpected places, such as office buildings and shopping centres.” Anti-Capitalism:The Musical! is a fairytale of musical theatre, using circus, song, and dance to create a near-future political reality similar to our own. Social criticism wrapped in wit, glee and stunning physical and vocal performance, it has a cast of 15 dancers, singers, circus performers, actors and a live band. Employing acrobatics, plot twists, assassinations, and intrigue to tell the witty tale of a heroic group of everyday acrobats, aided by the Greek-chorus style narrations of a powerful triumvirate of fairy godmothers. Choreographed and composed by American, Deirdre Murphy, it has its world premiere at The Cube, Bailey Allen Building, NUI Galway for two nights only, 29-30 March. Swedish choreographer Maria Nilsson Waller transforms the raw concrete of a vacant office building into a world resonating with the wonders of the sea, with the premiere of Founder. Deeply poetic and lyrical, Maria's choreography brings nature into the performance space, mapping vast territories in human movement and voice. An accomplished musician, Maria also composed the soundtrack for the work, mentored by composer George Higgs. It takes place at Fairgreen House, Fairgreen Road on Friday, 28 March at 8pm. Galway-based choreographer, Judith Sibley and Chrysalis Dance Company will perform the specially commissioned work These Moments, a new and evocative piece, continuing Sibley's pushing of the boundaries of classical dance. It will be part of a series of dance works by Irish female choreographers on Saturday, 28 March at Fairgreen House, marking womens' experiences in Ireland, past and present. Following Fitzgerald and Stapleton's sold-out performance at GDD 13, Emma Fitzgerald returns with an intimate solo, The Sea and the Shape of My Heart. Galway has a chance to see Aoife McAtamney's Softer Swells, selected from international competition for the prestigious Aerowaves European tour, and emerging choreographer Úna Little presents Grace, a hauntingly vulnerable solo about Magdalene Ireland. It takes place at Fairgreen House, Fairgreen Road on Friday, 28 March. Art holds a mirror up to society, and the Galway Dance Days performances raise important questions about the environment, gender and activism, which will be the focus of public discussion at the Corp_Real International Symposium, running throughout the festival from 28-30 March in the Bailey Allen Hall, with fieldtrips in Galway city centre. Convened by Dr Aoife McGrath (Queens University), Dr Finola Cronin (UCD), and NUI Galway Dance Artist in Residence, Ríonach Ní Néill, this multi-disciplinary public forum brings together Galway, Irish and international artists, activists and academics, to look at how dance and artistic practices engage with social issues. Swedish landscape architect Carola Wingren speaks about introducing dance into climate-change research in southern Sweden, to which Liverpool academic Rachel Sweeney adds an Australian perspective on flooding. Choreographing Feminist Politics in Ireland brings together a group of artists that have created works that tackle issues of body politics and women’s experiences in Irish society. Sunday's panels consider artists' contributions to a more equitable society, while the convergence of visual art, film, and theatre on corporeal art is the focus of Saturday morning's panel. Disciplinary boundaries are further stretched by Galwegian artist Michelle Browne, in an experimental collaboration, My Methyl with choreographer Emma Martin out and about in Galway centre. It takes place at Fairgreen House on Friday, 28 March. Additional events will include; Body and Environment at the Bailey Allen Hall on March 28 from 12.30pm-6pm and 29 March from 10am-4pm; Performing The Body at the Bailey Allen Hall on 29 March from 10am-1pm; Fieldtrips and site-specific performance in Galway city on 29 March from 1pm-2.45pm; Body, Activism and Engagement on 30 March from 10.30am-4pm at the Bailey Allen Hall. Tickets are €15/€12. All-in Festival tickets €39/€30. Symposium tickets are €5 per day. Bookings can be made at www.entertainment.ie Full programme details are available at www.ciotog.ie For updates and special offers, follow www.Facebook/Galwaydancedays Ends.
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
John Sweeney, Ireland’s leading expert on climate change to give a talk at NUI Galway entitled ‘Ireland and Climate Change: Adapting in an Environment of Uncertainty’ Professor John Sweeney, Ireland’s leading expert on climate change, will deliver a lunchtime talk at NUI Galway on Friday 28th March. The talk is entitled ‘Ireland and Climate Change: Adapting in an Environment of Uncertainty’. Professor Sweeney will talk about climate extremes, the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), what it means for Ireland and where we are in the climate legislation stakes. The talk will also develop current thought on climate change and in light of recent climatic events, will provide a measured view on the science behind predicting future climate scenarios. Specifically, Professor Sweeney will address our potential to adapt to future climatic shifts, dealing with specific measures that we can still apply, both nationally and regionally. The organisers of the event, Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington from the Plant Ecology Research Unit and Dr Mike Gormally of the Applied Ecology Unit, School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway, are delighted by the prospect of hosting such an informed figure on the study of climate change, in Galway. Dr Sheehy Skeffington said, “It’s a real coup to have Professor Sweeney deliver a lecture at the university. He is a great speaker and an expert in the area of climate change, and he also features regularly on RTE television and radio discussing important topics related to climate change. I really encourage anyone interested to come along to this free event.” Professor John Sweeney has been a lecturer at the Geography Department, NUI Maynooth since 1978 and has a PhD from the University of Glasgow. His research interests are Climate Change, Climatology and Air Pollution. His main area of interest is climatology and he has taught and researched at a number of universities in North America and Africa. As well as publishing extensive scientific papers, Professor Sweeney has edited and co-authored 4 texts on climatology and climate change in Ireland. He has served a number of national academic societies as President, Secretary and Treasurer as well as being the Irish representative on a number of European academic bodies. The talk will be held in the Lecture Theatre on the first floor of the MR Annexe (located to the right of the Martin Ryan building), NUI Galway on Friday 28th March at 1pm sharp. Ends.
