Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Professor Michael Kane, Emeritus Professor of Physiology at NUI Galway, is the 2016 winner of the Society for Reproduction and Fertility’s premier research award, the Marshall Medal. Professor Kane accepted this prestigious award at the Annual Conference of the Society in Winchester, England recently. Professor Kane was awarded the Marshall Medal in acknowledgement of his major contribution to understanding the factors that influence ovarian follicular growth and pre-implantation embryo development. The Marshall Medal was established in 1963 as an annual award to honour an outstanding researcher in the field of reproductive biology. Previous winners of the award include the Nobel prize winner Bob Edwards for his work developing IVF as a fertility treatment and Hilda Bruce and Wesley Whitten who separately discovered the effect of pheromones on mammalian reproduction. Congratulating Professor Kane, Dr Jim Browne, NUI Galway President said: “This is a wonderful recognition of Professor Michael Kane and his research at NUI Galway over many decades.  On behalf of the University, I’d like to join with his colleagues and friends in congratulating Michael on receiving the prestigious Marshall Medal, acknowledging the impact of his research on the field of reproductive physiology.” Most of Professor Kane’s professional academic life was spent at NUI Galway and was Head of the Department of Physiology from 1995 until his retirement in 2006 and he also served as pre-clinical Vice Dean and acting Head of Anatomy during that time. Michael was previously awarded the Conway Medal from the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland in 1990, a DSc from the National University of Ireland in 2005 and elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2007. Professor Tim O’Brien, Dean of The College of Medicine Nursing and Health Science at NUI Galway, said: “This is a hugely deserved award for Professor Michael Kane who made enormous contributions to our medical school and university. His research, honoured with this award, laid the foundations for subsequent research programmes in the school of Medicine such as that in stem cell biology.” -Ends-

Monday, 19 September 2016

NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy project, The Voices of Individuals: Collectively Exploring Self-determination (VOICES) will hold a seminar on Criminal Responsibility workshop on Friday, 23 September in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway.  The seminar will focus on rethinking criminal responsibility in light of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It will explore how key components of the criminal justice system, such as unfitness to plead and the insanity defence, can be reconstructed in a way that does not discriminate against people with disabilites. The seminar will appeal to students, researchers, people with disabilities, people with experience of the mental health system, family members, and practitioners in the fields of law, health and social care. Speakers include Florencia Hegglin, Public Defender and Professor of Law University of Buenos Aires;  Professor Bebhinn Donnelly-Lazarov, Swansea University; Professor Amita Dhanda, NALSAR University of Law; and Professor Gabor Gombos, Adjunct Professsor NUI Galway. Storytellers and respondents from the VOICES project will also feature including John Kidney, Maria Gomez Carrillo de Castro, Dr Nell Munro and Nicholas Clarke. Dr Eilionóir Flynn, Principal Investigator on the VOICES Project and Deputy Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy, said: “The speakers at the event come from a wide range of countries (Argentina, Hungary, Ireland, India, Spain, and the UK) with a diverse range of experience – as lawyers, researchers, artists and activists, with personal and professional experience of the criminal justice system. Together, we hope to answer some of the most difficult questions about how equal access to justice can be ensured for defendants and accused persons a label or diagnosis of disability in the criminal system, by reflecting on the stories and experiences of participants in the project and jointly developing new proposals for reform.” The VOICES project is funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant, awarded to Dr Eilionóir Flynn, the youngest person to ever receive such an award. The conference is a free public event and registration remains open until Wednesday, 21 September. Further information is available at www.ercvoices.com or email Clíona De Bhailís on ercvoices@nuigalway.ie or 091 494272. Participant accessibility requests and enquiries are welcomed. -Ends-

