Monday, 2 February 2009

The current pressure on public health resources and the related cost of health conditions will be discussed during a symposium at NUI Galway on Thursday, 5 February. The event is being organised by the Health Economics Association of Ireland, which was set up in 2001 to foster the sharing of information related to health economics. The symposium will welcome an audience from a wide variety of backgrounds, all with a particular interest in the economics of healthcare. Topics for discussion include economics of mental health, palliative care and heart disease. Professor of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) at NUI Galway, Ciaran O'Neill, will introduce the symposium with thoughts on the future of HTA in Ireland. Professor O'Neill comments: "As health and social care budgets come under increasing pressure, the need to assess and demonstrate the relative value for money of its alternative uses will become increasingly important. Ireland has followed most other European countries in developing processes by which to scrutinise the use of public monies in funding access to new technologies. Over the coming years these processes and their outcomes are likely to become increasingly influential in shaping health and social care in Ireland". Members of the Health Economics Association of Ireland come from public and private organisations as well as academic institutions. The group meets twice yearly to discuss developments in health economics including economic evaluations, monitoring techniques, policy initiatives, pharmacoeconomics and various other topics. Organiser of the symposium, Dr Brenda Gannon of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway says: "The number of health economists in Ireland has increased in recent years both in the academic and private sector. Experts such as Professor Eamon O'Shea, Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology here at NUI Galway, have been leading the way in this field for many years. Hosting this meeting at NUI Galway reflects the growing number of health economists working in the University and the recognition of their expertise at national level". For further information on the next HEAI meeting, please contact Dr Brenda Gannon, NUI Galway, on tel 091 49 5459. -ends-

Monday, 2 February 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge)Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and NUI Galway, have announced the opening of a Biological Mass Spectrometry Facility on the NUI Galway campus. Mass spectrometry is regularly used for testing athletes for banned substances, but it is also one of the key enabling techniques in chemistry and biology. Researchers in NUI Galway will take advantage of this technique to progress their research in areas such as cancer, infectious diseases and pain research. The state-of-the-art facility in NUI Galway is equipped with the latest accurate-mass quadrupole time-of-flight (Q-TOF) and triple quadrupole (QQQ) mass spectrometer platforms from Agilent. As part of the collaboration with Agilent, NUI Galway will provide application notes and data for key applications using the Agilent platforms. The facility will also be used to showcase new instruments to Agilent customers and to run samples for demonstration purposes. "The opening of this facility is a continuation of Agilent's drive to be a key technology partner for innovative research in academia," said Gustavo Salem, General Manager for Agilent's LC/MS business. "NUI Galway has some of the top primary investigators in Europe. We look forward to working closely with them to further their breakthrough research in the fields of metabolomics and proteomics". Professor Terry Smith, Vice-President for Research, NUI Galway, commented: "NUI Galway has recently made a substantial commitment to increase its capability in mass spectrometry, in particular targeting life sciences research. With our recent investment, sponsored by IDA, SFI and Agilent Ireland, NUI Galway now has this capability". Primary investigators Dr David Finn, Dr Niclas Karlsson and Brendan Harhen will run the mass spectrometers at the facility. Dr Niclas Karlsson, coordinator for the set up of the facility, said: "NUI Galway selected Agilent as a strategic partner since they provide a wide range of support for life science research in addition to their top end mass spectrometers". Dr Finn is a lecturer in pharmacology and therapeutics and co-director of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway. The aim of Dr. Finn's research is to increase the understanding of the neurobiology of pain and anxiety and support the development of novel therapeutic agents for their treatment. Dr Karlsson is one of the top researchers in mass spectrometry and bioinformatics for sugar and protein identification. He established one of the first integrated bioinformatic platforms for this kind of research and collaborated with the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics for generating glycobioinformatic resources for the community. Mr Harhen is an honours biochemistry graduate from NUI Galway with a special interest in facilitating ultra-trace quantitation of biomolecules in complex matrices, such as bioactive lipid signalling molecules. He will support other quantitative needs at NUI Galway, such as quantitative proteomics. The collaboration between NUI Galway and Agilent is a result of Agilent's Academia Program, which facilitates collaborations with universities around the world. The programme assists universities with teaching, materials and creating research partnerships. Osclaíonn Agilent Technologies agus OÉ Gaillimh Áis Mhais-Speictriméadrachta Bitheolaíochta (View in English) Tá sé fógartha ag Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) agus ag OÉ Gaillimh go mbeidh Áis Mhais-Speictriméadrachta Bitheolaíochta ag oscailt ar champas OÉ Gaillimh. Úsáidtear mais-speictriméadracht go rialta chun tástálacha substaintí coiscthe a dhéanamh ar lúthchleasaithe, ach tá sé ar cheann de na príomhtheicnící cumasúcháin sa cheimic agus sa bhitheolaíocht chomh maith. Tapóidh lucht taighde in OÉ Gaillimh an deis an teicníc seo a úsáid lena gcuid taighde a bhrostú i réimsí amhail ailse, galair thógálacha agus taighde péine. Ar an trealamh den scoth a bheidh san áis nua-aimseartha seo in OÉ Gaillimh beidh na hardáin ama eitilte ceathairphoil cruinnmhaise (Q-TOF) is deireanaí agus na hardáin mhais-speictriméadrachta ceathairphoil thriaraigh (QQQ)* is deireanaí ó Agilent. Mar chuid den chomhoibriú le Agilent, cuirfidh OÉ Gaillimh nótaí feidhmithe agus sonraí na bpríomh-fheidhmchlár a bheidh ag úsáid ardán Agilent ar fáil. Úsáidfear an áis chomh maith le huirlisí nua a thaispeáint do chustaiméirí Agilent agus le trialacha samplacha a dhéanamh ar mhaithe leis an gcaoi a n-oibríonn sé a léiriú. "Tá oscailt na háise seo ag cur leis an gcuspóir atá ag Agilent a bheith ina phríomhpháirtí teicneolaíochta sa taighde nuálaíoch acadúil," a dúirt Gustavo Salem, Bainisteoir Ginearálta ghnó LC/MS Agilent. "Tá cuid de scoth-thaighdeoirí na hEorpa in OÉ Gaillimh. Táimid ag súil go mór le hoibriú i ndlúthchomhar leo lena dtaighde ceannródaíoch i réimse na meitibilíochta agus na próitéamaíochta a chur chun cinn". Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an Ollamh Terry Smith, Leas-Uachtarán um Thaighde OÉ Gaillimh: "Le tamall anuas tá gealltanas tábhachtach tugtha ag OÉ Gaillimh go gcuirfidh sí lena cumas mais-speictriméadrachta, ag díriú go háirithe ar thaighde i réimse na n-eolaíochtaí beatha. A bhuíochas leis an infheistíocht a rinneamar le déanaí, a ndearna an IDA, SFI agus Agilent Ireland urraíocht uirthi, tá an cumas seo ag OÉ Gaillimh anois." Is iad na príomhthaighdeoirí an Dr David Finn, an Dr Niclas Karlsson agus Brendan Harhen a bheidh i mbun na mais-speictriméadar san áis. Dúirt an Dr Niclas Karlsson, an comhordaitheoir a bhí ag plé le bunú na háise: "Roghnaigh OÉ Gaillimh Agilent mar chomhpháirtí straitéiseach de bhrí go soláthraíonn sé réimse leathan tacaíochta don taighde eolaíochta beatha agus de bharr a chuid mais-speictriméadar atá sármhaith." Is léachtóir le cógaseolaíocht agus le teiripic an Dr Finn agus tá sé ina chomhstiúrthóir ar an Ionad um Thaighde Péine in OÉ Gaillimh. Is é an aidhm atá le taighde an Dr Finn an tuiscint ar néaraibhitheolaíocht péine agus imní a mhéadú agus tacú le forbairt oibreán teiripeach nuálaíoch a bheadh ina gcóir leighis dóibh. Tá an Dr Karlsson ar dhuine de phríomhthaighdeoirí na mais-speictriméadrachta agus na bithaisnéisíochta a bhaineann le siúcra agus próitéin a aithint. Bhunaigh sé ceann de na chéad ardáin bithaisnéisíochta chomhtháite don chineál seo taighde agus d'oibrigh sé i gcomhar le hInstitiúid Bithaisnéisíochta na hEilvéise chun acmhainní glici-bithaisnéisíochta a ghiniúint don phobal. Is céimí onóracha le bithcheimic ó OÉ Gaillimh é Brendan Harhen a bhfuil spéis ar leith aige i gcainníochtú ultrairian bithmhóilíní a éascú i maitrísí coimpléascacha, amhail móilíní comharthaíochta lipidí bithghníomhacha. Tacóidh sé le riachtanais chainníochtúla eile in OÉ Gaillimh, amhail próitéamaíocht chainníochtúil. Is as Clár Acadúil Agilent a d'eascair an comhoibriú seo idir OÉ Gaillimh agus Agilent a éascaíonn comhoibriú idir iad agus Ollscoileanna ar fud an domhain. Cabhraíonn an clár le hollscoileanna ó thaobh teagaisc, ábhar agus ó thaobh comhpháirtíochtaí taighde a bhunú. CRÍOCH

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Aerosol Society, a UK-based scientific organisation that promotes the science of airborne particles, is to hold its annual conference at NUI Galway from 6-7 April. This is the first time this major event has been held outside of the UK, and the latest data from NUI Galway's Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station will feature. Mace Head, which is located near Carna, Co. Galway, is one of the most important sites for atmospheric research in the Northern Hemisphere. Operated by staff from the School of Physics at NUI Galway, Mace Head is the main location of experimental research carried out by the University s Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies - a centre within NUI Galway s Environmental Change Institute. Delegates at the Aerosol Society conference will learn about the latest findings from this scientific group at NUI Galway which concentrates on the physical and chemical properties of aerosols, clouds, and gaseous species in the marine environment and their ultimate role in global climate change. Professor Gerard Jennings of NUI Galway s Environmental Change Institute and School of Physics is used to the international interest Mace Head attracts: "Mace Head is a world class research facility which is available to support Irish research in high profile international research projects. The facility is central to the atmosphere-marine environment research undertaken by NUI Galway, and has been the perfect setting for a series of scientific projects over the years in studying the impacts of aerosols and climate change". In addition to a focus on atmospheric aerosol studies, the high-level conference will also address the impacts of air pollution on public health. Professor Luke Clancy, Director General of the Research Institute for a Tobacco Free Society, which is based in Dublin, will discuss the correlations between air pollution and reduced death. According to Professor Clancy: "While it is intuitive to believe that the health of workers would be improved by the Workplace Ban on Smoking, as we saw in the ban on the burning of coal in the '90s, as scientists we need to demonstrate these beneficial effects. Many of the benefits such as a reduction in lung cancer in non-smokers will take a number of years to become measurable. Other conditions such as respiratory health occur much more quickly and have indeed done so". Some 70 academics, scientists and industry experts are expected to attend the two-day conference which is locally organised by Dr Miriam Byrne, School of Physics, NUI Galway. -ends-