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
Whitaker Institute’s research studies find population and migration trends have profound impacts on all areas of social policy and societal development The Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway is the largest national research Institute focused on business, social and public policy issues. The Institute’s upcoming publication Impact Insights, offers a succinct overview of the research being conducted there. As part of that work, the Population and Migration research cluster at the Whitaker Institute has identified an emerging achievement gap between young migrants and their non-migrant peers, which will result in a significant under-representation in third-level institutions. Given the ongoing importance of migration in Ireland, the work of the Population and Migration cluster is particularly interesting. The cluster has three central aims: To research key features of contemporary population and migration in critical ways. To contribute to a better understanding of prostitution and sex trafficking/migration. To contribute to the design of improved policies relating to population and migration and help meet existing needs of society. Several studies carried out by the group encompass the ‘new Irish’- the children of immigrants - and the ease, or otherwise, with which they have integrated into Irish society. Research projects completed and in progress include studies of Brazilian immigration to Ireland, youth workers, second generation return migration, advocacy on behalf of immigrant groups and contributions to improved policy design. In particular, the work of Dr. Valerie Ledwith and Dr. Kathy Reilly from the School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway examines the educational outcomes and experiences of young migrants in second level education in Galway City and urban-rural fringe. Funded by the Irish Research Council and the European Commission, The Galway Education Survey looked into how variables such as neighbourhood, school and home environment affect the educational outcomes and experiences of young migrants in second level education. Key Statistics by Migrant Category 66.7% non migrants and 56.2% of all migrants plan to attend University – this 10% difference found that similar proportions of non migrant students plan to attend university but migrant students are less likely to realise their aspiration. Non migrants are 2 times more likely to sit Higher level Maths than Irish born children of foreign born parents. Non migrants are 2.25 times more likely to sit Higher level Science than Irish born children of foreign born parents. Their work highlights the inequality of access for migrant students as a result of current school attendance policies that make it easier for long-term Irish national residents to access schools because of the use of sibling or family as past pupil clauses in reaching enrolment decisions. Furthermore, their research draws attention to the link between these enrolment practices and the emerging achievement gap between young migrants and their non-migrant peers. The research also shows that young migrants are less likely to take Junior Certificate subjects at Higher Level, which restricts the student to sitting that subject at Ordinary Level for the Leaving Certificate. This directly limits the number of points students can achieve. Without a change to the current points system, these results suggest that young migrants will be under-represented within third level education. Dr. Valerie Ledwith stated, “In general, the results of our research suggest that an achievement gap is emerging between young migrants and non-migrants in Ireland. Moreover, this achievement gap is linked to enrolment practices that constrain the school choices available to young migrants.” Dr. Ledwith continued, “This research arose from our concern with the potential emergence of a two-tier education system in Ireland. Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that this is the case, with a clearly apparent achievement gap between young migrants and their non-migrant peers. “ This research was incorporated into the Galway County Integration and Diversity Strategy 2013-2017. Actions linked to the strategy involve further research in the Institute, including an exploration of migrant experiences at university level and mapping migrant services across Galway City and County. This research engages multiple practitioner and community interests and will be conducted throughout 2014 to 2015. The Population and Migration research is funded from an extensive range of national and international sources including: Atlantic Philanthropies; Barnardos; Department of Education and Skills, NI; Department of Health and Children; EU; Galway Educate Together; Health Research Board; Higher Education Authority; Irish Research Council; UNESCO and WHO. Its membership is equally diverse, with researchers from economics, geography, political science, sociology, health promotion and psychology. This diversity reflects the need for a multi-disciplinary approach in considering the social, political and economic dimensions of migration and population change. Dr. Mary Cawley from the Whitaker Institute explains, “The creation of the cluster provides an opportunity to come together and be more aware of each other’s research. In so doing we can identify areas where there may be scope for collaboration, including the development of funding initiatives. Some colleagues are already involved in developing joint grant proposals.” For further information on the Whitaker Institute visit www.nuigalway.ie/whitakerinstitute Ends.
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Monday, 10th March 2014 A landmark reform of the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations was based, in large part, on the research of Professor Michael O'Flaherty from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. The reform will mean greater accountability and efficiency in protecting the rights of oppressed groups in societies across the world – such as victims of discrimination and others on the margins of our societies. The UN human rights oversight mechanism, known as the treaty body system, had become very bureaucratic and inefficient and increasingly starved of resources. This undermined its capacity to do its job of getting governments to uphold the human rights of their peoples. The ‘Dublin Process’, initiated by Professor O’Flaherty and largely funded by the Irish government, set out to strengthen and enhance the structures of the system. The process aimed, for example, to simplify the reporting duties of governments under UN treaties, a framework that had developed incrementally over time, resulting in significant overlapping procedures, inefficiencies and unnecessary delays, as well as to attract more financial support from governments An example of how the treaty body system works to uphold human rights is the way in which it triggered considerable international media attention to the human rights abuses committed in Magdalen laundries and put that topic firmly on the agenda of the Irish government. Internationally, the system has led to numerous changes in law and improvements in the situation of the most vulnerable and marginalised of people. In 2009, Professor Michael O’Flaherty, on the invitation of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, convened an expert group in Dublin to set out a road map for a reform process that would deliver meaningful results. World-wide consultations followed and resulted in 100 recommendations adopted at a second meeting in 2011, again convened in Dublin by Professor Michael O'Flaherty. Those recommendations were then put before the UN General Assembly by means of a report submitted to it by the High Commissioner. The subsequent two-year debate, in which Professor O'Flaherty participated in an expert capacity, was brought to a conclusion with an historic resolution on the 11th February 2014. The resolution in large part reflects the recommendations that had emerged from the Dublin Process. Professor O'Flaherty, Director of NUI Galway's Irish Centre for Human Rights, said, "This is a defining moment in a treaty body reform process that got underway in Dublin in 2009. Remarkably, it does so with some success, paving the way for the delivery of enhanced resources to the long neglected sector and re-affirming the independence of the treaty bodies and their membership. The pathway to the adoption of the resolution was also notable, comprising a multi-stakeholder engagement that was exceptional in terms of UN human rights diplomatic practice.” “The Dublin Process will serve as a template of how other intractable problems of the UN Human rights system can be tackled in an effective way” he said. “The Irish government deserves great credit for its steadfast support for the exercise. The Dublin Process highlights the impact that university-based research can have in shaping international public policy.” For more information on the process Professor O'Flaherty discusses it in a recent blog post at: http://www.nuigalway.ie/irish-centre-human-rights/news/-professor-oflaherty-on-strengthening-of-the-un-human-rights-treaty-body-system.html Ends.