Monday, 19 September 2016

NUI Galway, in collaboration with the University of Birmingham, has begun a new research study, which is funded by the EPA, to measure the levels of a certain class of pollutants in Irish homes, schools, offices and cars. The research team is now seeking to recruit participants in Galway, Dublin and Limerick. The ‘ELEVATE’ study will measure levels of specific ‘persistent organic pollutants’ in samples of drinking water, indoor air and floor dust. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) represent a group of chemicals that are not easily degraded and so can accumulate and persist for long periods of time in the environment. The specific POPs of interest in the current study are brominated flame retardants and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). The study will be led by Professor Stuart Harrad at the University of Birmingham, with NUI Galway as partners in the study. Research in Ireland will be conducted by PhD researcher, Nina Wemken under the supervision of Dr Marie Coggins in the School of Physics at NUI Galway.   Dr Coggins explains: “Brominated flame retardants have been used widely to flame-proof electronic goods, furniture, and other textiles. PFOS and related chemicals have been used to impart stain and dirt repellence in carpets, paper and packaging, to provide water repellence in garments and clothing and are used in firefighting foams. Currently, the health effects of many of these chemicals are not fully understood, however evidence suggests that, at certain levels, they may be harmful to human health. We will not study the health effects of these chemicals in ELEVATE, but as a first step our study will measure how much of these chemicals are present in different environment to assess the importance of different pathways to the overall exposure of the Irish population. These exposures will be compared to existing estimates of dietary exposure for Ireland to identify the relative importance of different exposure pathways to the Irish population. This is quite a comprehensive study and one of the first of its kind internationally.” Public Participation in the Study NUI Galway PhD student, Nina Wemken added: “For this study we are seeking participants from 30 primary schools, 30 offices, 30 homes and cars in Dublin, Limerick and Galway. We hope people will take part in the research study and help us find out more about POPs in the environments. For those who wish to participate, a member of the ELEVATE study team will visit the home/office or school and perform the measurements. The trained researcher will place a small device in one room for 60 days which will measure POPs in the air. They will use small, discreet, specialist equipment which should not interfere with the day to day activities. The researcher will also collect a sample of floor dust using a standard vacuum cleaner. Participants will also be asked to complete a short questionnaire, to provide brief details of the number of electrical appliances and the type of textiles etc. in your room. All samples collected will be analysed for their concentrations of brominated flame retardants and PFOS at a specialist laboratory at the University of Birmingham. For further information on ELEVATE visit: www.nuigalway.ie/elevate ENDS

