Monday, 28 May 2018

The Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway, in partnership with the Department of Health, the Health Service Executive and the Association of Health Promotion Ireland, will host the 22nd Annual Health Promotion Conference on Thursday, 7 June.   This one-day conference will bring together policymakers, researchers and practitioners, with the aim of strengthening the circle of knowledge in relation to participation and empowerment for health and social care service users. In line with re-orienting the health service, one of the health promotion priority action areas identified in the Ottawa Charter*, and the ‘Healthy Ireland Framework’, this year’s conference theme is ‘Participation and empowerment for health service users: Strengthening the circle’.   A number of international and national keynote speakers will feature throughout the conference. Keynote speaker, Professor Sean Dinneen from NUI Galway and Galway University Hospitals, will discuss how the voice of young adults with type 1 diabetes has influenced research being undertaken at NUI Galway.   Professor Anne MacFarlane, University of Limerick, will be asking how community and individual participation in primary healthcare can be strengthened. Professor MacFarlane said: “There is a long standing attention to participation in primary healthcare for different reasons: for shaping policy and the nature and configuration of local services, for setting priorities in practice settings and for ‘patient centeredness’ in general practice consultations. More recently, imperatives from policy makers and funders for Public and Patient Involvement in health research have been gaining momentum across disciplines, including academic general practice and primary care. There are concerns, however, about participation across these different kinds of participatory spaces: is it meaningful? impactful? inclusive of all community members service users and patients?”   Professor Tina Cook, Liverpool Hope University, will discuss the role of participatory health research in promoting positive changes for health through the power of collaborative learning. Joanne Morgan, Community Development and Health Network in Northern Ireland, will speak from a practical perspective on tackling health inequalities by working to empower communities.   This event provides a platform for the exchange of ideas for research, policy and practice developments in participation and empowerment for health service users. It also provides the opportunity to explore how health and social care services can be enhanced to support people in maintaining a good quality of life.   Dr Martin Power, conference co-chair and a lecturer in NUI Galway’s Discipline of Health Promotion, said: “This conference provides a significant opportunity for all stakeholders in health and social care to engage with and reflect on the benefits that can be gained from fruitful collaboration. The conference brings together the interdependent strands of practice, services and research to explore both what can be achieved and how best it can be achieved. The growing recognition of the importance of public, patient and service user involvement is reflected in the diversity of settings, groups and approaches that the conference presentations and workshops examine. A particular feature of this year’s conference is the introduction of a number of open forum workshops, which will further enhance opportunities for dynamic and lively exchanges.”   Dr Catherine Anne Field, conference co-chair and a lecturer in NUI Galway’s Discipline of Health Promotion, said: “This conference is an excellent opportunity to bring together all stakeholders involved in the practice of health promotion. The field of health promotion has always recognised that service users and patients have vast knowledge and expertise about their own health and well-being and we look forward to hearing the valuable contributions of those involved in research, practice and service delivery.”   The conference is relevant to practitioners, researchers and policymakers alike. For further information on the conference including the presentations by the keynote speakers visit https://bit.ly/2ptKsrP. For further enquiries contact hprc@nuigalway.ie   -Ends-

Monday, 28 May 2018

This is the first Higher Diploma in Arts (Politics and Society) delivered in an Irish university NUI Galway’s Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, in conjunction with the School of Political Science and Sociology and the School of Education, have announced the launch of the Higher Diploma in Arts (Politics and Society) due to begin in September 2018. This is the first time that a Higher Diploma in Arts (Politics and Society) has been offered in Ireland.   This is a two year part-time course which has been specifically designed to meet the needs of second level teachers who wish to teach ‘Politics and Society’ on the Leaving Certificate curriculum.   The course content is tailored to correspond directly with the four strands of learning on the Politics and Society curriculum, therefore providing students with the skills, knowledge, learning and teaching methodologies required to engage with the disciplines of Political Science and Sociology. The course covers a broad range of subject matter within these Disciplines, but focuses specifically on Power, Decision Making, Active Citizenship, Human Rights, Globalisation and Localisation.   Dr Michelle Millar, Head of the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to offer this new dynamic programme to second level teachers and to be the first university in the country offering a third level qualification in this subject.”   The course will be delivered from September 2018 in a blended learning format combining face-to-face seminars with online study throughout each academic year. More information on the programme is available at https://bit.ly/2LD6KRu.   -Ends-  

Monday, 28 May 2018

Public intellectual, essayist, journalist, and nationalist MP Tom Kettle (1880-1916) subject of lecture A new lecture series at the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, will continue with Established Professor of Political Science and Sociology Niamh Reilly, on Thursday, 21 June at 5pm. The lecture will take place in room G011, Moore Institute in the James Hardiman Library.   In her talk, Professor Reilly will discuss gifted public intellectual, essayist, journalist, and nationalist MP Tom Kettle (1880-1916), who was killed in the Battle of the Somme in 1916.   Though not very well known in Ireland today, historian Senia Pašeta notes Kettle ‘was associated with almost every major political and cultural development’ during his lifetime. Kettle stood for constitutional democracy and a non-sectarian, self-governing Irish nation and cautioned against the insular tendencies of cultural nationalism. Recently, he has figured prominently in public discourse than at any time since his death. In this limited narrative, he is invoked as a conciliatory figure who demonstrates the possibility of combining the identities of ‘British soldier’, ‘Irish patriot’ and ‘European’ and is largely constructed as a precursor to Ireland's contemporary business-friendly 'centre-right'.   However, there is a larger and more complex story to be told about Tom Kettle. He was a vocal advocate for the rights of women and labour and a Catholic intellectual who supported the separation of Church and State. This lecture draws on continuing research into the social and political thought of Tom Kettle. It outlines the expansive scope of his thinking and influences, and his ideas about democracy and social justice, Irish nationalism and unionism, national development, religion and religious identity, militarism and internationalism, all of which, it is argued, remain salient today.   Dr Seán Crosson, Vice-Dean, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to continue this new lecture series which provides a great opportunity for the University to make the general public more aware of the world-leading innovative research being undertaken in the college.”   The next edition in the College’s New Professors’ Inaugural lecture series will be presented by An tOllamh Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin, Roinn na Gaeilge, on Thursday, 4 October.   -Ends-

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Saturday night and Sunday morning are busiest times for alcohol related cases in Emergency Departments A new study shows that 5.9% of people attending Irish hospital Emergency Departments had alcohol recorded in their notes. Led by staff in Galway University Hospital Emergency Department, the HSE Public Health Department in Galway and NUI Galway, this is the first study of its kind just published in BMJ Open.   The study included every Emergency Department in Ireland, a total of 29. Staff examined the notes of every person over the same four six-hour periods to identify alcohol related presentations. The busiest time was Saturday night and Sunday morning when 29% of people coming to Irish Emergency Departments were alcohol related.   Dr Brian McNicholl, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at University Hospital Galway, one of the authors of the study who organised the collection of information from all the Emergency Departments with the help of the Irish Association of Emergency Medicine, said: “We know alcohol is a problem in Emergency Departments at certain times but we need to know more about this to work out what needs to be done. We don’t have a nationally agreed way to collect this information so we developed a method with the help of colleagues all over the country. We confirmed that the people coming to us with alcohol related presentations are more likely to be male, arrive by ambulance, leave without being seen by a doctor, and to leave against medical advice.”   One of the authors of the study, Dr Diarmuid O’Donovan, Director of Public Health in the HSE West and Senior Lecturer in Social and Preventive Medicine at NUI Galway, said: “The burden of alcohol on Emergency Departments and on emergency services is substantial and expensive. We need to do more to prevent alcohol related harm, and to have better services for people who have alcohol problems so that people don’t end up in Emergency Departments and ambulances. In our study the alcohol related people were four times more likely to come by ambulance.”   This research will provide evidence to help improve ways of collecting information on alcohol use and better ways to provide hospital and other services for people with problem alcohol use. Further studies are underway to find out more about the issue.   To read the full study in BMJ Open, visit: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/5/e021932.full?ijkey=upfg2qrXDxnxcYz&keytype=ref   -Ends-

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

A team of NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering Masters students have been selected for a global innovation competition run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US. It is the first time a team from Ireland has been selected for the six month programme. The IDEA² Global Programme provides transformative mentorship and expertise to emerging innovation leaders to develop their project ideas. Teams complete IDEA² Global with projects that address compelling medical needs, a broad network of connections and competitive financial pitching strategies. Teams often form companies as a result of the mentoring from IDEA2 Global. The three students, Oisín McGrath, Belén Enguix Chiral and Syed Kumail Jaffry, as part of their Masters thesis project are developing a novel wearable device that can detect intermittent heart arrhythmia symptoms more reliably than current approaches. Their project was motivated by the 35 million people suffering from heart arrhythmia globally. Given that 60% of these individuals experience intermittent symptoms which may only occur once per week or less, meaning symptoms can often go undetected with conventional approaches, the students are developing a more reliable method to aid patient diagnosis. This project stemmed from a clinical need identified by the BioInnovate National programme, which is focused on innovation in the medical technology industry. BioInnovate Director, Dr Faisal Sharif at NUI Galway, said: “BioInnovate Ireland is delighted to support Biomedical Engineering students at NUI Galway for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology IDEA² programme. The selection of these students for this prestigious programme in the US demonstrates the high calibre of education standards and also students at the University. It is also heartening to see that high quality unmet clinical needs emerging from BioInnovate Ireland are further endorsed internationally through programmes such as IDEA² at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.” Professor Peter McHugh, Dean from the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for our students at NUI Galway, and is a wonderful endorsement of the quality and international standard of the Masters of Engineering programmes that we have introduced in the College in recent years. We wish the team the very best in the programme, and look forward to bringing their positive experiences and learnings back to Ireland to fuel the development of our educational programmes and Irish high tech industry.” As part of the six month programme the team will receive innovation training, presentation skill building, and team-specific mentorship and guidance by internationally-recognised experts. In addition an NUI Galway team representative will attend workshops in Massachusetts Institute of Technology. -Ends-

