Friday, 28 March 2014

Mr. Justice Nial Fennelly of the Supreme Court and formerly Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union will deliver the School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture 2014 on Friday, 4 April at 8pm in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. The title of his lecture will be The National Judge and the European Union and Anna-Louise Hinds, Lecturer in European Law at NUIG and Co-editor of the Irish Journal of European Law, will formally respond to his paper. Previous speakers in the School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture series include: Professor Christopher McCrudden of Oxford University; Judge John T. Noonan of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Professor Neil Walker of Edinburgh University; Baroness Brenda Hale of the UK Supreme Court; and Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness of the Irish Supreme Court. The event is held on an annual basis to mark the end of the academic year and is open to students and graduates of the School of Law, NUI Galway as well as interested members of the public. In announcing this event, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUIG said: “Mr. Justice Fennelly is a judge of the highest renown who is recognised for the rigour and consistency of his judgments. His expertise in the area of European Law, in particular, is widely acknowledged. It is a great honour for the School of Law at NUI Galway to have him deliver our Annual Distinguished Lecture on a topic of great importance not just to lawyers but to all European citizens.” Mr. Justice Nial Fennelly undertook a degree in Economics at University College Dublin and completed his Bar studies at King's Inns. He practised at the Irish Bar from 1966 to 1995 and worked principally in commercial and constitutional cases, with a particular interest in the growing field of European Community (including Competition) Law. He was Chairman of the Bar Council of Ireland for 1990 and 1991 and was the first Irish lawyer to be appointed as Advocate General at the European Court of Justice (ECJ, now CJEU), where he served from 1995 to 2000. He was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Ireland in October 2000. He is a Bencher of the Honorable Society of King's Inns and of the Middle Temple in London. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Academy of European Law at Trier, Germany, Chairman of the Irish Centre for European Law (ICEL) and President of the Irish Society for European Law and was President in 2004 of FIDE (Fédération Internationale de Droit Européenne). He has written many articles concerning the law of the European Union, with particular interest in its constitutional aspects. Ends  

Friday, 28 March 2014

The 2014 Ignite Technology Transfer Office (TTO) Commercialisation programme ‘Ignite Eco-System’ came to an exciting finale last Tuesday, 25 March. Each participant pitched their commercial opportunity to an external expert panel after being taken through the 8 week programme of identifying the value proposition of their technology or business concept. Commercial roadmaps & business models were generated and everyone left with a clear vision of their next steps. Awards were presented on the day under the following categories: Best Business Opportunity: awarded to Anthonia O’Donovan from the School of Natural Sciences; Best Presentation: awarded to Paul Dunne from the Department of Engineering in GMIT, Best Elevator Pitch: awarded to Vinod Hegde from the Insight Centre for Data Analytics Judges Choice: awarded Mary-Pat O’Malley from the Discipline of Speech & Language Therapy Ignite Technology Transfer Office offers commercialisation mentoring and training workshops aimed at assisting researchers, individuals and innovative early stage enterprises assess specialist advice in preparation of attracting commercial grant supports or investment appropriate to the needs of the new technology or business concept . Our approach is hands on and practical, delivered to suit the needs of the participants on the programme known as Ignite Eco-System. Vinod Hegde winner, Best Elevator Pitch said “as a PhD student in the INSIGHT group I enrolled on the IGNITE Eco System programme hoping to learn about the process of commercialization from an academic perspective. Personally I can say that this business orientation program is the best I have taken part in. The programme is structured very well and I highly recommend this programme to all researchers. Thanks to the TTO for their continued support.” Fiona Neary Ignite TTO said “Class of 2014 were a highly motivated group, we had lots in interaction and all participants were very eager to progress their technologies and ideas into the commercial world. Our aim is to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs and technologies through programmes such as these. I wish them every success in their commercial pathway and look forward to seeing some significant research & business outcomes from the group.” For more information about the Ignite Technology Transfer Eco-System please visit our website on: http://tto.nuigalway.ie/en/

Monday, 31 March 2014

NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences is now taking bookings for it first Easter break science camp running from 22-25 April 2014. The camps is open all young scientists aged between 8 and 13 years old and participants will get a chance to work as real scientists by performing and analysing experiments in a real research environment.  In the mornings, children will work with Dr Michel Dugon, the host of the RTÉ’s Bug Hunters. Activities will include discovering live local and exotic plant and animals, studying their habitats and understanding how they interact with their environment. In the afternoons, participants will gain an understanding of how cells make our body work. With the dynamic team of Cell EXPLORERS, they will run their own experiments such as building models, observing their own cells under small and large microscopes and extracting DNA from cells. Bio-EXPLORERS is run and supported by the School of Natural Sciences, one of the most research-active Schools at NUI Galway. Bio-EXPLORERS is composed of two science communication and public engagement programmes: Cell EXPLORERS directed by Dr Muriel Grenon and Eco-EXPLORERS directed by Dr Michel Dugon. The programme’s primary goal is to inspire interest in science in the general public and to impact positively on science education. It proposes activities that are designed to engage children in a hands-on way and stimulate their interest in exploring science-related themes. The programme has engaged thousands of children in the West of Ireland since its creation and was very active during the last Galway Science and Technology Festival. The ‘Fantastic DNA’ school visits and other Cell EXPLORERS activities are well known from primary school children in County Galway with the programme‘s volunteers, made of an enthusiastic mix of undergraduate, postgraduate and staff, engaging more than 2000 pupils, teachers and parents since September 2013. The programme received the ‘Outstanding Contribution to STEM’ award from the Galway Science and Technology Festival and will be representing Ireland at the next Malta Science festival in April. Since October 2013 Eco EXPLORERS has engaged thousands of children across the West of Ireland on topics related to ecology, biodiversity and zoology. Bug hunting and live exotic creepy crawlies (including reptiles, spiders or giant beetles) are at the core of the Eco Explorers experience. Activities are led by Bug Hunters host Dr Michel Dugon. Bug Hunters is a 15-episode TV series for RTÉ which has been selected to represent the television station at several prestigious media festivals including IFTA, Celtic Media Awards and Prix Jeunesse International. The camp will run from 9.30am to 4.30pm for four consecutive days. The full cost is €140 per pupil for this exciting course packed with fun and exciting activities. Places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. The closing date for registration is Tuesday, 15 April. For further information on the camp or to register, visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/bughunters/  or email cellexplorers@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-      

Monday, 31 March 2014

Jan O’ Sullivan TD, Minister for Housing and Planning receives new book on housing and globalization, which examines major challenges and barriers to adequate and affordable housing, and developments in global housing finance. Jan O’Sullivan, TD, Minister of State, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government with special responsibility for Housing and Planning was at NUI Galway this week to receive a copy of Contemporary Housing Issues in a Globalized World, edited by School of Law Lecturer, by Dr Padraic Kenna. The globalization of housing finance led to the global financial crisis, which has created new barriers to adequate and affordable housing. It presents major challenges for current housing law and policy, as well as for the development of housing rights. This book examines and discusses key contemporary housing issues in the context of today’s globalized housing systems. The book takes up the challenge of developing a new paradigm, working towards the possibility of an alternative future. Revolving around three themes of writing by diverse contributors, each chapter sets out a clear and developed approach to contemporary housing issues. The first major theme considers the crisis in mortgage market regulation, the development of mortgage securitization and comparisons between Spain and Ireland, two countries at the centre of the global housing market crisis. The second theme is housing rights within the architecture of European human rights, within national constitutions, and those arising from new international instruments, with their particular relevance for persons with disabilities and developing economies. The third theme incorporates an examination of responses to the decline and regeneration of inner cities, legal issues around squatting in developed economies, and changes in tenure patterns away from home-ownership. Raquel Rolnik, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing and of the University of Sao Paolo, Brazil said “The deregulation, liberalization and internationalization of finance have had major implications for housing and urban developments throughout the world. The ‘financialization’ of housing has been accompanied by the conceptual transformation of adequate housing from a social good into a commodity, and financial asset and housing markets are increasingly regulated so as to promote financial rather than social aspects of housing.” Ms Rolnik continued, “This book analyses how this process has impacted on violations of the right to adequate housing in different countries and regions. More than understanding the situation, the book offers alternatives and perspectives, crucial in the current housing crisis.” This topical book will be valuable to those who are interested in law, housing rights and human rights, policy-making and globalization. It is published by Ashgate (UK) and can be ordered here   http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781472415370 -Ends-