Monday, 3 March 2014
Opening the Sociological Association of Ireland (SAI) Postgraduate Conference 2014 the Roundtable will address the wider role for Higher Education in society An NUI Galway roundtable discussion will address the role of universities in the development of citizens, and their role in making a better society for all. The discussion will form part of the Sociological Association of Ireland (SAI) Postgraduate Conference 2014 supported by the School of Political Science, the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway and the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway The roundtable discussion, open to the public is titled “The role of the university as porous in the contemporary development of citizens?” and will take place on Friday 7th March 2014 at The Ruby Room, The Kings Head, 15 High Street, Galway from 7pm - 9pm. Creativity, as a driving force for economic growth has had a profound effect in the last ten years on a range of social institutions, especially in education. This new creative ethos is linked to unlocking talent through the teaching of entrepreneurial modelling and programmes that encourage employability, particularly in higher education institutions. Although the university’s role in the area of creativity, innovation, and technology transfer has been much addressed and catered for, there is neglect amongst experts, policy makers and university leaders as to the university’s broader role in contributing to and producing an open and tolerant social climate through civic or community engagement activities. Dr Jennifer Dagg, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway said “The effect of neo-liberal values eroding the education system is a very current debate in Irish society. The activities, by universities for example, with their surrounding communities often get sidelined in these types of discussions. We want to discuss the role of the university as embedded in the communities in which it is located, and the value of this form of activity.” According to Professor Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class, regional creativity and economic growth is partly dependent upon the integration of the third level education sector into the broader creative ecosystem. Professor Florida says, “The old model of a university pumping out research results and educated students or even commercial innovations and start-up companies, is no longer sufficient for the era of creative-knowledge-based capitalism.” The National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 states that "Engagement with the wider community must become more firmly embedded in the mission of higher education institutions. Higher education institutions need to become more firmly embedded in the social and economic contexts of the communities they live in and serve." This roundtable discussion session will bring together academics working in the field of education, civic engagement, technology, and development, to discuss the role of the university as porous in the contemporary development of citizens. Roundtable attendees will hear about the role of the University and Higher Education Institutions in serving public interest values from Professor Kathy Hall from University College Cork. Dr Su-Ming Khoo from NUI Galway will talk about the role of the University and the (global) ethics of engagement, while Dr Brendan Smith from the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway will talk about how NUI Galway is making a positive contribution through web technologies. Lastly, Lorraine McIlrath from the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway will talk about the ‘civic university’. This will be followed by a Q&A session. For more postgraduate conference details see www.sociology.ie. Ends.
Monday, 3 March 2014
Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Enniskillen on Thursday, 13 March. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics- degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge) which is brand new for 2013-14. Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to County Fermanagh, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Enniskillen is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them.” To find out more about the information evening in Enniskillen, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne at email@example.com or 087 2440858. -Ends-
Monday, 3 March 2014
15 Elite athletes, who meet strict criteria, will be awarded 40 CAO Performance Points for undergraduate courses under the new NUI Galway Scholarship Scheme NUI Galway is to reward elite athletes with 40 CAO Performance Points in recognition of their skill, time and dedication in reaching the highest level of their chosen sport. This is an extension of NUI Galway’s current Elite Athlete Scholarship scheme which includes a subsistence grant, performance supports, gym membership and medical support. The scheme will award 40 Performance Points to a limited number of athletes, applying for undergraduate courses, who meet strict criteria in a number of identified sports. The points will be added to a minimum requirement of 350 CAO Points from a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate in 6 subjects. The closing date for applications for NUI Galway's Performance Points for athletes is Monday, 31st March 2014 and the closing date for CAO applications is Thursday, 1 May. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said “NUI Galway has a long and proud tradition of sporting success. Our success has fuelled our ambition. We aim to be leaders in research, innovation and learning and as a university we are proud to support the next generation of elite athletes as their ambition and dedication leads them to sporting success.” NUI Galway Elite sports officer Gary Ryan said “NUI Galway has produced and supported leaders in sport for many years. The Performance Points Scheme will broaden the horizon of achievement both for NUI Galway and for the athletes themselves, and we have the facilities, structure and supports in place to help athletes achieve their goals, both academic and sporting.” Robbie Henshaw, member of Ireland's Six Nations squad is a second year arts student. Speaking at the launch of the Performance Points Scheme, he said “Performing at the highest level means you can’t take your eye of the ball, so it’s great to see NUI Galway rewarding elite athletes for their dedication through this scheme. University support like this allows you to concentrate on getting the best results both on and off the pitch.” Twelve current and former NUI Galway Sports Scholarship students were part of Clare’s 2013 All Ireland winning panel, with other scholarship students enjoying similar levels of success; Des Leonard, World Junior Champion and World Senior Silver medallist in Kickboxing 2011 and 2012; Seamus Hennessy, All-Ireland winner with Tipperary and Rising Star award winner 2010; Niall Burke and Joseph Cooney, Galway All-Ireland Hurling Final 2012; Carol Staunton, Irish Women’s team at the World Rugby Cup in 2010 and many more exceptional athletes. Applicants will be selected through an application form and interview process. The assessment will be based on sporting achievement and potential as well as evidence of their academic achievement and commitment. The successful candidates will then receive a conditional offer of the 40 performance points in May prior to the Leaving Certificate and CAO changes. Students hoping to study medicine are not currently eligible to receive bonus points under this scheme, but it is being examined in the hope of including it in the future. The ‘Performance Points’ athletes will receive similar benefits to those enjoyed by the current NUI Galway Elite Athlete scholarship scheme. Benefits will include a subsistence grant, performance supports, gym membership and medical support. Supports will be provided for the duration of the undergraduate degree of the successful candidates as per the terms and conditions of the NUI Galway athlete’s charter and will be reviewed on an annual basis. The scheme will only apply to new entrants applying for full-time undergraduate courses at NUI Galway. Applicants must be under 21-years of age on 1st April in the year of application and only sports whose