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

A team of Irish clinical academics have secured one of seven major awards that have been made across the UK and Ireland by Wellcome*. The scheme, which will be known as Wellcome – HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme, will support the intake of eight postgraduate trainee doctors per year for a five-year period, providing fully integrated clinical and research training up to consultant level. The award represents an overall investment of almost €13 million with €7.5 million coming from Wellcome and the Health Research Board (HRB). This is matched with a further combined contribution of €5.5 million from the Health Service Executive and the Health and Social Care Research and Development Office, Northern Ireland, and the partner universities. The programme will be open to applications in autumn 2016 for an intake beginning in July 2017. ‘A research-active health system is proven to have better outcomes for patients’, said Minister for Health Simon Harris, announcing the programme today. ‘Patients will be the long-term winners as this collaborative investment will fundamentally improve both the number and calibre of Clinician Scientists working in our universities and health services.  I'm really pleased to announce this significant investment in the future of the health service, and I know the positive impact for patient care is going to be very real.  I very much look forward to seeing this important programme in action over the next few years. I welcome the strong collaboration that is core to this research award, and I am particularly pleased that Northern Ireland is part of it, making this an all island and multi-institutional Programme’. The north’s Health Minister, Michelle O Neill said; ‘This is the largest ever investment in academic medicine through an all island collaborative partnership and it will make a real difference to the health of people across the island of Ireland and further afield.  I want to congratulate all those involved in securing this programme and in particular pay tribute to the role played by Professor Peter Maxwell, from Queen’s University in Belfast.   This initiative demonstrates what can be achieved through collaborative working across the whole island of Ireland.’ The partner universities involved in the programme include NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin,  University College Cork, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Queen’s University Belfast. Each academic partner is affiliated to hospitals and hospital groups in their region. A crucial coordinating role was played by Molecular Medicine Ireland, the collaborative entity owned by the university partners. Lead investigators from the Institutions involved in the application include: Professor Conall Dennedy, NUI Galway, Co-investigator, Wellcome-HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme Professor Michael Gill, Trinity College Dublin, Director of the Wellcome-HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme Professor Paddy Mallon, University College Dublin, Deputy Director of the Wellcome-HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme Professor Joe Eustace, University College Dublin, Co-investigator, Wellcome-HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme Professor Ray Stallings, RCSI, Co-investigator, Wellcome-HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme Professor Peter Maxwell, Queen’s University Belfast, Co-investigator, Wellcome-HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme Dr Mark Watson, Molecular Medicine Ireland, Co-ordinator of the application for the Wellcome-HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme Professor Michael Gill the Principal Investigator on the Wellcome-HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme said: “Our goal in securing this award was to enable a fundamental change in the training of future academic clinicians on an all-Ireland basis. At its core is a fully integrated clinical and research programme that will provide seamless, supported and mentored training of the highest standard, targeting future clinical academic leaders in the universities and health care system. The programme will identify, recruit, and mentor doctors during their postgraduate training who have the potential to become future academic leaders. They will be supported through a structured career pathway, aligned with our national research strengths and postgraduate specialities. In doing so, this programme will position Ireland well to meet future challenges in clinical innovation and excellence in healthcare. Our application has the full support of all major stakeholders; the Postgraduate Forum representing specialist training bodies, the Health Services North and South, the Universities and the Health Research Board.  Trainee Clinician Scientists will be based at six major Irish universities in Belfast, Cork, Dublin and Galway, and will be able to take advantage of existing clinical research infrastructures and supports in their associated hospitals, many of which have been funded by the HRB.” Professor Conall Dennedy, NUI Galway, Co-investigator, Wellcome-HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme, said: “This marks a fantastic opportunity for medical trainees to develop careers as clinician scientists through a truly integrated, collaborative programme which incorporates the major medical schools across the entire island, North and South. This programme demonstrates how we can work together across academic, training and healthcare institutions. Through these collaborations we will strengthen our research network across the country, train excellent clinician scientists and ultimately benefit the patients across the island by sowing the seeds to develop a landsacpe for cutting edge medicine, technology transfer and translational medicine. We all look forward to our first intake of trainees in 2017.” According to Dr Graham Love, Chief Executive at the Health Research Board: “We are committed to fostering a research-active culture among health professionals so they can continually evolve and improve care.  It is great to see that the ongoing collaboration between the HRB and Wellcome Trust continues to extend new opportunities to researchers in Ireland.” Dr Anne-Marie Coriat, Head of Research Careers at Wellcome said: “This is one of seven new clinical PhD programmes across the UK and Ireland that Wellcome has funded. Training small groups of PhD students in programmes provides an opportunity to develop cohort focussed training opportunities and further embed clinical academic training within universities and university hospitals.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