Monday, 3 February 2014

From cell structure to spinal scaffolding collaboration across key disciplines aims to bring together researchers with biomedical insights to enrich society An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD has opened NUI Galway’s €30 million Biomedical Science building that will bring together 300 scientists and researchers. This collaborative approach aims to build on the University’s role at the heart of Galway’s vibrant medtech sector; one of five global hubs in a market worth €95 billion annually in the EU. The Biomedical Science Building, funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund will create a platform for discovery, development and delivery. It will build on the output of NUI Galway’s cluster of world-leading biomedical research groups in areas such as regenerative medicine and stem cell research, cancer biology (particularly breast and prostate cancer) biomechanics and biomaterials. Speaking at the opening, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD said “I'm delighted to be here for the opening of this new Biomedical Science building at NUIG.  This development will help build on Ireland's reputation as a location for the medtech sector.  Already 250 medical technology companies based in Ireland export €7.9bn worth of product annually and employ 25,000 people, and the Government sees this sector as a key driver of economic growth.” “The Action Plan for Jobs has delivered on the aim of establishing a Health Innovation Hub and will continue to work with industry to turn more good ideas into good jobs and commercial returns.  By bringing the best and brightest together in such an innovative setting there is also real potential here for ground-breaking research to the benefit of humanity" he added. NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said “This building will see innovation in action. Located in Galway, close to nine of the world’s ten leading medtech companies, researchers at the Biomedical Science building will work on the science which will address some of today’s most pressing biomedical challenges. It is a tangible expression of this University’s commitment to providing the human and intellectual capital needed by the medtech sector here in Ireland.” Dr Browne noted the generous support of Bank of Ireland for the project. A spokesperson for Bank of Ireland said “We are pleased to have played a key role in bringing this very important project to fruition given its importance to the ongoing development of NUI Galway’s faculties and capabilities.  We are confident that this will in turn play a role in supporting the development of key related sectors in the West.” NUI Galway Vice-President for Research, Professor Lokesh Joshi said "This new development is the result of excellence and success in biomedical research in NUI Galway for the past decade. It marks the beginning of a new era to find synergies among different groups and will enable us to continue to compete successfully for funding from European and other sources. It will also help researchers focus on translating their research into products for societal benefit." Since the early 2000s the University has developed a complementary range of interdisciplinary research centres and initiatives including: National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) www.ncbes.ie Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI)  www.remedi.ie Network of Excellence in Functional Biomaterials (NFB) www.nfb.ie Applied Glycosciences Research Cluster (AGRC) /www.agrc.ie/ Centre for Chromosome Biology (CCB) www.chromosome.ie/ Apoptosis Research Centre (ARC) www.apoptosis.ie/ BioInnovate Ireland  www.bioinnovate.ie MeTRIC www.metricireland.ie/ These initiatives have resulted in a world-class clinical, research and people infrastructure at NUI Galway.  For example, in the last 10 years the University has made over 60 permanent appointments - strategically focussed in the area of biomedical engineering science – across the Colleges of Medicine, Science, Engineering and Business.  In addition many hundreds of research students and post-doctoral researchers continue to be attracted to Galway, representing very significant human capital for Ireland and the medtech sector. Through a spirit of discovery and delivery NUI Galway seeks to advance the boundaries of biomedical research and contribute to the international scientific community's quest for knowledge.  In so doing, the research outputs will advance clinical trials to improve the quality of life of patients and stimulate enterprise creation, generate high-end sustainable employment and add value to the national economy.  -ends- Osclaíonn an Taoiseach Foirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis €30 milliún in OÉ Gaillimh ina mbeidh 300 Eolaí ag obair ó thús deiridh ar thionscadail Ó struchtúr ceall go scafall dromlaigh, tá sé mar aidhm ag comhoibriú i measc príomhdhisciplíní taighdeoirí le léargais bhithleighis a thabhairt le chéile chun leasa an tsochaí D’oscail an Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD foirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis, ar fiú €30 milliún é, in OÉ Gaillimh a thabharfaidh 300 eolaí agus taighdeoir le chéile. Tá sé mar aidhm ag an gcur chuige comhoibríoch seo cur le ról na hOllscoile i gcroílár earnáil bhríomhar leighis-teicneolaíochta na Gaillimhe; ceann de chúig ionad domhanda i margadh ar fiú €95 billiún é go bliantúil san AE. Cruthóidh an Foirgneamh Bithleighis Eolaíochta, atá maoinithe faoin gClár um Thaighde in Institiúidí Tríú Leibhéal (PRTLI) agus cómhaoinithe faoi Chiste Forbraíochta Réigiúnaí na hEorpa, ardán d’fhionnachtain, forbairt agus seachadadh. Cuirfidh sé leis an aschur ó bhraisle OÉ Gaillimh de ghrúpaí taighde bithleighis ardchaighdeáin i réimsí cosúil le leigheas athghiniúnach agus taighde gascheall, bitheolaíocht ailse (go háirithe ailse bhrollaigh agus phróstataigh), bithmheicnic agus bithábhair. Ag labhairt dó ag an oscailt, dúirt an Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, “Táim thar a bheith sásta a bheith anseo d’oscailt an Fhoirgnimh nua Bithleighis Eolaíochta seo in OÉ Gaillimh. Cuirfidh an fhorbairt seo le cáil na hÉireann mar shuíomh don earnáil leighis-teicneolaíochta.  Tá 250 cuideachta leighis-teicneolaíochta lonnaithe in Éirinn cheana féin agus iad ag easpórtáil luach €7.9bn de tháirgí gach bliain agus cuireann siad fostaíocht ar fáil do 25,000 duine, agus tuigeann an Rialtas go bhfuil an earnáil seo ina príomhacmhainn d’fhás eacnamaíoch.” “Mar thoradh ar an bPlean Gníomhaíochta do Phoist tá Gorlann Nuálaíochta Sláinte bunaithe agus leanfar den obair leis an tionscal ionas go mbeidh poist agus torthaí tráchtála againn mar thoradh ar smaointe maithe eile.  Trí na daoine is fearr agus is éirimiúla a thabhairt le chéile i suíomh chomh nuálach, tá féidearthachtaí dáiríre ann do thaighde ar thús cadhnaíochta ar mhaithe leis an gcine daonna”, a dúirt sé. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, “Beidh an nuálaíocht ag feidhmiú san fhoirgneamh seo. Lonnaithe i nGaillimh, in aice le naoi gcinn de na deich gcuideachta leighis-teicneolaíochta is fearr sa domhan, beidh taighdeoirí san fhoirgneamh Bithleighis Eolaíochta ag obair ar an eolaíocht a thabharfaidh aghaidh ar chuid de na dúshláin bhithleighis is mó atá faoi chaibidil sa lá atá inniu ann. Is léiriú inláimhsithe é ar thiomantas na hOllscoile seo ar an gcaipiteal/riachtanas daonna agus intleachtúil a chur ar fáil a theastaíonn ó earnáil an bhithleighis anseo in Éirinn.” Dúirt an Leas-Uachtarán um Thaighde in OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Lokesh Joshi “Tá an fhorbairt nua seo mar thoradh ar shárchaighdeán agus rath an taighde bithleighis in OÉ Gaillimh le deich mbliana anuas. Cuireann sé tús le ré nua chun sinéirgíochtaí a aimsiú i measc grúpaí éagsúla agus cuirfidh sé ar ár gcumas maoiniú a fháil ó fhoinsí Eorpacha agus ó fhoinsí eile. Cuideoidh sé freisin le taighdeoirí díriú ar a gcuid taighde a aistriú isteach i dtáirgí ar mhaithe leis an bpobal.” Ó thús an chéid seo tá réimse comhlántach ionad agus tionscnamh taighde idirdhisciplíneach forbartha ag an Ollscoil lena n-áirítear: An tIonad Náisiúnta um Eolaíocht Innealtóireachta Bithmhíochaine (NCBES) www.ncbes.ie Institiúid an Leighis Athghiniúnaigh (REMEDI)  www.remedi.ie Gréasáin Feabhais do Bhithábhair Fheidhmeacha (NFB) www.nfb.ie Braisle Taighde Gliceolaíochtaí Feidhmeacha (AGRC) /www.agrc.ie/ An tIonad do Bhitheolaíocht Chrómasóim (CCB) www.chromosome.ie/ An tIonad Taighde Apaptóise (ARC) www.apoptosis.ie/ BioInnovate Ireland  www.bioinnovate.ie MeTRIC www.metricireland.ie/ Mar gheall ar na tionscnaimh seo tá infreastruchtúr cliniciúil, taighde agus daonna ar ardchaighdeán in OÉ Gaillimh.  Mar shampla, le deich mbliana anuas tá breis is 60 ceapachán buan déanta ag an Ollscoil - dírithe go straitéiseach ar réimse na heolaíochta innealtóireachta bithleighis - i gColáistí an Leighis, na hEolaíochta, na hInnealtóireachta agus an Ghnó.  Chomh maith leis sin mealltar na céadta mac léinn taighde agus taighdeoirí iardhochtúireachta go Gaillimh, rud a chiallaíonn go bhfuil líon suntasach daoine ar fáil anseo don earnáil bhithleighis. Trí spiorad fionnachtana agus seachadta déanann OÉ Gaillimh iarracht teorainneacha an taighde bithleighis a leathnú agus cur le hiarracht an phobail eolaíochta idirnáisiúnta eolas a chuardach.  Mar thoradh air seo, cuirfidh na haschuir thaighde le trialacha cliniciúla chun caighdeán saoil a fheabhsú d’othair agus chun fiontar a chruthú, fostaíocht inmharthana ardleibhéil a chur ar fáil agus luach a chur leis an ngeilleagar náisiúnta.  -críoch-  

