Friday, 8 June 2018

European ENERGISE team launches new online interactive dataset, which maps over 1000 sustainable energy initiatives across Europe NUI Galway, lead coordinators of the €3.7 million pan-European Horizon 2020 project, ENERGISE (European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy), along with their partner collaborators, have launched an online database of best practice examples of energy initiatives from 30 European countries including Ireland. The database was launched this week in Brussels as part of European Sustainable Energy Week. In ENERGISE, sustainable energy consumption initiatives are defined as activities that deal with reducing energy related carbon dioxide emissions from households. This can either be in reducing the actual energy consumption or substituting fossil fuels with renewable energy sources. In response to the increasingly urgent climate change challenge, the European Commission is promoting several climate and energy targets with the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonise the economy. However, the current pace and scale of change is insufficient to achieve the necessary sustainability transitions in the energy system as there is an increasing realisation that meeting energy targets is highly dependent on several complex aspects of final energy consumption patterns or energy demand. Recognising these concerns, the innovative ENERGISE research initiative aims to achieve a greater scientific understanding of the social and cultural influences on energy consumption. The project develops, tests and assesses options for a bottom-up transformation of energy use in households and communities across Europe. The ENERGISE research team has conducted a systematic classification of over 1,000 existing sustainable energy consumption initiatives from 30 European countries. The open access online database informs users about the content, scale and objectives of sustainable energy consumption initiatives that specifically address final consumption, as well as providing an assessment of how the challenge of addressing excessive energy consumption is understood. Dr Frances Fahy, lead coordinator of the ENERGISE project from NUI Galway, said: “The database and interactive map will be an invaluable resource for energy practitioners, researchers, community groups or anyone seeking good practice examples of energy initiatives from all over Europe.” Examples of sustainable energy consumption initiatives in Ireland and how they approach the challenge of climate change and the need for energy use reduction: Changes in Complex Interactions - Cloughjordan Eco-Village in Tipperary - An eco-village that promotes sustainable ways of living and encourages knowledge exchange across different levels of society. Changes in Everyday Life Situations - Power of One Street - This initiative was about changing energy practices, educating those involved in the study about how to reduce their energy consumption, and setting them a challenge to do just this. Changes in Individuals’ Behaviour - Be Your Own Energy Manager - This is a ‘train the trainer’ programme which began in a housing estate in County Louth. Changes in Technology - Renewable Energy Dublin (CODEMA and Dublin City Council) - The project promotes the uptake of renewable energy in Dublin through free access to and interaction with up-to-date information on renewable technology installations and capacity in County Dublin. The ENERGISE project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme for three years (2016-2019). The consortium includes ten research partners (universities, research institutes, enterprises and NGOs) from Ireland, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. For more information about ENERGISE or if you if you know of sustainable energy consumption initiatives that are not yet included in the database, visit: http://www.energise-project.eu/ or email info@energise-project.eu -Ends-

Friday, 8 June 2018

An Examination of Lengthy, Contested and Complex Child Protection Cases In the District Court The findings of a two-year research study: An Examination of Lengthy, Contested and Complex Child Protection Cases in the District Court has been published. The report, launched this week by Chief Justice Mr Frank Clarke, was carried out by the Childcare Law Reporting Project (CCLRP) directed by Dr Carol Coulter, Adjunct Professor in the School of Law at NUI Galway. Limited specialist services for victims of child sex abuse, lack of cooperation between the Garda Siochána and Tusla social workers, and problems in the organisation and practice of the courts all contribute to certain child protection cases lasting up to three years, according to the new report which was prepared for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA).  The Childcare Law Reporting Project undertook research on exceptionally lengthy and complex cases which were already reported on its website to examine why some cases become highly contested, protracted and complex. As well as examining the cases in detail, the CCLRP interviewed 40 key participants in these and other complex cases. Main Findings from the Final Report: Some cases take up to three years to come to conclusion Child sex abuse a major complicating factor in child protection cases Lack of cooperation between Gardaí and social workers Inadequate resources to support courts dealing with complex cases Small minority of child protection cases consume a disproportionate amount of court and Tusla time and resources. The prolonged and complex cases examined share certain features, including allegations of very serious harm to a child or children, involving the likelihood of a criminal investigation; lack of coordination between State agencies concerning the allegations made; the involvement of a substantial number of expert witnesses; the requirement for professional assessments of the children and sometimes also of the parents; difficulties and delays in obtaining such assessments; disputes between experts as to the findings of the assessments and disputes between the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) and other parties on the admissibility of evidence. Of the ten cases examined, the longest ran for 52 days in court over a period of nearly three years. Adjournments were common, for example, there were 22 adjournments in one case. Multiple witnesses were called to give evidence, including expert witnesses from outside the jurisdiction, in one case there were 24 witnesses and in another there were 13 expert witnesses heard. The numbers of lawyers involved was high, with up to 10 lawyers in some cases. Seven of the ten prolonged cases examined, and all except one of those that took over a year, were heard outside Dublin, with six of them heard by ‘moveable’ judges, who are called in by the local judge when he or she does not have time to hear a lengthy case. This can cause a range of logistical problems for hearing the case. Eight cases involved allegations of child sexual abuse and the remaining two involved allegations of physical abuse, including one case alleging non-accidental injury to an infant. Statistics collected by the Childcare Law Reporting Project, and separate research by the Legal Aid Board, suggests that child protection cases involving sex abuse allegations make up only 5-6 per cent of all child protection cases coming before the courts, which in turn form only a minority of all Tusla interventions on behalf of children at risk, so these cases are not at all typical of the bulk of work undertaken by Tusla. Nonetheless, they demonstrate systemic problems with the child protection system as overseen by the courts. This study highlights issues that require attention from various State agencies: The early identification of complicating issues in a case. Careful preparation of cases by the Child and Family Agency for court. The management of cases to ensure that all evidence and witnesses are assembled in advance and timetabled into the proceedings. The early identification and completion of necessary assessments. The need for coordination between different State agencies involved in the welfare and protection of children, including the Garda Síochána. Dr Charles O’Mahony, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “The Child Care Law Reporting Project is a critical tool that informs Government policy on this important area of law and practice. The School of Law at NUI Galway is delighted to support this project, which bridges important gaps in our understanding of child care proceedings.” The Child Care Law Reporting Project was set up in November 2012 by Dr Carol Coulter, with the support of Atlantic Philanthropies, the One Foundation and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and with administrative and technical support from Free Legal Advice Centres with a five-year programme of work, which ended in February 2018. As well as Dr Coulter, the project has the assistance of five part-time reporters in attending court cases around the country, including Maria Corbett, who was awarded a Hardiman scholarship by NUI Galway to undertake research on child care proceedings. Along with her duties as supervisor, Dr Coulter delivers occasional lectures to NUI Galway students of law and social science. Dr Coulter said: “I am delighted to have the support of NUI Galway’s School of Law in continuing the work of the Child Care Law Reporting Project. It reflects the School’s commitment to excellence in public law, and I look forward to closer collaboration with the School in the future.” Dr Connie Healy from the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “We at the School of Law would like to congratulate Dr Coulter on her success with the Child Care Law Reporting Project to-date and look forward to working closely with her in her role as Adjunct Professor during the next phase of the project. Her insight into the Child Care System in Ireland has contributed greatly to both our undergraduate and PhD candidates’ knowledge on this important area of law.” The report by Carol Coulter, Director of the Child Care Law Reporting Project, was commissioned by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and is available at: https://www.childlawproject.ie/ -Ends-

Thursday, 7 June 2018

The Great March of Return, Israel’s Assault on Gaza and the Struggle for Justice in Palestine The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host a timely and important talk by Shawan Jabarin, Director General of the largest and oldest Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq, and will address the recent developments in Gaza, on Friday, 8 June. Mr Jabarin’s talk will discuss the remarkable mass movement that emerged in the form of the Great March of Return, and the response of the Israeli military, including the use of lethal force and explosive bullets against civilians, as well as rules of engagement allowing the use of lethal force. Jabarin will also address the diverse range of ongoing attempts to hold Israel to account for its violations of international law in the Palestinian territories, from potential war crimes investigations by the International Criminal Court, to forthcoming proposed legislation in Ireland to ban trade with illegal settlements in occupied territories.  Professor Ray Murphy from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, said: “Shawan Jabarin is amongst the most pre-eminent of Palestinian human rights defenders and most qualified to speak about the ongoing oppression and human rights violations of the Palestinian people.” In 2011 Jabarin was appointed to the Human Rights Watch Middle East Advisory Board, and in 2013 he was elected as a Commissioner for the International Commission of Jurists. In 2016 he was elected Secretary-General of FIDH: International Federation of Human Rights. After studying sociology at Birzeit University in the 1980s, Shawan Jabarin later studied human rights law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway, where he completed the LL.M programme in 2004-05, supported by a grant from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Irish Aid programme. In 2010, the Irish Centre for Human Rights presented Mr Jabarin with its first and only distinguished graduate award. Shawan Jabarin has been subject to administrative detention without trial, travel bans and death threats for his work as a human rights defender, and has been supported in campaigns by Amnesty International, Front Line Defenders, Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, and others. He was awarded the Reebok Human Rights Award in 1990 for his defence of freedom of expression and human rights, and has received numerous other human rights awards since, both personally and on behalf of Al-Haq. The talk is free and open to the public and will take place in the Seminar Room at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway on Friday, 8 June at 5pm. -Ends-

