Thursday, 3 September 2009

NUI Galway today (3 September 2009) launched its new and extended Arts in Action Programme, which invites students to engage with the creative arts during their studies. Aimed at all students across the campus, Arts in Action offers access to a variety of international-standard arts events throughout the academic year. Among the highlights this year will be a workshop performance by the highly respected, Irish singer-songwriter, David Kitt. The programme also includes the multi-award winning theatre production, Stones in his Pocket by Marie Jones and a screening of the silent movie The Goldrush by Charlie Chaplin with live accompaniment from the Italian quartet Gatto Marte. In 2010, Arts in Action will feature a Traditional Arts concert with Máirtín O'Connor and Frankie Gavin, an illustrated lecture on Music Therapy, and an international Jazz concert featuring the UK's Portico. Mary McPartlan, Director of the Arts in Action Programme at NUI Galway, explains: "Established in 2006, Arts in Action is an original and unique programme which has become part of the University's extra curricular activities. The programme provides the best possible opportunity for students to experience the creative arts in an academic setting. This initiative is extremely important at a time when many efforts are being made to develop new audiences for the creative arts". The programme is part of NUI Galway's commitment to provide its students with access to new opportunities and positive life-enhancing experiences beyond the classroom. The Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, Dr Edward Herring, explains: "NUI Galway offers a unique student experience, and we are keen to ensure that our students receive a holistic education. The Arts in Action Programme gives students across the University the opportunity to experience drama, film, music and the visual arts. This artistic endeavour complements all that we offer students through our extensive sports facilities, vibrant societies and ALIVE volunteering programme". -ends-

Friday, 30 October 2009

His Excellency the French Ambassador, M. Yvon Roé d'Albert, has launched a new book on Franco-Irish connections in the Royal Irish Academy. Edited by Professor Jane Conroy, School of Languages, Literature and Cultures, NUI Galway, this series of essays, studies and other contributions celebrates Pierre Joannon who is well known as one of the main mediators of knowledge of Irish matters in France and co-founder of Études Irlandaises, the most respected scholarly journal of Irish studies there. According to one commentator "This is a superbly edited series of stellar contributions in honour of one man to whom the whole island of Ireland deserves an enormous debt of gratitude". The contributors to Franco-Irish Connection Essays, memoirs and poems in honour of Pierre Joannon include: Kingsley Aikins (CEO, The Ireland Funds); Professsor Tom Bartlett (University of Aberdeen); John Bruton (former Taoiseach); Professor Jane Conroy (School of Languages, Literature and Cultures, NUI Galway); Denis Corboy (Director, Caucasus Policy Institute); Professor Emeritus Louis Cullen (TCD); Michel Deon (Académie Française); Sean Donlon (Former Irish Ambassador to US); Garret FitzGerald (former Taoiseach); Jacqueline Genet (Honorary President, Caen University); Frederic Grasset (former French Ambassador to Ireland); Alice Harrison; Maurice Hayes (Chairman, National Forum on Europe); Seamus Heaney (poet, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature); John Hume (politician, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize); Professor Richard Kearney (Boston College); Brendan Kennelly (poet); Professor Dermot Keogh (UCC); Sylvie Kleinman (TCD); Louis le Brocquy (painter); Professor J.J. Lee (NYU); Michael Lillis; Anne Madden (artist—one of whose oil paintings forms the cover); Jane McKee (University of Ulster); Lara Marlowe (former Paris correspondent for the Irish Times); John Montague (poet); Professor Grace Neville (UCC); Senator David Norris; Patrick O Connor (former Irish Ambassador to France); Professor Eunan O Halpin (TCD); Seamus Smith (former Irish film censor); Professor Ben Tonra (UCD); Professor Kevin Whelan (University of Notre Dame); and C. J. Woods (historian). The book is published by Four Courts Press. -ends-

Thursday, 29 October 2009

The Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, will host a special guest lecture by Justice Albie Sachs of the Constitutional Court of South Africa on Monday, 2 November. Justice Sachs' talk 'Paved with More than Good Intentions: from Port Elizabeth via Modderklip to 51 Olivia Road' will analyse historic evictions and land laws from the Constitutional Court of South Africa. As a young Jewish man in South Africa, Sachs worked as an attorney and has been a leader in the struggle for human rights in South Africa for over 40 years. He is well known for being a freedom fighter in the African National Congress. The author of numerous books on issues of gender, law and human rights, he was twice detained without trial by the security police under the Apartheid regime. In 1966 Justice Sachs went into exile, spending eleven years studying and teaching law in England. In 1988, he was blown up by a bomb placed in his car in Maputo, Mozambique, by South African security agents, losing an arm and the sight in one eye. After recovering from the bomb he devoted himself full-time to preparations for a new democratic Constitution for South Africa. While in exile during the 1980s, he helped draft the Constitutional Court of South Africa s Code of Conduct and its statutes. In 1990 he returned home and as a member of the Constitutional Committee and the National Executive of the ANC took an active part in the negotiations, which led to South Africa becoming a constitutional democracy. After the first democratic election in 1994 he was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to serve on the newly established Constitutional Court. Dr Vinodh Jaichand, Deputy Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, comments: "The debt that South Africa, and the world, owes to Justice Albie Sachs is immense. As a political activist against apartheid he paid the price by being detained, exiled and losing an arm and an eye when the security police bombed his car. As an academic he was one of the architects of South Africa's independence, especially in drafting the much-acclaimed Bill of Rights, and as a constitutional advisor to the ANC. As a jurist he is one of the eminent voices of an internationally renowned Constitutional Court tasked with the establishment of jurisprudence that resonated with the core values of freedom, equality and dignity in a deeply divided country. This is a rare occasion to listen to one of the first-hand experts on human rights law in the world". Justice Sachs' new book by Oxford University Press, The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law provides deep insights into the way in which judging takes place. It has already become prescribed reading at two European institutions dealing with the study of human rights. The free public event takes place on Monday, 2 November, at 12.30pm in the Siobhan McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway. -ends-

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Dr Brian Ward from NUI Galway's School of Physics has been recognised for his success under the US-Ireland Research & Development Partnership Programme at an event hosted by the US Ambassador to Ireland in Dublin. The event saw Minister for Labour Affairs Dara Calleary gather with Northern Ireland Minister for Employment and Learning Sir Reg Empey and US Ambassador Dan Rooney to announce the partnerships on behalf of the US-Ireland R&D Partnership. The US-Ireland R & D Partnership was established to develop innovations leading to economic development and improvements in health promotion and disease prevention by bringing together expertise from academic institutes in the US, Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is led by a steering group of senior representatives from each jurisdiction, with InterTrade Ireland providing the secretariat for the group on the island of Ireland. Dr Ward's award for €463,058, the first under this initiative, was funded along with collaborators from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from Massachussetts and Queens University Belfast. The partnership project is entitled Development of a Greenhouse Gas Ocean-Atmosphere Flux Sensor with MEMS-based Photoacoustic Technology. It will develop sensor technology to improve quantification of oceanic uptake of greenhouse gases, which is one of the biggest issues surrounding global climate change. US Ambassador Dan Rooney welcomed these partnerships, saying: "These successful projects have come through a US review process that is the international gold standard for research excellence. This clearly demonstrates the high quality of advanced research across the island of Ireland and adds greatly to its reputation as a centre of innovation that can compete on an international stage". Minister for Labour Affairs, Dara Calleary said: "We see the US-Ireland R&D Partnership as an important mechanism for achieving high growth and helping bring about the economic regeneration of the island". The partners from Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the US received funding respectively from Science Foundation Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland, and the National Science Foundation. Details of the other projects supported to date can be found at www.usirelandresearch.com -ends-

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The NUI Galway Alumni Group will present Olympian, World Silver Medallist and NUI Galway graduate Olive Loughnane, in conversation with RTÉ Sports Journalist and NUI Galway graduate Evanne Ní Chuilinn. The event will take place at 6.30pm on Thursday, 12 November, in the Staff Club, Quadrangle Building, NUI Galway. This summer, Olive took the silver medal position in the 20K walk at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin – only the fifth ever medal Ireland has won at these championships. Olive finished 49 seconds behind defending champion and Olympic gold medallist Olga Kaniskina of Russia in a season s best of 1hr 28mins 58secs, just over a minute outside her personal best at last year s Olympic Games in Beijing. This interview will give intimate access to Olive's Olympic experience in Beijing in 2008, more recently her success in Berlin this summer, and her plans for the future. The event begins with a reception 6.30pm and all graduates and friends of NUI Galway are welcome. Register online at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni by Friday, 7 November. For further information please contact Colm O'Dwyer at alumni@nuigalway.ie or 091 493750. -ends-

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

NUI Galway's School of Geography, in partnership with Galway City Council, is looking to gather information on green businesses and eco-buildings around Galway City for a new project, Galway Green Map. The Green Map is a locally produced chart which identifies, promotes and links environmental, social, and cultural amenities within a specific area. Dr Frances Fahy, School of Geography, NUI Galway, explains the Green Map concept: "In 2007, Galway became a member of the Green Map System, a non-profit organisation which provides a locally flexible, but globally shared framework for environmental mapmaking. These maps typically show green areas, cycle paths, green businesses, organic markets, quiet spots in the city, interesting walking routes and the cultural sites that make an area unique. Creating a Green Map for Galway is an opportunity to identify and celebrate the City's green credentials". A Youth Green Map and a wider Community Green Map have already been produced for the Galway City and are currently available at www.galwaygreenmap.ie. These maps represent a holistic representation of the places and things that people value in their communities. The Galway Green Map project was initially funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and partly organised by researchers in the School of Geography, NUI Galway, members of the City Council and the citizens of Galway City. Those interested in putting their business on the map, should contact Dr Frances Fahy, NUI Galway at 091 492315, frances.fahy@nuigalway.ie, or Sharon Carroll at 091 536564, sharon.carroll@galwaycity.ie. Please include the name, location and a brief note describing the business and why it should be on the Green Map of Galway. -ends-