national governing body is recognised by the Irish Sports Council will be considered. For further details see http://www.sports.nuigalway.ie/scholarships_info.html ENDS Cuireann OÉ Gaillimh ‘Pointí Feidhmíochta’ CAO ar fáil do Lúthchleasaithe den scoth Bronnfar 40 Pointe Feidhmíochta CAO ar 15 sárlúthchleasaí, a chomhlíonann dianchritéir, do chúrsaí fochéime faoi Scéim Scoláireachta nua de chuid OÉ Gaillimh Tá OÉ Gaillimh chun aitheantas a thabhairt do shárlúthchleasaithe as a scil, am agus dúthracht chun an leibhéal is airde a bhaint amach sa spórt is rogha leo trí 40 Pointe Feidhmíochta CAO a bhronnadh orthu. Is leathnú é seo ar an scéim Scoláireachta reatha atá in OÉ Gaillimh do Shárlúthchleasaithe a áiríonn deontas cothabhála, tacaíochtaí feidhmíochta, ballraíocht sa ghiomnáisiam agus tacaíocht leighis. Bronnfaidh an scéim 40 Pointe Feidhmíochta ar líon teoranta lúthchleasaithe, a dhéanann iarratas ar chúrsaí fochéime agus a chomhlíonann critéir dhéine i roinnt spóirt ainmnithe. Cuirfear na pointí leis an íosriachtanas 350 Pointe CAO ó shuí aonair den Ardteistiméireacht i sé ábhar. Is é an dáta deiridh a nglacfar le hiarratais do Phointí Feidhmíochta OÉ Gaillimh do lúthchleasaithe Dé Luain, an 31 Márta 2014 agus is é an dáta deiridh d’iarratais CAO Déardaoin, an 1 Bealtaine. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne “Tá traidisiún fada agus láidir spóirt in OÉ Gaillimh. Chuir an rath atá bainte amach againn lenár n-uaillmhian. Tá sé mar aidhm againn a bheith inár gceannairí sa taighde, sa nuálaíocht agus san fhoghlaim agus mar ollscoil táimid bródúil tacú leis an gcéad ghlúin eile de shárlúthchleasaithe agus uaillmhian agus dúthracht á dtreorú chun cinn sa saol spóirt.” Dúirt Gary Ryan, an tOifigeach Forbartha don Spórt Éilíte in OÉ Gaillimh, “Tá ceannairí sa spórt tagtha chun cinn le tacaíocht ó OÉ Gaillimh le blianta fada. Leathnóidh Scéim na bPointí Feidhmíochta na féidearthachtaí atá ann d’OÉ Gaillimh agus do na lúthchleasaithe iad féin chun éachtaí a bhaint amach. Tá áiseanna, struchtúr agus tacaíochtaí ar fáil againn chun cabhrú le lúthchleasaithe a spriocanna acadúla agus spóirt a bhaint amach.” Tá Robbie Henshaw, ball de scuad Shé Náisiún na hÉireann, sa dara bliain dá chúrsa sna dána. Ag labhairt dó ag seoladh Scéim na bPointí Feidhmíochta, dúirt sé, “Nuair atá tú ag imirt spóirt ar an leibhéal is airde caithfidh tú a bheith dírithe go hiomlán air, mar sin tá sé iontach a fheiceáil go bhfuil OÉ Gaillimh ag tabhairt aitheantais do shárlúthchleasaithe as a dtiomantas tríd an scéim seo. Tugann tacaíocht Ollscoile mar seo deis duit díriú ar na torthaí is fearr a bhaint amach ar an bpáirc agus sa seomra ranga araon. Bhí dhá mhac léinn déag a bhfuil nó a raibh Scoláireachtaí Spóirt de chuid OÉ Gaillimh acu mar chuid de phainéal buacach an Chláir in 2013, agus d’éirigh go maith le mic léinn eile a raibh scoláireachtaí acu chomh maith; Des Leonard, Seaimpín Sóisearach an Domhain agus Buaiteoir Boinn Airgid i gCraobh Shinsir an Domhain sa Chosdornáil in 2011 agus in 2012; Seamus Hennessy, foireann bhuacach Thiobraid Árann i gCluiche Ceannais na hÉireann agus buaiteoir an ghradaim Rising Star 2010; Niall Burke agus Joseph Cooney, Foireann na Gaillimhe i gCluiche Ceannais na hÉireann san Iomáint in 2012; Carol Staunton, Foireann Éireannach na mBan ag an gCorn Domhanda Rugbaí in 2010 agus neart lúthchleasaithe eile den scoth. Roghnófar iarrthóirí ag brath ar an bhfoirm iarratais agus ar an agallamh. Beidh an measúnú bunaithe ar éachtaí spóirt agus ar phoitéinseal chomh maith le fianaise ar éachtaí agus ar thiomantas acadúil. Ansin, gheobhaidh na hiarrthóirí a n-éiríonn leo tairiscint choinníollach 40 pointe feidhmíochta i mí na Bealtaine roimh an Ardteistiméireacht agus roimh an dáta ar féidir athruithe a dhéanamh ar an CAO. Níl mic léinn ar mian leo staidéar a dhéanamh ar leigheas incháilithe le pointí bónais a fháil faoin scéim seo faoi láthair, ach táthar á scrúdú le súil iad a chur san áireamh amach anseo. Gheobhaidh lúthcheasaithe na ‘bPointí Feidhmíochta’ sochair cosúil leo siúd atá ar fáil faoin scéim scoláireachta do Shárlúthchleasaithe in OÉ Gaillimh faoi láthair. I measc na sochar tá deontas cothabhála, tacaíochtaí feidhmíochta, ballraíocht sa ghiomnáisiam agus tacaíocht leighis. Cuirfear tacaíocht ar fáil a fhad is atá na hiarrthóirí a n-éiríonn leo i mbun a gcúrsa fochéime mar atá leagtha amach i dtéarmaí agus coinníollacha chairt lúthchleasaithe OÉ Gaillimh agus déanfar athbhreithniú air seo go bliantúil. Ní bheidh feidhm ag an scéim ach d’iontrálaithe nua atá ag déanamh iarratais ar chúrsaí lánaimseartha fochéime in OÉ Gaillimh. Ní mór d’iarrthóirí a bheith faoi 21 bliain d’aois an 1 Aibreán i mbliain an iarratais agus ní dhéanfar a mheas ach na spóirt sin a bhfuil a gcomhlacht rialaithe náisiúnta aitheanta ag an gComhairle Spóirt. Tá eolas breise le fáil ar: http://www.sports.nuigalway.ie/scholarships_info.html CRÍOCH
Monday, 3 March 2014
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is widely viewed as the leading qualification to add to an individual’s employability and as a signal of their intention to lead NUI Galway’s MBA course is now accepting applications for the 2014-2016 cycle. The course is open to both graduates and non-graduates with more than three years of full time work experience, and is completed on a part-time basis over two years. NUI Galway is the only Irish MBA programme outside Dublin to attain Association of MBA (AMBA) accreditation. AMBA accreditation is internationally recognised as the global standard of excellence for MBA education. NUI Galway is one of only 200 Schools worldwide to attain AMBA accreditation among the many thousands of MBA programmes globally. The next cycle of the NUI Galway MBA commences September 2014 and runs until May 2016. Two information evenings, in NUI Galway on March 12th at 5.30pm and in the Clarion Hotel, Sligo on March 18th at 5.30pm, will give prospective students the opportunity to meet both lecturers, current and past students. First round applications are accepted until 31st March and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis thereafter. Dr Alma McCarthy, MBA Course Director says “A distinguishing feature of the NUI Galway MBA is our focus on real-life learning based on the best practice nationally and internationally. Students work on real case studies throughout the two year programme and in second year, students work with companies in various industries to shape and guide their strategy through real-life consulting projects. Many of our MBA students, who already work in management roles, see the MBA as the stepping stone to promotion and career advancement, and we do everything we can to facilitate that.” The programme also includes the opportunity to complete a Global Leadership Course in Fordham University in New York, a mentoring programme with senior business leaders and a series of Business Leader Masterclasses. ‘These features, along with a tailored career and professional development programme give the NUI Galway MBA a distinctive competitive advantage” says Dr McCarthy. Current student Eileen Sweeney, Brand Manager with Galway medical device company Aerogen said “Once you have an MBA you show your poker hand. It changes the perception of you within your workplace because you have let it be known that you want to be a leader. It marks you out as ambitious.” The NUI Galway MBA is focused on enhancing and broadening management, leadership and strategic skills enabling students and graduates to perform more effectively in their current and future roles. Graduates of the NUI Galway Executive MBA have significantly advanced their careers with many being promoted, starting their own business, or changing careers after completing the programme. Full details available at www.cairnes.nuigalway.ie/mba or contact Emma Brinton at 091 495066 or firstname.lastname@example.org -ends-
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
