Thursday, 30 August 2018

Researchers from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway have found important differences between people’s values of their health states in Ireland compared with other countries. For example, the importance accorded to mental health in Ireland, particularly anxiety/depression, may not have been given the weight they deserved in the past. The findings were published in PharmacoEconomics, a leading health economics journal. The research reports the preferences of people in Ireland for 3,125 different health states; essentially how they value one health state relative to another including perfect health and being dead. It differentiated health across five domains - mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression – and within each domain across five levels of severity ranging from no problem in that domain up to inability to function or extreme problems in that domain. The research provides a detailed description of the methods and the value set – that is the weights for the various health states. It demonstrates that in Ireland a greater weight is attached to anxiety/depression than to the other domains of health, followed by pain/discomfort. The work shows that not only do people in Ireland attach greater importance to anxiety/depression as a dimension of health than to other dimensions but that people in Ireland attach more importance to anxiety/depression than do people in other countries where similar studies have been undertaken. The work involved a large scale national survey of 1,160 people living in Ireland conducted over two years. It was undertaken in collaboration with colleagues from NUI Galway, EuroQol Research Foundation in the Netherlands and the Office of Health Economics in London as well as colleagues from the Centre for Public Health in Queens University Belfast. Professor Ciaran O’Neill, Adjunct Professor at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics in NUI Galway and lead author of the research, commented: “The study used an internationally recognised descriptive system (the EQ5D5L) and an internationally validated protocol to measure the relative importance attached to different health states in Ireland. The work provides valuable insights into those preferences and allows meaningful comparisons of preferences in Ireland with those in other countries, for example, we attach a much higher weight to mental health (anxiety/depression) at severe/extreme levels in Ireland than is the case in England or Germany. Importantly it allows researchers in Ireland to generate quality adjusted life year measures based on Irish preferences. Quality adjusted life year measures are an integral part of health technology assessments, a method used to assess the relative value for money of alternative uses of healthcare resources, such as those produced by the Health Information and Quality Authority or used by the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics in Ireland.” The research was supported by the Health Research Board under a Research Leadership award held by Professor Ciaran O’Neill (NUI Galway and QUB) as well as by the EuroQol Research Foundation. To read the full study in PharmacoEconomics, visit: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40273-018-0690-x -Ends-

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

NUI Galway will host the 43rd Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium, the largest Surgical Conference in Ireland, from 7-8 September. The Symposium, named in memory of the Galway-born surgeon, Sir Peter Freyer, who performed the first successful surgical operation to remove an enlarged prostate in 1900, comprises of multiple research and education sessions across the various surgical subspecialties, two keynote addresses and a discussion forum around the future of Surgical Care in Ireland.  This year the keynote addresses will be delivered by Professor Conor Delaney, Chairman of the Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, and Kenneth Mealy, President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Professor Delaney will deliver the Memorial Lecture entitled ‘Approaching Industrial Standards for Rectal Cancer Surgery’ on Friday, 7 September. Professor Delaney holds the Victor W. Fazio MD Endowed Chair in Colorectal Surgery. He is a member and serves on administrative committees of many national and international professional societies; serves on the editorial board of eight national and international journals; is the past-president of the International Society for Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery, and the Midwest Surgical Association; and is the Treasurer of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. His clinical interests include laparoscopic colorectal surgery, carcinoma of the colon, Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis, sphincter-saving surgery, re-operative abdominal surgery and colonoscopy. His research interests include various aspects of colorectal surgery, cost-efficiency in surgery, and surgical education.  Kenneth Mealy will deliver the State of the Art Lecture entitled ‘Sustainable High Quality Surgical Care: A Utopian Dream’ on Saturday, 8 September.  He is a Consultant General Surgeon with a special interest in gastrointestinal (GI) surgery, based at Wexford General Hospital. He completed his clinical and academic training in Ireland, the UK, Harvard Medical School, Boston and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.  Since his election to the Council of RCSI in 2008, he has chaired the Committee for Surgical Affairs, the Irish Surgical Postgraduate Training Committee and the Finance Committee. He has a long interest in surgical training and held the post of Chair of the Dublin Region Basic Surgical Training Committee and Chair of the National Basic Surgical Training Programme. He also held the position of President of the Surgical Section of The Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. He was appointed Joint Lead for the National Clinical Programme in Surgery in 2010 and Medical Director of the National Office of Clinical Audit in 2012. Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway, Michael Kerin, who is hosting the event along with his colleague Professor Oliver McAnena, said: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Delaney and Kenneth Mealy to our University. Their work focuses on delivering high quality surgical care and achieving best outcomes for patients. Both lectures are the centre-points of a large programme containing some of the best surgical research from this country. This Conference signals the start of the academic year and has been a mainstay of the National Academic Surgical Platform with input from a diverse group of Consultants and Trainees across all specialties in Irish Surgery.” For further information on the event please contact 091 544203 or visit www.freyer.ie -Ends-

