Research is an integral part of our work here in the University. It is a fundamental part of the undergraduate curriculum and is built into modules in the second, third and fourth years of the programme. Each student devises their own research proposal and with the help of a supervisor carries out all of the data collection, statistical analysis and write up in their final year of the programme.

Research ideas have varied greatly ranging from “Risk Factors Associated with Ingrown toenails: A Comparative Study Between Active and Non-Active Teenage Boys” to “An International Survey of Diabetes Knowledge levels between newly diagnosed Type II Diabetes patients in Galway and New York.” With an increasing bank of undergraduate research the potential for present students to build on previous research creates exciting opportunities going forward.

Many members of staff are also actively involved in research with many already receiving rewards for their endeavours:

  • Professor Caroline McIntosh got her PhD through publication in 2007 from the University of Huddersfield and eventually secured her Professorship in 2012
  • Dr. Claire MacGilchrist graduated with her PhD in November 2012 entitled “Lower Limb Risk Factors for Falls in People with Diabetes Mellitus.”
  • Dr. Elaine Hyslop graduated with her PhD in November 2013 entitled “Biomechanics of enthesitis of the foot in Psoriatic Arthritis.”
  • Ms. Lynda Mc Hugh also graduated from her Masters in Clinical Education offered in NUI Galway in November 2011. Her study was entitled “Feedback in the clinical setting- the student’s expectation.”
  • Ms. Louisa Flynn graduated from the MPhil in 2013 with her study on “An investigation into the prevalence of venous dysfunction in a Diabetic population” and now works with our clinical staff in Merlin Park Podiatry Clinic.
  • Mr. Seamus O Hagan is undertaking his Masters in Sports and Exercise Medicine in the University of Ulster and is on course to graduate in 2015.

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Christopher Joyce

Research has always fascinated Christopher through both its academic and practical applications in the healthcare field. This summer (2014) Christopher was successful in obtaining a student research scholarship from the Discipline of Podiatry and conducted a pilot study on the effects of acupuncture.

Under the supervision of Professor Caroline McIntosh, he conducted a study entitled “Acupuncture…. An alternative or adjunctive treatment option for diabetes-related neuropathic pain?”  The study found that acupuncture is indeed an adjunctive treatment option for diabetes-related neuropathic pain and can be used effectively in conjunction with evidence-based medicine and therapies. Christopher also noted that these patients quality of life improved with acupuncture, through mainly unknown mechanisms. It is hoped that a larger, control trail study will be carried out from these results within the Discipline of Podiatry, in the near future. 

This research has been presented by Christopher as a poster and oral presentation at the 1st Transatlantic Wound Care and Podiatric Medicine Conference in Galway this year, claiming 1st place in the oral presentation section of the conference. This achievement helped set Christopher’s sights on more research after graduation.