Wednesday, 10 November 2021

A NUI Galway graduate has been named Law Student of the Year at the Irish Law Awards 2021. Cassie Roddy-Mullineaux, from Rosscahill, Co Galway, graduated with a BA and Bachelor of Laws (LLB), placing first in her year, before graduating with a first class honours LLM in International Human Rights in 2020. The Law Student of the Year award recognises and celebrates the academic legal achievements and other overall achievements of a student studying law in a third level college or university. Ms Roddy-Mullineaux was awarded the accolade in recognition of her outstanding achievements while studying at NUI Galway’s School of Law and the University’s Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR). She said: “I am over the moon to have won the award for Law Student of the Year at the Irish Law Awards 2021. Completing the LLM in International Human Rights completely changed my outlook on legal practice and how I wanted to contribute as a lawyer. I'm extremely grateful to the Irish Centre for Human Rights and NUI Galway School of Law for the generous support of the staff and community who afforded me so many opportunities during the LLM and have truly helped to shape my legal career.” Professor Martin Hogg, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Law, said: “This award is incredibly well deserved and the Law School is delighted for Cassie. Cassie was an outstanding member of our LLM in International Human Rights class, not only distinguishing herself in her studies and research but making impactful contributions in a range of projects on which she worked with her classmates, our staff, and NGOs. We hope that her achievements will inspire current and future students to aim as high as she has.” Since graduating, Ms Roddy-Mullineaux has been working as a lawyer with AWO, a new data rights agency, at the intersection of data rights and human rights. She advises clients on a wide range of data and privacy issues. In collaboration with Article Eight Advocacy, Ms Roddy-Mullineaux continued to work with the new cohort of students in the Human Rights Law Clinic at the University’s Irish Centre for Human Rights throughout 2020-2021 on the Mother and Baby data protection hub, an online resource to help survivors of the Mother and Baby Homes request their personal data from the bodies that hold it. Interim Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, Professor Ray Murphy, said: “Cassie embodies the perfect mix of academic scholarship and human rights activism. We are delighted with the richly deserved recognition this prestigious award gives her.” Ms Roddy-Mullineaux was involved in a number of projects during her studies at NUI Galway, including: Being part of the ICHR representative team at Ireland’s United Nation's CERD (Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination) review in Dec 2019. She spoke to the CERD Committee in Geneva on Ireland’s climate racism. She also contributed to and helped compile the ICHR’s shadow report. Being part of the ICHR’s Human Rights Law Clinic, directed by Dr Maeve O’Rourke, she worked on the My Data Rights project, an online resource to help survivors of historical and institutional abuses in Ireland use GDPR to access their personal data. Working with environmental group, Safety Before LNG, she co-wrote a legal opinion on the compatibility of a legal ban on fracked gas imports with EU and WTO trade laws. Completing a legal research placement with the Global Legal Action Network working on business-related human rights abuses. Assisting NUI Galway’s Dr Padraic Kenna with researching European Convention on Human Rights arguments relating to the Case of the Century (climate litigation) in France. Ends

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Ground-breaking report systematically explores alternative educational provision  Report presents critical challenges, findings and a call to action for more equal and diverse future education in Ireland for all young people Social Return on Investment value generated for project beneficiaries was just over €68 million A groundbreaking report by NUI Galway has documented for the first time that the average progression rates of students in seven alternative education programmes (who complete QQI levels 3 to 6 qualification)  amounted to 80% between January 2018 to July 2020. The progression rate reached in excess of 90% for some projects. Whilst Ireland has a high post-primary school completion rate, with 92.3% of students completing the Senior Cycle in both 2018 and 2019 (DES, 2020), school completion rates in schools serving areas of acute economic disadvantage are statistically and significantly lower than in schools serving more affluent populations (Houses of Oireachtas, 2019). A significant proportion of the 8% of pupils not completing post-primary education avail of alternative or second-chance education. Apart from Youthreach, which is a state-provided programme of second-chance education, very little systematic, robust, scientific information has ever been gathered on Ireland’s alternative educational provision landscape. This is aggravated even further by at least a three-year delay in the publication by the Department of Education of a formal review of Alternative Education. To address this gap in knowledge, the report focused on seven projects awarded funding under Rethink Ireland’s €7.5 million Education Fund (2017-2020). The research investigated the extent to which practices used by these projects can serve as models of excellence in overcoming inequality in education. The Fund was open to projects focused on improving educational outcomes for those experiencing educational disadvantage, supporting students to progress from Levels 3–6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). The seven projects (six in Dublin, one in Cork) involved were An Cosán VCC; iScoil, Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities; Aspire2; Citywise Fast Track Academy; Cork Life Centre; and Trinity Access 21. The average progression rates amounting to 80% over the course of the three-year study, shows that in most cases, people in these projects had significant success in progressing their education and is comparable with the completion rates of those within the mainstream system. The study also found that the total Social Return on Investment value generated for project beneficiaries was just over €68 million with a total cost of €7,790,285 for the seven awardee projects over three years. For every one euro invested in the seven projects, €9 of social value was created. Social value return and benefits include increased independence, maturity, increased self-confidence, and a more positive future outlook. Some 55% of the social value was directly created by Rethink Ireland’s Education Fund investment of €4,302,479, where every euro invested in the seven projects, €12 of social value was created. The report also presents critical challenges, findings and a call to action for a more equal and diverse future education in Ireland. The research team led by Dr Cormac Forkan from the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre in NUI Galway carried out the three-year academic evaluation of the Education Fund. Dr Forkan says: “Our work allowed us to look inside the ‘black box’ of how these projects support their learners. This model shows how the projects developed and implemented innovative approaches (called ‘actions’) to address various areas of the five strategic goals in the Action Plan 2016–2019. We found that progression is of course about participants moving along Levels 3 to 6 of the QQI framework of qualifications and achieving ‘hard outcomes. “However, our data and subsequent model shows that it is also about their personal transformation and development of their ‘soft outcomes’, like increased independence (maturity), increased self-confidence, and a more positive future outlook. Our new evidence-based model on Educational Progression and Transformation, recognises that awardee projects provide critical and enabling actions for their participants in both of these domain areas and ultimately address better wellbeing for participants.” Martina von Richter, Impact and Operations Director, Rethink Ireland, said: “Rethink Ireland is delighted with the results of this thorough and innovative academic evaluation. The work of the Education Fund awardees is outstanding and we now have proof that their alternative models of education work and have a far reaching and sustainable positive impact on their learners. “Every young person should be supported to reach their full potential and the evaluation demonstrates clearly the need for substantial change in Ireland: the alternative education sector in Ireland needs to be recognised and supported by the government, and integrated into the mainstream education sector so that all learners have the opportunity to benefit from them. “Young people don’t come in one size fits all, and neither should their education.” Recommendations for policy Develop a cross departmental strategy on tackling educational disadvantage by tackling the social and economic inequalities facing children, young people and their families, using the learning on what works from this study on alternative educational provision. The Department of Education to formally recognise Alternative Education provision as educational providers in their own right and fund them in the same way as the formal education system. Create a forum for mainstream and alternative education providers to exchange evidence-based knowledge and experiences to support all students. Organise a showcase where the learning about actions and processes used by the awardee projects to tackle education inequality can be shared with mainstream and alternative education providers and with broader society. A student from the Aspire 2 project, said: “It’s the mind-set of ‘oh you go to this particular school so that means you can’t do things’. The support and the funding that they’re giving us, it makes me feel like I’m not just someone that goes to a DEIS school. I can go to college. I can do things that I want to do because of the Aspire 2 programme.” A student from An Cosán project, said: “Some of our lives are crashed and An Cosán can support us to help us to construct our lives once again. It has been very supportive and has given us a different meaning to our lives. When you get a certificate, because not so many colleges around here would accept an application from asylum seekers but An Cosán (does).  So, it is a backbone of what we are doing, and we are grateful.” Read the full report here: https://rethinkireland.ie/reports/ -Ends-

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Five NUI Galway Irish Traveller students and the University’s Traveller Education Officer Owen Ward have been honoured with National Educational Achievement Awards. The presentation was made by Minister for Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. at a ceremony at Exchange House in Dublin. The five students, Anne Marie Ward, Jason Sherlock, Anna Keane, Rebecca Sherlock, and Ann Marie Ward are currently undertaking a Mature Student Access programme, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at NUI Galway. The Exchange House Ireland National Educational Achievement Award is presented to Irish Travellers who have completed Junior Certificate, Leaving Certificate, GCSE or A-level examinations or third level courses, in recognition of the hard work and commitment shown by the recipients in reaching their goals. The awards highlight role models for other Irish Travellers who may be considering formal education and are proactive in promoting the value of formal education. Speaking after the ceremony, NUI Galway student Ann Marie Ward said: “I’m currently in my second year of an undergraduate degree and work part time with the STAR project in Tuam, Co Galway. I’m very fortunate that I can apply what I learn in my degree and put it into practice while supporting Irish Traveller youth and families in the community. It was an honour to be recognised and to receive this award.” Dr Mary Surlis, Senior Manager of NUI Galway’s Access Centre, said: “We are hugely proud of our students and congratulate them on their achievements to date and on this recognition from Exchange House. Supporting Irish Travellers to access higher education is a key aspect of the Access programmes work for over two decades and NUI Galway is committed to not only enabling members of the Irish Traveller community to access third level education but to succeed when they do.” Owen Ward, NUI Galway’s Traveller Education Officer, received an award for his commitment to supporting Irish Traveller students in education, his educational achievements and for commencing a part time PhD at the University this year. Mr Ward said: “The award acknowledges the students’ commitment to education and as Traveller Education Officer, I am very proud of all their achievements and know that they will make a strong contribution to society as they complete their studies. All the awardees are currently supported by the Mincéirs Misl'd in Education project and act as inspirational role models to others.” Ends

Monday, 8 November 2021

NUI Galway earns Gold rating for sustainability  STARS programme recognises achievements and improvements since 2018  University rated among global top tier of higher education institutions NUI Galway has joined an elite group of universities around the world by being recognised with a STARS Gold rating for sustainability achievements. The standard of excellence was earned following a review by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) under its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). NUI Galway is one of just 133 universities worldwide to earn the STARS Gold rating for sustainability.The achievement comes on the back of several years hard work, from the establishment of the Community and University Sustainability Partnership (CUSP) in 2015 under the direction of the Deputy President and Registrar Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, to the appointment of the University’s inaugural Sustainability Officer in 2019, Michelle O’Dowd Lohan, to the roll-out of a wide ranging sustainability strategic framework, led by the CUSP chair Professor Jamie Goggins, to the student voice and to the inclusion of sustainability as a core value in the University strategy 2020-2025, Shared Visions, Shaped by Value.  President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “Sustainability is one of our core values at NUI Galway and we should look upon the Gold rating for our work in this area as testament to our endeavours in that regard. I often speak about our University being here for the public good - as the world meets in Glasgow, recognition of this nature, putting us at NUI Galway on a par with some of the most high-profile institutions in the world for our work which is so critical for the future of our planet, now … not tomorrow, now.” Róisín Nic Lochlainn, NUI Galway Students’ Union President, said: “Students have a long history of tackling major issues facing our society, and sustainability is something that they are hungry to pursue. I am delighted with the contribution students have made to the STARS Gold rating and I look forward to continuing our work on developing our long terms sustainability goals.”  Professor Jamie Goggins, chair of NUI Galway’s Community University Sustainability Partnership (CUSP) board, said: “The STARS Gold rating is tremendous. It is to be celebrated and it should also be used to spur us on to the next challenge and for all of us at NUI Galway to push ourselves to deepen our focus on sustainability and ensure efforts are redoubled for the young people of today and the next generation.”Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, NUI Galway Deputy President and Registrar and Chair of the University Sustainability Advisory Board, said: “The STARS Gold rating is an outstanding success. Huge credit should go to all those who put the issue of sustainability on the agenda in our University, to those who developed the strategy to embed it in our work and practice and to those who pursue the right decisions to make it a living value of NUI Galway.” More than 1,000 institutions have registered to use the STARS Reporting Tool, of which 678 have earned a STARS rating and 133 currently hold a Gold rating. STARS assesses environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainability across five areas: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership. NUI Galway was recognised for initiatives including academic staff embracing sustainability as part of curriculum, research addressing sustainability challenges and using the campus as a living lab for applied student learning for sustainability. The University was also recognised for its Green Campus Ireland award; leadership in the area of sustainable energy and renewable energy technologies; protecting and enhancing biodiversity sites on campus; receiving the first Green Lab Certification in Europe; community partnership; and strong governance and whole of institution framework for progressing sustainability on the campus and beyond. Ends