As universities in the Republic of Ireland begin to look at ways of opening up access to third level places for Northern Irish students, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, newly appointed Registrar and Deputy President of the National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway), has voiced his support for a review of the current admissions criteria, with a view to encouraging more students in the North to move South. Commenting on the Irish University Association’s decision to initiate a review of admissions criteria for Northern Irish students, Professor Ó Dochartaigh said: “I welcome the universities’ decision here in the Republic to review the current admissions arrangements for A Level students, which make it difficult for many Northern Irish students to consider university in the South as a realistic option. I look forward to seeing a more equitable admissions process emerge as a result of the review”. “A diverse student population greatly enhances the learning experience for all third-level students. Bringing students together from different backgrounds and learning experiences is advantageous not just for the universities, but for society as a whole. I believe that changes to the system will benefit both the North and the South”, he added. At present, almost 30 percent of first-year undergraduates from Northern Ireland go to study in England, Scotland and Wales, while only 1.3% go to the Republic. Numbers have fallen since the introduction in 2005 of changes to grade equivalences between A Levels and the Leaving Certificate, which have had the effect of making it more difficult for A Level candidates to gain entry to universities in the South. With an A Level A grade valued at 150 CAO points, students gaining three As could achieve a maximum of 450 CAO points, compared to a maximum of 600 points for Leaving Certificate candidates. As the majority of Northern Irish students study three, not four, A Levels, the current situation effectively rules A Level students out of a wide range of popular, high points courses in the Republic. While many Northern Irish students go to university in the UK , the introduction of tuition fees of up to £9,000 per year in England and Wales means that the Republic, where fees will be €3,000 in autumn 2015, has become a more affordable option. Professor Ó Dochartaigh, who has recently joined NUI Galway from the University of Ulster, has seen at first hand the growing interest from Northern Irish students: “At NUI Galway, we are seeing increasing interest in our courses from students in the North. They know that they will get a good education here but without the escalating tuition costs now associated with universities in England and Wales”. If the current review delivers much-anticipated changes to the admissions criteria, the imbalance in cross-border student traffic may finally begin to be addressed. Ends
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
App aimed at Leaving Certificate students launched in August 2013 NUI Galway scooped a major award at the prestigious Digital Media Awards, which took place recently in Dublin. Ireland’s best and brightest from the world of digital media were celebrated at the 2014 Samsung Digital Media Awards. The University won Bronze in the hotly contested ‘Best Use of Mobile’ category for their iPoints app. The NUI Galway iPoints app is the first official third-level app designed for students to calculate Leaving Certificate points. The free app was launched in August 2013, ahead of Leaving Certificate results being released and has since been downloaded over 6,000 times. The winning entries are judged on the overall strategy, objectives, design, innovation and results. NUI Galway was the only higher education institution to be shortlisted. NUI Galway were shortlisted in three categories, ‘Best Use of Mobile’, ‘Best Social Media Campaign’ and ‘Best App’, and were delighted to win Bronze in the contested ‘Best Use of Mobile’ category, surpassing both the Bulmers and Eircom brands. NUI Galway, in partnership with former information technology student Paul Herron, developed the iPhone app. Students using the app can simply enter their results for each subject, indicating whether it is higher or ordinary level and the app calculates the number of points attained in each subject, and indicates the total. The app calculates 25 additional points to be added for Higher Maths if relevant, and allows for Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) scores to be included. The annual Digital Media Awards celebrate the very best in Online Marketing. Commenting on the awards, Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said “We are delighted to have done so well in such hotly contested categories. The key objective for NUI Galway was to provide a useful app that allows Leaving Certificate students to quickly and easily calculate their points when they receive their exam results.” The NUI Galway iPoints app is available for all iPhone users on the iTunes store www.tinyurl.com/NUIGalwayApp. -Ends-
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
The national final of the Team Math 2014 competition will take place in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Saturday, 8 March from 1.15pm. This year 13 teams of four pupils from schools across Ireland will compete to be crowned champions. Countries represented at the final will include Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Laois, Dublin and Monaghan. Each team has qualified through regional finals which were held throughout the country earlier this year. The event is organised by the Irish Maths Teachers Association, with voluntary input from the schools and mathematics teachers. Dr Götz Pfeiffer, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics, said: “It is good to see these smart young people enjoying maths in a competitive way. We look forward to welcoming them to NUI Galway, where we offer a variety of mathematics courses to form part of their future academic education.” -Ends-
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Minister Alan Shatter TD, speaking in Dáil Éireann was speaking about the PhD research of Dr Maeve Hosier, undertaken in NUI Galway, on the evolution of the legal profession The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter praised NUI Galway, School of Law graduate, Dr Maeve Hosier’s PhD thesis during a recent parliamentary debate on the Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011. Minister Shatter described Dr Hosier’s PhD on The Regulation of the Legal Profession in Ireland as a “marvellous” study, which “should be compulsory reading for us all.” The Law graduate’s PhD thesis was supervised by Professor Laurent Pech, formerly of the School of Law at NUI Galway, now Head of the Law Department at Middlesex University London. Highlighting Maeve Hosier’s thesis during the parliamentary debate the Minister stated, “One Maeve Hosier has written a marvellous PhD thesis entitled The Regulation of the Legal Profession in Ireland, which should be compulsory reading for us all. It sets out the history of the legal profession and how it evolved. It evolved continually until approximately 1870 and then went into paralysis and nothing has changed since.” The Minister continued, “The only thing that has changed subsequently was as a result of the enactment of the Courts Act 1971, when the then Minister for Justice, Des O'Malley, conferred rights of audience on solicitors in all the superior courts. That is the only fundamental change effected since approximately 1870 to the manner in which the Irish legal profession operates. It is extraordinarily curious that people think the world stopped in 1870.” Professor Laurent Pech said, “Maeve’s thesis on the Regulation of the Legal Profession in Ireland makes a decisive contribution to the on-going scholarly and policy debates on this issue, by evaluating the present regulatory framework and offering a number of suggestions to improve it in a context of increasing transnationalisation of the market for legal services. Professor Pech continued, “Her innovative approach to the problem of lawyers’ misconduct is, in particular, worth noting. This aspect of her work has the potential to help alleviate a problem which has been extremely costly for both the legal profession and wider society alike. Her doctoral research also provides a valuable insight into the impact of the Troika upon the regulation of the legal profession in so-called ‘bailed-out countries’. Maeve should be congratulated for having made an exceptional contribution to the current debate on the regulation of the legal profession both nationally and internationally. I have no doubt that her original and thought-provoking work will be useful to policy-makers and scholars alike.” Maeve Hosier is originally from Belfast and currently living in Connemara, she graduated from NUI Galway last month (February 2014) with a PhD in Law. Maeve's thesis has been deposited in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway. -Ends-
