Tuesday, 14 June 2016

NUI Galway Students prepare for Shell Eco-marathon 2016 NUI Galway’s ultra-energy-efficient car team, the Geec (Galway energy-efficient car), has teamed up with Mondello Park International Race Circuit, the home of motor racing in Ireland, to push the bounds of automotive energy efficiency. The Geec, which has been designed, built, driven and tested entirely by NUI Galway undergraduate students, will spend a day on the track at Mondello this Thursday (16 June). The car’s electrical, electronic and mechanical systems, as well as its drivers, will be put through their paces before travelling to London for Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) Europe 2016, the premier competition for student-built energy efficient vehicles. In 2015, the Geec became the first ever Irish team to participate at the Europe-wide event, finishing 23rd out of 51 teams in the battery electric prototype category, with an efficiency score of 287 kilometres per kilowatt-hour, equivalent to 8,000 miles per gallon. Driving the 2015 Geec from Galway to Dublin would use just 13 cents worth of electricity. The Geec 2.0 aims to improve on this performance through an aggressive campaign of vehicle weight reduction, aerodynamic improvements, electric drive optimisation and driver training. Testing at Mondello Park provides a truly unique opportunity for the NUI Galway students to put engineering theory to the test under realistic driving conditions not available anywhere else in Ireland. For Mondello Park International Race Circuit, the day of testing is a chance to play a key role in the shift towards a more sustainable future for mobility in Ireland. Nearly 40% of energy use in Ireland is for transportation, with 97% of this figure delivered by imported oil products. The widespread use of fossil fuels in transportation is responsible for the release of about one quarter of Ireland’s climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from transportation are second only to those of agriculture. The NUI Galway students of the Geec team are pushing the boundaries of energy-efficient transport technology. Shane Queenan, a final-year student of mechanical engineering and one of the car’s design team leaders, said: “Testing at Mondello Park is an ideal opportunity for us to fine-tune the performance of the car before we race in London. It will be truly rewarding to see the Geec running around Ireland's renowned motorsport circuit.” Dr Nathan Quinlan, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering and one of the team’s academic mentors, added: “The team has made huge strides this year. The Mondello Park testing is the final preparation for SEM Europe, and will give the team invaluable knowledge about the car and experience of race conditions.” ENDS

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

US Disability Visionaries will reflect on Ireland's programme for government in the area of disability at International Summer School The world’s biggest Disability Law Summer School focusing on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will take place in NUI Galway from 20-24 June. Hosted by the University’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy, this the eighth such Summer School to take place at the University, and this year’s theme is ‘Civil Society Impacting Change’. The aim of the five-day Summer School is to equip participants with the insights and skills necessary to help them translate the generalities of the UN Convention into tangible reform for persons with disabilities. This School will look at some of the strategies that civil society has used to protect the rights and improve the lives of people with disabilities around the world. Over 140 delegates from nearly 40 countries are expected to attend this year’s event, including persons with disabilities and their families, civil society groups, as well as advocates for disability law reform, lawyers, policy makers and policy analysts. The faculty will include senior academics, practitioners, advocates and policy makers from around the world. Many of the speakers have been directly and actively engaged in drafting and implementing the UN Convention. Others are advocates for change and reform. This year it will be opened by Senator Tom Harkin and Judith Heumann of the US State Department. Senator Harkin was the lead sponsor of the famous Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) which triggered the disability rights movement around the world. Judith Heumann now acts as Assistant Secretary of State in the US State Department helping other countries develop their disability rights programmes.   Also speaking will be John Wodatch, Former Director of the Disability Section of the Civil Rights Division in the US Department of Justice; and Catalina Devandas, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Though designed to be pan-national in its scope, this year will afford a unique learning opportunity on how disability-related innovations in the new Irish programme for government can be mapped onto innovations already taken place in the US. The Summer School is in part supported by the Open Society Foundations. Registration for the Summer School remains open until Friday, 17 June and will cost €330. Further information is available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/cdlp/summer_school/about.html or contact jb.terrins@nuigalway.ie or 086 8252612. Participant accessibility (physical or communicational) requests and enquiries are welcomed. -Ends-