Monday, 8 November 2021

Aitheantas tugtha ag clár STARS do na héachtaí agus don dul chun cinn atá déanta ó 2018   An ollscoil rangaithe i scothshraith dhomhanda na n-institiúidí ardoideachais Tá OÉ Gaillimh ar cheann de ghrúpa ollscoileanna eisceachtúla ar fud an domhain a bhfuil rangú Órga STARS déanta orthu as a bhfuil bainte amach acu ó thaobh na hinbhuanaitheachta de. Bhain an ollscoil an caighdeán feabhais amach i ndiaidh don Chumann chun Inbhuanaitheacht san Ardoideachas a Chur Chun Cinn (AASHE) athbhreithniú a dhéanamh uirthi faoina Chóras Traiceála, Measúnaithe & Rangaithe Inbhuanaitheachta (STARS).  Tá OÉ Gaillimh ar cheann de 133 ollscoil ar fud an domhain a ghnóthaigh rangú Órga inbhuanaitheachta STARS. Tá obair chrua déanta ag an Ollscoil le cúpla bliain ag iarraidh an gradam a bhaint amach, ó bunaíodh Comhpháirtíocht Inbhuanaitheachta Pobail agus Ollscoile (CUSP) in 2015 faoi stiúir an Uachtaráin Ionaid agus Meabhránaí, an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh, nó gur ceapadh an chéad Oifigeach Inbhuanaitheachta, Michelle O’Dowd Lohan, san Ollscoil in 2019 chun creat straitéiseach inbhuanaitheachta leathan a chur i bhfeidhm, faoi cheannas chathaoirleach CUSP, an tOllamh Jamie Goggins, chun guth na mac léinn agus chun an inbhuanaitheacht a áireamh mar chroíluach i straitéis na hOllscoile 2020-2025, Fís Roinnte, Múnlaithe ag Luachanna. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Tá an inbhuanaitheacht ar cheann de bhunluachanna OÉ Gaillimh agus is fianaise é an rangú Órga ar an méid atá déanta againn ar mhaithe leis an inbhuanaitheacht. Is minic a deirim gur ar mhaithe leis an bpobal atá an Ollscoil anseo. Tá ceannairí an domhain ag teacht le chéile i nGlaschú i láthair na huaire, agus is aitheantas é seo a chuireann OÉ Gaillimh ar comhchéim le cuid de na hinstitiúidí is airde próifíl ar domhan as ár gcuid oibre, a bhfuil tábhacht as cuimse léi maidir lena bhfuil i ndán don phláinéad seo, anois ... ní amach anseo, ach anois." Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Róisín Nic Lochlainn, Uachtarán Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is fada na mic léinn ag tabhairt faoi mhórcheisteanna na sochaí, agus tá díocas ar leith orthu agus iad ag dul i ngleic leis an inbhuanaitheacht. Tá ríméad orm faoin méid a rinne mic léinn le rangú Órga STARS a bhaint amach agus táim ag tnúth le leanúint lenár gcuid oibre lenár gcuspóirí inbhuanaitheachta fadtéarmacha a fhorbairt." Dúirt Jamie Goggins, cathaoirleach bhord Chomhpháirtíocht Inbhuanaitheachta Pobail agus Ollscoile OÉ Gaillimh (Cusp): “Is iontach an rud é rangú Órga STARS a bhaint amach. Is údar ceiliúrtha é agus ba cheart go spreagfadh sé muid le tabhairt faoin gcéad dúshlán eile agus brú a chur orainn féin le béim níos láidre a chur ar an inbhuanaitheacht agus a chinntiú go ndéantar a dhá oiread iarrachtaí ar mhaithe le daoine óga sa lá atá inniu ann agus don chéad ghlúin eile.” Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí OÉ Gaillimh agus Cathaoirleach Bhord Comhairleach Inbhuanaitheachta na hOllscoile: “Is éacht amach is amach é rangú Órga STARS a bhaint amach. Tá buíochas ar leith ag dul dóibh sin ar fad a chuir béim ar an inbhuanaitheacht san Ollscoil, dóibh sin a d’fhorbair an straitéis agus a leabaigh í inár gcuid oibre agus inár gcleachtas agus dóibh sin a chinntigh go ndearnadh na cinntí cearta chun go mbeadh luach beo leis an inbhuanaitheacht in OÉ Gaillimh.” Chláraigh níos mó ná 1,000 institiúid chun Uirlis Tuairiscithe STARS a úsáid. Thuill 678 díobh rangú STARS agus tá rangú Órga tuillte ag 133 díobh go dtí seo. Déanann STARS measúnú ar ghnéithe comhshaoil, sóisialta agus eacnamaíocha na hinbhuanaitheachta i gcúig réimse: lucht acadúil, rannpháirtíocht, oibríochtaí, pleanáil agus riarachán, agus nuálaíocht agus ceannaireacht. Tugadh aitheantas do OÉ Gaillimh as tionscnaimh lena n-áirítear gur ghlac an fhoireann acadúil an inbhuanaitheacht chucu féin mar chuid den churaclam, go ndearna siad taighde a thugann aghaidh ar dhúshláin na hinbhuanaitheachta agus gur úsáideadh an campas mar shaotharlann bheo d’fhoghlaim fheidhmeach inbhuanaitheachta na mac léinn. Tugadh aitheantas don Ollscoil chomh maith nuair a fuair sí gradam Champas Glas na hÉireann; as a ceannaireacht i réimse na dteicneolaíochtaí inbhuanaithe fuinnimh agus fuinnimh in-athnuaite; as suíomhanna bithéagsúlachta ar an gcampas a chosaint agus a fheabhsú; as an gcéad Deimhniú Saotharlainne Glaise san Eoraip a fháil; as comhpháirtíocht phobail; agus as rialachas láidir agus creat na hinstitiúide trí chéile as an inbhuanaitheacht a chur chun cinn ar an gcampas agus níos faide i gcéin. Críoch

Friday, 5 November 2021

Seolann OÉ Gaillimh Speak Out do mhic léinn agus don fhoireann Uirlis cheannródaíoch ar líne bunaithe chun go mbeidh daoine in ann foréigean, bulaíocht agus ciapadh gnéasach a thuairisciú gan ainm Sheol OÉ Gaillimh uirlis ar líne Speak Out do mhic léinn agus don fhoireann chun foréigean agus ciapadh a thuairisciú gan ainm. Is cuid de thionscnamh náisiúnta é an t-ardán Ollscoile atá á chur i bhfeidhm in institiúidí ardoideachais i mbliana chun go mbeifear in ann eachtraí a chur ar an taifead agus monatóireacht níos mó a dhéanamh orthu chun eachtraí eile a chosc, agus tacaíocht agus tuairisciú a fhorbairt. Ligeann Speak Out do mhic léinn agus don fhoireann bulaíocht, cibearbhulaíocht, ciapadh, idirdhealú, coireacht fuatha, iompar/smacht comhéigneach, stalcaireacht, ionsaí, ciapadh gnéasach, ionsaí gnéis, agus éigniú a chur ar an taifead. Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Tá ríméad ar OÉ Gaillimh tacú leis an tionscnamh tábhachtach seo, a thagann lenár luach straitéiseach féin maidir le meas agus a léiríonn ár bhfócas ar a chinntiú go gcomhlíonfaimid freagrachtaí ar mhaithe le leas an phobail. “Is pobal measúil, oscailte muid, atá tiomanta fáilte a chur roimh na buanna go léir agus iad a chothú go mbeidh barr feabhais ag baint leo i gcónaí. Tá sé de cheart ag gach duine i bpobal na hOllscoile staidéar a dhéanamh nó oibriú i dtimpeallacht atá saor ó bhulaíocht, ciapadh agus ciapadh gnéasach. Tugann Speak Out an cumas dár bpobal eachtraí den sórt sin a thuairisciú. Molaim dóibh é sin a dhéanamh agus aghaidh a thabhairt ar na gnéithe sin den tsochaí nach bhfuil fáilte rompu agus a bhfuil athrú de dhíth dá mbarr.” Tá an uirlis Speak Out ar fáil do mhic léinn agus don fhoireann in OÉ Gaillimh ag https://nuig.speakout.ie/ Forbraíodh é d’earnáil ardoideachais na hÉireann. Tá sé faoi stiúir na gComhairleoirí Síceolaíochta in Ardoideachas na hÉireann (PCHEI), agus faigheann sé tacaíocht ón Roinn Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agus Eolaíochta agus ón Údarás um Ardoideachas. Úsáidfear na sonraí a bhailítear trí Speak Out chun bonn eolais a chur faoi pholasaithe agus tionscnaimh spriocdhírithe oideachais. Is é aidhm PCHEI uirlis a chur ar fáil le bunús tráma a thabharfaidh seirbhísí tacaíochta d’úsáideoirí atá ábhartha dá dtaithí. Is tionscnamh ceannródaíoch é an tionscadal seo a bhfuil éiteas comhoibrithe tras-institiúideach leis mar gheall ar eachtraí den sórt sin in institiúidí ardoideachais. Dúirt Gemma MacNally, ó Sheirbhís Comhairleoireachta na Mac Léinn, OÉ Gaillimh: “Táimid bródúil an uirlis Speak Out a chur ar fáil do phobal, do mhic léinn agus d’fhoireann na hOllscoile. Is cuid thábhachtach dár bPlean Gníomhaíochta institiúideach é a chinntiú go mbíonn foréigean gnéasach agus ciapadh níos sofheicthe agus go bpléitear iad go hoscailte. Is rogha nua an uirlis Speak Out do dhaoine chun an méid atá le rá acu a bheith le cloisteáil. Idir an dá linn, leanfaimid orainn ag obair ar pháirteanna eile dár bPlean Gníomhaíochta, mar shampla oideachas agus oiliúint ar iompraíochtaí dearfacha, tacaíochtaí, agus an cóimheas a chaithfidh a bheith mar bhonn agus mar thaca le heispéireas OÉ Gaillimh.” D’fhoilsigh an Rialtas an cháipéis treorach in 2019 maidir leis an gcaoi ar cheart do choláistí freagairt do thoiliú, foréigean gnéasach agus ciapadh ('An Creat le haghaidh Toilithe in Institiúidí Ardoideachais: Slán, Measúil, Tacúil agus Dearfach – Ag cur Deireadh le Foréigean agus Ciapadh Gnéasach in Institiúidí Ardoideachais na hÉireann'). Rinneadh cur síos ann ar an ngá atá le sonraí a bhailiú ar rátaí minicíochta ciaptha ghnéasaigh agus foréigin ar fud na hearnála. Is cuid amháin den straitéis sin é Speak Out, mar aon le tuairiscí oifigiúla ó mhic léinn agus ón bhfoireann agus suirbhéanna ar mhórscála. Soláthraíonn Speak Out eolas freisin ar thacaíochtaí agus ar nósanna imeachta tuairiscithe atá ar fáil tríd an Ollscoil, chomh maith le heolas faoi sheirbhísí speisialtóra sa phobal. Rinneadh Suirbhé ar Eispéiris Ghnéasacha 2020 faoi stiúir fhoireann OÉ Gaillimh ar an Toiliú Gníomhach* agus Aontas na Mac Léinn in Éirinn i 14 institiúid ardoideachais. Ba é a thoradh sin go raibh gá le roghanna nua chun tacú le daoine an méid a tharla dóibh a nochtadh. Sa Suirbhé Náisiúnta ar Eispéiris Ghnéasacha, thuairiscigh thart ar an gcúigiú cuid (22.8%) de na mic léinn a ghlac páirt sa suirbhé gur tharla treá neamh-chomhthoiliúil dóibh. Fiafraíodh díobh ar inis siad do dhuine ar bith faoin méid a tharla dóibh – dúirt thart ar aon trian de na mná (35%) agus beagnach leath de na fir (49%) a thuairiscigh gur tharla a leithéid dóibh nár inis siad do dhuine ar bith gur tharla sé sular chomhlánaigh siad an suirbhé. Cinntíonn an uirlis Speak Out go mbeidh mic léinn agus an fhoireann in ann tuairisc gan ainm a dhéanamh, rud a chabhróidh leis an Ollscoil a threorú i dtreo tacaíochtaí agus nósanna imeachta níos fearr a bheith aici bunaithe ar thaithí dhíreach. Críoch