Friday, 23 October 2009

The UNESCO Child, Youth and Civic Engagement team, based at the Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway, is to partake in an international collaborative research project regarding civic engagement, youth and gender in Zambia. The research project will see NUI Galway partner with the University of Zambia, the Alan Kerins African Projects and the Lifestart Project Mazabuka, Zambia. The aim is to progress a participatory research project to form a holistic picture of civic engagement opportunities provided by communities in rural and urban settings in Zambia. NUI Galway's Sheila McArdle, a Research Fellow, will travel to Zambia at the end of October to undertake fieldwork. Over a seven month period, she will gather the perspectives of young people aged 12-14 years of age, parents and guardians, and representatives of statutory and non-statutory organisations. Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement, NUI Galway, said: "Just as we seek ways to support vulnerable children and youth in Irish society, similarly, we have much to learn from youth and girls in particular in urban and rural Zambia – all with a view to their civic engagement, safety and mental wellbeing". This project in Zambia will contribute to the fulfilment of the UNESCO Chair's overall strategy, fitting in under the research strand, but designed to compliment the work of the other three strands, advocacy, teaching and programme development. In addition, the research findings will also be linked into the International Resilience Project, a study that initially worked with 14 communities based in 11 different countries. The International Resilience Project seeks to understand how youth around the world effectively cope with the adversities that they face in life. This knowledge may inform the development of policy to design and create child and family services that are sensitive to cultural difference. -Ends-

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Three NUI Galway postgraduate researchers will benefit from the New Starter Investigator Research Awards announced yesterday by the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Conor Lenihan T.D.. "It is vital that we have in Ireland the mechanism to keep and attract to Ireland highly skilled, early-stage career researchers," Minister Lenihan said as he announced Government funding of €7.9million under a new Science Foundation Ireland initiative that will help 15 highly-talented researchers at an early stage in their profession to progress towards a fully independent academic research career. NUI Galway Awardees: Dr Kimon-Andreas Karatzas, Microbiology, College of Science Title: Elucidating the Role of g-Aminobutyric Acid Metabolism in Stress Resistance and Virulence of Listeria monocytogenes Synopsis: Listeria monocytogenes is the bacterial causative agent of Listeria, a serious disease associated with significant mortality in humans. The development of disease by L. monocytogenes, the causative agent of Listeria, is thought to involve the novel gene lmo0913, a component of the GABA metabolic pathway. Dr Karatzas proposes to establish the existence of this pathway in the listeria pathogen and elucidate its contribution to acid tolerance and invasion. Dr Hongyun Tai, Network of Excellence for Functional Materials (NFB) Title: Minimally Invasive Tissue Engineering Scaffolds for Repair of the Nucleus Pulposus of an Intervertebral Disc Synopsis: Degenerated intervertebral discs (DIVD), a cause of lower back pain, is associated with significant socioeconomic costs. Therapeutic restoration of degenerated intervertebral discs presents a tissue engineering challenge to develop materials with suitable properties. Dr Tai proposes to optimise and test a candidate material which she has developed as a novel injectable scaffold system to restore damaged discs. Eva Szegezdi, Biochemistry, College of Science Title: Novel ratiometric approach to identify decisive molecular interactions of the TRAIL apoptotic machinery Synopsis: Despite extensive research, the average five year survival rate for the 20 most common cancers is still below 50%. Survival rates of tumours typically detected late (e.g. lung cancer) or difficult to remove by surgery (e.g. brain tumours) are the lowest and have only marginally increased over the last 20 years. Targeting the abnormal molecular pathways with drugs can be the key to eradicate such tumours. Resistance to cancer chemotherapy is a major public health issue with both social and economical effects. Dr Szegezdi's research aims to generate a predictive formula to determine the likelihood of a tumour's ability to respond to particular anti-cancer therapies. Announcing the first SFI Starting Investigator Research Grant (SIRG) awards, Minister Lenihan said: "These 15 outstanding individuals are among the brightest working in Irish laboratories today, and SIRG provides them with the necessary support to enable the transition from team member to independent and accomplished innovator in their respective fields. It will also allow them to recruit 15 postgraduate students". The Minister added: "SIRG is the instrument to ensure that the best trained post doctoral scientists can be both attracted to and retained in Ireland which is central to our overall national aim of building a sustainable world-class research system. SIRG not only provides financial backing but crucially also provides structured support and expert advice to these highly capable early-career researchers as they navigate through this critical period in their careers. The research of these successful awardees will focus on strategic areas such as renewable energy, cancer research, genetics and telecommunications that will benefit both society and the economy," the Minister concluded. The 15 award recipients are based in the following seven Higher Education Institutions: Tyndall National Institute, Cork (4 awards); Trinity College Dublin (4 awards); NUI Galway (3 awards); Dublin Institute of Technology (1 award); University College Cork (1 award); University College Dublin (1 award); and Waterford Institute of Technology (1 award). -Ends-

Thursday, 22 October 2009

NUI Galway together with the Galway Refugee Support Group (GRSG) are organising a 2nd Intercultural Health Fair to promote healthy living and equal access to health services among staff, students and all cultural communities living in Galway. The Fair will be held in Áras na Mac Léinn (Bailey Allen Hall), NUI Galway from 12 noon to 3pm on Wednesday, 4 November. 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 the Rape Crisis Network, COPE, Mental Health Ireland, Cancer Care West, Bodywhys and Peer Health Workers for Asylum Seekers. 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. Cindy Dring, Health Promotion Officer with Student Services at NUI Galway, explained: "Our goal is to promote healthy living among the Galway community by raising awareness, providing multilingual and intercultural health information to new residents and networking to increase inter-agency referrals and resource and expertise sharing". She also expressed 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 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 with GRSG, said: "The Intercultural Health Fair is significant as it will bring together education providers, health service providers, health advocacy organisations and health service users. Many people living locally, especially those new to the area, may be unfamiliar with all the health services and health advocacy organisations available in Galway". This is a free event open to students, staff and the general public. People new to Galway are particularly welcome. There will be language assistants speaking 30 languages present to assist non-English speakers. This event is supported by the University's Community Knowledge Initiative. For further information contact lorraine.tansey@nuigalway.ie or Helen Bartlett at healthfair@grsg.ie -ends-