Monday, 30 March 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Over six hundred students at NUI Galway were awarded the ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering during a special ceremony on campus today (Monday, 30 March, 2009). The certificate recognises students' volunteering efforts during the academic year, and aims to reinforce the spirit of civic engagement among NUI Galway students. Over 2,300 students have received the certificate since its inception six years ago, with many ALIVE alumni moving into professional positions in major non-governmental organisations, at home and abroad. The ALIVE Programme - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience - was established in 2003 by NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that its students make by volunteering. It is the first ever student volunteer programme to be embedded within an institution of higher education in Ireland and serves as a national model which other institutions look to for advice and support. The ALIVE programme draws on a strong tradition of student engagement both on and off campus and assists students who wish to actively volunteer while developing tangible and transferable skills alongside practical volunteering experiences. NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, says: "Our University has always been close to community. We are in the middle of a city and we're in the middle of a very rich environment, both culturally and socially. That is something our students can benefit greatly from. It's a two-way street, the students give back to community but they get back much, much more in terms of learning from the experience and in terms of their own personal development". During his visit to NUI Galway earlier this year, the Noble Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu was enthused by the spirit of volunteering at NUI Galway, describing the ALIVE programme as 'fantastic'. Throughout the year NUI Galway students have given thousands of volunteer hours to community, from working with children in homework clubs, to building homes in Honduras, to working at the annual Teddy Bear Hospital. Among the 120 non-governmental organisations supporting the ALIVE programme are Ability West, Foróige, Childline, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, Big Brother Big Sister, Galway Hospice, ISPCC, Amnesty International, Enable Ireland and Special Olympics Ireland. -ends- (View in English) Bronnadh Teastas ALIVE as Obair Dheonach ar bhreis agus sé chéad mac léinn in OÉ Gaillimh ag searmanas speisialta ar an gcampas inniu (Dé Luain, 30 Márta 2009). Tugann an teastas aitheantas d'iarrachtaí na mac léinn agus iad ag gabháil d'obair dheonach i rith na bliana acadúla, agus tá sé mar aidhm aige spiorad an chomhpháirteachais phoiblí a athneartú i measc mhic léinn OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an teastas faighte ag 2,300 mac léinn ó bunaíodh an scéim sé bliana ó shin, agus tá go leor alumni de chuid ALIVE tar éis poist ghairmiúla a fháil in eagraíochtaí móra neamhrialtasacha sa bhaile agus thar lear. Bhunaigh OÉ Gaillimh Clár ALIVE – Tionscnamh Foghlama agus Taithí ar Obair Dheonach – in 2003 chun úsáid níos fearr a bhaint as an obair dheonach atá ar bun ag mic léinn, agus chun aitheantas agus tacaíocht a thabhairt don obair sin. Is é an chéad chlár deonach mac léinn é atá lonnaithe in institiúid ardoideachais in Éirinn agus is samhail náisiúnta é a mbíonn institiúidí eile ag tarraingt air le comhairle agus tacaíocht a fháil. Tá clár ALIVE bunaithe ar an traidisiún láidir comhpháirteachais i measc mac léinn ar an gcampas agus taobh amuigh de agus cabhraíonn sé le mic léinn ar mian leo obair dheonach a dhéanamh agus scileanna inláimhsithe agus so-aistrithe a fhoghlaim agus tugann sé taithí phraiticiúil dóibh ar obair dheonach. Dúirt an Dr James Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: "Bhí gaol gairid i gcónaí idir an Ollscoil agus an pobal. Táimid i lár cathrach agus táimid i lár ceantair atá an-saibhir, go cultúrtha agus go sóisialta. Baineann ár gcuid mac léinn an-tairbhe as sin. Bíonn tairbhe le baint ag an dá thaobh as. Cuidíonn na mic léinn leis an bpobal ach faigheann siad a dheich n-oiread ar ais ó thaobh taithí de agus ón bhforbairt a dhéanann siad go pearsanta." Le linn a chuairte ar OÉ Gaillimh níos túisce i mbliana, bhí buaiteoir Dhuais Síochána Nobel, an tArdeaspag Desmond Tutu, an-tógtha leis an mbéim atá ar obair dheonach in OÉ Gaillimh agus dúirt sé go raibh clár ALIVE 'sármhaith'. Tá na mílte uaireanta deonacha tugtha ag mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh don phobal le bliain anuas; d'oibrigh siad le páistí i gclubanna obair bhaile, thóg siad tithe i Hondúras agus d'eagraigh siad Otharlann na mBéiríní a reáchtáiltear gach bliain. I measc an 120 eagraíocht neamhrialtais a thacaíonn le clár ALIVE tá Ability West, Foróige, Childline, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, Big Brother Big Sister, Ospís na Gaillimhe, ISPCC, Amnesty International, Enable Ireland agus Cluichí Oilimpeacha Speisialta na hÉireann. -críoch-

Monday, 30 March 2009

Airships, reminiscent of zeppelin planes, which operate at an altitude of 20km will be discussed at a meeting NUI Galway is hosting today (Monday, 30 March). The stratospheric airships are being used for communication infrastructure, remote sensing and other applications. The two-day technical meeting will bring together over 50 experts in the fields of radio communication, optical communication and aircraft design. The meeting is part of an EU project called HAPCOS, which is focussed on the development of high altitude platforms. Today's HAPCOS meeting is being hosted by the Applied Optics Group from NUI Galway, whose research is integral to the transmission of optical data through the atmosphere from high altitudes to the ground. According to Ruth Mackey, a researcher with the Applied Optics Group at NUI Galway: "Some of the main applications envisaged for this type of communications platform are for the deployment of immediate response communication networks in disaster recovery situations and to provide communications services to remote locations. These platforms are also being designed for remote sensing applications, for example for crop monitoring, traffic surveillance, or for security in areas such as monitoring the oceans for drug smuggling activity". The Applied Optics Group at NUI Galway is involved with the optical communication aspect of HAPCOS. Ruth Mackey explains: "Optical wireless communication is particularly useful for transmitting large quantities of data to and from remote locations, where it is not possible (or too expensive) to lay optical fibre. However, one of the obstacles to the successful use of this technology, are the adverse effects caused by propagation through the atmosphere, such as beam wander and beam spreading, that reduce signal quality". In its research, the Applied Optics Group use results from a 3km terrestrial optical link, which has been established across Galway City. The link allows researchers to measure the effects of atmospheric turbulence on optical wave propagation and to investigate methods to compensate the atmospheric disturbance of the signal in real time, using adaptive optics. Originally, adaptive optics was a technique developed for Astronomy, to correct the atmospherically degraded images from large Earth based telescopes. NUI Galway is heavily involved in finding use in medical and industrial applications for adaptive optics, in particular for in vivo imaging of the eye and for laser beam shaping. -ends-

Monday, 30 March 2009

(View in English) Rinne Seán Ó Neachtain, Feisire Eorpach, an cúrsa nua M.A. (Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála) – an chéad chúrsa dá chineál in Éirinn nó san Eoraip – a sheoladh go hoifigiúil Dé hAoine seo caite. Ag labhairt dó ag an seoladh, dúirt an Feisire Ó Neachtain: "Tá géarghá anois le daoine a bhfuil cáilíochtaí gairmiúla acu san ateangaireacht chomhdhála. Daoine óga as Éirinn a bhainfeas cáilíocht ateangaireachta sa nGaeilge agus sa mBéarla, beidh dhá oiread na seansanna fostaíochta acu agus iad ag iarraidh post a fháil san Aontas Eorpach. Níl mórán deiseanna chomh maith leis sin ann ar an aimsir seo." Mhínigh Eoin Ó Droighneáin, Ceannasaí an Aonaid Aistriúcháin agus Ateangaireachta, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh: "In 2007, ní raibh aon saor-ateangaire cáilithe le Gaeilge ar fáil le tabhairt faoi na dualgais nua ateangaireachta a bhain leis an teanga in institiúidí an Aontais Eorpaigh. Ar feadh dhá bhliain, mic léinn a bhí ag iarraidh an oiliúint chuí ateangaireachta a fháil, b'éigean dóibh dul chomh fada le hOllscoil sa mBreatain Mhór – Ollscoil Westminster i Londain. Sa dá bhliain sin, níor cháiligh ach cúigear mar ateangairí agus tá siad sin ag obair anois mar shaor-ateangairí. Ach tá i bhfad níos mó ateangairí cáilithe ag teastáil sa margadh fostaíochta." Ó tharla bearna mhór a bheith sa margadh fostaíochta, is tráthúil anois go bhfuil an cúrsa nua M.A. san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála á chur ar fáil ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. Tá siollabas an chláir bunaithe ar an gCéim Mháistreachta Eorpach in Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála (EMCI) agus de thoradh an cúrsa seo a bheith ar siúl anois ag Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, ní gá do mhic léinn dul thar sáile chun cáilíocht aitheanta san ateangaireacht a bhaint amach. Dúblófar, in imeacht bliain amháin den chúrsa nua seo, an líon ateangairí cáilithe le Gaeilge a bheidh ar fáil d'institiúidí an Aontais Eorpaigh. Tríd an gclár máistreachta seo, tugtar an deis do na mic léinn súil ghéar a choinneáil ar chúrsaí reatha agus ar chúrsaí na hEorpa go háirithe. Tá tacaíocht láidir faighte ag an gcúrsa ó thosaigh sé ó institiúidí an Aontais Eorpaigh; ina measc sin tá an Ard-Stiúrthóireacht Ateangaireachta sa Choimisiún Eorpach – an tseirbhís ateangaireachta is mó ar domhan. Ní chuireann an Ard-Stiúrthóireacht féin cúrsaí oiliúna ar fáil, ach bíonn comhoibriú dlúth ar siúl idir í agus líon beag ollscoileanna lena chinntiú go gcuirtear oiliúint ghairmiúil den chaighdeán is airde ar mhic léinn ateangaireachta. Tá aíonna mór le rá ó Institiúidí an AE tar éis léachtaí a thabhairt ar an gcúrsa i mbliana; orthu sin tá Brian Fox, Ceannasaí na nAteangairí; agus David Smith, Ceannasaí Rannóg Ateangaireachta an Bhéarla agus na Gaeilge – an bheirt acu ó Ard-Stiúrthóireacht Ateangaireachta an Choimisiúin Eorpaigh. Pléitear le hábhair éagsúla sa chúrsa lánaimseartha bliana M.A. seo; orthu sin, tá cleachtaí cuimhne, scileanna um breacadh nótaí, comhdhálacha bréige, gluaiseanna le haghaidh cruinnithe teicniúla, glóroiliúint, agus béasaíocht sa bhoth ateangaireachta. Bíonn seans ag na mic léinn freisin cuairt a thabhairt ar institiúidí an AE le go bhfeicfidh siad féin ateangairí idirnáisiúnta i mbun a gcuid oibre. Dúirt Brian Fox, Ceannasaí na nAteangairí sa Choimisiún Eorpach: "Tá na deacrachtaí a bhí an AE go dtí seo ateangairí oilte le Gaeilge a earcú pléite go minic sna meáin chumarsáide sa tír seo. Le roinnt seachtainí anuas pléadh freisin sna meáin naisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta na deacrachtaí atá ann ateangairí le Béarla a earcú. Beidh deis faoi leith ag na mic léinn a thabharfas faoin M.A. san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh – beidh an dá riachtanas teanga sin á gcomhlíonadh acu ach an cháilíocht a bhaint amach ón gcúrsa." Reáchtálann an tAonad Aistriúcháin agus Ateangaireachta in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge cláir léinn ag leibhéal Dioplóma, Bunchéime agus Iarchéime; tá éirithe thar cionn leis an M.A. (Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála) sa chéad bhliain den chúrsa agus is beart suntasach eile é seo san fhorbairt atá an tAonad a dhéanamh ar a chuid cláir léinn. Glactar le líon teoranta iarratas don chúrsa seo; daoine ar mian leor cur isteach ar áit ar an gcúrsa, ba choir dóibh teagmháil a dhéanamh le Susan Folan ag 091 869102 nó susan.folan@oegaillimh.ie le tuilleadh eolais a fháil. -críoch- (Leagan Gaeilge) Seán Ó Neachtain, MEP has officially launched NUI Galway's new Masters in Conference Interpreting (M.A. Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála) – the first if its kind in Ireland and in Europe. Speaking at the launch, Seán Ó Neachtain, said: "A demand now exists for professionals with recognised qualifications in conference interpreting. A qualification in interpretation including both the Irish and English language will double employment opportunities for young Irish people wishing to pursue a career in the European Union. Such opportunities are rare in the current climate". Eoin Ó Droighneáin, Head of the Translation and Interpreting Unit, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway, explained: "In 2007 there was not one single accredited freelance interpreter with Irish, which caused considerable recruitment difficulties for those seeking high level skilled interpreters. For the following two years prospective students with Irish had to travel to the University of Westminster in the UK to train in the hope of obtaining a qualification in the field of conference interpreting. In those two years, only five successfully qualified and are working as freelance interpreters, meaning the gap in the market is still sizeable". This gap in the market coincides with the introduction of the new M.A. in Conference Interpreting offered by NUI Galway's Irish language institute, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. This unique programme is the first of its kind in Ireland and Europe and means that students no longer need to travel to obtain a qualification recognised by the EU. The M.A. is based on the internationally recognised European Masters in Conference Interpreting (EMCI), a curriculum of the highest standard, the same as is followed in the University of Westminster. This year alone, it will match the number of interpreters that have emerged in the years since Irish became a recognised working language of the EU. The M.A. programme gives students the opportunity to follow current and European Affairs quite closely and there has been close cooperation between European Institutions and NUI Galway, including the European Commission's interpreting service Directorate General for Interpretation (DG Interpretation), the largest interpreting service in the world. The Directorate does not itself offer training courses, but cooperates closely with a small number of international Universities to ensure professionally focused training of the highest quality. Many esteemed visitors from European Institutions have lectured on the course throughout the year, among them Mr Brian Fox, Director of Interpreters, DG Interpretation and David Smith, Head of English and Irish Interpreting Unit, DG Interpretation. This full-time one-year M.A. programme covers various subjects including memory exercises, sight translation, note-taking skills, mock conferences, glossaries for technical meetings, voice coaching, and booth etiquette. Students also have the opportunity to visit EU institutions to see at first hand the work of international interpreters. Brian Fox, Director of Interpreters in the European Commission, said: "The Irish media has long since spoken of the difficulties the EU has experienced when seeking to recruit qualified interpreters with Irish. In recent weeks, the national and international media has also spoken of the difficulties being experienced when attempting to recruit English language interpreters. Students of NUI Galway's M.A. Conference Interpreting will have a unique employment opportunity in this case because they will fill both demands successfully by obtaining a qualification in the area". Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge s Translation and Interpreting Unit runs academic programmes at Diploma, Primary Degree and Postgraduate Degree levels; the success of the new M.A. in Conference Interpreting in its first year marks another milestone in the Unit s programme development. A limited number of applicants are accepted on the programme, and students wishing to apply should contact Susan Folan at 091 869102 or susan.folan@oegaillimh.ie for further information. -ends-