Friday, 10 June 2016

Eamon Gilmore, Marie Mullen, Brendan Flynn and ConTempo conferred with Honorary Doctorates  At a ceremony in NUI Galway today, Honorary Degrees were conferred on Eamon Gilmore, former Tánaiste and Labour Party leader; Marie Mullen, actor and Druid Theatre co-founder; Brendan Flynn, Clifden Arts Festival Director; and classical quartet ConTempo, currently RTÉ’s Quartet in Residence and also the resident quartet on the west coast in the Galway Music Residency. NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, speaking at the conferring ceremony, said:  “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group from public and political life and the arts. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals.” Eamon Gilmore was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). Former Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, Eamon is now the EU Special Envoy for the Peace Process in Colombia. He was born and raised in Caltra, Co. Galway and received his education at Garbally College, Ballinasloe and at NUI Galway (then UCG). He was President of the UCG Students’ Union and of the Union of Students in Ireland, and he worked as an officer of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union, prior to his election to Dáil Éireann in 1989. He served as Minister of State for the Marine from 1994 to1997, and was the Leader of the Irish Labour Party from 2007 until July 2014. Marie Mullen was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Arts (honoris causa). Marie is an award-winning Irish actress and founding member of Druid Theatre Company. She co-founded Druid with fellow NUI Galway students, Garry Hynes and the late Mick Lally in 1975. Over the company’s 40-year history she has performed many memorable roles and established herself as one of Ireland’s greatest living actors. Marie has been sweeping the boards as an actress for many years; in 2012 she received a special tribute at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards for her contribution to theatre. In 1998, Marie also received a Tony Award for her role as Maureen in Druid’s acclaimed production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh, on Broadway. Brendan Flynn was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). A native of Taughmaconnell, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, Brendan was educated at Garbally College and University College Cork. An awareness of the distance from cultural happenings and artistic encounters led to the inception of Clifden Arts Festival in 1977, where artists such as John McGahern, Richard Murphy, Seamus Heaney and John Behan were among the first to participate in what later became Clifden Arts Festival.  He has served on The Arts Council, the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and is a member of ‘Creative Engagement’, a committee responsible for arts in education under the auspices of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals.  ConTempo, a Degree of Doctor of Music (honoris causa) was awarded jointly to Andreea Banciu, Adrian Mantu, Ingrid Nicola and Bogdan Sofei. Formed in 1995 while students at the Music University in Bucharest, Romania, ConTempo Quartet is one of the most celebrated young quartets performing today, having won 14 international awards and toured the world extensively, performing over 1,400 concerts in 46 countries. They have studied with the most celebrated string quartets of the world, including Amadeus, Alban Berg, Tokyo, Emerson, Hagen and Quartetto Italiano. In 2003, after an international audition ConTempo became Galway Ensemble-in-Residence, in a unique project, under the auspices of Galway Music Residency, supported by NUI Galway, the Irish Arts Council, and Galway City and County Councils.  In 2013, ConTempo was selected as RTÉ String Quartet in Residence. They have had the honour of performing in front of world leaders, including the late Nelson Mandela and Pope John Paul II, as well as EU leaders, Nobel Prize-winner, Seamus Heaney, Prince Charles and for Hollywood actors, Angelica Huston, Angela Lansbury, Martin Sheen and Merv Griffin. The graduands join the ranks of previous honorary alumni which include, among many others, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Snr and Jnr, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan and Margaret Atwood. WATCH: Honorary graduate, Marie Mullen, describes the beginnings of the Druid Theatre Company with fellow students Garry Hynes and Mick Lally: https://vimeo.com/170186995 WATCH: Honorary graduate, Eamon Gilmore, describes his new focus as EU envoy to the peace process in Columbia: https://vimeo.com/170191503 WATCH: Honorary graduate, Brendan Flynn, talks about some of his early inspirations, including Heaney and Yeats: https://vimeo.com/170364729 WATCH: Honorary graduates, ConTempo Quartet, give advice to young graduates starting out in the creative arts: https://vimeo.com/170376721 -Ends- Searmanas Bronnta Chéimeanna Oinigh OÉ Gaillimh Dochtúireachtaí Oinigh le bronnadh ar Eamon Gilmore,  Marie Mullen, Brendan Flynn agus ConTempo Ag searmanas in OÉ Gaillimh inniu, bronnadh Céimeanna Oinigh ar Eamon Gilmore, iar-Thánaiste agus iar-Cheannaire Pháirtí an Lucht Oibre; Marie Mullen, aisteoir agus comhbhunaitheoir Amharclann an Druid; Brendan Flynn, Stiúrthóir Fhéile Ealaíon an Chlocháin; agus an ceathairéad clasaiceach ConTempo, Ceathairéad Cónaithe reatha RTÉ agus an ceathairéad cónaithe ar chósta an iarthair sa Galway Music Residency. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, agus é ag labhairt ag an searmanas:  “Tá an t-ádh le OÉ Gaillimh céimithe oinigh den scoth a bheith aici in imeacht na mblianta ach is eisceacht céimithe oinigh na bliana seo sa saol poiblí agus polaitiúil agus in earnáil na n-ealaíon. Tá an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo.” Bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta le Dlíthe (honoris causa) ar Eamon Gilmore. Iar-Thánaiste agus iar-Aire Gnóthaí Eachtracha agus Trádála na hÉireann is ea Eamon agus tá sé anois ina Thoscaire Speisialta AE do Phróiseas na Síochána sa Cholóim. Rugadh agus tógadh é sa Chealtrach, Co. na Gaillimhe agus fuair sé a chuid oideachais i gColáiste an Gharbhaile, Béal Átha na Sluaighe agus in OÉ Gaillimh (COG ag an am). Bhí sé ina Uachtarán ar Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn i gColáiste na hOllscoile, Gaillimh agus ar Aontas na Mac Léinn in Éirinn, agus d’oibrigh sé mar oifigeach ar Cheardchumann Oibrithe Iompair agus Ilsaothair na hÉireann, sular toghadh chuig Dáil Éireann é sa bhliain 1989. Bhí sé ina Aire Stáit Mara idir 1994 agus 1997, agus bhí sé ina cheannaire ar Pháirtí an Lucht Oibre ó 2007 go dtí mí Iúil 2014. Bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta sna Dána (honoris causa) ar Marie Mullen. Aisteoir Éireannach a bhfuil duaiseanna buaite aici í Marie agus bhí sí ar dhuine den dream a bhunaigh Compántas Amharclannaíochta an Druid. Sa bhliain 1975, in éineacht lena comh-mhic léinn as OÉ Gaillimh, Garry Hynes agus Mick Lally nach maireann, bhunaigh sí an Druid. Thar thréimhse 40 bliain an chompántais is iomaí ról mór le rá a bhí aici agus tá sí anois ar cheann de na haisteoirí Éireannacha is fearr dá bhfuil ann. Is iomaí ról aisteoireachta a bhí ag Marie le blianta fada anuas; sa bhliain 2012 tugadh ómós ar leith di ag Gradaim Amharclannaíochta na hÉireann de chuid an Irish Times as an méid a bhí bainte amach aici i leith na hamharclannaíochta. Sa bhliain 1998, bronnadh Gradam Tony ar Marie dá ról mar Maureen sa léiriúchán mór le rá a rinne an Druid ar The Beauty Queen of Leenane le Martin McDonagh, in Broadway. Bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta le Dlíthe (honoris causa) ar Brendan Flynn. Is as Teach Mhic Conaill, Béal Átha na Sluaighe, Co. na Gaillimhe do Brendan agus cuireadh oideachas air i gColáiste an Gharbhaile agus i gColáiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh.  Is ón tuiscint ar an achar ó imeachtaí cultúrtha agus eachtraí ealaíonta a bunaíodh Féile Ealaíon an Chlocháin sa bhliain 1977, áit a raibh ealaíontóirí amhail John McGahern, Richard Murphy, Seamus Heaney agus John Behan ar chuid den chéad dream a ghlac páirt san ócáid ar a dtabharfaí Féile Ealaíon an Chlocháin ina dhiaidh sin.  Bhí sé ar an gComhairle Ealaíon, ar bhord Áras Nua-Ealaíne na hÉireann agus is ball é de ‘Rannpháirtíocht Chruthaitheach’, coiste atá freagrach as na healaíona san oideachas faoi scáth Chumann Náisiúnta na bPríomhoidí agus na Leas-Phríomhoidí.  Bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta le Ceol (honoris causa) ar an ngrúpa ConTempo, is iad sin Andreea Banciu, Adrian Mantu, Ingrid Nicola agus Bogdan Sofei. Bunaíodh an ConTempo Quartet sa bhliain 1995 fad is a bhí siad ina mic léinn san Ollscoil Cheoil i mBúcairist, an Rómáin agus tá sé ar cheann de na ceathairéid óga is mó cáil atá ag seinm inniu. Tá 14 ghradam idirnáisiúnta bainte amach acu agus bhí siad ar stáitse ar fud an domhain i mbreis is 1,400 ceolchoirm i 46 tír. Tá staidéar déanta acu ar na téadcheathairéid is mó le rá ar domhan, ina measc Amadeus, Alban Berg, Tokyo, Emerson, Hagen agus Quartetto Italiano. Sa bhliain 2003, tar éis triail idirnáisiúnta a dhéanamh, rinneadh  Ensemble Cónaithe na Gaillimhe de ConTempo. Tionscadal uathúil a bhí anseo faoi scáth Galway Music Residency, agus fuarthas tacaíocht ó OÉ Gaillimh, ó Chomhairle Ealaíon na hÉireann agus ó Chomhairlí Contae agus Cathrach na Gaillimhe.  Sa bhliain 2013, roghnaíodh ConTempo mar Théadcheathairéad Cónaithe RTÉ. Bhí de phribhléid acu seinm os comhair ceannairí domhanda, ina measc Nelson Mandela agus an Pápa Eoin Pól II nach maireann, mar aon le ceannairí AE, buaiteoir Dhuais Nobel, Seamus Heaney, an Prionsa Séarlas agus aisteoirí Hollywood, Angelica Huston, Angela Lansbury, Martin Sheen agus Merv Griffin. Beidh na céimithe seo anois i measc céimithe oinigh eile mór le rá a tháinig rompu cosúil le Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Sinsear agus Sóisear, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan agus Margaret Atwood. -Críoch-

Thursday, 9 June 2016

The 2nd Annual mHealth Behavioural Science and Mobile Technology Conference will be hosted by the mHealth Research Group and the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, on the Thursday, 16 June in the Arts Millennium Building.  Building on the success of its inaugural event last year, the mHealth Behavioural Science and Mobile Technology Conference will bring together an impressive network of healthcare researchers, practitioners and industry leaders to address key issues in behavioural science, mobile health (mHealth) research and healthcare delivery.  The mHealth Research Group was founded in 2014 by a diverse group of researchers and clinicians at NUI Galway. The main aim of the mHealth Research Group is to promote approaches to mHealth research, intervention development and implementation in practice that are appropriate, patient-centric, evidence-based and scalable. The conference will feature leading and innovative experts and guest speakers in the area of mobile health, including: Professor Susan Michie, University College London; Professor David French, University of Manchester; Professor Sean Mackey, Stanford University; Dr Beth Darnall, Stanford University, Dr Leanne Morrisson, University of Southampton; Dr Conor Linehan, University College Cork; Dr Felix Naughton, University of Cambridge and Avril Copeland, Founder of TickerFit.  For students, post-graduates, established and early career researchers, this dynamic and interdisciplinary event will provide an ideal platform to showcase existing and emerging mobile, telehealth and connected health technology research and practices focusing on patient care, population health management and clinical outcomes.  The overall theme of the conference will be on the use of effective methods of knowledge translation and specific efforts to bridge the gap between the scientific and commercial aspects of mobile and connected health.  Conference topics of interest include: improved access to healthcare related knowledge and information; diagnostic, communication and treatment support for patients and providers; timely and actionable delivery of public health information; remote monitoring of health conditions; personal health management including chronic conditions and greater access to education and training for healthcare professionals. The conference will feature interactive panel discussions, poster presentations and awards for best poster presentation including best student poster presentation. Dr Jane Walsh, Chair of the mHealth research group at NUI Galway, said: “We are particularly delighted to have such a fantastic line up of speakers joining us to continue the discussion on the role of behavioural science and mobile health technology in healthcare, and the future of mHealth in health-related practice, policy and research. This event will aim to promote the development of high quality multidisciplinary research networks through which NUI Galway can achieve the highest quality of scientific excellence working with international research leaders and all the various stakeholders in healthcare and industry.” The mHealth Behavioural Science and Mobile Technology Conference is supported in part by the Irish Research Council, the Whitaker Institute and the Health Research Board. Registration for the conference is free and places are limited.  For more information, submission guidelines and to submit a presentation, please visit: http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=470 Attendees at the mHealth Behavioural Science and Mobile Technology Conference on June 16 are also invited to enjoy a second day of discussion, exploration and networking at the 20th Anniversary Health Promotion Conference also hosted at NUI Galway.  For further information, please visit the website: www.hprcconference.ie    ENDS