Friday, 5 November 2021

NUI Galway launches Speak Out for students and staff  Groundbreaking online tool set up for people to anonymously report experience of violence, bullying, and sexual harassment NUI Galway has launched its Speak Out online tool for students and staff to anonymously report violence and harassment. The University platform is part of a national initiative being rolled out in higher education institutions this academic year to allow for increased recording and monitoring of incidents which will then be used to develop prevention, support and reporting. Speak Out allows students and staff to record bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, discrimination, hate crime, coercive behaviour/control, stalking, assault, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “NUI Galway is delighted to support this important initiative, consistent with our own strategic value of respect and symbolic of our focus on ensuring we fulfil responsibilities for the public good. “We are a respectful, open community, committed to welcoming and sustaining, in excellence, all the talents. All members of the University community have the right to study or work in an environment free from bullying, harassment and sexual harassment. Speak Out empowers our community in reporting such incidents. I encourage them to do so and to confront those elements of society that are unwelcome and unwelcoming and therefore in need of change.” The Speak Out tool is available for students and staff at NUI Galway at https://nuig.speakout.ie/ Developed for Ireland’s higher education sector, it is led by the Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland (PCHEI), with the support of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and the Higher Education Authority. The data collected through Speak Out will be used to inform policy and targeted educational initiatives. It is the goal of PCHEI to provide a trauma-informed tool which will provide users with support services relevant to their experience. This project is a groundbreaking initiative underpinned by an ethos of cross-institutional collaboration in response to such incidences within higher education institutions. Gemma MacNally, from the NUI Galway Student Counselling Service, said: “We are proud to make the Speak Out tool available to our University community of students and staff. It is an important part of our institutional Action Plan to ensure that sexual violence and harassment become more visible and openly discussed. The Speak Out tool provides a new option for people to have their voices heard. Meanwhile, we will continue to work on other parts of our Action Plan, such as education and training on positive behaviours, supports, and the mutual respect that must underpin the NUI Galway experience.” The Government published the guiding document in 2019 for how colleges should respond to consent, sexual violence and harassment (‘Framework for Consent in Higher Education Institutions: Safe, Respectful, Supportive and Positive – Ending Sexual Violence and Harassment in Irish Higher Education Institutions’) outlining the need to collect data on incidence rates of sexual harassment and violence across the sector. Speak Out is one part of that strategy, along with official reports by students and staff and large scale surveys. Speak Out also provides information on supports and reporting procedures available through the University, as well as information on specialist services in the community. The 2020 Sexual Experiences Survey led by the NUI Galway Active* Consent team and the Union of Students in Ireland was carried out in 14 higher education institutions. It found that new options were needed to support people to disclose what happened to them. In the national Sexual Experiences Survey, about one fifth (22.8%) of students who took part in the survey reported experiencing non-consensual penetration. They were asked whether they had told someone about what had happened to them - about one third of the women (35%) and almost half of the men (49%) who reported having had this experience said they had not disclosed the incident to anyone prior to completing the survey. The Speak Out tool ensures that both students and staff will be able to make an anonymous report, helping to guide the University toward having better supports and procedures founded on direct experience. Ends

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Baill Fóirne Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh agus stair a dteaghlach sa Dara Cogadh Domhanda Cúntaisí úrnua ar an gCogadh ó léachtóirí OÉ Gaillimh ó thart timpeall na hEorpa  Nochtann baill fóirne de chuid OÉ Gaillimh stair a dteaghlach féin i rith an Dara Cogadh Domhanda in imleabhar nua-eisithe. Sa leabhar, ríomhtar an tionchar a d’imir sé ar na glúinte a tháinig i ndiadh san chomh maith. Sa chnuasach eisíoch seo, tá réimse suntasach scéalta ó scéal phílóta Éireannach san RAF a gabhadh ina phríosúnach san Iúgsláv, go poblachtánach Spáinneach ag gníomhú ar son Résistance na Fraince go beirt chailín Ghiúdach gafa suas i dtubaist léigir mhóir Leningrad, maraon le scéalta eile nach iad.  Beirt staraithe de chuid OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Róisín Healy agus an Dr Gearóid Barry, a chnuasaigh na scéalta sa leabhar úrnua Family Histories of World War II: Survivors and Descendants,le saineolas acu ar nua-stair na Gearmáine is na Fraince idir an bheirt acu. Ag croí an leabhair, tá 13 chuntas spleodrach ar fhíor-scéalta cogaidh ó bhaill fóirne, idir Éireannaigh is eachtrannaigh, ní amháin ar 1939-45 ach ar an mbrí a baineadh as chuimní an chruatan an tréimshe sin sa chlann ó aimsir an Chogaidh i leith. Mar a dúirt an Dr Róisín Healy: “Agus taighde déanta agam sa Ghearmáin agam leis na blianta, bhí sé de phribhléid agam aithne a chur ar roinnt mhaith Gearmáineach is scéalta a muintire a chlos,” ar sise.  “Rith sé liom go mbeadh a macasamail de scéalta suimiúla ag an-chuid daoine eile, fiú ag daoine ina gcónaí in Éirinn. Leag mé geall air gurbh fhiú dúinn áiteamh ar phobal OÉ Gaillimh, is ar ar a bhfoireann ilnáisiúnach. Fós féin, chuir téagar na bhfreagraí ionadh orm,” arsa an Dr Healy. Cuireann comheagarthór an leabhair, an Dr Gearóid Barry, le seo, ag rá: “Ní raibh sinn ag súil leis go raibh tionchar chomh cumhachtach sin ag an Cogadh ar na chomhleacaithe béaldorais lena rabhamar ag plé leo ó lá go lá.” I measc na scéaltaí pearsanta sa chnuasacht tá na samplaí seo: Scéal Hans-Walter Schmidt-Hannisa, Ollamh le Gearmáinis agus Consal Onórach na Gearmáine in Iarthar na hÉireann, a d’fhás suas ag smaoineamh go raibh a chlann níos cosúla le híospartaigh an chogaidh ná le fealladóirí go dtí go bhfuair sé amach gurbh duine ciníoch ceart é a sheanathair a bhí fós gan náire tuarimí Naitsíocha a fhógairt, rud a chuir alltacht ar an údar. Scéal grá inste ar bhealach eisceachtáil ag Sheena Fennell agus a máthair Gill, iníon is gariníon an lánúna. Is teicneoir sinsearach sa mhuireolaíocht ag OÉG í Sheena Fennell. D'fhág Cecil McCall and Patricia Fox cathair Chorcaí sa bhliain 1940 le páirt a ghlacadh i bhfeachtas cogaidh na Breataine. Chaith Cecil seal mar phríosúnach cogaidh sa Ghearmáin fad is a bhí Patricia ag obair mar thiománaí otharlchairr in Aberdeen le linn na ruathair Luftwaffe ar an mbaile san. Misneach agus greann a chabhraigh leo teacht slán ón gcruatan go dtí gur phós an bheirt acu sa bhliain 1945. D’fhás Enrico Dal Lago, atá ina ollamh le stair Mheiriceá in ÓE Gaillimh, suas san Iodáil sna 1970í. Chuaigh cuimhní a dtuismitheoir óna n-óige féin ar fhorghabháil na Naitsithe ar an Iodáil sna blianta 1943-45 go mór i bhfeidhm ar Enrico óg. Is as clann tuathánach bródúil ó oirthuaisceart na tíre é Olinto Dal Lago, athair Enrico nach raibh ach 10 bliana d’aois nuair a thosaigh sé ag cabhrú leis an Resistenza Iodálach. Bhí cúthail tráth ar Chiara Boylan, céimí dochtúireachta sa Stair is múinteoir sa Ghaillimh, mar gheall ar sheirbhís a seanathar in éide Shasana agus é inar oifigeach fiachlóireachta san airm san le linn an  Dara Chogadh Domhanda. Ag direadh na coimhlinte, bhí an Méisear J.J. McNamara, ó Co. an Chláir ó dhúchas, orthu siúd a rinne comhaireamh ar mhéad na marbh i gcampa géibhinn Bergen-Belsen ar bhunús fiacla na gcorpán. Ní fhaca sé teannas ar bith idir Éireannachas agus a sheirbhís míleata sa Chogadh agus le himeacht aimsire thuig a ghariníon na fáthanna gur liostáil sé ann. Spáinneach agus Léachtóir le h-eolaíocht is ea Sara Farrona. De sheans a tháinig ar sean-léarscáil Gearmáineach dena réigiún dúchais féin den Spáinn, rud a spreag í scéal a seanuncail Luís Cortés Farrona, iarshaighdiúr a throid i gCogadh na Spáinne agus mar chuid de Résistance na Fraince sa Dara Chogadh Domhanda, a iniúchadh. Mar Chumannach, theith Luís ó réimeas Franco chun na Fraince díreach roimh don tír sin teacht faoi smacht Hitler. Ar deoraíocht ón Spáinn suas go 1980, tugtar cur síos sa scéal seo ar Luís mar uncail ionúin a d’fhill ar a thír féin agus é amach san aois – is an scéal grá a mheall ar ais ann é. Tógann Irina Ruppo, léachtóir le Béarla, chun cuimhne a beirt sheanmháthair, na deirfiúracha Lucia agus Raisa Greenberg a tháinig slán ó Léigear na Naitsíothe ar Leningrad (1941-44), eachtra ina bháisigh ós cionn 1 milliún duine. Tar éis dóibh éalú ón gcathair a bhí faoi léigear sa bhliain 1942 bhí orthu aghaidh a thabhairt ar aistear crua ar bord traenach chun na Sibéire: lena linn, dhiúltaigh máthair na gcailiní glan duine den mbeirt a bhí breoite a fhágaint ina diadh. Scéal shaighdiúra Mheiriceánach is an clann Iodálach a shabháil é is ábhar don bhfíor-scéal á aithris anseo ag beirt deirfiúr Colleen Williamson agus Maureen Maloney, ó Phittsbrugh Pennsylvania sna Stáit Aontaithe ó dhúchas. Sa bhliain 1987 amháin a tháinig eachtraí cogaidh a n-athair Thomas Joyce Moloney chun solais. Píolóta san US Army Air Corps a bhí ann: bhí iachaill air parasiútáil amach dá eitleán sna hAlps le linn ruathair ar thuaisceart na hIodáile i Feabhra 1945.  Ar éigean a bheadh sé beo seachas coimirce chlann sa dúiche idir sin agus teacht fhórsaí na Comhghuaillíochta mar fhuaiscilteoirí roinnt míosa ina dhiadh. 45 bhliain níos déanaí reachtáladh cruinniú céilúrtha nuair a rinne Joyce athchuairt ar am mbaile beag úd. Léachtóir le Fraincís is ea Sylvie Mossay a dhéanann cur síos anseo ar thaithí uasfásach a seanthuismitheoirí Basyl Marczuk agus Aleksandra Doronko, tuistí a máthair as an Úcráin, a chuir aithne ar a chéile is iad ina sclábhaithe sa Ghearmáin i rith an chogaidh, is a d’imigh mar theifigh chun na Beilge i ndiadh san gan castáil ar a gclanna féin ar ais san Úcráin ach amháin sa bhliain 1972. Léiríonn an leabhar seo na bealaí éagsúla inar shealbhaigh sliocht na ndaoine seo cuimhní a sinsir ar an gCogadh. Air seo, dar leis an Dr Healy,  tá ilghnéitheacht ann: “I gcásanna áirithe, bhí cuimhní cogaidh go mór i mbéal an chomhluadair, cur i gcás an sampla againn ó bhaile bheag sa Ghréig. Uaireanta eile, is blianta fada i ndiadh san a tháinig cuimhní chun cinn, go minic mar thoradh ar fhiosracht an aos óig sa chlann.” Thug an cnuasacht cuimhní cinn seo deis do na scéalaithe macnamh a dhéanamh ar thionchar fad-théarmach an mhéid a thit amach dá sinsear ar an gclann trí chéile a mheas. Arsa an Dr Barry: “Thar aon rud eile, tá ilghnéitheacht suntasach ann. Ar lámh amháin, d’iompaigh scéal seanathair a thacaigh leis na Naitsíothe amach ina ualach trom a srac clann as a chéile. Ar an lámh eile de, áfach, i gclann eile, rinneadh scéal spreagúil ar acmhainneacht an dhuine aonair as scéal athar a tháinig slán ó bhraighdeanas na Naitsíocha dá iníon agus í i ngleic le fadbhanna pearsanta.” Tá Family Histories of World War II foilsithe ag Bloomsbury Academic, is tá an leabhar ar fáil ón 4 Samhain 2021. Staraithe aitheanta is faoi ghradam iad na h-eagarthóirí.  Sa bhrollach comhthéacsaithe sa leabhar, cíorann said luach na staire teaghlaigh i scríobh staire an Chogaidh is an léargas a thugann sé ar rian an Chogaidh ar na glúnta a lean é. Tuilleadh eolais ar https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/family-histories-of-world-war-ii-9781350201958/ Do fhiosraithe ó na meáin is d’eolas ar ghriangrafanna féach leagan Béarla den bpréas-ráiteas seo.Críoch.