Thursday, 26 March 2009

(English Version)Tá sé fógartha ag Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh, go bhfuil Seosamh Ó Neachtain ón Spidéal ceaptha mar an chéad Rinceoir Cónaitheach Sean-Nóis riamh san Ollscoil. Léiríonn a cheapachán an bheocht atá sa damhsa ar an sean-nós i gConamara faoi láthair agus an cumas iontach atá ag Ó Neachtain mar dhuine de na damhsóirí is fearr dá bhfuil ann. Chuir an Dr Louis de Paor, Stiúrthóir Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, fáilte roimh an gceapachán mar chuid de thiomantas na hOllscoile do na taibh-ealaíona, agus go háirithe do phobal ealaín thraidisiúnta Chonamara: "Is iontach an rud an borradh atá tagtha faoin damhsa sean-nóis le deich mbliana anuas, agus tá sé aitheanta anois ar an léiriú is cinnte agus is fearr de chultúr na hÉireann, anseo agus thar lear". Fuair Seosamh Ó Neachtain céim as OÉ Gaillimh agus tá sé ar dhuine de na rinceoirí is mó cáil atá tar éis damhsa ar an sean-nós a chur ar an ardán náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. Sa bhliain 2000 fuair sé sparánacht ón gComhairle Ealaíon le staidéar a dhéanamh ar rince tap i Nua-Eabhrac. 'A wonderful improvisation of down-to-earth Irish tapping that showed the direct link between Irish roots dancing and American rhythm tap', a thug Ballet.Magazine ar an damhsa a tháinig as an staidéar sin. Fuair an rince a rinne sé leis an damhsóir Tamango ón Afraic moladh chomh hard céanna ó léirmheastóir an Irish Times a dúirt go raibh cosa Uí Neachtain 'like playful birds at the floor. He almost hovers, and you almost wonder if he might be able to dance across water'. Tá stáitsí ar fud an domhain roinnte ag Seosamh Ó Neachtain le cuid de na ceoltóirí traidisúnta is fearr dá bhfuil in Éirinn faoi láthair, Altan, De Danann, Máirtín O'Connor, Harry Bradley, Jesse Smith, Johnny Connolly agus Róisín Elsafty ina measc. Chomh maith leis sin, tá an clár a rinne sé sa tsraith Ceolchuairt do TG4 i ndiaidh gradam ag an bhFéile Scannán Ceilteach 2009 a bhaint amach. Tá sé ag gabháil do chéim MA le Ceol agus na Meáin Chruthaitheacha in Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Dhún Dealgan faoi láthair. Mar chuid den obair a bheidh ar siúl aige i gcaitheamh na bliana, múinfidh Seosamh Ó Neachtain sraith ceardlann damhsa ar an sean-nós in Amharclann Bhanc na hÉireann, OÉ Gaillimh. Tosóidh na ceardlanna ar 7.00in agus beidh an chéad cheann ar siúl Dé Máirt, an 7 Aibreán. The Dancer-in–Residence programme is supported by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and The Arts Council in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. -críoch- NUI Galway Appoints Sean-Nós Dancer-in-Residence The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway is delighted to announce the appointment of Seosamh Ó Neachtain, from An Spidéal, as its first ever Sean-Nós Dancer in Residence. His appointment acknowledges the current vibrancy of sean-nós dancing in the Connemara Gaeltacht and Ó Neachtain's outstanding abilities as one of the most celebrated practitioners of his particular art form. Dr Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies, welcomed the appointment as part of the University's commitment to the performing arts in general, and to the traditional community arts of the Connemara Gaeltacht in particular. 'The revival of sean-nós dancing over the past ten years has been quite extraordinary, to the point where it is now identified as one of the definitive and most popular expressions of Irish culture, at home and abroad.' A graduate of NUI Galway, Seosamh Ó Neachtain is one of a handful of performers who have rejuvenated the Gaeltacht tradition of sean-nós dancing, introducing the athleticism and sophistication of a dynamic but neglected art form to national and international audiences. He has performed on concert stages throughout the world with some of the finest exponents of traditional music, including Altan, De Danann, Máirtín O'Connor, Harry Bradley, Jesse Smith, Johnny Connolly, and Róisín Elsafty. In 2000, Seosamh was awarded a bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland to study aspects of tap dance in New York City. The resulting performance was described by Ballet Magazine as 'a wonderful improvisation of down-to-earth Irish tapping that showed the direct link between Irish roots dancing and American rhythm tap. In his collaboration with African dancer Tamango 'a dialogue expressed not in words but in physical exhilaration', Ó Neachtain's feet, according to the Irish Times, were 'like playful birds at the floor. He almost hovers, and you almost wonder if he might be able to dance across water …' His contribution to the TG4 series Ceolchuairt explored the influence of Irish dance on American tap dancing and has just won the entertainment category in the Celtic Film Festival 2009. Seosamh is also one the founding members of the traditional dance show Barr go Sáil/Heel to Toe which has performed at festivals such as Tonder Festival, Denmark, Celtic Connections, Glasgow and the International Dance Festival of Ireland. He is currently studying for a Masters Degree in Music and Creative Media at Dundalk Institute of Technology. Seosamh Ó Neachtain will conduct a series of dance workshops at NUI Galway beginning on Tuesday 7 April. The workshops, which are free of charge and open to the public, will take place in the Bank of Ireland Theatre, commencing at 7.00pm. The Dancer-in–Residence programme is supported by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and The Arts Council in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. -ends-

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Galway's first International Dance Festival will be held at the Radisson SAS Hotel, Galway, on Thursday, 16 April. The event is a fundraiser for the Galway division of the Special Olympics and the money raised will be used to fund 22 clubs throughout the county of Galway. Dancing from countries including Mexico, Malaysia, Slovakia, Peru, Cuba, Argentina, South Africa, Guatemala, India and Ireland will be featured. The International Dance Festival promises to be a lively event, according to chief organiser, Gloria Avalos, who works at the School of Medicine and Health Science at NUI Galway: "People from different countries will be performing their traditional dances in traditional costumes. It's a unique opportunity to see a variety of cultures in the one place". The event will begin with a parade led by the athletes and members of the Garda Síochána who will be carrying the Special Olympics torch. This will be followed by various dance exhibitions, from a Mexican 'Dance of the Deer' to an Argentinean Tango. The dancing exhibitions will be followed by live music from Galway's well known salsa band, Cuba Libre, and finishing off with a D.J. playing world music. Gloria Avalos is organising the event along with other colleagues from NUI Galway and the Sisters of La Retraite, Galway. The Festival was launched on Monday by NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne. Tickets are available in advance from the Socs Box, in Áras na Mac Léinn at NUI Galway, and at the Radisson SAS Hotel on the night, where doors open at 7.30pm. All proceeds from the event will go to the Special Olympics clubs in Galway. -ends-