Thursday, 6 March 2014
Meeting in Sligo examines research demonstrating that youth work engagement is of considerable benefit to young people The Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway is engaging with youth workers in the community as part of a two-way dialogue between academic researchers and youth work practitioners. A forum entitled ‘Research & Practice Talking’ held in Sligo this week provided an opportunity to share and discuss findings of research into youth work undertaken by NUI Galway among Foróige services over recent years and to highlight innovative programmes and projects that may be incorporated into future research programmes and wider practice. The forum heard that youth work resulted in greater knowledge and skills in key areas for young people as well as increased confidence and self-belief. Youth work was seen to bring a greater sense of connection to community for young people and provides opportunities for them to contribute positively to their communities. NUI Galway Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement said "Given the available research, across Ireland, we are in a greater position now to get youth engagement right. It’s no longer just about getting it done." Dr Bernadine Brady, also of the of the UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre and School of Political Science & Sociology said “ there is now a compelling body of research evidence that youth work makes a difference in people’s lives." Susan Redmond, Manager of the Foróige Best Practice Unit, said ‘We have developed a strong working relationship with NUI Galway; they have assisted us in evaluating our programmes which yields great learning and also confidence in what we do. Our work has also had a wider impact on our staff and the young people they work with. Staff are more critical in their work, they employ self-evaluation tools and they use evidence to inform the work they do. Ultimately, the young people benefit from this kind of engagement as it means richer and higher quality youth work develops”. The UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the NUI Galway is based in the School of Political Science and Sociology. Founded with support from The Atlantic Philanthropies and the Health Services Executive, the Centre undertakes research, education and training in the area of Family Support and Youth Development with an emphasis on prevention and early intervention for children and young people experiencing adversity. Foróige is a national youth organisation whose programmes are supported by a wide range of sources including the DCYA, HSE, Department of Justice and philanthropy. Further information available at http://www.childandfamilyresearch.ie/ -ends-
Friday, 7 March 2014
As part of the international Brain Awareness Week, staff and students of NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Centre are organising a public information exhibit in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle on Tuesday, 11 and Wednesday, 12 March from 9am to 3.30pm. Members of the public and children from local schools will have the opportunity to visit the exhibit to learn more about how the brain and nervous system work. The exhibit consists of interactive displays where visitors can learn more about the nervous system in a hands-on way. For example, there will be various puzzles and tests of hand-eye coordination, visual perception, left/right handedness, creativity and many others. Approximately 180 million Europeans are thought to suffer from a brain disorder, at a total cost of almost €800 billion per annum. At the event in NUI Galway general information about the brain will be available to visitors with the opportunity to learn more about brain disorders, via a series of large information posters prepared by the staff and postgraduate students of NUI Galway Neuroscience Centre. The posters cover a variety of illnesses including: Epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Pain, Anxiety, Depression, Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Stroke, Brain injury and Spinal cord injury. Information leaflets obtained from brain-related charities and organisations will be on display and available for the public to take away, such as the DANA Foundation, MS Ireland, Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland, Parkinson’s Association of Ireland, Aware (relating to depression), Chronic Pain Ireland, Shine (relating to mental health, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Brainwave (the Irish Epilepsy Association). Microscopes will be available to view brain cells and brain tissue sections for those interested in seeing what a brain cell and brain tissue really looks like. Additional features will include plastic models of the nervous system, and even Play-Doh and colouring books for the very young. The Galway Neuroscience Centre wishes to acknowledge funding from the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Science in NUI Galway, and the DANA Foundation. -Ends-
Monday, 10 March 2014
Explore the science behind baking cupcakes, disappearing bees, and Breaking Bad at NUI Galway’s first ever Undergraduate Science Fair. The fair include demonstrations, experiments, and hands-on activities and takes place on Wednesday, 19 March from 11am to 5pm in The View, Áras na Mac Léinn. Student presenters from all science disciplines will be showing off interactive displays which they have created on a scientific topic that they find engaging and exciting. Student organiser Joanne Duffy said “This is going to be a really exciting event. As a student in the undenominated Science programme at NUI Galway, I am constantly inspired and excited by the things I learn about every day, and I realise how lucky I am to be in this environment. I wanted to put on an event on that would give non-science students and members of the public an opportunity to be inspired by science too!” As well as undergraduate science student presentations, displays from various outreach initiatives within the University will also be present. Kitchen Chemistry will be on hand with their crowd-wowing display, the Cell Explorer’s Programme will demonstrate how to extract DNA from a banana, and venomous insect expert Dr Michel Dugon, aka the Bug Hunter, will bring along some of his favourite pets. Dr Sarah Knight, one of the staff members behind this event and Outreach Officer with NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, said “This is a great opportunity for Science students to try their hand at educating and enthusing others. Science Outreach is one of NUI Galway’s strengths, but as of yet the vast potential of our undergraduate students in this area remains largely untapped. One of the ideas behind the undergraduate science fair is to foster a culture of public engagement with Science within the undergraduate community.” Funding for this event has come through NUI Galway’s EXPLORE initiative. The event is free and open to everyone. For more information visit facebook.com/undergradsciencefair or contact email@example.com. -Ends-
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
NUI Galway, the sole remaining Connacht side will face Collinstown FC in Dublin on Sunday 23 March at 2pm. The FAI Junior Cup is the biggest amateur soccer competition in Ireland, and one of the biggest in Europe, with over 600 participants involved from the outset. The draw was conducted by Ray Houghton, FAI Junior Cup Ambassador and Teresa McCabe, FAI Junior Council President with NUI Galway Soccer Club representatives attending including Professor Liam Spillane, Hon. President, Dr Eric Mortimer, Chairman and Ger Cheevers, Captain. This year’s FAI Junior Cup Final will take place at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, 25 May before the Ireland v Turkey International Friendly which has given the competition even greater exposure than ever before.