Friday, 24 August 2018

Plant biotechnologists from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway have identified genetic breeding strategies to develop bigger and better sugar beet. Sustainable intensification of agriculture to meet rapidly growing global demand for food and non-food products produced by crops will require higher yielding crop varieties that can produce more food using less resources and land area. For crops such as sugar beet, this means the development of varieties that produce more per hectare, while reducing inputs. The findings from their research has been published in the international journal, BMC Plant Biology. Sustainable intensification of sugar beet supply will require the production of more sugar beet using less resources and land, which requires high yielding sugar beet varieties that require minimal inputs. Professor Charles Spillane’s Genetics and Biotechnology Lab at NUI Galway has been working closely with the international plant breeding company KWS SAAT to develop genetic breeding strategies to produce hybrid sugar beet varieties with higher yield that can maintain high levels of sugar production. Using a combination of molecular genetics laboratory work and large-scale sugar beet experimental field trials conducted in Cork, the research team discovered that the most efficient way to develop higher yielding sugar beet varieties was by tapping the benefits of hybrid vigour*, a topic of focus for the team. The white and brown sugar that the vast majority of food consumers in Ireland include as a sweetener in their daily diet is a naturally occurring biochemical called sucrose. The world’s supply of 185 million tonnes of sugar each year comes from only two crops, sugar cane and sugar beet. Sugar beet was once widely cultivated in Ireland, with the first sugar beet factory built in Mountmellick, Co Laois in 1851. The sugar beet industry was one of the major economic success stories in post-independence Ireland, following the opening of the first sugar beet factory by the Irish State’s sugar company in Carlow in 1926, followed by additional sugar beet processing factories in Mallow, Thurles and Tuam. Changes to the European Union subsidy program in the early 2000’s changed profit margins for the Irish sugar beet industry, leading to the closure of Ireland’s last sugar beet factory in 2006. Without sugar-processing factories, large-scale sugar beet farming effectively ended in Ireland. However, the possibility of resurrecting Ireland’s sugar industry has been boosted by the abolition of EU sugar quotas in 2017, with producer groups such as Beet Ireland seeking to re-establish sugar beet as a sustainable and eco-friendly crop in Ireland that is compatible with the Common Agricultural Policy “greening” measures. This has resulted in the sugar beet industry experiencing a resurgence across Europe, with new sugar beet processing factories under development in the UK and across continental Europe. Professor Charles Spillane, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, said: “We need to consider sugars not only as ingredients for sweetening of foods, but also as the molecules upon which a more sustainable sugar-based bioeconomy can be developed that produces multiple bio-based products from sugars. Bioproducts or bio-based products are materials, chemicals and energy derived from renewable biological resources. Sugar beet processing factories are now designed as sugar beet ‘biorefineries’ where sugar is but one of the many bioproducts generated, along with many non-food products such as specialty high-value chemicals, bio-based materials and bioenergy that can displace fossil-fuel derived products. Sugar beet biorefineries in Ireland can play an important role in decarbonisation pathways in Ireland to reduce carbon and resource footprints in the agrifood sector. Sugar-beet biorefineries can act as ‘innovation platforms’ for conversion of sugars to more sustainable bio-derived chemicals and biomaterials. Under its Agriculture and Bioeconomy theme, the Ryan Institute is working on a range of projects to develop next-generation biorefinery and bioeconomy applications for a more sustainable future.” PhD student Brendan Hallahan, a researcher on the sugar beet work at NUI Galway, said: “Over the past decade, our ability to harness genetics to accelerate the breeding and improvement of crops has taken a quantum leap. New research tools such as next generation sequencing, bioinformatics and genome editing are now revolutionising plant breeding worldwide. Next generation varieties of the humble sugar beet crop can be an asset for sustainable development in both Ireland and the EU, if research can continue into plant genetic improvements combined with the establishment of modern biorefineries.”   The research was funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Research Council. To read the full research study in BMC Plant Biology, visit: https://bit.ly/2MsEZzi. For more information about the Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Centre and the Genetics and Biotechnology Research Lab at NUI Galway, visit: www.plantagbiosciences.org and www.spillanelab.org. -Ends-

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Bill Schmarzo, Chief Technology Officer, Internet of Things and Analytics at Hitachi Vantara, has been appointed Honorary Professor at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway. Bill is the author of Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business and Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science. Speaking frequently on the business value of big data and data science, he is considered the ‘Dean of Big Data’. Bill is an avid blogger and frequent speaker on the application of big data and advanced analytics to drive an organisation’s key business initiatives. Bill visited NUI Galway in March of this year, teaching on the MSc in Business Analytics programme. He also teaches at the University of San Francisco School of Management, where he is their first Executive Fellow. Commenting on the new appointment, Dr Denis Dennehy, Programme Director of the MSc Business Analytics, said: “We are delighted to have Bill join the academic team at J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. Bill’s industry experience in business analytics and passion for teaching is a natural fit for the MSc in Business Analytics programme as our data savvy students develop the technical and business skills that are critical for creating business value from big data.” Bill’s developments include creating the Vision Workshop methodology that links an organisation’s strategic business initiatives with supporting data and analytic requirements. He recently completed a research project at the University of San Francisco titled ‘Determining the Economic Value of Your Data’. Bill’s background includes Chief Technical Officer at Dell EMC and Vice-President of Analytics at Yahoo. He was recently named the #4 Big Data influencer, #4 Data Science and #6 Digital Transformation influencer worldwide by Onalytica. For more information on the MSc in Business Analytics programme, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/taught-postgraduate-courses/business-analytics.html -Ends-

Monday, 20 August 2018

CAO Points Increase Significantly for Business, Law and Engineering courses at NUI Galway, while a suite of new Arts courses, including the new Music degree, are proving very popular The continuing popularity of NUI Galway was reflected by CAO offers issued today (Monday, 20 August 2018), with significant points increases on most courses from 2017 level. Across all five colleges, points have risen. Demand for Science and Engineering programmes grew again this year, with points increases in almost all programmes. Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences remain popular choices with CAO applicants, while Business and Law programmes saw significant increases in demand and points. NUI Galway introduced seven new Arts programmes this year, all proving popular with the market and commanding in excess of 400 points each. NUI Galway’s Academic Secretary, Caroline Loughnane, said: “Yet again this year, NUI Galway has seen significant increases in CAO points reflecting a continued growth in interest in the University and its programmes. International Business programmes continue to be a popular choice for students with a global outlook, and the strong performance of the Commerce (Global Experience) programme at 509 points confirms this. Programmes in Law are also in demand this year, with Civil Law increasing by more than 20 points. We are delighted with the interest in our suite of seven new Arts programmes in areas like Film and Digital Media and Media Studies, a clear recognition of Galway’s reputation as Ireland’s Cultural Capital. The addition of Music to the curriculum this year has been a particular highlight, with the new Music degree proving very popular, entering the market at 462 points. The impact of Brexit and the growing employment opportunities for graduates with European foreign languages is evident in the demand for two new programmes in Global Languages and an International Arts degree. NUI Galway’s strength and reputation in Biosciences is also reflected with soaring demand for both Biomedical Science (531 points) and Biomedical Engineering (487 points).” With NUI Galway anticipating an intake of over 3,000 new students in September, a hotline is in place for students, parents and teachers. NUI Galway First Year Student Hotline and Opening Hours Phone: +353 (0) 91 493999 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/startinguniversity/. The hotline will be open from 15 August to 28 September 2018 Monday to Friday from 9am-1pm and 2pm-5pm And Saturday, 18 and Saturday, 25 August  from 9am-1pm. Courses on the rise: Prospective students have shown particular interest in Commerce programmes, especially those with an international focus, reflecting awareness of the need for language mobility in the global jobs market. NUI Galway’s Commerce (Global Experience) programme is particularly popular, with a points requirement of 509, while the Commerce with French degree required 484 points. Biomedical Science continues to soar in popularity reaching 531 points this year, with 487 points required for the Biomedical Engineering programme, reflecting Galway’s leadership position in the Medtech sector. The popularity of NUI Galway’s two Law programmes continue to grow with Civil Law increasing by more than 20 points to 451 points. Demand for Science and Engineering courses continues to grow with points increases in almost all courses this year. Entry onto the medical programme requires 725 points (including HPAT), and General Nursing finished at 445, Psychiatric Nursing at 409 and Midwifery at 451. Both of NUI Galway’s Therapy programmes, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language finished on 521 and 529 points respectively. In Arts, NUI Galway’s popular Creative Writing degree continues to attract a great deal of interest with the points finishing at 420 points, Psychology at 500 points, and significant interests in the new Arts programmes, all entering above 400 points, with a new Music degree proving extremely popular at 462 points. -Ends-