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) The 2009 Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture, entitled Education for the Modern World: Science and Culture, will be delivered by Professor (Emeritus) Eugene Galanter, at 8pm on Thursday, 29 October, in the Cairnes Theatre, NUI Galway. Formerly director of the Psychophysics Laboratory at Columbia University, New York, Professor Galanter is founder of Children's Progress Inc., one of the fastest growing* companies in the US. The technology company specialises in developing computer programmes for young children that help educators pinpoint how to best challenge and support each child. Considered a pioneer educator and scientist in the field of technology in education, Professor Galanter's influence on the wider discipline of psychology has been profound. His book, co-authored and published in 1960, Plans and the Structure of Behavior, is generally held to have sparked the cognitive revolution in the psychological sciences with very significant influence upon the development of modern computerised technology. The book has been cited on over 2,500 occasions. Speaking in advance of his lecture, Professor Galanter said: "Building a new, modern architecture for contemporary education requires that we revamp the psychological foundations and much of the philosophy of education. During my lecture, I will introduce the audience to a novel description of mental growth, and a new theory of mental development known as Children's Progress". Professor Galanter has authored more than 150 books and articles on psychophysics, perception, motivation, memory, early learning, and computer-related pedagogy. His publications on education include The Ideal Teacher, The Mechanization of Teaching, and Two Models of a Student. According to NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne: "The Monsignor Pádraig De Brún lecture honours a former University president who was a renowned polymath with keen interest in the arts, the sciences and the culture of his day. Eminent psychologist, Professor Galanter will address the topic of Education for a Modern World, focusing on an area of interest shared by Monsignor De Brún. Professor Galanter's lecture is one which will interest many in Ireland today, looking at ways in which new techniques in education can address important societal issues". Professor Galanter is not only a distinguished scientist, but he served in the US Army Infantry during World War II from 1943 to 1946 for which, amongst many decorations he was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palm. He has been a licensed pilot since 1959 and won a trans-continental single engine airplane speed record in 1968 flying his Beechcraft Bonanza. The Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture commemorates the former University President Monsignor Pádraig de Brún who was President of UCG in 1945 - 1959. Upon retirement from UCG, he became Chairman of the Arts Council, a position he held until his death in June 1960. The public lecture is organised by the President's Office, NUI Galway. Admission is free, for further information contact 091 493431. Professor Galanter is also participating in the Silver Anniversary meeting of the International Society for Psychophysics (ISP) which will be held from today until Saturday in the Glenlo Abbey Hotel. The meeting brings together scientists from around the world and commemorates the founding of psychophysics in 1850 by physicist and philosopher Gustav-Theodor Fechner. Psychophysics is the foundational discipline in the psychological sciences. Oideachas an Téama a bheas ag Léacht Chuimhneacháin an Mhoinsíneora Pádraig de Brún 2009 (View in English) Tabharfaidh an tOllamh (Emeritus) Eugene Galanter, Léacht Chuimhneacháin an Mhoinsíneora Pádraig de Brún, dar teideal Education for the Modern World: Science and Culture ag 8pm Déardaoin, an 29 Deireadh Fómhair, san Cairnes Theatre, OÉ Gaillimh. Bhí an tOllamh Galanter ina stiúrthóir ar an tSaotharlann Sícifisice in Ollscoil Columbia, Nua-Eabhrac, agus is é a bhunaigh Children's Progress Inc., ceann de na cuideachtaí is sciobtha fáis* sna Stáit Aontaithe. Déanann an chuideachta seo ríomhchláir do ghasúir óga a chuidíonn le hoideachasóirí a fháil amach cad a thugann dúshlán gach linbh agus cad a thacaíonn le gach leanbh. Feictear an tOllamh Galanter mar cheannródaí i réimse an oideachais agus mar eolaí i réimse na teicneolaíochta san oideachas, agus is mór an tionchar atá aige ar réimse na síceolaíochta. Meastar gurbh é an leabhar a raibh sé ina chomhúdar air agus a foilsíodh i 1960, Plans and the Structure of Behavior, an chúis a bhí leis an réabhlóid chognaíoch sna síceolaíochtaí agus go raibh an-tionchar aige ar fhorbairt na nuatheicneolaíochta i ríomhairí. Tá tagairtí as an leabhar úsáidte breis agus 2,500 babhta. Mhínigh an tOllamh Galanter an méid a bheadh á rá aige sa léacht. Dúirt sé go dteastaíonn athrú ó bhun ar an tsíceolaíocht agus ar fhormhór d'fhealsúnacht an oideachais chun struchtúr nua-aimseartha a fhorbairt don oideachas comhaimseartha. Dúirt sé go ndéanfadh sé cur síos sa léacht ar fhás intinne, agus ar theoiric nua na forbartha intinne ar a dtugtar Dul Chun Cinn na Leanaí (Children's Progress). Tá breis agus 150 leabhar agus alt scríofa ag an Ollamh Galanter ar shícifisic, mothúchán, inspreagadh, cuimhne, luathfhoghlaim, agus oideolaíocht ríomhaireachta. I measc a chuid foilseachán ar an oideachas tá The Ideal Teacher, The Mechanization of Teaching, agus Two Models of a Student. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, An Dr James J. Browne: "Déanann Léacht an Mhoinsíneora Pádraig de Brún comóradh ar iar-Uachtarán na hOllscoile a raibh cáil air mar ileolaí agus a raibh an-suim aige sna healaíona, sna heolaíochtaí agus sa chultúr comhaimseartha. Labhróidh an síceolaí mór le rá, an tOllamh Galanter, faoin Oideachas sa Saol Nua-Aimseartha, agus beidh an-bhéim aige ar réimse a raibh an-suim ag an Moinsíneoir de Brún ann. Beidh suim ag go leor de mhuintir na tíre seo sa mhéid a bheas le rá ag an Ollamh Galanter, ag breathnú ar an gcaoi a bhféadfadh teicnící nua san oideachas aghaidh a thabhairt ar cheisteanna móra sa tsochaí". Ní hamháin gur eolaí cáiliúil an tOllamh Galanter, ach bhí sé in Arm Mheiriceá i rith an Dara Cogadh Domhanda idir 1943 agus 1946. Bronnadh oirnéalta go leor air as a sheirbhís san arm, ceann díobh sin an Croix de Guerre. Tá ceadúnas píolóta aige ó 1959 agus bhuaigh sé curiarracht luais tras-ilchríochach in eitleán inneall aonair i 1968 agus é ag eitilt in Beechcraft Bonanza. Déanann Léacht Chuimhneacháin an Mhoinsíneora Pádraig de Brún comóradh ar iar-Uachtarán na hOllscoile an Moinsíneoir Pádraig de Brún a bhí ina Uachtarán idir 1945 agus 1959. Nuair a chuaigh sé ar scor ón Ollscoil ceapadh ina Chathaoirleach ar an gComhairle Ealaíon é, agus bhí an post sin aige gur bhásaigh sé i mí an Mheithimh 1960. Eagraíonn Oifig an Uachtaráin, OÉ Gaillimh an léacht phoiblí seo. Níl aon táille le híoc. Tá eolas breise le fáil ach glaoch ar 091 493431. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Researchers from the disciplines of Geography and Sociology with NUI Galway's Environmental Change Institute, and Trinity College Dublin, have recently begun a four-year research project to examine household consumption. Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the project is the first of its kind to look at sustainable consumption in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The research is seeking to address the difficult questions that remain regarding how a shift towards more sustainable consumption might be encouraged, measured and governed. Sustainable consumption describes the use of goods and services that meet people's needs while also minimising the impact on the environment. The project, entitled ConsEnSus (Consumption, Environment and Sustainability), will examine behaviour around four key areas of household consumption - transport, energy, water and food. According to ConsEnSus project co-ordinator, NUI Galway's Dr Jessica Pape: "In these times of peak oil and potential water charges and carbon taxes, never before has the question of sustainability been so important for every individual. A key output of the ConsEnSus project will be to make recommendations for local and national programmes concerning sustainable consumption policies. This will provide a platform which supports the consumer to make choices which support the environment". Dr Martina Prendergast, Development Manager of the Environmental Change Institute, said: "The Institute is delighted to support this novel project because research in the field of sustainable consumption is still in its infancy in Ireland, both North and South. While strides are being made in the area of calculating the cost to the environment of manufacturing and transporting products for consumer use, it's very early days". The research project will include face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,500 households across counties Galway, Dublin and Derry. The aim is to investigate public attitudes and awareness of the environmental impact of their consumer behaviour and the factors which influence household consumption. Dr Pape added: "In the coming months, in selected regions of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, you may just find us knocking on your door. We are really hopeful about the public's co-operation as this project is about jointly supporting individuals and the environment. The aim is to enable individuals and policy makers to make sustainable choices and take sustainable actions. So, to make it work, we need people and their input". The ConsEnSus project is funded through the Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for the Environment (STRIVE) Programme. For more information visit www.consensus.ie -ends-

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Major organisations from business, industry, the public and voluntary sectors will feature at the NUI Galway Graduate Recruitment Fair in Áras na Mac Léinn on Wednesday, 28 October, from 12.30-4.30pm. The popular annual event will showcase employment opportunities for graduates from all disciplines, with a diverse number of fields such as finance, law, retail, teaching, defence forces, consultancy and many other sectors represented. Graduates and students can attend employer presentations and gain advice and information from career and HR professionals. Seminars will run to help those attending to plan a more creative job search and a CV clinic will also be available. Major local employers such as Boston Scientific, Creganna, Medtronic and SAP will attend, in addition to international companies such as Accenture, Abbott, Intel, KPMG and Lidl. According to John Hannon, Head of NUI Galway's Career Development Centre: "Demand for NUI Galway graduates remains extremely high, reflecting on their excellent employability status. The current economic climate does of course present challenges; to be employed is to be at risk but to be employable is to be secure. Therefore this year we have also invited some organisations who provide volunteering opportunities which help develop key transferable skills and enhance employability. There will also be an opportunity to get information on postgraduate programmes available in NUI Galway". The event organiser, Louise McDermott, has some advice for those attending the Fair: "Make sure that you check out the list of attending companies and the opportunities on offer in advance so that you can plan your visit. It is a good idea to take an up-to-date CV with you so that you can have it reviewed at our CV clinic. Whatever degree you have, whether you have lots of relevant work experience or not, you need to sell yourself. First impressions are lasting ones, so come dressed for success and with a 'can do' attitude". Details on exhibitors is available from www.nuigalway.ie/careers Aonach Earcaíochta Céimithe OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Beidh eagraíochtaí móra gnó, tionscail, ón earnáil phoiblí agus ón earnáil dheonach i láthair ag Aonach Earcaíochta Céimithe OÉ Gaillimh in Áras na Mac Léinn Dé Céadaoin, an 28 Deireadh Fómhair idir 12.30pm agus 4.30pm. Tabharfar léiriú ar na deiseanna fostaíochta atá ar fáil do chéimithe i ngach disciplín ag an imeacht bliantúil seo a mbíonn an-tóir air, agus beidh ionadaithe i láthair ó réimsí éagsúla amhail lucht airgeadais, dlí, miondíola, teagaisc, na fórsaí cosanta, lucht comhairleoireachta agus go leor earnálacha eile. Is féidir le céimithe agus le mic léinn freastal ar an gcur i láthair a dhéanfaidh fostóirí agus comhairle agus eolas a fháil ó lucht gairmiúil gairmthreorach agus AD. Beidh seimineáir ann le cuidiú leo sin a bheidh ag freastal ar an ócáid post a chuardach ar bhealach níos cruthaithí agus beidh clinic CVanna ann chomh maith. Beidh fostóirí móra áitiúla amhail Boston Scientific, Creganna, Medtronic agus SAP ag freastal ar an ócáid, mar aon le comhlachtaí idirnáisiúnta amhail Accenture, Abbott, Intel, KPMG agus Lidl. Dúirt John Hannon, Ceann Ionad Forbartha Gairmeacha OÉ Gaillimh: "Tá an-éileamh ar chéimithe OÉ Gaillimh go fóill, rud a léiríonn go bhfuil siad breá ábalta dul i mbun fostaíochta. Tá dúshláin ag baint le cúrsaí an gheilleagair mar atá faoi láthair; tá baol ar an bhfostaíocht ach tá cinnteacht ag baint lena bheith infhostaithe. Dá bhrí sin, i mbliana, tá cuireadh tugtha againn d'eagraíochtaí a chuireann deiseanna ar fáil le hobair dheonach a dhéanamh, rud a chuidíonn le daoine scileanna tábhachtacha inaistrithe a fhoghlaim agus cur lena mealltacht ó thaobh fostaíochta de. Beidh deis ann chomh maith eolas a fháil faoi chláir iarchéime atá ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh." Tá Louise McDermott, eagraí an imeachta, ag cur comhairle orthu siúd a bheidh ag freastal ar an Aonach: "Bígí cinnte go mbreathnóidh sibh ar liosta na gcomhlachtaí a bheidh ag freastal ar an ócáid agus na deiseanna atá ar fáil roimh ré sa chaoi go mbeidh tú ábalta an chuairt a phleanáil. Smaoineamh maith a bheadh ann CV atá cothrom le dáta a thabhairt libh sa chaoi gur féidir é a leasú sa chlinic CVanna. Cuma cén chéim atá agaibh, agus bíodh neart taithí ábhartha oibre agaibh nó ná bíodh, beidh oraibh dul i bhfeidhm ar dhaoine. Cuimhníonn daoine ar feadh i bhfad ar an gcaoi a dtéann sibh i bhfeidhm orthu nuair a bhuaileann sibh leo den chéad uair, mar sin bígí dea-ghléasta agus bíodh dearcadh dearfach agaibh." Tá sonraí an lucht taispeántais le fáil ó www.nuigalway.ie/careers -Críoch-

