President's Awards for Societal Impact

About the Awards

The NUI Galway President's Awards for Societal Impact is a recognition of the valuable contribution staff members makes to society. The aim is to award the outstanding contributions of staff across the whole University who seek to use their skills and knowledge to improve the University’s contribution to society and our various communities, to stimulate excellence and help improve the visibility of the University’s impact on society and the broader community, above and beyond routine support and academic activities, on behalf of the University. This is the fourth year the awards have been running and now in 2020, there are two categories of awards with the Early Stage being offered in addition to the traditional Established career award.

  • Established - activities that are mature with national and/or international partnerships and impact.
  • Early Stage - activities are at early or nascent stages of development with more local and/or regional partnerships and impact.

Societal Impact is a broad concept and for the purposes of this award it should reflect serious efforts that align with the University’s ambitions set out in our new Strategy - Shared Vison, Shaped by Values  2020-2025.The strategy encourages active engagement with external stakeholders, alumni and the public to maximise and amplify our impact.   Some ways to do this include engagement in public debate and services; supporting the development of policy; stimulating and supporting cultural activities and supporting industries; providing businesses and the community with expertise and advice. The President's societal awards, were initially launched in 2017 following the European Universities Association conference hosted by NUI Galway, the President of Ireland/ Uachtarán na hÉireann, Michael D. Higgins, praised Universities for their significant contributions to society beyond routine academic activities and encouraged all staff to use their skills and knowledge to create a better society. Inspired by this vision and in line with the high value NUI Galway places on societal impact, the University invites applications and nominations for the ‘President’s Award for Societal Impact’

Context and examples

Societal Impact is a broad concept. For the purposes of this award, it should reflect serious efforts at societal impact beyond that typically considered to be part of routine work. It should involve an individual identifying a need or opportunity for societal impact and demonstrating initiative, effort and creativity to help create a better society.  The societal impacts should be in line with the institutional ambitions set out in Vision 2020 including engaging in public debate and services, supporting the development of policy in key areas and stimulating and supporting cultural activities and supporting industry, businesses and the community with expertise and advice. Reported impacts should be accompanied by quantitative and qualitative measures.

 Contributions and impacts can include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Indicators of wider influence (for example, on policy and practice) or contributions to the discipline, national and international
  • Important cultural production, for example, in literature, music and art
  • Esteem indicators such as awards, prizes, commendations or nominations pertaining specifically to positive societal impact and not covered by other metrics 
  • Esteem indicators such as leadership and Membership roles with demonstrable high-level engagement in international bodies (other than international academic networks), national statutory bodies, professional organisations and cultural institutions
  • Collaborative partnerships with demonstrable impacts with external bodies, and/or with industry, government agencies, local and regional authorities and community groups, including schools and other education providers where appropriate
  • Impactful contribution to Government Agencies, NGOs, community groups or organisations including, for example, significant reports or background papers (other than commissioned research covered by research impact KPIs), invited voluntary/independent expert inputs to strategic planning and programme evaluation processes.
  • Significant contributions to establishing a collaborative community learning and research partnerships and initiatives aimed at advancing civic, social, economic and cultural inclusion, including community arts projects
  • Direct or indirect contributions to jobs creation in the private sector and voluntary/non-profit sector
  • Development of educational, training or dissemination programmes that bring significant value to the local or national economy (e.g. internationally funded students, tourist/visitor attraction, large international conferences, concerts/entertainment events)
  • Significant contributions to the provision of aid, resources, education, training or services to troubled or resource-deprived communities/regions (e.g. partnership with institutions in the developing world) 

Selection Criteria

A selection panel will review all submissions based on the following criteria: 

  • Reach: How many people are impacted by the contributions?
  • Depth: How deeply is society impacted by the contributions?
  • Longevity: How long will the impact of the contributions last?
  • Strategy: How aligned with University strategy are the contributions?
  • Effort: The amount of effort expended over time on the impact.

 The Panel has the right to make autonomous decisions based on the information received and the criteria, reserving also the right to seek further clarification and the right to modify the process if required. Each award will be accompanied by a grant of €1,000 that may be used for the purchase of equipment, support conference participation, travel and subsistence.


Application Procedure

All staff are eligible for application or nomination and consideration either as an individual or as part of a team. Applications or nominations by a member of staff can be put forward. Any nomination must be made by a member of NUI Galway staff and requires the nominee's acceptance/consent.