Friday, 17 August 2018

NUI Galway’s School of Psychology will host the 32nd Annual Conference of the European Health Psychology Society next week from 21-25 August. The European Health Psychology Society is the largest professional organisation of health psychologists in Europe with more than 600 members worldwide and 750 delegates will attend. Hosting an event of this scale in Galway is estimated to benefit the local economy by almost €1 million with funding from Fáilte Ireland to support international promotion and the Health Research Board to support the running of this event. NUI Galway successfully hosted the event in 2005 when more than 600 delegates attended the four-day conference. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Health Psychology Across the Lifespan: Uniting Research, Practice and Policy’. Experts from around the world will meet and share their latest research findings on a range of established and emerging topics in health psychology research including: the role of technology in changing health relevant behaviour; coping with chronic illness; the impact of psychological and social stress on health; and how behavioural science can inform how healthcare is delivered. The event will also provide an extensive programme of training workshops where delegates can update their knowledge and skills in research and will also highlight the leading role that the School of Psychology in NUI Galway plays in research and practice relating to psychological and behavioural processes in health, illness and healthcare. Keynote speakers will include Professor Alex Rothman from the University of Minnesota in the US and Professor Molly Byrne from NUI Galway who will speak about the role of patients and the public in informing this research. Professor Molly Byrne has led research on the experience of young people living with Type 1 diabetes. In this work young adults living with the condition are involved as part of the team directing research on this topic. Professor Byrne will discuss how involving those who live with chronic health problems and those who directly provide care for them is often essential for producing research that has impact on reducing the suffering caused by these conditions. Dr Gerry Molloy, Chair of the local organising committee and Programme Director of the MSc in Health Psychology at NUI Galway, said: “Being awarded this major international event for the second time reflects the high regard in which the Health Psychology team at NUI Galway are held. Many of our colleagues here in Galway are international leaders in major global health challenges such as the psychological aspects of chronic pain, living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and long-term medication taking. The growth of Health Psychology at the University over last 15 years has meant that we are now one of the leading centres in this area in Europe, and hosting this major conference will help consolidate this position.” To stay informed about the conference, follow @ehps2018 or search for #ehps2018 on Twitter, or visit the conference website www.ehps2018.net.    -Ends-

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Scientists from the Apoptosis Research Centre at NUI Galway have found that targeting the IRE1 stress response pathway may improve the response to chemotherapy and reduce relapse for patients with triple negative breast cancer. These first in world research findings were published today (15 August 2018) in the internationally renowned Nature Communications journal. Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is one of the most aggressive and difficult to treat forms of breast cancer. This type of breast cancer accounts for around 15% of all breast cancers diagnosed and occurs more frequently in younger women. Unlike other forms of breast cancer, there are no targeted therapies available for triple negative breast cancer. Currently, chemotherapy is the mainstay treatment, and although initially successful, a large percentage of TNBC patients relapse within one to three years of treatment and have a poor long-term prognosis. The exact mechanism of the tumour relapse post chemotherapy remained unknown until now. In this study, the research team, led by Professor Afshin Samali at NUI Galway have shown for the first time that IRE1, which is a cellular stress sensor that normally acts to alleviate short-term stresses within cells, such as lack of nutrients or oxygen, is a central driver of treatment-related relapse. Professor Afshin Samali, Director of the Apoptosis Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “This study is the result of extensive laboratory experiments, analysis of breast cancer patient samples, testing pre-clinical models of triple negative breast cancer and collaboration with our international and industry partners. The new era of precision oncology aims to tailor treatments to individual cancer patients and here at NUI Galway, we are excited to identify a new therapeutic strategy for triple negative breast cancer patients who are most in need of better treatment options. Furthermore, this strategy may benefit many other cancer patients whose cancer cells rely on activated cell stress responses to survive.”  Dr Susan Logue, first author of the study at NUI Galway, said: “This work has uncovered a previously unknown role for IRE1 and suggests that it may represent a good therapeutic target for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer. While further research is needed, this work is a great example of how curiosity-driven basic research can lead to translational outcomes with real potential to impact on patient treatment.” The team discovered that chemotherapy can activate the IRE1 stress response in triple negative breast cancer, leading to the production of survival signals that are pumped out of the cell to support the growth of new cancer cells. Most importantly, the study showed that this process can be halted by specifically inhibiting IRE1 using a clinically-relevant, small molecule drug called MCK8866 that not only improves the effectiveness of the initial chemotherapy treatment, but also reduces relapse of this aggressive form of breast cancer.    Using triple negative breast cancer cells treated with chemotherapy, the research team found that blocking IRE1 activity reduced the production of survival signals, and in turn reduced the growth of new cancer cells by 50%. Furthermore, in a pre-clinical model of TNBC, the drug increased the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment, leading to regression of 8 out of 10 cancers compared to regression of just 3 out of 10 cancers using chemotherapy alone. The combination of the MCK8866 drug with chemotherapy also reduced tumour relapse in this pre-clinical model of triple negative breast cancer. In addition to these laboratory-based experiments, an analysis of 595 patient tumours revealed that triple negative breast cancer tumours displayed the highest IRE1 activity compared to other subtypes, suggesting that IRE1 may be of particular importance in TNBC. This discovery suggests that combining chemotherapy with IRE1 inhibitors could offer substantial benefits for triple negative breast cancer patients.   The study was funded by Science Foundation Ireland, Irish Cancer Society and Horizon 2020 with initial funding from Breast Cancer Now. To read the full study in Nature Communications, visit: http://www.nature.com/ncomms -Ends-

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

NUI Galway and Complete Laboratory Solutions (CLS) recently announced a new CLS MedPharma Student Excellence in Microbiology Award. The award is open to Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Microbiology students. Criteria for the award is specifically based on a student’s performance in the analytical microbiology and laboratory quality management modules. Colin O’Toole, Director of Analysts on Contract at CLS, said: “We have been working with NUI Galway since CLS MedPharma was first established here in Galway city in 2008 and likewise at our first facility in Ros Muc in Connemara since 1994. In the intervening years over 40 NUI Galway graduates have been recruited at CLS. The Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Microbiology equips graduates with the practical techniques and skills required for a career in science and this is down to the exceptional work of Dr Cyril Carroll and Dr Gerard Fleming, Directors of the Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Microbiology. Supporting the next generation of microbiologists is very important to us and I am excited to celebrate our tenth year at CLS MedPharma by recognising talented students this year.” Dr Cyril Carroll, Co-Director of the Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Microbiology course at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted that CLS MedPharma has chosen to mark their 10 years by supporting our talented scientists here at the University. This course which is now in its 30th year gives Microbiology graduates a thorough training in a wide range of analytical techniques and the ancillary skills necessary for careers in manufacturing and service industries, especially the healthcare, food, biomedical and pharmaceutical sectors.” The CLS MedPharma Student Excellence in Microbiology Award winning student will be announced in conjunction with the NUI Galway conferring ceremony in October this autumn. -Ends-  