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

An effort to understand the 'boom and bust' cycles of financial markets has seen the launch of a Virtual Stock Market experiment at NUI Galway. The Virtual Stock Market will provide a platform to conduct a series of experiments with both automated computer agents and humans. The aim is to understand the factors that underpin 'boom and bust' cycles, as well as human and software agents' interactions. The Virtual Stock Market is the result of a multi-disciplinary research collaboration between the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) and the Computer Integrated Manufacturing Research Unit (CIMRU) at NUI Galway. The Virtual Stock Market lists ten companies and has four types of computer agents trading in the market. NUI Galway students are invited to trade on the stock market and each participant will be given an initial endowment of 10,000 Airgead (virtual currency) and an equivalent amount of shares. Dr Srinivas Raghavendra, an Economics lecturer at NUI Galway, Dr Laurentiu Vasiliu, a group leader in DERI/CIMRU, and PhD student Daniel Paraschiv in CIMRU/DERI are behind the experiment. Dr Raghavendra comments: "The main objective of our research is to understand the generating processes that underlie the empirical facts of the real world financial markets. We approach this problem from an experimental economics point of view as we believe that experiments with human agents could provide us with insights or testable hypotheses to further our understanding of the dynamics of financial markets". Human traders on the virtual stock market are welcome to try out their own investment strategies, technical trading strategies or other hybrid strategies. The high-frequency data (real time data) of the virtual market can be directly downloaded to a spreadsheet, which will allow participants to try out various technical trading rules. Dr Laurentiu comments: "It is envisioned by the DERI commercialisation team to move the concept forward towards a potential future professional stock exchange testing environment, where novel strategies and financial products can be tested by interested financial houses. This would ensure a basis for evaluating new financial approaches as well as IT technologies that are currently developed by NUI Galway and other Irish universities. At the same time it can be shown how a very close cooperation between IT and Economics researchers provides a safe and needed financial testing ground, particularly in the current economic climate". There is also a teaching benefit to be had from NUI Galway's new stock exchange. According to Dr Raghavendra: "As a teaching tool, the Virtual Stock Market provides an excellent opportunity for students, at all levels, to understand the basic functioning of a stock market. For advanced students, it provides a platform to test their own investment strategies. For students of computer science and IT, this platform provides a unique opportunity to understand the interface between human agents and computer agents (algorithms), and its implications for the dynamics of financial markets". The scope of the Virtual Stock Market can be extended to Futures Trading and Monetary Policy experiments. Dr Raghavendra adds: "Even the anticipation of a monetary policy swings the markets, let alone the post announcement effect. The experiments in this area would be useful to study the dynamic between monetary policy rules and instruments, and human agents' expectation formation, which is one of the fundamental issues in understanding the stability of markets". The results of the experiment with the virtual stock market will be presented in July to the Society for Computational Economics at the 15th International Conference on Computing in Economics and Finance in Sydney, Australia. -ends-

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Topics including multiculturalism, racism, social inclusion and family rights will be discussed by a range of experts during Equality and Inclusion Week at NUI Galway. Organised by the University's Law Society, Equality and Inclusion Week runs from 23-26 March and will feature a series of free public lectures. On Tuesday, 24 March, Fr Peter McVerry will share his thoughts on social inclusion, drawing on his 30 years of experience of working with young homeless people in Dublin. During this time he has campaigned tirelessly for the rights of these young people and in 1983 he set up the Peter McVerry Trust which provides a wide range of services catering for the diverse needs of young homeless people through supported accommodation, drug detox, education and training. The talk will take place at 8pm in the IT Building, Room IT250. On Wednesday, 25 March, there will be a discussion on the need for the law to recognise the diversity of Irish family life and to ensure that all family types in Ireland have equal opportunities. Panellists will include: Geoffrey Shannon, family lawyer and children's rights expert; Margaret Dromey, CEO of the unmarried parents group Treoir; Brian Sheehan, Managing Director of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network; and Dr Anne Egan, lecturer in Family Law at NUI Galway. The discussion will take place at 8pm in the Cairnes Theatre. On Thursday, 26 March, a multiculturalism and anti-racism evening will feature Niall Crowley, former CEO of the Equality Authority, Chinedu Onyejelem, Editor and Publisher of the multicultural newspaper, Metro Éireann, and Robin Hannan, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, as guest speakers. The discussion will take place at 8pm in the Cairnes Theatre. The public lectures will take place at 8pm each evening in the Cairnes Theatre, in the Arts and Science Building at NUI Galway. Several other societies and a number of charity organisations will also organise equality and inclusion themed events during the week. Highlights will include a multicultural fair, an art exhibition and a film night. Commenting on the week student Karla Sheerin-Griffin, who is director of Equality Week for the NUI Galway Law Society, said: "The purpose of Equality Week is to promote awareness and positive change. We want to encourage people to embrace and support diversity. With all the attention focused on surviving the recession and saving the economy, we seem to be ignoring what really matters, which is people. We need to recognise the inequalities in Irish society and take positive action to remove them. I really hope students take part and help us send the message across that students care and want to help Irish society to change for the better". All events will be run on a first come first served basis and will not be ticketed so arrive early to avoid disappointment. For further information on any of the week's events contact Karla Sheerin-Griffin on 0864051400, or email nuiglawsociety@gmail.com -ends-

Monday, 23 March 2009

(Sligo School to Represent Connaught) The national finals of the 2009 Debating Science Issues competition, which is co-ordinated by the Regenerative Medicine Institute at NUI Galway, takes place on Thursday, 2 April, in the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin. Four teams of secondary school students will represent the provinces of Connaught, Ulster, Leinster and Munster in the debating competition final. The public are invited to attend. This year, there were almost 40 entries in the Debating Science Issues competition, which encourages young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. Participating students took part in a series of three-hour workshops designed to facilitate discussion and learning about biomedical science - from stem cell research to nanotechnology - in an informal round table forum. Competition organiser Danielle Nicholson, from the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, comments: "The debating science competition concept was initially run on a regional basis and due to its success went national last year. Workshops provide an open and impartial environment, and challenge students to think about the ethical and societal impact of biomedical research and stimulate them to learn more about this important area of research. The debates themselves reflect the level of insight and interest among 15-18 year olds in the field of biomedicine". Kathleen Kelly is a teacher at Ballincollig Community School, Co. Cork, which won the national final of Debating Science Issues 2008. Ms Kelly commented: "The competition has opened students' eyes to scientific issues in newspapers, for example, that may not have been explored without Debating Science Issues". Funded by the Wellcome Trust, Debating Science Issues is co-ordinated by REMEDI at NUI Galway in conjunction with fellow Science Foundation Ireland Centres for Science, Engineering and Technology: UCC's Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre and DCU's Biomedical Diagnostics Institute. The event is also supported by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, along with W5 Science Centre in Belfast and Tyndall National Institute at UCC. -ends-

Monday, 23 March 2009

The distinguished Cambridge University mathematician Professor Tom Körner, author of The Pleasures of Counting, will deliver a free public lecture at NUI Galway on Monday, 6 April, at 6pm in the Kirwan Lecture Theatre. Professor Tom Körner in his lectures, books and publications uses Mathematics to help people understand the world around them, and his lecture is designed to engage the general public with the subject. In The Pleasures of Counting, Professor Körner uses examples as diverse as the outbreak of cholera in Victorian Soho and the Battle of the Atlantic, to show some of the real-life problems with which mathematicians engage. Entitled 'Mathematics and Smallpox', his hour-long lecture at NUI Galway will explain in simple terms how Mathematics is used to understand disease epidemics. In the 18th century a new technique of inoculation was introduced for smallpox. The idea was controversial since, in effect, the process deliberately gave an uninfected person a form of the disease. Professor Körner will explain how in 1776, Daniel Bernoulli tried to use early statistical ideas to see whether the case for inoculation was valid. Many of his Bernoulli's ideas still resonate today. The lecture coincides with NUI Galway hosting the 61st British Mathematical Colloquium, from 6-9 April, which is being held outside of the UK for the first time. The Colloquium is a joint meeting with the Irish Mathematical Society and is expected to attract some 250 mathematicians. Plenary speakers will include: Professor David Eisenbud, University of Berkeley, California; Professor Ben Green, University of Cambridge; Professor Ron Graham, San Diego University, California; Professor Rostislav Grigorchuk, Texas A&M University; and Professor Frances Kirwan, University of Oxford. Professor Ted Hurley of the Mathematics Department at NUI Galway believes the world of Mathematics is more engaging and applicable than most people realise: "The upcoming Colloquium is a very prestigious event in the Mathematics calendar and while there will be lots of 'deep end' Mathematics discussed, the public lecture will be very accessible to anyone with a basic interest. Tom Körner is a storyteller of the Mathematics world. He demonstrates that every part of the world around us can be understood through the lens of mathematics. Mathematics is all about questioning, investigating and fulfilling curiosity". Professor Hurley added: "Mathematics develops keen thinking and problem solving skills and whatever the economic climate, those qualified in the field will be in demand, not only in obvious fields such as finance, science and computer science -particularly information theory, communications and security - but in new areas from computer game generation, through medical imaging to climate change analysis, all of which require highly numerate graduates who can understand and work with the sophisticated mathematical systems now in use in these areas". Admission to the free public lecture by Professor Tom Körner is by ticket only. For further details or to book a ticket, e-mail Mary.Kelly@nuigalway.ie or telephone (091) 492332. -ends-

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Health economics will be the subject of a new intensive course at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, from 26-27 March. With total expenditure on health expected to be in the region of €15 billion in Ireland this year, the programme organisers say it is vital that resources are allocated in a way that ensures the best outcome for the patient or service user. The two-day 'Executive Education Programme in Health Economics' will concentrate on a range of analytical techniques that can be used to inform health care decision-makers about the costs and consequences of healthcare programmes. The programme will provide participants with an introduction to the value and techniques of the emerging discipline of Health Technology Assessment and its use in informing budgetary decisions and wider government policy. Health Technology Assessment is not limited to new equipment or drugs, but covers any method used to promote health, prevent and treat disease, and improve rehabilitation and quality of life. Through health technology assessment, decision makers can assess the desirability and effectiveness of investing in new therapies, drugs, equipment and health promotion activities. NUI Galway is the only university in Ireland with a dedicated Chair in Health Technology Assessment. The holder of the Chair, Professor Ciaran O'Neill, is one of the organisers of the programme and commented on its target audience: "This executive education programme will be of interest to people with responsibility for strategic decision making in both the public and private health care sectors. It will also be of interest to people wishing to pursue further study in health economics. We will make extensive use of real-world examples to illustrate concepts and techniques, and include a discussion on the interpretation, presentation and dissemination of results". The course will be delivered by staff from the Department of Economics at NUI Galway and by visiting Professor from the University of Maryland, Daniel Mullins. Professor Mullins is a health economist and head of the Pharmaceutical Health Services Research Department of the University of Maryland. His research focuses on pharmaeconomics, health outcomes research and equity in health. Professor Mullins's visit is supported by the Fulbright Commission under its Senior Specialist Programme. A new Masters in Health Economics will be offered by the Department of Economics at NUI Galway in September 2009 and participants in the Executive Education programme will be eligible to apply for this Masters. A small number of places are still available on the Executive Education programme. For more information please contact Professor Ciaran O'Neill at 091 492409 or by email at ciaran.oneill@nuigalway.ie. -ends-

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The first ever Galway Health Services Information Fair will be held in the Orbsen Building at NUI Galway, from 11am to 4pm, on Wednesday, 25 March. Some 50 different health-related organisations will attend to provide information on services available to people living in Galway City and county. Groups in attendance will include Ability West, Age Action West, AIDS West, Arthritis Ireland, Citizens' Information, COPE, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, Integrating Ireland and SpunOut.ie. Information on a range of topics will be available, including mental health, sexual health and complementary health, as well as fitness, health checks and health screening. This free public event is open to the general public, and people new to Galway are particularly welcome. Cindy Dring, NUI Galway Heath Promotion Officer, said: "We hope that this event will meet the needs of students, locals and people who have just moved to the area. Personal health is very much about being informed and making the right choices. This is a great opportunity to visit a 'one-stop shop' for health information and to find out about the kinds of services and supports available on your doorstep". For a number of years Galway Refugee Support Group (GRSG) has been involved in building the capacity of the refugee and asylum seeker populations to identify and advocate their health needs and concerns as part of a long-term integration strategy. Helen Bartlett, Community Development Worker of the GRSG, said: "The Galway Health Services Information Fair is significant as it will bring together education providers, health service providers, health advocacy organisations and health service users. Many people may be unfamiliar with all the health services and health advocacy organisations available in Galway". The event is a collaborate venture between NUI Galway and the GRSG, and is supported by the University's Community Knowledge Initiative. It is hoped that the Health Services Information Fair will become an annual event, increasing awareness about a wide range of health issues. For further information contact Helen Bartlett at 091 480 095. -ends-