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

CÚRAM PhD graduates, Dr Dilip Thomas and Dr Isma Liza Mohd Isa have both been awarded the 2018 Julia Polak European Doctorate Award, as part of the 29th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Biomaterials in Maastricht, the Netherlands in September. They are the fifth and sixth CÚRAM graduates to receive this distinction. The award is given by the European Society of Biomaterials Council and is presented annually at the event. Candidates nominated for the award must demonstrate that they have received a high standard of research education and training at a European level in the fields of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, and that they have also made significant scientific contributions having their research published in high impact journals, and accepted to present at top tier conferences in the field. Dr Mohd Isa’s PhD research focused on developing a potential new hydrogel treatment for lower back pain caused by disc degeneration, using a substance called hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid). Her research was recently published in the journal Science Advances. Lower back pain is the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a common reason for lost work days. Over 48% of Europeans and 80% of US citizens experience lower back pain due to degenerative intervertebral discs at some point in their lives, with associated healthcare expenditure estimated over $100 billion annually in the US and €5.34 billion in Ireland alone. Commenting on her award, Dr Mohd Isa from CÚRAM at NUI Galway, said: “I’m delighted to receive this award from the society. Our hope is that the success of this research could have an impact in the spinal research community and lead to potential treatment for people suffering degenerated discs and chronic back pain.” Dr Thomas’ doctoral research focused on the development of a microgel-based cell delivery device for the treatment of Critical Limb Ischemia (a severe obstruction of the arteries). The research adds to the current knowledge on cell encapsulation strategies (where transplanted cells are protected from immune rejection by an artificial membrane) by investigating the potential of biomaterials for this therapy. As a therapy, microgels would not only help faster tissue repair but also provide treatment for more patients. Dr Thomas is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Cardiovascular Institute at Stanford University where he currently works on disease modelling using stem cells. Speaking about his award, Dr Thomas from CÚRAM at NUI Galway, said: “It is an honour to receive such a prestigious award from the European Society of Biomaterials and it is a testament to the excellent training I received from my advisors, Professor Abhay Pandit and Professor Timothy O’Brien, and my colleagues at NUI Galway.” The theme of this year’s European Society of Biomaterials conference will be ‘Materials for Life’, which expresses the challenge the field of biomaterials is currently facing, which is to provide effective and affordable biomaterials-based methods to repair and regenerate damaged and diseased tissues and organs. -Ends-

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Nobel Prize winner and DNA scientist Professor Paul Modrich recently visited NUI Galway and met with 60 fifth and sixth class primary school children and their teachers. The students from two local primary schools, Scoil Mhuire Clarinbridge and Presentation Primary School Tuam, were on campus as part of the University’s Cell EXPLORERS programme.   Based in the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway, Cell EXPLORERS is a science education and outreach programme directed by Dr Muriel Grenon and funded by Science Foundation Ireland. The programme aims to involve, inform and inspire the young people about modern biology through a variety of hands-on activities.   Guided by teams of local scientists either studying or researching at NUI Galway, the children were introduced to cells and DNA, the work that scientists do, built DNA models and extracted DNA from bananas!   Professor Paul Modrich received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2015, jointly with two other scientists, for his work on the mechanisms that cells use to repair DNA, and agreed to meet the Cell EXPLORERS team and the young Galway scientists as part of his visit to NUI Galway. Professor Robert Lahue, Principal Investigator at the Centre for Chromosome Biology, researching DNA repair and links to human neurological disease, was also in attendance and worked with Professor Modrich when he completed his postdoctorate fellowship in his laboratory in Duke University Medical Center.   During his visit Professor Modrich joined the young scientists at the final steps in their DNA extraction experiment and took part in a ‘Questions and Answers’ session. Professor Modrich said: “Meeting with the young Cell EXPLORERS and their teachers was a highlight of my visit to Galway. The students were isolating DNA from bananas, and their interest and enjoyment was obvious, and I was extremely impressed by their level of maturity. Dr Grenon and her colleagues are doing a magnificent job with this programme.”   Principal of Scoil Mhuire, Clarinbridge, Seán Holian, said: “The Cell EXPLORERS team expertly introduced the topic of DNA and various scientific terminology to our pupils and proceeded to work with small groups in hands on activities. The pupils greatly enjoyed extracting the DNA from bananas and indeed taking it home to enlighten their families. It was an absolute privilege to meet with the 2015 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, Paul Modrich who had just stepped off the plane from the US. He has had a particular interest in DNA exploration also. A very special day, meticulously organised and expertly delivered.”   Alma Devane from Presentation Primary School said: “The children loved the hands-on opportunity to act like scientists.  Having the chance to meet scientists and see they were ordinary people like themselves has definitely sparked an interest in the girls. Listening and talking to Paul Modrich was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”   -Ends-

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Conserving the important Sciuridae family is a key aim of the event NUI Galway will host the 8th International Colloquium on Squirrels from the 4-8 June, a global event that takes place every three years. The colloquium brings together squirrel researchers from around the world to discuss all aspects of squirrel biology including ecology, evolution, morphology, genetics, pathology and conservation.    Originally focusing on tree squirrels, the colloquium was expanded to include flying squirrels at the fourth meeting in Kerala, India in 2006. This year the event at NUI Galway will also include work on ground squirrels, conducted by scientists in Africa, Europe and America, to broaden the colloquium to include research on the whole Sciuridae family. Chair of the colloquium, Dr Colin Lawton from Zoology at the Ryan Institute in NUI Galway, said: “Research conducted by wildlife ecologists in NUI Galway and other Irish institutions will be presented at the colloquium. This will include the latest on the recovery of the red squirrel in Ireland, thanks to successful conservation projects, afforestation and the impact the pine marten has had on the invasive grey squirrel. “We are delighted to be hosting this prestigious event, and welcoming colleagues and friends from around the world to Galway. It gives us a great opportunity to learn from one another, and to work towards our common goal of conserving this important and fascinating group of animals.” Fifty one squirrel experts representing fifteen countries will present their work and hold discussion sessions on common themes, along with field excursions to forests in Cong and Moore Hall in Co. Mayo. Keynote speakers will include: Jane Waterman, University of Manitoba, Ontario will discuss sociality, reproductive skew and infection in an African ground squirrel. John Koprowski, University of Arizona, Canada will discuss the conservation of squirrels on the ground and in the trees, and the value of the Sciuridae. Stan Boutin, University of Alberta will discuss ecology, energetics and evolution of Kluane Lake red squirrels. The colloquium is sponsored by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, the European Squirrel Initiative and Fáilte Ireland. The event will take place from the 4-8 June in the O’Tnuathail Theatre, Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway. Places are still available to attend. For registration and full programme details, visit: http://www.conference.ie/index/index.asp and visit Facebook @squirrels2018. Video footage of red squirrels in Derryclare forest, Connemara, Co Galway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klrOgeI3D8Q&feature=youtu.be  -Ends-