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Event hosted by Prof Pat Dolan of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway  Actor Cillian Murphy appeared as a special guest of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway for a screening and discussion of the film Broken at the weekend.  The actor, a patron of the Centre, was interviewed by young researchers in a post-screening discussion on how young people interpret the film’s portrayal of family, relationships and community. The UNESCO Centre, part of NUI Galway’s new Institute for the Social Sciences, undertakes research, education and training in the area of Family Support and Youth Development with an emphasis on prevention and early intervention for children and young people experiencing adversity. Core themes such as empathy, resilience and the importance of social support highlighted in Broken are among the areas of expertise of the UNESCO Centre. The Centre is committed to promoting child and youth engagement in policy, programme design and services. According to Director and UNESCO Chair Professor Pat Dolan “Understanding how young people access sources of informal support such as nuclear family, friends and community networks is critical to the development of strength-based practice and policy. The special screening of the movie Broken, starring Cillian Murphy  provided an opportunity for a group of young people from diverse backgrounds to share their perspective on issues that affect their lives”.   Speaking at the event on Friday 31 January, Cillian highlighted the importance of youth having a voice in Ireland. “Learning from research which is young person led is key to supporting them better.  As Patron, I am delighted to assist the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre in this task”. -Ends-  

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

NUI Galway will host the Spring Postgraduate Open Day on Tuesday, 11 February, from 12 noon to 4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. The Open Day will showcase over 400 of NUI Galway’s full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, as well as doctoral research options. With one of the broadest portfolios of postgraduate teaching and learning in the country, NUI Galway’s Postgraduate Open Day will give potential students the opportunity to meet and hear from academic staff and current students. With over 70 stands will offer information on the wide range of programmes, how to apply and fund your study, careers and day to day student life at NUI Galway.  Irish graduates are ranked first in Europe in terms of how employers rank graduates, and postgraduate study boosts employability. The number of PG in employment has grown consistently in recent years. NUI Galway’s well-established links with industry allow you to take the first step in building your career. Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Recruitment Officer at NUI Galway, comments: “A postgraduate qualification broadens your skills-set, increases your specialist knowledge, and can improve your job prospects: over 93% of NUI Galway graduates are currently employed or are in further study within six months of graduating.” To view NUI Galway’s suite of new and unique postgraduate programmes and to book your place at the Open Day visit www.nuigalway.ie/about-us/open-days/  or simply call in on the day! To apply for an NUI Galway postgraduate course visit www.pac.ie/nuigalway. -Ends-  

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

NUI Galway’s Students’ Union Enterprise Awards competition is now entering its second stage as six finalists battle it out for a €20,000 investment fund to turn their ideas into reality. Now in its fourth year, the competition seeks to promote entrepreneurship and innovation among the students of NUI Galway in both social and business enterprise. Each of the six finalists, all NUI Galway students, will receive investment capital of €500 to develop their initial ideas further. A series of workshops hosted by members of the business community over the coming weeks will let the finalists develop their ideas ahead of the final judging session in March. Galway City and County Enterprise Board, Online Marketing in Galway, Hammond Good Solicitors, Gareth Williams Accountant and Starlight Solutions are just some of the groups providing workshops. Sean Kearns, President of NUI Galway Students’ Union, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the number and standard of entries to the NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards again this year. The entrants are testament to the exceptional initiative and creativity of students in social and business enterprise. At a time when real innovation and flair is needed, students are leading the way in creating the big ideas that will help fuel our recovery. The Students’ Union is delighted with the support that the Awards have received from the local business community and the University.” The final six projects are: NUI Galway Student Managed Investment Fund Operating a real-life financial portfolio under the guidance of industry experts and alumni, the NUI Galway Student Managed Investment Fund is an organisation managed by students, for the benefit of both the participants and the University as a whole. Behind the project are: Martin Weitbrech, final-year BSc Financial Mathematics and Economics student from Co. Donegal; Conor Hanniffy, Masters in International Finance student from Athlone, Co. Westmeath; Shane Reilly, final-year BSc Financial Mathematics and Economics student from Castlebar, Co. Mayo; and Maurice Kelter a final-year BComm student from Tralee, Co. Kerry. Student Talks 'Student Talks' is an online knowledge platform for students to communicate their ideas, connect with other students, and find out about courses and careers. Student Talks was created by Brian Slattery from Dublin who has just completed his PhD in Psychology. Shuffleupagus Margaret Tallott has developed Shuffleupagus which is a simple game for everyone who is learning Irish. Margaret is from Belmullet, Co. Mayo and is in the fourth year of her PhD with the Department of Management at the University. MyStudySheets™ MyStudySheets™ provides downloadable, course-specific study aids in mathematics to second and third-level students, aiming to radically improve student grasp of key concepts. MyStudySheets™ was developed by brothers Enoch and Issac Burke from Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Enoch is currently in his second year of a BA degree and Isaac is in his second year of a PhD in Pure Mathematics. QuisineReader QuisineReader seeks to revolutionise the way we collect and redeem customer loyalty points through a visually striking user friendly application. Nathan Regan and Fergal Walsh are both final-year Mechanical Engineering students from Galway. They have developed QuisineReader with Gearoid O'Connor, a final-year Computer Science and Information Technology student, also from Galway. The Big Yellow Thing The Big Yellow Thing is an artistic project that aims to create modern and exclusive apparel for students, staff, visitors and alumni of all National Universities of Ireland. Michelle Campion from Tuam, Co. Galway developed The Big Yellow Thing and is studying a MSc in Neuropharmacology. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony dinner on Saturday, 29 March in the College Bar, NUI Galway. -Ends-

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Irish company Orbsen Therapeutics, the spin out company from REMEDI at NUI Galway is shortlisted for the Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards 2014 NUI Galway startup company, Orbsen Therapeutics, have been shortlisted as finalists in the prestigious all-island Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards 2014. This competition open to all companies on the island of Ireland, recognises excellence in groundbreaking product or services innovation. The overall winner of the award will be announced in Dublin in April. Orbsen Therapeutics, an Irish company and the spin out company from REMEDI (Regenerative Medicine Institute) at NUI Galway, is seeking to develop innovative therapies for a range of diseases using Orbsen’s proprietary adult stem cell. The company is working with partners from all over the world to develop and commercialise its stem cell technologies, and now employs 12 people in Galway. Mr Brian Molloy, CEO Orbsen Therapeutics said, “We are delighted to be shortlisted for the Innovation Awards 2014. Innovation is at the heart of what we do in Orbsen and we benefit hugely from the close relationship we have with the Research Institute and with NUI Galway. Over the past two years we have attracted over €20 million in research funding into Orbsen and into our network of 22 international and domestic collaborators. NUI Galway has been and will continue to be our primary collaborator on these grants as we move closer to the clinic and the development of new and innovative therapies.” Dr. Stephen J. Elliman, Head of Research at Orbsen added, “Our unique stem cell isolation technologies give Orbsen Therapeutics, and indeed Ireland, the opportunity to become a leading global player in the Stem Cell Therapeutics space. We already have a number of early phase clinical trials that will start enrolling over the coming two to three years, and these have all been funded under the EU FP7 programme.” Dr Jacinta Thornton, Acting Director, Ignite Technology Transfer Office, NUI Galway said “I would like to congratulate Orbsen Therapeutics on being shortlisted for this award. Since their inception, they have worked very closely with NUI Galway, in particular with REMEDI the world-leading centre for regenerative medicine, collaborating in research projects and winning large grant awards together. With the opening of the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI), Ireland’s first centre for stem cell manufacturing at NUI Galway, we are confident of further collaborative success together as Orbsen seeks to bring their products to the clinic.” For further information on Orbsen Therapeutics visit www.orbsentherapeutics.com -Ends-    

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

CEO of Bord na Móna among those looking at issues of national importance currently in the news including Wind Farm Developments and Pylon Network Expansions The 4th Annual Energy Night, Ireland’s largest student-run energy event, will take place at NUI Galway’s New Engineering Building, Thursday 13th February from 4pm-7pm. Last year’s event, ‘Energising Ireland – What are our Options?’ received praise from academia, industry and the public for its engaging and thorough debate on Ireland’s potential future energy sources. This year, Energy Night aims to examine the impact, conflicts and opportunities that arise in local communities through the development of large-scale energy projects of national importance. This is a highly topical subject, which is reflected in the current debates over wind farm development and pylon network expansion. It will discuss the impact of large scale energy projects both economically and aesthetically, conflicts that arise in balancing fiscal benefits with environmental concerns, and how to increase infrastructure in order to reduce CO2 emissions responsibly. Energy Night will look at ‘Energy in Ireland – Local Wellbeing, National Priorities and Global Challenges’ and will commence at 4pm on Thursday 13th February starting with guided tours of NUI Galway’s state-of-the-art, award-winning New Engineering Building, which itself is one of the country’s finest examples of modern, visually striking, energy efficient design. A ‘Careers in Energy’ seminar will follow from 5pm to 6pm. Several speakers from major corporations like ESB International, Enerit and Éire Composites will deliver presentations about their companies and the various employment opportunities available in the energy and energy-related sector. They will highlight career opportunities for future engineers in an indigenous industry with massive growth potential, while offering a unique insight into their career paths and reveal the future of energy in Ireland. From 6pm to 7pm, a ‘Student Energy Research Poster Showcase’ will be held in the Engineering Building’s foyer, and will feature posters highlighting cutting-edge energy research currently underway at NUI Galway and beyond. This includes Offshore Renewable Energy Systems (Wave, tidal and wind), Bioenergy research in the use of plant material as a fuel source, and the reduction of dependence on imported fuels. The main event of the night, a panel discussion on wind energy, ‘Energy in Ireland – Local Wellbeing, National Priorities, Global Challenges’ will begin at 7pm and feature guest speakers Gabriel D’Arcy, CEO of Bord na Móna, Mike de Jong of CREWE (Communities for Responsible Engagement with Wind Energy) and John Fogarty, Chairman of Templederry Community Wind Farm, one of Ireland’s only community-run wind farms. The discussion will include a lengthy Q&A session with active participation from the audience. The event is free of charge with refreshments provided. For more information visit www.nuigenergynight.com or email energy@socs.nuigalway.ie Follow us on twitter at @nuigenergynight or on Facebook. -Ends-