Thursday, 4 November 2021

NUI Galway staff recount family histories of World War II  Academics record wartime stories from colleagues across Europe   Staff at NUI Galway have shared personal family histories of World War II in a book which recounts the impact on those who lived through it and generations which followed. The remarkable collection of stories ranges from an Irishman who flew for the Royal Air Force and was captured in Yugoslavia, to a Spanish communist working for the French Resistance, to two young Jewish girls caught up in the Siege of Leningrad.  Family Histories of World War II: Survivors and Descendants was compiled by NUI Galway historians Dr Róisín Healy and Dr Gearóid Barry, specialists in modern Germany and France respectively. It is made up of 13 fascinating accounts of individual wartime experiences from Irish and international staff at the University and their meaning for subsequent generations. Dr Róisín Healy said: “After many years as a researcher in Germany, I got to know many Germans and had the privilege of hearing their families’ experiences of World War II."  “It struck me that many others, including people living in Ireland, have war stories of their own. My hunch was that an approach to colleagues at NUI Galway, which now has a very international staff, would yield many such stories. I was bowled over by the response.” Co-editor Dr Gearóid Barry, said: “We had no idea how deep an impact the war had on people we are working with every day.” The collection of stories and personal history includes: Professor of German and Honorary Consul for Germany in the West of Ireland Hans-Walter Schmidt-Hannisa grew up under the impression that his family were more like victims of war than perpetrators only to discover his maternal grandfather was a racist and an inveterate Nazi. In a unique mother-daughter essay senior technician in oceanography Sheena Fennell and her mother Gill wrote the wartime love story of grandparents/parents Cecil McCall and Patricia Fox. The engaged couple left Cork city in 1940 to join Britain’s war effort. Cecil was taken prisoner of war in Germany while Patricia worked as an ambulance driver in bombed-out Aberdeen. Grit and humour helped them survive until they were reunited and wed in 1945. Professor of American history at NUI Galway Enrico Dal Lago grew up in Italy in the 1970s. His parents’ childhood memories of the Nazi occupation of 1943-45 haunted the imagination. Enrico’s father Olinto Dal Lago is from a proud peasant family in north-eastern Italy. Aged 10, he became a boy helper of the Italian Resistance. Ciara Boylan, who has a PhD in History and teaches in Galway, once found her grandfather’s service as a dental officer to British soldiers in World War II problematic. Major J.J. McNamara, a native of Co Clare, also helped estimate the numbers killed at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He saw no contradiction between his nationality and his military service. His granddaughter came to appreciate his motives. Sara Farrona, a scientist and lecturer from Spain, made a chance discovery of a mysterious wartime German map of Spain which led her back to her granduncle Luís Cortés Farrona, a veteran of both the Spanish Civil War and of the French Resistance during World War II. A Communist refugee, Luís escaped Franco only to see France occupied by Hitler. Exiled from Spain until 1980, Luís’ story is one of the return of a beloved uncle - and finding love a second time in old age. English lecturer Irina Ruppo recalled her Russian-Jewish grandmothers, sisters Lucia and Raisa Greenberg who survived the Nazi Siege of Leningrad (1941-44), in which an estimated one million people died. They escaped the city in 1942 to face an arduous journey by train to Siberia: their mother refused to leave one sickly daughter behind. The story of an American soldier and the Italian family who saved him. Sisters Colleen Williamson and Maureen Maloney, from Pittsburgh in the US Pennsylvania, only discovered the wartime adventures of their father Thomas Joyce Maloney in 1987. A pilot in the US Army Air Corps, he was forced to parachute into the Alps during a mission in northern Italy in February 1945. A local Italian family rescued and protected him until the Allied liberation. Some 45 years later there was a reunion with the villagers. Lecturer in French Sylvie Mossay recounts the traumatic experiences of her maternal grandparents, Basyl Marczuk and Aleksandra Doronko. The couple met as Ukrainian slave labourers in wartime Germany, sought refuge in postwar Belgium, and reunited with family in Ukraine only in 1972. The book reveals the many different ways in which descendants of these war witnesses came to learn of these stories. Dr Healy added: “In some cases, memories of the war were popular topics of postwar conversations, as in one Greek village active in the resistance. In other cases, memories emerged only decades later, often prompted by the curiosity of younger family members.” The collection also allowed the contributors to reflect on the long-term impact of their ancestors’ experiences on subsequent generations.  Dr Barry said: “Again the variety is notable. The story of a grandfather who served the Nazis became a burden that divided one family while the story of a father who survived Nazi captivity became a lesson in resilience for a daughter with personal difficulties.” Family Histories of World War II is published by Bloomsbury Academic, and is available from today 4 November 2021.  The editors, well established historians of modern Europe, provide an introduction which describes the upsurge in interest in family history in recent decades and its value for both illuminating wartime experiences of ordinary people and understanding its legacy for subsequent generations. Further information https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/family-histories-of-world-war-ii-9781350201958/ Ends

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

New national network launched to embed patient involvement in research PPI Ignite Network, headquartered in NUI Galway - a significant milestone for research, for public and patients and for carers  Minister of State for Disability Anne Rabbitte T.D. has today officially launched the PPI Ignite Network, a new national collaborative initiative putting patients at the centre of decision-making in research. PPI - Public Patient Involvement - leads to research that is more transparent and relevant, answering questions that matter to the people who are the focus of the research, with greater impact on policy and society. Headquartered at NUI Galway, the PPI Ignite Network has programme offices at seven universities across Ireland. It has a network of local, national and international partners, an expanding group of PPI contributors and it will operate on an all-island basis. Launching the PPI Ignite Network at NUI Galway, Minister Rabbitte said: “’Nothing about us, without us’ resonates strongly with me and I particularly welcome the emphasis across the PPI Ignite Network on including historically marginalised groups in co-designing research. Involving people who have not had a voice previously can help shape a different and healthier future for so many people in the coming decades. The PPI Ignite Network really is an investment in future health for all in this country.” The focus of the PPI Ignite Network is to provide leadership in PPI in research and to provide increased opportunities for the public, patients and carers to be at the centre of research decision-making, working with researchers to decide what issues are important to prioritise and how best to carry out research. Professor Seán Dinneen, Consultant Endocrinologist with the Saolta University Healthcare Group and National Lead for the PPI Ignite Network, said: “The PPI Ignite Network will drive excellence and inspire innovation, by embedding a culture of meaningful involvement of the public and patients in research. “We are excited to drive PPI as an integral part of the research culture. It will help researchers develop the required skills and knowledge and it will help to broaden the number and diversity of active PPI contributors and enable the development of genuine and sustained partnerships between research teams and community organisations and charities.” The PPI Ignite Network will have a strong focus on education and training, providing supports to researchers and PPI contributors, built around an online hub of case studies, information and resources. An online portal will go live later this year to help researchers and members of the public who are interested in getting involved in PPI to connect with each other. Dr Anne Cody, Head of Investigator-Led Grants, Research Careers and Enablers at the Health Research Board, said: “For over five years we have been championing PPI in research, and our work is clearly illustrating that people’s insights and life experience can inform research in ways researchers operating in isolation can’t. The PPI Ignite Network is bringing together key stakeholders committed to embedding involvement at the core of Irish research, a collaboration capable of facilitating significant positive change.” What is PPI? PPI is Public Patient Involvement. It is the concept of involving people, who are not researchers, in the research. It seeks their input to shape and guide research. It is about moving their role from one of participant to one of partner. The aim of PPI is to improve research quality, to ensure it is relevant, useable and in the best interests of the patient and general population. What is the PPI Ignite Network and why has it been set up?  The PPI Ignite Network is a collaboration involving seven Irish universities and dozens of partner organisations, including patient groups, working together at a national and local level. The aim of the network is to ensure that people and patients are involved at every stage of health and social care research in Ireland, right from the start. What organisations and institutions are involved?  The PPI Ignite Network national office is in NUI Galway. The other university partners are Trinity College Dublin, UCC, DCU, UCD, UL and RCSI. It is funded by the Health Research Board and the Irish Research Council. The national partners are Tusla Child and Family Agency; HSE Research and Development; Health Research Charities Ireland; Irish Platform for Patient Organisations, Science  and Industry; Structured Population and Health Services Research Education; HRB Trials Methodology Research Networl; Campus Engage; Maynooth University; Queen’s University Belfast; the International Collaboration for Participatory Health Research (ICPHR). What is the action plan? The PPI Ignite Network is funded for five years. Its key objective is to promote research undertaken ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them. It will develop and deliver PPI education and training to undergraduate and postgraduate students, researchers, the public, patients and community organisations, policymakers and research funders. It will explore ways of making it easier to involve patients and the public in research, how to identify what is good PPI and how to measure its impact. It will ensure voices of marginalised and disadvantaged groups are heard. It will establish an online PPI hub and events to share examples of good PPI, resources, knowledge and experience so researchers, students, the public, patients and all those involved or who are impacted by research can learn from each other. Ends

Monday, 1 November 2021

Scéim iasachta ríomhairí glúine OÉ Gaillimh fógartha Is féidir le mic léinn ó theaghlaigh atá ar ioncam íseal iarratas a dhéanamh ar ríomhaire glúine dá gcuid staidéir Tá sé curtha in iúl ag Ionad Rochtana OÉ Gaillimh go raibh an-éileamh ar an scéim iasachta ríomhairí glúine do mhic léinn agus tá an scéim á reáchtáil arís acu. Bhain breis agus 730 mac léinn san Ollscoil leas as an scéim áirithe seo anuraidh. Ón lá inniu go dtí Dé hAoine, 26 Samhain 2021, is féidir le mic léinn iarratas a dhéanamh ar ríomhaire glúine ar iasacht go fadtéarmach fad a bheidh siad ag staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh. Dúirt Imelda Byrne, Ceann an Ionaid Rochtana in OÉ Gaillimh: “Ba léir dúinn an tionchar a bhí ag an deighilt dhigiteach anuraidh. Bhí mic léinn go leor ó theaghlaigh faoi mhíbhuntáiste nach raibh teacht acu ar ríomhairí glúine. “Chinntigh an scéim iasachta ríomhairí glúine go raibh muid in ann cúnamh a thabhairt do ghrúpa mór de mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. “D’fhéadfadh an costas atá ar ríomhaire glúine bac suntasach a chur ar mhic léinn ó theaghlaigh ar ioncam íseal agus fuaireamar aiseolas an-dearfach ó mhic léinn a bhain leas as an scéim. Chuir an scéim seo ar a gcumas páirt níos gníomhaí a ghlacadh ina gcuid staidéir agus ní raibh airgead mór le híoc acu ar ríomhaire.” Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Súan Hanafey, mac léinn Rochtana a fuair ríomhaire glúine ón scéim in 2020: “Níl aon tacaíocht airgid agam ach an méid airgid a shaothraím féin agus ba mhór agam an scéim seo. Ní raibh orm imní a bheith orm níos mó faoi airgead a shábháil le ríomhaire glúine maith a cheannach agus anois níl aon deacracht agam freastal ar ranganna ar líne, an micreafón a úsáid, agus físeáin a roinnt. Sula bhfuair mé an ríomhaire glúine seo bhí mé ag cailleadh codanna de ranganna agus bhí sé deacair na léachtóirí a chloisteáil agus bhí sé deacair ar dhaoine eile mise a chloisteáil. Tugtar tús áite sa scéim iasachta ríomhairí glúine do mhic léinn ó theaghlaigh ar ioncam íseal agus ó spriocghrúpaí aitheanta eile. Tá tuilleadh eolais anseo faoin scéim agus an próiseas iarratais: https://bit.ly/3nLueYn. Críoch

Monday, 1 November 2021

NUI Galway laptop loan scheme opens Students from low income households can apply to receive a device for their studies NUI Galway’s Access Centre has revealed the scale of one of its supports for students as it announced plans to re-run the successful laptop loan scheme. More than 730 students at the University benefitted from the dedicated support last year. From today, until Friday, 26 November 2021, students can apply for the long-term loan of a device for the duration of their studies at NUI Galway. Imelda Byrne, Head of the Access Centre at NUI Galway, said: “We saw the effects of the digital divide last year, with many students from disadvantaged backgrounds not having access to devices. “The laptop loan scheme ensured we could make a huge difference to a large cohort of NUI Galway students. “The cost of a laptop can be a significant barrier for those in low-income households and the feedback we got from students who benefitted from the scheme was overwhelmingly positive. Not only did this scheme enable them to participate more fully in their studies but it also relieved them of a significant cost.” Súan Hanafey, an Access Student who received a laptop under the scheme in 2020, said: “I am my only financial support so this meant a lot to me. I no longer had to worry about gathering funds to buy a good laptop and now I have no difficulty accessing classes online, speaking over the microphone, sharing video. Whereas, before getting this new laptop I was missing some moments of class and was having trouble hearing and being heard.” Eligibility for the laptop loan scheme is prioritised on a needs basis for students from low-income households and identified target groups. For more information on the scheme and application process visit: https://bit.ly/3nLueYn. Ends

Monday, 1 November 2021

NUI Galway academic sets out recommendations for action to improve hospitality work Whitaker Institute webinar to outline research findings on the lived experience of people employed in the sector A NUI Galway academic whose research has helped to lay bare the lived experience of hospitality workers has set out a series of recommendations for Government to improve employment conditions and welfare in the sector. Dr Deirdre Curran, Lecturer in Management at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, said legislation on tips, a salary pathway, opportunities for professional development and the introduction of a basic set of industry HR standards should be progressed without delay. Dr Curran will highlight her research at a special webinar hosted by the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway at 1pm on Wednesday 3 November 2021.The event will also hear from Dr Mary Farrell, an Executive Head Chef who completed her PhD at TUDublin on gender inequality in the chef profession,  Registration for the webinar is open at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Vq32jyDpS72xs0P2FFQWuw Dr Curran said: “The hospitality sector was uniquely impact by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many businesses were shut for more than 16 months and staff were out of work. But reopening has been fraught with recruitment challenges. We have limited research on the reasons for this but the wide range of issues and suggestions for improvement now provide Government with the opportunity for root and branch reform of the sector for the benefit of the workers.” Dr Curran outlined recommendations recently to the Oireachtas at the Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport and Media, including: :: A basic set of standards for treatment of hospitality workers that are monitored and enforced, initially through a targeted campaign. :: Legislation on workers’ tips to be introduced without delay. :: A salary pathway. Workers should not be retained on the minimum wage. :: Incentives for good practice in the sector, including links to Government funding. :: Ethical leadership from employer bodies and a stronger voice for workers. :: Review of apprenticeships to prevent them being a source of cheap labour. Courses and outcomes should be linked to employment rights eg how to use your voice; how to deal with bullying and harassment. The Whitaker Institute webinar will see presentations from Dr Curran and Dr Farrell, shedding some light on the current challenges facing the hospitality sector, and open the debate on how the sector could be reformed to make it a more attractive job/career choice. There will be a discussion with a panel of hospitality sector stakeholders, including Julia Marciniak, Hospitality and Tourism Organiser with Unite trade union; Liam Lally, former hotel general manager with four decades of industry experience; Khristina Ridge from weraizup.com; and Andrew Leech, former chef and hospitality employer. Ends

