NUI Galway Honour Leaving Certificate Excellence

NUI Galway Honour Leaving Certificate Excellence-image

Friday, 16 October 2015

NUI Galway recently celebrated the success of a select group of first-year students with a special ceremony on Thursday, 15 October, in recognition of the high points they achieved in the recent Leaving Certificate Examination. As part of the University's annual Excellence Scholarships, 61 students received €1,500 each. Each year the Excellence Scholarships are given to new entrants at NUI Galway who reached a minimum of 560 points in their Leaving Certificate examination, except in Medicine. For Medical students 10 Scholarships were awarded certificates, based on the combined results in the Leaving Certificate and the new Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland). The Excellence Scholarships are designed to recognise and reward Leaving Cert success for the highest-achieving students, and encourage their ongoing commitment to academic excellence during their time at NUI Galway. The awards may be held with any other scholarships or grants, including the University's Postgraduate Scholarships, Mature Student Scholarships, Sports Scholarship Scheme and schemes specific to individual colleges for those who excel in their University exams. Speaking in advance of the Awards presentation, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne, said: “I am delighted to present the scholarships to these 60 outstanding individuals in recognition of their academic talent. NUI Galway constantly strives to support and promote academic excellence across all disciplines. The purpose of these Awards is to encourage each student to develop his/her academic potential to the fullest, by setting a realistic threshold of excellence and rewarding every student who attains that level. It is also a chance to give due credit to their parents and teachers for their important contribution to such success.” This year Excellence Scholarships were awarded to students from 40 individual schools throughout Ireland. The winners represented 13 counties including Clare, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Limerick, Longford, Mayo, Offaly, Roscommon, Tipperary, and Wicklow. -Ends- Ceiliúradh in OÉ Gaillimh ar Scothmhic Léinn a rinne Éacht san Ardteistiméireacht Rinneadh ceiliúradh in OÉ Gaillimh le gairid ar ghrúpa ar leith mac léinn chéad bhliana ag searmanas speisialta Déardaoin, an 15 Deireadh Fómhair, mar aitheantas ar na pointí arda a ghnóthaigh siad i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta. Mar chuid de shearmanas bliantúil na hOllscoile le Scoláireachtaí Sárchaighdeáin a bhronnadh, bronnadh scoláireachtaí ar fiú €1,500 an ceann iad mar aon le scrolla speisialta ar 61 mac léinn. Bronntar na Scoláireachtaí Sárchaighdeáin gach bliain ar mhic léinn atá díreach tosaithe ag freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh agus a fuair 560 pointe, ar a laghad, i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta, seachas mic léinn leighis. Sa Leigheas, bronntar deich Scoláireacht bunaithe ar thorthaí na hArdteistiméireachta agus na Tástála Iontrála nua (H-PAT Ireland) araon. Tá na Scoláireachtaí Sárchaighdeáin ann chun luach saothair a thabhairt do na daltaí is fearr a n-éiríonn leo san Ardteistiméireacht, agus chun a dtiomantas leanúnach i sárchaighdeán acadúil a spreagadh le linn a dtréimhse in OÉ Gaillimh. D’fhéadfaí go mbeadh scoláireachtaí nó deontais eile ag an té a fhaigheann na scoláireachtaí seo, Scoláireachtaí Iarchéime na hOllscoile, Scoláireachtaí do Mhic Léinn Lánfhásta, Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt na hOllscoile agus scéimeanna a bhaineann go sonrach le coláistí agus iad siúd a n-éiríonn thar barr leo sna scrúduithe Ollscoile san áireamh. Ag labhairt dó roimh bhronnadh na ngradam, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Is cúis áthais dom na scoláireachtaí seo a bhronnadh ar an 60 duine den scoth seo mar aitheantas ar a gcumas acadúil. Déanann OÉ Gaillimh iarracht i gcónaí tacú le sárchaighdeán acadúil i ngach uile dhisciplín agus é a spreagadh. Tá na Gradaim seo ann le gach mac léinn a spreagadh le lántairbhe a bhaint as a gcumas mar mhic léinn, trí thairseach réalaíoch sárchaighdeáin a leagan amach agus luach saothair a thabhairt do gach mac léinn a bhaineann an leibhéal sin amach. Deis atá ann freisin le haitheantas a thabhairt don tsárobair atá déanta ag a dtuismitheoirí agus ag a múinteoirí.” I mbliana bronnadh na Scoláireachtaí Sárchaighdeáin ar scoláirí ó 40 scoil ar fud na hÉireann. Bronnadh scoláireachtaí ar mhic léinn as na 13 chontae seo a leanas – an Clár, Dún  na nGall, Gaillimh, Ciarraí, Cill Dara, Cill Chainnigh, Maigh Eo, Luimneach, Tiobraid Árann, Ros Comáin, Longfort, Uíbh Fhailí, agus Cill Mhantáin. -Críoch-