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Study seeks people with chronic pain and at least one other chronic condition to test online treatment for multimorbidity Thursday, 7 June, 2018: A new online treatment programme called ACTION, set up by expert psychologists and physiotherapists at NUI Galway, aims to help those who are managing multiple chronic health conditions. In Ireland, over half a million people suffer from chronic pain on a daily basis. This study is open to people all over Ireland, and the first wave of participants will start the study in June and July. General Practitioners and other health professionals around the country are being encouraged to refer suitable people to the study. The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, with support from the Health Research Board, is currently recruiting people with chronic pain and at least one other chronic health condition to take part in the research. The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) trial will provide eight online sessions to people in the comfort of their own home. At the moment, such supports are scarce and generally aimed at the self-management of single specific chronic conditions, such as chronic pain alone. Research has shown that having multiple chronic conditions, also known as multimorbidity, is associated with a number of negative outcomes, such as a decline in physical and mental functioning, a decreased quality of life and a greater risk of mortality. The ACT trial is based on emerging clinical science that demonstrates the usefulness of managing health conditions through mindfulness and psychological wellbeing. Dr Brian Slattery, coordinator of the study at the Centre for Pain Research in NUI Galway, said: “We know that psychological therapies provided to people with chronic conditions are beneficial, but can be hard to access. In this trial, we will offer the online programme to people all over the country, with any combination of conditions and chronic pain, to try alongside any existing treatments they are already using.” The free online sessions in the ACT programme will focus on values and goals that are individual to each person in the trial. Participants will be provided with instructions on a range of activity-pacing techniques to encourage more consistent levels of activity from day-to-day. In addition, mindfulness techniques and cognitive behavioural therapy will help identify both negative thinking patterns and the development of effective challenges. People who take part in the ACTION trial will not need to attend any clinic or the University at any stage. Materials are tailored for those wishing to learn effective ways of managing their health conditions. Participants can access physiotherapy and all medical services as usual while involved in the trial. For further information and to participate in the study, email painresearch@nuigalway.ie, or visit the website http://www.nuigalway.ie/centre-for-pain-research/. GPs or physiotherapists who are interested in referring suitable patients to the trial can also use these contact details. -Ends-

Thursday, 7 June 2018

NUI Galway recently hosted the inaugural meeting of the Cell EXPLORERS Network, an expanding group of scientists and students from ten Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across Ireland who are committed to bringing science out of the lab and into the classroom. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland and coordinated from the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway, Cell EXPLORERS is a science outreach and public engagement initiative.   Cell EXPLORERS aims to inform, inspire and involve people in the excitement of science, increase the general public’s engagement with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and advocates for its importance in society.   Professor Ciaran Morrison, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, said: “The programme is unique, and has involved 850 team members to reach more than 21,000 members of the Irish public since 2012. It is a unique collaborative approach between 10 higher education institutions that has an impact both on the young people reached but also on our students and researchers. Dr Grenon has also started to develop education research to inform the future development of the programme. The overall impact of Cell EXPLORERS has in fact won her a Societal Impact Award from NUI Galway in 2017.”   Delegates from across Ireland attended the meeting to consolidate the recent expansion of the project, from five partner institutions, to a current total of ten HEIs nationally. The Cell EXPLORERS project now covers twelve counties, including nine of those previously identified as having poor exposure to STEM-related activities. The first year of activity for the Network has resulted in the direct engagement of 6,700 young people and their families by over 250 volunteer scientists who continue to give their time, passion and knowledge to inspiring the next generation of scientific explorers.   Dr Muriel Grenon, Founding Director of Cell EXPLORERS, said: “It is so important to engage our young people in STEM from an early age to break the stereotypes around science and scientists. It was great to meet with all the coordinators to discuss the impact that we see in the classroom and plan for the future of our community of practice.”   The research developed by Cell EXPLORERS aims to evaluate the impacts of the programme on all participants. In particular, it focuses on understanding how demonstrator scientists impact on the opinions and attitudes of children to science and scientists, which could strongly affect the dissemination of science education and public engagement activities in Ireland. Some of this research – assessing the impact on young children’s confidence in conducting science – has won postgraduate researcher and NUI Galway Cell EXPLORERS volunteer coordinator Sarah Carroll a poster prize at the third Scientix (the Community of Science Education in Europe) Conference in Brussels last month.   Cathy Foley, Senior Executive at Science Foundation Ireland, said: “This project is a strong example of public engagement at work and the well-developed model could be used in many other settings across a myriad of subject areas. The programme will inform best practice for the involvement of HEIs in public engagement in science: this Network meeting is a first step in achieving that.”   The long-term goal of Cell EXPLORERS is to strengthen its nationwide programme by incorporating best practice from both its team’s experience and research findings to making the Irish public the most scientifically-informed globally.   -Ends-

Thursday, 7 June 2018

NUI Galway continues to perform strongly in the QS World University Rankings, ranked 260 this year out of the 1,233 Universities considered in this year’s QS ranking, maintaining its position among the world’s elite educational institutions. Although its ranking has fallen slightly this year, since 2014 NUI Galway has moved up 24 places, and it was the only Irish institution to increase its ranking year on year in the previous five years. NUI Galway continues to perform strongly in its international scores, reflecting the welcoming nature and vibrant international population of Galway city.  The impact of investment and improvement in education and research in other nations has meanwhile resulted in Ireland’s universities improving research performance, yet other nations have caught up.  Speaking on the announcement of this year’s QS rankings, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh observed that “We are on a flat curve where small changes make for a potentially large change in our rankings. In that context, we will continue to focus on what makes a difference for our students and for our society, drawing on the strengths of our hinterland to further enhance our international reputation and reach." Noting the QS comments on Irish Universities more generally and that the rest of the world is ‘catching up’, Professor Ó hÓgartaigh commented that this suggests that “investment in education is critically important as Ireland’s consistent source of economic and social development. Our students compete with the best in the world and, for them, so do we.” Globally, Massachusetts Institute of Technology is named the world’s leading university for a record-breaking seventh consecutive year. QS now rank the world’s top 1000 universities, which hail from 85 different countries, and their flagship website, www.TopUniversities.com is due to be visited over 65 million times this year. The full rankings can be found at www.TopUniversities.com from Wednesday, 6 June, 2018. ENDS Gaisce déanta ag OÉ Gaillimh arís i Ranguithe Ollscoile Domhanda QS Tá gaisce déanta ag OÉ Gaillimh arís i Ranguithe Ollscoile Domhanda QS. Rangaíodh ar an 260ú Ollscoil i mbliana í as 1,233 Ollscoil a ndearnadh measúnú orthu i ranguithe QS. Léiríonn sin go bhfuil sí ar cheann de scoth-institiúidí an domhain i gcónaí. Cé go bhfuil an rangú a rinneadh uirthi beagán níos ísle i mbliana, ó 2014 tá OÉ Gaillimh i ndiaidh bogadh suas 24 áit ar an liosta, agus ba í an t-aon institiúid Éireannach í a raibh a rangú ag ardú bliain i ndiaidh bliana le cúig bliana roimhe sin.  Tá OÉ Gaillimh ag déanamh gaisce sna ranguithe idirnáisiúnta i gcónaí, agus is léiriú é sin ar a fháiltiúla atá cathair na Gaillimhe agus ar an bpobal bríomhar idirnáisiúnta atá sa chathair.  Chuir an infheistíocht a rinneadh san oideachas agus sa taighde i dtíortha eile brú ar ollscoileanna na hÉireann cur leis an méid taighde a bhí ar siúl acu, ach tá tíortha eile sna sála againn anois.  Ag labhairt dó nuair a fógraíodh ranguithe QS na bliana seo, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Táimid ar chuar comhréidh agus d’fhéadfadh tionchar nach beag a bheith ag athruithe beaga ar an rangú a dhéantar orainn. Ina fhianaise sin, leanfaimid orainn ag díriú ar nithe a mbíonn tionchar acu ar ár gcuid mac léinn agus ar ár sochaí, agus beimid ag tarraingt ar láidreachtaí an cheantair mórthimpeall orainn le cur leis an gcáil idirnáisiúnta atá orainn.” Agus é ag tagairt don mhéid a bhí le rá ag QS faoi Ollscoileanna na hÉireann i gcoitinne agus an chaoi a bhfuil an chuid eile den domhan ‘sna sála’ orainn, dúirt an tOllamh Ó hÓgartaigh go léiríonn sin go bhfuil “infheistíocht san oideachas thar a bheith tábhachtach mar fhoinse sheasmhach forbartha eacnamaíochta agus sóisialta. Bíonn ár gcuid mac léinn in iomaíocht leis na mic léinn is fearr ar domhan agus caithfimidne dul in iomaíocht le scoth na n-ollscoileanna chomh maith, ar mhaithe leis na mic léinn. Tá curiarracht bainte amach ag Massachusetts Institute of Technology ar tugadh séala na hollscoile is fearr ar domhan di don seachtú bliain as a chéile. Déanann QS rangú anois ar an 1000 ollscoil is fearr as 85 tír ar fud an domhain, agus tabharfar níos mó ná 65 milliún cuairt i mbliana ar an láithreán gréasáin den scoth atá acu, www.TopUniversities.com. Beidh na ranguithe ar fad le feiceáil ag www.TopUniversities.com ó Dé Céadaoin, 6 Meitheamh CRÍOCH