Monday, 8 November 2021

NUI Galway showcasing new postgraduate opportunities at Virtual Open Day  NUI Galway has unveiled new postgraduate programmes in Artificial Intelligence, cybersecurity, business, hospitality and international development as part of this year’s virtual open day. The University is urging professionals, graduates and current undergraduates who are looking to advance their qualification, broaden their skills-set and improve their job prospects and earning potential to consider further study options. NUI Galway’s virtual Postgraduate Open day takes place at midday Tuesday 16 November 2021 showcasing more than 400 taught and research study opportunities on offer for 2022. Prospective postgrads can book their place and view the open day schedule at http://nuigalwaypostgraduateopenday.ie/ The event will allow people to tune into live talks and panel discussions, engage directly with Programme Directors to explore courses, possible career opportunities and emerging trends across a host of sectors. Among the new programmes being offered for entry in 2022 and showcased at the virtual open day are: :: The online Artificial Intelligence for Managers, with fees subsidised by ITAG Skillnet, enabling graduates to strategise, envision projects and hire and manage teams without needing to study programming :: Three new business and hospitality programmes with Shannon College, including the Postgraduate Certificate in Hospitality and Leadership. :: MA in International Development Practice :: Postgraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity and Business Sarah Geraghty, Director of Student Recruitment and Outreach, NUI Galway, urged people who are considering further study to start exploring options early. She said: “You may be looking for a course to develop specific specialist skills and expertise, or you may be aiming to change career paths and move to a new industry. Whatever your objective, it’s important to invest time early in finding out as much as possible about how to apply for and secure a place on the course that best suits your needs and also plan for how you can fit postgraduate studies into your life.” NUI Galway’s postgraduate virtual open day will also bring together key staff in the University who can provide support and information to assist prospective students, including on fees, funding and scholarships, the value of a postgraduate qualification in the jobs market and plenty of tips for making a successful application. Applications are now open for enrolment in 2022, and for many courses, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Ends

Monday, 8 November 2021

Iarchéimeanna nua le cur i láthair ag Lá Oscailte Fíorúil OÉ Gaillimh  Tá cláir iarchéime nua le cur ar bun ag OÉ Gaillimh in Intleacht Shaorga, cibearshlándáil, gnó, fáilteachas agus forbairt idirnáisiúnta agus beidh cur síos orthu ag lá oscailte fíorúil na bliana seo. Tá an Ollscoil ag moladh do ghairmithe, do chéimithe agus d’fhochéimithe reatha atá ag iarraidh cur lena gcáilíochtaí, a gcuid scileanna a leathnú agus a ndeiseanna fostaíochta agus a gcumas tuillimh a fheabhsú smaoineamh ar thabhairt faoi staidéar breise. Beidh Lá Oscailte Fíorúil Iarchéime OÉ Gaillimh ar siúl ag meán lae Dé Máirt, an 16 Samhain 2021. Beidh cur síos i rith an lae ar níos mó ná 400 deis staidéir teagaisc agus taighde a bheas ar fáil in 2022. Is féidir le hiarchéimithe ionchasacha áit a chur in áirithe agus sceideal an lae oscailte a fheiceáil ag http://nuigalwaypostgraduateopenday.ie/ Tabharfaidh an ócáid deis do dhaoine éisteacht le cainteanna beo agus díospóireachtaí painéil, teagmháil dhíreach a dhéanamh le Stiúrthóirí Cláir chun cúrsaí, deiseanna gairme féideartha agus treochtaí atá ag teacht chun cinn ina lán earnálacha a iniúchadh. I measc na gclár nua atá á dtairiscint le haghaidh iontrála in 2022 agus a chuirfear i láthair ag an lá oscailte fíorúil tá: :: Beidh teastas iarchéime ar siúl ar líne Computer Science–Artificial Intelligence for Managers, a mbeidh na táillí fóirdheonaithe ag ITAG Skillnet chun a chur ar chumas céimithe straitéis a chur le chéile, tionscadail a shamhlú agus foirne a fhostú agus a bhainistiú gan gá le staidéar a dhéanamh ar ríomhchlárúchán :: Trí chlár nua gnó agus fáilteachais le Coláiste na Sionna, lena n-áirítear Postgraduate Certificate in Hospitality and Leadership. :: MA in International Development Practice :: Postgraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity and Business Mhol Sarah Geraghty, Stiúrthóir Earcaíochta Mac Léinn agus For-rochtana, OÉ Gaillimh, do dhaoine atá ag smaoineamh ar staidéar breise tosú ag breathnú ar roghanna go luath. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá aici: “B’fhéidir go bhfuil tú ag lorg cúrsa chun sainscileanna agus saineolas ar leith a fhorbairt, nó b’fhéidir go bhfuil tú ag iarraidh do ghairm a athrú agus bogadh go tionscal nua. Cibé cén cuspóir atá agat, tá sé tábhachtach an t-am a chaitheamh go luath chun an t-eolas ar fad a fháil faoin gcóras le hiarratas a dhéanamh agus áit a fháil ar an gcúrsa is fearr a oireann do do riachtanais agus pleanáil freisin don chaoi ar féidir leat am a dhéanamh don staidéar iarchéime i do shaol.” Tabharfaidh lá oscailte fíorúil iarchéime OÉ Gaillimh comhaltaí foirne lárnacha san Ollscoil le chéile a thugann tacaíocht agus eolas do mhic léinn ionchasacha maidir le táillí, maoiniú agus scoláireachtaí, an luach a bhaineann le cáilíocht iarchéime i margadh na bpost agus neart leideanna chun iarratas rathúil a dhéanamh. Is féidir iarratas a dhéanamh anois ar chúrsaí a thosóidh in 2022, agus i gcás go leor cúrsaí, déantar iarratais a mheas ar bhonn rollach. Críoch

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

More than 50 university research collaborations with industry  Four new spin-outs created, and one acquired for almost €40m  New initiatives launched to support research impact, knowledge exchange and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals  NUI Galway has revealed a strong performance during 2021 in knowledge transfer and impact with 50 industry collaborations, four new spin-outs and multiple start-up successes and awards. The University also introduced a new initiative supporting knowledge exchange related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and societal problems and launched a toolkit to help the research community engage with external stakeholders and maximise research impact. :: Spin-outs: Four new medtech companies - Tympany Medical, FeelTect Medical, Endowave, and Symphysis Medical - were registered as spin-outs from NUI Galway in 2021. All were based on Enterprise Ireland funded research and are developing medical devices which address unmet clinical needs, identified during the Bioinnovate Ireland programme at NUI Galway.  :: Start-up ecosystem: NUI Galway’s Innovation Office used its Business and Innovation Centre to provide 35 early-stage businesses with mentoring and supports, as well as facilities including laboratories, wet-labs and dedicated offices.   :: Illuminate: A new funding initiative by the University’s Innovation Office supports ground-breaking research that directly addresses the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Each ambitious project has the potential to change society for the better, including in the fields of Geography, Psychology, English and Creative Arts and Philosophy.  :: Impact: This year saw the development and launch of NUI Galway's special toolkit to provide researchers with tools to plan, capture, communicate and monitor the impact of their research.  Professor Jim Livesey, NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Research and Innovation, said: “Despite all challenges thrown at us, 2021 was a year in which the University expanded its portfolio of spin-outs and widened engagement.   “We are immensely proud of the work our colleagues in the Innovation Office have done to support our entrepreneurial principal investigators and to offer new breakthroughs to the community.”  David Murphy, Director of Knowledge Transfer and Innovation at NUI Galway and head of the Innovation Office, said: “Spinouts are a critical route to successfully transfer technology out of the University. The creation of companies whose purpose is to turn research into societal impact is one of the core activities of the Innovation Office at NUI Galway.”   NUI Galway has 24 spin-out companies, employing more than 185 people, and bringing innovative new services and products to market.   Mr Murphy added: “Many of our start-ups have come through the Enterprise Ireland funded BioInnovate Ireland Programme, developed by NUI Galway, and we look forward to building on our expertise and commitment to generating new ventures in 2022.”  Some of the successes among the NUI Galway spin-out community, many of whom are based in the Business Innovation Centre, in 2021 included:  :: Vetex Medical was acquired by global company Surmodics Inc in a deal worth almost €40m in 2021. The company will expand operations in Galway as they develop a technology to address the management of venous clots. NUI Galway and Vetex Medical were nominated for a Knowledge Transfer Ireland Impact Award.  :: Eight NUI Galway start-ups were awarded funding totalling more than €27million through the Government’s Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund. The projects will have wide-ranging benefits across many areas of society where innovative technology will be rapidly advanced in areas such as cell therapeutics, medical devices and drone-delivery. :: Tympany Medical, which is developing a specialised ear surgery device, raised €3.5 million in seed investment, including from the venture arm of the Mayo Clinic.   :: Start-up AVeta Medical which aims to revolutionise the treatment of vaginal atrophy, secured funding of €2.5 million from the European Commission.  :: Former BioInnovate Ireland fellow Dr Lyn Markey of Xtremedy Medical won the One to Watch award at Enterprise Ireland's Big Ideas 2021. :: At the Irish Medtech Awards, NUI Galway’s Biomechanics Research Centre won the Academic Contribution to Medtech Award and Luminate Medical, which has developed a novel technology to prevent chemotherapy induced hair loss, took home Emerging Medtech Company of the Year. :: Three start-ups secure places at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology - EIT Health Catapult Final next year Luminate Medical, FeelTect, and Amara Therapeutics. :: Start-up Bluedrop Medical won the 2021 Roche Diabetes Care Innovation Challenge in association with Chicago-based healthcare incubator Matter. :: GlasPort Bio won the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) award for Excellence in Energy Research and Innovation.    :: Farmeye, a start-up specialising in soil management, have licensed intellectual property from NUI Galway to facilitate labelling and tracking of soil samples. The company is committed to providing systems for full traceability from soil to supermarket and the intellectual property allows the company to manage the soil sampling and analysis process at scale.   :: NUI Galway Pristine Coast has developed a superior approach for seaweed authentication spinning out of from the School of Natural Science by providing genetic testing and traceability solutions to seaweed biomass and products worldwide. The technology enables consumer confidence that the goods purchased are of a required standard. Ends 

Monday, 20 December 2021

Open Educational Resources ensures annual savings of €45,000 for student body  NUI Galway has created a new platform with free reusable materials for students to use in teaching and research.  The Open Educational Resources project sees academic staff and students supporting the development of textbooks, videos, lecture notes, handbooks, manuals, lesson plans, worksheets, and annotated books/memoirs. The home-grown materials are easily accessible, free and tailored for specific courses such as medicine and health, anatomy, genetics, mathematics, language learning, history, English, media studies and Irish studies.  President Michael D Higgins has written a foreword for one - a newly annotated, digital version of Material for Victory: The Memoirs of Andrew J. Kettle. The book is a fascinating historical work which brings to life the rich cast of characters and side stories behind the rise and fall of the Land League.  More info on the resources is available here https://libguides.library.nuigalway.ie/oer/projects.  The Open Educational Resources project and grant scheme is sponsored by the NUI Galway Student Project Fund, and spearheaded by the Library, in partnership with the Students’ Union, and campus stakeholders. Students were directly involved in the creation and development of the resources.  The materials developed are estimated to result in ongoing annual savings of €45,000 per year for our student body.  Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said: “It is great to see the Open Educational Resources project coming to fruition. The development of Open Educational Resources is a flagship action in our Strategic Plan, where open access to educational resources is a priority.  “This initiative also works to remove the barriers of cost accessibility which we know can impact many of our students.  These resources allow NUI Galway to become a proactive collaborator for innovation, engagement and creativity both nationally globally, and this project has the capability of widening student participation, supporting diversity and encouraging a culture of social inclusion.” Clodagh McGivern, Vice-President/Education Officer, NUI Galway Students' Union, said: “Open Educational Resources have several benefits for the students of NUI Galway, for example the resources make content and educational material more accessible to students while also being a resource that can show off the innovation and talent of our University staff and students.  “Open Educational Resources are a fantastic educational tool and I’m excited for our students to experience how great they are.” Students directly involved in the creation and development of NUI Galway’s Open Educational Resources. They support the development of materials that work for them and are tailored for both the learning objectives in the programme and the learning approach of students. Ends