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Become a Scientist at NUI Galway’s Science Camp

Become a Scientist at NUI Galway’s Science Camp-image

Friday, 16 October 2015

NUI Galway is now taking bookings for a full day of science-related activities for children aged 7 to 13 years old. Organised by three science outreach initiatives based at NUI Galway, Cell EXPLORERS, Eco EXPLORERS and Kitchen Chemistry, the Science Camp will take place on Wednesday, 28 October, and includes activities such as discovering microscopes, colourful chemical reactions and working with live exotic animals. With Cell EXPLORERS, children will learn about the fascinating world of cells which are the basic building blocks of all living things. They will take a close look at living things under the microscope in a fun discovery trail. Kitchen Chemistry will teach children how to make their own glow sticks and grow crystals at home, and Eco EXPLORERS will complete the day with an exciting display of live exotic animals, ranging from tarantulas to snakes and stick insects. Dr Muriel Grenon, member of the organising team and Director of Cell EXPLORERS said: “It is a unique opportunity for young people to practice discovery science in a university laboratory and meet students and staff passionate for science and education. This one day on campus stimulates children’s natural curiosity to explore and discover nature in a hands-on and fun way.” All three workshops will be delivered by NUI Galway students and staff who want to share their enthusiasm for science. The cost for the full day (10am – 3pm) is €10 per child, with discounts available for multiple bookings (€18 for 2 children, €25 for 3 children, €30 for 4 children). To register email cellexplorers@nuigalway.ie and include the names and ages of the children who would like to participate (maximum 4 children per booking). Places are limited so early booking is advised. -Ends-

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CÚRAM’S ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE DECLARE ‘THE FUTURE IS HERE’

CÚRAM’S ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE DECLARE  ‘THE FUTURE IS HERE’-image

Monday, 19 October 2015

The Chimera Art and Science Programme Presents: The Future is Here; a collection of work resulting from the artists in residence programme at CÚRAM, the Centre for Research in Medical Devices at NUI Galway. An exhibition of work by the Artists in Residence, Joanna Hopkins and Siobhan McGibbon, will open at Galway City Museum on 30 October at 5pm and continues until 23 December. The Chimera Art and Science Programme has seen both artists work alongside CÚRAM researchers, with full access to its laboratory facilities for the past six months, with the aim of investigating the meeting point of art and science. The Programme was founded by Andrea Fitzpatrick who acts as its director and curator. Andrea Fitzpatrick said: “The focus of the Chimera Art and Science Programme is to develop a visual arts research project within CÚRAM’s laboratories, exploring experimental practice and investigating the resulting composite space of enquiry.” Investigating the theme of empathy, Joanna Hopkins will present a series of multimedia works. Exploring the areas of the brain believed to be responsible for empathy in human beings, one of which is the Supramarginal Gyrus, Hopkins has developed installations based on her investigation into neurons in the research labs at CÚRAM. Through a series of drawings, video and interactive installations, Hopkins also explores our evolving world of multiple 'Touch-screen' video devices. Artist Siobhan McGibbon will present a complex and hypothetical narrative around the creation of a future human species that merges the superior biological elements of tadpoles and zebra fish. The works are created collaboratively with the scientists in CÚRAM utilising the scientific processes and materials used in the development of medical devices, and function as a collection of interconnected ideas explored during the artist’s engagement with the research groups in CÚRAM. The programme also incorporates a student-led project, comprising of eleven students from the Centre for Creative Arts and Media at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology. Work by Blaithin Hughes, Connor Robertson, Elizabeth Lartey, Ewa Zdybel, Helena Grady, Katie Higgins, Lisa Conroy, Mark White, Nicole Roan, Therese Murphy and Tom McLean will be exhibited at NUI Galway’s Gallery during Science Week in early November. Speaking about the programme, Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM, said: “We are very excited about the upcoming exhibitions and our scientists have been very engaged in the process. Residency programmes are a key part of our public engagement programme here at CÚRAM and we will be expanding these programmes in the future.” The programme is funded by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme which aims to support and develop Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education and the public engagement sector in Ireland. The Exhibition will run from 30 October to 23 December at Galway City Museum, Spanish Arch, Galway with opening hours from 10am-5pm Tuesday to Saturday. Admission is free. -Ends-