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Students interested in pursuing a career in science can experience the research underway in NUI Galway at the ‘Biomedical Science Under The Microscope’ exhibition An exhibition of scientific images entitled Biomedical Science Under The Microscope can be seen at Galway City Museum from the 11th-22nd March, a project created by Biomedical Science students at NUI Galway. The exhibition is part of a second year BSc. in Biomedical Science project entitled Community Knowledge Initiative. Its aim is to inform the public on current areas of biomedical science research in NUI Galway through the medium of images. It will comprise of ten scientific images spanning a broad range of research areas including developmental biology, chromosome biology and studies of the brain and nervous system. The images are drawn from the major disciplines that support Biomedical Science, which are Anatomy, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Physiology. The exhibition provides a great opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career in science to experience the research underway in NUI Galway and for the general public interested in this area. Visitors can talk to students involved in the exhibition at Galway City Museum on Wednesday 19th March from 10am to 1pm. For further information on the exhibition please contact Dr. Derek Morris on 091 494439 or firstname.lastname@example.org -Ends-
Thursday, 13 March 2014
NUI Galway students win top awards for breast cancer research and measuring the performance of elite swimmers at the Irish Independent/HEA Making an Impact 2014 Two NUI Galway students have claimed the prizes at this year’s Irish Independent/Higher Education Authority (HEA) Making an Impact 2014 competition. An award of €2,500 sponsored by the Irish Independent was made to each of the two winners. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Irish Independent had invited postgraduate research students in any discipline at an Irish higher education institution on the island of Ireland, to make a short submission on the difference that their research work would make to a particular aspect of Irish life, to the country as a whole or in a global context. Robert Mooney (33) from Salthill in Galway was The Judges Choice Winner for his research project 'Movement and Performance in Elite Swimming'. The PhD student is working under the supervision of Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) at NUI Galway. Mr. Mooney’s award-winning research is based on the development of a novel method using sensor technology to measure the performance of elite swimmers. Traditional methods of monitoring a swimmers performance are based on video. Mr. Mooney is looking at using inertial sensors that can be worn by swimmers that will track their movements through the water. Killian O’Brien (24) from Bishopstown in Cork was The Student’s Choice Winner for his research project 'Blood May Hold the Key to the Riddle of Cancer'. The PhD student completed a Masters Degree in Regenerative Medicine at NUI Galway and is currently carrying out his research in the Discipline of Surgery, Clinical Sciences Institute at NUI Galway, working under the supervision of Professor Michael J. Kerin and Dr. Róisín Dwyer. Mr. O’Brien’s award-winning project is funded by the Irish Cancer Society and is part of the BREAST-PREDICT initiative. His work is looking at the levels of biomarkers in the blood of patients with breast cancer, with the aim of earlier detection. Runners up were NUI Galway student Linda Connor for her project 'Improving Honey Bee Health', Diana van Doorn, IT Carlow and Martin Holmes from Trinity College Dublin. For further information on the Making an Impact 2014 competition visit www.hea.ie Ends.
Thursday, 13 March 2014
NUI Galway announces new industry-focused initiative for Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering degree programmes in response to growing demand from industry In a significant development for engineering education, following extensive consultation with industry partners, the NUI Galway College of Engineering and Informatics has announced that the duration of the Professional Experience Programme (PEP) for third year Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering students will be extended to 8 months in duration. Students will now undertake work-placement in leading local, national and international high-technology companies, including medical device companies, from January to August, starting in 2015. The NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering programmes have very strong links with industry, both nationally and internationally, and the decision to extend the duration of PEP was made in response to the growing demand from industry for longer work-placement, providing students with a broader range of industry-relevant skills and dramatically increasing their employability upon graduation. The demand was strongest from the medical device industry which is one of the cornerstones of the local and national Irish economy, and which employs large numbers of NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering graduates. The PEP work-placement has been an integral part of these degree programmes for over twenty years. Commonly, upon completion of the PEP work-placement, students will continue to collaborate with their PEP employer through the industry-led research performed in their fourth year project. Speaking about the announcement Prof. Gerry Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway said “This is a very significant and positive development for engineering education at NUI Galway that will further increase the employability of our graduates, equipping them with critical industry-focused skills and experience so that they can make an immediate impact in the high-tech sector upon graduation.” Dr. John O’Dea, President of Engineers Ireland and former Chairman of the Irish Medical Devices Association commented “This is a very welcome development that is strongly supported by Engineers Ireland. This new industry-focused enhancement of the Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering degree programmes at NUI Galway will have far reaching positive implications in terms of graduate employability and continued development of the Irish high-tech engineering sector.” Engineers Ireland is the national professional body for engineers and engineering degree accreditation. The announcement was made at the Get SET (Science, Enterprise & Technology) Expo organised by the Career Development, which took place on March 4th in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway. Companies that are interested in finding out more information in relation to the PEP for Mechanical Engineering & Biomedical Engineering can contact Tom Fitzgerald, Placement Officer, Career Development Centre on 091 492909 or email@example.com Ends.
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
The All-Ireland Finals of Debating Science Issues (DSI) will take place on 27 March 2014 at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in Dublin. Co-ordinated by REDDSTAR’s Dissemination Officer Danielle Nicholson, this All-Ireland competition encourages young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. Through a process of single elimination, the field of 32 secondary schools narrowed to just four representing all four provinces in Ireland. The four schools in the final will be: St. Brigid’s Vocational School, Loughrea, Co. Galway; Our Lady and St. Patrick’s College, Knock, Belfast, Co. Antrim; St. Joseph’s Secondary CBS, Fairview, Dublin; and Coláiste Mhuire, Crosshaven, Co. Cork. The schools will compete in two semi-final rounds of debate focussing on the moral obligation to research with embryonic stem cells to develop new medical treatments. The winners of the two semi-final rounds will go on to debate the allocation of organs donated for transplantation. “We hope that this collaborative outreach programme is a useful tool in facilitating increased awareness of the important research taking place in Ireland among young people and the Irish public in general”, said DSI Coordinator Danielle Nicholson. Preceding the competition, all participating schools availed of a three hour workshop addressing an area of biomedical research with societal and ethical implications delivered by one of the nine DSI partners in 2014: REDDSTAR, an EU project coordinated at NUI Galway, Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at UCC, Biomedical Diagnostics Institute at DCU, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, CRANN at Trinity College, W5 in Belfast, INSIGHT at UCD, Cork Institute of Technology and the University of Ulster, Coleraine. The DSI 2014 Finals have been generously supported by Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme project award. Further information on the Debating Science Issues in available at www.debatingscienceissues.com. -Ends-
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
A compelling evening of musical styles and song featuring Carl Hession, Mark Duley, Frankie Gavin, Elvin Moynagh, NUI Galway Medical Orchestra and St. Nicholas Schola Cantorum Arts in Action at NUI Galway will host its annual finale concert upstairs in the Aula Maxima on Wednesday, March 26th at 8pm. This special event will feature The NUI Galway Medical Orchestra directed by Carl Hession, Choral Scholars of the St. Nicholas Schola Cantorum directed by Mark Duley, piper Elvin Moynagh and special guest Frankie Gavin. All proceeds will directly benefit Voluntary Students Abroad (VSA). Organised by Arts in Action Creative Director, Mary McPartlan, the concert promises to be a compelling event featuring a mix of musical styles and song that will range from classical to traditional, artfully juxtaposed to create a truly remarkable and enjoyable experience. The NUI Galway Medical Orchestra has been in existence for four years and has already established itself as a very positive initiative with a number of high profile public performances. It has not only developed into a primary source of positive activity for the medical students at NUI Galway but is also a Special Study Module (SSM), a credit bearing module which allows at least 20 medical students per year to have a rich and creative experience as well as fulfilling an academic rating. The orchestra has a membership of more than 40 medical students from first year, right though to final medicine, including visiting international students. Mary Mc Partlan, producer of the orchestra said, “This is one of the most important elements of artistic creativity at NUI Galway where the medical faculty have strongly supported and aided the concept of the power of music and healing, while also promoting and enhancing the wellbeing of medical students. St. Nicholas’ Schola Cantorum, one of Ireland’s newest and most exciting choral initiatives, was formed in September 2012 when NUI Galway and St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church entered into a new partnership with the establishment of twenty choral scholarships for promising young NUI Galway student singers. The scholars form a small chamber choir offering a high level of engagement. Voluntary Services Abroad is run by the 4th year medical students of NUI Galway. Founded in 1977 by Galway doctor Dom Colbert, the organisation raises funds for healthcare facilities in developing countries. Tickets for Arts in Action Finale Concert are priced at €10, students €5 and can be obtained on the door at the Aula Maxima. Proceeds on the night will go toward Voluntary Services Abroad (VSA). Ends.