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Enactus NUI Galway were recently awarded runners up at the 2018 Enactus Ireland National Competition. This innovative competition sees students from ten Higher Educational Institutes, compete for the champion title. Enactus NUI Galway presented two innovative projects: -          Le Chéile, is an anti-bullying workshop co-designed with a student with autism. The team empowered a person with autism to deliver the autism awareness workshop which educates secondary school students to be more empathetic and compassionate towards their peers. -          HearMe, is a programme that aims to empower individuals with communication impairments. These individuals, along with Speech and Language Therapy students, train those in the service industry to implement practices which break down communication barriers. They also train professional Speech and Language Therapists to set up Hear Me training in their respective counties. Terence O’Rourke, Chairperson of Enactus Ireland, said: “All the student teams involved this year have shown tremendous understanding of how their entrepreneurial skills and talents can be used to bring about real change in their communities.” Founded in November 2011, Enactus Ireland is one of 36 country organisations around the world that operates an Enactus programme, bringing together student, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to solve community challenges. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement community empowerment projects and this experience not only transforms lives, it helps students develop the kind of talent, skills and perspective that are essential to leadership in an ever-more complicated and challenging world. For more information on Enactus, visit http://enactusireland.org/ -Ends-

Friday, 1 June 2018

Impact of mindfulness in health, education and justice systems to be the subject of “Ireland’s Mindful Journey” Event on 14 June The development and impact of policy relating to mindfulness will be explored at a conference in NUI Galway on Thursday, 14 June. The “Ireland’s Mindful Journey” event will explore how mindfulness is steadily making its way into our health, education and justice systems from the ground up, to examine policy in these areas.      Mindful Way @ NUI Galway was established in 2015, and the community has grown to approximately 800 staff, students and members of the local community who participate in shared practice and events across campuses in Galway, Shannon and Letterkenny. Mindful activities relating to teaching, research and the practice of mindfulness are ongoing at the University, where mindful spaces are also being created.   Speaking about the forthcoming event, Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “As mental health is becoming more of a priority issue for governments and policy makers, this conference will share experiences of mindfulness programmes nationally and internationally with a view to developing best practice and informing policy.   “Through research and a range of activities on our campuses, we are exploring how mindfulness contributes to improved wellbeing in our society. While there is often a focus on meditation, mindfulness is about far more than that. Its techniques can change how we relate to ourselves and to those around us by keeping us in the present moment to better respond to the situations we face. While there are many successful initiatives, mindfulness has yet to permeate policy in many areas, and we hope that these examples from the health, justice and education systems can highlight the potential for mindfulness to transform culture in a range of settings.”    Speakers include: Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Education with special responsibility for Higher Education  Kate O’Flaherty, Head of Health and Wellbeing at Healthy Ireland, a Government-led initiative which promotes physical and mental health, and wellbeing Dr Ann Caulfield of Mindfulness Matters, a Mayo-based initiative, which has endeavoured to embed mindfulness into primary level education since 2011 Professor Craig Hassed of Monash University in Australia, whose teaching, research and clinical interests include mindfulness-based stress management Dr Paul D’Alton, Head and Clinical Lead of the Department of Psycho-oncology at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin and Founder and Co-Director of the MSc in Mindfulness Based Interventions in University College Dublin Mary Lovegrove of Mindful Nation Ireland, a not-for-profit organisation supporting and encouraging mindfulness and compassion initiatives in public life. The conference will be of particular interest to researchers and policy makers working in the area of mindfulness. For more information and to book a place at this one day free event, visit www.nuigalway.ie/mindfulway.   -Ends- 

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

  NUI Galway congratulates TG4 and Gifted Empire Productions following their win at the Irish Film and Television Awards for their live production from the University campus in October 2016. The outstanding production provided by Gifted Empire Productions for TG4XX Beo, TG4's 20th-anniversary celebrations, was acknowledged last week by the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) at their Gala 2018 Awards in Dublin’s RDS.  Taking home the IFTA for “Best Live Event”,  Gifted Empire’s production was broadcast live from NUI Galway on Halloween night, 31st October 2016 on TG4.  President Michael D Higgins along with TG4’s Director General, Alan Esslemont gave addresses, the show also featured a music, dance and performance extravaganza including appearances from Hothouse Flowers, Duke Special with Ulaid and Prodijig. The production involved constructing a glass pavilion structure in the University’s historic Quadrangle which accommodated 500 guests on the night including President of Ireland, Connacht Rugby team and over 100 live performers.  The location of the event in the heart of the University was symbolic and highlights the relationship between NUI Galway and Gaeltacht communities across Ireland and in its hinterland. NUI Galway is proud to work with TG4 to facilitate broad civic participation in an inclusive Irish language identity since 1996. Graduates and staff of NUI Galway have played significant roles on- and off-screen in the development and identity of TnaG since 1996 and TG4 since 1999.  Academic projects such as NUI Galway’s conference TG4@10 in October 2006 examined the impact of TG4 on the language and media community.  Programmes such as An tArd-Dioplóma sa Chumarsáid Fheidhmeach provided an important talent stream in the initial years of the channel and production programmes such as An Dioplóma i Scileanna Físe (Gaoth Dobhair) was a key contributor to sectoral capacity building for TG4 and the audio-visual sector nationally Speaking on taking home the IFTA, NUI Galway graduate Paul McKay, who was Executive Producer of TG4XX Beo, and is Director of Gifted Empire Productions, said: “We are so proud of the work we delivered on TG4XX Beo and we are delighted that IFTA has recognised it with this (Best Live Event win).  We worked very hard to deliver the most memorable birthday celebration for TG4 on Halloween night and to win the IFTA award for it is the icing on the cake.” The IFTA’s were held in Dublin on Thursday 31st May 2018 and were be broadcast on TG4 on Saturday 2nd June. Take a look at TG4's 20th Anniversary Live Concert from NUI Galway which took place on Halloween night 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=picpFAcOXho

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at NUI Galway will host its Annual Symposium on Higher Education on Friday, 15 June in Áras Moyola. The conference theme is “Design for Learning” and will focus on the design and use of teaching and learning spaces that facilitate active learning, collaboration, and student engagement.   The Symposium will explore a wide range of aspects of designing for learning: from state-of-the-art learning spaces to inspiring examples of 'hacking' spaces, from classrooms and labs to libraries and learning commons, and from physical to online, hybrid, and open environments. Professor Iain MacLaren, Director of the Centre for Excellence and Teaching at NUI Galway, said: “At this symposium, participants will explore the question of how the design of the spaces in which we teach or study might shape the experience. Are there different ways of designing classrooms, for example, that would enable more active, engaged learning and discussion? If we are using a wide range of technologies to support learning, what kinds of study spaces would be best for students, particularly when working in teams or on projects? We'll be looking at examples from around the world and also considering the important role of virtual and online spaces. Through a combination of presentations, workshops, and discussions – involving international speakers, university staff, and students – we hope to generate practical ideas for the future of university learning and teaching.” The conference will feature keynote speakers:  Dr Alastair Blyth is an architect and research analyst specialising in learning environments and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster. Alastair aims to help people re-imagine the creation of learning environments – educational and physical – that motivate, engage, and inspire students and teachers alike, to enable societies to produce students with the creative, collaborative, and communication skills they need. Alastair is the co-author of several OECD surveys and policy reviews, including ‘Higher Education Spaces and Places’ for learning, innovation and knowledge exchange. Dr Donna Lanclos is an anthropologist working with ethnographic methods and analysis to inform and change policy in higher education, in particular in and around libraries, learning spaces, and active learning pedagogies and practices. Lorna Campbell works for the University of Edinburgh’s Open Educational Resources (OER) Service within the Learning, Teaching, and Web Services Directorate, where her work includes strategies for embedding and supporting open education and OER within the institution. Lorna is a Trustee of Wikimedia UK and of the Association for Learning Technology and a member of the Open Knowledge Open Education Working Group Advisory Board. The Symposium will also contain presentations, workshops, and discussion sessions offered by staff from NUI Galway and other Irish higher education institutions.          The event is free and open to all. For further information or to register visit celt18.eventbrite.ie.   -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Summer School led by KPMG Principal and NUI Galway Adjunct Professor Laurence May NUI Galway recently hosted the inaugural KPMG-led Analytics Summer School, the first of its kind in Europe. The Summer School will be a recurring annual programme and available to students who are undertaking either NUI Galway’s Master of Accounting or MSc (International Accounting and Analytics), and focuses on auditing and accounting analytics and cognitive technologies using KPMG software and tools.   The Summer School uses KPMG tools which were developed to harness the power of technology and bring greater vigour, precision and meaningful insights to the increasing age of data. In addition, participants also heard from a number of guest speakers throughout the programme including: Marie Joyce, CFO at National Toll Roads;, Mathieu D'Aquin, Professor of Informatics at Insight Centre for Data Analytics; Joe Smyth, Vice-President of R&D AI Group at Genesys; Mark Gantly, Senior R&D Director Software Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise; and Gearoid Hynes, Head of Product at Orreco.   Laurence May, Principal at KPMG and Adjunct Professor at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted with the success of the inaugural programme and with the enthusiastic response it has received in the business community and in academia. The key to its success was twofold – the calibre of the KPMG and guest speakers and the practical application of the tools by participants. KPMG is proud to be associated with this innovative programme.”   Dr Geraldine Robbins, Programme Director, NUI Galway said: “It is important that accountants are well positioned to play a leading role in reaping the benefits from growth in data analytics capabilities as the accounting/finance function often has responsibility for analytics in their organisation. Accountants are at a distinct advantage when implementing data analytics not only because they have ready access to data but they also have the training and expertise to make sense of financial data. Data analytics in accounting can help in boosting competitiveness, enhancing financial reporting, managing risks and identifying fraud.”   For more information about the Accounting Masters programmes available email accounting@nuigalway.ie or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/taught-postgraduate-courses/.   -Ends-  