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Autumn Conferrings at NUI Galway

Autumn Conferrings at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 19 October 2015

Actor Stephen Rea to Receive Honorary Degree  Over 2,500 students will graduate from NUI Galway during the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies which take place from 19-23 October.  The University will also confer an Honorary Doctor of Arts Degree on Tuesday on Irish actor, Stephen Rea. Stephen Rea – Doctor of Arts honoris causa: Stephen Rea was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and attended Belfast High School and Queen’s University, where he studied English. He later trained at the Abbey Theatre School in Dublin and acted with the Focus Theatre Company in Dublin, along with actors such as Gabriel Byrne and Colm Meaney. In 1980, he co-founded the Field Day theatre company with Irish playwright, Brian Friel. After several stage, television and film appearances, Rea came to international success for his performance in Neil Jordan’s film, The Crying Game (1992), for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor. Notable films followed, including Interview with the Vampire, Michael Collins, The Butcher Boy, This Is My Father and The End of the Affair. Stephen is also a highly-regarded stage actor, most recently for his role in Ballyturk, directed and written by Enda Walsh. In 2015, Stephen Rea was awarded a Bafta TV Award for The Honourable Woman and was the recipient of the Special Tribute Award at The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards in recognition of his continued commitment to theatre, for his work with the Field Day theatre company, and for his recent stage roles. Celebrating Stephen Rea’s honorary conferring, NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media will hold a two events on Wednesday, 21 October. The first, ‘Stephen Rea: Politics and the Artist’ will take place at 1pm where Stephen will discuss the role of political engagement in arts and culture in Ireland. ‘Stephen Rea: a Life in Film and Theatre’ will take place at 2.30pm and will focus on Stephen’s significant contribution to cinema and drama, in Ireland and internationally, and will include extract screenings from his film and television work. Both events will take place in the Main Room in Huston School of Film and Digital Media and are free to attend and open to the public. Advance registration is necessary as the number of places is limited. To register please email hustonfilmschool@nuigalway.ie. In advance of the conferring ceremonies, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history. This week we are very proud to honour Stephen Rea for his outstanding and distinctive contribution to the world of culture, theatre and film in Ireland and far beyond. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise his exceptional talent and achievement. On behalf of the University I congratulate Stephen and each of the 2,500 students who will be conferred with degrees this week from NUI Galway. ” A series of short interviews with Stephen Rea are available to view at  https://vimeo.com/143070571, https://vimeo.com/143067094 and https://vimeo.com/143125238. -Ends- Bronnadh an Fhómhair in OÉ Gaillimh Céim Oinigh le bronnadh ar an Aisteoir Stephen Rea  Bainfidh os cionn 2,500 mac léinn céim amach in OÉ Gaillimh sna Searmanais Bronnta Céime a bheidh ar bun idir 19-23 Deireadh Fómhair.  