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Funding raised will create 25 new jobs Neurent Medical Limited, a Galway-based medical device company specialising in the treatment of rhinitis, an inflammatory disease of the nose, has raised €9.3 million in a Series A funding round. The company was previously established by Brian Shields and David Townley who met through NUI Galway’s BioInnovate Ireland Programme with Enterprise Ireland funding the development work at the University through a Commercialisation Fund programme. Neurent Medical Ltd is a medical device company specialising in the Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) market. The company designs and develops products for treating inflammatory diseases of the nasal cavities. The initial product offering reduces the primary symptoms of rhinitis, congestion and rhinorrhoea. This funding will be used to advance product development, carry out clinical trials and prepare for US commercialisation of the device. The investment will also create up to 25 new positions in the company. Neurent Medical Chief Executive, Brian Shields, commented: “We are delighted to announce this investment, which will help us to advance our product development and ultimately get our technology in the hands of Ear Nose and Throat surgeons. Fountain Healthcare Partners, along with other members of our investment syndicate, bring huge experience to Neurent Medical and have a proven track record in the industry. We would also like to take the opportunity to thank Enterprise Ireland for their continued support over the past number of years.” David Murphy, Director of the Technology Transfer Office in NUI Galway, said: “Having supported the development and management of this technology since the team came up with the original concept, we wholeheartedly congratulate Brian and David on securing this investment and wish them well in the next phase of their growth.” During the clinical immersion phase of the BioInnovate Ireland programme, Brian Shields and David Townley spent time with clinicians, nationally and internationally, including NUI Galway’s Professor Ivan Keogh in the Ear Nose and Throat clinics. During this time, they invented a novel device solution to address a large unmet clinical need they observed. In collaboration with Professor Keogh, Professor Peter Dockery, the University’s Chair of Anatomy and Dr Martin O’Halloran from the University’s Translational Medical Device Lab, they carried out early validation of their technology concepts with commercialisation funding from Enterprise Ireland. Dr Faisal Sharif, Director of BioInnovate Ireland in NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to see Neurent Medical funded for €9.3 million. This is a significant achievement which will enable them to commercialise their clinical device for rhinitis. BioInnovate Ireland supports fellows to identify unmet needs in different clinical areas through a dedicated fellowship programme which was co-funded by Enterprise Ireland. The success of Neurent Medical signifies the importance of identifying such unmet clinical needs.” Rhinitis is an inflammatory disease of the nose and is reported to affect up to 40% of the population, 25% suffering from allergic rhinitis and 15% from non-allergic rhinitis. It is the fifth most common chronic disease in the US and the most common chronic disease in children overall. Rhinitis is associated with direct healthcare costs of up to $15 billion per year in the US, and has a proven major impact on quality of life, cognitive function and decision-making. The illness is associated with decreased work productivity and absenteeism. The novel therapy being developed by Neurent Medical will offer allergic and non-allergic rhinitis patients an alternative, minimally invasive, and more readily accessible treatment to alleviate the two primary symptoms of rhinitis, rhinorrhoea and nasal obstruction. The therapy will enable Ear Nose and Throat surgeons to treat rhinitis patients in an Ear Nose and Throat office setting using only local anaesthesia, removing the complications and costs associated with existing surgical procedures. David Townley, Neurent Medical Chief Technology Officer commented: “We are excited that our latest investment provides an opportunity to expand our internal teams working across both primary and applied research. This is important to inform the company’s technology and product development and deepen our collaborations with leading experts to advance our treatment of rhinitis.” The funding round was led by Fountain Healthcare Partners with participation from Atlantic Bridge Capital, the Western Development Commission, Enterprise Ireland and a syndicate of Irish and US Medical Device veterans. For more information about Neurent Medical, visit: http://www.neurentmedical.com/  -Ends-

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

EIL Intercultural Learning is delighted to announce the launch by Minister of State for the Diaspora & International Development, Ciarán Cannon TD, of the Global Citizen Award website, mentor video and participant handbook on Tuesday, 3 April at a special ceremony at NUI Galway. The new Global Citizen Award website captures the actions of returned international volunteers who are raising awareness of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and a wide range of global social justice issues affecting communities all around Ireland. The website is also a development education resource that gives an insight to international volunteer’s reflections on their overseas experience and their continued engagement upon return to Ireland.   “These resources will work towards strengthening individual's understanding of global justice issues and highlight the work being done by returned international volunteers to raise awareness of global issues in communities all over Ireland,” said Global Citizen Award Coordinator, Áine Ní Éalaí. The Global Citizen Award mentor training video utilizes animation and interviews with award mentors to give new mentors an overview and guidance on how best to support people through the Award journey. The event also marks the award of four travel scholarships to NUI Galway undergraduate students to participate in the EIL Intercultural Learning placement programme in Asia and Latin America for summer 218. Vivienne O’Kelly, Co. Sligo, Alina Ostrowska, Ballina, Co. Mayo, Aidan O’Sullivan-Ryan, New Ross, Co. Wexford, Cliona Langley, Arran Islands, Co Galway, will receive training and preparation and engage in community projects in Ireland and aboard as part of the scholarship. Member of the Global Citizen Award adjudication panel and Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, Lorraine Tansey said, “At NUI Galway we recognise the diversity of Galway and embrace building the next generation of global citizens that can bridge local and international intercultural experiences through enabling student participation in national awards and scholarship opportunities.” EIL Intercultural Learning is an Irish not for profit organisation which provides intercultural learning opportunities through study abroad, volunteer abroad, language training, travel awards, group educational programmes, and other cultural immersion activities for about 2,000 people each year. The Global Citizen Award, initiated by EIL Intercultural Learning, aims to mobilise returned international volunteers, to inspire members of the Irish public, and to become more active global citizens by increasing their understanding of global issues. It is sponsored by Irish Aid and supported by our partner organisations. The award is recognised by Comhlámh and Irish Development Education Association. EIL Intercultural Learning and the Global Citizen Award are excited about the new opportunities these elements offer to Award participants, Global Citizen Award Alumni and the wider development education sector. For more information please see www.globalcitizenaward.ie  . -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

The J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway, in collaboration with the 30% Club, is delighted to offer a scholarship for its Executive MBA programme. Globally, the 30% Club is establishing partnerships with a number of business schools to rectify the under-representation of women pursuing post-graduate management education by offering scholarships aimed at women. This scholarship is valued at €13,850 in total for the MBA programme which equates to 50% of the fees (fees are €27,700 over the two years). Closing date for receipt of applications for the coming academic year, including 500 word essay is Friday, 15 June, 2018. Professor Anne Scott, Vice President for Equality and Diversity at NUI Galway said: “We see this scholarship as important in encouraging and equipping talented, experienced women to set their sights on senior leadership roles, to inform and shape the direction of Irish businesses – for the benefit of business and society.” The Association of MBAs (AMBA) has accredited NUI Galway’s Executive MBA as academically rigorous and challenging real-world business education with industry engagement and global learning. With over 45 years of experience in MBA provision, the NUI Galway MBA programme prepares its graduates for accelerated career progression through the acquisition of knowledge, skills and confidence necessary for success in strategic management and senior leadership roles. Professor Breda Sweeney, J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway said: “The Executive MBA programme can transform career opportunities for aspiring female executives by equipping graduates with important leadership skills, business insight and a network of talented executives from diverse professional backgrounds. The success of our Executive MBA in this regard is evident from the achievements of our alumni.” Launched in January 2015, the 30% Club Ireland’s goal is to achieve better gender balance at all levels in leading Irish businesses and aims to develop a diverse pool of talent for all businesses through the efforts of its members who are committed to better gender balance at all levels of their organisations. The initiative is complementary to individual company efforts and existing networking groups, adding to these through collaboration and the visible commitment of senior business leaders. Galway businesswoman Sandra Divilly fought off tough competition to win last year’s 30% Club Scholarship for the NUI Galway Executive MBA programme. The judging panel noted that while most applicants had enormous career potential and would have been worthy recipients, ultimately the award could be made to only one individual. Reacting to the announcement, Ms Divilly commented: “I am greatly honoured to be chosen to receive the 30% Club Scholarship for an Executive MBA at NUI Galway. The 30% Club is an inspiring initiative to address global gender imbalance issues in organisations. I commend NUI Galway for joining the list of successful universities across the world that support and drive the 30% Club goals. Having graduated from NUI Galway in 1996 with a degree in Industrial Engineering and Information Systems, I have since enjoyed a varied and challenging career in private industry and as a self-employed businesswoman. I am very grateful to NUI Galway and the 30% Club for providing me with this exciting opportunity to undertake the Executive MBA.” Bríd Horan, Steering Committee member, on behalf of the 30% Club said: “We greatly appreciate NUI Galway’s generous support for this valuable scholarship which encourages women to invest in their career development through executive education.” For more information on the 30% Club or scholarship application process, contact Mairead McKeon, Executive MBA Programme Administrator at mairead.mckeon@nuigalway.ie  or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/business-public-policy-law/cairnes/courses/mba/. -Ends-

Monday, 30 April 2018

NUI Galway’s The Testostertones choir were presented with the ‘National Male Voice Choir’ award at the recent Cork International Choral Festival. The Testostertones are a male voice ensemble formed in 2003 in NUI Galway by Peter Mannion. The group is comprised of students, erasmus students, staff and alumni members. Last year The Testostertones won at the Sligo Choral Festival (Male Voice Category) and followed this up with the Early Music category at the Limerick Choral Festival in March, becoming the first male voice choir to win that section.  Peter Mannion, Director of The Testostertones and NUI Galway graduate, said: “The Testostertones are pushing the boundaries of what is considered male voice music and giving an exciting alternative to the traditional male voice choir sound and ensemble. Winning the national title at Cork this year comes after some wonderful festival performances all over Ireland where the lads in singing such a non-traditional repertoire have added to the choral art form in Ireland. It is wonderful for us to represent the University in winning this major competition and was made more special by the make-up of the group which included staff, students and alumni.” Founded in 1954 the Cork International Choral Festival is held annually over the five days. The Festival, which is the oldest in Cork and one of Europe’s most prestigious Choral Festivals, included gala concerts, schools concerts, national and international competitions, workshops and free outdoor performances. -Ends-