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, has been elected as a Member of the Royal Irish Academy for his contribution to Humanities and Social Sciences, during a special admittance ceremony recently in Dublin. Professor Lonergan was one of 28 new Members of the Royal Irish Academy elected for their exceptional contribution to the sciences, humanities and social sciences as well as to public service. New members joining Professor Lonergan include the poet Eavan Boland, public servant, Martin Mansergh, geologist Koen Verbruggen and educationalist Áine Hyland. Professor Peter Kennedy, President of the Royal Irish Academy, said: “We should be proud of these new Members of the Academy for the honour their work brings to this country and the impact of this research on the quality of the higher education provided by our universities.” Professor Patrick Lonergan is one of Ireland’s foremost theatre scholars and Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway. He is academic leader of the digitisation of the archives from the Abbey and Gate Theatres, the world’s largest multi-media digital theatre archive collection, making possible a new era in Irish theatre scholarship, which is digitised at the James Hardiman Library in NUI Galway. Professor Lonergan is the author of several books on Irish theatre including the award-winning Theatre and Globalization (winner of the Theatre Book Prize UK in 2008), The Theatre and Films of Martin McDonagh (2012), and Theatre and Social Media (2015). In 2019 his History of Irish Theatre since 1950 will be published by Bloomsbury. He is a board member of Galway International Arts Festival and Galway Music Residency, and has lectured on Irish theatre at many venues internationally including Princeton, Florence, Florianapolis (Brazil), Wroclaw, and Tokyo. Congratulating Professor Lonergan on this honour, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I am delighted to see the work of Professor Lonergan being recognised by the Royal Irish Academy. Admission to the Academy is the highest academic honour in Ireland and it is a testament to the high calibre of Professor Lonergan’s academic work and achievements to date.” The Royal Irish Academy is Ireland’s leading body of experts in the sciences and humanities. The Academy has been honouring Ireland’s leading contributors to the world of learning since its establishment in 1785. Past Members have included Maria Edgeworth, a pioneer of the modern novel and Nobel laureates: WB Yeats; Ernest Walton, Erwin Schrödinger and Seamus Heaney. -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins will be the keynote speaker at a symposium on Conradh na Gaeilge and the Revival of Irish which will be held at NUI Galway on Friday, 15 June.   The day-long symposium, ‘125 Bliain ag Fás – An Athbheochan agus Conradh na Gaeilge’, is the University’s main event for Bliain na Gaeilge, which marks the 125th anniversary of the establishment of Conradh na Gaeilge.   The event also celebrates the decision of Conradh na Gaeilge in 2017 to deposit its archives in NUI Galway. An archivist has recently been appointed to catalogue the archive, including some material to be selected for digitisation.   Dr John Walsh, Senior Lecturer in Irish at NUI Galway and symposium organiser, said: “This event includes papers on a range of research topics related to 125 years of the Revival. Researchers and leading public figures will speak about this topic and draw attention to the fantastic research opportunities presented by the Conradh na Gaeilge archives.”   “The Conradh na Gaeilge archive is a very significant resource for teaching and research and is a major addition to the University’s extensive Irish language collections”, said James Hardiman Librarian, John Cox.   Speaking about this symposium, NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hOgartaigh said: “The Irish language is uniquely and centrally important to the mission and ethos of NUI Galway, our heritage and our hinterland.  By holding the archive of Conradh na Gaeilge in trust for scholars and the Irish nation our University will act as custodian of an important part of the history of our language.  We’re proud to do so and we look forward to the new perspectives for international scholarship which the archive will offer.  This symposium serves as a major contribution to Bliain na Gaeilge, marking 125 years of Conradh na Gaeilge, and will enable scholars and language policy makers to reflect on language development over the past century while also looking to the future of the Irish language.”   Along with President Higgins, speakers will include: Alan Esslemont, Ard-Stiúrthóir of TG4 Dr Mary Harris of the Department of History, NUI Galway Professor Regina Uí Chollatáin, UCD Cuan Ó Seireadáin, Conradh na Gaeilge Dr Hugh Rowland, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway Dr John Walsh, Department of Irish, NUI Galway Professor Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin,  Department of Irish, NUI Galway Dr Niall Comer, Uachtarán of Conradh na Gaeilge, said: “We are delighted that our archive is being deposited permanently in NUI Galway. We believe that regular opportunities will become available to use the archival material and we are looking forward to the first such opportunity at the symposium being organised by the University and Conradh na Gaeilge on 15 June.”    The symposium is jointly organised by NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library and the Department of Irish, and Conradh na Gaeilge. The event is free to attend but registration is required by Friday, 8 June. Details are available at http://www.conference.ie/index/index.asp   -Ends-

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Is é Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUigínn a thabharfaidh an príomhaitheasc ag siompóisiam faoi Chonradh na Gaeilge agus an Athbheochan a reáchtálfar in OÉ Gaillimh Dé hAoine, an 15 Meitheamh. Is é an siompóisiam lae, ‘125 Bliain ag Fás – An Athbheochan agus Conradh na Gaeilge’, príomhócáid na hOllscoile le haghaidh Bhliain na Gaeilge atá ag ceiliúradh 125 bliain ó bunaíodh an Conradh. Ceiliúradh atá san ócáid seo chomh maith ar an gcinneadh a rinne Conradh na Gaeilge in 2017 a chartlann a chur i dtaisce in OÉ Gaillimh. Le déanaí ceapadh cartlannaí chun an chartlann a chatalógú agus le digitiú a dhéanamh ar chuid den ábhar. Dúirt an Dr John Walsh, Léachtóir Sinsearach le Gaeilge agus fear eagair an tsiompóisiam: “Ag an ócáid seo, léifear páipéir ar réimse téamaí taighde a bhfuil baint acu le 125 bliain den Athbheochan. Labhróidh taighdeoirí agus pearsana poiblí iomráiteacha eile faoin téama seo agus tarraingeoidh siad aird ar na deiseanna iontacha taighde a eascraíonn as cartlann an Chonartha.” “Acmhainn ríluachmhar teagaisc agus taighde atá i gcartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge agus cuireann sí go mór leis na bailiúcháin thábhachtacha Ghaeilge atá ag an Ollscoil cheana”, a dúirt Leabharlannaí Shéamais Uí Argadáin, John Cox. Ag labhairt faoin siompóisiam seo, dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: "Tá an Ghaeilge uathúil agus thar a bheith tábhachtach do mhisean agus d’éiteas OÉ Gaillimh, dár n-oidhreacht agus dár gceantar máguaird.  Trí chartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge a choinneáil faoi iontaobhas anseo do scoláirí agus do phobal na hÉireann, beidh an Ollscoil seo ina caomhnóir ar chuid thábhachtach de stair ár dteanga.  Táimid bródúil é seo a dhéanamh agus táimid ag tnúth leis na peirspictíochtaí nua a chuirfidh an chartlann ar fáil do léann idirnáisiúnta.  Is cuid thábhachtach de Bhliain na Gaeilge é an siompóisiam, bliain atá ag déanamh ceiliúradh ar 125 bliain ó bunaíodh Conradh na Gaeilge, agus cuirfidh sé ar chumas scoláirí agus lucht déanta polasaí teanga a machnamh a dhéanamh ar fhorbairt na teanga le céad bliain anuas agus iad ag breathnú san am céanna ar thodhchaí na Gaeilge. " Beidh na cainteoirí eile seo páirteach sa siompóisiam chomh maith: Alan Esslemont, Ard-Stiúrthóir TG4 An Dr Máire Harris ó Roinn na Staire, OÉ Gaillimh An tOllamh Regina Uí Chollatáin, COBÁC Cuan Ó Seireadáin, Conradh na Gaeilge An Dr Hugh Rowland, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh An Dr John Walsh, Roinn na Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh An tOllamh Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin, Roinn na Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh Dúirt an Dr Niall Comer, Uachtarán Chonradh na Gaeilge: “Tá ríméad orainn i gConradh na Gaeilge go bhfuil ár gcartlann á cur i dtaisce go buan in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. Creideann muid go dtiocfaidh deiseanna rialta chun cinn le hábhar na cartlainne a úsáid agus táimid ag súil leis an gcéad deis sin ag an siompóisiam lae a bheidh á reáchtáil ag an Ollscoil agus ag an gConradh ar an 15 Meitheamh.” Tá an siompóisiam lae seo á reáchtáil ag Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin, ag Roinn na Gaeilge agus ag Conradh na Gaeilge. Níl aon chostas air ach is gá clárú faoin 8 Meitheamh. Tá breis eolais ar fáil ag http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=561  -Críoch-