Thursday, 9 December 2021

“In order to improve inclusion, we first had to understand the barriers to inclusion and participation.” - Inclusive Learning at NUI Galway Researchers at NUI Galway have revealed the lived experience of postgraduate students before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. While the vast majority of students surveyed prior to the pandemic found their learning environment at the University inclusive, the proportion dropped during the pandemic.  The report was completed by members of the Inclusive Learning at NUI Galway project, Dr Shivaun Quinlivan, Dr Lucy-Ann Buckley and Dr Dinali Wijeratne and set out to enhance inclusive teaching and learning practice at the University for postgraduate students, particularly those from diverse backgrounds.  Welcoming the report, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I am delighted at the launch of this report on inclusive learning at NUI Galway. We have committed in our University Strategy: Shared Vision: Shaped by Values to ensuring that our research informs attitudes and policies about diversity and disadvantage, to raising awareness, and ultimately to removing barriers to equality and diversity within our University and for the public good. This report speaks directly to these values and, most importantly, it places the student voice at the centre.” More than 100 students took part in the first survey in March 2020 and again, in December 2020, more than 100 students took part. The surveys do not claim to be representative or statistically significant but provide a snapshot of the perceptions of a range of students at a particular time. Key findings from the report: 85% of students surveyed prior to the pandemic said they found their learning environment at NUI Galway inclusive. However, 6% of students did not find it inclusive.  66% of students surveyed during the pandemic found their learning experience to be inclusive, while 13% did not find it inclusive. Students generally found teaching arrangements pre-Covid to be inclusive. In many cases, staff were praised for their commitment and support, and students emphasised that staff were approachable and helpful.  67% of students said the pandemic had made their learning environment less inclusive, with more female students than male students reporting this. Just 9% of students surveyed pre-Covid saw other students as non-inclusive, while 2% saw teaching staff as non-inclusive.  Some students found remote learning more inclusive, e.g. some students with disabilities (though by no means all) found their courses more accessible when teaching went virtual. Students with disabilities raised a range of issues regarding accessibility, including issues relating to physical infrastructure and learning materials. However, they also identified significant positive supports in their learning environment, particularly from the University’s Disability Support Service. The research also found that the lack of suitable and affordable childcare was a major barrier to learning for many postgraduate students who were parents. This had a significant practical and emotional impact.  Many students experienced significant difficulties in securing appropriate and affordable accommodation. Often this was due to general difficulties with the rental market, but the difficulties were particularly acute for international students, particularly those with children. Students reported a range of attitudinal barriers which impacted their learning environment. These arose largely from negative stereotypes and unfavourable attitudes linked to factors such as gender, race, sexual orientation and disability. The issue of postgraduate research students doing unpaid work was also identified in the research and the report acknowledges the University is developing a policy on pay related to this. Dr Quinlivan, joint lead of the project and co-author of the report, said: “In order to improve inclusion, we first have to understand the barriers to inclusion and participation experienced by postgraduate students at NUI Galway.” Dr Lucy-Ann Buckley, joint project lead and report co-author, said: “We felt it was really important to engage with our students, and hear their voice - this will enable us to take steps to address the issues they face. We hope the lasting legacy of this research will be to improve the learning experience for all our students.” The report makes a range of recommendations to the university. These include the development of an anti-racism policy and a reasonable accommodation policy for say students with disabilities the provision of training and the gathering and monitoring of student diversity data. Cameron Keighron, student partner on the project and former Student’s Union Education Officer at NUI Galway, said: “It's wonderful to see the final report looking at the experiences of postgraduate students in NUI Galway. This is a group that is often left without a voice, and this work is allowing their lived experience to influence positive change within our campus.  “We must listen to what systems, policies and attitudes on our campus have led to exclusion or discrimination and put steps in place to change this, with this report giving us a great set of recommendations to begin this journey.” The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education funded the report.  Ends

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Breakthrough study determines that age is the most important consideration in the clinical treatment of one in ten adults with condition Lifestyle changes are key to improving health of young people with specific form of high blood pressure A global study by NUI Galway into health risks associated with a specific form of high blood pressure has found that younger patients with the condition are more at risk of a cardiovascular event or death. The research found that over 50s with high diastolic blood pressure and normal systolic blood pressure - a high value on the bottom blood pressure reading - are not at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the condition increases the risk for cardiovascular events, or death, for younger people. High diastolic blood pressure - also known as isolated diastolic hypertension (IDH) - is defined by the American Heart Association as a diastolic blood pressure greater than 80mmHg and systolic blood pressure less than 130 mmHg. The findings have been published in Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association. The research was led by Professor William McEvoy, Professor of Preventive Cardiology at NUI Galway, consultant cardiologist at Galway University Hospitals and Medical Director of the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (NIPC). The research was conducted in collaboration with a team of investigators led by Prof J Staessen at the University of Leuven, Belgium. The study examined data from 11,135 patients worldwide. All of them underwent a 24-hour blood pressure assessment, known as ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM), which is generally considered to be far more accurate than office-based blood pressure (BP) when managing cardiovascular disease risk. Professor McEvoy explained the findings: “While IDH - isolated diastolic hypertension - is less common than other forms of blood pressure, it can be seen in 6 to 11% of the adult population and is more common in younger adults. “What we found is that only patients with IDH who are younger than 50 are at greater risk of heart-attack or cardiovascular events.” Professor McEvoy said: “Previous research in this area left some unanswered questions. Our recommendation to physicians on the back of this research is that patients under 50 with IDH need to tackle unhealthy lifestyle and diet, which are common in this setting. “They also need more close monitoring of their systolic blood pressure - the top value on the blood pressure reading - as they are more likely to develop high systolic blood pressure values that may require drug treatment.” Professor McEvoy said the findings of the study do not lead to a clear recommendation for young adults with IDH to be treated with blood pressure lowering medications. “While they are at increased risk of cardiovascular events the actual likelihood of an event is still low in young people. “Prevention of cardiovascular events is possible. Our recommendations for patients under 50 who have been diagnosed with IDH is to make healthy changes to their lifestyle and to defer drug treatment, while ensuring they have annual blood pressure checks with their doctor, unless elevated systolic blood pressure develops. “For over 50s with IDH, there does not seem to be an indication to provide drug treatment as long as the diastolic blood pressure is between 80 to 90 mmHg.” Professor Tim O’Brien, Executive Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science at NUI Galway and Consultant at Saolta University Hospitals Group, said: “I welcome this breakthrough research. It helps to settle an open question, raised by previous research and using less rigorous recording of blood pressure. “Prevention is critical when it comes to the management of patients with cardiovascular disease and this research will help clinical teams make better informed decisions about the management of patient health when treating IDH.” Ends

Monday, 6 December 2021

Onóir le bronnadh ag an Ollscoil ar an aisteoir Nicola Coughlan, ar Stiúrthóir Cliniciúil FSS, an Dr Colm Henry agus ar Rúnaí CLG Chonnacht, John Prenty Tá céimithe OÉ Gaillimh i saol na n-ealaíon, an spóirt, na seirbhíse poiblí, na Gaeilge agus sa saol acadúil i measc iad siúd a mbronnfar Gradaim Alumni 2021 na hOllscoile orthu. Tá seachtar iar-mhac léinn aitheanta i ngradaim na bliana seo, mar aitheantas ar a sármhaitheas agus a n-éachtaí aonair: Gradam Alumni do na Dána, an Litríocht agus an Léann Ceilteach – an t-aisteoir Nicola Coughlan Gradam Alumni don Ghnó agus an Tráchtáil – Áine Ní Chonghaile, Stiúrthóir Europus, Scoláire Fulbright agus Údar Gradam Alumni don Dlí, an Beartas Poiblí agus an Rialtas – Antoinette Cunningham, Ard-Rúnaí, Cumann Sháirsintí an Gharda Síochána Gradam Alumni don Innealtóireacht, an Eolaíocht agus an Teicneolaíocht – an tOllamh Mark Costello, Ollamh le hÉiceolaíocht Mhuirí in Ollscoil Nord, an Iorua Gradam Alumni don Leigheas, an tAltranas agus na hEolaíochtaí Sláinte – An Dr Colm Henry, Príomhoifigeach Cliniciúil, Feidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte Gradam Alumni don Rannpháirtíocht sa Spórt – John Prenty, Rúnaí CLG Chonnacht         Gradam Alumni don Ghaeilge – Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha, Eagraí Ceoil agus Láithreoir, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “In OÉ Gaillimh, is ollscoil muid atá ar mhaithe le leas an phobail, le fís chomhroinnte, múnlaithe ag ár luachanna. Le 175 bliain anuas, tá oideachas curtha ag an Ollscoil seo ar chéimithe d’ardchaighdeán a raibh tionchar suntasach acu ina réimsí féin in Éirinn agus go hidirnáisiúnta. Déanaim comhghairdeas le gach duine a bhuaigh gradam agus táim ag súil le fáilte ar ais a chur rompu chuig a n-alma mater in 2022.” Mar gheall ar an bpaindéim, tá na gradaim bronnta cheana féin ar bhuaiteoirí na bliana seo. Tabharfaidh OÉ Gaillimh cuireadh dóibh filleadh ar a n-alma mater chun an gradam a cheiliúradh in 2022. Tugann Gradaim Alumni OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas do shármhaitheas agus d’éachtaí i measc breis is 120,000 céimí de chuid na hOllscoile atá scaipthe ar fud an domhain ó cuireadh tús leo in 2001. Tá gradaim bronnta ar bhreis is 100 céimí den scoth a bhfuil tionchar suntasach acu ina réimsí féin, agus a bhfuil a n-alma mater fíorbhrodúil astu. I measc na ndaoine mór le rá ar bronnadh gradam orthu tá Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUiginn; an tOilimpeach Olive Loughnane; an laoch Rugbaí Ciarán FitzGerald; an t-aisteoir a bhuaigh Gradam Tony, Marie Mullen; an t-iarArd-Aighne Máire Whelan; Aedhmar Hynes, iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach ar Text 100; agus Adrian Jones as Goldman Sachs. Tá OÉ Gaillimh ag fógairt freisin go bhfuil Gradaim Alumni 2022 oscailte anois d’ainmniúcháin. Tabharfaidh na gradaim seo aitheantas do alumnus nó alumna a rinne éacht ina réimse oibre agus a bhfuil tionchar suntasach acu ina réimse féin. Chun ainmniúchán a dhéanamh féach https://www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends/alumniawards/ nó seol ríomhphost chuig alumni@nuigalway.ie Críoch

Monday, 6 December 2021

Actor Nicola Coughlan, HSE Clinical Director Dr Colm Henry and Connacht GAA Secretary John Prenty honoured by University NUI Galway graduates in the worlds of the arts, sport, public service, Irish language and academia are among the distinguished recipients of the University’s 2021 Alumni Awards. Seven former students have been recognised in this year’s awards, in recognition of their individual excellence and achievements: Alumni Award for Arts, Literature and Celtic Studies - Actor Nicola Coughlan Alumni Award for Business and Commerce - Áine Ní Chonghaile, Director of Europus, Fulbright Scholar and Author Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy and Government - Antoinette Cunningham, General Secretary, Association of Garda Sergeants Alumni Award for Engineering and Science and Technology - Professor Mark Costello, Professor in Marine Ecology at Nord University, Norway Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences - Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, Health Service Executive Alumni Award for Contribution to Sport - John Prenty, Connacht GAA Secretary Gradam Alumni don Ghaeilge - Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha, Music Organiser and Presenter, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: "At NUI Galway, we are a university for the public good, with a shared vision, shaped by our values. For 175 years our University has educated graduates of the highest calibre who have gone on to have significant impact in their field of endeavour in Ireland and internationally. I congratulate each of the award winners and look forward to welcoming them back to their alma mater in 2022." Due to the pandemic, the awards have been presented to this year’s recipients. NUI Galway will invite them back to their alma mater to mark the award in 2022. First introduced in 2001 the NUI Galway Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University’s more than 120,000 graduates. They boast an impressive roll call of more than 100 outstanding alumni who have gone on to make an impact in their chosen field, and in so doing honour their alma mater. Among the distinguished honorees are President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins; Olympian Olive Loughnane; Rugby great Ciarán FitzGerald; Tony Award-winning actor, Marie Mullen; former Attorney General Máire Whelan; Aedhmar Hynes, former CEO of Text 100; and Adrian Jones of Goldman Sachs. NUI Galway is also announcing that the 2022 Alumni Awards are now open for nominations. These awards will recognise an alumnus or alumna who has made an outstanding contribution in their area of endeavour and is making a significant impact in their field. To make a nomination visit https://www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends/alumniawards/ or email alumni@nuigalway.ie View short video of Alumni Award Winner, Nicola Coughlan here: https://youtu.be/SVFDatjqPeY Ends