NUI Galway’s Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas (MGO) programme has been awarded the Apple Distinguished Programme 2016-18’. The award identifies centres of excellence in the use of technology in education. In February 2015, the MGO was the first third-level programme outside the USA to be awarded the Apple Distinguished Programme award. Professor Gerry MacRuairc, the newly appointed Professor of Education and Head of School at NUI Galway said: “The potential of this type of technology to enrich learning for all is extraordinary. The depth of learning and the variety of the learning experiences enabled by the iPad material designed by Seán Ó Grádaigh, the MGO team and most importantly the MGO students themselves in the School of Education is an exemplar for how we need to use technology to enrich the learning of our teacher educators and the student they teach.” The MGO is a two year, full-time programme offered through the medium of Irish, by the School of Education at NUI Galway. The MGO is unique in that it is the only initial teacher education programme that prepares future teachers to teach in second-level Irish medium schools. The programme equips student teachers with the professional knowledge, theoretical and conceptual tools necessary for developing creative, flexible and reflective approaches to teaching. A particular emphasis is placed on teaching through the medium of Irish and on the development of strategies for teaching and learning both content and language (CLIL). Director of the MGO programme, Dr Brendan Mac Mahon said: “We are delighted to receive this award again this year. It is testament to the excellent work of the programme team and student teachers in the ongoing development of educational technology.” -Ends- Gradam Apple do Chlár Iomráiteach bronnta ar Chlár Máistreachta OÉ Gaillimh don dara bliain as a chéile Bronnadh gradam Apple do Chlár Iomráiteach 2016-18 ar an Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas (MGO) in OÉ Gaillimh. Tugann an gradam aitheantas d’ionaid barr feabhais in úsáid na teicneolaíochta san oideachas. I mí Feabhra 2015 ba é an MGO an chéad chlár tríú leibhéal lasmuigh de Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá a ghnóthaigh gradam Apple do Chlár Iomráiteach. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Gerry MacRuairc, an tOllamh nuacheaptha le hOideachas agus Ceann Scoile in OÉ Gaillimh: “Tá cumas iontach sa chineál seo teicneolaíochta chun cur leis an bhfoghlaim do chách. Tá doimhneacht na foghlama agus éagsúlacht na n-eispéireas foghlama a chuirtear ar fáil de thoradh an ábhair iPad atá deartha ag Seán Ó Grádaigh, ag foireann an MGO agus go háirithe ag mic léinn an MGO iad féin i Scoil an Oideachais ina dhea-shampla den chaoi ar cheart dúinn úsáid a bhaint as an teicneolaíocht chun cur le foghlaim na dteagascóirí agus na mic léinn atá á dteagasc acu.” Clár lánaimseartha dhá bhliain é an MGO a chuireann Scoil an Oideachais in OÉ Gaillimh ar fáil trí mheán na Gaeilge. Tá an MGO uathúil mar go bhfuil sé ar an t-aon chlár in oiliúint tosaigh múinteoirí a ullmhaíonn múinteoirí le múineadh i ngaelscoileanna dara leibhéal. Cinntíonn an clár go mbíonn an t-eolas gairmiúil, na huirlisí teoiriciúla agus coincheapúla riachtanacha ag múinteoirí faoi oiliúint chun cur chuige cruthaitheach, solúbtha agus machnamhach teagaisc a fhorbairt. Cuirtear béim ar leith ar theagasc trí mheán na Gaeilge agus ar fhorbairt straitéisí do theagasc agus d’fhoghlaim ábhair agus teanga (CLIL). Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Stiúrthóir an chláir MGO, an Dr Brendan Mac Mahon: “Tá an-ríméad orainn an gradam seo a bhaint amach arís i mbliana. Is cruthúnas é ar an tsárobair a dhéanann foireann an chláir agus na múinteoirí faoi oiliúint i bhforbairt leanúnach theicneolaíocht an oideachais.” -Críoch-

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

NUI Galway’s Rover Society has collected over 900 sleeping bags at Electric Picnic in Stradbally to donate to homeless services around Ireland. Based off a successful scheme run by the Society last year which saw 1,200 sleeping bags being donated to the homeless service COPE Galway, the society hoped to collect a similar amount of bags this year. Hannah Jansen, Auditor of the Rover Society at NUI Galway, said: “One of the most challenging aspects of this project is the logistics of transporting so many sleeping bags across Ireland. This year, we received sponsorship from Windsor Motor Group Galway and RescuU who provided us with a transit van and box trailer respectively. We also received support from the boutique camping company, Pink Moon, who have kindly offered us sleeping bags from the festival for two consecutive years. Without the support of these local businesses, this project would never have been possible.”  This year the sleeping bags were donated to Darkness into Light in Dublin, and NOVA, a Limerick-based charity that provides emergency accommodation to families, children and single adults who are homeless. The remaining bags were donated to local scout and youth groups across Galway City. Riona Hughes, NUI Galway’s Societies Officer, said: “This good work by the Rovers Society exemplifies all that is positive and socially aware about the students in NUI Galway. A big congratulations is due to Rover Society for this large undertaking and to all of the society members who in the last 12 years have raised over €2 million for charity and who have volunteered and worked with communities throughout the world.” The NUI Galway Rover Society is the Scout society at the University who aim to promote the outdoors but is also working towards a better community outreach. -Ends- 