Thursday, 9 June 2016

A researcher at the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has received a Seed Award in Science of €100,000 from the SFI/HRB/Wellcome Trust Biomedical Partnership. The funding was provided following a pilot study on a novel treatment to improve the delivery of therapy to the heart for patients with post-heart attack scarring or tissue damage. Treatment for heart attack has advanced greatly in the past few years. However, even if the vessels of the heart are reperfused, there can be residual scarring that can lead to heart failure in later life. This removes the need to give systemic drugs that can have toxic side effects. The concept from the research is an implantable device that is placed on the heart and acts as a reservoir to allow direct, selective delivery of therapy along with multiple refills to the heart from a port just under the skin. The goal of this project is to develop a computer-based model using mathematical techniques (finite element techniques), which will be able to predict how the therapy will be dispersed from the implantable device to the heart tissue. The researchers will create a simplified model based on experimental testing, and then a more complex model that will incorporate the microstructure of the heart and the reservoir. These models will predict how the drug will diffuse into the heart tissue, and allow optimisation of device design. This device will also reveal some more fundamental insights into the rate of drug delivery to the tissue, in order to help to design the best treatment strategy. The key goals of the work will be to obtain the material properties of all the device components so they can be used as input for the model, to create and run the computer-based models so that the drug diffusion profile can be elucidated, and the drug dosing regimen can be optimised, and finally to compare the results of the simulation to existing results of when the device was implanted in animal models. The research was carried out by Dr Ellen Roche, MIT Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Discipline of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. Commenting on the study, Ms Roche said: “I am delighted and honoured to receive this grant from the SFI/HRB/Wellcome Trust Biomedical Partnership. It will enable me to complete my research on computer simulation of a novel therapy delivery system for heart failure patients.” Peter McHugh, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, said: “This is a wonderful achievement. As a graduate of Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, Ellen is a fantastic ambassador for our research and teaching programmes here, and through this award she forges a very strong link between NUI Galway and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), that will be of tremendous benefit to the University and to Ellen herself into the future.” Seed Awards provide responsive, flexible funding from the SFI (Science Foundation Ireland and HRB (Health Research Board) Wellcome Trust Biomedical Partnership, enabling researchers to develop a novel idea. The Seed Award scheme provides one-off grants of up to £100,000 for up to two years, to help researchers develop original and innovative ideas. Their exploratory nature gives scope for the use of innovative methodologies, and a range of possible activities; from pilot and scoping studies, to preliminary data gathering and proof-of-principle studies. They can provide funding for the direct costs of carrying out the research, including materials, equipment, animals, research assistance, fieldwork and data collection and travel. They fund interdisciplinary research and researchers at the start of their independent careers who wish to develop innovative ideas outside of their discipline or area of expertise. ENDS

Thursday, 9 June 2016

An NUI Galway graduate, Colm O’Rourke, was part of a team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which recently unveiled the first ever MIT Hyperloop Pod. Colm, originally from Walsh Island in County Offaly is a Bachelor of Engineering graduate from NUI Galway. Colm leads the electronics section of the MIT team, which includes everything from sensors, micro-controllers and batteries, to relays and actuator controllers. He also works closely with other leaders on the team who look after software, aerodynamics, structures, vehicle dynamics, levitation and business. Hyperloop is a high-speed transportation envisioned by Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors. With a projected top speed of 760 mph, the Hyperloop is poised to revolutionise transportation by moving passengers between cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco in as little as 35 minutes. Hyperloop pods will travel in evacuated tubes above the ground, diminishing the drag force of atmospheric air and enabling passenger and freight transportation at high speeds with low energy consumption. In June 2015, SpaceX announced the first ever Hyperloop Pod Competition which comprises of a Design Competition, held in January 2016, and a Build Competition to be held in late summer 2016. Following their first place win at the design phase of the competition in Texas, the MIT team became the first team to construct their prototype.  Colm said: “Regardless of what Hyperloop becomes, I've already benefited so much from taking part. Although it is important to develop new theory, implementing that theory effectively is equally important and that is what makes an engineering project successful. It’s about the fusion of theory and practice. Seeing this project go from ideas on a chalk board a few months ago, to an assembled prototype is just really special. My undergraduate degree in Energy Systems Engineering at NUI Galway exposed me to a wide range of fields - everything from thermodynamics to power electronics. The Hyperloop project built on that, as now I work with experts in aerodynamics, system dynamics, software and even business.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

NUI Galway has been shortlisted for three national Marine Industry Awards 2016. The Marine Industry Awards recognise and celebrate the most innovative companies in the Irish maritime and marine sector. Staff members of NUI Galway’s Discipline of Geography have been shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in Marine Education and Training Award’ category for their MSc in Coastal and Marine Environments: Physical Processes, Policy and Practice programme. The NUI Galway team comprises of co-directors Dr Eugene Farrell and Dr Kevin Lynch, and Dr’s Frances Fahy, Aaron Potito, Audrey Morley, Terry Morley and Chaosheng Zhang. The MSc in Coastal and Marine Environments: Physical Processes, Policy and Practice is a full-time, one year, taught MSc which began in September 2014. The programme was designed to deliver postgraduate training in costal and marine environments to meet the immediate and future demands in the growth in marine and costal sectors. Two NUI Galway research institutes, the Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) and the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU), have been shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in Marine Research Award’ category. Professor Mike Hartnett and his Project Team at MaREI have developed the first operational wide-area Coastal/Ocean Observing System in Ireland and the UK. This is a highly sophisticated remote sensing system streaming large amounts of oceanographic data in near real-time; the data is integrated with high resolution computer models for improved forecasting of marine climate, and project has advanced the capabilities of ocean/coastal observing in Ireland. The system consists of two antenna stations; each station has a transmit and receive antenna, and associated electronic hardware and software. Digital signal processing is performed at each station on the data collected and is then wirelessly transmitted to a central server at NUI Galway. The server combines the data from individual radars to develop maps of surface ocean currents and graphs visualising characteristics of ocean waves: significant wave heights, periods and directions, and wind speeds. These data have many applications such as marine renewable energy, pollutant transport, coastal flood warning, search and rescue, and aquaculture. In particular, the team work on marine renewable energy and improving marine hindcasting/forecasting models of waves and tides though data assimilation of radar data.     SEMRU, within the Whitaker Institute, was established through the Beaufort Award in 2008 and has developed into the foremost marine economic analysis centre in Ireland. SEMRU was established with the objective of expanding marine socio-economic research capability in Ireland, centred around a research cluster in Galway led by NUI Galway and linking with RERC, Teagasc and the Marine Institute. The main research focus of the unit involves examining the economic utility of the marine environment (e.g. transportation, recreation) and the ecological value (e.g. fisheries, aquaculture) derived from the productivity of associated ecosystems. SEMRU is perhaps best known amongst marine stakeholders for its ocean economy statistics and reports but it has also strongly influenced policy making in the marine sector, where its research has for example been used to form a baseline and to monitor progress in Ireland’s marine plan, ‘Harnessing Our Wealth – An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland’.  The Marine Industry Awards 2016, in association with SeaFest, provide a voice for the individuals and companies that play a significant role in the growth and development of the industry in Ireland while recognising the key functions within the industry that promote growth and sustainability. The award winners will be announced on Thursday, 30 June at a reception in the Radisson Blu, Galway. -Ends-

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

NUI Galway’s JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics has announced the successful reaccrediation of its Executive MBA progamme by the Association for MBAs (AMBA). The AMBA provide the only dedicated accreditation regime for MBA Programmes with only 2% of MBA programmes globally attaining AMBA accreditation.     The AMBA accreditation is internationally recognised as the global standard for all MBA programmes. AMBA accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement in MBA education and is earned only by the best programmes.   Katherine O’Flynn, Director of Accreditation at AMBA, said: “The number of MBA qualifications available worldwide is now in the thousands, but only a small percentage of these would achieve accreditation if they were submitted to our rigorous international criteria.”     The NUI Galway MBA is one of the leading management development programmes in the country. The mission of the NUI Galway Executive MBA is to enable participants to prepare for accelerated career progression through the acquisition of the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary for success in strategic management and senior leadership roles.   Speaking about the achievement, Martin Hughes, Executive MBA Programme Director, J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: “We know for participants, the decision to study an MBA represents a major commitment, both in terms of time and money. This AMBA accreditation ensures that students’ investments are rewarded with the finest MBA education available. We have constant engagement with the business community and our programme reflects and aligns with developments in industry both nationally and internationally. Our class sizes are kept small, our lecturers are leading experts in their respective fields and continue teaching to the changing demands of the business world which overall results in greater one-to-one attention and learning experience.”   Graduates of the NUI Galway Executive MBA have significantly advanced their careers with many being promoted, starting their own business, or changing careers after completing the programme. The J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics are currently accepting applications for the next programme starting in September.     Further information on the Executive MBA at NUI Galway is available at http://www.cairnes.nuigalway.ie/mba/.   ENDS