Monday, 16 March 2009

The next in the series of NUI Galway Dublin alumni group events will feature a presentation by Declan Kelly, Executive Vice President, FTI & US Board Chair, Galway University Foundation on Wednesday, 25 March, 7.30pm at the Davenport Hotel, Merrion Square, Dublin 2. A graduate of NUI Galway, Declan Kelly is Executive Vice President and Chief Integration Officer of FTI and Chairman of FD US and FD Ireland. With more than two decades of experience in journalism and strategic consulting, Declan is recognised as one of the leading crisis communications counsellors in the U.S., working globally across multiple industries advising large-scale corporations on a variety of reputational issues. He has been named by PR Week magazine as one of the leading communications professionals in the U.S. and has been recognized on numerous occasions for his professional achievements globally. For the past five years he has been named by Irish America magazine as one of the Top 100 Irish American business leaders in the U.S. In 2008, he became the youngest ever recipient of the American Irish Historical Society's gold medal. As part of a series of social and cultural events organised by the Dublin-based group, on Wednesday, 25 March, Kelly will present to NUI Galway alumni and invited guests offering insights into FTI's role in the management of some of the world's biggest financial and political crises, including Lehman Brothers, AIG and Northern Rock. FTI are also advisors to many governments, including several in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, on a diverse range of issues affecting their economies. The NUI Galway Dublin alumni group runs several events annually, aimed at bringing together graduates of NUI Galway. Tickets for the event will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis to graduates of NUI Galway who apply via email to: colm.odwyer@nuigalway.ie or by phone to Colm O'Dwyer at: 091 493750 -Ends-

Monday, 16 March 2009

Over 200 delegates are expected to attend NUI Galway's 2nd International Nursing and Midwifery Conference from 6-7 April. The event, 'Building and Promoting Excellence in Practice', is organised by the School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway, and will give healthcare workers an opportunity to share their experiences of clinical care and research. The conference will provide a forum for debate around issues concerning the promotion of excellence in practice and will focus on five main themes: Chronic Illness; Older People; Maternity Care and Women's Health; Community and Population Health; and Teaching and Learning Practice. According to Professor Kathy Murphy of NUI Galway's School of Nursing and Midwifery: "Continuous learning and professional development is an integral part of the nursing profession. The opportunity for nurses to come together to discuss best practice is vital in the face of the new research, demanding protocols and HR constraints. Thoughtful practice is at the heart of making a difference and this conference supports this approach by providing an opportunity to share ideas, research and innovations". The conference will feature many national and international speakers with a keynote address by Dr Loretta Sweet Jemmott opening the conference. Dr Jemmott, from the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, will deliver a paper on 'How Research has Informed Effectiveness of HIV Education and how it is Delivered'. Dr Jemmott has been involved in a number of research projects focusing on designing and testing culturally sensitive, developmentally appropriate, and theory-based strategies to reduce HIV risk- associated sexual behaviours. Along with her husband, Dr John B. Jemmott III, she has secured extensive funding of $92.5 million to conduct HIV risk-reduction trials in various settings, including schools, community based organisations, housing developments, clinical settings, and churches. 'Sexuality and Nursing Practice; Unveiling the Elephant' will be the subject of a presentation by Professor Agnes Higgins, Associate Professor in Mental Health Nursing at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. Professor Higgins will discuss the often ignored issue of sexuality and mental health, and the resulting challenges in a healthcare setting. Professor Mike Clarke, Director of the UK Cochrane Centre and Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford will discuss 'Evidence for Evidence Based Practice Research and Reality'. Professor Clarke works on more than twenty systematic reviews across a wide range of areas of health care, in particular breast cancer. The School of Nursing and Midwifery offers a range of postgraduate nursing courses which are taught entirely through blended learning requiring only 12 days of face-to-face teaching per year. Programmes include Intensive Care, Accident and Emergency, Orthopaedics and Gerontology. Full or part-time options are available as well as the option of studying individual postgraduate modules, which may be built up to an entire programme over time. For more information on the conference visit www.nursingmidwifery.ie -Ends-

Monday, 16 March 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) The recipients of the annual NUI Galway Sports Awards were presented by NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne and guest of honour, Irish Gold Medal Olympian, Dr Ronnie Delaney, at a special ceremony recently in the Ardilaun House Hotel, Galway. This year s Sports Awards recipients are: Athletics: Aileen Ruane, Knocknahur, Co. Sligo. Basketball: Cian Nihill, Moycullen, Co. Galway. Boxing: Stephen Bailey, Tír an Fhia, Co. na Gaillimhe. Camogie: Lorraine Ryan, Athenry, Co. Galway. Handball: Caitriona Casey, Tralee, Co. Kerry. Hurling: Stephen Molumphy, Ballyduff Upper, Co. Waterford. Ladies Gaelic Football: Una Carroll, Tuam, Co. Galway. Ladies Soccer: Michelle Glynn, Ballybane, Galway. Ladies Rugby: Carol Staunton, Westport, Co. Mayo. Men s Gaelic Football: Gareth Bradshaw, Moycullen, Co. Galway. Men s Soccer: Michael Creane, Sligo Town. Mountaineering: Joan Mulloy, Westport, Co. Mayo. Rowing: James Wall, Limerick. Surfing: Elisha Hickey, Breeogue, Co. Sligo. Swimming: Dairne Ryan, Castlegar, Co. Galway. Tae Kwon Do: Oliver McCarthy, Kilrush, Co. Clare. Team Award: Surfing Club. Team Award: Archery. Announcing the awardees, Tony Regan, Head of Sports, NUI Galway, said: "These awards are in recognition of the outstanding performance of our NUI Galway athletes in a variety of sports at both national and international level. They have really excelled in their chosen sport and the university is extremely proud of their achievements". "Here tonight we are extremely proud and privileged to have in our midst a true icon of Irish sport as our guest of honour. In the history of Irish sport, the single stand out achievement remains the triumph of Ronnie Delaney in the 1500m in Melbourne in 1956. His name will be forever etched into the lore of Irish sport", added Regan. Dr Ronnie Delaney is a graduate of Villanova University and established a marketing consultancy in 1988 following a successful executive career in the transport/tourism sector in Ireland. The NUI Galway Sports Awards are given out each year in recognition of the NUI Galway students who excelled in the world of sport. Duaiseanna Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh bronnta ag Ronnie Delaney (View in English) Bhronn Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr James J. Browne agus an t-aoi speisialta, an Dr Ronnie Delaney, Buaiteoir Bonn Óir d'Éirinn sna Cluichí Oilimpeacha, Duaiseanna Bliantúla Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh ar na buaiteoirí ag searmanas speisialta in Óstán an Ard Oileáin, Gaillimh aréir. I measc bhuaiteoirí na bliana seo tá: Lúthchleasaíocht: Aileen Ruane, Cnoc na hIora, Co. Shligigh. Cispheil: Cian Nihill, Maigh Cuilinn, Co. na Gaillimhe. Dornálaíocht: Stephen Bailey, Tír an Fhia, Co. na Gaillimhe. Camógaíocht: Lorraine Ryan, Baile Átha an Rí, Co. na Gaillimhe. Liathróid Láimhe: Caitriona Casey, Trá Lí, Co. Chiarraí. Iománaíocht: Stephen Molumphy, An Baile Dubh Uachtarach, Co. Phort Láirge. Peil na mBan: Una Carroll, Tuaim, Co. na Gaillimhe. Sacar na mBan: Michelle Glynn, An Baile Bán, Gaillimh. Rugbaí na mBan: Carol Staunton, Cathair na Mart, Co. Mhaigh Eo. Peil na bhFear: Gareth Bradshaw, Maigh Cuilinn, Co. na Gaillimhe. Sacar na bhFear: Michael Creane, Baile Shligigh. Sléibhteoireacht: Joan Mulloy, Cathair na Mart, Co. Mhaigh Eo. Rámhaíocht: James Wall, Luimneach. Tonnmharcaíocht: Elisha Hickey, Breeogue, Co. Shligigh. Snámh agus Póló Uisce: Dairne Ryan, An Caisleán Gearr, Co. na Gaillimhe. Tae Cuan Dó: Oliver McCarthy, Cill Rois, Co. an Chláir. Duais Foirne: An Club Tonnmharcaíochta Duais Foirne: Boghdóireacht. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Tony Regan, Ceann an Spóirt, OÉ Gaillimh ag an ócáid: "Is ann do na duaiseanna seo le haitheantas a thabhairt d'éachtaí lúthchleasaithe OÉ Gaillimh a dhéanann an-dul chun cinn i gcineálacha éagsúla spóirt ar leibhéal náisiúnta agus ar leibhéal idirnáisiúnta. Tá fíoréacht déanta acu sna spóirt éagsúla agus tá an ollscoil fíorbhródúil as a bhfuil bainte amach acu". "Cúis áthais agus bróid dúinn go bhfuil réalta mhór spóirt inár measc mar aoi speisialta. Tá éacht suntasach amháin i stair spóirt na hÉireann nach ndéanfar dearmad air choíche – an lá ar bhuaigh Ronnie Delaney bonn óir i Melbourne sa rás 1500 méadar sa bhliain 1956. Fear a bhfuil a rian fágtha aige ar chúrsaí spóirt in Éirinn". Céimí de chuid Ollscoil Villanova é an Dr Ronnie Delaney agus bhunaigh sé cuideachta margaíochta sa bhliain 1988 i ndiaidh dó a shaol oibre go dtí sin a chaitheamh ag obair san earnáil iompair/turasóireachta in Éirinn. Bronntar Duaiseanna Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh gach bliain chun aitheantas a thabhairt do mhic léinn OÉ Gaillimh a bhfuil dul chun cinn déanta acu ina rogha spóirt. -Críoch-

Monday, 16 March 2009

Former chief executive officer of the Equality Authority Niall Crowley delivered a public talk to a full lecture theatre at NUI Galway on 12 March. Speaking about 'a deepening equality crisis' in Ireland, Mr Crowley described how the statutory infrastructure developed over 20 years to promote equality has been dismantled in a matter of months. Mr Crowley was joined by Michael D. Higgins T.D., Donncha O' Connell of NUI Galway's School of Law, Dr Vinodh Jaichand from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, and a panel of civil society groups, including shOUT!, the Galway Traveller Movement, the Galway Refugee Support Group, the Community Platform, and Action for Equality. The event, which was attended by a cross-section of the public, brought attention to the assertion that the Government is sidelining equality issues and the protection of human rights. For Galway based group shOUT!, this has serious implications as they see the cuts adding to young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people's experience of discrimination. Hannagh McGinley from the Galway Traveller Movement said that Travellers still continue to face high levels of discrimination and that such marginalised groups very much need independent agencies such as the Equality Authority. Mr Crowley cited the experience of the Combat Poverty Agency which was 'subsumed' into the Department of Social and Family Affairs; the Equality Authority and the Irish Human Rights Commission both left unviable by drastic budget cuts; and the recently abolished National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism. Calling for a 'strategic response to the economic crisis that is founded on the values of equality, diversity and non-discrimination', Mr Crowley said Ireland needed to defend marginalised groups, monitor the watchdogs and hold bodies like the Equality Authority to account. The event was organised by NUI Galway's Development Education and Research Network (DERN). Development education promotes an international development and human rights perspective, with an emphasis on equality and non-discrimination. The event linked local and national issues and debates on inequality with the broad challenges of development and inclusion in a time of global economic crisis. -ends-