Monday, 30 April 2018

  Three NUI Galway researchers have been awarded funding for their projects, which will contribute to the advancement of research in the areas of energy, environment and health.   Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD, announced an investment of €13.7 million in funding for 22 early career researchers with three NUI Galway researchers being awarded almost €1.5 million in total for their projects.      The funding was awarded through Science Foundation Ireland’s ‘Career Development Award Programme’, which supports Ireland’s research talent pipeline by funding excellent researchers still in the early stages of their scientific career.   The three NUI Galway researchers awarded funding are:   Dr Sharon Glynn from the Lambe Institute for Translational Research at NUI Galway. Her research project aims to identify new ways of preventing and treating high grade aggressive breast and prostate cancer. Her project will focus on how ancient HERV-K viruses hidden in our DNA interact with iNOS, an enzyme involved in wound healing and immune regulation, and lead to the development of aggressive breast and prostate cancer. These cancers can be difficult to treat and cause up to 1,100 Irish deaths yearly. By better understanding how HERV-K and iNOS drive cancer, Dr Glynn will have the potential to identify new ways to prevent and treat these cancers. She will also investigate if whether HERV-K blood biomarkers can improve upon current testing for prostate cancer as currently only 40% of men with elevated PSA are found to have prostate cancer.   Dr Dara Stanley from Botany and Plant Science in the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway. Her research project will study the effect of climate change and pesticide on pollinators and the sustainable growth of our crops. Bees, and other pollinators, are crucial for the production of at least 30% of our food. Global bee declines have led to concerns over the sustained crop production, with a number of potential causes highlighted. Little research has connected these causes of decline with the delivery of pollination services to crops. In this project Dr Stanley will combine field observations, lab manipulations and predictive modelling to address key knowledge gaps in how climate change and pesticide use can affect crop pollination, and predict how climate change and pesticide use may affect the sustainable pollination of our crops in the future.   Dr Gavin Collins from the College of Science and the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway. His research investigates the microorganisms that are used to convert wastes to biofuels. Most bacteria require trace concentrations of metals, and special, proprietary blends of metals are actively dosed into the biotechnologies used for waste treatment in order to improve microbial activity and biofuels production. However, little is known about the microbiology of metal-microbe interactions. Dr Collins’s project will pursue fundamental Microbiology to explore the influence of trace-metals on the activity of individual microbial species, as well as on more complex groups, or biofilms, of microbes. He will also work with industrial partners to develop diagnostic tools, which may be used by biotechnology operators to optimise trace-metals dosing strategies.   Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “I welcome Science Foundation Ireland and the government’s commitment to supporting talented researchers in the early stages of their scientific career through this Ireland’s Career Development Award Programme. I would like to congratulate our three exceptional individuals at NUI Galway who are part of this announcement and look forward to the potential outcomes from their innovative research in advancing solutions to improve human health and sustain our planet.”   Announcing the awards, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD said: “The awards demonstrate the impressive cutting-edge research taking place in the universities across Ireland. The Science Foundation Ireland’s Career Development Awardees are the future leaders of research and innovation in Ireland. Through their promising work, they will continue to shape our research community, and generate positive impacts at a national and global scale. I believe that the important projects receiving funding today will advance Ireland’s economy and society, and further solidify its reputation as a world-leader in scientific advancements.”   -Ends-  

Thursday, 19 April 2018

NUI Galway’s Moore Institute will host the second annual international Digital Cultures conference entitled, ‘Transient Topographies: Space and Interface in Digital Literature and Art’ taking place on 20-21 April. The two-day conference will focus on the ways in which we experience the spaces of the digital age. In particular, it explores the points of encounter between humans, machines and natural environments such as: screens, mobile networks, and data clouds. The contributors will focus on different topics ranging from sonic, visual and audiovisual aesthetics, virtual environments, ecological challenges, and various forms of critical interrogation of new media platforms. Conference organiser, Dr Anne Karhio of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, said: “This two-day event at NUI Galway brings together scholars and artists from all over the world to consider our relationship with the rapidly evolving contemporary media and technological environment. The participants will explore the various interfaces between actual and virtual worlds, and the spaces where these encounters take place. The talks and creative works also address important questions regarding the increasingly blurring boundaries between humans, technology and the natural world.” Conference speakers and artists include: Søren Bro Pold, University of Aarhus has published widely on digital and media aesthetics and electronic literature. R. Carpenter, University of Plymouth, is a Canadian-born artist and academic based in Devon. She is a multi-award winner, including the CBC Quebec Writing Competition and the QWF Carte Blanche Quebec Award. Alinta Krauth, Queensland University of Technology is an Australian digital artist and interaction designer. Her practices include projection art, interactive art, sound art, and electronic literature, and the inherent connections between these fields. Jason Nelson, Griffith University, Australia is an internationally renowned digital poet, whose work has been exhibited widely in galleries and journals. His projects have featured around the globe at various events on digital literature and art, and he has won a number of awards, including the Paris Biennale Media Poetry Prize. Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, said: “The digital era has created new opportunities for creative expression, combining poetry and narrative with sound and video, layering data with language and imagery. This conference explores these new modes of practice at the forefront of creativity.” The conference is funded by the Irish Research Council and the European Commission via Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, and the Moore Institute at NUI Galway. The conference will take place on 20-21 April in the Moore Institute, Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway. For conference information, visit: https://transienttopographies.wordpress.com/ or contact conference organiser Anne Karhio at anne.karhio@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Rise and demise of Scotland's last ice fields reveals the conflicting impact of abrupt climate change Results from a major study carried out by scientists from NUI Galway and the University of Maine have indicated that the physical impact of abrupt climate change in Britain and Ireland and maritime Europe may be markedly different from previous perceptions of these events. The study was published today (26 April 2018) in the international journal, Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology. These findings raise the possibility that future weakening of warm ocean currents in the North Atlantic, which some fear will arise due to global warming and melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, will result in a return to a highly seasonal climate in Britain and Ireland and maritime Europe, with warmer summers and colder winters. The study investigated how abrupt climate changes such as high-magnitude shifts in average climate has impacted maritime Europe at the close of the last ice age. The ice age is often thought of as something that happened gradually over very long periods, yet previous studies indicate that this is not the case. Existing climate records show that after the peak of the last ice age, 20,000 years ago, warming of the atmosphere and ocean to modern Holocene (current ‘interglacial’ warm period) levels was not gradual and smooth but dynamic, interrupted by rapid returns in as little as a few years to decades, to very cold climates lasting centuries to millennia, which means it was a very bumpy ride for Earth’s climate out of the ice age. The most recent abrupt climate event is called the ‘Younger Dryas’ and occurred between 12,900 and 11,600 years ago, prior to the onset of our current warm Holocene climate 11,000 years ago. Ice core records from Greenland and palaeoecologic records from throughout Europe are traditionally interpreted as showing the Younger Dryas as a 1300-year period of severe cooling and permafrost in the North Atlantic region, potentially caused by the weakening of warm ocean currents, such as the Gulf Stream, that transport tropical heat to Europe. Lead author of the study, Dr Gordon Bromley from the School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway, said: “We used radiocarbon dating of marine shell remains to determine when the last glaciers existed in Scotland, what we call a ‘glacial event’. There’s a lot of geologic evidence of these former glaciers, including deposits of rubble bulldozed up by the ice but their age has not been well established. Instead, it has largely been assumed that these glaciers existed during the cold Younger Dryas period, since other climate records give the impression that it was a cold time. To establish the true age of the glaciers we dated shells that were already dead or had been killed as the glaciers advanced into the fjords and shovelled up seafloor sediments. “Our new radiocarbon data crucially shows that the glaciers existed before the Younger Dryas and that they were melting rapidly and disappeared during that period. As this doesn’t fit with the traditional notion of the Younger Dryas as a uniformly cold event, we found that despite the cold winters, summers had to be warm as it is the intensity of the summer melt season that dictates glacier ‘health’. This finding is controversial and if we are correct, it helps rewrite our understanding of how abrupt climate change impacts our maritime region, both in the past and potentially into the future.” Findings from the data collected This new data collected in Scotland by the scientists, challenges the idea that the Younger Dryas was an abrupt return to a glacial (ice age) climate in the North Atlantic, by showing that the last glaciers there were actually decaying rapidly during that period. They interpreted this meltdown as reflecting atmospheric warming and found that the Younger Dryas was actually characterised by extreme seasonality. This means that although winters in Britain and Ireland were extremely cold, summers were a lot warmer than previously thought, a situation that is 180° from today’s highly maritime climate in this part of the world (mild winters and cool summers). As it is crucial to establish how past abrupt climate change was manifested here in order to prepare for future disturbances, these findings reshape scientific understanding of how the weakening of warm currents in the North Atlantic might impact Ireland’s climate. Findings from the study The shells ended up inside the glacial deposits, where the scientists found them, and provide a maximum age for the glacier advance. Similarly, to determine when the glacial event was over and the ice had melted, they dated a shell and also vegetation that was the first organic matter to colonise the newly ice-free landscape. This data provided a minimum age for the glacier advance. Shells were collected by Dr Bromley from NUI Galway and Professor Harold Borns from the University of Maine at sites on the west coast of Scotland where glacial moraines have been eroded by the sea, rivers, or lakes, affording them access to the shells. Despite being as much as 14,000 years old, the shells were extremely well preserved and some even retained the fragile periostracum (outermost layer of the shell) and membranes joining the valves. Others have been crushed by the weight of ice as the last glaciers bulldozed the seafloor. While all of these shell species are still in existence in the North Atlantic, many are extinct in Scotland where ocean temperatures are too warm. To read the full study in Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, visit: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/2018PA003341  -Ends-