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Estimated €24million economic benefit to Galway   As conference season continues at NUI Galway, the University are expecting to welcome over 16,000 delegates, the majority of whom are international, to the campus this year.   According to Fáilte Ireland, Business Tourism is one of the highest yield sectors in tourism, worth €580million a year to the Irish economy and business tourists or international conference delegates are valued at €1,500 per person. With over 16,000 delegates expected to NUI Galway this year, the estimated economic benefit to the region will be €24million.   Highlights this summer includes the first COTEC-ENOTHE joint congress, which takes place from 15-19 June. The conference will welcome over 1,000 Occupational Therapists from across the globe to the University and Galway City. Other international conferences booked include an International Summer School on Disability Law, a Health Promotion Conference and an International Conference on Natural and Constructed Wetlands.   In August, NUI Galway will host the 13th Conference of the European Society for the Study of English, with over 1,000 delegates attending. This conference on English Literature, Language and Cultural Studies will include over 80 individual seminars and panel topics from the medieval period to the present, featuring everything from Shakespeare to Harry Potter.    Ann Duggan, Commercial Manager at NUI Galway, said: “Our academic and research colleagues  have been key to our success in winning a significant number of international conferences and of  course Galway City’s unique character and our wonderful hinterland provide the perfect backdrop for visiting international delegates.”   For information on hosting a conference at NUI Galway, please visit www.nuigalway.ie/events or call the NUI Galway Conference and Event Centre on 091 492264.   -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

NUI Galway will host the 25th International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) Annual Conference, ‘Transitions and Transformations in Gender Equality’, from 24-26 June. Bringing together leading practitioners from the fields of academia, economics and social justice, the conference presents an opportunity to interact with preeminent feminist and heterodox economics scholars and advocates whose work covers a wide range of issues such as gender equality, gender and development, macroeconomic policy, capabilities and well-being. The IAFFE is a renowned international association that focuses on advancing feminist inquiry into economic issues. The conference comes at a time of growing economic and environmental instability across the world. In responding to these issues, the IAFFE members are engaged in critical policy discussions on gender equality at both national and international forums, providing a strong voice in critiques of neo-liberal paradigms, and advocating for an alternative vision of economics focused on equality, capabilities and well-being. Speakers will include: Bina Agarwal, a prize-winning development economist and Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the University of Manchester, UK Naila Kabeer, Professor of Gender and Development at the Gender Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science Diane Elson, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Sociology at University of Essex, UK Gita Sen, Professor of Public Policy at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India, and Adjunct Professor of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health Alicia Girón, past President of IAFFE is a member of the UN High-Level Panel on Women's Economic Empowerment Speaking ahead of the event, chief organiser Dr Nata Duvvury, senior lecturer and Co-Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Global Women’s Studies, said: “This conference comes at a very critical juncture as the world is grappling with fragile economic recovery, a refugee crisis of unprecendented proportions, growing income inequality and deepening environmental crisis. Scholars, policymakers and activists will explore the ramifications of these challenges for gender equality and social justice as well as consider alternative sustainable solutions through gender aware macroecnomic policies, innovative social arrangements transforming the gendered nature of care work/social reproduction, and consistent application of human rights to design of programs and policies.” The Conference will open with a plenary on “Gender Equality in ‘Post-Recession’ Ireland” with contributions by Professor Sesma Ozar, President of IAFFE; Dr Anne Byrne, NUI Galway; Professor Kathleen Lynch, UCD; Dr Helen Russell, ESRI; and Orla O’Connor, National Women's Council of Ireland. A consultation roundtable for input to the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment will also be held. Alicia Giron, former President of IAFFE and member of the High Level Panel will provide an overview of the work of panel thus far. Another important high-level roundtable of special interest to policy makers, advocates and activists is on ‘Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals: are they transformative agenda?’. The roundtable discussants include Professor Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, New School for Social Research and Member of UN Development Policy Committee; Naila Kabeer, Professor of Gender and Development at LSE Gender Institute; Professor Gita Sen, Indian Institute of Management; and Shahra Razavi, Chief of Research and Data at the UN. On Thursday, 23 June, a pre-conference workshop will be held by the IAFFE, designed for scholars and activists new to feminist economics. Topics will include feminist economics methodologies, caring labour, diversity in economics, and global perspectives on gender and economics. The workshop will also provide career-building presentations and discussions, such as publishing feminist economics research and developing a media presence. This year’s conference is being organised by NUI Galway’s Centre for Global Women’s Studies with support from Fáilte Ireland, and NUI Galway’s Institute for Lifecourse and Society, Moore and Whitaker Institutes, Research Office, International Office as well as Galway University Foundation. For more information on the IAFFE Conference and a full list of the speakers visit http://www.iaffe.org/2016-annual-conference/ -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

A total of 220 final year medical students from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway recently completed their final year practical exams, the first time that these students and their examiners have participated in electronically marked exams provided by University spin out company, Qpercom. The College of Medicine at NUI Galway has been implementing this form of electronic marking for all practical exams over the last number of years. Thanks to electronic retrieval, storage and analysis of the data in real-time during the previous years, practical exams are now carried out at various sites at University Hospital Galway, Merlin Park University Hospital and Croí, and two new sites at the NUI Galway affiliated Medical Academy at Sligo General Hospital and St Columbas Hospital in Sligo. Qpercom Ltd, a local spin out company from the School of Medicine since 2008, is responsible for the retrieval, storage and analysis of the electronic ‘Objective Structured Clinical Examinations’. Over the last eight years the company, which is located at NUI Galway has built up an international reputation serving medical, nursing, dental, veterinary and various health sciences schools worldwide with their practical clinical examinations. Prestigious universities such as the University of Dundee and University of St Andrews in Scotland, the Nobel Prize University Karolinksa Institutet, the National University of Singapore and most recently the University of Sheffield in the UK are among many institutes partnering with Qpercom. Dr Thomas Kropmans, co-founder and acting director of Qpercom, and senior lecturer of Medical Educational Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “We don’t sell software, we sell expertise in Clinical Skills Assessment. Many young doctors worldwide and their trainers and examiners have jointly benefitted from this unique assessment tool.” Enda Griffin, psychologist and e-learning technician at NUI Galway, said: “Before Qpercom was setup we found 30% of errors occurred in the paper based versions of these observational exams. Exam and Quality Assurance procedures of doctor’s practical examinations worldwide have improved so much over the past few years because we can now provide real-time insight and feedback on the exam results.” The unique combination of having a spin out company associated with medical and health science institutions affords it the opportunity to perform research in clinical skills assessment. Recently PhD student Winny Setyonugroho graduated on the ‘Assessment of Communications Skills’ by introducing a gold standard for streamlining the 17 different domains of clinical communication skills. Currently, PhD student Markus Fischer is performing a study on ‘situational awareness’ of undergraduate medical students. It asks; Are students prepared for their postgraduate professional lives on the ward? Are they aware of all the facts they need to take into account to make a profound medical decision? “When we formed the company seven years ago, we could never have envisaged the impact our software solution would have for the 25 universities and professional bodies we work with now. Since then we have co-published various scientific papers with some of our clients”, said co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Qpercom, David Cunningham. For further information about Qpercom, visit: www.qpercom.ie   ENDS

Thursday, 2 June 2016

NUI Galway’s CÉIM programme recently won the ‘Student Engagement Activity of the Year Award’ at the National Student Achievement Awards 2016. CÉIM is an academic peer-led support scheme for first year NUI Galway students studying the BA in Geography, the BA in Law, and Engineering. The National Student Achievement Awards recognise the contribution of individuals and groups from third-level education institutions across the island of Ireland. Presenting the Award to NUI Galway was Tom Boland, CEO of the Higher Education Authority, who said: “CÉIM is innovative and invigorating and shows a depth of work and understanding worthy of any project in higher education.” CÉIM was initiated by NUI Galway Students' Union in collaboration with the University’s College of Engineering and Informatics in 2013. Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics, said: “CÉIM aims to support first year students to transition successfully to university, succeed academically, develop networks, and complete their studies. We are delighted that CÉIM has been acknowledged at a national level and we look forward to further developing the programme in collaboration with our students in the coming years.” CÉIM is based on the well-evidenced Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) model used in over 30 countries. Sessions, which are about collaborative learning, are student-led and about working in small groups to gain a greater understanding of coursework, prepare for exams and develop new skills. Amber Walsh Olesen, CÉIM Co-ordinator, NUI Galway Students’ Union, said: “First year students can sometimes be apprehensive about asking questions in lectures and don’t always know what is expected of them as independent learners. CÉIM is a structured programme where student leaders from higher years facilitate weekly study sessions for small groups of first year students, creating peer-led learning communities where it’s easy to ask questions.” According to Dr Eoghan Clifford, Academic Coordinator of CÉIM at NUI Galway College of Engineering and Informatics: “The impact to date of CÉIM is very encouraging with 80% of first years surveyed in 2014/15 saying it helped them settle into university and make friends. Regular CÉIM attendees achieved 9% higher grades in 2014/15 than irregular or non-attendees and were much more likely to pass the year. We can clearly see that interest among students in CÉIM has grown year on year, with 20% of first year Engineering students recently applying to be student leaders.” Due to the success of CÉIM, the programme was piloted in NUI Galway School of Law in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies in 2015 and will be further rolled out in 2016/17. NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Phelim Kelly, added: “Peer learning is not an activity that is traditionally associated with Students’ Unions and we’re delighted to be leading the way in this regard in Ireland. CÉIM is proof that there is a lot to be gained by students’ unions, university staff and higher year students partnering to support first years as they transition to university.” For more information on the CÉIM initiative visit www.su.nuigalway.ie/ceim. -Ends-