All applications/nominations must include: 

  1. The standard application form
  2. A short 500-700-word statement giving a critical assessment and quantitative evidence of the work which the candidate wants to be to be considered against the relevant criteria.
  3. Letters of support at least one of which should be from someone outside the University.

All applications/nominations will be reviewed by the Societal Impact Panel (or official sub-group thereof) to identify candidates who meet the requirements. Any applicants who do not meet the above three requirements will be deemed ineligible and not considered.  

The Societal Impact panel reserves the right to request further information if deemed necessary and an applicant may be invited to submit a supporting case document - a concise document which justifies the applications/nominations and explains the supporting evidence which underpins the submission. The deadline for submission of the supporting case document will be communicated to applicants 

Societal Impact Panel

  • Academic Staff Developer (Chair)
  • Vice President for Equality and Diversity
  • Vice President for Research
  • Director of Planning & Institutional Research
  • Two Nominees of the President
  • Two Deans
  • Two external reviewers to be identified by the panel

The awards will be presented at an appropriate ceremony.
The University will wish to publicise the awards and award holders through various media and, therefore, award holders should be prepared to appear in such publicity materials. Successful candidates will not be eligible to be considered for another Societal Impact Award for a period of 3 years.

See timeline for the 2021 applications:

Applications/nominations in PDF format should be submitted here using the online form (ensure you are logged into MS Office 365), no later than  30th July 2021. All applicants will be informed of the decision made by the panel before the end of September 2021. 

For any queries, please contact
Claire O' Connor
Director of Planning and Institutional Research
National University of Ireland, Galway
Tel: 353(0)91-49 5708



As Gaeilge

Gradam an Uachtaráin do Leas na Sochaí  

Is cúis áthais dom a fhógairt go bhfuil iarratais á lorg anois do Ghradaim an Uachtaráin don Tionchar ar an tSochaí 2020.

Is gradam é seo a thugann aitheantas don obair luachmhar a dhéanann ár gcomhghleacaithe, thar ceann na hOllscoile, ar mhaithe leis an tsochaí agus lenár bpobal trí chéile, sa bhreis ar na gnáthghníomhaíochtaí tacaíochta agus acadúla. Is é an cuspóir atá le Gradaim an Uachtaráin don Tionchar ar an tSochaí aitheantas a thabhairt don obair eisceachtúil a dhéanann comhaltaí foirne fud fad na hOllscoile a bhíonn ag iarraidh a gcuid acmhainní agus a gcuid eolais a úsáid le cur leis an obair a dhéanann ár nOllscoil ar mhaithe leis an tsochaí agus lenár bpobail éagsúla, le daoine a spreagadh le sárchaighdeán a bhaint amach agus le níos mó airde a tharraingt ar an tionchar a bhíonn ag ár nOllscoil ar an tsochaí.Seo an ceathrú bliain a bhfuil na gradaim á reáchtáil agus anois in 2020, tá dhá chatagóir gradaim ann, an Chéim Luath atá á tairiscint i dteannta an ghradaim thraidisiúnta do ghairm Bhunaithe.

 1.  An Chéim Luath - tá na gníomhaíochtaí ag céimeanna luath den fhorbairt agus tá na comhpháirtíochtaí agus tionchar níos áitiúla agus/nó réigiúnaí.

 2.  Bunaithe - gníomhaíochtaí atá níos forbartha agus comhpháirtíochtaí agus tionchar náisiúnta agus/nó idirnáisiúnta.  

Is coincheap leathan é Tionchar ar an tSochaí agus chun críocha an ghradaim seo ba cheart go léireodh sé na hiarrachtaí substainteacha a thagann le spriocanna na hOllscoile atá leagtha amach inár Straitéis nua - Fís i gCoiteann, Múnlaithe ag Luachanna 2020-2025. 

Leis an straitéis seo spreagtar rannpháirtíocht ghníomhach le páirtithe leasmhara seachtracha, le alumni agus leis an bpobal chun an tionchar atá againn a mhéadú ar mhaithe le leas an phobail.   Roinnt samplaí de seo ná rannpháirtíocht i ndíospóireacht agus i seirbhísí poiblí; tacú le polasaí a fhorbairt; spreagadh agus tacaíocht a thabhairt do ghníomhaíochtaí cultúrtha agus tacú le tionscail; saineolas agus comhairle a sholáthar do ghnólachtaí agus don phobal. Is réimse é seo atá ag éirí níos tábhachtaí do phobal na hollscoile agus do na pobail a bhfuilimid scartha uathu sa tréimhse dhúshlánach seo.