Friday, 10 August 2018

NUI Galway study will focus on recruiting carers from counties Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath where there is an estimated 4,800 people with dementia living in the North East The Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia at NUI Galway are leading the first ever study in Ireland looking at supports and services available for people with dementia and their families following a recent diagnosis. The study aims to recruit informal carers in the North East (Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath), often family members, who are providing regular care and support to a loved one diagnosed with dementia in 2017 or 2018. There are an estimated 4,800 people with dementia living in the North East region of the country, many of whom are living at home supported by a family member or friend. It is not known how many of these have a diagnosis or at what stage they receive diagnosis. Breakdown of dementia prevalence rates for each county: Meath – 1,760 Louth – 1,450 Cavan – 870 Monaghan – 730 Carers may feel uncertain following the diagnosis of a loved one with dementia. The study is focused on identifying the most important services and supports at different stages of the illness. The results of the study will inform policy in relation to the supports and services that need to be in place to help carers and people with a recent diagnosis of dementia to deal with uncertainty and plan for future care needs. The aim of the study is to inform practice and policy regarding services and supports required by carers and people with dementia in the period following a dementia diagnosis and how these needs change over time. The primary focus is on post-diagnostic supports for people with dementia and their principal caregiver. The person receiving care must have received a diagnosis of dementia, or probable dementia, since January 2017. Dr Patricia Carney, a Health Economist at the Centre for Economic and Social Research at NUI Galway who is leading the study, said: “New investment in dementia care must reflect the preferences and needs of both the person with dementia and their informal carer. Carers require more tangible and practical supports to allow them do the job that most love doing. The consequences of not supporting them will be significant for people with dementia and for society. This study has the capacity and potential to improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers’ in Ireland, especially in the time following diagnosis.” Professor Eamon O’Shea, Director of the Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia at NUI Galway, said: “Carers play a crucial role in looking after people with dementia and we need to know much more about their needs and preferences for different kinds of services and supports.” If you provide regular support or care to a person recently diagnosed with dementia and want to participate in the study or find out more please email Dr Patricia Carney at DemCarer@nuigalway.ie or call Patricia on 086 0230772. To participate in the study visit: www.nuigalway.ie/dementiacare/ -Ends-

Friday, 10 August 2018

NUI Galway study finds difficulties in forming secure attachments with others may be linked to problematic Facebook use in adults A study carried out by researchers from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway have found that adults whose close relationships are characterised by high levels of insecurity may use Facebook in problematic ways in an attempt to fulfil their attachment needs, especially if they have low self-esteem or when they experience high levels of psychological distress such as anxiety, stress, or depression, according to a study published  today (10 August 2018) in the journal, BMC Psychology. To be able to investigate possible associations between problematic Facebook use and difficulties with forming personal attachments, the authors asked over 700 adult Facebook users to complete a series of online questionnaires, which measured depression, self-esteem, attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety along with aspects of the respondents’ specific Facebook use. The researchers investigated possible links between attachment avoidance (avoiding intimacy and closeness in personal relationships); attachment anxiety (fearing rejection and being overly dependent in personal relationships); and problematic patterns of Facebook use (Facebook use that has been previously linked to low mood and low self-esteem), such as compulsively looking at others’ photos, over-sharing personal information and impression management (using photo filters to present a positive self-image). The study found that those people with high levels of attachment anxiety were more likely to engage in social comparison and impression management on Facebook, and were more likely to disclose personal information on Facebook when in a heightened emotional state. In addition to this, these individuals were more likely to use the site intrusively, such that it impacted upon their sleep, work/study, and social relationships. The researchers also found that those people with high levels of attachment avoidance were more likely to engage in impression management on Facebook, and had a greater tendency to use the site intrusively, to the detriment of their offline social relationships.   Dr Sally Flynn, lead author of the study carried out at NUI Galway, said: “Our study is the first to apply attachment theory to better understand why people might engage with Facebook in problematic ways. Our findings suggest that Facebook may be used by some to fulfil fundamental attachment needs, especially for those with low self-esteem, who are experiencing psychological distress.” The authors suggest that in individuals with high levels of attachment avoidance, impression management may allow them to keep connected to others, by creating a positive image of themselves, while concealing aspects of themselves which they fear may not be acceptable to others. In those with high levels of attachment anxiety, a desire for closeness and intimacy may conflict with a fear of rejection. The creation of an online identity that is likely to be accepted and liked by others, for example in the form of comments or ‘likes’ – may be one strategy aimed at alleviating these concerns. However, screen-based mediums may not be able to truly satisfy an individual’s fundamental attachment needs; while those high in attachment insecurity may derive some comfort and relief from using Facebook in these ways, these benefits may be short-lived. According to the authors it may be important for mental health professionals to take their clients’ social media habits into consideration, when working therapeutically with them. Dr Sally Flynn, explained: “Professionals involved in providing psychological and psychotherapeutic support may need to consider that for some users, specific patterns of Facebook use may be maintaining or even exacerbating negative psychological outcomes, such as low mood and depression. For example, a person who disclosed their personal problems on Facebook when in a heightened emotional state may feel even worse if they are disappointed by the quantity and quality of the feedback that they receive from their online peers. With this knowledge, clinicians may explore patterns of Facebook use with clients, which may be helpful in providing appropriate support and adapting therapeutic interventions.” Dr Kiran Sarma, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at NUI Galway who co-authored the paper, said: “It is important to stress that the research does not suggest that there is something damaging about Facebook or other social media services, but rather, some people network online in ways that could be considered maladaptive, increasing distress and vulnerability.” He also cautioned that while the findings resonate with a growing body of scientific evidence on problematic internet use, further research is needed in this important area. To read the full study in BMC Psychology, visit: https://bmcpsychology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40359-018-0245-0 -Ends-