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Students from across Connacht, who received an A in Junior Certificate Honours Business Studies, were recently presented with Certificates of Achievement by NUI Galway's College of Business, Public Policy and Law. The presentations, in association with the Business Studies Teachers Association of Ireland (BSTAI), were made at a special ceremony at the University which included teachers and parents. This is the fourth year NUI Galway has presented these awards and 260 students received recognition for their achievement at the ceremony. The certificates were awarded to students from over 55 individual schools throughout the counties of Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. Presenting the certificates to each individual winner, Professor Ciaran O’Neill, Dean of the College of Business Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway, said “NUI Galway’s international success is built on a strong and enduring relationship with its hinterland and therefore we see these awards as very important. I congratulate all the students on their achievement and also the work of teachers in helping students achieve their potential. I hope I will also have the pleasure of meeting many of these students again in NUI Galway in the future on one of our business or commerce programmes.”  Jennie Harrington, President, BSTAI said “The BSTAI are delighted to continue its partnership with NUI Galway in hosting this ceremony which celebrates and recognises academic excellence in Business Studies at a young age.  I am confident many of today’s award recipients will build successful careers in the business world.” -Ends-

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Opportunity is there for Ireland to create real jobs in indigenous bioenergy enterprise in two to five years says Technology Leader at the Technology Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy Speaking at the 13th Annual IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference in Dublin, Mr Bart Bonsall, Technology Leader at Ireland’s Technology Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy said that, “Using the advanced high-rate, low-temperature anaerobic digestion technology for dilute wastewaters developed by Professor Vincent O’Flaherty and the enzyme-based technology patented by Dr Maria Tuohy and their NUI Galway research groups gives Ireland an advantage in producing biogas more quickly.” Mr Bonsall continued, “On the vehicle side, biogas/Compressed Natural Gas vehicles are widely used in German, Austrian, Italian and Swedish truck and bus fleets. The opportunity is there for Ireland to create real jobs in indigenous bioenergy enterprise in two to five years, if we build the right commercial and regulatory framework for biomethane for fleet transport.” Mr Bonsall will give a presentation to the IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference today (6th February) on ‘Biomethane for transport: a technical and regulatory framework’. This year the conference will take a focused view on Ireland’s bioenergy strategy to meet 2020 targets. Other guest speakers at the conference will include Pat Rabbitte T.D. Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and Horst Jauschnegg, President of the Austrian Biomass Association along with several others. The 2014 IrBEA National Bioenergy Conference is titled ‘Ireland’s Bioenergy Strategy to Meet Targets for 2020’. It takes place today 6th February at the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Newlands Cross, Dublin. For further information on the Technology Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy and their presentation at today’s conference contact Pádraic Ó hUiginn, Communications Programme Manager, Technology Centre for Biorefining & Bioenergy on +353 (0)87 905 3806 and pohuiginn@tcbb.ie IrBEA’s conference programme is available from the following link: http://www.irbea.ie/images/irbea%20conference%20programme%202014v2.pdf -Ends-

Monday, 10 February 2014

NUI Galway Theatre Season allow students the opportunity to bring theatre into Galway city for all to enjoy, while having a major impact on their future careers As part of the ongoing development of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, the university today announced the inaugural NUI Galway Theatre Season. From February to April of this year, NUI Galway Drama students will be working with Galway’s leading theatre companies and artists to stage both classic and brand new plays. These will include a new street theatre performance devised by Macnas, the Irish premiere of a play by the author of the West End hit musical adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and many other exciting events.  Performances will happen both on campus and at venues around the city. The opening production will be an adaptation of the Spanish classic Yerma by Frederico Lorca. Produced in association with Core Theatre College, this play runs at the Mick Lally Theatre, Druid Lane from 13-15 February. Future productions include the Irish premiere of David Greig’s Monster in the Hall at Nun’s Island Theatre from 26-29 March and the Greek tragedy Electra (adapted by Irish dramatist Frank McGuinness) at The Cube Theatre, NUI Galway from 9-11 March. The season concludes on 2 April with a public performance by first year students with Macnas. The season also includes the inaugural NUI Galway Theatre Residency, an annual event that will see a major Irish theatre company visiting Galway for a week of workshops, public lectures, and performances. The first Theatre Residency will be conducted by Brokentalkers, the Dublin-based group whose Have I No Mouth is currently completing a successful run in New York, where it was praised in The New York Times for being “Gentle and forlorn, angry and yearning”. Speaking at the launch of the season, NUI Galway’s Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies, Patrick Lonergan said that this development marks an important stage in the evolution of Drama at the university. “Our first theatre season gives our students an opportunity to work with great Galway companies, directors and actors, and it allows us to bring theatre into our city for all to enjoy. Performing in professional venues, and working with professional artists, our students will gain invaluable skills and practical experiences that will have a major impact on their future careers.” This is the first time that NUI Galway has produced a season of plays, but Professor Lonergan states that this development will continue into the years ahead. “As Drama grows at this university, so too will the number of productions we’ll stage each year. We want our productions to become an intrinsic and essential part of the Galway theatre scene, making sure that the university and our students are at the heart of Galway’s cultural life. With the recent launch of the Druid Academy at NUI Galway, our activities will expand significantly in the years ahead. This season marks an important first step for us.” Tickets for Yerma available at the Socs Box on 091 492852 or Town Hall Theatre 091 569777. Tickets for Electra available at the Socs Box, and tickets for The Monster in the Hall available at Galway Arts Centre 091 565886. Brokentalkers will give a Public Lecture at the Siobhan McKenna Theatre, NUI Galway on 25 February from 5pm-7pm. -Ends-

Monday, 10 February 2014

Dr Manus Biggs, a Science Foundation Ireland investigator with NUI Galway’s Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) is the recent recipient of two travel grants. Both travel grants will support his research to improve the design of implanted microelectrodes being used for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. Implantable, electrically stimulating systems consisting of a number of electrodes that transmit signals via electrical conduction in bodily fluids are currently being investigated to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Implanted electrodes work reasonably well for short term applications, but have had limited success over longer implantation times. Currently, the inflammatory response around the electrode interface increases to such an extent that there is neural loss and instability of the electrodes at the implantation site. To address this problem, Dr. Biggs’s research aims to improve long-term function by using conducting polymers to coat the implanted electrodes. Dr Biggs’ Ireland-France Ulysses research funding is designed to support new research collaborations between Irish and French researchers, after James Joyce’s famous novel to celebrate the Joycean links between Ireland and France. The funding will help establish a new collaboration with Professor Dulce Papy-Garcia at the University of Paris, an expert in the glycobiology of neurodegeneration. The use of Dr Biggs’s neuroelectrode technology to treat Parkinson’s disease is of high interest for the French research team and a new collaboration with Dr Biggs will allow the group to get new insights using biomaterials for the treatment of neurodegeneration. Dr Biggs’ Royal Irish Academy Mobility grant that will support continuing research with Dr Mathew Dalby at the Centre for Cell Engineering, and Dr Nikolaj Gadegaard at the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre, both at the University of Glasgow. The University of Glasgow is one of the few places in the world that can fabricate the high-resolution structures needed for Dr Biggs’s research. He also hopes the collaboration will provide a springboard for future student work placements. Professor Abhay Pandit, Director at NFB, said: “The two travel awards are further indication of the relevance of NFB’s research within Europe and the importance of NFB’s translational research programmes. We will continue to initiate collabatory research, with partners from outside of Ireland and look towards funding opportunities within Horizon 2020. -Ends-

Monday, 10 February 2014

Newly Appointed Ombudsman & Information Commissioner, Peter Tyndall to deliver his first public lecture to mark the 10th anniversary of the LL.M in Public Law at NUI Galway The newly appointed Ombudsman and Information Commissioner, Peter Tyndall will deliver his first public lecture since taking up office at NUI Galway. The lecture, hosted by the School of Law to mark the first ten years of its LL.M in Public Law, will take place on Wednesday 19th February at 8pm at the Aula Maxima (lower). The event will be chaired by the former Supreme Court judge, Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness, Chairperson of Udarás na hOllscoile and Adjunct Professor of Law at NUI Galway, who has been associated with the LL.M in Public Law since its inception. The title of Mr. Tyndall’s lecture is: ‘The Ombudsman and Information Commissioner: Delivering Fairness and Transparency’. Speaking at the announcement of the event, Ms Marie McGonagle, Director of the LL.M in Public Law said, “We are delighted to welcome the new Ombudsman and Information Commissioner to NUI Galway to this the first event to mark the 10th anniversary year of the LLM in Public Law. Given the strong public service and public interest law focus of the LL.M, it is fitting that our graduates and current students should have this wonderful opportunity to hear and reflect on the important role recently taken up by the new Ombudsman and Information Commissioner, and to appreciate his goals and the challenges his office faces.” Mr. Tyndall received his warrant of appointment as Ombudsman and Information Commissioner from President Michael D. Higgins on 2nd December 2013. Mr Tyndall succeeded Ms Emily O’Reilly and will also serve as Commissioner for Environmental Information, and as an ex-officio member of the Standards in Public Office Commission, the Office of the Commission for Public Service Appointments, the Referendum Commission and the Constituency Commission. Members of the public are welcome to attend the event. -Ends-