 Comhthéacs agus samplaí

 Is coincheap an-leathan é Leas na Sochaí. Maidir leis an ngradam seo, ba cheart go léireodh sé iarrachtaí dáiríre maidir le leas na sochaí lasmuigh díobh sin a shamhlaítear leis an ngnáthobair. Is cóir go gcuimseodh sé riachtanas nó deis a aithint chun tionchar a imirt ar an sochaí agus go léireoidh sé tionscantacht, saothar agus cruthaíocht ar mhaithe le sochaí níos fearr a chruthú. Ba cheart go mbeadh leasa na sochaí ar aon dul leis na huaillmhianta a leagtar amach in Fís 2020 lena n-áirítear páirt a ghlacadh i ndíospóireachtaí agus i seirbhísí pobail, tacú le polasaí a fhorbairt i réimsí fíorthábhachtacha agus gníomhaíochtaí cultúrtha a thacú agus a spreagadh agus tionsclaíocht, gnólachtaí agus an pobal a thacú le saineolas agus le comhairle.Ba cheart go mbeadh bearta cainníochtúla agus cáilíochtúla ag gabháil leis na leasa a thuairiscítear.

 D’fhéadfadh na nithe seo a leanas a bheith i gceist le héachtaí agus le leasa ach níl siad teoranta dóibh

  • Táscairí maidir le leasa níos leithne (mar shampla, i dtaca le polasaí agus le cleachtas) nó éachtaí maidir leis an disciplín, go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta
  • Saothar tábhachtach cultúrtha, mar shampla, maidir le cúrsaí litríochta, cúrsaí ceoil agus cúrsaí ealaíne
  • Táscairí ómóis mar ghradaim, duaiseanna, ardmholtaí nó ainmniúcháin a bhaineann go dlúth le leas na sochaí agus nach gclúdaíonn méadracht eile iad
  • Táscairí ómóis mar róil cheannaireachta agus Bhallraíochta a bhfuil rannpháirtíocht ardleibhéil fhollasach i gceist leo i gcomhlachtaí idirnáisiúnta (cé is moite de líonraí acadúla idirnáisiúnta), comhlachtaí reachtúla náisiúnta, eagraíochtaí gairmiúla agus institiúidí cultúrtha
  • Comhpháirtíochtaí comhoibríocha le leasa follasacha le comhlachtaí seachtracha, agus/nó le gníomhaireachtaí tionscail, rialtais, údaráis áitiúla agus réigiúnacha agus grúpaí pobail, lena n-áirítear scoileanna agus soláthróirí oideachais eile nuair is cuí
  • Éacht tábhachtach maidir le gníomhaireachtaí rialtais, eagraíochtaí neamhrialtasacha, grúpaí pobail nó eagraíochtaí lena n-áirítear mar shampla: tuarascálacha tábhachtacha nó doiciméid taighde (lasmuigh de thaighde coimisiúnaithe atá clúdaithe ag leas taighde eochairtháscairí feidhmíochta), ionchur saineolais deonach/neamhspleách a bhfuil cuireadh i gceist leis maidir le pleanáil straitéiseach agus próisis mheastóireachta clár
  • Éachtaí tábhachtacha chun foghlaim chomhoibríoch phobalbhunaithe a bhunú agus comhpháirtíochtaí taighde agus tionscnaimh atá dírithe ar ionchuimsiú sibhialta, sóisialta, eacnamaíoch agus cultúrtha a chur chun cinn, lena n-áirítear tionscadail ealaíne pobail
  • Éachtaí díreacha nó indíreacha maidir le cruthú post san earnáil phríobháideach agus san earnáil dheonach/neamhbhrabúis
  • Cláir oideachais, oiliúna nó craobhscaoilte a fhorbairt a mbaineann an eacnamaíocht áitiúil nó náisiúnta tairbhe shuntasach astu (e.g. mic léinn atá ag fáil maoiniú idirnáisiúnta, rudaí a mheallann turasóirí/cuairteoirí, comhdhálacha/ceolchoirmeacha/imeachtaí siamsaíochta móra idirnáisiúnta)
  • Éachtaí tábhachtacha maidir le cabhair, acmhainní, oideachas, oiliúint nó seirbhísí a sholáthar do phobail/réigiúin chorraitheacha nó atá ar ghanntan acmhainní (e.g. comhpháirtíocht le hinstitiúidí sa domhan forbraíochta)