Monday, 19 October 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway recently celebrated the success of a select group of first-year students who received a total €107,100 in recognition of the high points they achieved in the recent Leaving Certificate Examination. As part of the University's annual Entrance Scholarships, 63 students received €1,700 each, along with a NUI Galway scroll, at a special ceremony which included teachers and parents on Thursday, 15 October, 2009. Entrance Scholarships are given annually to new entrants at NUI Galway who reached a minimum of 560 points in their Leaving Certificate examination, except in Medicine. In Medicine 10 Scholarships were awarded, based on the combined results in the Leaving Certificate and the new Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland). Designed to attract the best students to NUI Galway and reward their academic excellence, the awards may be held with any other scholarships or grants, including the University's extensive Sports Scholarship Scheme. NUI Galway also awards 25 Bursaries annually, each worth €1,600, to support students who take a significant proportion of their course through Irish. Speaking at the award ceremony, NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne, who presented the cheques to each individual winner, said: "We are delighted to recognise the academic talent of these 63 outstanding individuals from all over Ireland. NUI Galway strives constantly to support and promote academic excellence across all disciplines. The Entrance Scholarships ceremony is an opportunity to give special recognition to our first year students who have already shown academic prowess through their Leaving Certificate results. It is also a chance to give due credit to their parents and teachers for their contribution to such success. We welcome them to NUI Galway and look forward to nurturing their academic talent and supporting them throughout their years of study". This year Entrance Scholarships were awarded to students from 47 individual schools throughout Ireland. The winners represented 13 counties including Carlow, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Laois, Limerick, Kerry, Kilkenny, Mayo, Monaghan, Sligo, and Westmeath. Tugann OÉ Gaillimh Aitheantas d'Éachtaí a cuid Mac Léinn (View in English) Rinne OÉ Gaillimh ceiliúradh le gairid ar a fheabhas a d'éirigh le grúpa ar leith de mhic léinn chéad bhliana ar bronnadh €107,100 san iomlán orthu mar aitheantas as na pointí arda a bhain siad amach i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta le gairid. Mar chuid de Sparánachtaí Iontrála bliantúla na hOllscoile, fuair 63 mac léinn €1,700 an duine, mar aon le scrolla OÉ Gaillimh, ag searmanas speisialta ar fhreastail múinteoirí agus tuismitheoirí air Déardaoin, an 15 Deireadh Fómhair 2009. Bronntar Scoláireachtaí Iontrála gach bliain ar mhic léinn, seachas mic léinn Leighis, atá díreach tosaithe ag freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh agus a fuair 560 pointe, ar a laghad, i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta. Sa Leigheas, bronnadh 10 Scoláireacht, bunaithe ar thorthaí na hArdteistiméireachta agus na Tástála Iontrála nua (H-PAT Ireland) araon. Is féidir na gradaim seo, a bhfuil sé de chuspóir leo na mic léinn is fearr a mhealladh chuig OÉ Gaillimh agus a bhfeabhas acadúil a chúiteamh leo, a choinneáil i gcuideachta aon scoláireachtaí nó aon deontas eile, Scéim leathan Scoláireachtaí Spóirt na hOllscoile san áireamh. Chomh maith leis sin, bronnann OÉ Gaillimh 25 Sparánacht gach bliain ar fiú €1,600 an ceann iad agus a bhfuil sé mar aidhm leo tacú le mic léinn a thugann faoi sciar suntasach dá gcúrsa staidéir trí mheán na Gaeilge. Ag labhairt dó ag an searmanas bronnta, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr James J. Browne, a bhronn na seiceanna ar na buaiteoirí ar fad: "Cúis áthais dúinn a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt d'éachtaí acadúla an 63 mac léinn seo as gach cearn den tír. Déanann OÉ Gaillimh iarracht i gcónaí tacú le feabhas acadúil i ngach uile dhisciplín agus é a spreagadh. Deis é Searmanas Bronnta na Scoláireachtaí Iontrála le haitheantas a thabhairt dár mic léinn chéad bhliana a bhfuil a gcumas acadúil léirithe acu cheana féin bunaithe ar na torthaí a fuair siad i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta. Deis atá ann freisin le haitheantas a thabhairt don obair atá déanta ag a dtuismitheoirí agus ag a múinteoirí. Cuirimid fáilte chroíúil rompu chuig OÉ Gaillimh agus táimid ag tnúth lena gcumas acadúil a fhorbairt agus le tacú leo sna blianta amach romhainn". Bronnadh Scoláireachtaí Iontrála na bliana seo ar dhaltaí as 47 scoil éagsúil ar fud na tíre. Ba as 13 chontae na mic léinn bhuacacha – Ceatharlach, An Clár, Corcaigh, Dún na nGall, Gaillimh, Laois, Luimneach, Ciarraí, Cill Chainnigh, Maigh Eo, Muineachán, Sligeach agus an Iarmhí. -Críoch-

Friday, 16 October 2009

See report on RTÉ Six One News: http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/1019/6news.html (Leagan Gaeilge) Over 4,000 students will graduate from NUI Galway during the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies which take place from 16-23 October. NUI Galway will also confer five Honorary Masters Degrees during the ceremonies on: Galway-born and internationally acclaimed traditional musician, Frankie Gavin; RTÉ's Northern Editor, Tommie Gorman; local soccer legend, Eamonn 'Chick' Deacy; Fr Raymond Browne for his contribution to community life; and Christian Brother, voluntary worker and author, Br Seán MacConmara. Frankie Gavin will be recognised for his lifetime contribution to Irish traditional music at home and abroad. Tommie Gorman will be honoured for his continued excellence in journalism and broadcasting. Eamonn 'Chick' Deacy will be honoured for his achievements in soccer as a former player with Aston Villa and Galway United in the 1980s. Fr Raymond Browne will be honoured for his tireless contribution to community life since his ordination in 1954, in Roscommon and through his ministry in Nigeria. Br Seán Mac Conmara will be honoured for his dedication to teaching, for his many publications and for his active engagement in voluntary organisations. Commenting on the conferring of this year s graduands, Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, said, "NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history. This group of graduands is a very diverse and particularly worthy group. Their contributions in many spheres –music, journalism, sport, public service and education – have been outstanding, and NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals". The annual Autumn Conferring Ceremonies will begin with the Adult and Continuing Education ceremonies, where awards will be conferred on almost 750 students who completed their certificate, diploma and degree courses at many locations across the country. Seachtain Bhronnadh Céimeanna an Fhómhair in OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Bainfidh os cionn 4,000 mac léinn céim amach in OÉ Gaillimh sna Searmanais Bronnta Céimeanna a bheidh ar bun idir 16-23 Deireadh Fómhair. Bronnfaidh OÉ Gaillimh Céim Mháistreachta Oinigh ar na daoine seo a leanas le linn na searmanas chomh maith: An ceoltóir Gaillimheach a bhfuil clú agus cáil go hidirnáisiúnta air, Frankie Gavin; Eagarthóir Thuaisceart Éireann RTÉ, Tommie Gorman; an laoch áitiúil sacair, Eamonn 'Chick' Deacy; An tAthair Raymond Browne as a bhfuil déanta aige ar son an phobail; agus an Bráthair Críostaí agus an t-údar, Seán MacConmara. Frankie Gavin – tabharfar aitheantas dó as a bhfuil déanta aige ar son an cheoil Ghaelaigh sa bhaile agus i gcéin. Tommie Gorman – tabharfar onóir dó as an ardchaighdeán a gcloíonn sé leis i gcónaí i gcúrsaí iriseoireachta agus craolacháin. Eamonn 'Chick' Deacy – tabharfar onóir dó as na héachtaí a rinne sé mar imreoir sacair le Aston Villa agus le Gaillimh Aontaithe sna hochtóidí. An tAthair Raymond Browne – tabharfar onóir dó as an obair gan staonadh atá déanta aige don phobal ó oirníodh é i 1954, i Ros Comáin agus ar na misin sa Nigéir. An Bráthair Seán Mac Conmara – tabharfar aitheantas dó chomh maith as a dhúthracht i leith an teagaisc, as an iliomad foilseachán atá curtha amach aige agus as a ghníomhaí a bhíonn sé in eagraíochtaí deonacha. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr James J. Browne fúthu: "Tá an t-ádh ar OÉ Gaillimh ceangal a bheith aici leis an oiread sin céimithe oinigh den scoth ó bunaíodh í. Is grúpa an-éagsúil an grúpa céimithe seo agus is grúpa iad a bhfuil an t-aitheantas seo tuillte go maith acu. Tá an t-uafás oibre déanta acu san iliomad réimsí – ceol, iriseoireacht, seirbhís don phobal agus oideachas – agus is cúis áthais dúinn anseo in OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas a thabhairt don tsárobair atá déanta ag na daoine eisceachtúla seo". Cuirfear tús le Searmanais bhliantúla Bhronnadh Céimeanna an Fhómhair leis na searmanais Oideachais Aosaigh agus Leanúnaigh, áit a mbronnfar dámhachtainí ar bheagnach 750 mac léinn a chríochnaigh a gcúrsaí céime, dioplóma agus teastais in ionaid éagsúla ar fud na tíre. -Críoch-

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Trinity College Dublin and NUI Galway launched an innovative structured PhD programme in Child and Youth Research on October 12th last. The programme responds directly to society's need to better understand the lives of children and young people, including those facing significant adversity, and the widely recognised need for evidence-informed policies and practices. As well as developing a whole new cohort of researchers with strong expertise in a wide range of research methods, the programme will produce cutting-edge research tailored to the needs of policy makers and service providers. Seventeen graduate students have registered for the four-year programme which will increase research and understanding of the lives of children and young people in Ireland. According to Professor Sheila Greene of the Children's Research Centre in TCD, the programme will greatly enhance existing capacity for child and youth research in Ireland, while for Professor Pat Dolan of NUI Galway's Child and Family Research Centre, a major outcome will be a research community highly responsive to the needs of those working with children and young people and the needs of children and young people themselves. This programme is the first of its kind in these islands and as well as bringing together the resources of the two research centres in TCD and NUI Galway it involves four Schools: the School of Psychology and the School of Social Work and Social Policy at TCD and the School of Psychology and the School of Political Science and Sociology in NUI Galway. The programme will include lectures from experts in other third level institutions, both national and international. The Programme Directors welcomed the support received from the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and during the launch Emily Logan, Ombudsman for Children, announced a studentship for this course has been awarded. -ends-