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

NUI Galway to host leading intercultural theatre companies to share experiences of their work with ethnic minorities to form future collaborative projects across European borders NUI Galway Drama and Theatre Studies lecturer, Dr Charlotte McIvor will host a public panel on ‘Theatre as Intercultural Dialogue? Migration, Interculturalism and Theatre in Europe Today’ with practitioners from four of Europe’s leading intercultural theatre companies. The panel of theatre practitioners will engage in ongoing debates about migration, minority representation and cultural diversity in the European Union and beyond. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is currently reporting the highest number ever on record of displaced people worldwide at more than 65 million. How does the work of theatre companies who directly engage contemporary and historical experiences of ethnic minorities with recent or family backgrounds of migration help challenge and complicate understandings of European belonging? How might these companies’ theatrical experimentation generate strategies for intercultural dialogue capable of moving beyond the theatre? Is theatre the catalyst for intercultural dialogue that might be needed now? The event forms part of Dr McIvor’s ongoing research on the relationship between migration, interculturalism and theatre in Ireland and beyond. Speaking about the event Dr McIvor from the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway, says: “This line-up of speakers represents a wealth of national and international best practice in this area. I am bringing this group together to facilitate sharing of experiences and hopefully catalyse plans for future collaborative projects across European borders. “It is my belief that creative work that addresses experiences of migration not only in its immediate aftermath needs to be supported more consistently and actively in Ireland given the racial and ethnic diversity of our national population, many of whom come from backgrounds of migration. I hope this event might inspire new practice not only from the gathered speakers, but those who might be sitting in the audience or hear about the event and didn’t think that there actually is a place in the Irish theatre and arts industry for their voices and their stories.” Featured speakers from four leading international theatre companies include; Haider Al-Timini and Bart Cappelle, Kloppend Hert, Belgium, Suman Bhuchar, Tamasha Productions, UK, Maud Hendricks and Bernie O’Reilly, Outlandish Theatre Platform, Republic of Ireland and Andrea Montgomery, Terra Nova Productions, Northern Ireland. The event will take place in the Human Biology Building, NUI Galway beside the Bailey Allen Hall on Friday, 27 April from 2pm-4pm. For more information contact Dr Charlotte McIvor at charlotte.mcivor@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Architects of the European Union peace programmes in Northern Ireland will come together at NUI Galway for the first time in 20 years to reflect on the role the EU played in the Northern Ireland peace process. They will be joined by academic experts for a unique symposium at the University on Friday 27 April, to discuss the EU’s role in the peace process, the future of the Good Friday Agreement, and the Irish border in the shadow of Brexit. The symposium will discuss the challenges posed by Brexit 20 years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, at a time when EU involvement in the Peace Process and cross-border relations in Ireland is at the centre of public debate. Symposium speakers include: Mr Carlo Trojan, former secretary general of the European Commission and head of the 1994 Northern Ireland Task Force. Mr Hugh Logue, former EU Commission official. In 1994 he, along with two colleagues, was asked by President Jacques Delors to consult all parties in Northern Ireland. Their recommendations became the blueprint for the first EU PEACE Programme. Ms Jane Morrice, former head of the EU Commission Office Northern Ireland. She was involved in the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and was a member of the Standing Orders Committee, which set the initial rules governing Assembly procedures post-devolution. Mr Colm Larkin, senior official of the EU Commission from 1974-2004 and special advisor in the Office of First and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998-2001. Andy Pollak, founding Director of the Centre for Cross Border Studies in Armagh. Tom Arnold, current chair of the All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit and former chairman of the Irish Times and member of the Royal Irish Academy. Dr Katy Hayward, School of Sociology, QUB and Dr Mary C Murphy, Department of Government, UCC. Dr Giada Laganà, Dr Brendan Flynn and Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway. Event organiser, Dr Giada Laganà from the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, said: “This is a unique occasion to learn that the role of the EU in the Northern Ireland peace process has been much more significant and much more positive than is often recognised.” The event will be opened by Noel Dorr, former secretary general of the Department of Foreign Affairs and former Irish Ambassador to the United Nations and the United Kingdom. Professor Alan Ahearne, Director of the Whitaker Institute, will make closing remarks. This unique and innovative event is organised by the Conflict, Humanitarianism and Security Research Cluster of the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, in partnership with the Moore Institute and supported by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Academic Association for contemporary European Studies. The symposium will take place in the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, NUI Galway on Friday, 27 April from 9am to 5.30pm. The event is free and advance registration is essential at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-european-union-and-the-northern-ireland-peace-process-tickets-42754005381 -Ends-

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

A new lecture series at the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway will continue with Professor of Clinical Psychology Brian McGuire, on Thursday, 3 May at 1pm. In his talk, Professor McGuire will describe the growing use of internet-based psychological therapies in helping people with chronic health conditions. He will describe research being carried out on campus to help people with conditions such as chronic muscular pain and chronic headache, chronic fatigue following cancer, multiple sclerosis and other chronic conditions. The talk will describe the potential benefits of these therapies as well some of the challenges in making them more widely available. Dr Seán Crosson, Vice-Dean in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to continue this new lecture series which provides a great opportunity for the University to make the general public more aware of the world-leading innovative research being undertaken in the college.” Upcoming speakers in the New Professors’ Inaugural lecture series include: Professor Niamh Reilly, School of Political Science & Sociology, on Thursday, 21 June An tOllamh Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin, Roinn na Gaeilge, on Thursday, 4 October. -Ends-

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

NUI Galway is holding the third annual conference that looks at Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in healthcare research focusing on the theme, ‘Every Voice Matters’ this year. The event takes place on Wednesday, 25 April at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society. A number of disease areas will be covered at the conference, including a particular focus on how mental health service users have contributed to the many different studies over the last twenty years and have become strong advocates for bringing about change in our mental health services. Dr Austin O’Carroll will talk about his experiences working as a GP with people living at the margins in inner-city Dublin, and another presentation will look at the use of video as a way of hearing the voice of marginalised people. Professor Sean Dinneen, consultant endocrinologist and leader of the PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway programme, is currently drawing on the lived experience of a group of young adults with diabetes to help plan a major research study aimed at redesigning how diabetes care is delivered to young adults with diabetes. Professor Sean Dineen from NUI Galway, says: “Involving patients in your research from the very start makes perfect sense as who knows better what matters most, what needs to be addressed, than the people living with a condition. The PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway programme aims to help both researchers and patients and the public to understand why Public and Patient Involvement matters, and aims to develop a research ethos where patients can become equal partners in the research process. Patients want to help make a difference, to bring about change and this programme will help bring it about.” One of the participants at the conference, Wendy Costello, will describe her journey to getting involved in research. When Wendy’s daughter Niamh was three years old, she was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), a rare disease affecting over 1,000 children in Ireland. Wendy is a founding member of ICAN, a national support network for children with JIA and their families. Wendy says: “A parent at a recent ICAN meeting said that while doctors may have studied JIA they have not lived with it, and this is why parents and patients are needed as partners in research, our voice is a crucial piece of the puzzle.” The PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway programme will be officially launched at the conference. Funded by the Health Research Board the programme aims to bring about a culture change in how healthcare research is conducted across the University by working in partnership with patients and the public at all stages of the research. The programme will provide training and support to both the public and researchers. The conference is organised by the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland, a collaborative group of researchers conducting clinical trials through general practice and primary care. Professor Andrew Murphy, Director of the Network at NUI Galway, said: “The public always offer unique, invaluable insights that help shape our research and we need to listen to them.” The conference takes place in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society at NUI Galway on Wednesday 25 April from 10am-3.40pm. Registration is essential and for more information, visit: https://primarycaretrials.ie/news/ or email info@primarycaretrials.ie or edel.murphy@nuigalway.ie and 091 495743.  -Ends-