 Critéir Roghnúcháin

 Déanfaidh painéal roghnúcháin athbhreithniú ar na hiarratais go léir bunaithe ar na critéir seo a leanas:  

  • Tionchar: Cá mhéad duine a dtéann na héachtaí i bhfeidhm orthu?
  • Méid an Tionchair: Cé chomh mór agus a théann na héachtaí i bhfeidhm ar an tsochaí?
  • Fad: Cá fhad a mhairfidh leas na n-éachtaí?
  • Straitéis: Cé chomh mór agus atá na héachtaí i dtiúin le straitéis na hOllscoile?
  • Ionchur: Leibhéal an ionchuir a rinne an duine/fhoireann chun an t-éacht seo a bhaint amach.

 Tá sé de cheart ag an bPainéal cinntí a dhéanamh as a stuaim féin bunaithe ar an eolas a fhaightear agus ar na critéir, tá sé de cheart aige freisin soiléiriú breise a lorg agus tá sé de cheart aige an próiseas a choigeartú más gá. Beidh deontas €1,000 ag gabháil le gach gradam ar féidir é a úsáid ar mhaithe le trealamh a cheannach, ar mhaithe le cabhrú le freastal ar chomhdhálacha, ar mhaithe le cúrsaí taistil agus cothabhála.


Tá gach comhalta foirne i dteideal iarratas nó ainmniúchán a dhéanamh, mar dhuine aonair nó mar chuid d’fhoireann.  Is féidir le comhalta foirne iarratas nó ainmniúchán a dhéanamh ar an bhfoirm iarratais/ainmniúcháin atá ar fáil ar láithreán gréasáin na hOifige Taighde Institiúidigh   . Caithfidh comhalta d'fhoireann OÉ Gaillimh aon ainmniúchán a dhéanamh agus caithfidh an té atá ainmnithe glacadh leis nó cead a thabhairt. 
Is cóir go mbeadh na nithe seo a leanas san áireamh le gach iarratas (i) an ghnáthfhoirm iarratais/ainmniúcháin, (ii) ráiteas gairid 500-700 focal a chuireann fianaise ar fáil agus a dhéanann measúnú criticiúil ar an obair a bhfuil an t-iarrthóir ag iarraidh go gcuirfear san áireamh í, i bhfianaise na gcritéar ábhartha a mhínítear thuas le tacaíocht ó (iii) litreacha tacaíochta ar cheart go mbeadh ar a laghad ceann amháin acu ó dhuine éigin lasmuigh den Ollscoil. 

Cuir isteach d’iarratas anseo nach déanaí ná 30/07/2021. Athbhreithneoidh Painéal Leas na Sochaí (nó foghrúpa oifigiúil an Phainéil) na hiarratais/na hainmniúcháin chun na hiarrthóirí siúd a chomhlíonann na riachtanais a aithint. Ní chuirfear iarrthóirí nach gcomhlíonann na trí riachtanais atá luaite thuas san áireamh.
Beidh sé de cheart ag Painéal Leas na Sochaí breis eolais a lorg má mheasann sé go bhfuil gá leis agus sa chás sin d'fhéadfaí cuireadh a thabhairt d'iarrthóir cáipéis tacaíochta a chur ar fáil – cáipéis ghonta a dhéanann cás ar son an iarratais/an ainmniúcháin agus a mhíníonn an fhianaise thacaíochta atá curtha ar fáil san iarratas.  Cuirfear an spriocdháta in iúl do na hiarrthóirí maidir leis an dáta ar gá an cháipéis tacaíochta a sheoladh ar aghaidh.
Cuirfear cinneadh an Phainéil in iúl do na hiarrthóirí agus do na moltóirí ar fad roimh dheireadh Meán Fómhair 2021. 

Painéal Leas na Sochaí 

  • An Stiúrthóir Feabhais (Cathaoirleach)
  • An Leas-Uachtarán Comhionannais agus Éagsúlachta
  • An Leas-Uachtarán Taighde
  • Stiúrthóir Pleanála & Taighde Institiúidigh
  • Beirt Ainmnithe de chuid an Uachtaráin
  • Beirt Déan
  • Beirt athbhreithneoirí seachtracha a bheidh le hainmniú ag an bpainéal

Bronnfar na gradaim ag searmanas cuí.