Monday, 30 April 2018

NUI Galway student Meadhbh Ní Eadhra was announced the winner of ‘Iriseoireacht trí Ghaeilge – Raidió’ at the prestigious National Student Media Awards recently. Meadhbh was presented the award by Lynette Fay, Radio Journalist with BBC Radio Ulster and NUI Galway graduate, in front of an audience that included RTÉ’s Eileen Dunne, Senator David Norris, and Dublin GAA Manager Jim Gavin. The award was proudly sponsored by Foras na Gaeilge. “I am delighted to receive this recognition from well-known and much-respected names in the media industry,” said Meadhbh. “I love being on radio and would like to thank the University’s radio station Flirt FM for giving me the opportunity to broadcast my show every week. I have a great passion and love for the Irish language and hopefully my show is testament to that.” Meadhbh is from Spiddal in Co. Galway. Her radio show ‘Gan Teorainn’, is broadcast live on Flirt FM 101.3 every week. Meadhbh spent many years working as a journalist and literary critic with national newspapers such as Lá Nua, Foinse and Gaelscéal, and presented current affairs shows on Raidió na Life and Flirt FM. She first began broadcasting on radio when she volunteered with Flirt FM as an undergraduate student at NUI Galway, and she won the National Réalt DJ competition during that time. She is a published author who has written three award-winning books for young people, Rua, Fainne Fí Fífí and Faye. She has received many awards for her writing, including Oireachtas na Gaeilge prizes and the Moth International Short Story Prize. The National Student Media Awards, known as the Smedias by students, are an opportunity for aspiring media professionals to showcase their work and talent to Ireland’s top media personalities with high profile judges such as Academy award winning director Ben Cleary, multiple award winning author and playwright Paul Howard, and various editors and producers from Ireland's leading media organisations.  -Ends- Gradam Raidió mór le rá bronnta ar Mhac Léinn OÉ Gaillimh ag Gradaim Náisiúnta na Meán do Mhic Léinn  Ainmníodh mac léinn de chuid OÉ Gaillimh, Meadhbh Ní Eadhra, mar bhuaiteoir ar an ngradam ‘Iriseoireacht trí Ghaeilge – Raidió’ ag Gradaim Náisiúnta mór le rá na Meán do Mhic Léinn le déanaí. Bhronn Lynette Fay, Iriseoir Raidió le BBC Raidió Uladh agus céimí de chuid OÉ Gaillimh, an gradam ar Mheadhbh. I measc iad siúd a bhí sa lucht féachana ag an ócáid bhí Eileen Dunne ó RTÉ, an Seanadóir David Norris, agus Bainisteoir CLG Bhaile Átha Cliath, Jim Gavin. Rinne Foras na Gaeilge urraíocht ar an ngradam. “Tá an-áthas orm an t-aitheantas seo a fháil ó dhaoine a bhfuil ardmheas orthu i dtionscal na meán,” a deir Meadhbh. “Is breá liom a bheith ag craoladh ar an raidió agus ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghlacadh le stáisiún raidió na hOllscoile, Flirt FM, as an deis a thabhairt dom mo chlár a chraoladh chuile sheachtain. Tá grá mór agam don Ghaeilge agus tá súil agam gur fianaise é mo chlár air sin.” Is as an Spidéal i gCo. na Gaillimhe do Mheadhbh. Craoltar a clár raidió ‘Gan Teorainn’ beo ar Flirt FM 101.3 chuile sheachtain. Chaith Meadhbh na blianta ag obair mar iriseoir agus mar léirmheastóir liteartha le nuachtáin náisiúnta cosúil le Lá Nua, Foinse agus Gaelscéal, agus chuir sí cláir cúrsaí reatha i láthair ar Raidió na Life agus ar Flirt FM. Thosaigh sí ag craoladh ar an raidió nuair a rinne sí obair dheonach le Flirt FM agus í ina mac léinn fochéime in OÉ Gaillimh, agus bhuaigh sí comórtas Náisiúnta Réalt DJ le linn na tréimhse sin. Is údar foilsithe í a bhfuil trí leabhar, a bhain gradaim amach, scríofa aici do dhaoine óga, Rua, Fáinne Fí Fífí agus Faye. Is iomaí gradam atá bainte amach aici dá cuid scríbhneoireachta, lena n-áirítear duaiseanna Oireachtas na Gaeilge agus Duais Idirnáisiúnta Moth do Ghearrscéalta. Is deis iad Gradaim Náisiúnta Meán na Mac Léinn, na Smedias mar a thugann mic léinn orthu, do ghairmithe uaillmhianacha i dtionscal na meán a gcuid oibre agus tallainne a chur ar taispeáint do dhaoine mór le rá sna meáin in Éirinn agus moltóirí cosúil le Ben Cleary, an léiritheoir a bhfuil gradam Oscar buaite aige, Paul Howard, an t-údar agus an drámadóir a bhfuil gradaim go leor buaite aige, mar aon le heagarthóirí agus léiritheoirí éagsúla ó eagraíochtaí móra meán na hÉireann.  -Críoch-

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Dr Martin O’Halloran, Director of the Lambe Translational Medical Device laboratory at NUI Galway is the only Irish scientist among fifty in Europe awarded European Research Council top-up funding, through a Proof of Concept Grant, to develop a novel hydrogel to treat chronic pain. The Proof of Concept grants, worth €150,000 each, are part of the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The top-up funding award will allow Dr O’Halloran to develop the results of his scientific hydrogel concept to file patent applications and attract capital to make the research marketable, and explore the commercial and societal potential of the product. Chronic nerve pain can significantly worsen people’s quality of life. According to international studies, one in five adults in Europe suffers from chronic pain which amounts to 95 million people. The novel gel being developed during this project can be used to treat many different types of peripheral nerve pain. One common type of chronic pain is Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN), a prolonged debilitating condition caused by a trauma to the trigeminal nerve, resulting in sudden attacks of excruciating shooting facial pain. It is infamously called the “suicide disease” due to the high number of suicides associated with it. Dr Martin O’ Halloran will use his Proof of Concept Grant to seek to develop this novel hydrogel, which aims to provide long-lasting and drug-free treatment for this condition and other areas affected by chronic nerve pain. Speaking about the project, Dr Martin O’ Halloran, Techrete Senior Lecturer in Medical Electronics at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding for our chronic pain project, given the tremendous impact the condition has on patients in Ireland. This project concept was co-developed with Dr Alison Liddy, an engineer-chemist at NUI Galway with a particular expertise in chronic pain. Given that this project marks our fourth European Research Council grant in four years, it is a great testament to the quality and hard work of the researchers in our laboratory.” A recently released independent review of this European Research Council innovation scheme showed that the initiative is “sound in concept and effective in practice”, helping ERC-funded scientists set up new companies, file patent applications and attract capital to make their research marketable. The new grants were awarded to researchers working in 12 countries: Austria (2 grants), Finland (3), Germany (7), Ireland (1), Israel (8), Italy (3), Netherlands (3), Norway (1), Spain (5), Sweden (3), Switzerland (3) and the UK (11). The grant scheme is only open to European Research Council grantees who can apply for funding in one of the three rounds of the call every year. The results of this first round of 2018, in which the European Research Council evaluated 114 applications. The budget of the 2018 competition is €20 million. For more information about the funded projects, visit: https://erc.europa.eu/erc-proof-concept-grant-2018-project-examples and to read the independent review of the ERC innovation scheme, visit: https://erc.europa.eu/news/review_praises_erc_poc_scheme -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

NUI Galway will host the Eighth National Social Marketing Conference, ‘Co-Creating Change’, on Thursday, 24 May in the Aula Maxima. The national event will bring leaders and researchers in health and sustainable change in public and voluntary sectors together with world-renowned social marketing experts from Canada, Australia, Europe and Ireland. The conference will explore in greater detail how empowered citizens and communities can co-create and foster sustainable behaviour change. In addition, the conference will feature cutting-edge talks from around the world including insights into improving behavioural change effectiveness through applying a strategic approach to planning. This year the keynote speakers will include: Professor Walter Wymer, Professor of Marketing, University of Lethbridge, Canada;  Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele is Director, Social Marketing at Griffith University, Australia and Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Social Marketing; Professor Alan Tapp, Professor of Marketing, University of the West of England-Bristol; Professor Gerard Hastings, Professor at Stirling, England, and Professeur Associé at the École des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique in Rennes, France; as well as additional health and environmental health presentations. Conversations throughout the day will include: how social marketing use tools in co-creating sustainable behaviour change; how to follow proven social marketing secrets to develop an effective intervention on limited budgets; how to use the success factors of proven social marketing interventions; how to address the major societal challenges of our time; and how to think strategically about innovative social change through co-creating change. Dr Christine Domegan, Head of Marketing Discipline, Senior Lecturer and Social Innovation and Policy Leader, Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway is this year's Conference Chair. Dr Domegan said: “We are excited and grateful to welcome an esteemed group of change experts from around the world who are engaging and seasoned speakers willing to share their insights, tips and tools for co-creating change in an easy and understandable manner.” For further information, schedule and online booking, please visit www.conference.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 10 May 2018

NUI Galway will host a research seminar presented by Nobel laureate, Professor Paul Modrich of Duke University Medical Center and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the US. Professor Modrich will talk about ‘Mechanisms in human DNA mismatch repair’. Professor Paul Modrich was one of three scientists to share the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2015 for landmark discoveries over four decades of work in DNA repair.  His host at NUI Galway, Professor Robert Lahue, trained as a postdoctoral fellow in Modrich’s laboratory. The Nobel Committee cited one of the Lahue-Modrich publications as groundbreaking. The Nobel Committee recognised Professor Modrich’s work on mismatch repair, which acts as a genetic spellchecker to preserve the DNA. Defects in mismatch repair are now known to cause certain hereditary forms of colorectal cancer. Genetic testing of cancer patients helps identify those with mismatch repair defects, providing information, which is important in guiding their treatment. Professor Robert Lahue from the Centre for Chromosome Biology at NUI Galway, said: “The research community at NUI Galway is tremendously excited about Professor Modrich’s visit and seminar.  He is a world leader in the area of DNA biochemistry and cancer biology. We are fortunate to have him visit, to present a seminar and to interact with members of our Centre and other researchers at NUI Galway.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