Monday, 23 April 2018

  €486.2 million total direct sales of cultural and creative produce from the west of Ireland in 2016 5,000 companies employ 13,000 people in creative industries in the west of Ireland App, gaming, and new media industries reported double the sales to their craft and cultural counterparts The School of Geography and Archaeology and the Whitaker Institute in NUI Galway, was part of a recent conference that highlighted key outcomes from the a creative momentum project where analysis of, and supports for the creative sector in the Arts, Crafts, Design, Media and Technology industries, were discussed. The three year project, led by the Western Development Commission (WDC) sought to shine a light on the important role that culture and creativity can play in the development of some of Europe’s most rural regions. The project team presented resources and toolkits useful to creative entrepreneurs that will help internationalise and develop their business. A panel discussion debated ‘creativity on the periphery’ addressing both the challenges and opportunities linked to working in the creative industries sector in Europe’s Northern Edge. The NUI Galway team is one of the partner organisations of a creative momentum, where the project was implemented by the School of Geography and Archaeology and the Whitaker Institute. An economic and social impact analysis of the west of Ireland creative sector was carried out as part of the project. The team found total direct sales of craft, cultural and creative produce amounted to over €486 million in 2016, while average company sales differed across the sub-sectors. Close to 5,000 companies employ nearly 13,000 people in this sector in the west of Ireland. The creative industries (app development, gaming, and new media) reported average sales close to twice that of their craft (artistic/heritage laden goods) and cultural (theatre, music, film) counterparts. The report also identified a range of wider socio-economic contributions from the creative sector in the west of Ireland. Dr Patrick Collins, lead researcher of the project at NUI Galway, said: “These figures help prove how culture and creativity can be seen as vital resources. Encouragingly, they point to a bright future, but these are often one person operations and micro enterprises that need support and recognition. We also identified how a vibrant creative sector has many impacts beyond the economic, they help build communities and are vital to the identity of the place we live in.” NUI Galway also developed the ‘Creative Business Model Toolkit’ as part of the project. The Toolkit provides information resources and tools for creative entrepreneurs to better understand how to develop and refine their business model. It explores what a business model is and its importance to creative businesses and draws on real world examples of creative businesses to illustrate issues. The toolkit aims to help creative entrepreneurs build a business that is more sustainable and competitive. a creative momentum is a three year (2015-2018), €2 million transnational project co-funded by the EU Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme. The project has focused on the development of the creative industries sector in regions across Europe’s Northern Edge. To read the full Economic Impact report of the project, visit:  http://mycreativeedge.eu/app/uploads/2018/02/west-ireland-eia-report-web-final_rev-compressed.pdf To read the Creative Model Business Toolkit, visit: https://mycreativeedge.eu/app/uploads/2017/05/acmp_2018_bm_toolkit_web.pdf -Ends-

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister of State for Higher Education, recently formally launched the St. Angela’s Strand of the “Access to Post-Primary Teaching (APT) Project” at St. Angela’s College, Sligo. The APT Project is a three-year joint initiative between St. Angela’s College and the National University of Ireland Galway, which aims to recruit and support individuals from under-represented socioeconomic groups in their initial teacher education programmes. This project, which targets students at the school, further education, undergraduate, and post-graduate levels, is spearheaded by Dr Eileen Kelly-Blakeney of St. Angela’s College, and Dr Elaine Keane and Dr Manuela Heinz of NUI Galway. The APT Project at St. Angela’s specifically focuses on recruiting students with a Further Education QQI/FET qualification to their second-level teacher education programmes and is conducted in cooperation with five Further Education providers in the Border-Midlands-Western (BMW) Region: Sligo College of Further Education, Castlebar College of Further Education, Monaghan Institute, Errigal College, and Cavan Institute. During the next two years, the Project hopes to create additional partnerships with more Further Education providers in the region. Students who transition into the teacher education programme will all study Home Economics, in addition to one elective subject of their choosing, either Irish, Biology, or Religious Education. Students are also provided with a €1000 equipment bursary on entry to Year One, and a €500 School Placement grant each of their five years of study. Additionally, students receive faculty mentoring, peer support, academic writing, and subject specific guidance over the course of their studies. In attendance at Monday’s launch were the President of St. Angela’s, Dr Anne Taheny, staff and students from the College, local government officials, representatives from each of the five partner Further Education providers, colleagues from NUI-Galway, and associates from the Irish Teaching Council. In her speech, Minister O’Connor noted the significance of direct-entry routes, such as the APT Project, which ultimately aim to increase access to third level studies, while also acknowledging the great achievements made by students in the Further Education sector. As the minister explained that the APT Project, “will also help support the achievement of national policy objectives to broaden opportunities for graduates from further education to progress on to higher education.” Additionally, she also remarked on the important role that teachers play in the lives of young people, and she projected that “Teacher training centres, teachers and school leaders will continue to play a pivotal role in helping children to achieve their potential.” Dr Anne Taheny, President of St. Angela’s referred to the College’s long standing commitment to equal opportunity and to widening access and participation in Higher Education in association with NUI, Galway. This is demonstrated through the provision of an Access Foundation Programme, an Access Schools Programme, entry routes for mature students and entry through the HEAR and DARE Schemes. Speaking at the launch, Dr. Taheny noted:  "This new direct entry route from Further Education into our Initial Teacher Education Programme through the Access to Post-Primary Project is an exciting addition and much welcomed progression route for students in the Further Education Sector." This project supports the diversification of the Irish teaching body in Ireland and recognises the positive contributions that teachers from underrepresented groups make to classrooms throughout the country each day. For more information on the APT Project, or to learn more about St. Angela’s initial teacher education programmes, please see the College website at: http://www.stangelas.nuigalway.ie. Additionally, interested individuals can contact the post-doctoral researcher for the APT Project, Dr Andrea Lynch at 087 1129868. -Ends-

Thursday, 19 April 2018

NUI Galway Societies were presented with three awards at the recent Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) National Awards. For the third year in a row, the University was awarded the Best Society Award. The Musical Society (GUMS) won Best Society after an event packed year and a very successful production in the Black Box of The Producers. Dramsoc won Best Poster for their poster advertising their production Deirdre + Naoise and Energy Society won Best Publicity Campaign for the 2018 Galway Energy Summit. Also nominated for BICS awards included: Anime and Manga's Akumakon for Best Event and their Best Fresher Nominee Aoife O'Shaughnessy; Sláinte Society for Best Society (Charity/Civic) and their Best Individual Nominee Sally Cahill; International Student Society (ISS) for Most Improved; Best Buddies Society for Best Photo; and Physics Society for Best Video. Riona Hughes, Societies Officer at NUI Galway, said: “The Societies have had a great year and the accolades at the National BICS Awards are a testament to their excellence. From GUMS high profile production to Akumakon celebrating patronage from the Japanese Embassy, all of our societies have made their mark on the society calendar.” BICS is a national organisation dedicated to providing a forum for the societies in Ireland’s universities, Colleges and Institutes of Education. The Board is responsible for the promotion of interest in the activities of Irish college societies and of contact and co-operation between them. The Awards recognise the huge effort made by the many individuals who run student societies across Ireland, and are a means to celebrate the importance and value that societies contribute to college life. For more information about BICS Awards visit http://bics.ie/. -Ends-

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Campus competition in medtech demonstration design Blackstone LaunchPad recently partnered with on-campus medtech titans, BioInnovate Ireland, Translational Medical Device (TMD) Lab, Health Innovation Hub and BioExel at NUI Galway, to challenge its undergraduate and postgraduate students to add their expertise and creativity to a growing innovation ecosystem across campus. The Medtech Innovation Design and Startup (MIDAS) competition is a one-day event where multidisciplinary student teams from across the NUI Galway campus worked together to tackle a major challenge in the medtech space. Teams were comprised of students from various disciplines – ranging from business to engineering to medicine to the life sciences – and attended interactive sessions and workshops delivered by domain experts. Six teams worked together to identify a potential solution to an unmet medical need using the Stanford Biodesign innovation process, and designed a prototype and created a business model for their device.  Based on their observations from a real clinical procedure, teams were asked to identify a needs statement related to this procedure and then brainstorm potential solutions. With their solution in mind, teams then developed a business model using the lean startup canvas and ultimately, pitched their venture to a panel of experts including: Mike Wiebolt, Blackstone, New York; Helen Ryan, Medtech angel investor; Dr Liz McGloughlin, BioInnovate Alumna; and Brian Carey, Bank of Ireland. Winning the competition and the recipients of the €2,000 prize fund were students Kemi Awoponle, Katie Gilligan, Cillian Thompson, Brian O’Reilly, and Manmaya Panda. The team presented a novel way to increase the shelf-life of blood bags in order to reduce the number of expired units that are binned each year. Natalie Walsh, Executive Director of Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway, said: “This event showcased the high calibre of students that we have at NUI Galway. Seeing individuals come together to form high-performing teams within the day has been incredible. The ideas presented were well-researched and have potential within the medtech space. We are delighted to have such high calibre mentors, partners and judges spend time with our students today. It is a real endorsement for our programme and exemplifies how students can form part of this critical ecosystem in the West of Ireland.  This event was designed and led by one of our fantastic students Joshua Chao who works as a venture coach with the LaunchPad programme. He is an amazing ambassador for our programme and a real champion for student-led innovation and entrepreneurship at the University.” The success of the MIDAS competition has come on the back of a very productive few months for Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway. The programme now supports over 5,000 students on-campus and in March 2018, the Blackstone LaunchPad global network announced a partnership with Techstars. Techstars will provide current Blackstone LaunchPad participants with access to their network of over 10,000 mentors, founders and investors; signature events; and world-renowned content and startup services. In the last 10 years, more than 1,000 Techstars portfolio companies have collectively raised over $4.4 billion in total funding, and are now valued at $11.4 billion. Blackstone LaunchPad is part of a portfolio of innovative programmes at NUI Galway supported by the Galway University Foundation; other programmes include BioInnovate, BioExel, EXPLORE, and TechInnovate. -Ends-