Thursday, 2 June 2016

A team of students from NUI Galway were recently awarded the runner-up prize at the prestigious 2016 Enactus Ireland National Competition for Social Entrepreneurship. Enactus is an international, not-for-profit organisation which provides a platform for third-level students to create community development projects, while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders of the future. The national competition is an annual event where students come together to present their projects to show how they are transforming lives through entrepreneurial action. NUI Galway was one of the founding university teams of Enactus Ireland and this year marks its fifth year of involvement. Teams from Ireland’s seven universities and Dublin Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology gathered in Dublin to compete to represent Ireland at the Enactus World Cup, which will be held this year in September in Toronto, Canada.  Michael Campion, Faculty Advisor to the NUI Galway team, said: “It’s been a privilege to support the Enactus team this year as they worked on a set of projects which have made a significant impact in helping some members of the community.  From working with young people with mental health issues to creating opportunities for people in homeless circumstances, the students channeled their creativity and passion to develop excellent, sustainable projects that have had a very positive impact for the participants. To make it all happen, they partnered with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Galway Simon Community, COPE Galway, the HSE, Ability West and Croí.” Achieving the runner-up prize in the competition is a great recognition of all the hard work that the students have put in over the past year, something that is not easy while balancing with their academic studies. They are a credit to themselves, their families and to NUI Galway.” -Ends-

Thursday, 2 June 2016

The Lectures in the Library series will return on Wednesday, 15 June for one-off special lecture with Pádraig Ó Snodaigh. The lecture, entitled ‘Recollection and recording: A historian’s encounters with the makers of history’, is part of the programme of commemoration organised by NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising. Ó Snodaigh’s history of the Irish Volunteers has been a primary source for historians of the Irish revolution. His talk will take listeners backstage to eavesdrop on conversations between the professional historian and those who participated in the momentous events of 1916 and the subsequent war of independence. Those who provided eye witness accounts of those events for the young historian included Éamon de Valera, Bulmer Hobson, Frank Fahy, Alfie Monaghan, and Alf Cotton. The lecture will begin at 6.30pm at Galway City Library in Augustine Street.  -Ends-

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Biomedical researchers from the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and CÚRAM at NUI Galway, in collaboration with clinicians from Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin (OLCHC) have developed the first in Ireland synchronised beating heart cells from human pluripotent stem (iPS) cells made from skin biopsy. The research funded in partnership by REMEDI and the National Children's Research Centre (NCRC) aims to investigate the causes of unexpected sudden death from inherited cardiac conditions in young people, and to help test therapies that may reduce the risk of sudden death in survivors and relatives. The discovery of the genetic basis of inherited cardiac conditions, specifically the inherited rhythm disease known as Long QT Syndrome, has advanced our understanding of disease mechanisms and provided an insight into how we ultimately might ‘repair’ the genetic defect. The stem cell scientists at REMEDI in NUI Galway are now in a position to generate patient-specific heart tissue in a dish to test new therapies and treatments. To continue the next phase of this study NUI Galway is now seeking families affected by Long QT Syndrome to come forward for a skin biopsy on consultation with their doctor. The aim is to recruit both affected and unaffected family members to better understand what places one family member at risk and not another, preferably with the identified causative gene mutation in the family. Stem cell-derived heart cells have revolutionised our understanding of heart mechanical and electrical communication, coordination and function. Mature human heart cells cannot be grown outside the body under normal conditions, and do not lend themselves easily to scientific interrogation without placing the patient at potential risk. By utilising a skin biopsy sample from a particular patient, the scientists can engineer those same skin cells into heart cells through what is termed ‘re-programming’ and can then create an exact replica of that patients’ heart tissue in a laboratory dish. This allows researchers to understand in detail the particular patient’s disease and to test or develop therapies without placing the individual patient at any medical risk. New medicines can be tested on these cells for their effectiveness in preventing arrhythmias. Similarly, the genetic defect in the heart cell can be repaired through genome editing and this repaired heart cell can be then directly compared to the diseased heart cell in the lab. The stem cell study was initiated by Professor Timothy O’Brien, Director of REMEDI and Co-Principal Investigator at CÚRAM in NUI Galway and Dr Terence Prendiville, NCRC Principal Investigator and the Department of Paediatric Cardiology in OLCHC. The research was carried out by Professor Sanbing Shen, Professor of Fundamental Stem Cell Biology and Post-doctoral researcher Dr Min Liu in the Biomedical Sciences Building at NUI Galway.  The researchers in NUI Galway have developed a highly skilled and technically specialised expertise in ‘re-programming’ skin cells into stem cells, and then, in turn, making heart cells out of those same patient’s stem cells. The beating heart tissue can be electrically and mechanically measured and recorded. The ultimate goal is to repair the genetic defect in the affected heart cells using new CRIPSR/Cas9 technology and return the heart cells to normal function. In collaboration with adult and paediatric cardiologists, the scientists at REMEDI will help define the burden of Long QT syndrome in the affected families and develop technologies to measure the effectiveness of therapies and genetic repairs in the dish prior to any human trial. Affected families with Long QT syndrome will be identified through the National Inherited Cardiac Conditions service delivered across the three campuses of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, Cardiovascular Risk in the Young at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital, and the Family Heart Screening Clinic at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin. The families that are being selected at this early stage of research are patients with clearly abnormal electrocardiograms which are associated with a risk of sudden death, and a known causative gene mutation. Skin biopsy samples will be taken using punch biopsies at the research facility at NUI Galway with local anaesthetic, then subsequently grown in a dish and stored locally for further research. Skin cells are relatively simple to grow in a lab and lend themselves well to being ‘re-programmed’ to pluripotent stem cells by Nobel prize-winning technology applied at REMEDI. Once a patient-derived stem cell population has been generated in the lab, the next step is to produce beating heart cells using timed application of selective growth factors in a particular sequence using established research protocols. Beating heart cells in the dish can then be electrically measured using tiny electrodes akin to an electrocardiogram in a human patient. Skin samples are also being obtained from closely related but unaffected family members to allow a comparison between normal and diseased heart cells. Once the pipeline for generating patient-derived heart tissue has been robustly tested for Long QT syndrome, the same scientific technology will be used to explore other inherited arrhythmia conditions and cardiomyopathies. Professor Timothy O’Brien from NUI Galway, said: “We are excited about the potential to develop new therapies for children at risk of sudden death using this technology. The complete translational infrastructure for this work is now present in Galway and will be extended nationally with our collaborators in Dublin and throughout Ireland.”  Dr Terry Prendiville from Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin said: “I meet families every week in the hospital from all over Ireland who have been affected by the sudden unexpected death of a loved one. Their first question to me is: “Could this affect my child?” Their next question is: “How do I keep them safe?” “Research such as this allows us to continue to push the envelope on developing medical therapies that safeguard against risk of sudden death.” Dr Jacinta Kelly, CEO of the NCRC said: “I would like to welcome this research which has arisen from an exciting partnership between the NCRC and REMEDI. We, at the NCRC, are looking forward to continuing to work with our colleagues at REMEDI to find therapies to address the issue of congenital heart defects in children.” If you would like to participate in this study and you have a diagnosis of Long QT syndrome with a known gene mutation, please contact Dr Terence Prendiville at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin for further information and eligibility criteria. Terence.prendiville@olchc.ie   ENDS