Thursday, 9 August 2018

NUI Galway study will focus on recruiting carers from Donegal where there is an estimated 2,200 people with dementia living in the county The Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia at NUI Galway are leading the first ever study in Ireland looking at supports and services available for people with dementia and their families following a recent diagnosis. The study aims to recruit informal carers from Donegal, often family members, who are providing regular care and support to a loved one diagnosed with dementia in 2017 or 2018. There is an estimated 2,200 people with dementia living in Donegal, many of whom are living at home supported by a family member or friend. It is not known how many of these have a diagnosis or at what stage they receive diagnosis. Donegal also has the fifth highest dementia prevalence rate in the country after Dublin, Cork, Galway and Tipperary. Carers may feel uncertain following the diagnosis of a loved one with dementia. The study is focused on identifying the most important services and supports at different stages of the illness. The results of the study will inform policy in relation to the supports and services that need to be in place to help carers and people with a recent diagnosis of dementia to deal with uncertainty and plan for future care needs. The aim of the study is to inform practice and policy regarding services and supports required by carers and people with dementia in the period following a dementia diagnosis and how these needs change over time. The primary focus is on post-diagnostic supports for people with dementia and their principal caregiver. The person receiving care must have received a diagnosis of dementia, or probable dementia, since January 2017. Dr Patricia Carney, a Health Economist at the Centre for Economic and Social Research at NUI Galway who is leading the study, said: “New investment in dementia care must reflect the preferences and needs of both the person with dementia and their informal carer. Carers require more tangible and practical supports to allow them do the job that most love doing. The consequences of not supporting them will be significant for people with dementia and for society. This study has the capacity and potential to improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers’ in Ireland, especially in the time following diagnosis.” Professor Eamon O’Shea, Director of the Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia at NUI Galway, said: “Carers play a crucial role in looking after people with dementia and we need to know much more about their needs and preferences for different kinds of services and supports.” If you provide regular support or care to a person recently diagnosed with dementia and want to participate in the study or find out more please email Dr Patricia Carney at DemCarer@nuigalway.ie or call Patricia on 086 0230772. To participate in the study visit: www.nuigalway.ie/dementiacare/ -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

NUI Galway researchers to disseminate findings from SMART Consent workshops held around the country and survey results from over 3,500 students The Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, will today (7 August 2018) launcha research report on sexual consent among third level students carried out by the NUI Galway SMART Consent research team in collaboration with their partners at four other Universities in Ireland. The report, ‘Are Consent Workshops Sustainable and Feasible in Third Level Institutions?’, includes surveys with over 3,500 students conducted at NUI Galway; consent workshops held at four colleges nationally with 761 students; and flags a new education and awareness campaign, Consent=OMFG (Ongoing, Mutual, Freely Given), which includes four short interactive films on consent. The report authors will speak at the research launch after Minister Mitchell O’Connor. Dr Pádraig MacNeela, who leads the SMART Consent initiative, Dr Siobhán O’Higgins, and Kate Dawson, Child and Youth Research PhD candidate, all from the School of Psychology, alongside Dr Charlotte McIvor and students from the O’Donogue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance who will preview one of the Consent=OMFG consent films. The report builds on a programme of research since 2013 that has explored the meaning of consent among college students, tested the effectiveness of the SMART Consent workshop, and surveyed students on sexual consent behaviours and attitudes (see www.nuigalway.ie/smartconsent). The surveys included in the report shed light on important consent-related issues, including: Sexual harassment: In a survey of 632 students nationally, 54% of First Year women students report experiencing sexual hostility or crude gender harassment at some point since starting college, rising to 64% among Second Year women students, and 70% of women students in Third Year or a subsequent year; the comparable figures for men are; 25%, 37%, and 40%. Perceptions of sex education at school: In a survey of 2,150 students nationally, 71% of women and 63% of men said they were dissatisfied with the sexual health education they received at school (14% of women and 17% of men were neutral on this question; 15% of women and 20% of men were satisfied with their sexual health education at school). More lesbian, gay, and bisexual students felt that their sexual health education at school did not cover the topics they are most interested in (75%), compared with heterosexual students (66%). Perceptions of alcohol and capacity to give consent: In a survey, 753 students nationally read one of two versions of a consent story where both characters were drinking: 20% considered the female character too drunk to give consent in the story where she consumed 14 standard drinks, while 33% considered the female character too drunk in the version where she consumed 28 standard drinks. 14% of the students considered the male character too drunk to give consent after 14 standard drinks, and 30% considered him too drunk after 28 standard drinks. Speaking at the launch of the report, Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, commented: “All institutions have a duty of care to their students and I am delighted to see many of them integrate and support these empowerment and preventative initiatives, such as consent workshops. As Minister it falls to me to ensure that providing excellence in education depends also on providing a safe learning environment, free from sexual harassment, assault and the fear or threat of it. Therefore I welcome NUI Galway’s report. It is a timely piece of research given that the National Council on Curriculum and Assessment is carrying out a major review of the relationships and sexuality curriculum.” Commenting on the findings, Dr Pádraig MacNeela at NUI Galway said: “The survey findings show that the social environment in which consent takes place among college students is often unsupportive – most women experience harassment, a large majority of all students are dissatisfied with their sexual health education at school, and social norms for drinking minimise the true impact of alcohol on the capacity to give consent.” During 2017-18, the researchers trained over 100 facilitators to lead SMART Consent workshops at NUI Galway, Queens University Belfast, the National College of Art and Design, Dublin City University, the University of Limerick, and Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. The report compares Pre-Workshop and Post-Workshop attitudes of 761 of the students who took part in a workshop with those trained facilitators during 2017-18: Pre-Workshop, 29% strongly agreed that they felt well informed about sexual consent, compared with 71% of students Post-Workshop. Pre-Workshop, 28% strongly agreed that they have all the skills they need to deal with sexual consent, compared with 60% Post-Workshop. Pre-Workshop, 34% of students strongly agreed that most people felt that asking for consent is important, compared with 46% Post-Workshop. Dr Siobhán O’Higgins at NUI Galway, said: “The SMART Consent workshop is strongly associated with students feeling knowledgeable and skilled about sexual consent. The discussion and peer engagement strategies we use mean it is a workshop, not a class. We encourage students to find their own positive approach to consent, but also know that a full response to this issue involves action outside workshops too, to change the culture in college and society”. At the launch, Dr Charlotte McIvor will preview one of the four short interactive consent films she has developed with her theatre students for a new multimedia campaign that will help address this culture change. The film series was collaboratively written and researched by NUI Galway Drama and Theatre Studies students led by Dr McIvor. Each interactive film gives the viewer control over characters’ decisions at key points, leading to three possible endings to each film. The four films (co-directed by McIvor and Mick Ruane) portray sexual encounters from heterosexual and LGBTQ perspectives, as well as long-term and casual sexual relationships.  Dr Charlotte McIvor offers: “We wanted to use film to capture the complexity of how consent is negotiated between partners and portray just how many decision points there actually are within any given sexual encounter.”   The first film, ‘Tom and Julie’ can be viewed at: www.nuigalway.ie/consent=omfg/. The other three films will be made available on the NUI Galway website and YouTube by staggered release in autumn 2018 as part of the Consent=OMFG campaign.  To read the full report on SMART Consent, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/smartconsent/. The research in the report has been supported by the NUI Galway Student Project Fund, and the PhD in Child and Youth Research. -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