Monday, 6 December 2021

UN Special Rapporteur, Professor Siobhán Mullally from NUI Galway, will spend the next 10 days assessing the issue of trafficking in persons in the Central Asian state Tajikistan.  Professor Mullally will meet representatives of Government agencies, as well as UN officials, members of civil society organisations and human rights defenders, especially those working on prevention, and on identification and victim assistance, during her visit to Dushanbe. Her visit to the country runs from the December 7th to 16th. Siobhán Mullally, Established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, said: “This visit will be an opportunity to meet relevant officials, civil society, organisations and survivors, to discuss trafficking in persons in all its forms, the key human rights concerns arising, as well as the progress that Tajikistan has made in combating trafficking in persons. “I will pay particular attention to the main challenges in implementing international and legal frameworks on trafficking to ensure the human rights of victims, and effective prevention. A particular concern will be the risks of trafficking that may be faced by refugees, asylum seekers, migrant workers and their families. “Gender equality, and the gender dimension of trafficking will be a central focus, in particular the risks of trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation, prevention of all forms of trafficking and access to effective remedies. Child rights and concerns in relation to child trafficking for all forms of exploitation, will be examined. “I will also examine Tajikistan’s existing and planned measures to prevent trafficking, including protection of the rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. To identify and protect victims, ensure access to justice and to effective remedies, and social protection for survivors. Measures to combat impunity for trafficking in persons, and ensure effective investigations, will also be examined.” The Special Rapporteur’s findings and recommendations will be included in an official report to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2022. Ends

Monday, 6 December 2021

The BBC correspondent Orla Guerin has been appointed Honorary Professor of International Journalism by NUI Galway. Ms Guerin will take up her appointment in January 2022, while continuing her work with the BBC. As part of her new honorary role, the award-winning correspondent will mentor students on the MA International Journalism and Human Rights programme at NUI Galway, focusing on foreign news reporting and television journalism. Ms Guerin said: “Now more than ever we need trusted sources of news and we need impartial eye-witness reporting. That's why people turn to public service broadcasters like the BBC. I am happy to join with NUI Galway, which is preparing the next generation of journalists who will take on that responsibility.” Tom Felle, Head of the Discipline of Journalism and Communication at NUI Galway, said that Ms Guerin would bring a wealth of international experience with her when lecturing. “We are absolutely delighted that Orla has agreed to join our faculty as an Honorary Professor. NUI Galway has a long tradition of training journalists who have gone on to report for news organisations worldwide, and we have a strong human rights ethos," he said. “Students will now be able to learn from one of the world’s foremost foreign correspondents, who will bring an unrivalled richness of knowledge into the classroom.” Orla Guerin is the BBC’s International Correspondent, based in Istanbul, Turkey. She is one of the world’s foremost journalists and foreign correspondents and the holder of eight honorary degrees and doctorates, including one awarded by NUI Galway in 2019. Ms Guerin was awarded an honorary MBE for services to broadcasting in 2005, and has won major broadcasting awards in the UK, USA, France, Italy and the USA. She was recently awarded the prestigious Bayeux War Correspondents' Television Prize for the second time. She won the Royal Television Society Journalist of the year award in 2018. The honorary appointment runs for four years, beginning on 1 January 2022. It is not remunerated. NUI Galway runs undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in journalism and global media, including the new MA International Journalism and Human Rights, where students can take modules from NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights, in addition to studying journalism. The students benefit from learning about the significant global challenges facing humanity including war and conflict, climate action and humanitarian issues such as migration. NUI Galway’s journalism faculty are international experts on media and democracy issues, with Head of Discipline Tom Felle currently working with the UN migration agency, IOM, on a global project to tackle disinformation on migration as well as the development of a pilot curriculum for teaching digital literacy and migration studies in journalism schools in a number of developing countries. Ends

Friday, 3 December 2021

NUI Galway has today announced the introduction of the JAM Card© initiative on campus for people with additional needs. To mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the University is adopting the support system and providing staff training to assist those who may find it difficult to communicate or get easily overwhelmed in busy public areas. JAM Card© was created by NOW Group, a social enterprise that supports people who, for example, have autism, acquired brain injury, a learning difficulty, or any hidden disability, which may mean that they need “Just a Minute” to allow them to complete their business. The initiative is being led by NUI Galway’s Access Centre and has the backing of Minister of State for Disability Anne Rabbitte T.D. Minister Rabbitte said: “I am delighted to see NUI Galway take such a proactive step to support people with disabilities and additional needs and encourage those who work and use the campus to adopt the JAM Card©. Ensuring that disability services are first and fore-most person-centred is a priority for Government and NUI Galway’s JAM Card© is another   innovative way to improving and meet people’s needs." President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh launched the introduction of the JAM Card© on campus. “Respect and openness are core values at NUI Galway and the adoption of the JAM Card© is symbolic of the increasing focus we place on the need to be more inclusive and go the extra mile for others,” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said. Head of the Access Centre Imelda Byrne said: “It is important for the University community that we live by our values and that they are more than words. We hope that by adopting the JAM Card© initiative on campus we can help people and at the same time increase disability awareness, representation, and visibility across campus. “I encourage as many staff across the campus as possible to engage with the training and learn the hugely beneficial tools and confidence it provides to support those who may need ‘Just a Minute’.” People who have a communication barrier are often reluctant or unable to tell others about their condition - JAM Card© allows them to do so in a simple, effective, non-verbal manner.  The initiative was originally developed for those with learning disabilities and difficulties but it can be used by anyone with a communication barrier and they are already used across Ireland in libraries, shops and banks and on public transport. Anytime a person needs some extra assistance or time, they can present their JAM Card©, and they will be met by a staff member who knows to give that person some extra time. For more information on the JAM Card© please visit https://tinyurl.com/Jamcardinfo Ends

Thursday, 2 December 2021

NUI Galway study pinpoints anger, emotional upset and heavy physical exertion in hours before event A global study co-led by NUI Galway into causes of stroke has found that one in 11 survivors experienced a period of anger or upset in the one hour leading up to it. One in 20 patients had engaged in heavy physical exertion. The suspected triggers have been identified as part of the global INTERSTROKE study - the largest research project of its kind, which analysed 13,462 cases of acute stroke, involving patients with a range of ethnic backgrounds in 32 countries, including Ireland. The research has been published in the European Heart Journal. Stroke is a leading global cause of death or disability. Each year, approximately 7,500 Irish people have a stroke and around 2,000 of these people die. An estimated 30,000 people are living in Ireland with disabilities as a result of a stroke. Professor Andrew Smyth, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at NUI Galway, Director of the HRB-Clinical Research Facility Galway and a Consultant Nephrologist at Galway University Hospitals, was one of the lead researchers. He said: “Stroke prevention is a priority for physicians, and despite advances it remains difficult to predict when a stroke will occur. Many studies have focused on medium to long-term exposures, such as hypertension, obesity or smoking. Our study aimed to look at acute exposures that may act as triggers.” The research analysed patterns in patients who suffered ischemic stroke - the most common type of stroke, which occurs when a blood clot blocks or narrows an artery leading to the brain, and also intracerebral haemorrhage – which is less common and involves bleeding within the brain tissue itself. Professor Smyth added: “We looked a two separate triggers. Our research found that anger or emotional upset was linked to an approximately 30% increase in risk of stroke during one hour after an episode – with a greater increase if the patient did not have a history of depression. The odds were also greater for those with a lower level of education. “We also found that heavy physical exertion was linked to an approximately 60% increase in risk is of intracerebral haemorrhage during the one hour after the episode of heavy exertion. There was a greater increase for women and less risk for those with a normal BMI. “The study also concluded that there was no increase with exposure to both triggers of anger and heavy physical exertion.” Co-author of the paper, Dr Michelle Canavan, Consultant Stroke Physician at Galway University Hospitals, said “Our message is for people to practice mental and physical wellness at all ages. But it is also important for some people to avoid heavy physical exertion, particularly if they are high-risk of cardiovascular, while also adopting a healthy lifestyle of regular exercise.” The global INTERSTROKE study was co-led by Professor Martin O’Donnell, Professor of Neurovascular Medicine at NUI Galway, and Consultant Stroke Physician at Galway University Hospitals, in collaboration with Prof Salim Yusuf of the Population Health Research Institute of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, Canada.   “Some of the best ways to prevent stroke are to maintain a healthy lifestyle, treat high blood pressure and not to smoke, but our research also shows other events such as an episode of anger or upset or a period of heavy physical exertion independently increase the short-term risk.” Prof O’Donnell said. “We would emphasise that a brief episode of heavy physical exertion is different to getting regular physical activity, which reduces the long-term risk of stroke.” Ends

Friday, 18 December 2020

Over 40 research and innovation projects addressing COVID-19 challenges Over 40 new collaborations with industry Four new spin-outs NUI Galway responds to COVID19 with over 40 research and innovation projects, engages in 40 new projects with industry, and spins-out four new deep-tech companies Despite the numerous challenges of 2020, the research and start-up community at NUI Galway continued to thrive – garnering multiple awards, securing funding, and supporting entrepreneurship among students and the wider community. Supported by the University’s Innovation Office, the year featured over 40 substantial research collaborations with SMEs, indigenous industry, and multinational corporations - as well as the formation of new four spin-outs based on ICT, engineering and life science technologies developed at NUI Galway.   In addition, the university charted over 40 research and innovation projects directly responding to the challenges of the global pandemic. David Murphy, Director of Technology Transfer and Innovation, NUI Galway, said: “The successes achieved in 2020 are a validation of the strength of our industry partnerships, the quality of our research, and the strength of our innovation communities at NUI Galway. While the pandemic presented many challenges, our team, our researchers, our entrepreneurs, and the companies we work with responded with determination and agility in what was a very unusual environment.” Some of the highlights of the year included: Multiple awards NUI Galway was named winner of the Knowledge Transfer Impact Awards Covid-19 Response Award for supporting, with industry partners Cisco and IBM, the ICU FamilyLink project at University Hospital Galway (UHG). The project connects patients, families and the clinical teams providing care in the constraints of the ICU setting. Galenband, pioneers of an unobtrusive wrist-worn device which records heart activity, was the ultimate winner at Big Ideas - Enterprise Ireland’s annual showcase of start-up innovation emerging from higher education institutes. Four of the 12 investor-ready companies pitching on the day were NUI Galway start-ups. Seven NUI Galway start-ups were shortlisted for the National Start-up Awards in 2020, with Galenband achieving Gold in the Medtech Startup category for their system to dramatically increase detection rates of atrial fibrillation. VorTech Water Solutions secured silver in the ‘Emerge Tech Startup Category” for their innovative, cost effective solutions in water and wastewater, and Feeltect achieved Bronze the Medtech Startup category for their wearable, connected health technology to measure and monitor sub-bandage pressure during compression therapy. Women’s health start-up Nua Surgical was named the overall winner of the 2020 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Based out of NUI Galway, Nua Surgical’s flagship product is SteriCision, a self-retaining retractor specifically designed for C-sections.  NUI Galway start-ups Vortech Water Solutions and HidraMed Solutions have been shortlisted for the annual Irish Times Innovation Awards. Three NUI Galway start-ups, Feeltech, Nua Surgical, BlueDrop Medical, were among the 2020 winners of Health Innovation Hub Ireland’s (HIHI) call for innovative ideas from companies, start-ups and SMEs.  Funding Successes NUI Galway researchers and company partners were awarded over €10.3 million in Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund(DTIF), a fund established under Project Ireland 2040. Two of the funded projects will see teams at NUI Galway partnering with AuriGen Medical, an NUI Galway spin-out company specialising in electrophysiology and structural heart, dedicated to transforming the management of persistent atrial fibrillation. A third DTIF supported project will see the collaboration between teams at the NUI Galway Centre for Cell Manufacturing (CCMI) and ONK Therapeutics Ltd, a Business Innovation Centre client company and spin-out. Aquila Bioscience, a medical technology spin-out from NUI Galway, successfully proved that its breakthrough Pathogen Capturing Technology safely removes 99.99% of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19) from human skin. The company also secured €1.9m in from the European Innovation Council. BioProbe Diagostics, a spin out company from Microbiology at NUI Galway, is the lead partner in an industry consortium awarded approximately €2m to advance one of the company’s products to market, namely Bio Lp-1, under the European Commission’s ‘Fast Track to Innovation’ funding mechanism. Dr Alison Liddy of NUI Galway received a €1m prize for her work developing a solution to treat chronic pain as the inaugural winner of the SFI Future Innovator Prize. Supporting entrepreneurship among students and the wider community NUI Galway was awarded €7.5 million funding under the Human Capital Innovation and Agility Initiative for it’s ‘ASPIRE: Next Generation Graduates’ project which will lead in innovative, student-centred and enterprise-engaged education. Together with itag, the University successfully launched a free structured coaching initiative for the female community covering many areas in all business environments – itag Coaching for Success . LaunchPad has supported over 1000 studentinnovators across campus spanning 11 modules and 6 co-curricular programmes. LaunchPad secured funding through EIT Health in 2020 to run a Summer School ‘ENERGHY’ in partnership with Medicine San Frontiers, Sanofi, IS Global, the University of Barcelona and Hospital Sant Joan de Deu.  LaunchPad, a partner of the Empowering Women in Health Entrepreneurship Project of EIT HEalth also hosted a module with the Karolinska Institute in May titled ‘Unlocking your Innovative Potential’, the module was attended by 60 participants from across 20 Countries.    During October, LaunchPad, in partnership with BioInnovate Ireland and the JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics, ran its Ideas Academy Camp, attracting over 70 participants from schools across Ireland to develop innovations to support our community during Covid-19. To read about some of the research and innovation projects relating to COVID-19 visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/our-research/covid19/ -Ends-