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Fellowships in Medical Device Research and Development: A CÚRAM Industry-Academia Training Initiative CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, has been ranked first in Europe and awarded €2.1 million for its application to develop a new industry-academia fellowship programme called ‘MedTrain’ over the next four and a half years. The submission was ranked number 1 out of 72 applications submitted from across Europe to the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions Scheme under the Horizon 2020 funding programme. The MedTrain programme will offer 31 prestigious two-year postdoctoral fellowships over the next four and a half years to experienced researchers in the area of Medical Device Research and Development, including Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Biomaterials and Drug Delivery, Glyco and Protein Engineering, and Neuromodulation and Computational Modelling. According to Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway, “The MedTrain programme will provide a chance for researchers to enhance their creative, entrepreneurial, and innovative potential. For anyone wishing to diversify their skill set, through advanced training, international, and inter-sectoral mobility, in the area of Medical Device Research and Development, this will be a really valuable opportunity.” Professor Pandit added, “CÚRAM has had some excellent successes since its establishment, only a year and a half ago, in terms of securing EU funding for cutting edge research projects and we are particularly proud of achieving the top ranking in this funding round. At CÚRAM we work closely with academics, industry and clinicians and this programme will only further enhance those networks across Europe and internationally which are critical for driving medical device research and development.” The MedTrain programme is based on individual-driven mobility, meaning that fellows will have the freedom to choose their research topic (provided that it falls within the remit of CÚRAM), their MedTrain supervisor, and their secondment organisation, which must be relevant to their research and career development. MedTrain will provide an attractive and supportive working environment for the awarded fellows, in which they will have access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and teams of multi-disciplinary experts in the broad area of Medical Device Research and Development. It will deliver high quality tailor-made training for fellows that will equip them with skills and experience required to meet their career goals as well as facilitating their engagement with industry through non-academic secondment partnerships. All fellows will be hosted in a CÚRAM academic host organisation (NUI Galway Galway, University College Cork, University College Dublin, or the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland) and fellowships will include secondments to a suitable research performing industry in organisations around the world. ENDS

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at the School of Law, NUI Galway is accepting delegates for its 2016 summer school on the International Criminal Court (ICC), which will be held from 27 June to 1 July 2016 at NUI Galway. The ICC Summer School is widely acknowledged to be the premier programme of its kind, attracting participants from around the world. During five days of intensive lectures delivered by leading specialists in the field, delegates are provided with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its applicable law, its structures and its operations. Lectures also speak to related issues in international criminal law, including: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, the crime of aggression, jurisdiction, fair trial rights, and the rules of procedure and evidence. This year’s ICC Summer School will include a special session on victims at the International Criminal Court. Dr Shane Darcy of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights said: “The International Criminal Court is the world’s first permanent court for the prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Despite some setbacks and obstacles, the Court is now fully functional and holding trials, and it provides an avenue for those seeking justice and accountability for serious human rights abuses.” During the ICC summer school, expert presentations will be delivered by: Professor William Schabas, Dr Nadia Bernaz and Professor Donald M. Ferencz, Middlesex University; Professor Anne-Marie de Brouwer, Tilburg University; Dr Fabricio Guariglia and Dr Rod Rastan, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court; Professor Megan A. Fairlie, Florida International University; Orchlon Narantsetseg, Office of the Public Counsel for Victims, International Criminal Court; Professor Ray Murphy and Dr Shane Darcy, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway; Dr Mohamed M. El Zeidy, International Criminal Court; Fiona McKay, former head of Victims Participation and Reparations Section of the International Criminal Court; Dr Kwadwo Appiagyei Atua, University of Ghana and University of Lincoln; and Dr Noelle Higgins, Maynooth University. The registration fee is €450, which includes all course materials, lunches and refreshments, a social activity, a closing dinner and a complimentary copy of Professor William A. Schabas, Introduction to the International Criminal Court. The closing date for registrations is 10 June 2016. To register, or for more information visit http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=464, or email iccsummerschool@gmail.com. -Ends-

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

NUI Galway will hold the 14th Galway Symposium on Higher Education on Friday, 17 June in Áras Moyola. The Symposium, entitled ‘Theory and Practice: Researching Teaching and Learning in Higher Education’, will provide an opportunity to showcase research and scholarship in the area of higher education teaching and student learning. The one-day event will focus on three main themes: how to begin researching teaching and learning practice; recognising the scholarship dimensions of teaching and supporting student learning; and raising awareness of contemporary research into higher education at practice and policy levels. The format of the event will be a mixture of plenary and parallel sessions using a diverse set of presentation and workshop formats. Given the increasing interest in research-informed teaching and curriculum design, alongside the emerging national framework for continuing professional development, and changes to promotional routes in many institutions in the higher education sector, the event will be an opportunity for sharing ideas, debating issues and learning more about the sector. The keynote speaker for the symposium is Dr Saranne Weller, newly appointed Director of the Centre for Research Informed Teaching at London South Bank University. Speakers by videoconference will include: Professor Tina Overton, Monash, Australia, who has encouraged the growth of pedagogic research in higher education, and the Nobel Prize winner, Professor Carl Wieman of Stanford University, a key figure in science education and active learning. There will also be participation by colleagues from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning who will provide an overview of that organisation’s growing body of higher education research and its support of developing scholarship in this field. Professor Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director of the Centre for Excellence and Teaching (CELT) at NUI Galway, said: “I am delighted to be hosting such an event and to be able to exploit our technological infrastructure to bring in speakers from around the world, giving us all a chance to participate in discussion and debate. Taking a research-oriented and scholarly approach to teaching and supporting student learning is a key to developing a professional approach and in highlighting how research and teaching work well together.” To register for the symposium visit http://celt16.eventbrite.com. -Ends-   

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

NUI Galway will host ‘ISCA India Meeting 2016’ in June as part of a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) programme to build education and research and development links between India and Ireland. The Ambassador of India to Ireland, Smt. Radhika Lal Lokesh will provide a welcome address. The meeting will showcase Indian science and research and bring together researchers from both countries to explore the possibilities of collaboration and opportunities to obtain joint funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. The programme supports new and existing scientific, educational and industrial collaborations between the two countries across six thematic areas: Nanotechnology and Material Science; Energy, Environment and Engineering; Bioscience, Biomedicine and Biotechnology; Computer Science & Digital Humanities; Policy Research and “Research Dissemination and Showcasing. The ISCA India consortium serves as a portal for any Indian academic or industrial group interested in expanding their activities to Ireland, and provides a coordinated national approach to promote Ireland´s scientific and technological reputation in India. The programme aims to develop research and educational links between the two countries in all areas of mutual interest that lie within the remit of SFI, and to provide opportunities for the exchange of ideas and the development of joint innovative proposals. The consortium aims to communicate the unique opportunities and attractions of Ireland for education, research and technology. It will also provide assistance to Indian scientific and industrial representatives interested in forming links with Ireland. International speakers who have established themselves as leaders in key areas of research will speak at the event along with eight academic speakers from NUI Galway and other Irish Institutions who are interested in such collaborations. Topics to be discussed include Devices and Technology; Cancer and Cell Death; and Stem Cells and Diseases. Trinity College Dublin leads the consortium of Irish institutions including NUI Galway, CIT, DCU, DIT, UCC and WIT. Members of the Indian consortium include the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, National Centre for Biological Science and National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences. For further information about Science Foundation Ireland’s ISCA India consortium visit: http://www.sfi.ie/international/isca/india.html  To learn more about Research Ireland India visit www.rii.ie  ENDS

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

This year NUI Galway’s Rover Society launched a new initiative to gather goods, including old clothes or blankets and unopened food stuff, left behind by students which will be donated to the homeless charity COPE. The NUI Galway Rover Society is the Scout society in NUI Galway who aims to promote the outdoors in the University but is also working towards better community outreach. Cathal Breathnach, Auditor of the Rover Society at NUI Galway, said: “Last September, the society collected over 1,100 sleeping bags from the aftermath of Electric Picnic which were donated to COPE Galway. Following this, we met with COPE to see we could help the ongoing homeless situation in the city. COPE was in need of everyday items, such as clothes, blankets, duvets, footwear, unused food, books, DVDs or art materials, and we realised these are items typically used by students during the year that they wouldn’t always bring home.” “The Society ran a small ‘drive by’ collection before Christmas and realised the potential of running a large scale collection after the summer exams, when most students would be leaving the city. After speaking with some of the University management, we realised that similar schemes are run in United States and we then in turn looked to representatives across the Atlantic for advice,” continued Cathal. The scheme that was developed, modelled off what they learned from talking to those in the USA, involved leaving a number of drop-off boxes in convenient locations around the University and in the different student accommodation complexes. Held over a three week period, students and staff were been able to drop off any unwanted items they had at home. The Rover Society have collected countless boxes and bags non-stop over the past few weeks, and almost ten van loads of items have been transferred to date over to COPE. It is hoped that the majority of these items will be usable directly by COPE themselves and others items can be sold on to put more funds into the work the charity does for the homeless. The Society are hoping that a similar scheme could be implemented in other universities across the country to try and reduce waste and pass such items to those who need them. For more information on the work carried out by the Rover Society or to donate unwanted items visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NUIGRoverSoc/. -Ends-