Monday, 12 September 2016

An NUI Galway PhD student, Louise Corcoran, was awarded the Pain Research Medal at the Irish Pain Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting which took place in Dublin at the weekend. Louise, from Tuam, Co. Galway, was awarded the medal for her poster presentation. The research poster presentations were judged by a panel of international experts who commended the high quality of the research. Researchers from the NUI Galway’s Centre for Pain Research and Galway Neuroscience Centre have had an outstanding record of success in this competition over the years, being among the prize winners on every occasion. A third-year PhD candidate in the Discipline of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Louise was awarded the Non-Clinical Pain Research Medal. Louise’s research, supervised by Professor David Finn and Dr Michelle Roche, involves the investigation of mechanisms underlying co-existent mood and pain disorders as well as the identification of future therapeutic targets. Her research is funded jointly by Science Foundation Ireland, NUI Galway, and a Government of Ireland Postgraduate Fellowship from the Irish Research Council. Professor David Finn, Co-Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Pain Research, said: “We are delighted to see NUI Galway researcher Louise win this prestigious prize for her work. Our pain research aims to advance the understanding and treatment of chronic pain, a major unmet clinical need affecting at least 20% of the population.”  -Ends-

Monday, 12 September 2016

Páraic Ó hOibicín, Sean-nós Dancer in Residence at NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies, will offer a series of five sean-nós dance workshops this Autumn. The workshops will take place in An Taibhdhearc and commence at 7pm, on Wednesday, 21 September. A native of Leitir Mucú, Connemara, Páraic is one of a generation of dancers who led the revival of sean-nós dance in the late twentieth century. Key to Páraic’s style of dancing, is a faithful nod to older dancers and the tradition that he saw in his youth. The workshops are free and open to all. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI, Galway. -Ends- Ceardlanna Damhsa ar an Sean-nós Cuirfear tús le sraith ceardlann damhsa ar an sean-nós san Taibhdhearc, ag 7pm Dé Céadaoin, 21 Meán Fómhair. Is é Páraic Ó hOibicín atá ceaptha mar Rinceoir Cónaitheach in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh i mbliana a bheidh mar stiúrthóir na gceardlann. D'fhás Páraic suas i Leitir Mucú, i gConamara agus is ó Mháirtín Beag Ó Gríofa a fuair sé a chuid damhsa ar dtús. Tá Páraic dílis i gcónaí don seantraidisiún rince agus é ar dhuine desna damhsóirí is tábhachtaí in athbheochaint an tsean-nóis a tharla ag deireadh na haoise seo caite. Tá na ceardlanna saor isteach agus tá fáilte roimh chách. Is iad Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta agus An Chomhairle Ealaíon i bpáirt le hIonad an Léinn Éireannaigh atá ag maoiniú an togra seo. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

NUI Galway’s fifteenth annual Volunteering Fair will take place on Tuesday, 13 September in the Bailey Allen Hall, from 11-4pm. During the fair NUI Galway will launch the new national StudentVolunteer.ie website. Studentvolunteer.ie is a network of Irish Higher Education institutions that have come together to create an online resource to connect students and community groups, charities, schools, hospitals, public bodies and NGOs across Ireland. Studentvolunteer.ie is funded by each Higher Education member institution and Campus Engage Over 80 campus, local, national, and international NGOs, school and hospital programmes, charities and community and voluntary groups will be showcasing their work at the Volunteering Fair. Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, said: “StudentVolunteer.ie is an exciting new portal for young people to sign up to volunteer, manage all their community engagement and reflect on their learning for a campus recognition certificate. We created this together across higher education because students want to volunteer where they are from and now study. It is an exciting opportunity to promote community activity and we are delighted to see student volunteering grow through this easy online interface. NGOs are also welcome to add their volunteering roles addressing a wide range of issues from environmental, social justice, or children and youth to StudentVolunteer.ie for students across Ireland to see.” Volunteering Fair exhibitors include: Habitat for Humanity Ireland; Baboró International Arts Festival for Children; SERVE; The Hope Foundation; Music for Galway; Helplink Support Services; Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland; GOAL; Clean Coasts; Conservation Volunteers Galway; JCI Galway; the Kiltartan Gregory Cultural Society; and Yeats Thoor Ballylee Development group, amongst others. ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience – was established at NUI Galway to build links between community groups and students. This has been achieved through community partnerships, events like the Fair, and an online website of volunteer opportunities. At the end of the academic year students can apply for an ALIVE Certificate in acknowledgment of their voluntary commitment which is awarded by NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne. To date over 12,000 students have been recognised for their volunteering commitment to the Galway city community, the NUI Galway campus community and with international communities.  To book a stand or for further information visit www.nuigalway.ie/alive or email alive@nuigalway.ie.  -Ends-