Friday, 13 March 2009

The prestigious psychology society, Psi Chi, has established its first chapter outside of the US at NUI Galway. Since 1929, the society has encouraged excellence in academic psychology and in furthering psychology as a science. Famous members include TV's Dr Phil and publishing's Hugh Hefner. Members must have excelled academically before being eligible for acceptance and once inducted hold a lifetime membership of the Society. The mission of Psi Chi is to produce well-educated, ethical, and socially responsible members committed to contributing to the science and profession of psychology and to society in general. Dr Ian Stewart, School of Psychology, NUI Galway, said: "The recent inauguration and addition of the NUI Galway Psi Chi Chapter is a great achievement for both the students and staff. I have no doubt, given our enthusiastic membership, that the NUI Galway chapter will make a significant contribution both to the society and to the cause of scientific psychology in the years ahead". At NUI Galway, the B.A. Psychology is one of the most sought after undergraduate courses, with the subject of psychology also popular among Bachelor of Arts students. Dr Stewart added: "Most people find psychology intrinsically interesting. Even a little knowledge of psychology is useful in most career paths, whether in applied areas such as clinical psychology and the health services, or more general areas such as the media, IT or management". It is hoped that the NUI Galway chapter of Psi Chi will forge the way for many new international chapters that we can share the aims and success of our North American colleagues. -Ends-

Friday, 13 March 2009

A special interactive exhibition is being organised by NUI Galway scientists from 19-20 March as part of Brain Awareness Week. The exhibition, which will be situated on the ground floor of the Eyre Square Shopping Centre, aims to raise public awareness of the importance of brain health, and neuroscience research in Ireland. The exhibition will feature a 3D brain model, and visitors will be able to use a computer based test to determine which side of their brain is dominant – the left or right hemisphere. Informative drawings for children to colour will be provided, along with puzzles to test visitors of all ages. Also available will be literature on various brain illnesses, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease, and video footage of a neuroscience researcher talking about stroke research. An art exhibition will showcase colourful and dramatic neuroscience research images, giving close-up pictures of some of the brain's billions of nerves cells and trillions of synaptic connections. The event is being organised by NUI Galway's Neuroscience Research Cluster, led by Dr Karen Doyle: "We hope this exhibition will be fun and interesting for all who attend, young and old. We'll have tips and advice on simple things that everyone can do to look after their brain, from eating right and exercising to wearing a helmet when cycling. Awareness of our brains' needs can help us live long and healthy lives, free from brain injuries and disorders". In Ireland, disorders of the brain affect some one million people and Health Service Executive data shows that it spends some €216 million annually on drugs, medicines and appliances. Disorders that are traditionally regarded as psychiatric account for approximately two thirds of the total costs, while neurological and neurosurgical disorders account for the final third. The expansion of the aged population and the inevitable rise in numbers of those suffering from age-related brain disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease has placed increased pressure on researchers to identify new therapies. Dr Doyle adds: "Science is making huge progress in understanding how the amazing human brain works. It is sobering to think that there are around 6,000 people suffering from Parkinson's disease in Ireland and as many as 35,000 who have been diagnosed with senile dementia. Disorders such as anxiety and migraine, due to their high prevalence, are also very costly to society. The need for further research and development in disorders of the brain is obvious and in the long-run it might well pay for itself by easing the burden on healthcare systems". The exhibition is funded by the Dana Foundation, through the Federation of Neuroscience Societies in Europe. -Ends-

Friday, 13 March 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Following a substantial increase of 8.5% in first preference CAO applications, NUI Galway has announced details of a second Open Day on Saturday, 25 April. With almost double the national average for first preferences, the University is responding to continuing interest in new and existing courses. Professor Jim Ward, Deputy-President and Registrar at NUI Galway, commented on the increase in CAO applications: "We are delighted that NUI Galway is once again featuring strongly with CAO first preferences. Programmes on offer at NUI Galway are designed to develop students academically and personally, and our partnerships with industry and community play a huge part in the overall design of these courses". Almost all subject areas experienced increases in CAO applications, with large increases in Science, Arts and Commerce applications, and and a major rise in Engineering (including IT) and Medicine. NUI Galway s continuing popularity across a broad range of subject areas include new programmes in Sport and Exercise Engineering and a Bachelor of Engineering (Engineering Innovation – Electronic). At the Open Day in April, a variety of interactive taster sessions will be available on new and existing courses. Parents are also welcome to attend and Student Ambassadors will be on hand to answer questions about life at NUI Galway. The upcoming Open Day has been organised for second-level students who are interested in studying at NUI Galway. The event is an excellent opportunity to speak to lecturers and current students, and to find out more about the courses and campus. Visitors can book a place at the Open Day and receive a programme in advance by logging on to www.nuigalway.ie/openday. For further information contact the Schools Liaison Office on 091 492814, email mary.coyle@nuigalway.ie or visit www.nuigalway.ie Beagnach dúbailt na nIarratas CAO ar OÉ Gaillimh ná an Meán Náisiúnta (View in English) Tá ardú 8.5% tagtha ar líon na ndaoine a roghnaigh OÉ Gaillimh mar chéad rogha ina n-iarratais CAO. Mar thoradh air sin, beidh an dara Lá Oscailte ar siúl san Ollscoil Dé Sathairn, an 25 Aibreán. Roghnaigh beagnach a dhá oiread daoine an Ollscoil seo mar chéad rogha seachas aon áit eile agus tá suim léirithe ag daoine i gcúrsaí nua agus i gcúrsaí atá seanbhunaithe. Labhair an tOllamh Jim Ward, Meabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid OÉ Gaillimh, ar an méadú atá tagtha ar iarratais CAO: "Tá an-áthas orainn go bhfuil OÉ Gaillimh chun cinn in athuair i gcéadroghanna an CAO. Is ann do na cláir in OÉ Gaillimh chun mic léinn a fhorbairt go hacadúil agus go pearsanta agus tá ról lárnach ag an gcomhoibriú a bhíonn idir an Ollscoil, an tionscal agus an pobal i leagan amach na gcúrsaí sin". Tháinig méadú ar líon na n-iarratas CAO i bhformhór na n-ábhar. Tháinig méadú mór ar líon na n-iarratas san Eolaíocht, sna Dána agus sa Tráchtáil, agus méadú an-mhór sna hiarratais Innealtóireachta (IT san áireamh) agus Leighis. Bhí tóir ar leith ar ábhair éagsúla in OÉ Gaillimh ó chláir nua in Innealtóireacht Spóirt agus Aclaíochta go Baitsiléir Innealtóireachta (Nuálaíocht Innealtóireachta – Leictreonach). Beidh blaiseadh le fáil de chúrsaí nua agus seanbhunaithe ag Lá Oscailte an Aibreáin. Tá fáilte roimh thuismitheoirí agus beidh mic léinn ar fáil le ceisteanna a fhreagairt faoi shaol na hOllscoile anseo i nGaillimh. http://www.nuigalway.ie/openday/ Tá an Lá Oscailte eagraithe do dhaltaí dara leibhéal a bhfuil suim acu staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh. Is iontach an deis í seo le labhairt le léachtóirí agus le mic léinn agus níos mó eolais a fháil faoi chúrsaí agus faoin gcampas. Is féidir áit a chur in áirithe ag an Lá Oscailte agus clár a fháil roimh ré ach dul chuig www.nuigalway.ie/openday. Tá tuilleadh eolais le fáil ón Oifig um Idirchaidreamh le Scoileanna ag 091 492814, nó trí ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig mary.coyle@nuigalway.ie nó trí chuairt a thabhairt ar www.nuigalway.ie CRÍOCH

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Breast cancer research in Ireland has received a major boost with the announcement of more over half a million euro of funding by leading British research charity Breast Cancer Campaign. In a first for the charity, the funding of three projects in Ireland, including one at NUI Galway, forms part of €3 million awarded to 29 research projects throughout the UK and Ireland and represents a fantastic opportunity to tap into a talented group of researchers who can make a real difference to the lives of people with breast cancer. Dr Adrienne Gorman, NUI Galway, has received more than €100,000 for a three year study into why a particular molecule, nerve growth factor (NGF), which is produced in 80 per cent of breast cancers, may prevent some people from responding well to chemotherapy. NGF kick-starts a chain of events that enable cancer cells to avoid destruction by chemotherapy and Dr Gorman aims to fully understand this process in order to develop ways to prevent it from happening. Dr Gorman said, "I am grateful to Breast Cancer Campaign for funding my research and to be the one of the first scientists in Ireland to receive a grant from the charity is very exciting. I hope my project will provide vital information on how breast cancer evades chemotherapy so that we are able to overcome this resistance, giving patients the best chance of survival." Frank Fahey TD said: "The National Breast Cancer Institute in Galway under the directorship of Dr Michael Kerrins has been doing wonderful work in breast cancer research. The fact that such a prestigious group such as Breast Cancer Campaign has awarded a research grant to Dr Adrienne Gorman at NUI Galway is a significant recognition of the wonderful work being done at University College Hospital and NUI Galway." Arlene Wilkie, Director of Research and Policy, Breast Cancer Campaign said, "We are delighted to fund our first three projects in Ireland and we hope they are the first of many. "Each year in Ireland more than 2,300 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed and around 700 women will die from the disease. We hope that people in Ireland will raise funds to support even more of these talented scientists with innovative research ideas to ensure progress is made in finding a cure for breast cancer. "Research is already making a huge difference to the lives of those with breast cancer and we hope that by funding high quality, innovative projects, such as Dr Gorman's, it will bring us ever closer to beating this disease." -Ends-