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Three NUI Galway students are among the five finalists announced in the 2014 Making an Impact Competition Three NUI Galway students were announced today by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) as finalists of the 2014 Making an Impact Competition. A total of five finalists were selected. The NUI Galway finalists are Linda Connor for her project 'Improving Honey Bee Health', Robert Mooney for his project 'Movement and Performance in Elite Swimming' and Killian O’Brien for his project 'Blood May Hold the Key to the Riddle of Cancer'. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Irish Independent had invited postgraduate research students in any discipline at an Irish higher education institution on the island of Ireland, to make a short submission on the difference that their research work would make to a particular aspect of Irish life, to the country as a whole or in a global context. The five research finalists, who were selected by an independent adjudication panel, for their innovative or challenging ideas will be invited to present how their research is making an impact at a public event at The Helix at Dublin City University on Wednesday, 12th March. Each finalist will have a maximum of ten minutes to make the presentation, followed by a brief question and answer session with an expert panel. Two awards of €2,500, sponsored by the Irish Independent will be awarded to two individual winners, one of whom will be picked by the panel and the other by second level students in the audience. Each of the five finalists’ research will be profiled in the Irish Independent. For further information on the 2014 Making an Impact Competition visit www.hea.ie -Ends-

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Macromolecular crowding (MMC) for tissue engineering is an approach proposed by researchers at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) as a means to engineer tissues faster for transplantation. Research describing methods to speed up production of extracellular matrix (ECM) by using polydispersed macromolecules has recently been published in the most recent issue of Advanced Materials. With an impact factor of 14.829, Advanced Materials is top among all materials science journals for 2012. Injecting cells to treat injured or degenerated tissues can be used to create tissue-specific ECM which avoids the shortfalls of man-made devices. Scaffolds have been used to help control the retention and distribution of transplanted cells, but their presence hinders tissue remodelling and function. Techniques such as scaffold-free cell-sheet tissue engineering (CSTE) and tissue engineering by self-assembly (TESA) have been developed which do not require the stabilisation of a scaffold. Despite the promising outcomes for various tissue types, considerable time, up to 196 days, is required for the cells to create ECM once they are transplanted and this often results in loss of cell function. Abhigyan Satyam, PhD student at the NFB at NUI Galway, is investigating MMC to increase cellular activities to create ECM-rich tissue equivalents faster. When cells are in the body they are in a crowded space which makes them synthesise collagen quickly. When cells are placed in a less dense population area, such as culture conditions in a lab, collagen production is very slow. Abhigyan’s research, supervised by NUI Galway’s Dr Dimitrios Zeuglolis’s, involves adding inert polydispersed macromolecules into cell cultures to increase the density of the growth area which will, in turn, increase ECM production. The results presented in Advanced Materials describe this innovative strategy, and how an ECM-rich cell sheet was created in just 48 hours without compromising cell function. This platform technology will reduce cultivating time of tissue engineered constructs which will ultimately save money. Among a number of possible applications, the grown tissues can be utilised to replace damaged skin, bones, corneas and tendons. To read the publication visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.201304428/full. -Ends-  

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

NUI Galway today announced the appointment of Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh as Registrar and Deputy-President. Professor Ó Dochartaigh joins NUI Galway from the University of Ulster, where he has been Dean of the Faculty of Arts and a member of the Senior Management Team since 2008. A Professor of German since 2005, Pól has spearheaded the development of Humanities research at the University of Ulster. He was the founding Director of Ulster’s Humanities Research Institute (2005-8), as well as the founding Dean of the University’s Confucius Institute in 2011. Speaking about his appointment, Professor Ó Dochartaigh said: “NUI Galway is a university that has developed an international reputation for excellence in research and innovation while being firmly rooted in Ireland's communities and cultures, especially the West. I am delighted to be joining NUI Galway and to be bringing my family to Galway, and I look forward to the adventures and challenges ahead.” Professor Ó Dochartaigh was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2010 and is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In April 2014 he will complete a three-year term as President of the Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland. He previously served as Chair of the Royal Irish Academy Committee for Modern Language, Literary and Cultural Studies (2004-8), a member of the UK’s RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) 2008 Panel for German and, until his appointment in Galway, as a member of the Modern Languages Panel for REF 2014, the Research Excellence Framework for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. A native of Belfast, Pól Ó Dochartaigh was educated there, before going on to take a BA Hons in German at University College Cardiff, a PhD in German Literature at Nottingham University, a Postgraduate Certificate in University Teaching at the University of Ulster and a BA Hons in Irish Language and Literature, also at the University of Ulster. His main research interests are German-Jewish literature and history, especially anti-Semitism and the legacy of the Holocaust, the German involvement in Celtic Studies, and Irish-Jewish literature and history. He has authored four books, edited six collections of essays and published over 40 research papers. He is married to Dr Geraldine Cuskelly, a nutritionist, and they have twin daughters, Róise and Treasa. Professor Ó Dochartaigh will succeed Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil, whose term as Registrar and Deputy-President concludes at the beginning of March. Speaking about the appointment of Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “I am delighted to welcome Pól to NUI Galway and look forward to working with him to develop the teaching and research agenda for the University for the coming years. His tenure as Registrar and Deputy-President  begins at a time when NUI Galway is developing a new strategic plan, a blueprint to take us to 2020. Pól’s experience, particularly of the competitive research environment in the UK and Northern Ireland, will bring an invaluable external perspective to this process. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank most sincerely Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil, the outgoing Registrar and Deputy-President, whose outstanding leadership and tireless commitment to the University over many years has enabled NUI Galway to deliver exceptional teaching and research performance across our five Colleges”. Ends  Ceapann OÉ Gaillimh an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh mar Mheabhránaí/Uachtarán Ionaid D’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh inniu ceapachán an Ollaimh Pól Ó Dochartaigh mar Mheabhránaí/Uachtarán Ionaid. Tagann an tOllamh Ó Dochartaigh chuig OÉ Gaillimh ó Ollscoil Uladh, áit a raibh sé ina Dhéan ar Dhámh na nDán agus ina bhall den Fhoireann Shinsearach Bhainistíochta ó 2008. Tá Pól ina Ollamh le Gearmáinis ó 2005, agus bhí sé ina cheannródaí ar thaighde sna Daonnachtaí a fhorbairt in Ollscoil Uladh. Ba é an Stiúrthóir é a bhunaigh Institiúid Uladh ar Thaighde na nDaonnachtaí (2005-08), agus ba é freisin an Déan é a bhunaigh Institiúid Chonfúicias na hOllscoile sa bhliain 2011. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Ó Dochartaigh faoina cheapachán: “Is ollscoil í OÉ Gaillimh a bhfuil cáil idirnáisiúnta forbartha aici i bhfeabhas sa taighde agus sa nuálaíocht agus ag an am céanna tá sí fréamhaithe go láidir i bpobail agus i gcultúir na hÉireann, go háirithe san Iarthar. Tá an-áthas orm a bheith ag teacht chuig OÉ Gaillimh agus a bheith ag tabhairt mo theaghlach liom go Gaillimh, agus táim ag súil leis na heachtraí agus leis na dúshláin amach romham.” Toghadh an tOllamh Ó Dochartaigh mar Bhall d’Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann sa bhliain 2010 agus is Comhalta é den Royal Historical Society. I mí Aibreáin 2014 cuirfidh sé deireadh le téarma trí bliana mar Uachtarán ar an gCumann do Léann na Gearmáinise sa Bhreatain Mhór agus in Éirinn. Roimhe sin bhí sé ina Chathaoirleach ar Choiste Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann do Nua-Theangacha, Léann Liteartha agus Cultúrtha (2004-8), bhí sé ina bhall de Phainéal RAE na Ríochta Aontaithe 2008 don Ghearmáinis agus, go dtí gur ceapadh i nGaillimh é, bhí sé ina bhall de Phainéal REF 2014 do Nua-Theangacha, an Chreatlach Feabhais Taighde chun caighdeán an taighde in institiúidí ardoideachais na Ríochta Aontaithe a mheas.  Is as Béal Feirste do Phól Ó Dochartaigh ó thús, áit ar cuireadh oideachas air sula ndeachaigh sé i mbun BA Onóracha sa Ghearmáinis i gColáiste na hOllscoile, Cardiff, PhD i Litríocht na Gearmáine in Ollscoil Nottingham, Teastas Iarchéime i dTeagasc Ollscoile in Ollscoil Uladh agus BA Onóracha sa Ghaeilge agus i Litríocht na hÉireann, in Ollscoil Uladh chomh maith. I measc a chuid príomhréimsí spéise tá litríocht na Gearmáine agus na nGiúdach, go háirithe frith-Sheimíteachas agus oidhreacht an Uileloiscthe, baint na Gearmáine leis an Léann Ceilteach, agus litríocht agus stair na hÉireann agus na nGiúdach.  Tá ceithre leabhar scríofa aige, sé bhailiúchán aistí curtha in eagar aige agus breis is 40 páipéar taighde foilsithe aige. Tá sé pósta leis an Dr Geraldine Cuskelly, saineolaí cothúcháin, agus tá cúpla acu, Róise agus Treasa. Tiocfaidh an tOllamh Ó Dochartaigh i gcomharbacht ar an Ollamh Nollaig Mac Congáil, a dtiocfaidh críoch lena théarma mar Mheabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid ag tús mhí an Mhárta. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne faoi cheapachán an Ollaimh Pól Ó Dochartaigh: “Tá an-áthas orm fáilte a chur roimh Phól chuig OÉ Gaillimh agus táim ag tnúth a bheith ag obair leis chun clár oibre teagaisc agus taighde a fhorbairt don Ollscoil sna blianta amach romhainn. Cuireann sé tús lena thréimhse mar Mheabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid ag am a bhfuil OÉ Gaillimh ag forbairt plean straitéiseach nua, treoirphlean chun muid a thabhairt go dtí 2020. Tabharfaidh taithí Phóil, go háirithe i dtimpeallacht iomaíoch taighde sa Ríocht Aontaithe agus i dTuaisceart Éireann, peirspictíocht sheachtrach luachmhar go dtí an próiseas seo. Ba mhaith liom an deis seo a thapú chun buíochas ó chroí a ghabháil leis an Meabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid atá ag éirí as, an tOllamh Nollaig Mac Congáil, as an gceannaireacht agus an tsárobair a rinne sé ar mhaithe leis an Ollscoil le blianta anuas a chuir ar chumas OÉ Gaillimh torthaí feidhmíochta den scoth sa teagasc agus sa taighde a bhaint amach inár gcúig Choláiste.” Críoch