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

NUI Galway is calling on all potential entrepreneurs to join its Start Up Solution (SUS) programme. SUS is designed to rapidly establish the commercial potential of technology ideas. During the course of three months, professionals from the University's Technology Transfer Office will work closely with individuals to foster the skill set, knowledge and tools required to complete first phase market research. The programme is targeted at owner/managers from companies who have a new product under development, researchers who plan to commercialise a technology concept, and management in industry who are considering spinning out their own enterprise. The SUS programme consists of interactive workshops, case studies, one-to-one mentoring, individual and group exercises, and presentations. In this highly confidential setting, entrepreneurs will be able to establish whether to take their idea to the next level. According to Clodagh Barry, SUS Manager at NUI Galway: "Our programme has proven to be a critical success tool in adding value and commercial reality to the participant's invention". An example of a local start-up company that has previously benefited from the SUS programme is Hyperassure, a specialist in governance, risk and compliance solutions. Software development company, Roxo Technology which specialises in eLearning products, also took part in the SUS programme. For further information contact Clodagh Barry on 091 495382 or clodagh.barry@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Monday, 12 October 2009

Significant new funding from the AO Foundation in Switzerland will allow scientists at NUI Galway to pursue an innovative research strategy to help combat back pain. The strategy is based on mapping highly specific cell surface markers called glycans, to allow better differentiation between diseased and healthy tissue in the spine. By mapping these patterns, it is hoped that medical professionals will be able to distinguish different cell types with a high degree of specificity and target treatment accordingly. The AO Foundation promotes and supports research and development into the regeneration of intervertebral disc damage (IDD) which is the primary cause of lower back pain. Back pain is a predominant cause of disability and is particularly prevalent among 30-50 year olds, though it is more severe among older patients. It has emerged as the most expensive healthcare problem in the US, with reported annual costs of up to $100 billion. Professor Abhay Pandit is Director of the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway and has been developing biomaterial based therapeutic delivery systems for treatment of IDD for several years. He explains the challenge at hand: "You could think of the discs in the spine as being made up of an outer doughnut shaped ring of hard tissue. In the centre of each disc is a soft jelly-like material called the nucleus pulposus, or at least in healthy discs it is soft. With age and disease, the centre can harden, leaving it almost impossible to differentiate the nucleus pulposus tissue from the outer shell tissue of the disc. This makes degenerated nucleus pulposus tissue difficult to identify and therefore treatment is severely limited". Professor Lokesh Joshi leads the Glycosciences and Glycotechnology Research Group (GGRG) at NUI Galway which focuses on cutting-edge research surrounding complex sugars or glycans. While many studies around the world have investigated changes at a genetic level in the nucleus pulposus tissue, few distinguishing features have emerged. Now researchers from the GGRG and the NFB at NUI Galway will go beyond genetics, to track the glycans in cells of the nucleus pulposus which may provide indicators for healthy or degenerated tissues. Professors Joshi concludes: "This research programme further supports the strategy of innovation and convergence in Irish research and reinforces the financial commitment of the AO Foundation to research carried out at NUI Galway". NFB is a strategic research cluster funded by Science Foundation Ireland. -ends-

Monday, 12 October 2009

Managing personal finances will be the topic of a day-long workshop at NUI Galway on Saturday, 17 October. The workshop is entitled 'Your Money, Lets Sort It' and will provide an insight for participants into gaining control of their personal finances. The workshop is being organised by the University's Adult & Continuing Education Office as part of its Short Course Series. The popular series covers a broad range of topics from Creative Writing to Environmental Science, but this is the first time personal finance has been addressed. According to Nuala McGuinn of NUI Galway's Adult & Continuing Education Office: "Personal finance, especially in these difficult economic times, is a subject that warrants study. The course will cover several areas including, money and wealth, the psychology of money, protecting your income for your dependents and a practical guide to savings and investments". Speaking about the importance of managing finances, Gary Mahood, Financial Advisor and course tutor said: "It is more important than ever that people take control of and understand their personal finances. We have seen a harsh budget for 2009 and have the expectation of more to come. Combine this with falling house prices and stock markets means people need to be savvier about managing their money". For further information on the course, which costs €55 and runs from 9.30am–5pm, contact the Adult & Continuing Education Office on 091 495845 or visit www.nuigalway.ie/adulteducation -ends-

Thursday, 8 October 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway has jumped a significant 125 places, the highest leap among all Irish universities, in the newly published Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings. The ranking now places NUI Galway among the top 250 universities in the world, listed at 243 among 621 institutions. This is the second year in a row that NUI Galway has risen in the rankings, having moved up 116 places in 2008. Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway said of the achievement: "This is excellent news for NUI Galway and a fitting acknowledgement of the exceptional developments in teaching and research that have taken place at this University in recent years. Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings is one of the best regarded evaluations of higher education in the world and it is great to see NUI Galway making its mark on that ranking. This increase to 243rd in the world, is the second consecutive jump for NUI Galway, and represents an increase of almost 250 places in the last two years,. This result, together with the recent award of the 2009 Sunday Times University of the Year, confirms NUI Galway's position as one of Ireland's leading universities, and a growing force on the international stage". President Browne added: "Indeed, the performance of the Irish universities in general in this year's Ranking highlights the excellent research taking place in all of our institutions and underlines the need for continued investment in research if Ireland is to maintain and enhance its position within higher education globally". NUI Galway is also now in the top 300 ranking of universities for Arts and Humanities (272) as well as Life Sciences and Biomedicine (250) in the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings' discipline categories. The Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings have been running since 2004 and are amongst the highest profile global evaluations of comparative university quality. The QS World University Rankings were conceived to present a multi-faceted view of the relative strengths of the world s leading universities. The calculations leading to the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings are based on data gathered in the following categories: Academic Peer Review, Employer Review, International Faculty Ratio, International Student Ratio, Student Faculty Ratio, and Citations per Faculty (citation data supplied by Scopus). Weightings are decided upon by Times Higher Education based on its opinion of the importance of the measured criteria balanced against the effectiveness of the indicator to evaluate the intended measure. Léim 125 Áit Tógtha ag OÉ Gaillimh i Rangú Ollscoileanna an Domhain (View in English) Tá OÉ Gaillimh tar éis léim 125 áit a thabhairt, an léim is mó a rinne aon ollscoil in Éirinn, i Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain an Times Higher Education-QS. Tá OÉ Gaillimh i measc an 250 ollscoil is fearr ar domhan anois, agus an 243ú háit as 621 institiúid bainte amach aici. Seo an dara bliain as a chéile ar ardaigh rangú OÉ Gaillimh; léim sí 116 áit in 2008. Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an Dr James Browne, Uachtarán, OÉ Gaillimh faoin éacht seo: "Is an-scéal é seo do OÉ Gaillimh agus is aitheantas cuí é ar an bhforbairt eisceachtúil atá déanta ar an teagasc agus ar an taighde san Ollscoil seo le blianta beaga anuas. Tá measúnú Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain an Times Higher Education-QS ar cheann de na measúnuithe ar chúrsaí airdoideachais is measúla ar domhan agus is iontach an rud é go bhfuil OÉ Gaillimh i lár an aonaigh ann. Leis an léim seo atá tugtha ag OÉ Gaillimh chuig an 243ú háit ar domhan, an dara léim as a chéile, tá an ollscoil tar éis léim beagnach 250 áit a thógáil le dhá bhliain anuas. Léiríonn an toradh seo, mar aon leis an ngradam a bronnadh orainn le gairid mar Ollscoil na Bliana 2009 an Sunday Times, go bhfuil OÉ Gaillimh ar cheann de na hOllscoileanna is fearr in Éirinn agus go bhfuil an tionchar atá aici go hidirnáisiúnta ag fás." Dúirt an tUachtarán an méid seo a leanas chomh maith: "Go deimhin, léiríonn a fheabhas a d'éirigh le hOllscoileanna na hÉireann i gcoitinne i Rangú na bliana seo an taighde den scoth atá ar bun inár n-institiúidí ar fad agus léiríonn sé an gá atá le hinfheistiú leanúnach sa taighde má táthar le seasamh na hÉireann laistigh den ardoideachas go domhanda a choinneáil agus a neartú." Tá OÉ Gaillimh i rangú an 300 ollscoil sna Dána agus sna Daonnachtaí (272) agus sna hEolaíochtaí Saoil agus sa Bhithleigheas (250) anois chomh maith i gcatagóirí disciplíní Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain an Times Higher Education-QS. Tá Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain an Times Higher Education-QS ar bun ó 2004 agus tá siad ar na measúnuithe domhanda ar chaighdeán ollscoileanna is mó a mbíonn aird ag an bpobal orthu. Bunaíodh Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain an QS le léargas ilghnéitheach a thabhairt ar láidreachtaí scothollscoileanna an domhain. Bíonn na torthaí as a dtagann Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain an Times Higher Education-QS bunaithe ar shonraí a bhailítear sna catagóirí seo a leanas: Athbhreithniú Acadúil ó Phiaraí, Athbhreithniú Fostóra, Cóimheas Dáimhe Idirnáisiúnta, Cóimheas Mac Léinn Idirnáisiúnta, Cóimheas Dáimhe Mac Léinn, agus tagairtí de réir Dáimhe (Scopus a chuireann na sonraí tagairtí ar fáil). Socraíonn an Times Higher Education na hualuithe bunaithe ar an tuairim atá aige faoi thábhacht na gcritéar tomhaiste i gcomparáid le héifeachtacht an táscaire leis an tomhas atá i gceist a mheas. -Críoch-