NUI Galway students scooped four awards at the recent Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Student Achievement Awards Ireland (SAAI) 2018. The annual Student Achievement Awards Ireland is an opportunity for the student movement in Ireland to recognise the contribution of students to the life of Ireland and the student community. Bachelor of Science student Clare Austick from Galway City was awarded the Part-Time Officer of the Year Award; Bachelor of Commerce student Nargis Dewji from Tanzania won International Student of the Year; while Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology student Edel Browne from Athenry, Co. Galway, was presented with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. NUI Galway Students’ Union was presented with the Welfare Campaign of the Year with their sexual health and guidance campaign. Congratulating the students, NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “University offers students a wonderful opportunity to try new things and develop their potential. Each of the NUI Galway winners of the USI Student Achievement Awards has demonstrated this to the full. They have shown a tremendous commitment to helping their fellow students, becoming respected student leaders and have benefitted by gaining confidence and life experience which will enrich their future careers. I extend warmest congratulations to each of the Awardees and I commend them for the way that they have used the opportunity which the student experience provides in order to help others.” -Ends-

Thursday, 3 May 2018

International conference at NUI Galway on 24 May to explore artificial intelligence and machine learning Festival season in Galway is well underway with the AtlanTec Festival 2018, which runs from April through to 25 May. Now in its fourth year, the IT festival is organised by the IT Association Galway (ITAG). At the heart of the festival will be the international conference on 24 May, co-hosted by NUI Galway. This year’s AtlanTec Conference at NUI Galway is themed on ‘The Art of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning’. Some 300 business leaders and expert software developers are expected to attend the day-long conference which will explore all aspects of the topic. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are among the drivers of a wave of innovation in IT. Machines and robots are being programmed to adapt some of the cognitive functions associated with humans, such as learning and problem solving. Many have cited this as revolutionary and life changing for society as we know it. The conference will feature innovators and future thinkers who will give insights into such possibilities, while also discussing related technological topics such as data analytics, deep learning, virtual assistants and chatbots. An array of speakers have been announced from as far afield as Vancouver, Denmark, India, New York, the UK, as well as Ireland. Among those will be Nell Watson, an engineer, entrepreneur, and futurist thinker affiliated with the Singularity University and The Future Society at Harvard; and Canadian inventor Ann Makosinski who has created a flashlight that runs off the heat of the human hand and a mug that uses heat from a drink to charge a phone. IT Association Galway and AtlanTec Festival CEO Caroline Cawley explains the purpose of the festival and conference: “AtlanTec Festival showcases Galway’s diverse technology culture. It’s an opportunity to encourage creativity, collaboration and innovation within the IT, business and educational communities in the West of Ireland. The ability to attract international speakers of the calibre of Nell Watson and Ann Makosinski is a testament to the innovative culture that exists in the west.” Other festival events take place across a range of venues and include: In-Company Events across Galway’s Tecnology Sector – April until end May Digital Women’s Forum ‘Pressing for Progress’ - Hotel Meyrick, 23 May Transition Year Gets Techie – GMIT, 10 May Tech Tag World Championships – Corinthians RFC, 25 May Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “Ireland is the second largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world. Some of the largest companies in the sector have bases in Galway. We are also home to some incredible innovative indigenous organisations, including 15 ICT start-ups based here on campus and many more in incubators across the city. Combine this with the research expertise at NUI Galway’s Insight Centre for Data Analytics and College of Engineering and IT, along with GMIT’s expertise and we have an ecosystem that goes from strength to strength.” The festival is supported by ITAG Skillnet, NUI Galway, Avaya, Cisco, Fidelity Investments, DXC, Fintrax, HPE, Storm Technology, Valeo, GMIT and Galway City Council. The Art of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning conference will take place in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway on Thursday, 24 May. For bookings and full details of AtlanTec Festival, email contact@itag.ie or visit: www.atlantec.ie -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Advance Higher Education has announced today (Monday, 7 May) that NUI Galway has achieved an Athena SWAN award. Additionally, the School of Medicine has been conferred with a departmental level award. The awards at Bronze level recognises that the University and the School of Medicine have demonstrated a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff.   Through the implementation of an action plan containing a range of specific, measurable activities, NUI Galway has introduced a range of initiatives focused on gender equality in recent years. Work on implementing these actions and other gender equality initiatives is already underway, and will continue to be fully supported by the University’s senior management team. These initiatives include: The introduction of gender quotas for University promotion schemes where applicable Inclusivity and unconscious bias training programmes and workshops for managers and staff Specific leadership development programmes for female University staff Targeted supports for parents returning from leave, including research grants to help mitigate the impact of an extended leave period on research activities, return to work programmes and breastfeeding support workshops Professor Anne Scott, Vice President for Equality and Diversity at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to receive an Athena SWAN Bronze award for our institution. It recognises the energetic and sustained work in recent years to address equality challenges in the University. However we recognise that we are still at an early stage in this important journey.” NUI Galway President, Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh welcomed the result and paid tribute to the work of the Athena SWAN self-assessment team and in particular the Chair, Professor Anne Scott, Vice President for Equality and Diversity and her team in supporting this important initiative. President Ó hÓgartaigh also commented that due recognition should be given to the role played by his predecessor, Dr Jim Browne and the NUI Galway management team. Re-affirming his support for the implementation of the Athena SWAN three-year action plan, he stated that: “NUI Galway embraces diversity and diverse voices as a hallmark of the University and we look forward to reflecting this as a strength of the University, and its hinterland, in NUI Galway’s strategic development.” Athena SWAN is an internationally recognised Charter which supports the development of a better working environment for all staff and students, and helps institutions meet the requirements and expectations of research funders, align with policy priorities, and meet legislative requirements. The attainment of the Athena SWAN Bronze award has been identified as a key priority in the University’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020, and several funding agencies will make gender equality accreditation in higher education institutions a condition of funding by the end of 2019. -Ends-

Friday, 4 May 2018

New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd and founder of Irish Central.com, Niall O’Dowd will lead a discussion of the new right phenomenon The Moore Institute at NUI Galway will host an event with special guests Maureen Dowd, Opinion Editorial columnist with the New York Times and The Irish Times, and Irish journalist Niall O’Dowd, founder of Irish Voice Newspaper, Irish America Magazine and Irish Central.com. Both will lead a discussion of the phenomenon, ‘Trump, Irish America and the New Right’. Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, says: “A striking recent development in American politics has been the emergence of Irish Americans associated with the Right and their participation in, or support for, the Trump administration. The traditional expectation that Irish Americans align themselves with the Democratic Party, led by the Kennedy family and figures like Tip O’Neill, has been overturned, first by conservative commentators on Fox News like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, and then by prominent members of the Trump election team and cabinet, past and present, including Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, John Kelly, Sean Spicer, Mick Mulvaney, Kelly-Anne Conway, and others. In the wider Republican leadership, Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy, among others, play an important part in this emerging trend.” This event is designed to develop a better a better understanding of this transformation, what values animate it, and how significant it is for American and world politics. Professor Carey added: “The emergence of Trump as a political phenomenon has been his close relationship with Irish Americans, who have supplied advice, support, and filled cabinet posts in his administration. The national and international impact of these figures has been enormous. Maureen Dowd and Niall O’Dowd are well placed to explain this challenging moment and to offer insight to observers in Ireland.” A panel of contributors will participate in the event that include: Dr Kathleen Cavanaugh, Mr Larry Donnelly and Dr Charlotte McIvor from NUI Galway, and Professor Eileen Gillooly, Columbia University. The event will be chaired by Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway. This event will take place on Tuesday, 15 May at 5.30pm in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle, NUI Galway. The event is free and registration is essential, register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/moore-institute-13051737070 -Ends-

Thursday, 10 May 2018

NUI Galway has launched its University of Sanctuary Campaign. This campaign seeks to highlight the importance of access to Third-level Education for those living in Direct Provision and members of the Traveller Community. The aim of the campaign at NUI Galway is to increase public awareness of the global refugee crisis and Traveller-specific issues across the University campus. The campaign hopes to achieve their aim by advocating for the development of pre-existing fee waivers, bursaries, and scholarships for asylum seekers, while developing meaningful outreach programmes to address the dearth of Traveller participation in third-level education. The steering committee will introduce pilot projects promoting multiculturalism and equity across campus through cross-faculty cooperation. The campaign promotes increased awareness, understanding, inclusion and equity for all students attending or hoping to attend third-level education. Other higher education institutions have already received University of Sanctuary status and NUI Galway is hoping to join those ranks in the near future.  Professor Anne Scott, Vice President for Equality and Diversity at NUI Galway, said: “Education is an enormous force for good, it transforms peoples’ lives and opportunities. As a university NUI Galway is committed to working with our local community, regional leaders, with our sector and with government to ensure equality of opportunity in accessing third level education for our refugee and asylum seeking populations, in addition to members of the travelling community.” The University of Sanctuary Steering Committee at NUI Galway includes academic and administration staff, students and societies, community partners and individuals living in the Direct Provision centres in Galway. If you would like to be involved with the University of Sanctuary campaign at NUI Galway or for more information, please contact sanctuarynuig@gmail.com. -Ends-