A new online treatment programme called MindfulnessforMS, developed by expert psychologists at NUI Galway has just been launched and aims to help people who are living with primary or secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a lifelong disease of the nervous system including the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, affecting 2.3 million people worldwide with more than 9,000 people living with MS in Ireland. Symptoms of MS range from mild sensory problems to severe disability. The cause of MS has not been identified and, currently, there is no cure. The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, with support from MS Ireland and the Health Research Board, is currently recruiting people with primary or secondary progressive multiple sclerosis to take part in research evaluating the treatment programme. The MindfulnessforMS programme will provide participants with eight online mindfulness-based instruction and practice sessions. Dr Christopher Dwyer, coordinator of the study at the Centre for Pain Research in NUI Galway, said: “MS affects each individual differently, however, understanding how MS impacts people both physically and psychologically, and how they use the supports available to them plays a role in coping strategies for overcoming symptoms. In recent years, mindfulness has emerged as a popular strategy for psychological wellbeing and research has shown that mindfulness-based psychological interventions can be used to help ease MS-related symptoms, including fatigue and anxiety.”  Online interventions have emerged as a popular platform for such programmes, as many people have access to the internet and, perhaps more importantly, because people can log in and practice mindfulness from the safety and comfort of their own home, in a potentially cost-effective manner, without needing to schedule appointments and meet face-to-face with an instructor. The free online sessions within the MindfulnessforMS programme will focus on aiding participants to conduct mindfulness with respect to their attention and awareness of their own thought process. Participants will be provided with instructions on a range of paced activities to encourage helpful coping responses. People who take part in the MindfulnessforMS trial will not need to attend any clinic or NUI Galway at any stage. Materials are tailored for those wishing to learn effective ways of managing their MS. For further information, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/centre-for-pain-research/ To participate in the programme, please email your name, phone number and details of your MS to www.painresearch@nuigalway.ie. GPs or healthcare practitioners who are interested in referring suitable patients to the trial can also use these contact details. -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has announced details of this year’s Engineering Maths Qualifying Exam which gives students a second chance to pursue a career in engineering. The exam, which takes place on Wednesday, 22 August, is for students who achieve the CAO points for an undergraduate engineering degree course at NUI Galway but who have not met the obligatory maths requirement. For more than 20 years NUI Galway has provided this exam to help applicants who did not achieve the required grade H4 or better in higher level mathematics. Those who took lower level maths in the Leaving Cert may also apply for the exam. Students who pass this examination will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and, providing they have the necessary points, will receive an additional CAO offer at Round Two. NUI Galway will also hold an intensive preparatory course for applicants intending to sit the exam. This free course will run from 16-21 August. The aim of the course is to bridge the gap between the Leaving Certificate lower level and that required to be successful in the exam. This will be achieved by tackling a variety of problems of increasing difficulty. Learning how to approach a problem and apply the knowledge available will be emphasised. Professor Peter McHugh, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “Engineers are designers and problem solvers, who innovate and generate the technology of tomorrow. Because of this, engineering programmes are focused on developing analytical and problem solving skills, and therefore require significant use of mathematics and applied mathematics. Every year we see a number of promising students who perform poorly on the day of the Leaving Cert exam. The Engineering Mathematics Qualifying Examination provides students with a second chance to demonstrate that they have the necessary standard in maths. Over the years, we have had some exceptionally talented students graduate and pursue successful careers in engineering because they were given the second chance which this exam represents.” NUI Galway offers students an undenominated entry to engineering. This programme is specifically designed for students who are interested in becoming an engineer, but are uncertain as to which field they want to specialise in. This programme offers students the option of studying engineering in a general way for one year before going on to specialise in their chosen field in year two. For information on the exam, the preparatory maths course and to apply for the Engineering Maths Qualifying Exam please visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/undergraduatestudents/engineeringmathsqualifyingexamination/ -Ends- Seans Eile á thabhairt ag OÉ Gaillimh do Mhic Léinn na hArdteistiméireachta trí Scrúdú Cáilíochta Matamaitice de chuid na hInnealtóireachta a Reáchtáil Tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh i ndiaidh sonraí a chur ar fáil faoi Scrúdú Cáilíochta Matamaitice de chuid na hInnealtóireachta, scrúdú a thugann seans eile do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi ghairm na hinnealtóireachta. Beidh an scrúdú ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 22 Lúnasa, agus tá sé dírithe ar mhic léinn a bhaineann na pointí cuí CAO amach chun cúrsa céime san innealtóireacht a dhéanamh in OÉ Gaillimh ach nach bhfuil an marc riachtanach acu sa mhatamaitic. Le breis agus scór bliain anuas, tá an scrúdú seo á reáchtáil ag OÉ Gaillimh chun cabhrú le hiarratasóirí nár éirigh leo an grád riachtanach H4 nó os a chionn a bhaint amach sa pháipéar matamaitice ardleibhéil. Féadfaidh daoine nach ndearna ardleibhéal matamaitice san Ardteistiméireacht cur isteach ar an scrúdú chomh maith. Má fhaigheann mac léinn pas sa scrúdú seo beidh an riachtanas matamaitice comhlíonta aici/aige agus gheobhaidh sí/sé tairiscint eile ó CAO i mBabhta 2, ach na pointí riachtanacha a bheith aici/aige. Chomh maith leis sin, beidh dianchúrsa ullmhúcháin ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh roimh ré dóibh siúd ar mian leo an scrúdú a dhéanamh. Beidh an cúrsa saor in aisce seo ar siúl ón 16-21 Lúnasa. Is é an aidhm atá leis an gcúrsa seo cur lena mbíonn foghlamtha ag daltaí ag an ngnáthleibhéal san Ardteistiméireacht, le go n-éireoidh leo sa scrúdú matamaitice. Cuirfear é seo i gcrích trí dhul i ngleic le fadhbanna éagsúla ag leibhéil éagsúla deacrachta. Cuirfear béim ar an gcaoi le tabhairt faoi fhadhb agus ar an gcaoi a gcuirfear an t-eolas atá ar fáil i bhfeidhm. Dúirt an tOllamh Peter McHugh, Déan na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is ionann innealtóirí agus dearthóirí agus daoine atá go maith ag réiteach fadhbanna, a chruthaíonn agus a chuireann teicneolaíocht na linne seo romhainn ar fáil. Dá bharr seo, tá na cláir innealtóireachta seo dírithe ar fhorbairt a dhéanamh ar scileanna anailíseacha agus ar scileanna chun fadhbanna a réiteach, agus dá bhrí sin, caithfear úsáid shuntasach a bhaint as matamaitic agus as matamaitic fheidhmeach. Gach bliain feicimid daltaí cumasacha nach ndéanann chomh maith agus a d’fhéadfaidís ar lá an scrúdaithe Ardteistiméireachta. Tugann an Scrúdú Cáilíochta Matamaitice de chuid na hInnealtóireachta deis eile do dhaltaí léiriú go bhfuil an caighdeán riachtanach sa mhatamaitic bainte amach acu. I gcaitheamh na mblianta, d’éirigh le roinnt mic léinn a raibh cumas eisceachtúil iontu céim a bhaint amach agus dul sa tóir ar shlí bheatha dóibh féin san innealtóireacht mar go bhfuair siad an dara deis leis an scrúdú áirithe seo.” Tá cúrsa neamhainmnithe san innealtóireacht ar tairiscint do mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an clár seo dírithe go háirithe ar mhic léinn a bhfuil suim acu a bheith ina n-innealtóirí ach nach bhfuil siad cinnte cén réimse ar mhaith leo díriú air. Tugann an clár seo deis do mhic léinn staidéar ginearálta a dhéanamh ar an innealtóireacht ar feadh bliana sula roghnaíonn siad a réimse speisialtóireachta i mbliain a dó. Chun eolas a fháil faoin scrúdú, faoin gcúrsa matamaitice ullmhúcháin agus chun iarratas a dhéanamh ar an Scrúdú Cáilíochta Matamaitice, téigh chuig http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/undergraduatestudents/engineeringmathsqualifyingexamination/ -Críoch-