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

NUI Galway's de Brún Centre for Computational Algebra is pleased to announce a forthcoming public lecture by leading mathematician Professor Efim Zelmanov, member of the Advisory Board of the Centre. Professor Zelmanov is recognised as one of the greatest algebraists of modern times. In 1994 he was awarded the Fields Medal, commonly known as the 'Nobel Prize' for mathematicians. His public lecture takes place at 3pm, Wednesday, 14 October, in the NCBES Seminar Room, Orbsen Building, NUI Galway. According to Dr Dane Flannery, of the de Brún Centre for Computational Algebra: "Professor Zelmanov is one of the most profoundly gifted mathematicians working in the world today. There is no Nobel Prize in mathematics, and the Fields Medal is recognised as its equivalent. This honour is awarded only to mathematicians under 40 years of age whose discoveries have revolutionised mathematics. We look forward to benefitting from Professor Zelmanov's insights when he visits NUI Galway". Born and educated in the former Soviet Union, Zelmanov received his doctorate from Novosibirsk State University in 1980 at the age of 25. His doctoral dissertation completely changed the branch of mathematics known as Jordan Algebras. In 2001 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, USA, and was at that time the youngest member in the Academy's Mathematics division. Professor Zelmanov holds the Rita Atkinson Endowed Chair in Mathematics at the University of California, San Diego. He was previously a Professor of Mathematics at Yale University. Professor Zelmanov was awarded the Fields Medal for his solution of the Restricted Burnside Problem. This fundamental and longstanding algebraic conjecture was the focus of intense research activity by many leading mathematicians throughout the 20th century. Professor Seán Tobin of the Department of Mathematics, NUI Galway, solved a special case of the problem in 1954. Dr Flannery added: "NUI Galway is fortunate indeed to have Professor Zelmanov visiting us. We hope that everyone who attends his lecture gains an appreciation of the nature of mathematical discovery and creativity". Further information is available from Dr Dane Flannery on 091 493587. -ends-

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE), aimed at all school leavers with disabilities, is being launched by the seven universities, Athlone IT, DIT, National College of Ireland and the Mater Dei Institute of Education. This supplementary admissions scheme recognises the impact of disability on educational attainment and on progression to higher education. Approximately 300 students accepted places through DARE in 2009. The eleven participating colleges aim to greatly increase this number in 2010 by offering on average 5% of first year places on a reduced points basis. Significant improvements have been made to the DARE scheme through funding provided by the government's Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). The Disability Access Route to Education is now based on robust criteria, has a more streamlined application process through the CAO and is more student friendly. The purpose of the national launch is to make students, schools and organisations aware of the scheme and ultimately to encourage a greater number of applications. A dedicated website, www.accesscollege.ie, has been developed which contains full details of the scheme and will assist students in making their applications. Due to the impact of their disability students may not be able to meet the leaving certificate points for their preferred college course. HEA figures confirm that in the 07/08 academic year, only 1,389 or 4.2% of all new entrants to higher education indicated that they had one or more disabilities. The DARE initiative will play a key role in driving towards the HEA target of doubling the number of students in 3rd level with sensory, physical and multiple disabilities by 2013. Current participation rates are estimated at 15 -17 % for people with sensory disabilities and 14-16 % for people with physical disabilities. These participation rates are well below the current national entry rates of 55%. According to Maureen Dunne, spokesperson for the DARE scheme.. "Students with disabilities experience constant and complex challenges throughout their educational experience which makes it difficult for them to reach their full education potential. As well as health issues many students have low expectations of their ability to progress to higher education". There has been a huge emphasis in higher education in recent years on providing equality of educational opportunity for students with disabilities through dedicated disability support services. These services focus on supporting the student's transition from 2nd to 3rd level as well as the provision of supports based on individualised needs assessments to enable access and full participation by all students with a disability. These supports address the educational, technological and personal needs of the students and are funded by the HEA and the Department of Education and Science through the Fund for Students with a Disability, backed by the European Social Fund (ESF). According to Vivian Rath, science graduate and former UCD Student's union Vice President and Welfare Officer, "With the help of the Disability Support Service once I began university I started to forget about my disability and focused on my many abilities. The support provided allowed me to participate fully in all the college activities such as debating, wheelchair basketball, student societies and the students union". Support for the scheme: "DARE is an excellent support scheme which helps students with disabilities engage in higher education so that they can realise their full potential. Access should be universal but sometimes it's the little things that can get in the way. DARE assists prospective students in overcoming barriers in accessing education and in doing so helps create a more inclusive society which benefits everybody – able and disabled people alike". Caroline Casey, Social Entrepreneur, Founder of Kanchi and the O2 Ability Awards -ends-

Monday, 5 October 2009

The Irish Times migration correspondent Ruadhán Mac Cormaic will speak at the launch of a booklet 'Asylum Seekers: A Reality Check for Ireland', which has been written by NUI Galway students. Ruadhán was the 2007 winner of the 'For Diversity, Against Discrimination' journalism award by the European Commission. The event takes place at 12 noon on Thursday, 8 October, in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway. The booklet was produced by students as part of the service learning requirement in the M.A. in Philosophy: Ethics, Culture and Global Change at NUI Galway. The launch is in collaboration with the University's Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI), the Refugee Information Service (RIS) and the Galway Refugee Support Group (GRSG). Primarily through a series of interviews, the students sought to better understand some of the most important issues concerning asylum-seekers, one of the most marginalised groups within Irish society. According to Lorraine McIlrath, Director of the CKI, which funded the production of the booklet: "Unfortunately, the students found that there is still a great deal of confusion with regard to asylum-seekers' rights and entitlements with specific regard to third level education. As Judy Irwin, the Co-ordinator of the Refugee Information Service in Galway proposes in the booklet, greater clarity and transparency is required in order to provide a satisfactory service for immigrants in Ireland". One of the guest speakers on 8 October will be Triona Nic Giolla Choille from the Galway Refugee Support Group. Speaking about the impact of the policy of Direct Provision which houses asylum-seekers in centralised locations, Triona said: "I think that one of the most negative aspects of Direct Provision is how it marginalises people physically. I think the other thing is by housing people communally for such a long period of time, it marks them as different and not part of 'us'. Furthermore, Asylum-seekers are a very visible marginalised group. I think that this has the potential to create racism and prejudice, and indeed I think it facilitates the development of prejudice". Admission to the launch and the booklet are free. All are welcome. For further information contact John McInnes, one of the authors of the booklet, on 086 8430399. -ends-

Friday, 2 October 2009

Two research projects led by NUI Galway scientists will be showcased by the European Commission at a press conference in Barcelona today (Friday, 2 October). The theme of the press conference is 'Oceans of Tomorrow: the Tara Oceans Expedition and Star Projects in EU Marine Research'. The briefing will feature EU funded marine research success stories and coincides with the arrival in Barcelona of the scientific exploration ship the Tara. The ship is on a three-year round the world mission to investigate climate change. At the event, the HABIT project on harmful algal bloom species will be presented by Dr Robin Raine of the Martin Ryan Institute at NUI Galway. Dr Anthony Grehan, a researcher with Earth and Ocean Sciences at NUI Galway, will introduce the CoralFISH project which is examining the management of corals, fish and fisheries in the deep-ocean. Dr Anthony Grehan led the deep-water expedition in May of this year which confirmed the existence of a major new coral reef province on the southern end of the Porcupine Bank off the west coast of Ireland. He believes that NUI Galway is making an important contribution to improving the sustainable management of marine resources in Europe through such projects. According to Dr Grehan: "Irish scientists have benefited enormously from participation in European funded projects in terms of access to large infrastructure and collaboration with leading European research teams". Also to be highlighted in Barcelona is a recently completed European research project carried out by an interdisciplinary consortium of marine scientists, lawyers and economists that included Drs. Anthony Grehan, Martin White and Ronán Long from NUI Galway. The HERMES project discovered new seafloor features and enhanced scientific knowledge of deep water coral reefs and canyons on the European continental margin and developed innovative science-policy exchange mechanisms. HERMES was recently selected by the European Commission as one of the top 40 projects from the entire European Union's Sixth Framework Programme for Research funded to the tune of €17.5 billion. NUI Galway's Dr Ronán Long, an international expert on the Law of the Sea, says: "The strength of exciting and innovative projects such as HERMES, HABIT and CoralFISH is that they place Irish researchers and students at the cutting-edge of European research on topics which touch every aspect of our lives such as marine environmental protection and the fight against climate change". -Ends-

Thursday, 1 October 2009

The UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth & Civic Engagement, based at the Child and Family Research Centre in NUI Galway, has nominated a young Irish person to participate in the 6th UNESCO Youth Forum. The UNESCO Chair, in collaboration with its partner organisation Foróige, chose Sinéad Ward to represent Ireland at the Forum. The Roscommon native will speak at the plenary session of the Youth Forum on Friday, 2 October. The Youth Forum is taking place in Paris from 1-3 October as an integral part of the 35th UNESCO General Conference. The event brings together young people from around the world to exchange views on topical issues and to identify common opportunities and challenges. Sinéad (24) was a member of Loughlynn Foróige Club when she was younger, and now works with Foróige as a Project Worker in the Choices, Responsibilities, Ideas and Belonging (CRIB) Youth Project and Health Café in Sligo Town. Sinéad will address the Forum on the subject of Youth Participation in Ireland. Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth & Civic Engagement, NUI Galway, said: "We need to value young people now not later. It is crucially important to hear the voice of young people as we seek to emerge from the economic crisis. Not only do young people have the most at stake, but they also have important views to contribute to national and international dialogue on social and political issues". He continued: "We are delighted that Sinéad is participating in the Forum and that she will have the opportunity to exchange views with young delegates from all around the world on the importance of strengthening youth participation". The central themes of the Youth Forum reflect those of the UNESCO General Conference. The overarching theme is 'Investing out of the crisis: towards a partnership between UNESCO and youth organisations". -Ends-