Monday, 9 March 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway's 2009 Alumni Awards were presented at the tenth annual Gala Banquet and Alumni Awards ceremony on Saturday, 7 March, 2009 in the Radisson SAS Hotel, Galway. The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University s more than 65,000 graduates worldwide. At the Gala Banquet, eight alumni awards were presented to: Aer Arann Alumni Award for Sports Achievement and Leadership Ciaran FitzGerald BComm 1973 International Rugby Captain and Triple Crown Winner AIB Alumni Award for Literature, Communication and the Arts Dr Brendan O Connor BSc 1982, PhD 1985 Founder, Cois Cladaigh Choir Bank of Ireland Alumni Award for Business and Commerce Mike Higgins BComm 1982 Managing Director, CIBC Real Estate Finance Group Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge Pádraig Ó Ceithearnaigh HDip in Education 1976 Leas-Ardstiúthóir Chomhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge Medtronic Alumni Award for Healthcare and Medical Science Professor Michael O Brien MB, BCh, BAO 1971, BSc 1973 Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine; Chief, Department of Anatomic Pathology, Boston Medical Center NUI Galway Alumni Award for Law, Public Service and Government John Hegarty BSc 1969, PhD 1976 Provost, Trinity College Dublin Alumni Award for Engineering, IT and Mathematics Finian O Sullivan BSc 1976 Founder and Former CEO, Burren Energy Seavite Alumni Award for Natural Science Dr Catherine Caulfield BSc 1976, HDip in Ed 1977, PhD 2008 Chief Executive - Charles River Laboratories Preclinical Services Irl. The awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of 57 outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including, for example, Michael D. Higgins, the late Seamus Brennan, Sean O Rourke, Professor Frank Gannon and Dr Luke Clancy. Special guest and NUI Galway graduate Siún Nic Gearailt was compère for the evening. (View in English) Bronnadh deichiú Duaiseanna Alumni 2009 OÉ Gaillimh ag Mórfhéasta agus Searmanas na nDuaiseanna Alumni, Dé Sathairn, an 7 Márta 2009 in Óstán an Radisson SAS, Gaillimh. Tugann na Duaiseanna Alumni aitheantas do chéimithe a bhfuil éachtaí suntasacha déanta acu as breis is 65,000 céimí de chuid na hOllscoile atá lonnaithe ar fud na cruinne. Ag Mórfhéasta na bliana seo, bronnadh Duais Alumni ar na daoine seo a leanas: Duais Alumni Aer Arann d'Éachtaí agus do Cheannaireacht Spóirt Ciaran Fitzgerald BComm 1973 Captaen Fhoireann Rugbaí Idirnáisiúnta na hÉireann agus Buaiteoir Chorn na dTrí Náisiún Duais Alumni AIB don Litríocht, an Chumarsáid agus na hEalaíona An Dr Brendan O'Connor BSc 1982, PhD 1985 Bunaitheoir, Cór Chois Cladaigh Duais Alumni Bhanc na hÉireann don Ghnó agus an Tráchtáil Mike Higgins BComm 1982 Stiúrthóir Bainistíochta, CIBC Real Estate Finance Group Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge Pádraig Ó Ceithearnaigh Ard-Dioplóma san Oideachas 1976 Leas-Stiúrthóir Chomhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge Duais Alumni Medtronic don Chúram Sláinte agus an Eolaíocht Mhíochaine An tOllamh Michael O'Brien MB, BCh, BAO 1971, BSc 1973 Ollamh le Paiteolaíocht agus Leigheas Saotharlainne, Scoil an Leighis, Ollscoil Bhostúin; Príomhoifigeach, Roinn na Paiteolaíochta Anatamaíche, Ionad Leighis Bhostúin Duais Alumni OÉ Gaillimh don Dlí, an tSeirbhís Phoiblí agus an Rialtas John Hegarty BSc 1969, PhD 1976 Propast, Coláiste na Tríonóide, Baile Átha Cliath Duais Alumni don Innealtóireacht, an Teicneolaíocht Faisnéise agus an Mhatamaitic Finian O'Sullivan BSc 1976 Bunaitheoir agus iar-Phríomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin, Burren Energy Duais Alumni Seavite don Eolaíocht Dúlra An Dr Catherine Caulfield BSc 1976, HDip in Ed 1977, PhD 2008 Príomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin – Charles River Laboratories Preclinical Services Irl. Go dtí seo tá duais alumni bronnta ar 57 céimí den scoth – céimithe a bhfuil a n-alma mater fíorbhródúil astu – Michael D. Higgins, Seamus Brennan nach maireann, Sean O'Rourke, an tOllamh Frank Gannon agus an Dr Luke Clancy ina measc. Ba í céimí OÉ Gaillimh, Siún Nic Gearailt, a bhí ina hóstach don oíche. -Críoch-

Monday, 9 March 2009

'Integrated Approaches to Offshore Renewables' is the subject of an upcoming lecture at NUI Galway by Seamus Garvey, Professor of Dynamics at the University of Nottingham. During his talk, Professor Garvey will propose that a collaborative approach should be adopted in relation to the research and development efforts of Ireland and the UK in the area of offshore renewables. The lecture takes place at 1pm, on 13 March, in Room AC204, Arts and Science Building, NUI Galway. Professor Garvey argues that not only do Ireland and the UK have abundant marine renewable resources, they have much more in common besides. While neither country has sufficient fossil-fuel resources to make them energy-secure even if climate change were not an issue, both have impressive engineering capabilities that are not fully exploited at present. In addition, Ireland and the UK have high aspirations for the proportion of energy to be sourced from renewables by 2020, yet neither has any substantial indigenous renewable-energy industry - compared with countries such as Denmark, Germany and the USA. Professor Garvey also proposes that wind, wave and tidal resources not be used to directly generate electricity, but to collect available power in the form of compressed air. That compressed air can be stored and later expanded to develop electrical power in large-scale, cost-effective, and efficient generators. According to Professor Garvey: "The deep Atlantic waters accessible from the west coast make this particular energy-storage scheme especially attractive to Ireland. Far from Ireland potentially using the UK as a major component in resolving its future energy-intermittency issues (as has been suggested), it is entirely likely that Ireland can provide precisely this service to the UK". The event will be attended by several engineering experts and representatives from Irish industry. Sean Leen, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway says: "Galway's Atlantic coast location provides an excellent opportunity to act as a hub for ocean and renewable energy technology development. The University plans to work closely with local industry and research institutes to facilitate this. One example of this is the collaboration with successful global subsea engineering consultancy, MCS, which is a spin-out company from NUI Galway". With headquarters in Galway, MCS offers advanced engineering and software solutions to the subsea industry. NUI Galway is already active in developing a number of sustainable energy technologies. For example, researchers at the Power Electronics Research Centre have developed novel battery charging and monitoring principles with engineers from Convertec Limited in Wexford, funded by Enterprise Ireland. This new technology plays a key role in improving safe and reliable operation of wind turbines in the North Sea. The recently established Energy Research Centre at NUI Galway, which operates within the University's Environmental Change Institute, provides an ideal framework for energy research at the University. For further information, contact Professor Sean Leen, sean.leen@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Monday, 9 March 2009

A technology to enable integration between hospital IT systems has been developed by researchers at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), NUI Galway. The breakthrough technology has now been licensed to Irish company Slidepath, which specialises in software solutions for capturing clinical research data. The integration of electronic patient records in a healthcare setting has so far proved problematic. Healthcare professionals have long been concerned that electronic patient record systems have become islands of information, with little or no interoperability. DERI's solution is called Plug and Play Electronic Patient Records (PPEPR) and uses the latest application of semantics, in which over 100 researchers at DERI specialise. It is planned to utilise PPEPR to optimally interface between Slidepath's Distiller solution and other Electronic Patient Record (EPR) systems in the live clinical setting. Slidepath's Distiller is a web-enabled clinical research solution which is ideal for the requirements of clinical research data management and hospital led clinical trials. "Slidepath is very excited by this technical collaboration", says Donal O Shea, CEO of Slidepath. "As a rapidly developing technology company in the clinical research support domain, this development will enable Slidepath to optimally capture clinical data from existing laboratory information management system and electronic patient record environments. It is a great development to collaborate with DERI, one of Ireland s leading research institutes, to help commercialise part of the innovative technologies under development at NUI Galway". Ronan Fox, leader of the Health Care and Life Sciences research group in DERI, NUI Galway, said: "Solutions to date have been shown to be technological dead-ends, limiting the reuse of the business knowledge inherent in integration projects. With PPEPR, not alone is codeless integration possible, knowledge is encapsulated through the use of semantics, enabling its reuse in other applications. Funding by Enterprise Ireland has brought PPEPR to this stage of maturity and through our association with Slidepath we will continue to advance the use of semantics as a valuable tool in the provision of healthcare". -ends-

Thursday, 5 March 2009

NUI Galway will host the Irish University Sailing Association intervarsity competition in Oranmore's Galway Bay Sailing Club this weekend. The four-day event, starting on Thursday, 5 March, will bring together over 200 students, from 13 third-level institutions, to compete in the team racing event. The weekend will provide NUI Galway's Sailing Club with a chance to take to the water ahead of May's Volvo Ocean Race in which the Club will be playing a supporting role. The round the world yacht race stops off in Galway toward the end of May, and NUI Galway's Sailing Club has volunteered to help in ensuring a safe and enjoyable racing fortnight. According to Kathy Hynes, Development Officer for Clubs and Participation at NUI Galway: "The intervarsity is a great event for NUI Galway. It gives our Sailing Club a chance to illustrate their skills in what will be a hotly contested event. The growth and success of Irish sailing is assured if the tenacity and dedication of the Galway students involved in this club is as prevalent in all the other university clubs. We are also really looking forward to the arrival of the Volvo Ocean Race, which is such a prestigious round-the-world competition". NUI Galway's Sailing Club has around 30 active members and takes advantage of the many local sailing facilities, including those on Lough Corrib. Student Charlie Carlisle is a member of NUI Galway's Sailing Club: "Anybody with an interest in sailing, whether as a beginner or regular ocean-goer, is advised to pay a trip to Galway Bay Sailing Club this weekend. We are inviting people to meet the teams and find out about the best ways to get involved in this summer's highlight sport in Galway". The intervarsity will feature fancy dress nights out and a black tie dinner reception. For more information email sailing@clubs.nuigalway.ie. -ends-