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has announced details of this year’s Engineering Maths Qualifying Exam which gives students a second chance to pursue a career in engineering. The exam, which takes place on Wednesday, 22 August, is for students who achieve the CAO points for an undergraduate engineering degree course at NUI Galway but who have not met the obligatory maths requirement. For more than 20 years NUI Galway has provided this exam to help applicants who did not achieve the required grade H4 or better in higher level mathematics. Those who took lower level maths in the Leaving Cert may also apply for the exam. Students who pass this examination will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and, providing they have the necessary points, will receive an additional CAO offer at Round Two. NUI Galway will also hold an intensive preparatory course for applicants intending to sit the exam. This free course will run from 16-21 August. The aim of the course is to bridge the gap between the Leaving Certificate lower level and that required to be successful in the exam. This will be achieved by tackling a variety of problems of increasing difficulty. Learning how to approach a problem and apply the knowledge available will be emphasised. Professor Peter McHugh, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “Engineers are designers and problem solvers, who innovate and generate the technology of tomorrow. Because of this, engineering programmes are focused on developing analytical and problem solving skills, and therefore require significant use of mathematics and applied mathematics. Every year we see a number of promising students who perform poorly on the day of the Leaving Cert exam. The Engineering Mathematics Qualifying Examination provides students with a second chance to demonstrate that they have the necessary standard in maths. Over the years, we have had some exceptionally talented students graduate and pursue successful careers in engineering because they were given the second chance which this exam represents.” NUI Galway offers students an undenominated entry to engineering. This programme is specifically designed for students who are interested in becoming an engineer, but are uncertain as to which field they want to specialise in. This programme offers students the option of studying engineering in a general way for one year before going on to specialise in their chosen field in year two. For information on the exam, the preparatory maths course and to apply for the Engineering Maths Qualifying Exam please visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/undergraduatestudents/engineeringmathsqualifyingexamination/ -Ends- Seans Eile á thabhairt ag OÉ Gaillimh do Mhic Léinn na hArdteistiméireachta trí Scrúdú Cáilíochta Matamaitice de chuid na hInnealtóireachta a Reáchtáil Tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh i ndiaidh sonraí a chur ar fáil faoi Scrúdú Cáilíochta Matamaitice de chuid na hInnealtóireachta, scrúdú a thugann seans eile do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi ghairm na hinnealtóireachta. Beidh an scrúdú ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 22 Lúnasa, agus tá sé dírithe ar mhic léinn a bhaineann na pointí cuí CAO amach chun cúrsa céime san innealtóireacht a dhéanamh in OÉ Gaillimh ach nach bhfuil an marc riachtanach acu sa mhatamaitic. Le breis agus scór bliain anuas, tá an scrúdú seo á reáchtáil ag OÉ Gaillimh chun cabhrú le hiarratasóirí nár éirigh leo an grád riachtanach H4 nó os a chionn a bhaint amach sa pháipéar matamaitice ardleibhéil. Féadfaidh daoine nach ndearna ardleibhéal matamaitice san Ardteistiméireacht cur isteach ar an scrúdú chomh maith. Má fhaigheann mac léinn pas sa scrúdú seo beidh an riachtanas matamaitice comhlíonta aici/aige agus gheobhaidh sí/sé tairiscint eile ó CAO i mBabhta 2, ach na pointí riachtanacha a bheith aici/aige. Chomh maith leis sin, beidh dianchúrsa ullmhúcháin ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh roimh ré dóibh siúd ar mian leo an scrúdú a dhéanamh. Beidh an cúrsa saor in aisce seo ar siúl ón 16-21 Lúnasa. Is é an aidhm atá leis an gcúrsa seo cur lena mbíonn foghlamtha ag daltaí ag an ngnáthleibhéal san Ardteistiméireacht, le go n-éireoidh leo sa scrúdú matamaitice. Cuirfear é seo i gcrích trí dhul i ngleic le fadhbanna éagsúla ag leibhéil éagsúla deacrachta. Cuirfear béim ar an gcaoi le tabhairt faoi fhadhb agus ar an gcaoi a gcuirfear an t-eolas atá ar fáil i bhfeidhm. Dúirt an tOllamh Peter McHugh, Déan na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is ionann innealtóirí agus dearthóirí agus daoine atá go maith ag réiteach fadhbanna, a chruthaíonn agus a chuireann teicneolaíocht na linne seo romhainn ar fáil. Dá bharr seo, tá na cláir innealtóireachta seo dírithe ar fhorbairt a dhéanamh ar scileanna anailíseacha agus ar scileanna chun fadhbanna a réiteach, agus dá bhrí sin, caithfear úsáid shuntasach a bhaint as matamaitic agus as matamaitic fheidhmeach. Gach bliain feicimid daltaí cumasacha nach ndéanann chomh maith agus a d’fhéadfaidís ar lá an scrúdaithe Ardteistiméireachta. Tugann an Scrúdú Cáilíochta Matamaitice de chuid na hInnealtóireachta deis eile do dhaltaí léiriú go bhfuil an caighdeán riachtanach sa mhatamaitic bainte amach acu. I gcaitheamh na mblianta, d’éirigh le roinnt mic léinn a raibh cumas eisceachtúil iontu céim a bhaint amach agus dul sa tóir ar shlí bheatha dóibh féin san innealtóireacht mar go bhfuair siad an dara deis leis an scrúdú áirithe seo.” Tá cúrsa neamhainmnithe san innealtóireacht ar tairiscint do mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an clár seo dírithe go háirithe ar mhic léinn a bhfuil suim acu a bheith ina n-innealtóirí ach nach bhfuil siad cinnte cén réimse ar mhaith leo díriú air. Tugann an clár seo deis do mhic léinn staidéar ginearálta a dhéanamh ar an innealtóireacht ar feadh bliana sula roghnaíonn siad a réimse speisialtóireachta i mbliain a dó. Chun eolas a fháil faoin scrúdú, faoin gcúrsa matamaitice ullmhúcháin agus chun iarratas a dhéanamh ar an Scrúdú Cáilíochta Matamaitice, téigh chuig http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/undergraduatestudents/engineeringmathsqualifyingexamination/ -Críoch-