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Ennis on Thursday, 27 February. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Templegate Hotel, Ennis, Co. Clare. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics- degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge) which is brand new for 2013-14. Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to County Clare, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Ennis is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them.” Ms Loughnane continued: “We will be inviting a number of graduates and alumni of NUI Galway to join us at the information evening to talk to the students and parents about their careers, experiences and memories of NUI Galway. As this is an open event we would be delighted to welcome any NUI Galway students, past or present, to join us on the evening to both catch up with friends of old and to meet fellow graduates in Co. Clare.” To find out more about the information evening in Ennis, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 2391219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Five alumni award winners will be honoured at a gala night of food, entertainment and dancing NUI Galway has announced that RTÉ broadcaster Gráinne Seoige will host this year’s Gala Ball and that this year’s guest speaker will be fellow RTÉ broadcaster and Chair of the NUI Galway Alumni Board Seán O’Rourke. Gráinne Seoige and Seán O’Rourke are two of the more than 80,000 graduates of NUI Galway worldwide. They are also among the 79 outstanding graduates such as President Michael D Higgins, Ciarán FitzGerald, Professor Frank Gannon and Dr Luke Clancy that have been honoured in this way. The 2014 Alumni Award winners will be presented with their awards at the Gala Ball on Saturday, 1 March, 2014 in the Bailey Allen Wing located in Áras na Mac Léinn on campus. The winners of the five alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2014 are; Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies - sponsored by AIB   -Norah Gibbons, Chairperson, Child and Family Agency. Alumni Award for Business, Public Policy and Law – sponsored by Bank of Ireland    -  Helen Ryan, Former CEO and Non-Executive Director of Creganna-Tactx Medical. Alumni Award for Engineering and Informatics – sponsored by Bank of Ireland  - Michael McNicholas, CEO, Bord Gáis. Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – sponsored by Medtronic  - Professor Ray Dolan, Professor of Neuropsychology, University College London and Head of the Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience at the Institute of Neurology, London. Alumni Award for Science – sponsored by Aramark  - Professor Gerard Jennings, Emeritus Professor, School of Physics, NUI Galway and former Director of the Environmental Change Institute, NUI Galway.              For ticket and booking information contact the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. Online bookings at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends -Ends-

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway and Comhrá Ceoil are delighted to host the upcoming International Council for Traditional Music Ireland (ICTM Ireland) Conference from 21 - 23 February.  This is the first time the conference has come to NUI Galway and it is an acknowledgement of the research in Irish music and dance studies taking place at the Centre for Irish Studies and through the research network, Comhrá Ceoil, in Galway.    The Conference runs over three days with the opening event, Oíche ar an Sean-Nós, taking place at An Taibhdhearc at 7.30pm on Friday, 21 February. This concert is open to the public and is a showcase of sean-nós artists in residence at the Centre for Irish Studies over the past number of years.  Entertainers will include singers, Joe John Mac An Iomaire and Treasa Ní Mhiolláin, and dancers Róisín Ní Mhainín and Gearóid Ó Dubháin (NUI Galway Sean-nós Dancer in Residence 2014). Tickets are priced at €10 and €8 and are available from An Taibhdhearc. National and international conference delegates will present papers on a wide range of topics throughout the weekend, speaking to the conference theme of ‘Music, Community and Place’. Among the more than forty speakers, Dr Tim Collins will discuss traditional music composition from East Galway, while NUI Galway Irish Studies graduate, Michael Lydon will explore narration in the jazz performance of Ornette Coleman. From Northumbrian piping to fiddling in Donegal, to Carnival in Rio, the role of place and community will be examined and debated. The keynote address will be given by Professor Martin Stokes, King Edward Professor of Music, King’s College London and is supported by the Millennium Grant Fund at NUI Galway. Further details on the full programme are available at http://www.ictm.ie or contact Samantha Williams on 091 492051 or irishstudies@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-  

Thursday, 13 February 2014

EU Commissioner and Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes and Angry Birds CMO to address “Sizing the EU App Economy” report launch Leaders from the EU app economy will gather in Brussels on 13 February for the launch of the Eurapp study report “Sizing the EU App Economy”, where guest speakers, including Neelie Kroes and Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka, will discuss the future of the EU app economy. Eurapp is a year-long project run by Dr John Breslin of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway and by Gigaom Research to look at the opportunities and challenges facing the EU app economy. Launching the study, Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, will highlight the importance of the app economy – and the importance of having the right skills, rules and innovation-friendly environment to support it. “We have to think about the kind of future we want for our children and grandchildren – and seize the huge digital opportunity on offer. European leadership in the area of apps is fantastic – we should be supporting it, and all those who make it work.  But the current fragmented patchwork is letting them down: we need the rules for a connected continent.” This “Sizing the EU App Economy” report focuses on sizing and qualifying the EU apps ecosystem, with an eye towards revenue generation, jobs supported, and the bottlenecks still facing EU apps developers. Key findings from the analysis by Gigaom’s Mark Mulligan and David Card, which is based in part on two surveys of developers targeting EU markets, include the following: EU developers will take in €17.5 billion in revenue in 2013, and we forecast that figure will increase to €63 billion in five years. However, you might be surprised where a lot of that revenue comes from. In addition to €6 billion in app sales, in-app spending for virtual goods, and advertising, EU developers recognised €11.5 billion in 2013 from contract labour. And much of the developer-for-hire business is for companies that are not really in the apps business per se, but use apps to support and market their mainstream offerings like financial services, retailing, and packaged goods. Fewer than half of the independent developers we surveyed said they were offering services for hire, so that is a potentially untapped market for startups. Similarly, half of the enterprises that did their own in-house development also used third-party developers. Also, in-house developers are by and large more satisfied in achieving their commercial objectives than independents, many of which are frustrated by low prices, free products, or barely-emerging ad revenues. The EU app developer workforce will grow from one million in 2013 to 2.8 million in 2018. Additional support and marketing staff result in app economy jobs of 1.8 million in 2013, growing to 4.8 million in 2018. EU developers face more business than technical bottlenecks. Increasing users' willingness to pay for apps is problematic, but better discovery vehicles could help relieve high customer acquisition costs. Similarly we see an opportunity for an EU marketplace where companies needing app development could identify, negotiate with, and hire contract developers. Eurapp is one strand of the Startup Europe manifesto for entrepreneurship and innovation in the EU, and the project is being carried out by the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway and Gigaom Research. “Throughout the past year, the Eurapp team have interviewed a variety of stakeholders in the EU app economy, and surveyed hundreds of companies that are producing apps, both big and small,” according to NUI Galway’s Dr John Breslin, leader of the Eurapp project. “Some of the main bottlenecks facing app companies in the EU were sourced in these interviews and workshops, followed by crowdsourcing challenges where nearly 100 innovative solutions were submitted to address those bottlenecks.” The launch event will also feature talks from other leading figures in the app and tech startup space: Peter Vesterbacka, Chief Marketing Officer at Rovio, who leads the marketing and brand strategy for the Angry Bird video game franchise, one of the EU’s top app success stories; Simon Schaefer has angel invested in many European startups and app companies (including 6Wunderkinder, the creators of Wunderlist) and founded the Factory in Berlin, a 16,000 square metre startup campus; and Gemma Coles is director of mobile strategy for Mubaloo, one of Europe’s leading enterprise and consumer mobile app development companies. -ends-