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

CÚRAM at NUI Galway with Galway C ity Arts Office Launch ‘AFTERIMAGE’ Community Art-Science Exhibition CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices based at NUI Galway together with the Galway City Arts Office, have launched a new Community Art-Science exhibition in the Westside community in Galway City. By award winning art duo, Cleary Connolly (Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly), ‘AFTERIMAGE’, shows portraits of 19 people who live or work in the Westside of Galway, and reveals the remarkable diversity of contemporary Irish society. The exhibit, now permanently housed in the Westside Resource Centre, consists of 19 portraits, each composed of a black and white portrait accompanied by a colour negative mapping. Each portrait is set against a background of images drawn from science and research, which are highly aesthetic images that warrant a second look to decipher their content. Each participant is a researcher, either in real life or in their imagination, and so while the CÚRAM researchers appear against images drawn from their own work, the local community are set against images referring to their preferred area of research, in response to the question; “If you were a researcher what would you research?” Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway, said: “We aim to inspire and engage all communities with current and cutting edge research that’s happening here in Ireland. Unfortunately chronic illness such as diabetes, Parkinson’s and heart disease are familiar to most Irish communities and it’s important that we provide opportunities for people to find out more about our work in finding solutions to these illnesses and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. That can be through the work of filmmakers, teachers or artists such as Cleary Connolly who use the research as inspiration and break barriers to provide another ‘way in’ to the world of science.” Commenting on the project, artist Anne Cleary, said: “We were really interested in CÚRAM’s work on corneal implants and also in advanced biomimicry. Our work is all about perception, how people see the world, how they adapt. We were privileged to work with such a diverse and interesting group of people from the Westside community and have been greatly inspired by all of the participants and their ideas.” Participants who featured in the project include Suriya, originally from India. If she was a researcher her main area of research interest would be genetics, in particular stem cells and stem cell treatments, which she thinks have the potential to treat an enormous range of diseases and conditions that plague millions of people around the world. Mary, originally from Roscommon and now living in Westside, became interested in the effects of salt intake on the body, having participated in a sodium clinical trial at University Hospital Galway. Francis, who currently lives in Galway having returned from overseas, works in social care, youth, community and social services. He is interested in exploring the metaphor of “all persons as scientists” and would like to see science used more to understand issues that really affect us personally and societally. Precious is originally from Zimbabwe and would like to learn more about the environment, soil improvement and agriculture. She is also interested in the Natural Sciences, and is particularly interested in research at CÚRAM related to developing medical adhesives derived from marine life. According to James Harrold, Arts Officer, Galway City Council, the project has very successfully brought the worlds of art and science together. “I am delighted to see how positive an experience this has been for all involved and we look forward to deepening connections between these communities in the coming year.” James Coyne, CEO of Westside Resource Centre and Community Partner on the project says that the Westside community is a strong and vibrant one with its own annual community Arts Festival. “It has been hugely rewarding to be part of the process and bring different parts of the community together. I think we have all learned something new and it’s definitely created a great deal of curiosity about the research that’s happening right here on our doorstep” he says. CÚRAM’s public engagement programme, which incorporates artist in residence projects, supports the Science Foundation Ireland objective of having the most scientifically informed and engaged public.  It has a strong focus on empowering diverse communities with knowledge and providing new ways for people to engage and interact with its cutting edge research. The exhibit is now installed at the Westside Resource Centre. The project team will be showing the exhibit at various events around the country throughout the year.   For more information on the artists and their work please visit www.connolly-cleary.com Cleary and Connolly’s work is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland. To view ‘AFTERIMAGE’ by Cleary Connolly, visit: https://youtu.be/_p-Qg3koPCA To view videos from the Art-Science Exhibition launch, see links below: Claire Riordan, CÚRAM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4U2Wen6beZM Abhay Pandit, CÚRAM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4Z05BFxcLQ James Harrold, Galway City Council: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-mK0mF2JgU James Coyne, Westside Resource Centre: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhXHRwY4Mw4 Andrea Fitzpatrick, CÚRAM and Denis Connolly, Cleary Connolly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUqdMTduMww -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

The Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway will host its Annual Research Day on Thursday, 19 April in the Hardiman Research Building. Professor Edgar Morgenroth from DCU Business School will give a keynote address at 12pm on ‘The Economics of Spatial Planning’. The population of Ireland is projected to increase by one million in 2040 and the Whitaker Research Day will address issues on: How best should government encourage growth in second-tier cities such as Galway to rebalance the country’s economic activity and reduce the pressure on the greater Dublin area? What can be done about the challenges of urban sprawl, congestion and long commutes into our cities? How should we address depopulation in areas of the West of Ireland? Speaking in advance of the Research Day, Professor Alan Ahearne, Director of the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, said: “The Irish economy has experienced a remarkable recovery over recent years, but current trends in patterns of regional growth are not sustainable. Greater, smarter investment is needed in smaller cities such as Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford to narrow the gap between Dublin and the rest of the country. We need to invest in infrastructure, in new technologies, and, above all, in the skills and talent of our people.” In his former role at the Economic and Social Research Institute, Professor Edgar Morgenroth helped advise on the framework for Project Ireland 2040, the government’s recently launched strategy for Ireland’s development up to 2040, which includes €116 billion in investment spending over the next decade. The Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway is named after the late Dr T.K. Whitaker, widely recognised for setting Ireland’s economy on a path of internationalisation and modernisation. Throughout his illustrious career, Dr Whitaker demonstrated and implemented innovative ideas and approaches to challenges and issues facing our economy and society. The Whitaker Institute has adopted a similarly innovative, multidisciplinary and transformative approach in its research on challenges facing business and society in Ireland today and internationally.   The event will take place in Seminar Rooms G010 and G011, Ground Floor, Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway on Thursday 19 April.   Attendance is free. For registration and to download the full schedule, visit: http://whitakerinstitute.ie/event/whitaker-institute-research-day-2018/  -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

University hosts two days of events to mark the legacy of Michael Maurice O’Shaughnessy A public lecture and the launch of a new mini documentary on NUI Galway graduate and former city engineer of San Francisco, Michael Maurice O’Shaughnessy will form part of two days of activities marking his legacy on 24-25 of April.  NUI Galway and the University of California Berkeley both hold archives relating to O’Shaughnessy and a public lecture by Theresa Salazar, University of California Berkeley, will highlight the Limerick native’s legacy in San Francisco. O’Shaughnessy emigrated to California in 1885, a year after graduating from then Queen’s College Galway. He embarked on a prolific civil engineering career in California and Hawaii. In 1912, he was appointed the City Engineer of San Francisco, a city still being reconstructed after the devastating earthquake and fire of 1906. He served as City Engineer until 1932, and oversaw the construction of the municipal rail system, upgraded the city’s water and sewer systems, and he carried out feasibility work on the San Francisco Bay Bridges, including the Golden Gate and San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridges. His archive was donated to NUI Galway by Bernadette O’Shaughnessy, whose late husband was a grand-nephew of Michael O’Shaughnessy. The library collection is publicly available in digital format, including O’Shaughnessy’s unpublished memoir, Engineering Experiences: From Honolulu to Hetch Hetchy. Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said: “The O’Shaughnessy archive at NUI Galway is a real treasure in its own right but it also builds on the University’s connections with the University of California Berkeley. It opens up opportunities to collaborate on connecting the archives at both universities and stimulating global awareness of O’Shaughnessy’s achievements. Our University’s focus is on reaching out to the world and for the world with our work, and this digital archive means that people from Belmullet to Berkeley to Beijing can learn about the man involved in engineering some of America’s most iconic projects.” Theresa Salazar, is curator of the Western Americana Collection at the Bancroft Library in University of California, Berkeley which holds a major collection of archival material donated by O’Shaughnessy’s daughter, Elizabeth, in 1992.  Salazar will give a public lecture about the O’Shaughnessy archive and other collections of Irish interest at the Bancroft Library on Tuesday, 24 April in Room G010, Hardiman Research Building, at 4pm. Please register at: https://tinyurl.com/y8w5c2eq  University Librarian at NUI Galway, John Cox, commented: “Michael O’Shaughnessy continues to be recognised as a major figure in San Francisco and the visit of Theresa Salazar is particularly welcome in promoting digital innovation to present his legacy engagingly.” A hugely popular exhibition that celebrates the acquisition of the personal archive of O’Shaughnessy will be on permanent display in the Alice Perry Engineering building at NUI Galway. The exhibition, entitled ‘Michael Maurice O’Shaughnessy (1864-1934): Engineering the Promised Land’, was co-curated by Eamonn Cannon, Aisling Keane and Dr Jamie Goggins. The exhibition tells the story of O'Shaughnessy's career, with selected extracts from his memoir. It inspired the creation of a short documentary, which will be shown in public for the first time at 9:30am on the 25 April in the Alice Perry Engineering building, NUI Galway. Please register at: https://tinyurl.com/yb2rjfqv   According to Dr Jamie Goggins, who with Eamonn Cannon, directed the documentary: “We have such a rich engineering history in Ireland. Michael O’Shaughnessy is one of the many great engineers to hail from Ireland that have had huge impact around the world by harnessing their innovation and creativity to be both practical and inspirational, creating infrastructure that has allowed societies to prosper. We are hoping that our short documentary will act as a catalyst for a greater acknowledgement of the global societal impact of such great engineers and scientists which will in turn inspire the next generation.” ENDS