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Missed opportunities for healthcare professionals to improve knowledge exchange and early interventions to assist parents recognise a healthy weight for their children Childhood obesity is disproportionately characteristic of low-income families Improvements needed in information provided between healthcare professionals and mums regarding infant feeding, healthy weight and obesity in preschool aged children A study carried out by Dr Michelle Queally from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway and colleagues from the Health Research Board funded project CHErIsH (Choosing Heathy Eating for Infant Health), have reported that mothers are unable to accurately identify their child's overweight/obesity status at age three and five in Ireland. The study was recently published in the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity. Dr Queally notes that a mother’s recognition of their child being overweight and obese during early childhood is one of the key determinants in achieving a healthy weight status in children. The study highlights the need for increased support in Ireland to help improve a mothers understanding of what defines a healthy body size in preschool aged children. Mothers who are unable to accurately identify their child being overweight/ obese at three years old are likely to do so again when the child is five years old. Results from the study found that 22% of mothers failed to accurately identify their child to be overweight or obese at age three. This inaccuracy decreased to 18% when the child was aged five. A mother’s inaccurate identification of their child’s overweight/obesity status was more likely to occur if the child was a girl, had a higher birth weight and if the mother was obese or working. Other factors affecting the odds of misperceiving a child’s weight included gestation age, income and urban living. Key findings from the study: Missed opportunities for healthcare professionals to improve knowledge exchange and early interventions to assist parents in recognising a healthy weight for their children. Improvements in knowledge transfer to facilitate healthcare professionals to ensure mothers have information and an accurate understanding of infant feeding, and healthy weight and obesity in their preschool aged children. Educational interventions to inform mothers of healthy weight range during the child’s early years might lead to more accurate weight perceptions as the child gets older. Childhood obesity is disproportionately characteristic of low-income families. Developing tailored intervention programmes for the formative pre-school cohort could prove to be a beneficial strategy to change attitudes and promote awareness of obesity in children within lower socioeconomic groups. Utilising specific channels for health‐related communications allows key messages to reach families who stand to benefit most from the information, and also improves the efficiency with which public funds for health communications are spent. The NUI Galway study used data from the longitudinal ‘Growing Up in Ireland’ study, which is a nationally representative face-to-face survey of children living in Ireland, which aims to inform policy in relation to children, young people and families. Data was collected from almost 10,000 families of children aged three years and over 9,000 families of children aged five years. For the analysis of this study, data relating to child and mother characteristics in healthcare access and household characteristics, such as income and if they lived in an urban or rural area, were extracted. For the child, data extracted included gender, child birth weight, gestation age, whether or not the child was breastfed, whether the child had siblings and the child’s health, as reported by the mother. For the mother, data extracted included education, obesity status, age, self-reported health, employment status, whether or not the mother was born in Ireland and marital status. To read the full study in International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, visit: https://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12966-018-0688-y -Ends-

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

A new survey has been launched and is seeking to examine the experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) migrants in Ireland. Led by Dr Chris Noone from NUI Galway, this is the first national consultation of LGBT+ migrants in Ireland and aims to better understand and support this community. The National LGBT Federation conducted the largest ever consultation of the LGBT+ community in Ireland in 2016, called the Burning Issues 2 study. From that study, one group of people in the LGBT+ community who identified as needing more understanding and support were those who have migrated to Ireland, particularly those who came seeking asylum. Coordinated by Dr Chris Noone from NUI Galway, the new survey ‘LGBT+ Actions to Include Migrants’ is a collaboration between the National LGBT Federation and Ireland’s LGBT+ community members who are migrants, to create the first study by, for and about LGBT+ people who have moved to Ireland. It is intended to produce recommendations for how they can be better supported in Irish society by the government, and the LGBT+ community. Dr Chris Noone, coordinator of the survey and a lecturer from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, said: “If you have come to Ireland from another country to live, work or study and you identify as LGBT+ then we would like to learn about your experiences. Having an understanding of the experiences of LGBT+ migrants in Ireland will help to provide information about how, as a country and as a community, we can become more aware of their needs and act on them.” The questions from the survey have been carefully chosen after workshops were held in Dublin and Galway where members of the LGBT+ community who are migrants to Ireland were invited. The topics covered in this survey were collectively chosen by the people who attended the workshops. “The information we will obtain from this survey will improve our understanding of the experiences of migrants in our community and allow the government to respond to the needs of LGBT+ migrants and asylum seekers”, added Dr Noone. The study is being organised by the research sub-group of the National LGBT Federation and has been funded by a grant from the Community Foundation for Ireland. Participation is entirely voluntary and taking part will involve completing the survey about being a migrant in Ireland. To participate in the study, visit: https://gcn.ie/aims/ or view You Tube link at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38XEIpbBJy0&feature=youtu.be -Ends-

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can now apply online to receive up to €60,000 in financial support to develop innovative ideas, products, and technology within the field of personal nutrition for older adults. NUI Galway is leading the market strategy on the H2020 ‘INCluSilver’ project which aims to support collaboration between SMEs from different sectors to create better nutritional solutions for older adults and improve their quality of life. A €3 million Innovation Voucher Scheme to develop new products and services in this area is currently open for applications with the closing date on Saturday, 15 September 2018. The projects must represent one of INCluSilver’s five collaborative sectors in: agro-food, health, packaging, ICT and creative industries. The INCluSilver project offers three types of innovation vouchers that range in value from €3,000 to €60,000. SMEs from the Republic of Ireland, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the UK can apply. The three types of innovation vouchers include: The Ideas Innovation Voucher, which seeks to support the maturation of relevant ideas and project needs. The Proposal Innovation Vouchers, which seek to support: scalability and internationalisation, demonstration of technology readiness, transferability potential, and economic feasibility analysis. The Intellectual Property Rights Innovation Voucher, which seeks to support SMEs in protecting foreground and results of projects with appropriate tools. Dr Jane Walsh from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway and market strategy lead of INCluSilver, said: “This project provides an excellent opportunity for SMEs working in the nutrition field to avail of much needed support to develop their products.” Irish SMEs interested in applying for the voucher scheme can contact jane.walsh@nuigalway.ie  or further information. -Ends-


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