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Pictured R-L:  NUI Galway researchers Nikita Burke, Physiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics and Elaine Jennings, Pharmacology and Therapeutics and who won first and second prizes, respectively, for their posters at the 6th Annual Faculty of Pain Meeting at the College of Anaesthetists in Dublin recently. Both are members of the NCBES Galway Neuroscience Centre and the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Five honoured for outstanding community work and achievements by Patron of Gaisce -The President’s Award, President Michael D. Higgins Five NUI Galway students and graduates were among a special group of inspirational young people presented with the Gaisce Gold Award by President Michael D. Higgins for their outstanding community work and significant personal achievements at a special ceremony in Dublin Castle recently. The NUI Galway awardees were Sarah Kilduff from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, Christina Quinn from Galway City, Lorraine Farrell from Dromard, Co. Sligo, David McGurrin from Hazelwood, Co. Sligo, and Oisin O’Carroll from Birr, Co. Offaly. Gaisce – the President’s Award is a programme that aims to foster and develop young people's potential. It is a guided and supported framework that is provided for young people to explore their natural skills and gain confidence in their abilities, while contributing to their community. This year 50 Gaisce Gold Awards were presented to young people who excelled and achieved their goals. This year’s Gold Award recipients included young people who spent time volunteering with charity organisations, working with the poor, the elderly, people with disabilities, and getting involved in youth groups and clubs. Gaisce Award recipients also work with community groups, sporting organisations and charity shops. A Bachelor of Nursing graduate, Sarah Kilduff volunteered with the Civil Defence with a view of expanding her first aid knowledge and assisted with her community in times of floods, removing people from danger and helping to treat them. At the beginning of her Gold Gaisce Award, Sarah went on the 133km pilgrimage of El Camino de Santiago in Spain with fellow members of the Gaisce Society in NUI Galway and also embarked on a journey to Talamarang, Nepal to volunteer in the orphanage Little Angels Children’s Home. When in Nepal, Sarah volunteered with other Irish people taking part in various activities including teaching the children English, helping them with their homework, assisting on the farms and general housekeeping. A keen photographer, Sarah is/was a member of the NUI Galway photography Society and was involved in a number of exhibitions on campus. Christina Quinn, a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science graduate, still holds the position of Development Officer for the NUI Galway Sub-Aqua Club. As part of her role she has organised fundraising events for charities such as Helping Hands and Temple Street Hospital. As part of the Physical Recreation section of the Gaisce Gold challenge, Christina took part in her first marathon in Dingle, Co. Kerry in September 2012 and has since participated in many other races including Galway Bay 10km, Run-a-Muck Challenge, Kinvara 10km and the Craughwell 10 Miler. A member of the University’s Art Society, she helped organise various exhibitions around campus, including the University’s annual arts festival, Múscailt. Christina has also volunteered in an orphanage in Nepal and hiked towards the Himalaya’s, reaching Sherpa Village, at a height of 3,600m. Bachelor of Education graudate from St Angela’s College in Sligo, Lorraine Farrell achieved her Bronze and Silver Awards while attending St Mary’s College in Ballisodare, Co. Sligo. She has trained both the U12’s girls basketball and football team and played Gaelic football for St Farnan’s, winning the Junior Shield Cup in the Connaught Club Blitz in Castlebar. She has also partaken in jazz, tap and ballet classes. Lorraine travelled to Solio in Keyna to volunteer on a development project with the Moving Mountains Organisation, helping some of the 20,000 families of Internally Displaced People who were relocated to the region in 2008. NUI Galway Higher Diploma in Applied Science student David McGurrin joined the Reserve Defence Forces learning valuable skills including first aid, map reading, public speaking and marching. Originally from Hazelwood, Co. Sligo, David became involved in Tidy Towns in Sligo and has marched in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York. He learnt to play the guitar as part of the Personal Skills section of the Gaisce Award and running for the Personal Recreation which saw him complete the Warriors Run and the Sligo Half Marathon. David embarked on the El Camino de Santiago in Spain and did a Potential Non Commissioned Officers course to complete his Gold Gaisce Award. Medical student, Oisin O’Carroll, received his Bronze and Silver Gaisce Awards while attending St Brendan’s Community School in Birr, Co. Offally. During his time at NUI Galway, Oisin has held the positions of Secretary and then Captain of the Athletics Committee and has had many achievements such as the 24-hour Challenge, the Inter-College Games, an NUI Galway Participation Award and the President’s Award for Volunteering. To complete the goals of the Gold Gaisce Award Oisin has learnt French, taken up circuit training with the Irish Defence Forces and embarked on an expedition to the Alps. To prepare himself for the expedition, he undertook an optional course in NUI Galway called High Altitude Medicine as a supplement to his medical degree. Oisin has also spent ten days as an activity instructor in Lilliput Adventure Centre where he participated in various outdoor activities such as rock climbing, orienteering, team building exercises, bog jumping, canoeing and hiking. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “I am delighted to congratulate these five inspirational young people on their Gasice Gold Awards. At NUI Galway we encourage all students to prioritise civic engagement and volunteerism, so it is especially heartening to see our students and graduates receive their Gaisce Gold Awards in recognition of their personal achievements and community and civic contributions.” -Ends-

Monday, 17 February 2014

A special evening with Ireland’s gifted writers, actors, artists and musicians in a celebration of the life and work of the late Seamus Heaney at NUI Galway   Join famous writers, actors, artists and musicians in a special tribute to the late Seamus Heaney taking place on Wednesday 26th February at 7.30pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway. Tickets cost €10 and will be donated to local cancer charity Cancer Care West. The special evening of readings, performance and music will feature Stephen Rea, Tom Kilroy, John Behan, Sean McGinley, Marie Mullen, Brendan Flynn, Eva Bourke, Moya Cannon, Rita Ann Higgins, Mary O’Malley, Mairtin O’Connor, Brendan O’Regan, Jimmy Higgins, Kathleen Loughnane, Mary McPartlan and more. The event will honour and celebrate the life and work of the late Seamus Heaney. As one of the most famous Irish poets, Seamus Heaney was also a playwright, translator and lecturer. He was famously the recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature among many other prestigious awards and achievements. Tickets cost €10 with all proceeds going to Cancer Care West, the West of Ireland Cancer Charity. Tickets include entry to a draw for a signed copy of ‘Human Chain’, the 12th and final poetry collection by Seamus Heaney that deals with many themes including how human relationships are created and broken. All are welcome to this unique event, which promises a memorable and enjoyable night while supporting a worthy charity. Tickets available from OMG @ Zhivago, Shop Street, Galway, from Inis Aoibhinn, Cancer Care West, Socs Box, Áras na Mac Léinn or Room 337, Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway.  Doors open at 7pm with the event starting at 7.30pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway. For further information visit www.cancercarewest.ie or phone 091 545000. Ends.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability and Law Policy will ask “Is it time for the US landmark decision, Brown v. Board of Education, to be applied to children with disabilities?”   Tuesday, 18th February 2014 On the 60th Anniversary of the seminal case of Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Centre for Disability and Law Policy at NUI Galway in association with Leuven Institute for Human Rights and Critical Studies (LIHRICS) will host a conference to discuss the Concept of the Right to Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities, on Saturday 22nd February in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway from 9.15am to 5pm. Sixty years after the landmark case, separate educational provision is still the norm for many children with disabilities throughout Europe, where parents of disabled children are not being provided with access to mainstream schools and staff, which have the capacity to meet the needs and provide appropriate education for disabled children. In 2006 the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) Article 24 entered into force recognizing the right to education for people with disabilities, and the right it recognizes is the right to an effective and inclusive education. The conference will discuss the concept of inclusive education, what is meant by inclusive education and what can lawyers do to ensure that the right to inclusive education becomes a reality for all. It will look at the particular legal tools that could be used to further the right to education for people with disabilities, and will raise the question, “Is it time for the decision taken at the case of Brown v. Board of Education, be applied to children with disabilities?”  This unique conference will bring together academics and practitioners from the fields of law and education as well as parents who, because of their circumstances had to become advocates and litigants on behalf of their children. The US Supreme Court stated, “In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he or she is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms…Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” Shivaun Quinlivan, Director LL.M in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy, School of Law, NUI Galway commented “As Ireland prepares to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) we ask the question, are we ready? To attempt to answer that question we have set out a programme which we hope covers the aspects of concern and offers potential solutions.”   Conference attendees will hear about the background and history behind the negotiations and the drafting of Article 24 of the UNCRPD from Professor Arlene Kanter from Syracuse University. Professor Michael Shevlin from Trinity College Dublin will discuss ‘Inclusive Education’ and what it means, while Dr. Gauthier de Beco from KU Leuven will discuss the content of Article 24 and what obligations it imposes on State parties. This session is followed by a Q&A and lunch.  Mr. Luk Zerderloo from the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) willpresent an‘Overview of Inclusive Education in Europe’. In a session on teaching, primary school Principal, Mr. Cóilín O’Coigligh will present a case study on the challenges to inclusion that exist in the Irish context today. This is followed by Mr. Richard Rieser from the World of Inclusion who has recently completed a review for UNICEF on preparing teachers for children with disabilities from an inclusive perspective.  This will be followed by a Q&A session. The conference will then address the issue of litigating the right to education, Mr. James McNabb a parent of a child with a disability will discuss his story of litigating against the Department of Education to ensure that his son accessed an appropriate education. This is followed by Lycette Nelson, the Litigation Director from Mental Disability Advocacy Centre (MDAC) who will discuss ‘Strategic Litigation and the Right to Education.’ This is followed by a Q&A session. Finally Professor Gerry Whyte from Trinity College Dublin who has written the seminal work on the topic of “Social Inclusion and the Legal System: Public Interest Law in Ireland” will act as Rapporteur for the conference.  Separatelya Student Conference will take place on Friday 21st February from 5pm to 7pm, the event is free to all and students will address issues related to Article 24 of the UNCRPD.  The Friday event is split into two panels, the first panel will discuss, “Discreet Issues in respect of Inclusive Education” addressing issues such as inclusive education, early intervention and reasonable accommodation.  The second panel will discuss the “Implementation of Article 24 UNCRPD in Various Jurisdictions”. The students will focus on their countries of origin, including, China, Kenya, Nepal and Uganda.  For further details on the conference, speakers and registration visit www.conference.ie Ends.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Taoiseach Enda Kenny presented the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal to the NUI Galway Professor of Physics, Colin O’Dowdin recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Environmental and Geosciences. In presenting the medals the Taoiseach congratulated the medallists on their many achievements and paid tribute to the RIA for providing a platform to celebrate academia and the role it plays in our society and economy, saying: “Education and innovation are central to the Government's ambition of achieving economic recovery and the creation of jobs. The education and training system is a critical part of our recovery and growth. That is why, among the wide range of measures to boost job creation and improve the environment for business, R&D forms a central pillar of our Action Plan for Jobs.” Also presented on the day was a Gold Medal for the Social Sciences to NUI Maynooth Professor Rob Kitchin. Each medal is a testament to a lifetime of passionate commitment to the highest standards in scholarship and they are a well-deserved recognition of scientific excellence. Professor Colin O’Dowd, through his pioneering work in the field of atmospheric physics, has become internationally renowned as one of the leading scientists in the field of climate change. He is also the Director of the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, at the Environmental Change Institute. He is an alumnus of NUI Galway, having completed his Bachelor of Science in 1987. Professor O’Dowd is credited with driving the development of the Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station in Galway, a new supersite which has resulted in it becoming one of the most advanced Global Atmosphere Watch stations in the world. Professor O’Dowd has been a member of the Royal Irish Academy since 2011. Speaking about the award, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, congratulated Professor O’Dowd on this prestigious accolade, which, he said: “recognises the outstanding quality of Professor O’Dowd’s research in environmental and atmospheric physics. It is a mark of the high esteem in which he is held by his academic peers and it follows his being awarded the Appleton Medal by the Institute of Physics last year. This honour serves to underline the calibre of scholarship underway at NUI Galway and on behalf of the University, I extend warmest congratulations to Colin on his award and on the scholarship which the RIA Gold Medal represents.” After been awarded the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal in Environmental and Geosciences Professor Colin O’Dowd said “It is a great honour to receive the RIA Gold Medal. The award is in geophysics, and in terms of my research, this means air pollution and climate change. Thus, the award is very timely in that it reinforces climate change awareness, particularly in light of the extreme weather conditions encountered over the last weeks; the next step is to see some practical climate action.” Guests at the ceremony included members of the Irish higher education system, funding agencies, the British and Greek ambassadors to Ireland and friends and family of the medallists. The Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals are awarded to two outstanding academics each year and are recognised as a truly national expression of celebration for scholarly achievement. The medals are sponsored by The Higher Education Authority. -Ends-