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

The Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway, has announced the appointment of Tomás Ó Neachtain as Sean-Nós Singer-in-Residence in 2018. Born and raised in Coilleach, An Spidéal, Tomás is part of a family which has a long and rich tradition of sean-nós singing. It is from his father, Tomás, that he heard and learned most of his singing, and indeed his father had learned from his father before him. Though he briefly spent time in England as a young married man, it is in Coilleach that Tomás and his wife Nancy have reared their own family. His son Seosamh, a renowned sean-nós dancer and musician, was appointed as the first Sean-nós Dancer in Residence at the Centre for Irish Studies in 2009. Tomás’s distinct, clear, sweet vocal style echoes the singing he heard in his youth. His repertoire is wide and varied, but he particularly favours big songs such as ‘An Droighneán Donn’, ‘Tomás Bán Mac Aogáin’ and ‘An Chaora Ghlas’. Tomás gives singing workshops and is two-time winner of Corn Uí Riada in 1980 and 1981. During his time as artist-in-residence, Tomás will deliver a series of workshops at NUI Galway and will contribute to the expanding Sean-Nós Archive Collection. The workshops are free and open to the public and take place in the autumn and spring of 2018-19. 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. Further information is available from Samantha Williams, The Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway, at 091 492051 or samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie. -Ends- Tomás Ó Neachtain Ceaptha mar Amhránaí Cónaitheach ag OÉ Gaillimh Tá sé fógartha ag Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh, go bhfuil Tomás Ó Neachtain ceaptha mar Amhránaí Cónaitheach Sean-nóis i mbliana. Rugadh agus tógadh Tomás i gCoilleach, sa Spidéal. Chaith sé seal i Sasana mar fhear óg, ach is sa Choilleach a thóg sé féin is a bhean chéile Nancy a gclann: Tomás, Eoghan, Máire, Seán agus Seosamh, an rinceoir. Bhí an teach inar tógadh Tomás lán d’amhránaíocht agus thug sé leis go leor amhrán óna athair, Tomás, a shealbhaigh an traidisiún áirithe sin óna athair féin. Tá cúigear deirfiúir ag Tomás, ach is eisean an t-aon duine amháin den gclann a chuaigh leis na hamhráin. Dar ndóigh, ceapadh a mhac Seosamh mar Rinceoir Cónaitheach Sean-nóis in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh sa bhliain 2009, an chéad duine riamh ar bronnadh an gradam sin air. Nuair a chasann Tomás amhrán, cloistear guth ard binn glan agus stíl a athar ann. Is breá le Tomás na hamhráin throma a chanadh: ‘An Droighneán Donn’, ‘Tomás Bán Mac Aogáin’ agus ‘An Chaora Ghlas’, amhráin a tháinig anuas ó ghlúin go glúin ag muintir  Neachtain. Tugann Tomás ceardlann ó am go ham, agus bhuaigh sé Corn Uí Riada dhá uair, i 1980 agus 1981. Beidh sraith ceardlann á múineadh ag Tomás san Ollscoil sa bhFómhar agus arís san Earrach agus beidh a chuid amhrán á dtaifeadadh aige don gcartlann sean-nóis atá á bailiú ag Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh. Is iad Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta, An Chomhairle Ealaíon agus Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh, a mhaoiníonn an tionscnamh seo. Tuilleadh eolais ó Samantha Williams ag 091 492051 nó samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie. -Críoch-

Monday, 16 April 2018

NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh recently presented over 950 student volunteers the ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering. The ceremony was attended by Galway City Mayor, Councillor Pearce Flannery. NUI Galway students have volunteered with a variety of local and national organisations throughout the year including Conservation Volunteers Galway, Galway Autism Partnership, Galway Civil Defence, and Croí to name a few. Volunteers have also brought experiments to Galway schools through a wide range of science outreach workshops and participated in reading and mentoring through school homework clubs. Ceremony guest, Robert Farrell, Head of Direct in Aviva which employs more than 350 people in Galway, said: “Caring more for the communities in which we live, is part of our DNA in Aviva Ireland. We carefully encourage the instinctive generosity of our employees, encouraging them to give of their time, skills and passion to their local communities. To facilitate this, we give them three days paid leave to volunteer for their local charities and we match the funds they raise for local causes. We commend the work of NUI Galway in promoting volunteerism amongst the student body.” ALIVE is the student volunteering programme at NUI Galway and students are awarded Certificates to acknowledge their contribution to campus programmes and local and international community volunteering. The ceremony is an annual event to encourage volunteering and to thank all the community partners for hosting student volunteers. This year the ALIVE programme worked with higher education institutions across Ireland to successfully launch StudentVolunteer.ie a national platform to match students to non-profits. This year’s event is to highlight corporate social responsibility as employee’s growth and development through volunteering advance leadership skills and team building. Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, said:  “As future professionals, students are well placed to learn how volunteerism in their future is an opportunity company’s embrace.” Annelise Garrison, NUI Galway student who volunteers with the Irish Cancer Society Charity Shop and the Galway Pride Festival, said: “By volunteering, I helped create a safe place for people to be themselves and celebrate their diversity.” Darragh Doyle, NUI Galway student with Enable Ireland learned about sustainable fundraising and said, “We need volunteering to help raise the much needed funds so that these important services can continue. We also need awareness for the extent of the work that Enable Ireland provide.” -Ends-

Monday, 16 April 2018

NUI Galway’s School of Law will host a half-day conference on Tuesday, 17 April, focusing on the theme of ‘Homelessness, the housing crisis and socio-economic rights’. The conference will take place in the Hardiman Building, NUI Galway, from 2.30pm-5.15pm. The conference will bring together academic and civil society voices concerning legal and policy responses to the homelessness and housing crises. Confirmed speakers include: Niamh Randall, Simon Communities; Padraic Kenna, NUI Galway; Thomas Murray, An Cosán; and Martin O’Connor, COPE Galway. Conference organiser, Dr Eoin Daly from NUI Galway’s School of Law, said: “This conference will bring together voices from both academia and civil society concerning what is arguably the most pressing social crisis in Ireland at present.” The conference is held in assocation with the Masters in Public Law programme at NUI Galway. Further information is here: https://bit.ly/2JGLLfy or contact Dr Eoin Daly at eoin.daly@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Friday, 13 April 2018

The awards are designed to give students the opportunity to increase employability skills NUI Galway’s inaugural Employability Award Ceremony was held today and 56 students were presented with their Award Certificate by the University President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh.  The NUI Galway Employability Award is a recognition of learning and skills developed through work experience and extra-curricular activities. Each event and workshop is carefully selected and co-ordinated to provide students with the opportunity to enhance their skills and employability. Josephine Walsh, Head of the Career Development Centre at NUI Galway, said: “The award programme was designed by the Career Development Centre to increase students’ employability skills, empower them to make successful transitions towards fulfilling careers and equip them with a framework for lifelong career management.” Employer partners have indicated that students’ confidence and their ability to articulate skills developed through the award will make recruitment of NUI Galway graduates more attractive. This award encourages students to participate fully in university life, gain work experience and develop employability skills.  This NUI Galway Employability Award will help you stand out from the crowd in the employer’s job market. Students must complete five elements: Employability Workshops, Work Experience, Career Events, Skills workshops and Reflective Assessment. Employers were central in the design and development of the award structure with Darragh Colgan, VP Research & Development and Process Development, Boston Scientific commenting: “The NUI Galway Employability Award gives students the opportunity to develop their leadership and employability skills through self-reflecting on their extra-curricular roles and experiences. By completing this award students are giving themselves a competitive advantage in the graduate job market.” Emer Joyce, Director of Tax, EY added: “At EY we put a very high value on graduates gaining the ability to self-reflect on their strengths and accomplishments. The NUI Galway Employability Award gives students the opportunity & confidence to articulate these experiences prior to their first graduate interviews.” Students from across all disciplines participated in the Award programme and have reported excellent outcomes. Vincent McBrien, a second year Drama, Theatre & Performance student who completed the award said: “I have gained many personal benefits that will help me in my career journey. As a result of completing the award I am more confident in myself and my work and have a new found motivation which will allow me to step up to every new opportunity that comes my way.” While Siobhan Cullen, a third year Earth and Ocean student, said: “I believe that I have gained a more competent approach to choosing and securing a career through participating in the Employability Award Programme. Through an elevated sense of self-awareness, I can move forward and plan for the future with confidence.” The NUI Galway Employability Award contributes to a number of other student awards, including the internationally recognised ALIVE award for Volunteering, and will be available for all students to participate in from September 2019. -Ends-