Thursday, 1 October 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Mr Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, today (Thursday, October 1st 2009) officially launched the Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster (AGRC) at NUI Galway. AGRC is an NUI Galway-led collaboration of research institutions and industry partners and was established following a grant earlier this year of €5.2million from Government through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). Launching the Strategic Research Cluster, Minister Lenihan said: "The AGRC is dedicated to conducting invaluable study into key research areas that impact enormously on each of us, directly or indirectly at some point in our lives. Its multi-disciplinary team of 36 researchers, together with industry partners and Government agencies, is the physical manifestation of the Government's 'Smart Economy' aspiration, and over the next five years will work steadfastly towards unearthing ground-breaking discoveries of benefit to wider society. The participation of leading Industry and government agency partners - Agilent Technologies Ireland Ltd, Alimentary Health, Biomining Inc. and Bristol Myers-Squibb, Teagasc and NBRT - illustrates the ambition and pharmaceutical expertise that the cluster possesses from the outset. According to Professor Lokesh Joshi, Lead Principal Investigator of the AGRC: "Glycosciences is a relatively new but important and rapidly emerging area of research, that is both industrially and clinically relevant. The AGRC is a globally unique and remarkable consortium that is exploring the roles played by complex sugars in host-bacterial interactions. This collaborative effort will aid in the discovery of novel diagnostics, therapeutics and nutraceuticals. The knowledge generated and technologies developed in this cluster will be highly applicable to other infectious diseases, as well as cancer, immune system, inflammation and neuroscience research. This is another example of NUI Galway's contribution to the national innovation strategy and the SMART Economy". Speaking at the launch, director general of Science Foundation Ireland, Professor Frank Gannon, said "The Strategic Research Cluster model has proven, in a very short period, that the pooling of resources creates new opportunities which can potentially accelerate commercial outputs and other beneficial consequences. The AGRC has already built up considerable momentum around its specialized discipline." "This is an extremely important initiative for NUI Galway and a very exciting development for Glycoscience research in Ireland. The internationally leading consortium of academic and industry partners, led by Professor Joshi will ensure that Ireland is positioned as a global leader in this emerging research area", said Professor Terry Smith, Vice-President for Research, NUI Galway. AGRC is one of 18 SFI Strategic Research Clusters around the country involving unprecedented engagement between higher education institutions, commercial enterprises and a variety of agencies. Seolann an tAire Lenihan Grúpa Taighde Glioceolaíochta Bia atá á mhaoiniú ag Fondúireacht Eolaíochta na hÉireann in OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Sheol Conor Lenihan T.D., an tAire Eolaíochta, Teicneolaíochta agus Nuálaíochta Grúpa Taighde na Glioceolaíochta Bia (AGRC) in OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Déardaoin, an 1 Deireadh Fómhair 2009). Is comhfhiontar idir institiúidí taighde agus comhpháirtithe tionscail atá san AGRC a bhfuil OÉ Gaillimh ina ceann feadhna air. Cuireadh tús leis an gcomhfhiontar i ndiaidh don ollscoil deontas €5.2 milliún a fháil ón Rialtas trí Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann (SFI). Ag seoladh an Ghrúpa Taighde Straitéisigh dó, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Aire Lenihan: "Cuireann an AGRC roimhe staidéar an-tábhachtach a dhéanamh i bpríomhréimsí taighde a mbíonn an-tionchar acu ar gach duine againn, go díreach nó go hindíreach, tráth éigin dár saol. Is léiriú ina steillbheatha an fhoireann ildisciplíneach seo ina bhfuil 36 taighdeoir, mar aon le comhpháirtithe tionscail agus gníomhaireachtaí Rialtais, ar ardmhian 'Gheilleagair Ghlais' an Rialtais, agus as seo go ceann cúig bliana oibreoidh an grúpa seo gan stad gan staonadh chun teacht ar fhionnachtana úrnua a rachaidh chun tairbhe an phobail i gcoitinne. Léiríonn rannpháirtíocht comhpháirtithe móra an tionscail agus gníomhaireachtaí rialtais – Agilent Technologies Ireland Ltd, Alimentary Health, Biomining Inc. agus Bristol Myers-Squibb, Teagasc agus NBRT – an t-ardmhian agus an saineolas cógaisíochta atá sa ghrúpa ón tús. Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an Ollamh Lokesh Joshi, Príomh-Imscrúdaitheoir Ceannais an AGRC: "Is réimse measartha nua na Glioceolaíochtaí ach is réimse taighde tábhachtach é atá ag fás go tapa, agus atá tábhachtach ó thaobh an tionscail agus an leighis de. Is comheagras den scoth an AGRC nach bhfuil a leithéid eile ar domhan atá ag iniúchadh róil an tsiúcra choimpléascaigh in idirghníomhuithe óstbhaictéaracha. Cabhróidh an chomhiarracht seo le teacht ar nua-dhiagnóisic, ar nua-theiripigh agus ar nua-nútraiceodaigh. Féadfar an t-eolas agus na teicneolaíochtaí a chruthóidh an grúpa seo a úsáid le déileáil le galair ionfhabhtaíocha eile, agus beidh sé úsáideach chomh maith don taighde atá ar bun ar ailse, ar chóras imdhíonachta, ar athlasadh agus ar eolaíocht an néarchórais. Is sampla eile é seo dá bhfuil á dhéanamh ag OÉ Gaillimh le cur leis an straitéis nuálaíochta náisiúnta agus leis an gGeilleagar Glic". Ag labhairt dó ag an seoladh, dúirt ardstiúrthóir Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann, an tOllamh Frank Gannon an méid seo a leanas: "Tá sé cruthaithe ag múnla an Ghrúpa Taighde Straitéisigh, taobh istigh d'achar an-ghearr, go gcruthaíonn an roinnt acmhainní seo deiseanna nua a d fhéadfadh torthaí tráchtála a dheifriú agus a mbeidh torthaí tairbheacha eile orthu. Tá an AGRC ag obair go tréan cheana féin ina shaindisciplín". "Is tionscnamh thar a bheith tábhachach é seo do OÉ Gaillimh agus is forbairt iontach é maidir leis an taighde Glioceolaíochta in Éirinn. Cinnteoidh an comheagras seo de rannpháirtithe acadúla agus tionscail atá ar thús cadhnaíochta go domhanda, agus a bhfuil an tOllamh Joshi ina bhun go mbeidh Éire ina ceannaire domhanda sa réimse taighde úrnua seo", a dúirt an tOllamh Terry Smith, Leas-Uachtarán um Thaighde, OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an AGRC ar cheann de 18 nGrúpa Taighde Straitéiseach ar fud na tíre ina bhfuil comhoibriú nach bhfacthas a leithéid riamh go dtí seo idir institiúidí ardoideachais, fiontair thráchtála agus gníomhaireachtaí éagsúla. -críoch-

Monday, 30 November 2009

First-year NUI Galway engineering student, Clíona Flood, was presented this week with a scholarship by Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation. Clíona was the recipient of a Science Foundation Ireland/DELL Scholarship – Young Women in Engineering 2009. The scholarship aims to attract and encourage more high-achieving young women into third-level education in engineering disciplines. Now in its third year, the scheme focuses on young women entering designated engineering degree programmes. Clíona who is originally from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, will receive an annual award over four years of €2,000, and a DELL notebook computer. In addition, to help develop her career, she will have the assistance and support of a mentor, and one summer's research-internship in an academic research laboratory or an industry R&D laboratory. Originally from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Clíona is studying Undenominated Engineering at NUI Galway. The degree includes all disciplines of engineering and informatics in first-year, before a specialist field is chosen in second year. NUI Galway has a long tradition of encouraging female engineers; Alice Perry graduated with a first class honours degree in Civil Engineering in 1906. It is understood that she is the first woman to graduate with a degree in engineering in Ireland or Great Britain, possibly even in the world. Professor Padraic O'Donoghue, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: "We are very proud of Clíona and her success. The ethos of the College of Engineering and Informatics is to encourage students to develop their innovative and creative skills". Applications for this SFI scholarship were received from eligible candidates nationwide and were extremely competitive, with a total of ten awarded. -ends-

Monday, 30 November 2009

-Focus on the requirements of Irish speakers- Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., has officially launched two PhD programmes dealing with minority language issues within the Irish-speaking community. The research programme, run by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in conjunction with NUI Galway's School of Health Sciences, is funded through research bursaries from An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG). Speaking at the launch Minister Ó Cuív said: "The strategic collaboration between the University, the State and the community is contributing to the groundbreaking work undertaken by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge and NUI Galway for the benefit of the Irish-speaking community through teaching, research and consultancy work. It is intended that these research findings will be used to provide more effective advice to that community and to help Gaeltacht bodies tackle the complexities of bilingualism". NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne congratulated Sarah Anne Muckley and Ciarán Lenoach, the students who were successfully awarded the COGG bursaries. He thanked COGG for supporting these research projects and for providing the research scholarships to enable NUI Galway award them to competent students undertaking research in this area of study. "These research proposals reflect the great progress Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge has made in developing Irish-medium education. We are happy that an tAcadamh, the School of Health Sciences (Speech & Language Therapy) and the Health Service Executive are cooperating to gain an understanding of the requirements of Irish speakers, and the requirements of Irish speakers with special needs, in particular". Speaking at the launch, Dr Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, Aonad na Pleanála Teanga, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta, Gaeilge, said: "This is the first PhD programme with which Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is associated. The two PhD research projects are part of a pioneering research programme that will deal with relevant minority language issues within the Irish-speaking community. This research is central to the work of Aonad na Pleanála Teanga and shows how research projects in that unit are developing". The aim of the first PhD programme is to develop appropriate Irish assessments that are suitable for the way Irish is spoken as a minority language. This research will provide assessments for speech therapists who work with native Irish speakers. The second PhD will analyse the complexities of bilingualism in a minority language community such as those faced by Irish speakers in Gaeltacht areas. An important objective of NUI Galway is to develop transdisciplinary study and research and to resolve common issues through examination by the application of different perspectives and understandings. Minister Ó Cuív added: "A consistent and coordinated strategy is needed to ensure that the services available to people whose home language is Irish are the same as the services available to their English-speaking counterparts. The community and the state are cooperating to ensure that this groundbreaking step in the development of services and resources will succeed so that systems will be put in place to provide as complete a service to families who are raising their children through Irish as the service provided to families who choose English as their household language". -Ends-