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Over 1,000 delegates from 50 countries are expected to attend the first joint congress of COTEC (Council of Occupational Therapists for European Countries) and ENOTHE (European Network of Occupational Therapy in Higher Education) at NUI Galway from 15-19 June. This is the first time that clinical therapists, researchers and educators have come together to debate issues of mutual interest. Chaired by Professor Agnes Shiel from the Discipline of Occupational Therapy at NUI Galway, this conference will provide Occupational Therapists from Europe and across the world, who work in clinical practice, management, education and research, with a unique opportunity to meet, network and develop collaborations with colleagues across Europe and beyond. The COTEC-ENOTHE Conference will explore a variety of issues in Occupational Therapy relating to the different fields of clinical practice, education, research and policy with a focus on contemporary issues in all aspects of Occupational Therapy. The conference will feature keynote addresses, oral and poster presentations, symposium, workshops and marketplaces. Professor Agnes Shiel said: “We are delighted and honoured to be hosting such a large and prestigious event at NUI Galway. The variety of different Occupational Therapy educators and professionals who will be presenting will make for a wide-ranging, diverse, and stimulating programme. To welcome so many delegates, from all corners of the globe, is a fantastic demonstration of how Galway and the West of Ireland is such an attractive location for conferences of this nature.” Speakers will include: Professor Marion Walker MBE, Professor of Stroke Rehabilitation, University of Nottingham; Professor Corey Keyes, Distinguished Research Professor, Emory University, Georgia; Professor Jan de Maeseneer, President of the European Forum for Primary Care, Chair of the EU Health Expert panel - Ghent University, Belgium; Professor Salvador Simó I Algado, Universitat de Vic – Universitat Central de Catalunya; and Professor Mary Law, McMaster University, Canada. For more information or to view the conference programme, please visit www.cotec-enothe2016.com. For the latest updates follow the COTEC-ENOTHE Conference on Twitter: @COTEC_ENOTHE. -Ends-

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

NUI Galway’s School of Humanities has announced details of a new scholarship scheme for postgraduate students. In total, 20 new scholarships will be awarded at €1,500 per student and awarded to all students undertaking a full-time Taught Masters in Humanities programme. The new initiative is open to postgraduate students, applying for one of the eleven full-time Taught Masters programmes in the areas of Drama, Film Studies, English, History, Irish Studies, Medieval Studies and Old Irish due to commence in autumn 2016. Scholarships will be awarded on a competitive basis to students accepted on a fulltime taught masters and who fulfil the criteria as outlined by the University. A wide range of programmes are covered by these scholarships which will appeal to diverse interests. Some programmes are aimed at preparing students for professional-level work in the theatre and creative industries or providing them with in-depth training in the art of writing for film or theatre. Other programmes concentrate on cultural and social development in modern Ireland, on European culture in the Middle Ages, on early Irish language and literature, on English Literature and on modern History Announcing these new Scholarships, Professor Felix Ó Murchadha, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Humanities, said: “Employment chances increase greatly by ‘topping up’ a primary degree with an MA, and I expect these scholarships would attract excellent applicants to a range of excellent and exciting programmes.” Postgraduate students make up a significant part of the student population at NUI Galway, with almost 4,000 students across all schools and disciplines. For more information on the new scholarships, or on the postgraduate programmes covered by these scholarships, visit www.nuigalway.ie/scholarships-humanities. The closing date for applications is Friday, 5 August, 2016. More details are available at 091 495689 or email humanitiesscholarships@nuigalway.ie. -Ends- 

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

NUI Galway’s French Society has celebrated a successful year by taking home a number of national awards. Eoghan Finn and Shannon Grimes, both first-year Bachelor of Arts students who follow the Fraincis trí Ghaeilge (French through Irish) language option, were recently presented with the trophy for their victory in the National Final of the 2016 University Debating Competition in French (Joutes Oratoires). This competition is organised by the French Embassy in Ireland and is open to all Irish third-level institutions, with NUI Galway’s team beating six other teams including Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and IT Blanchardstown. The French Society were also presented with the ‘Most Improved Society’, ‘Best Poster’ for their original play Voilà Olivia, and ‘Best Fresher’ at the University’s Societies Awards. Ciarán MacChoncarraige, a Fraincis trí Ghaeilge student, was presented with the ‘Best Fresher’ Award at the Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) National Society Awards, beating all other Freshers in Ireland. Congratulating the French Society on their successful year, Professor Philip Dine, Head of French at NUI Galway, said: “These awards are a great credit to all involved in the French Society, and a fitting reflection of its members’ dynamism and enthusiasm in organising a wonderful range of French and Francophone activities over the year.”  -Ends-

Friday, 27 May 2016

Five young researchers from CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway were honoured for their work, receiving four Merit awards and a Trainee Award at the 10th World Biomaterials Congress in Montreal, Canada last week. Students recognised at the congress included Paolo Contessotto who received the WBC 2016 Université Laval Trainee Award for his poster titled ‘Design of a protease and ROS responsive biomaterial approach to target drug delivery in inflamed tissue microenvironment’, and Marc A Fernandez-Yagüe, Diana Gaspar, Dilip Thomas and Catalina Vallejo Giraldo who all received WBC 2016 Merit awards for research in biomaterials used in tendon regeneration, the formation of microvascular networks and coating of neuroelectrodes. Dr Aitor Larranaga, postdoctoral researcher with CÚRAM, was also represented in the Biomaterials Journal section. CÚRAM also received the ‘Best Image in Biomaterials’ award at the Congress for an image used in a paper published in Biomaterials, one of the top academic journals in the field with an Impact Factor of 8.557. The Impact Factor of a journal is a measure reflecting the yearly average number of citations to recent articles published in that journal. The image was selected for the Biomaterials 2015 Top Images poster which will be featured on the journal homepage where all the manuscripts with the winning images will be highlighted. Congratulating all of the researchers involved, Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM and member of the WBC International Advisory Committee said: “The event is an incredibly important opportunity for all of us working in the field. Everyone attending the event is working on clinical problems with the common goal of finding solutions and providing benefit to patients worldwide. It’s a tremendous opportunity for students and researchers as well as industry and regulatory bodies to come together and connect with colleagues and experts from all over the world. I’d like to congratulate each of our researchers on their success.” The World Biomaterials Congress is the largest gathering of Biomaterial Researchers charting the future of the field. With over 1,200 oral presentations, 2,400 poster presentations and 3,500 abstracts submitted by over 60 countries WBC2016 was one of the largest World Biomaterials Congress to-date. CÚRAM is a Science Foundation Ireland centre for research in medical devices, bringing together experts from Ireland’s leading universities and research institutes. Academic partners, led by NUI Galway, include University College Dublin, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University of Limerick, The Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and Molecular Medicine Ireland. Over 200 renowned experts in biomaterials, drug delivery, cell therapy, glycoscience and device design are working on blue sky research and industry projects associated with CÚRAM, which aims to radically improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illness by developing the next generation of smart, implantable medical devices. ENDS

Thursday, 26 May 2016

NUI Galway Business and Innovation Centre support a Galway family’s global mission to make their language learning solution accessible for children with autism Enda and Valerie Dodd’s innovative software solution ‘ALL’, named after their company, Animated Language Learning, is driven by the belief that they can change the world. As clients of the NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre, they are determined to create a state of the art, visually rich language learning program that has already lifted their twin sons’ from the isolation of autism, and make it accessible to every family in need. Enda and Valerie Dodd originally moved to California in 2003 to find a solution to their sons’ condition. They actively started developing the software on a full time basis in 2009 in San Francisco and established Animated Language Learning Inc. The company relocated to Ireland in 2015 to NUI Galway’s Business and Innovation Centre. Speaking about the solution, Valerie Dodd said: “There was utter confusion surrounding the diagnosis of our sons’ when it became evident that they were not talking and were diagnosed as highly autistic. Autism spectrum disorder, pervasive development disorder, deafness, language disorder, sensory integration disorder and global dyspraxia were among many terms being used, and we had little understanding of their meaning. We struggled to comprehend these diagnoses and what was truly going on with our sons’. Equally we had to make sense of what therapies were available to help our children succeed with communication. This was our challenge.” It was this quest that ultimately brought the family to San Francisco, and the collaboration with Disney, Pixar and Adobe e-learning teams. Having given up their jobs, Valerie and Enda focused on creating a solution for the autism that disrupted their sons’ language. In that time the family assembled a team of world-leading specialists and schools who together with the help of Disney led their twin boys out of the isolation of their condition. Today the boys are emerging out of their deficits, enjoying school, sports, relationships and looking forward to a bright new world. Fiona Neary, NUI Galway business development manager at the Business Innovation Centre said: “Having recently moved back from the US the Dodd family are now surrounding themselves with a solid support structure and network to scale this solution globally. We are delighted to have Enda, Valerie and their team based onsite and look forward to working with them in achieving their global mission.” Animated Language Learning has already created a learning technology which is currently being piloted with over 200 families around the world. Enda Dodd says: “Language disordered children are very complex and our work with families has been vital in developing our understanding of communication and delivering our sons’ success to families in need. Our aim is to enact social change for our families through language, creating a better future for all of us.” To read more about ALL visit: animatedlanguagelearning.com/ ENDS