Bronnfaidh an Ollscoil Céim Oinigh Dhochtúireachta sna Dána Dé Máirt ar aisteoir na tíre seo, Stephen Rea. Stephen Rea – Céim Dhochtúireachta sna Dána honoris causa: Rugadh Stephen Rea i mBéal Feirste, Tuaisceart Éireann agus d'fhreastail sé ar Ardscoil Bhéal Feirste agus ar Ollscoil na Banríona áit a ndearna sé staidéar ar an mBéarla. Fuair sé a chuid oiliúna i Scoil Amharclann na Mainistreach i mBaile Átha Cliath agus thosaigh sé a cheird leis an gCompántas Focus i mBaile Átha Cliath, in éineacht le haisteoirí eile cosúil le Gabriel Byrne agus Colm Meaney. I 1980, bhunaigh sé féin agus an drámadóir Brian Friel an compántas Field Day. Chaith Rea seal ar stáitse, ar an teilifís agus i scannáin sular bhain sé cáil idirnáisiúnta amach as a pháirt i scannán Neil Jordan, The Crying Game (1992). Ainmníodh é do ghradam Oscar don Aisteoir is Fearr ina dhiaidh sin. Bhí páirt aige i scannáin mhóra le rá eile ina dhiaidh sin, cosúil le Interview with the Vampire, Michael Collins, The Butcher Boy, This Is My Father agus The End of the Affair. Tá ardmheas ar Stephen mar aisteoir stáitse chomh maith, go mór mór as a ról in Ballyturkle gairid, stiúrtha agus scríofa ag Enda Walsh. In 2015, bronnadh gradam teilifíse BAFTA ar Stephen Rea as The Honourable Woman agus bronnadh gradam ómóis speisialta air ag Gradaim Amharclannaíochta na hÉireann The Irish Times mar aitheantas as a dhúthracht don amharclannaíocht, as a shaothar leis an gcompántas Field Day, agus as a róil ar stáitse le scaitheamh anuas. Mar cheiliúradh ar chéim oinigh Stephen Rea, beidh Scoil Scannán agus Meán Digiteach Huston in OÉ Gaillimh ag reáchtáil dhá ócáid Dé Céadaoin, an 21 Deireadh Fómhair. Beidh an chéad cheann, ‘Stephen Rea: Politics and the Artist’ ar siúl ag 1pm áit a labhróidh Stephen faoi ról na polaitíochta sna healaíona agus sa chultúr in Éirinn. Beidh ‘Stephen Rea: a Life in Film and Theatre’ ar siúl ag 2.30pm agus an bhéim ag an ócáid seo ar shaothar Stephen sa phictiúrlann agus sa drámaíocht, in Éirinn agus thar lear, agus taispeánfar giotaí dá shaothar scannánaíochta agus teilifíse. Beidh an dá ócáid ar siúl sa Seomra Mór i Scoil Scannán agus Meán Digiteach Huston agus tá siad saor in aisce agus oscailte do chách. Ní mór clárú roimh ré áfach mar go bhfuil teorainn ar líon na n-áiteanna atá ar fáil. Chun clárú seol ríomhphost chuig hustonfilmschool@nuigalway.ie. Ag labhairt dó roimh na searmanais bhronnta, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Tá an t-ádh ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith bainteach leis an oiread sin céimithe oinigh den scoth ó bunaíodh an Ollscoil. An tseachtain seo, táimid bródúil céim oinigh a bhronnadh ar Stephen Rea as an obair atá déanta aige i saol an chultúir, na hamharclannaíochta agus na scannán in Éirinn agus thar lear. Is cúis áthais dúinn anseo in OÉ Gaillimh an deis a bheith againn aitheantas a thabhairt don tallann agus don tsárobair atá déanta aige. Thar ceann na hOllscoile, tréaslaím le Stephen agus leis an 2,500 mac léinn a mbronfnar céimeanna orthu an tseachtain seo in OÉ Gaillimh.” -Críoch-