Thursday, 10 May 2018

NUI Galway has launched its University of Sanctuary Campaign. This campaign seeks to highlight the importance of access to Third-level Education for those living in Direct Provision and members of the Traveller Community. The aim of the campaign at NUI Galway is to increase public awareness of the global refugee crisis and Traveller-specific issues across the University campus. The campaign hopes to achieve their aim by advocating for the development of pre-existing fee waivers, bursaries, and scholarships for asylum seekers, while developing meaningful outreach programmes to address the dearth of Traveller participation in third-level education. The steering committee will introduce pilot projects promoting multiculturalism and equity across campus through cross-faculty cooperation. The campaign promotes increased awareness, understanding, inclusion and equity for all students attending or hoping to attend third-level education. Other higher education institutions have already received University of Sanctuary status and NUI Galway is hoping to join those ranks in the near future.  Professor Anne Scott, Vice President for Equality and Diversity at NUI Galway, said: “Education is an enormous force for good, it transforms peoples’ lives and opportunities. As a university NUI Galway is committed to working with our local community, regional leaders, with our sector and with government to ensure equality of opportunity in accessing third level education for our refugee and asylum seeking populations, in addition to members of the travelling community.” The University of Sanctuary Steering Committee at NUI Galway includes academic and administration staff, students and societies, community partners and individuals living in the Direct Provision centres in Galway. If you would like to be involved with the University of Sanctuary campaign at NUI Galway or for more information, please contact sanctuarynuig@gmail.com. -Ends-

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Tá léachtóir sna meáin in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh,  Seán Breathnach roghnaithe le bheith ina stiúrthóir ar fhadscannán Gaeilge do TG4 faoin scéim maoinithe Cine4. Bíonn Seán Breathnach, as Leitir Mealláin i gConamara, i mbun scriptscríobh agus léiriú físe a theagasc ar an BA Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge san Acadamh. Scríobh sé agus stiúróidh sé an script don scannán Foscadh. Is í seo an chéad uair a mbeidh fadscannán á stiúradh aige. Tá Foscadh á léiriú ag Paddy Hayes don chomhlacht Léirithe Magamedia, atá lonnaithe i nGaillimh. Dráma tuaithe dorcha, lonnaithe i gConamara, atá ann. Nuair a fhaigheann fear óg místuama amach go bhfuil athzónáil i gcomhair tithíochta déanta ar an talamh a fuair sé le huacht i ndiaidh báis a mháthair, ar baintreach í, téann sé rite air a chuid naimhde a dhealú óna chuid cairde nua. Roghnaigh TG4 agus Bord Scannán na hÉireann an scannán le cur faoi bhráid Údarás Craolacháin na hÉireann an mhí seo faoin scéim, a bhfuil dianiomaíocht agus maoiniú €1.2 milliún in aghaidh an scannáin ag gabháil léi. Déanfar an scannán a thaifeadadh i lár na bliana 2019 agus déanfar é a thaispeáint ag roinnt féilte idirnáisiúnta scannán le linn 2020. Déanfar é a thaispeáint sna pictiúrlanna in Éirinn agus ar TG4 ina dhiaidh sin. Fuair an Breathnach maoiniú ón mBord Scannán roimhe seo chun an gearrscannán Maidhm a dhéanamh. Ghnóthaigh an scannán seo roinnt duaiseanna agus léirmheasanna moltacha ag breis is dosaen féile scannán in Éirinn, ar Mhór-Roinn na hEorpa, sna Stáit Aontaithe agus san Áis. Tá scríofa aige freisin faoin dátheangachas sna drámaí teilifíse, agus rinne sé iniúchadh ar dhomhan scéalaíochta An Klondike agus Corp + Anam a foilsíodh in iris phiarmheasúnaithe an Acadaimh, Léann Teanga: An Reiviú (2017). -Críoch- NUI Galway Lecturer to Direct a €1.2 million Full-length Feature Film in Irish A lecturer in Media in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge at NUI Galway, Seán Breathnach, has been selected to direct a full-length feature film for TG4 under the flagship Cine4 funding scheme. Seán, who teaches scriptwriting and video production on the University’s BA Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge, wrote and will direct the script for Foscadh, marking his début production as director of a full-length feature-length film. Produced by Paddy Hayes of Galway-based Magamedia Productions, Foscadh is a dark rural drama set in Connemara. When an awkward young recluse finds his inherited land rezoned for housing after the death of his widowed mother, he struggles to distinguish friend from foe amongst his new found acquaintances. In a highly competitive scheme, the film has been selected by TG4 and Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board for submission to the Broadcast Authority of Ireland this month with an overall budget of €1.2 million. The film will be shot in mid-2019 and will be screened at a number of international festivals during 2020 prior to its theatrical release in Ireland and its television premiere on TG4. Breathnach, who hails from Leitir Mealláin in Connemara, was previously funded by the film board to make the award-winning short film Maidhm. This film was shown to critical acclaim at more than a dozen film festivals in Ireland, continental Europe, the US and Asia. Breathnach has also written about bilingualism and television drama, including a discussion of the storytelling world of An Klondike and Corp + Anam, for the Acadamh’s peer-reviewed journal, Léann Teanga: An Reiviú (2017). -Ends-

Friday, 11 May 2018

Research carried out at NUI Galway has found a 40% blockchain adoption rate among Irish enterprises to date. The study investigated why implementation in Ireland is relatively low, and proposes recommendations to increase blockchain awareness and adoption that can provide opportunities not only for economic growth but also create a new foundation for how Irish organisations and government conduct business. Blockchain is considered to be a primary IT innovation of this decade that has the potential to disrupt and reshape a number of industries. Blockchain in its simplest form is a shared database system which allows users in a peer-to-peer network to verify and store records, representing a new way to access and trust data communicated over the internet.The study was led by Dr Trevor Clohessy and Dr Thomas Acton from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway in association with the Blockchain Association of Ireland. The research focused on Ireland given its classification as a developed country in the EU, being a sovereign state with a highly developed economy and advanced IT infrastructure. Ireland is ranked in 13th place in the Bloomberg technological innovation index for 2018, which scores countries using seven criteria, including research and development spending, concentration of high-tech public companies and patent activity.The study looked at key organisational factors that influence blockchain adoption in Irish companies. Interviews were carried out with 20 organisations in Ireland, divided over different sectors such as financial, IT, education, fishing, gaming, legal, marketing and mobile app development and data was collected from representatives within these organisations in different management backgrounds that included IT, company owners, researchers and directors.Support from top management and organisational readiness were identified as key enablers for blockchain adoption. While legislative uncertainty, a lack of business cases and a lack of in-house expertise, were cited as the main reasons by decision makers for not adopting blockchain, and its association with initial coin offerings and digital currencies, such as cryptocurrencies, which were perceived negatively. The study revealed three patterns pertaining to the adoption of blockchain in Ireland: ·         Top management support positively influences blockchain adoption·         Large enterprises are more likely to adopt blockchain than SMEs due to budget and available resources·         Organisational readiness is an ‘enabler’ for blockchain adoption - employees with the requisite blockchain IT knowledge and skillsOf the 20 companies interviewed, eight had adopted blockchain and 12 had not, or did not intend to adopt blockchain in the next two years. In terms of blockchain awareness, five out of 20 representatives had a basic level of blockchain awareness, six had a medium level and only nine were able to demonstrate a high level of awareness.Speaking about the study, Dr Trevor Clohessy at NUI Galway, said: “Most blockchain developments are taking place within a small network of larger organisations, typically in the fintech and information technology sectors. Where it is used, it aims to enhance the speed and transparency of transactions along complex supply chains, while reducing costs. It is also used to optimise back and middle business processes and transactions, augmenting security, reporting and regulatory and compliance profiles.“One of the benefits of blockchain is that once transactional data has been entered into the digital ledger it is immutable, which means it is not possible to either amend or remove data entered, ensuring the integrity of all transactional records. And its shared ownership makes it less vulnerable to cyberattack. Beyond business, other beneficial uses of this technology would be in voting machines and ballot boxes to address electoral fraud and potentially looking at a blockchain enabled technology-controlled border identification system that could provide a possible solution to the current North/South Brexit border challenges.”The key findings from the study demonstrate that blockchain is not confined to financial technology and financial sectors, and welcomes further government action and strategic policy to promote blockchain more broadly to encourage universal engagement, such as the roll-out of a national, government-backed blockchain initiative like other developed countries.The J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway is currently exploring various possibilities to address the gap in the lack of third level blockchain courses, such as creating executive blockchain workshops. Dr Clohessy has also introduced blockchain as a module for students within the modules for MSc Business Analytics and MSc Information Systems Management.To read the full study, visit: http://novoverse.nuigalway.ie/nui-galway-report-sheds-light-on-irish-blockchain-organisational-readiness/ -Ends-

