The Explore Programme is where NUI Galway students and staff partner up to deliver their innovative ideas. 

The purpose of EXPLORE is to encourage innovation, enterprise and creativity. We also want to foster staff-student collaboration and engagement with the wider community.  Along the way we see 'Explorers' develop transferable skills which benefit all.

Born in 2012, Explore is now a proven model for co-creation, co-design and co-delivering both on and off-campus. Explore was inspired by successful student engagement initiatives at a number of UK universities.  Whereas the UK focus has mainly been around strengthening teaching and learning, our approach emphasises innovation and staff-student partnership. EXPLORE was the first such initiative at an Irish university.

We see as much value in all of the learning and idea-sharing that happens along the way in an Explore Project, as much as the final outcome.

That said, below are some projects that are just too good not to call out!

Cell Explorers

Cell EXPLORERS now a successful science education and public engagement programme delivering STEM activities nationally, reaching over 6,000 school children.   By using hands-on activities facilitated by local scientist volunteers. In 2020, with the support of the Science Foundation Ireland Discover strategic partnership fund the programme will run school visits nationally with the participation of 13 teams based in 15 universities and institutes of technology.  More information can be found at


Breaking the SEAL

The Breaking the SEAL Programme started off as an Explore Programme project and is now a full-blown university initiative led by Dr Paul Flynn and Dr Barry Houlihan.  The aim of the programme is to support senior cycle history students as they complete their mandatory Research Study Report by connecting them with the important archives held at the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway.  Find out more here


Since being launched by Dr. Enda O’Connell in 2013, ReelLIFE SCIENCE has enabled more than 13,000 young people from 400 schools and community groups all over the country, to engage with STEM in a novel way.  Young people from schools and youth organisations are challenged to research a topic and communicate it for the public via an engaging and educational three-minute video.  More information about this programme can be found at

Past Students: New Women

The 2015 podcast project, led by Centre for Global Women's Studies lecturer Mary Clancy and student Mary Magill, focused on Emily Anderson. The project, and  Digital Memories (2013), had versions of some of the biographies in the Path-Breaking Women of NUI Galway Exhibit in the Hardiman Research Building foyer in 2017.

A Stitch in Time

A Stitch in Time   -  aimed to make DIY homemade suturing pads available to medical students seeking a surgical career and those who are part of the Surgical society at NUI Galway, the project developed a recipe for making pads for students. The stitch in time team proved their concept. They created a DIY suturing kit that was affordable and useful. The outputs included a recipe kit. The abstract of this project was submitted to the Irish Association of Plastic Surgeons Symposium, RCSI Irish Association of Simulation Conference, and Sir Peter Freyer Conference.


LEARN -  NUI Galway students with the help of NUI Galway’s Social Science Research Centre (SSRC)  led a research project to investigate levels of satisfaction with the Public Bus Service in Galway. The results were published in the journal Urban Science.


  • Research & Innovation

    Research & Innovation PDF (48 KB)

  • Medtech

    Medtech PDF (277 KB)