Monday, 30 November 2009

The threats posed by climate change to coastal regions in Western Europe are to being investigated by NUI Galway experts together with teams from universities in France, Spain and Portugal. Along with local and regional authorities, the universities have founded the 'Atlantic Network for Coastal Risk Management' (ANCORIM). This initiative has been granted €1.9 million by the EU for a three-year project to bridge the gap between the climate change scientists and coastal zone decision-makers. In Ireland, an assessment of the current planning practices in the Border-Midlands-West region has begun to ascertain how, if at all, are considerations of climate change being included in planning decisions. The ANCORIM team will look at managing and preventing the risks associated with climate change in regards to shoreline erosion, rural and urban coastal land planning, and economic activities such as fish farming. The work at NUI Galway is being led by geographers with the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) and will involve local communities in the western region through Mayo County Council and Údarás na Gaeltachta. Dr Martina Prendergast, Development Manager of the ECI, says: "As a nation we need to realise the importance of 'climate-proofing' our policies. The ANCORIM project is about supporting the futures of coastal communities all along the Atlantic rim of Europe. The support of the community is key to the success of this project, and locally we will be making the most of our close links with the Gaeltacht". The involvement of high-risk coastal communities in the project will be facilitated through focus groups, interviews and other consultative means. NUI Galway's Professor Micheál Ó Cinnéide says: "This work is all the more important because it is well known that societies around the world tend to underestimate risks associated with many natural phenomena such as floods, droughts and earthquakes. Unfortunately, risks to coastal zones associated with the changing climate are currently incorporated in decision-making largely on an ad-hoc basis only in many countries. Planning guidelines that incorporate the risks of climate change need to be put in place". Professor Ó Cinnéide added: "This is not a shortcoming of the planners, or of climate change researchers and scientists. However, the scientific information does need to be made more accessible, and its implications for coastal communities need to be spelt out. As part of this project, we will be compiling sets of best practices and working with the decision-makers as to how these should best be incorporated into current policies and practices". Ireland has already seen the dramatic effects of coastal erosion, especially in County Wexford where some areas are losing more than two metres of shoreline each year due to erosion. It is in situations like this, where coastal land planning decisions would need to incorporate the effects of increased storminess and higher sea levels on rates of shoreline retreat. Dr Kevin Lynch, a coastal geomorphologist with the ANCORIM team at NUI Galway, explains: "Although coastal erosion and flooding is increasingly being seen as a major threat in Ireland, for the most part the response has been to provide engineering solutions such as building sea walls and using filled gabions to stabilise the shoreline. Engineering solutions have been shown to be unsustainable due to high costs and detrimental impacts on our natural heritage. Alternative solutions need to be advanced to combat impacts of climate change on our coastlines. Adapting and planning for coastlines to change naturally may be something in which we will have no choice". -ends-

Monday, 30 November 2009

The Western Development Commission (WDC) and the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) at NUI Galway have called for the development of an integrated national strategy to develop the creative sector and drive the future of the smart economy. The call was made at a seminar entitled 'Creative Industries, Innovation & the Smart Economy' held at NUI Galway and attended by policymakers and practitioners from the creative sector. The Smart Economy Framework, launched by the Government in December 2008, specifically identifies the creative, cultural and arts sector as important for national recovery and building a more knowledge and innovation intensive economy. Speaking at the seminar Lisa McAllister, WDC Chief Executive, said: "Creativity should be firmly placed at the core of the smart economy where wealth creation will be increasingly driven by ideas, intangibles and the creative application of Information and Communications Technology. Although we are conscious of the current economic constraints, the WDC believes a national policy to develop the sector will deliver long term economic results for the Western Region and for the national economy. We also believe that future policy decisions should include investment in infrastructure so that the creative businesses who locate here can access international markets, both physically through air, road and rail links, and virtually by way of fast, cheap broadband to reduce any sense of peripherality". Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Centre for Innovation & Structural Change at NUI Galway, said: "The nature and organisation of innovation activity is changing and the development of an internationally competitive creative industries sector complements and helps sustain private and public sector investment in research, development and innovation (RDI). Development of a national policy for creative industries would provide a focus for enabling action and a recognition of the importance of creative industries to Irish society and business". Dr Cunningham added: "Policy supports and investment in the development of creative industries would strengthen, deepen and broaden the skills and talents of individuals and organisations. This would also support, in a sustainable way, the broadening of innovation capability and capacity which is a critical element of building a smart economy". The seminar heard of research carried out by the WDC to investigate the size of the creative sector in the Western Region and to identify the key issues faced by people working in the sector. It estimated that in 2008 there were 4,779 creative businesses operating in the Western Region, directly employing over 11,000 people. This generated an annual turnover of €534m and directly contributed €270m to the Gross Value Added of the regional economy. The research also showed that creative businesses in the Western Region tend to be small scale and that there is a high level of entrepreneurship among creative people with 39% of them self-employed. The Western Region is predominantly rural with 68% of the population living in rural areas and the region having few large centres. Creative talent is seen as an asset in a rural region and the seminar heard calls for policies to retain and attract creative talent because creativity is one of the key areas for potential economic growth. Ms McAllister added: "The presence of a strong creative sector in a region can also drive creative thinking in other sectors as well as stimulating new ways of thinking and new ways of doing things". Professor Robert Huggins from the University of Wales and Director of the Centre for International Competitiveness presented international evidence of the links between competitiveness and creativity. He explained how competitiveness is increasingly being measured in terms of creativity, knowledge and environmental conditions, rather than purely on accumulated wealth and that creativity is not a purely urban phenomenon. The seminar heard that Creative Industries and the Smart Economy are relative newcomers to policy debates and that the old dichotomy that separated 'cultural industries' from 'economic industries' is waning, as research highlights the contribution of the innate creativity often found in rural areas to the economic performance of regions. -Ends-

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Almost 800 students will graduate from across the five colleges at NUI Galway today (Wednesday, 25 November 2009) at the University s winter conferring ceremonies. John Lynch, musical director of the Kilfenora Ceilí Band and regional development activist Mr Tony Barrett, will also be honoured with a Master of Music (honoris causa) and Master of Arts (honoris causa) respectively. In awarding the Master of Music honoris causa on John Lynch, NUI Galway is honouring not just the current Kilfenora Céilí Band but all those renowned musicians of earlier decades, from Kilfenora itself and from elsewhere, who have created a century of outstanding musical tradition. In 2009, the Kilfenora Céilí Band, the country's oldest Céilí Band and an enduring icon at home and abroad of the traditional culture of Ireland, celebrates the centenary of its foundation. Tony Barrett, is being honored for his personal contribution to local and regional development across the region and the Gaeltacht, to the Irish Cooperative Movement, and to a range of University projects. Mr Barrett was a member of the first class of the Master's in Rural Development degree at NUI Galway, graduating in 1987. Speaking in advance of the ceremony, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, commented: "NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history. Today's honorary graduands - John Lynch and Tony Barrett - have made valuable and distinctive contributions in the areas of traditional music and community development. In very different ways they have added to the social and cultural life of Ireland and NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals". Kilfenora Céilí Band band will play a short selection in the Aula Maxima at a private lunch following the conferring. This will be a repeat performance, as University archives show that the band played in the Aula Maxima in 1937 for the Sigerson Cup Céilí. In addition, degrees, higher diplomas, Masters and PhDs will be awarded to students graduating throughout the day from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Engineering and Informatics; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. Céimeanna Oinigh an Gheimhridh in OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Bronnfar céim ar bhreis agus 800 mac léinn as cúig choláiste OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Dé Céadaoin, an 25 Samhain 2009) i searmanais bhronnadh céimeanna an gheimhridh san Ollscoil. Chomh maith leo sin, bronnfar Máistreacht sa Cheol (honoris causa) ar John Lynch, stiúrthóir ceoil Bhanna Céilí Chill Fhionnúrach agus Máistreacht sna Dána (honoris causa) ar an ngníomhaire d'fhorbairt réigiúnach, Tony Barrett. Agus Máistreacht (honoris causa) sa Cheol á bronnadh ar John Lynch, tá aitheantas á thabhairt ag OÉ Gaillimh do na ceoltóirí cáiliúla as Cill Fhionnúrach féin agus as áiteanna eile a bhí sa bhanna le blianta anuas agus a chruthaigh traidisiún ceoil an chéid. In 2009, tá Banna Céilí Chill Fhionnúrach, an banna céilí is sine sa tír agus a bhfuil clú agus cáil air i bhfad agus i gcéin, ag ceiliúradh céad bliain ó bunaíodh é. Tá aitheantas á fháil ag Tony Barrett as an obair atá déanta aige don fhorbairt réigiúnach agus áitiúil sa cheantar agus sa Ghaeltacht, do Ghluaiseacht na gComharchumann in Éirinn, agus do thograí éagsúla Ollscoile. Bhí an tUasal Barrett sa chéad rang Máistreachta i bhForbairt Tuaithe in OÉ Gaillimh agus bronnadh a chéim air i 1987. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr James J. Browne, roimh an searmanas: "Tá an t-ádh ar OÉ Gaillimh ceangal a bheith aici leis an oiread sin céimithe oinigh den scoth ó bunaíodh í. Tá éacht déanta ag céimithe oinigh an lae inniu – John Lynch agus Tony Barrett – sa cheol traidisiúnta agus san fhorbairt pobail. Ar bhealaí atá an-éagsúil óna chéile, chuir siad beirt go mór le saol sóisialta agus cultúrtha na hÉireann agus tá ríméad ar OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo". Ag lón príobháideach i ndiaidh an tsearmanais, seinnfidh Banna Céilí Chill Fhionnúrach cúpla port san Aula Maxima. Ní hé seo an chéad uair ar tharla a leithéid. Léiríonn cartlann na hOllscoile gur sheinm an banna céilí san Aula Maxima i 1937 do Chéilí Chorn Sigerson. Beifear ag bronnadh céimeanna, ard-dioplómaí, Máistreachtaí agus PhDanna ar mhic léinn i rith an lae ó Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte; ó Choláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice; ó Choláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí; ó Choláiste na hEolaíochta; agus ó Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh. Críoch