Monday, 24 February 2014

The School of Psychology at NUI Galway is currently inviting adults who have completed their treatment for cancer at least six months ago, for a series of focus groups on the experience of cancer-related fatigue in cancer survivors. The group discussions will offer participants the opportunity to share their experiences with, and thoughts about cancer-related fatigue, in a casual environment and with complete confidentiality. Persistent fatigue is often a common consequence of cancer treatment. Participant views and personal experiences are extremely valuable and their input will greatly help the researcher in the development of an intervention for individuals who suffer with fatigue after their treatment has ended. They may also benefit from discussing their fatigue with others who also experience persistent fatigue. The focus groups are part of a PhD research project being carried out at NUI Galway by student Teresa Corbett with Dr Jane Walsh, Dr Brian McGuire and Dr AnnMarie Groarke of the University’s School of Psychology. The study is supported by Cancer Care West and Galway University Foundation. The focus group session will include 4-6 other volunteer participants and will be led by Ms Corbett. Refreshments will be provided to participants and each session is scheduled to last approximately 90 minutes. The focus groups will be held in the School of Psychology in the Arts Millennium Building Extension at NUI Galway. NUI Galway PhD student and facilitator of the focus groups, Teresa Corbett, said: “Persistent cancer-related fatigue is a common complaint. With an increasing focus on quality of life in survivorship, we believe that it is essential that people have the opportunity to discuss this often debilitating consequence of cancer. Participation is voluntary and anything you say during the focus group will be kept strictly confidential. The focus groups will give individuals the chance to inform our research by telling us of their own personal everyday experiences with fatigue.” For further information or to participate in the focus groups contact Teresa Corbett, at t.corbett2@nuigalway.ie or 0860705826. -Ends-

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Six new plays compete for the coveted Jerome Hynes One-Act-Play Award NUI Galway is celebrating Drama in many forms during its Theatre Week, which runs from 10 to 14 March. Now in its fifth year, the event showcases through theatre, literature and film, the many talents of NUI Galway students, societies and alumni. The week features the popular Jerome Hynes One-Act Play Series with six new plays. The playwrights have been mentored through the process and one of the highlights of the week will be the Omnibus Edition for all the plays, with an award ceremony of the coveted Jerome Hynes best play award on Friday, 14 March in the Cube Theatre at 6pm. Since the inauguration of the series in 2001, many of the playwrights have gone on to win national and international awards and acclaim and to see their work produced professionally, and many new theatre companies have emerged from the process.  This year the NUI Galway’s Centre for Drama will present Frank McGuinness’s adaptation of Sophocles’ Electra, running from 9-11 March at 8pm, with two 10am shows on the 10 and 11 March. Frank McGuinness will attend the Monday morning performance, followed by a talk. Theatre Week will also feature a schools outreach programme with Shakespeare Workshops from ThereisBear! Theatre Company. This vibrant young company, with its roots in NUI Galway, will bring the visiting students on an in-depth journey of the scripts of Macbeth, Othello and The Merchant of Venice. Bookings for the workshops and performance are still being taken for any interested schools. Cyclone Rep will make a welcome return to campus with their version of Julius Caesar, inspired by Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment on Robben Island where a forbidden copy of Julius Caesar helped Mandela cope with his confinement. Mandela’s inspiration has, in turn, inspired Cyclone Rep to revisit the play in an Irish context.  The time is 1981 and the place is Northern Ireland and an illegal copy of Julius Caesar is performed by prisoners struggling with their internment and the spectre of the hunger strikes. Drama will be plentiful with Dramsocs’ production of a new adaptation of George Orwell’s masterpiece 1984, directed and adapted by Chris Moran. It runs nightly at 8.30pm in the Bank of Ireland Theatre. As part of the Arts in Action Programme, Anam Theatre presents Granuaile. Directed by Sarah O’Toole, Granuaile will take place on Thursday, 13 at 1pm in the Bank of Ireland Theatre. The Galway University Musical Society (GUMS), who recently wowed audiences with their production of The Drowsy Chaperone in the Black Box, are setting themselves the task of casting, producing and performing a mini musical in 14 days. The GIG (Gay in Galway) Society is hosting a Variety Show with MC drag queen Pixie Woo. The week will also include an Improv night with Dramsoc and the Comedy Society, a series of theatrical films from Filmsoc and an exhibition by the Art Society in Aras na Mac Léinn. The India Society will be celebrating Holi, the Festival of Colours, on campus on Thursday, 14 from 3-5pm beside the IT building.  Holi commemorates the victory of good over evil and the end of winter and the coming of spring and is celebrated by putting coloured powders on friends, families and strangers alike. Festival Director and NUI Galway Societies Officer, Riona Hughes, said: “The week is an opportunity for us to welcome our friends in the wider community onto campus to celebrate the great tradition of drama in NUI Galway. We are delighted to welcome our professional guest companies and to afford our students and staff an opportunity to showcase their talents and the importance of theatre to the University. We will have three venues in operation and over 40 individual performances over the five days, new writing and new takes on the classics.” Information and tickets are available from The SocsBox, Áras na Mac Leinn, on 091 492852 or socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. Full details of each event can be found at www.nuigsocs.wix.com/theatreweek.     -Ends-

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

NUI Galway recently conferred special certificates on the third cohort of ‘graduates’ from its Youth Academy. 208 primary school children from across Galway City and County received their certificates, with more than 1000 friends and family attending the ceremony. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing children and their families to university life. Since its foundation, over 600 children have graduated from a variety of 13 courses on Saturday mornings ranging from Italian to Mandarin, Philosophical Discovery, Psychology, Engineering, English Literature, History, Drama, Bio-Explore, Ocean Physics, and Information Technology. The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high ability fourth and fifth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The Youth Academy is a very important initiative by this University.  We feel that it responds to the educational needs of our most important young citizens and gives talented young students the opportunity to get experience of learning in a university. NUI Galway is committed to the sharing of knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all.I hope that initiatives such as the Youth Academy can highlight how the university can and does serve its community, not only here Galway but in society in general.” For further information on the courses and participation please contact Geraldine Marley, NUI Galway Youth Academy Coordinator, at youthacademy@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-