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Over 60 students from schools across the country attended the recent SIMMED School at NUI Galway.  Now in its third year, SIMMED School is an innovative and unique programme for Transition Year students who are interested in exploring medicine as a career. Students were immersed in the world of medicine over the four days, giving them a flavour of what life will be like as a doctor in a major teaching hospital. Throughout the programme, students were part of a simulated medical team and got to carry out medical and surgical skills in the centre for simulation in Galway University Hospital, SIMWEST. They heard the experiences of current students starting their journey in the School of Medicine and those of fully qualified doctors. They also met different professionals employed in a wide range of roles throughout the hospital, learned about common medical problems and discovered interesting facts about plastic surgery, orthopaedics, HIV, oncology, diabetes, asthma and many more topics. The focus of SIMMED School is to give students a genuine insight into hospital medicine and in teaching them to develop psychomotor skills. The students are also challenged to work as a team to solve medical and surgical clinical cases. At NUI Galway, the School of Medicine recognises the importance of a good introduction to the medical world for Transition Year students who might otherwise not have access to accurate information to help them to make career choices. Professor Sean Dinneen, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Medicine, said: “SIMMED is an innovative and unique programme at NUI Galway and Galway University Hospital that is a genuine opportunity for students to get hands on experience of what it is like to be a junior doctor. It is enormously popular and enjoyable as well as challenging and real eye-opening!" Speaking of her SIMMED experience, Imy Lundon of Presentation College, Athenry, Co. Galway, said: “I really liked the variety and the practical aspects of the course. For me the Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the heart surgery segments were the most interesting.” Cormac Nugent from Summerhill College in Sligo said: “I liked the simulations and hands-on parts of the course where we got to try things out for ourselves.” -Ends-

Thursday, 26 May 2016

The inaugural conference on ‘Living With Dementia in Rural Ireland’ will take place on Monday, 30 May from 10am-4pm at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway. This conference seeks to explore rural isolation impacts on those living with dementia in rural Ireland and examine strategies and approaches in dealing with this. The conference will discuss the nature of living with dementia today; create opportunities for sharing of learning; profile models of good practice; highlight the need for joined up responses, both in policy making, planning and implementation.  Conference Organiser and NUI Galway graduate, Carmel Geoghegan said: “The conference is an opportunity for the communities in the West of Ireland to interact with experts in the field that are passionate about what they do and want to make a real difference.” Speakers include: Helen Rochford Brennan, Chair of the National Dementia Working Group; Dr Tony Foley, Department of General Practice, UCC; and Professor Sabina Brennan, Trinity College Dublin. The conference will also hear personal accounts from family members, carers and healthcare professionals working with people with dementia. To register please go to www.eventbrite.ie. Admission is free and members of the general public with an interest in ageing well are invited to attend. For further information please contact Carmel Geoghegan 086 361 2907. -Ends-

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The inaugural Irish Garden Party and Great ILAS Bake-Off will take place on Wednesday, 1 June from 12-4pm in the main foyer of the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) Building in Corrib Village. This local charity event, campus in aid of ACT for Meningitis and the Galway branch of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, is hosted by ILAS in conjunction with SAOL Café. Bakers are encouraged to bring along cakes, scones and tarts to enter the bake-off competition and take home a prize or simply donate cakes to the bake sale. There will be local food and crafts from Galway producers in the Farmer’s Market on offer and live entertainment. There will also be a series of raffle prizes to be won on the day. Dr Patricia Carney, a researcher in ILAS and one of the organisers, said: “The event promises to be a fun day that brings the community together, old, young and everyone in between, with something for all, while supporting two fantastic charities. It’s also a great opportunity for all our star bakers out there to showcase their talents and get involved!” Local transport can be arranged if required. Please contact SAOL Café on 091 493055 for more details. Parking on university grounds requires a permit so please email irishgardenparty@gmail.com or SAOL Café to obtain a parking permit for use on the day.   The Irish Garden Party and Great ILAS Bake Off is a non- profit event with all raffle and bake-sale proceeds being donated to ACT for Meningitis and the Galway branch of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland.  -Ends-

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

NUI Galway Academic is co-author of global study which finds salt is essential to a person’s health and reduction matters most in people with high blood pressure who consume high salt diets A large worldwide study involving 49 countries has found that, contrary to popular thought, low-salt diets may not be beneficial and may actually increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death (compared to average salt consumption). The results from the study were published in The Lancet. The study, involving more than 130,000 people from 49 countries, was led by investigators of the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences. Professor Martin O’Donnell, a co-author on the study and an associate professor at NUI Galway, said: “This study adds to our understanding of the relationship between salt intake and health, and questions the appropriateness of current guidelines that recommend low sodium intake in the entire population. Our findings highlight the need for a definitive clinical trial that determines the safety and effectiveness of sustained low sodium intake on incidence of heart attacks and stroke.  Until definitive trials are completed, an approach that recommends salt in moderation, particularly focused on those with hypertension, appears more in-line with current evidence.” The researchers looked specifically at whether the relationship between sodium (salt) intake and death, heart disease and stroke is different in people with high blood pressure compared to those with normal blood pressure. The results showed that regardless of whether people have high blood pressure, low-sodium intake is related to more heart attacks, strokes, and deaths compared to average intake. “These are extremely important findings for those who are suffering from high blood pressure. While our data highlights the importance of reducing high salt intake in people with hypertension, it does not support reducing salt intake to low levels. Our findings are important because they show that lowering sodium is best targeted at those with hypertension who also consume high sodium diets,” said Dr Andrew Mente, lead author of the study, a principal investigator of PHRI and an associate professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. Current intake of sodium in Canada is typically between 3.5 and 4 grams per day and some guidelines have recommended that the entire population lower its sodium intake to below 2.3 grams per day, a level that fewer than five per cent of Canadians and people around the world consume. Previous studies have shown that low-sodium, compared to average sodium intake, is related to increased cardiovascular risk and mortality, even though low sodium intake is associated with lower blood pressure. This new study shows that the risks associated with low-sodium intake – less than three grams per day was consistent regardless of a patient’s hypertension status. The findings show that while there is a limit below which sodium intake may be unsafe, the harm associated with high sodium consumption appears to be confined to those with hypertension. Only about 10 per cent of the population in the study had both hypertension and high sodium consumption (greater than 6 grams per day). Dr Mente said that this indicates that the majority of individuals in Canada and most countries are consuming the right amount of salt and suggests that targeted salt reduction in those who are most susceptible (those with hypertension and high salt consumption) may be preferable to a population-wide approach to reducing sodium intake in most countries except those where the average sodium intake is very high, such as parts of central Asia or China. He added that what is now generally recommended as a healthy daily ceiling for sodium consumption appears to be set too low, regardless of a person’s blood pressure level. Dr Mente continued: “Low sodium intake does reduce blood pressure modestly, compared to moderate (or average) intake, but low sodium intake also has other effects, including adverse elevations of certain hormones associated with an increase in risk of death and cardiovascular diseases. The key question is whether these competing physiologic effects result in net clinical benefit or not.” The study was funded from more than 50 sources, including the PHRI, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. -Ends-

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Registration is now open for The Mary Robinson Centre International Symposium 2016, organised in partnership with NUI Galway’s Centre for Global Women’s Studies. The Symposium will take place in Ballina, Co. Mayo, on 1-2 July. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, who currently serves as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, explains: “The Mary Robinson Centre International Symposium 2016 will bring together in Ballina an outstanding group of sustainable development champions from Ireland and around the world. It will begin a very important international conversation that puts human rights, peace, tackling inequalities, and promoting women’s leadership at the heart of our collective efforts to implement the new UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.” In addition to Mary Robinson, keynote speakers and panellists will include: Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of UN Economic and Social Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Dr Paul Gillespie, Irish Times columnist and former Foreign Policy Editor Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Gender Envoy for the African Development Bank Heather Grady, Vice-President, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, San Francisco, USA Peter Power, Executive Director, UNICEF Ireland, former Minister of State for Overseas Development Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director, Amnesty International Ireland Mouna Ghanem, Member of Women’s Advisory Board to UN Envoy on Syria Jacqueline Pitanguy, Founder and Executive Director of CEPIA (a human and civil rights NGO), Brazil Monica McWilliams, Co-founder of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition political party Ray Murphy, Acting Director of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights. Niamh Reilly, Co-director of the Centre for Global Women’s Studies at NUI Galway and Academic Advisor to The Mary Robinson Centre, said: “This exciting Symposium opens up global policy discussion and academic research to local communities – for anyone who is interested in issues of development, peace, human rights and equality, it is fantastic opportunity to participate in an agenda-setting discussion.” A reduced registration fee of €75 is available until Tuesday, 31 May, which includes the conference buffet dinner. A full registration fee of €95 applies after this date. A special concession rate of €30 is available to postgraduate students and others subject to eligibility. To register visit www.conference.ie. -Ends-