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Cell EXPLORERS Teams to Bring Hands-on Science to Irish Schools

Cell EXPLORERS Teams to Bring Hands-on Science to Irish Schools-image

Monday, 19 October 2015

NUI Galway’s Cell EXPLORERS science outreach programme has announced the launch of their new partnership with the University of Limerick (UL) and Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT). Funded by a two-year Science Foundation Ireland Discover Award, the partnership will see teams visit primary schools in their localities sharing the wonder of science, allowing children to act like real scientists in their own classrooms. Cell EXPLORERS has been running ‘Fantastic DNA!’ school science roadshows in Galway for the past four years. Teams of scientists from NUI Galway have visited schools throughout County Galway and taught 3,000 children about cells and DNA using hands-on activities and experiments. The partnership aims to generate a network of Cell EXPLORERS teams passionate about science and able to sustainably deliver science outreach activities within their communities. The Cell EXPLORERS programme, created in NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, is based on a volunteering model where science students and staff give their time to spread their love of science with children. The programme aims to inform, inspire and involve the children in modern biology and biomedical sciences. Cell EXPLORERS uses small group teaching and hands-on activities to engage the children and, by bringing undergraduate, postgraduate and researchers into classrooms, provides role models of real people involved in science. As a dual benefit it also trains the next generation of scientists in the skills needed to communicate with the public. NUI Galway Cell EXPLORERS Director, Dr Muriel Grenon, said: “I am thrilled about the national expansion of the programme and am looking forward to spreading the Cell EXPLORERS model even wider in the coming year. Creating new Cell EXPLORERS teams in UL and AIT is an exciting new step for us. It is sensational to see the enthusiasm of our partner teams and the schools they have already visited. We want to build on this expansion to extend our reach to those schools that rarely get STEM visits.” Dr Audrey O’Grady, who leads the UL team in the School of Science, said: “It is a great opportunity for our students to be part of the programme. Its organisation is very robust and it is allowing us to bring STEM to schools in a way that we have never explored before.” Dr Erin Jo Tiedeken and Dr Alessia Stocca are leading the AIT team which is coordinated by Professor Neil Rowan of the Biosciences Research Institute at AIT. Professor Rowan said: “The programme will benefit both our scientists and schools in the midlands. We are already very enthusiastic about the new communication skills it will bring to our researchers.” Schools can request a ‘Fantastic DNA’ visit by contacting the team closest to their location. To contact UL email cellexplorersul@gmail.com, AIT at cellexplorersait@gmail.com or NUI Galway at cellexplorers@nuigalway.ie.   To find out more about the ‘Fantastic DNA’ roadshow and Cell EXPLORERS activities visit www.cellexplorers.com or by following Cell EXPLORERS on Facebook or Twitter. Cell EXPLORERS activities, and the expansion of the programme to other institutions, is funded by SFI Discover, the NUI Galway School of Natural Sciences and by the NUI Galway Foundation. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Awards Business Certificate to 300 Junior Certificate Students

NUI Galway Awards Business Certificate to 300 Junior Certificate Students-image

Monday, 19 October 2015

Students from across Connacht who received an ‘A’ in Junior Certificate Honours Business Studies, were presented with Certificates of Achievement from the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway recently. The presentations, in association with the Business Studies Teachers Association of Ireland (BSTAI), were made at a special ceremony at the University which included teachers and parents. This is the sixth year NUI Galway has presented these awards and 300 students received recognition for their achievement at the ceremony. The certificates were awarded to students from over 65 individual schools throughout the counties of Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. Dr Kieran Conboy, Dean of the College of Business Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway, who presented the certificates to each individual winner, said: “NUI Galway believes these awards are important to recognise the achievements of our potential future business leaders. I congratulate all the students on their success and also the work of teachers in helping students achieve their potential. I’m sure I will have the pleasure of meeting many of these students again in NUI Galway in the future on one of our business or commerce programmes.” Seamus Robinson, former President, BSTAI, said: “The BSTAI are delighted to continue its partnership with NUI Galway in hosting this ceremony which celebrates and recognises academic excellence in Business Studies at a young age. I’m confident many of today’s award recipients will build successful careers in the business world.” -Ends-

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NUI Galway Researchers Battle it out at THREESIS 2015 Competition