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
NUI Galway Theatre Season and Galway Arts Centre present the Irish Premiere of The Monster In The Hall by prolific Scottish writer David Greig As part of the inaugural NUI Galway Theatre Season, Andrew Flynn directs a new play The Monster In The Hall by one of Britain’s most exciting writers, David Greig. It will run at Nun’s Island Theatre from the 24th - 27th March. This performance by members of the NUI Galway BA Connect in Theatre and Performance class marks its Irish Premiere. David Greig is Scotland’s most prolific writer. His work includes the Galway Arts Festival hit The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Harte and the West End hit musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Monster In The Hall was a smash hit at the Edinburgh Festival in 2013. Duck Macatarsney cares for her biker dad whose MS is getting increasingly bad. Her Dad, Duke, is a spliff smoking (for medicinal reasons you understand), bike riding, heavy metal and movie loving, pizza eating widower who's brought up Duck since the death of her mother in a crash. The two of them are just about surviving when one morning the Duke wakes up blind and the Duck hears that the social services are coming to take her away. The Monster in the Hall follows the story of Duck as she tries to protect her world from the terrifying prospect of change. This is a low budget indie comedy musical about a girl on the verge of a nervous breakdown played out by seven actors and a big fat motorbike that goes vrrooommm. The Guardian described the production as “passionate, playful and yet serious, gripping us one minute, cracking us up the next, before melting our hearts with a happy ending.” Sound and music is provided by Carl Kennedy and lighting design by Mike O’Halloran. The production will run at Nun’s Island Theatre for four performances only from Monday 24th March to Thursday 27th March at 8pm. Tickets are €10 and are available at the door. Ends.
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
NUI Galway recently hosted the first UniStem Day to take place in Ireland, which took place on Friday, 14 March. UniStem Day is a day in which 45 universities, 20,000 secondary school students and more than 250 researchers, managers, communicators, ethicists, clinicians, technicians from around Europe came together to learn about and discuss cutting edge stem cell research. Now in its sixth year, UniStem Day is about pushing the boundaries of stem cell knowledge and disseminating it across Europe. During the day events happened simultaneously in Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Hosted by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway and sponsored by Orbsen Therapeutics, over 50 students from St Endas and St Marys schools in Galway city learned about stem cells, what they can and cannot do and also about their potential as future treatments from REMEDI Professors Rhodri Ceredig and Sanbing Shen. REMEDI Manager Kieran Ryan said: “We are so delighted to host a Unistem Day event here in Ireland for the first time ever. It’s a wonderful experience for the students to be part of such an exciting initiative happening all over Europe.” Teacher Emma Dalton from St Endas said: “It was a great event. The talks were very inspiring and I hope that it opened the student’s eyes to the amazing research that is being done on their doorstep. The combination of top class facilities and world renowned scientists now boasted by NUI Galway will be a major motivational factor for our students to stay and study Science in Galway.” UniStem Day is all about fostering learning, discovery and debate about stem cell research and building and strengthening knowledge amongst secondary school students. The UniStem events are designed to give participants experiences connected directly to research and to give them an insight into the day-to-day life of scientists. -Ends-
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
Third-level students from NUI Galway and GMIT awarded CodeNinja winning prizes for creating innovative web and mobile apps On 13th March, CodeNinja, an app development competition for third-level students in Galway came to its conclusion with three prizes awarded to student teams from NUI Galway and GMIT. Through a series of workshops, CodeNinja gave students the skills and knowledge required to create their own innovative web or mobile apps. The competition was designed by local businesses and academics to train and encourage students to be creative in the cultivation of their own technology ideas, and was supported by Microsoft Ireland, GitHub, OnePageCRM, Ex Ordo, and Prof Chris Curtin, VP for Innovation and Performance at NUI Galway. The winning entry was the “Annoying Mosquito” app developed by Chengxuan Xing and Adeel Gilani, both final year software development students at GMIT. Both received Nokia 1520 mobile phones for winning first prize. Their Windows Phone app relies on what is called “augmented reality” - superimposing computer-generated graphics on top of a mobile camera view of the real world - and the aim is to make anyone from adults to kids move and do more exercise when they are playing games. (The game allows players to swat a computer-generated annoying mosquito using a mobile phone.) The joint runners-up were John Maguire, a final year Electronic and Computer Engineering student from NUI Galway, and Răzvan Rădulescu, an Atmospheric Science PhD researcher also from NUI Galway. Both received Nokia 520s mobile phones as runner-up prizes. John Maguire developed a presentations speech-to-text web app for the hearing impaired, based on conversations with a community resource officer from DeafHear Galway. Răzvan Rădulescu created “Rainwatch”, an app which keeps track of a user’s location and notifies them of potential rain a few minutes before it happens. Tutorials were given to students by a range of startup founders and app development experts: OnePageCRM CEO Michael FitzGerald, Ex Ordo CEO Paul Killoran, NUI Galway Research Technologist David Kelly, previous CodeNinja competition winner Mike Rockall, and Windows and Xbox developer Neil Turner. Co-organiser Dr. John Breslin of NUI Galway says: “A recent study run by Gigaom Research and NUI Galway found that the EU app economy has been responsible for the creation of 1.8 million jobs, so the future is bright for Galway’s student app developers and for those who took part in the CodeNinja competition.” “We see CodeNinja as a critical cog in building an app culture in Galway City and amongst our student population,” according to Clodagh Barry, from NUI Galway’s Research Office. “It is important in terms of its impact on students and the local economy: increasing the available skillsets and working with industry partners in the app ecosystem.” More information on the winners is available at www.codeninja.ie/2014 Ends