Friday, 18 December 2020

New and pioneering GTCASP technology advancing the next generation treatments for cancers, disorders and disease A new collaborative research project has been launched at NUI Galway’s Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) to streamline cell manufacturing for the next-generation of treatments of cancers, autoimmune disorders and degenerative diseases. Cellix Ltd is partnering with REMEDI, NUI Galway’s a state-of-the-art research and cell manufacturing facility, and Trinity College Dublin thanks to €3.4 million funding from the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation to spearhead the project. The aim is to advance the development of next-generation cell therapies by making it easier to select specific cells which have been genetically modified to make them more effective in treating a particular disease or disorder. Frank Barry, Professor of Cell Therapy at NUI Galway, said: “In the cell and gene therapy sector, manufacturing the product is a complex, challenging and expensive process.   “We are progressing new, ground-breaking treatments in a way that is more cost-effective and accessible. The research that we are pioneering in NUI Galway’s REMEDI will have a significant impact and will bring these new treatments closer to realisation in a dramatic and effective fashion.” The new technology being researched and pioneered at NUI Galway’s REMEDI, as part of the collaborative project, is the Gene Transfection Cell Analysis and Sorting Platform - GTCASP. Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English T.D., said:“GTCASP is an exciting project focusing on the development of a truly innovative technology, addressing the challenges in cell manufacturing for gene therapy. This is an exciting and far-reaching project which reflects what the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund is designed to encourage and assist. “The project’s ambition is that the technology becomes a standard in the field of cell therapy and forms part of the redevelopment of Ireland’s biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry, as gene therapy forges new markets for personalised medicine. It also truly demonstrates the talent that is incumbent in Ireland for the sector. “I congratulate Cellix and their project partners in NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin for driving this innovation, which will showcase Ireland as a leader in cell and gene therapies.” How does GTCASP work? :: The GTCASP technology takes advantage of the electrical properties of cells to separate individual populations. :: Scientists are using GTCASP to separate cells that have been genetically modified to make them effective in treating a variety of serious disorders.  :: Specialists who are manufacturing cell therapies gain a profound advantage in this process as the cell populations with preferred characteristics are selected and other, less effecitve  cells, are discarded. :: GTCASP essentially provides manufacturers with the technology to select and use the preferred cells to target disease conditions. :: It will also lead to a reduction in manufacturing costs of cell therapy medicinal products, which at present is prohibitively high. Professor Timothy O’Brien, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, said: “Designed to facilitate the development of new treatments such as CAR T cell therapies, the GTCASP system will allow wider access to the next generation of genetic cell therapies for cancer and other conditions. In addition, new and advanced forms of stem cell therapy will come closer to reality. These therapies are regarded as a new revolution in medicine and one which will make a profound difference in the lives of patients and their families.” The collaborative project involving Cellix, REMEDI at NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin was launched in partnership with Government and Enterprise Ireland. Stephen Creaner, Executive Director of Enterprise Ireland said: “Cellix, in partnership with NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin, have joined forces to establish a ground-breaking and innovative platform to improve and enhance the process of cell manufacturing, with the potential to transform how people across the globe work and live. The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund is aimed at supporting that transformative work and helping Irish companies realise their ambitions. Funding collaborative projects like the GTCASP is a clear signal of our desire to future proof Ireland to ensure that our indigenous enterprises become leaders in the face of disruptive technologies. Enterprise Ireland looks forward to continuing to work with Cellix and the team and is proud to be part of this ground breaking, disruptive project.” Ends

Friday, 18 December 2020

NUI Galway announced the recipients of its annual President's Awards for Research Excellence while also celebrating the performance of its researchers in European research funding programmes. As the current European Commission research funding programmes (2014-2020) draws to a close, the university acknowledged the success of its researchers across a range of competitive funding programmes. Over €100 million has been awarded to NUI Galway researchers over the last seven years by the EU, leading to its researchers participating in over 180 projects, and partnering with research institutions, companies and community groups in more than 30 countries. Speaking at the online Research and Innovation Symposium which marked the occasion, NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “Success in these funding programmes has allowed our research community to pursue impactful research, develop further their expertise, collaborate with colleagues across the globe. We have also developed tangible solutions to address societal challenges and to support new and existing industries. Underpinning our successes are all of the incredible individuals who make up our research community. This year, I would like to commend six exceptional individuals who embody research excellence and a commitment to our students. They are part of our collective efforts to achieve societal and economic impact and advance our research mission.” The President’s Awards for Research Excellence 2020, were awarded across three categories. The Research Supervisor Awardees are: Dr Eoin Whelan, Senior Lecturer in Business Information Systems at NUI Galway. His research explores the psychology underlying engagement with interactive digital media such as smartphones, social networking sites, fitness tracking apps, and online gambling and gaming sites.   Professor Dearbháile Morris, Personal Professor of Antimicrobial Resistance and One Health in the School of Medicine. She is also Director of the Ryan Institute’s Centre for One Health at NUI Galway. Her research includes antimicrobial resistance, food and water borne pathogens, emerging contaminants, the societal impact of infection and One Health. The Early Stage Researcher awardees are: Dr Thomas McDermott, Galway University Foundation Lecturer in the Economics of Climate Change and Development, based in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, and Director of the MSc in Global Environmental Economics at NUI Galway. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics. His research focuses on environmental and development economics, the economic impacts of extreme weather events such as floods, and public policy related to adaptation to climate change. Dr Eimear Dolan, a Science Foundation Ireland Royal Society University Research Fellow and Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering. Earlier this year, she was named in MIT Technology Review’s annual list of ‘Innovators Under 35’as one of 10 global visionaries. Her key research interest is in innovative medical devices, their effect on the host cells and coupling therapies to minimally invasive delivery devices. The Established Researcher Category awardees are: Dr Jane Walsh is the Director of the Mobile Technology and Health (mHealth) Research Group at NUI Galway where she is leading research on the use of novel technologies to develop personalised interventions to promote health behaviour. She is leading and collaborating on over €8 million euro of projects including those funded by Horizon 2020, the Health Research Board, the Irish Cancer Societyand Science Foundation Ireland. Professor InesThiele, principal investigator of the Molecular Systems Physiology group at NUI Galway. Her research aims to understand how diet influences human health. Her team develops and uses comprehensive, computational models of human and gut microbial metabolism and applies them to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson’s disease. Professor Thiele is a European Research Council Fellow and was recently listed among the top 1% of highly-cited researchers in the world by Clarivate. At the event, Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President of Research at NUI Galway, spoke about the reach of the University’s research and innovation mission: “Reaching a milestone in European funding is a significant achievement which demonstrates a strong and ambitious research and innovation ecosystem here at NUI Galway. We have had great success also in national funding programmes and in leveraging other international and philanthropic resources in both research and innovation activities. This is complemented by excellence research in domains that cannot be measured by funding alone. With these successes, and with the support and recognition for our research, we are able to continue our mission to achieve a positive impact on society. Today we celebrate our people and our research community, who are the drivers of our successes.” European Success Of the €100 million awarded to NUI Galway researchers over the last seven years, €90 million has been secured through the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme – including the prestigious European Research Council, which funds outstanding researchers in science, humanities, social sciences, medicine and engineering. There are now 14 European Research Council Fellows based at NUI Galway. Much of the Horizon 2020 research underway is focused on addressing the major societal challenges of health, climate change and food security. Other successes have come through the Interregregional cooperation programme; the European Space Agency; and the Erasmus+ Programme, which supports research on innovation and good practices in education, training, and youth systems. The symposium heard from the NUI Galway research community, all with extensive experience of EU funding programmes, these included: Louise Hannon, Head of International Research Programmes, Research Office; Professor Marie-Louise Coolahan, School of English and Creative Arts; Professor Stephen Hynes, School of Business and Economics; Dr Laura Farina,  Research Fellow within the School of Medicine in the Translational Medical Device Lab, and former Marie Skłodowska-Curie MedTrain Fellow at CÚRAM; Dr Marcus Keane, School of Engineering; and Claire O’Connor, Director of Planning and Institutional Research. Garrett Murray, National Director for Horizon 2020 at Enterprise Ireland, contributed on the structure and aims of the new Horizon Europe Programme which is expected in 2021 as we enter the next seven years of European Commission research funding. More information on the President’s Awards for Research Excellence, including past recipients, can be found here. To read more about the research activity supported by the European Commission at NUI Galway click here.  -Ends-

Friday, 18 December 2020

An innovative project at NUI Galway that encourages students to explore the evolution of life on Earth through the medium of film has been honoured by the Palaeontological Association, one of the world’s leading learned societies in the field. The History of Life film project was recently presented with the 2020 Gertrude Elles Award, which was established to recognise and promote high-quality public engagement in the field of palaeontology. Since 2011, final year undergraduate science students taking the class History of Life have worked in small teams to produce short documentary-style films on a diverse range of topics, including the origin of life on Earth, the evolution of the first forests and land animals, catastrophic past mass extinctions and the emergence of early human ancestors. Created on shoestring budgets, these short films are uploaded to a specially created YouTube channel, where they have reached a wide global online audience. The award from the Palaeontological Association was named in honour of Gertrude Elles (1872-1960), a pioneering palaeontologist, geologist and scientist. She is highly respected for her work on graptolite fossils and in deciphering the age of the Earth, and she was also one of the first female lecturers at the University of Cambridge. During the First World War she organised a hospital for wounded soldiers, which led to her receiving an MBE in 1920. Throughout her academic career, Elles was an enthusiastic teacher, an influential supervisor to young researchers and she remained committed to public outreach and communication of science. Professor Charles Wellman, President of the Palaeontological Association, said: “The History of Life film project has not only led to students having a greater understanding of the topics within Earth history, but has also reached a wide audience, explaining key concepts of our science to YouTube viewers.” This is the second international award for NUI Galway’s History of Life project: in June 2019 it received a MEDEA Award from the Media and Learning Association in Leuven, Belgium, for best practice in the use of media in education. The project was developed and is run by geologist and palaeontologist Dr John Murray from Earth and Ocean Sciences in NUI Galway, with continuing support from the University’s Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). Commenting on the award, Dr Murray said: “We are delighted and extremely grateful to receive this award from the Palaeontological Association, particularly as it is named in honour of Gertrude Elles - a trailblazing palaeontologist and role model for those of us who aspire to teach science and encourage the next generation of researchers. “The History of Life project has always been firmly focused on public understanding and engagement in science, and has only been made possible because of the energy, creativity and imagination of the students who produced these short films. The incredible words and visuals they have created onscreen have been nothing short of inspiring; they illustrate and communicate a profoundly important scientific message - principally concerning the epic story of where ultimately all life on Earth has come from, including humans.” A short film compilation explaining more about the project, featuring music by alt-rock Dublin band Empire Circus, is available on the History of Life YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/0Y0RmQFb628 -Ends-      

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Stromal Cell specialists at NUI Galway and Galway biotech, Orbsen Therapeutics have published new work which could lead to new ways of treating people with cancer. Principal Investigator Dr Laura Barkley, a researcher at the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway explains: “Tumour stromal cells are recently discovered and are an important component of solid tumours. Tumour stromal cells prevent the patient’s immune system from recognising and killing cancer cells and they also limit the effectiveness of many current cancer drugs including immunotherapies. Our research indicates that developing drugs that specifically target tumour stromal cells may enable current drugs to work better in patients.” This Irish Research Council funded collaboration discovered a new marker of breast cancer tumour stromal cells called Syndecan-2. Dr Barkley and Dr Paul Loftus at Orbsen Therapeutics have developed novel peptide therapeutics to bind and target Syndecan-2 specifically. These new peptides were then tested in breast cancer models for safety and efficacy. Dr Barkley continued: “The peptides caused immune cells to infiltrate the breast cancer, leading to a reduction in growth and notably, reduced the metastasis of the breast cancer to other organs. These studies suggest that targeting cancer specific tumour stromal cells represent a new modality in the treatment of cancer. We are very excited about the potential benefits of using tumour stromal cells-targeting drugs to improve patient outcomes in combination with current breast cancer therapies and immunotherapies.” Professor Michael Kerin, Chair of Surgery at NUI Galway and Research Director of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute and co-author in the study, said: “This work highlights the important collaborative patient focused research that is carried out in the Lambe Institute for Translational Research. It will open avenues for treatment for patients with particular breast cancer subtypes especially triple negative and targeting the appropriate cohort will require further research.” Professor Timothy O'Brien, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, NUI Galway, Director and Founder of Orbsen Therapeutics, and co-author in the study, highlighted: “This research program illustrates the benefits of the Irish Research Council Employment based post graduate initiative. The research applies discoveries in stem cell biology to cancer therapeutics and may lead to innovative approaches to the treatment of breast cancer.” Dr Stephen Elliman, Chief Scientific Officer at Orbsen Therapeutics, said: “This Irish Research Council enabled research between Dr Barkley and Dr Loftus was a model of industry-academic collaboration. We’re delighted with the outcome and look forward to continuing this productive collaboration and advancing these peptides towards early safety Phase clinical one trials.” This work was published in the International Journal of Cancer and can be accessed at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33383 –Ends–