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) President of Ireland, Mary McAleese will today (Wednesday, 4 March) visit NUI Galway to officially launch the UNESCO Chair for Children, Youth and Civic Engagement. The UNESCO Chair is the first awarded in the Republic of Ireland, and President McAleese described it as a 'fitting endorsement by peers worldwide of the important work that is being done at NUI Galway to help solve the real problems experienced by young people and families in our communities'. The Chair is hosted at the Child and Family Research Centre (CFRC) in the University's School of Political Science and Sociology. Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the CFRC, with over 20 years experience in family support, policy and research, is the Chairholder. Referencing writer John McGahern at the launch, Professor Dolan told an audience of over 200 guests: "While many young people thrive during childhood, others sadly do not experience life as good or safe and some more tragically can say they rarely have a 'calm journey through the day'". Professor Dolan said that supporting children who experience adversity and disadvantage through encouraging civic participation had crucial benefits in terms of improved self-esteem, self-efficacy and wellbeing. He said: "I have come to the conclusion, that civically engaging children and youth produces benefits for all children. Particularly in the case of children who are experiencing severe difficulties, their civic engagement can lead to significant improvement and help rebuild key relationships in their lives". Koïchiro Matsuura, Director–General of UNESCO has said: "NUI Galway has a longstanding commitment to civic engagement. The creation of this Chair is an opportunity to expand and share this expertise for the benefit of children and young people everywhere, in particular the most vulnerable and marginalised. Funded under the UNESCO University Education Twinning and Networking Scheme, the programme of work associated with the Chair, will focus on an exchange of learning among international University partners and affiliated centres for children, which work on civic engagement programmes in countries including Bulgaria, Lithuania and Zambia. NUI Galway's President, Dr James J. Browne, speaking at the launch, said: NUI Galway is particularly honoured to be awarded the first UNESCO Chair in the Republic of Ireland. The establishment of a formal mechanism for knowledge creation and exchange in the area of Children, Youth and Civic Engagement across, and between, institutions of higher education and non-governmental organisations particularly with developing countries and countries in transition will bring a new dimension to the work of the University. We look forward to fruitful cooperation with UNESCO and are delighted to have this opportunity to enhance the role of the University in building civil society partnerships". Professor Dolan's team will work with two key partners in Ireland: the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway, a forum through which the University plays a leading role in the development of civic leadership skills in students. The second partner is Foróige, Ireland's leading voluntary youth organisation, whose CEO Seán Campbell said: "This is indeed a proud day for Ireland". He added "I am certain that the meeting of theory, practice and policy that will result from this partnership will transform the lives of young people the world over". Seolann an tUachtarán Máire Mhic Ghiolla Íosa Cathaoir UNESCO go hoifigiúil in OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Beidh an tUachtarán Máire Mhic Ghiolla Íosa in OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Dé Céadaoin, 4 Márta) chun Cathaoir UNESCO le Leanaí, Óige agus Comhpháirteachas Poiblí a sheoladh go hoifigiúil. Is é seo an chéad Chathaoir UNESCO a bronnadh i bPoblacht na hÉireann, agus dúirt an tUachtarán Mhic Ghiolla Íosa gur "dearbhú tráthúil é Cathaoir UNESCO ó phiaraí ar fud na cruinne ar an obair thábhachtach atá ar bun ag OÉ Gaillimh leis na fadhbanna atá ag daoine óga agus a dteaghlaigh a réiteach". Is san Ionad Taighde um Leanaí agus Teaghlaigh, cuid de Scoil na hEolaíochta Polaitiúla agus Socheolaíochta san Ollscoil, atá Cathaoir UNESCO bunaithe. Is ar an Ollamh Pat Dolan, Stiúrthóir an Ionaid Taighde um Leanaí agus Teaghlaigh, fear ag a bhfuil breis is 20 bliain caite aige i mbun tacaíochta, beartais agus taighde teaghlaigh, a bronnadh Cathaoir UNESCO in OÉ Gaillimh. Thug an tOllamh Dolan focail an scríbhneora John McGahern chun cuimhne ag an seoladh agus é ag caint leis an 200 aoi a bhí i láthair: "While many young people thrive during childhood, others sadly do not experience life as good or safe and some more tragically can say they rarely have a 'calm journey through the day'". Deir an tOllamh Dolan go mbaineann buntáistí iontach tábhachtach le tacú le leanaí atá ag déileáil le cruatan agus le míbhuntáiste trí chomhpháirteachas poiblí a spreagadh ar mhaithe le féinmheas, le féin-éifeachtúlacht agus le folláine a fheabhsú. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá aige: "Táim féin den bharúil anois go dtéann comhpháirteachas poiblí chun tairbhe gach uile linbh. Go háirithe i gcás leanaí atá ag déileáil le deacrachtaí dáiríre, is minic a bhíonn comhpháirteachas poiblí mar bhonn le feabhas suntasach agus mar bhonn le gaolmhaireachtaí lárnacha a chruthú i saol na leanaí seo". Dúirt Koïchiro Matsuura, Stiúrthóir Ginearálta UNESCO: "Tá OÉ Gaillimh tiomanta don chomhpháirteachas poiblí le blianta fada anuas. Deis í Cathaoir UNESCO an saineolas seo a fhorbairt agus a roinnt ar mhaithe le leanaí agus daoine óga i ngach áit, go háirithe na leanaí is éislinní agus is imeallaithe". Mar chuid de Scéim Nasctha agus Líonraithe Oideachais Ollscoile UNESCO, beidh gníomhaíochtaí Chathaoir UNESCO dírithe ar mhalartú foghlama i measc comhpháirtithe idirnáisiúnta Ollscoile agus ionaid chleamhnaithe do leanaí atá i mbun oibre ar chláir comhpháirteachais phoiblí i dtíortha cosúil leis an mBulgáir, an Liotuáin agus an tSaimbia. Ag an seoladh dúirt an Dr James Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: "Is mór an chúis onóra do OÉ Gaillimh go bhfuiltear ag bronnadh na chéad Chathaoireach UNESCO i bPoblacht na hÉireann uirthi. Bunófar meicníocht fhoirmiúil le heolas a chruthú agus a mhalartú i réimse na Leanaí, na hÓige agus an Chomhpháirteachais Phoiblí i measc institiúidí ardoideachais agus eagraíochtaí neamhrialtasacha, go háirithe le tíortha atá i mbéal forbartha agus le tíortha atá ag dul trí thréimhse athraithe agus idir na hinstitiúidí agus na heagraíochtaí sin, rud a chuirfidh gné nua le hobair na hOllscoile. Táimid ag súil le comhoibriú go rathúil le UNESCO agus tá ríméad orainn an deis seo a bheith againn cur le ról na hOllscoile i mbunú comhpháirtíochtaí sochaí sibhialta". Oibreoidh an tOllamh Dolan agus a fhoireann le beirt chomhpháirtithe in Éirinn: an Tionscnamh Eolais Phobail in OÉ Gaillimh – fóram na hOllscoile le ról lárnach a ghlacadh i bhforbairt scileanna ceannaireachta i measc na mac léinn. Is é Foróige an dara comhpháirtí, príomheagraíocht dheonach an aosa óig in Éirinn. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Seán Campbell, Príomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin Fhoróige: "Lá iontach bródúil é seo d'Éirinn. Táim cinnte go n-athróidh an nasc a chruthóidh Cathaoir UNESCO idir teoiric, cleachtas agus beartas saol an aosa óig ar fud na cruinne". -críoch-

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The development of a central online health information resource for third-level students is recommended by a report from the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway. According to the report, there appears to be a gap in information provision specifically targeting young adults facing health issues. A range of health issues affect third-level students, with alcohol misuse, mental health and sexual health foremost. The feasibility study, entitled 'Exploring the Feasibility of Developing Internet Based Health Promotion Materials for Third-Level Students' was developed in conjunction with medical, research and health promotion professionals at UCC, Trinity and the Health Service Executive. The report found that the provision of easily accessible, up-to-date, accurate and relevant information about key health issues, as well as information on available local services, is crucial to better support students' health. The report concluded that third-level institutions offer a key setting to promote better health, as places where students develop personally and socially. Cindy Dring, Health Promotion Officer at NUI Galway, said: 'We need to go some way to tackling health issues among young adults, and providing information is a fundamental step. Third-level education is the perfect setting for online health communication. Students have the communication network and infrastructure. They are also constantly online, whether for their studies or for social networking". While there is an immense variety of health websites available, there are credibility issues with many of them, according to the report. Results indicate that students use the internet, specifically the Google search engine, to find health information. However they also expressed a sense of mistrust with this. The report's proposed desktop resource would be ideally placed to address these concerns, and the involvement of the HSE and third-level institutions would confer credibility upon the project. "We already know that similar resources have worked in other countries, like in Scotland, for example", said Dr David McGrath, Director of the Trinity Health Service. "What we didn't know, was what Irish students would want from such a service, or what was possible from a technical point of view, since each university has its own systems in place. This project has answered some of these questions for us". The project explored the appropriateness of existing online health resources for this cohort, assesses the views of students, includes input from IT staff from each college on technical issues and gives recommendations to move the project to from planning to execution stage. Dr Michael Byrne, Head of the Student Health Service at UCC commented: "It is the first step towards developing one central online health resource that could be localised by each University and that would be potentially available to all Irish students. The next step is to develop a prototype and to try to gain further support and funding for this important project". "We want to provide Irish students with an accessible way to engage with their health and to be able to assess their own risky behaviours. We feel that a shared resource for universities would provide a 'value for money' way of addressing student health and we welcome this partnership with the University Health Services", said Brian Neeson from Population Health, Health Promotion in the HSE. -ends-

Monday, 2 March 2009

NUI Galway's School of Health Sciences is to host Ireland's largest ever conference focussed on Podiatry, the healthcare profession specialising in diseases and disorders of the lower limb and foot. From 7-8 March the University will host a Podiatry Symposium in association with the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists of Ireland. Podiatry is a popular new degree at NUI Galway, where the country's first cohort of undergraduate podiatry students is currently being trained. The four-year Bachelor of Science honours degree fills a gap where previously those wishing to become a podiatrist had to enrol in a UK-based course. The conference will highlight the skills and scope of practice for podiatrists, and discuss the latest developments in areas including diabetes, wound management, surgery and arthritis. The two-day podiatry conference reflects the profession's commitment to providing a high standard of continual professional development. Renowned national and international speakers will deliver up to date information on a wide range of core subjects. The event will also feature an extensive trade exhibition, poster presentations, workshops and awards ceremony. According to Dr Caroline McIntosh, Head of Podiatry, NUI Galway: "The escalating prevalence of diabetes and obesity, in conjunction with an ageing population, means Ireland needs more podiatrists. Podiatry is currently a very small profession within Ireland which is highlighted by the fact that there is currently only the equivalent for one full-time professional for every 35,000 people. The recommended ratio, for the over 65 population for example, is one podiatrist for every 2,000 people. This imbalance is set to change with the establishment of the Podiatry Course at NUI Galway and with more practitioners graduating within Ireland in the future". Dr McIntosh added: "The conference will provide an excellent forum to network with national and international colleagues and celebrate the coming on-stream of the first degree in Podiatry here at NUI Galway, which is an exciting development for the profession". Up to 150 healthcare professionals are expected to attend the event. For further information and a full programme visit www.nuigalway.ie/podiatry/ -ends-

Monday, 2 March 2009

Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, and Mr Mike McDonnell, Director of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Ireland, have officially launched the editorial office of the Human Resource Management Journal (HRMJ) at the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC), NUI Galway. This follows the appointment of Dr David Collings and Dr Tony Dundon (both at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway) as Editors of the HRMJ. Drs Collings and Dundon join Professor Mick Marchington of Manchester University at the helm of the Journal. The editorial office manages the day to day operation of the Journal and manages the review process for papers submitted. The HRMJ is a leading international outlet in the field of human resource management. Published by Wiley-Blackwell, it is in its 19th year of publication and publishes four times annually. The Human Resource Management Journal publishes well-written, well-researched and well-informed articles on any aspect of employment studies but especially those focused on issues related to the management of people at work. Published articles appeal both to practitioners and academics by virtue of the Journal's focus on contemporary issues, the sound use of theory and research and well-founded conclusions and practical implications. HRMJ is accessible through some 5,000 libraries and institutions worldwide, with 110,000 individual papers downloaded in 2008. The HRMJ is the only journal officially endorsed by the CIPD and CIPD members can avail of a 50 per cent discount on the standard subscription rate. The Journal has a strong international profile with almost half of the papers published in 2008 authored by academics outside of Ireland and the UK. The Editorial Board consists of representatives from 19 countries internationally representing the top scholars in the field. Professor Paddy Gunnigle at the University of Limerick and Professor Bill Roche at University College Dublin represent the Irish academic community of the Board. Attracting this high profile international journal to the NUI Galway is recognition of the high quality research being undertaken at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. Their appointment as Editors is also reflective of Drs Collings and Dundon's individual contribution to research in the field of human resource management and their standing as scholars in the international community. NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne, said: "This is a most significant development for our University, reflecting as it does the emphasis on the output of high quality, international research, which is a key institutional priority. In this context I am particularly pleased to celebrate the significance which this development has for the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics in further advancing the strategic vision of the School, the College and the University". Mike McDonnell, Director, CIPD, said: "Now more than ever it is essential for HR practitioners to develop effective manpower strategies as the recession deepens. On the one hand managers must establish recession proof industrial relations while at the same time maintaining a sense of positive employee engagement amongst those remaining at work. This challenge of leading organisations through crisis and ambiguity requires real intellectual support from HR thought-leaders. Here is where the Human Resource Management Journal really comes into its own by providing a route-map for people managers and their line colleagues through this difficult economic landscape". ENDS