Beidh sé de rún ag an Ollscoil poiblíocht a dhéanamh ar son na ngradam agus ar son na ndaoine a mbronnfar gradam orthu trí mheáin éagsúla agus, mar sin, ba cheart go mbeadh na daoine a mbronnfar na gradaim orthu réidh le páirt a ghlacadh in ábhair phoiblíochta.

Ní bheidh iarratasóirí a n-éireoidh leo i dteideal iarratas a dhéanamh ar Ghradam Leas na Sochaí arís go ceann tréimhse 3 bliana.   Le haghaidh tuilleadh faisnéise déan teagmháil le do thoil:  

Claire O' Connor
Director of Planning and Institutional Research
National University of Ireland, Galway
Tel: 353(0)91-49 5708



Societal Impact President's Awardees

See previous years Awardees 

2020 Awardees

This year a special category was introduced to recognise the efforts made by applicants in their early career.

  • Early Stage - activities are at early or nascent stages of development with more local and/or regional partnerships and impact.
  • Established - activities that are mature with national and/or international partnerships and impact.

We are pleased to announce we have awarded three winners in the established career category which consists of two individual awards and one team award and one winner in the early stage category.

 Established Career Awardees

 1. Dr. Nata Duvvury (Centre for Global Women's Studies, School of Political Science and Sociology)  GBV(Gender-Based Violence) and VAW (Violence Against Women)

  Nata Duvvury

Dr Nata Duvvury is a pioneering feminist economist with a special focus on women’s economic empowerment and violence against women (VAW) in low and middle-income countries. Dr Duvvury’s vast body of work has contributed to the growing global research and advocacy agenda on the economic and social costs of VAW, and in particular domestic violence (DV). Indeed, her research has been central to the paradigmatic shift in understanding DV among governments, women’s organisations, businesses and multilateral organisations, including UN agencies, the World Bank and the IMF. This has led to increased attention and initiatives foregrounding DV as a key human rights violation of economic and social urgency, thus enhancing realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

Read more in Dr. Nata Duvvury's Case Study

2. Dr. Enda O' Connell  (College of Science and Engineering) –STEM education and engagement for young people through the ReelLIFE SCIENCE initiative

 Enda O Connell B

Dr. Enda O'Connell has put tremendous work in the area of STEM education and public engagement in primary schools, secondary schools and youth services. Since 2013 as part of the  ReelLIFE SCIENCE initiative, Enda has driven the project by creating a nationwide competition for young people to create short videos to demonstrate their research in a STEM-related topic for the general public. Through this project, more than 17,000 young people in over 500 schools and youth groups nationwide have engaged in STEM in a novel way, while also developing their creative, communication and digital skills.

 Read more in Dr. Enda O'Connell's Case Study

Team Awardees:

3. Dr. Lucy Ann Buckley & Dr. Shivaun Quinlivan (School of Law)  Employment law in Guernsey, discrimination against, race, gender and disability. 

Team Law

Dr. Lucy-Ann Buckley and Dr. Shivaun Quinlivan have extensive experience and strong track records of research and advocacy in equality law, employment law, inclusive education and disability. This led to their appointment, in February 2018, as expert advisors to the States of Guernsey (Channel Islands) regarding the development of a new anti-discrimination law. The initial brief was to advise on legislation addressing disability discrimination. However, as a result of Lucy and Shivaun’s input and advice, this proposal progressed to broader anti-discrimination legislation covering multiple grounds

Read more in Dr. Lucy-Ann Buckley's and Dr. Shivaun Quinlivan''s Case Study

 Early Career Awardee

 4. Amanda Walsh (School of  Health Sciences)  Podiatry/Cope Homeless  

  Amanda Walsh

Ms. Amanda Walsh set up the first-ever monthly Podiatry clinic in the COPE Galway Fairgreen Hostel. This is a 26 bed crisis unit for the male homeless population that accommodates and supports men who are actively misusing alcohol and, or drugs, and men who have mental health challenges.  Amanda's podiatry clinics have proven to be an invaluable service to the homeless.

Read more in Amanda Walsh's Case Study

See the 2019 Winners here

See the 2018 Winners here

See the 2017 Winners here