Monday, 14 May 2018

Four primary schools from Kerry, Westmeath and Galway have been shortlisted to showcase their randomised clinical trials at NUI Galway on Friday, 18 May when the overall winner will be announced and presented with the START Trophy 2018. Now in its third year, the Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials (START) competition aims to educate students about why we need randomised trials to improve healthcare nationally and globally.   Primary schools around the country were invited to create their very own fun randomised clinical trial earlier this year. The competition is run by the Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TRMN) at NUI Galway, to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day, and the anniversary of the first clinical trial which was carried out in 1747 in the British Navy. The four shortlisted primary schools are: St. Michael’s National School, Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath whose trial title is: Can ten minutes of daily exercise increase students’ fitness? The pupils evaluated the effect of four weeks of exercise on fitness levels measured by heart rate changes between randomised students who received the exercise programme and those who didn’t receive the programme. St. Joseph’s National School, Kinvara, Co. Galway whose trial title is: The effect of fidgeting on concentration. The pupils noticed that some students fidget a lot when listening. They investigated the effect this had on their concentration by comparing concentration scores between the control group, who sat with their arms crossed, and the test group, who had blu-tack to fidget with, whilst listening to their teacher. Meentogues National School, Headford, Killarney, Co. Kerry whose trial title is: How much can teachers influence us? The pupils decided to investigate whether teachers influence their decisions without telling them directly. The control group made decisions without their teacher being present in the room whilst the test group had the teacher trying to influence their decisions.  Glinsk National School, Castlerea, Co. Galway whose trial title is: Do extra educational maths games improve test results? The pupils provided a test among two groups to look at the impact of maths games on addition and subtraction. The test group was given a maths game and the control group was given a non-educational game. These were provided every day for 20 minutes over a period of two weeks.   Dr Sandra Galvin, HRB-TMRN Program Manager at NUI Galway, said: “This initiative has really captured the children’s imagination and creativity but I also think we can learn so much from their approach. Trials can be complex and challenging for people to understand, and yet here we have children rising to this challenge so well. START is about breaking down the barriers in the understanding of trials, and helping understand the power trials have to improve healthcare for all.” Speaking about the competition entries, Dr Mairead O Driscoll, Interim Chief Executive at the Health Research Board, said: “These kids have come up with a research question, taken a scientific approach to problem solving and then reported what they found clearly. All they need to do now is influence the right people to introduce change! All the participants are quite remarkable and if the future of health research is in their hands, I am very comfortable.” To learn more about the HRB-TMRN START competition visit: www.hrb-tmrn.ie or follow on Twitter at twitter.com/hrbtmrn or @hrbtmrn and Facebook at facebook.com/hrb.tmrn. -Ends-

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

The new national supercomputer will replace ‘Fionn’ which was installed in 2013  Ireland is set to install a new national supercomputer to support research and innovation in 2018 through ICHEC at NUI Galway, with funding of €5.4 million from Science Foundation Ireland. The new system will provide Irish researchers with the high performance computing power to address some of the toughest challenges in science and society such as tackling climate change, improving healthcare and innovating Irish products through agriculture, engineering and manufacturing. The new supercomputer is a fundamental component of Ireland’s National High Performance Computing Service, and research infrastructure that will facilitate emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and earth observation that are key to Irish industry and to foster new skills in the educational system. Like its predecessors, the new supercomputer will be managed and operated by the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) at NUI Galway, as part of the National High Performance Computing Service. The service allocates the available computer resources to Irish researchers based on a peer review process by an independent panel of scientists. It also provides extensive support and training to users of the system. The overall architecture of this new supercomputer is similar to the current system, ‘Fionn’, which has proven its value to the research community as evidenced by its constant full utilisation. While the new system will occupy the same amount of physical space and consume up to 50% more electricity, it provides approximately five times more computing power than its predecessor by virtue of advances in technology. Speaking about the importance of the new supercomputer, ICHEC Director, Professor JC Desplat from NUI Galway, said: “The future certainly lies in large amounts of data but without the appropriate high performance computing resources, data can become irrelevant. This upgraded national resource is essential to ensuring Ireland can compete internationally in key domains such as precision medicine, earth observation and artificial intelligence. It represents a crucial investment at a time where investments in high performance computing continue their strong growth globally.” Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, commented: “Since its inception, NUI Galway has hosted ICHEC and supported its development as an enabling technology, critical to Ireland’s competitiveness. The new national supercomputer will allow even more opportunity for innovation and impact across a myriad of sectors in Ireland’s economy and society.” The new system, which is being provided by Intel is comprised of a cluster of 336 high performance servers with 13,440 CPU (Central Processing Unit) cores and 64 terabytes of memory for general purpose computations. Additional components aimed at more specialised requirements include 6 large memory nodes with 1.5 terabytes of memory per server, plus 32 accelerator nodes divided between Intel Xeon Phi and NVidia P100 GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). The network linking all of these components together is Intel’s 100Gbit/s Omnipath technology and DataDirect Networks are providing 1 petabyte of high performance storage over a parallel filesystem. Penguin Computing will be integrating all of this hardware together and providing the software management and user interface layers. Commenting on the installation, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “I am delighted to welcome the installation of the new national supercomputer which has been supported through the SFI Research Infrastructure Programme. This significant award builds on previous support provided to ICHEC for the Fionn supercomputer in 2012. It will significantly advance the data intensive computing and storage capabilities of Irish research activities in life-sciences, bioinformatics, material science, ICT, and engineering and further highlights Ireland as an attractive location for world-leading scientists and engineers.” Dr Elisa Fadda, Chair of the HPC National Service User Council, said: “The contribution of high performance computing to the advancement of scientific research is now recognised as invaluable worldwide. In Ireland we have an ever-growing community of researchers, whose work is internationally recognised in fields such as biophysics, bioinformatics, physics, chemistry, computer science and engineering, all of whom heavily rely on ICHEC resources.” The supercomputer, to be installed this summer, will be named by a public naming competition. Schoolchildren across Ireland are encouraged to research one of six pioneering Irish scientists and pick the most appropriate candidate to name the new system. The best answers will win Raspberry-Pi laptops and coding lessons for their classrooms. For more information about entering the naming competition, visit: https://nameourcomputer.ichec.ie/ -Ends-

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights, School of Law, is hosting an international conference on ‘The Rights of Migrants and Refugees: the role of courts and tribunals’ from 17-18 May. This two-day event brings together leading judges, practitioners and academics working on pressing issues of migration and refugee law internationally.   Professor Siobhán Mullally, Established Professor of Human Rights Law, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, said: “More people are forcibly displaced from their homes today than at any other time since the ending of World War II. The rights of migrants and refugees continue to be under threat, with many forced to take perilous journeys to reach safety, or to seek a ‘better place in the world’. Courts play a critical role in ensuring that laws do not yield to populist politics that seek to limit the protections of human rights and constitutional laws. In recent years, Irish courts have delivered landmark judgments on many of the most pressing issues for migrants and refugees, including on the right to work, family unity, protection against removal and detention, best interests of the child, and non-punishment of victims of trafficking. These and other questions will be explored at this two-day international conference.”   Keynote speakers include: Judge Paolo Pinto de Albuquerque, European Court of Human Rights; Judge Gerard Hogan, Court of Appeal, Ireland; and Hilkka Becker, Chairperson, International Protection Appeals Tribunal. Panellists include leading immigration law practitioners from Ireland and the UK, and academics and civil society representatives.   Full details and programme available at www.conference.ie. For more information or queries contact Professor Siobhán Mullally, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, at siobhan.mullally@nuigalway.ie.   -Ends-

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Dr Aidan Thomson appointed as new Head of Music at NUI Galway From September 2018, students at NUI Galway will be able to take a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Music. This is an exciting development for music making and music education in the west of Ireland, and builds on the University’s established reputation for excellence in creative arts subjects.   The University has also announced the appointment of new Head of Music, Dr Aidan Thomson. Dr Thomson has taught at the University of Oxford, the University of Leeds and, for the last fourteen years, Queen’s University Belfast, principally in music history, theory and analysis, but also in performance.   A feature of the four-year BA degree is that all students will have the opportunity in their third year to undertake a music-related placement. Students will also be able to work with top musical professionals throughout their degree, notably the current Galway Musicians in Residence, the ConTempo String Quartet.   The core of the degree is a thorough grounding in musicianship - theory, harmony, keyboard harmony and critical listening - and training in the repertory and culture of western classical and Irish traditional music. Students will also take core modules in performance, composition and sound technology over the course of their first two years. The degree is thus aligned with the requirements of the Irish Teaching Council, meaning that graduates would be equipped to take postgraduate teaching qualifications in Music at primary and secondary level.   Students will be able to learn from leading professional musicians during their degree through masterclasses and concerts. The university is developing strategic partnerships with the Galway Music Residency and Music for Galway, and is building on existing expertise in Music in different disciplines within the institution.   The degree complements many other disciplines within the College of Arts: English, Irish Studies, modern languages, and, most significantly, Drama and Film Studies. Students will have the chance to take modules that look at the relationship between music and theatre, and music and words, both academically and practically. In their final year, they will also take a module in writing about music and performance criticism, which is a feature of all creative arts subjects at NUI Galway.   Dr Aidan Thomson, newly appointed Senior Lecturer in Music at NUI Galway, said: “The timing of this new degree could not be better. Introducing music has the potential to make NUI Galway an important hub for musical performance, creation and thought. It builds on Galway’s reputation as a centre for artistic excellence, as recognized in its City of Culture status in 2020. The flexibility of the Music degree will equip students to embark on a wide variety of careers. They will be ideally equipped to build on the creative energy that will be Galway 2020’s legacy, be it as performers, composers, teachers, journalists, arts administrators or broadcasters, among others. But even before that, our students will be at the heart of the creative life of the university, the city and beyond.”   For more information on the new BA in Music visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/artsmusic/ or watch a video about the programme at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_P4RTwVNVQ.   -Ends-