NUI Galway Researchers Battle it out at THREESIS 2015 Competition-image

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Ever wondered how research at NUI Galway and St. Angela’s College in Sligo impacts upon our daily lives, those of our family and our broader community? To learn more about it the public are invited to a competition which might just answer that question on Thursday, 29 October at 6pm in An Taibhdhearc Theatre, Galway. The THREESIS competition is an academic challenge that will see students and staff from NUI Galway and St. Angela’s College in Sligo present their research to the audience and a panel of judges in an accessible language that a non-expert can understand. Presenter of Newstalk’s Futureproof and award winning broadcaster, Jonathan McCrea will act as MC. Each of the 13 finalists, who have already come through a series of heats held at NUI Galway and St. Angela’s College in Sligo will present three slides, in three minutes, communicating their research area and relevancy. Competitors are judged on how well they convey their subject and their ability to communicate to a general audience. NUI Galway’s five priority research areas in Biomedical Science and Engineering; Informatics, Physical and Computational Sciences; Environment, Marine and Energy; Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy; and Humanities in Context, will be represented. Topics will range from breast cancer, English-Irish machine translation, Parkinson’s disease, blue ecosystem services, Galway energy efficient cars and colourful coral reefs in Ireland. The winners in first, second and third place will receive a prize and award, based on the decision of the judges who include Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway and Mr Declan Courell, Registrar of St. Angela's College in Sligo. Professor Lokesh Joshi said: “This event will provide a snapshot of the diversity of research being carried out at NUI Galway. The talks will be sharp and to-the-point, with plenty of time while the judges deliberate for NUI Galway researchers and members of the community to share ideas over refreshments.” “The audience will also be treated to a short talk from last year’s THREESIS competition winner, Edel Browne, a second year biotechnology student. Her talk ‘Free Feet’ is based on her innovative use of laser technology that has revolutionised potential treatment methods for Freezing of Gait in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD)”, Professor Joshi added. The event is free and refreshments will be served on the night. To book your tickets visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/threesis/ -Ends-

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NUI Galway Law Lecturer Publishes Report on Clinical Legal Education

NUI Galway Law Lecturer Publishes Report on Clinical Legal Education-image

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Dr Bryan McMahon, retired Judge of the High Court and former part-time Professor of Law at NUI Galway, recently launched a new report, Clinical Legal Education in Ireland: Progress and Potential. The report was written by Larry Donnelly, Lecturer and Director of Clinical Legal Education in NUI Galway’s School of Law, and was commissioned by the Dublin-based Free Legal Advice Centres Ltd (FLAC) and Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA). Clinical legal education, which has at its core “learning by doing” and the furtherance of the public interest, exposes law students to how the law works in practice. In Irish clinical legal education programmes, law students work with law firms, barristers, non-governmental organisations, government bodies and in related fields. They are awarded academic credit for and assessed upon their performance in these “real world” placements. NUI Galway’s School of Law has been nationally and internationally recognised for its clinical legal education programme, which was founded by Mr Donnelly in academic year 2005-2006. The report includes statistics on the existing clinical legal education programmes in Ireland; interviews with directors of clinical programmes, supervisors and law students; examinations of two clinical programmes in the UK; and a series of reflections and recommendations for the future development of clinical legal education in Ireland. Speaking at the launch, Larry Donnelly said: “This report is the first attempt to critically analyse recent advances in clinical legal education in Ireland and I hope that it will spur a discussion about the future among all of the relevant stakeholders. Clinical legal education has the unique capacity to create disorienting moments for students – in which law students are forced to confront circumstances that are directly at odds with their life and educational experiences to date. The disorienting moment should be at the heart of legal education.” Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Law, congratulated Larry Donnelly on the publication of the report: “The report cements our already strong reputation as a national leader in providing an optimal legal education combining both theory and practice. This is the best means of preparing graduates for working in a rapidly changing, increasingly globalised environment.” The report can be accessed online at http://bit.ly/1LRWnqz. A hard copy can be obtained by contacting Mr Donnelly at larry.donnelly@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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UNESCO Chair and Patron Cillian Murphy feature at International Youth Forum

UNESCO Chair and Patron Cillian Murphy feature at International Youth Forum-image

Thursday, 22 October 2015

‘Youth as Researchers – Invoking Empathy and Activating Young People' is the title of a public conversation which NUI Galway’s UNESCO Chair, Professor Pat Dolan will conduct at the biennial UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris this month, from 26 - 28 October. The Chair will host the session which features youth researchers, trained by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre (UCFRC) in conversation with Irish actor Cillian Murphy, who is patron of the Centre on the theme of activating youth voice through film and youth-led research. The session will also include the launch by Cillian Murphy of two videos documenting the findings of youth researcher projects – one on mental health awareness and the other on the challenges facing LGBT youth on projects undertaken by representatives of Foróige, Ireland’s leading youth work organisation in association with the actor earlier in the year. According to the actor “Ensuring the voice of young people is present in matters directly affecting them is an issue close to my heart. Research driven by youth can build on their capacity and enable them to add their voice and influence change on issues that matter to them." The event will highlight the Youth as Researchers element of the UNESCO Chair’s work at NUI Galway. The Youth Researchers Programme is focused on training young people to undertake research across a number of areas on issues affecting their lives. The projects featured build on the work undertaken by the Foróige youth organisation research teams that emerged from youth researcher trainings conducted by the Child and Family Research Centre in early 2015. These are accompanied by the development of a Youth Researcher Training Manual and Workbook that have been used widely in youth organisation and clubs. The short films are part of a broader initiative within the UCFRC to develop a programme to promote empathy in youth. Centre Director and UNESCO Chair Professor Pat Dolan believes that empathy education should begin in school: “There is a role for taught, value-based empathy education in the school curriculum and in helping to understand diversity and difference.” Also at the Forum, the UCFRC will showcase its research partnership with the Lumos Foundation in the UK, founded by author JK Rowling in an effort to increase global momentum to reduce the number of children living in institutions. An interactive session presented by young people with disabilities from Eastern Europe hosted by CEO of Lumos Georgette Mulheir, Professor Pat Dolan, and UNESCO Chair Professor Mark Brennan will demonstrate the importance of self-advocacy and new styles of participation which will bring about real inclusion. ENDS

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NUI Galway Research on Yeast Supplements for Pig Nutrition Makes it to Finals of SFI TIDA Pitch Off Contest

NUI Galway Research on Yeast Supplements for Pig Nutrition Makes it to Finals of SFI TIDA Pitch Off Contest-image

Friday, 23 October 2015

Commercialisation of research outputs supports further development of novel yeast-based feed supplements for improved pig nutrition at NUI Galway Postdoctoral research scientist, Dr Sandesh Swamidatta from the Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC) at NUI Galway, was one of the eight finalists that made it through to the SFI TIDA Pitch Off Final as part of Startup Gathering 2015. The Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) Programme, competitively selected eight researchers to compete against each other as finalists in the SFI TIDA Pitch Off competition. The process involved pitching their technology and commercialisation ideas for further development support from SFI. Dr Swamidatta’s pitch related to the development of ‘Yeast-based feed supplements for Pig Nutrition’, which he has been developing in the SFI-funded research lab of Professor Charles Spillane at NUI Galway. Funded by the SFI TIDA Programme, Dr Swamidatta and Professor Spillane are developing novel yeast-based feed supplements for improved pig nutrition. Pig production is big business in Ireland and globally. Feed and nutrition costs are critical for profits in the pig industry with Irish pig production ranking third after beef and dairy in terms of economic value. Ireland’s pig meat export in 2014 was worth an estimated €570 million. The cost of production of pig meat at the moment is estimated at €1.60/kg of meat. The major cost of production in producing pig meat relates to feed, which accounts for approximately two third of the total production cost. Improving feed efficiency, improved mineral absorption and mineral nutrient supplementation are key areas of livestock nutrition research. Dr Swamidatta said: “The SFI TIDA Programme was an exhilarating experience which provided an insight into the commercialisation aspect of research outputs. The SFI TIDA Pitch Off event gave an excellent platform to showcase our lab’s research and to get first-hand experience of how investors evaluate the commercial potential of a research idea.” Professor Spillane added: “The SFI TIDA Programme is invaluable for providing the necessary support to determine whether commercially promising research findings can be further built upon to be translated into commercial products or services.” Science Foundation Ireland provides funding for research that has the potential to improve the competitiveness of industry and enterprise in Ireland. Amongst its funding programmes, the SFI TIDA Programme provides funding for research groups to focus on an applied research project with commercial potential and provides entrepreneurship training for the researchers. Speaking at the event, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said: “For over a decade Science Foundation Ireland has been investing in world-leading research. This investment is yielding results, not only in our rising global scientific rankings, but also in terms of commercialisation outputs; patents, licencing, start-ups and spin-outs. Our involvement in the Startup Gathering is allowing us to bring together researchers we have funded over the last 10 years along with some of the great national and international entrepreneurial minds. It is a great platform to foster and encourage collaborative thinking and networking.” For further information visit: http://www.sfi.ie/news-resources/press-releases/tida-pitch-off.html -Ends-

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