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

NUI Galway has continued its rise in the QS World University Ranking 2016/2017, climbing 22 places to 249 in the world. This is the fourth consecutive year in which NUI Galway has risen in the popular annual league table. From over 4,300 institutions considered for inclusion, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) topped the table, followed by Harvard. The President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, commented on the success: “Our continued rise in world university rankings reflects the ambition, hard work and creativity of our staff and students.  This year marks the conclusion of the major 10-year capital development programme which has transformed the NUI Galway campus, almost doubling the amount of teaching and research space. “The high calibre of our research and teaching is facilitating collaboration with the likes of Mayo Clinic, Tsinghua University and an array of industry partners, while advancing the international reach of our university.  Meanwhile, international student numbers are increasing, numbering over 3,000 for the first time ever, while overall student numbers are now over 18,000. “While no ranking system can truly measure the worth of a university, as students return to campus this week we begin the academic year pleased to know that our strengths are being acknowledged in this way.”  NUI Galway Highlights of the 2015/2016 academic year: Research Impact In 2015 NUI Galway outperformed other Irish universities by securing the highest amount of funding during the first nine months of the EU’s Horizon 2020 funding programme. Major Horizon 2020 projects include the €4.8 million ROCSAFE project which will develop robotics and intelligent reasoning to gather forensic evidence. In May 2016, NUI Galway and the Gate Theatre announced a partnership to digitise the Gates’s archive, a major resource of theatre scholars and artists internationally. In June 2016 a team of biomedical researchers at NUI Galway developed synchronised beating heart cells from skin cells, with the aim of tackling inherited cardiac conditions in young people. Teaching Four NUI Galway Professors were ranked among the ‘World’s Influential Scientific Minds:2015’ compiled by Thompson Reuters. In November 2015, the official incorporation of Shannon College of Hotel Management with NUI Galway was marked. A major investment by NUI Galway in clinical training across the West/North West region saw new Medical Academies coming on stream in Mayo, Sligo and Donegal. Dr Michel Dugon, Zoology, and Dr Karen Doyle, Physiology, were presented with national Teaching Awards from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Campus Developments In September 2015, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD officially launched the €25 million HRB Clinical Research Facility and Lambe Institute for Translational Research. Situated on the grounds of University Hospital Galway, the €25 million facility represents the nexus of research and its translation into the clinical setting. In November 2015, the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) for the applied social sciences was launched. It is the largest of its kind in Europe with 150 staff.  -ends- Ardú Suntasach déanta ag OÉ Gaillimh sa 250 Ollscoil is fearr i Ranguithe an Domhain Tá OÉ Gaillimh fós ag dul ó neart go neart i Ranguithe Ollscoileanna Bliantúla an Domhain QS 2016/2017. D'éirigh leis an Ollscoil dreapadh 22 áit chuig an 249ú háit ar domhan. Is í seo an ceathrú bliain as a chéile a ndearna OÉ Gaillimh dul chun cinn sa tábla sraithe bliantúil a bhfuil an-tóir air. Bhí os cionn 4,300 institiúid istigh ar an tábla ach ba í an Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) a bhain amach barr na sraithe agus tá Harvard sa dara háit. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, faoin dea-scéala: “Léiríonn an dul chun cinn i ranguithe ollscoileanna an domhain uaillmhian, dúthracht agus cruthaitheacht ár gcomhaltaí foirne agus ár mac léinn.  Tháinig críoch i mbliana lenár gclár forbartha caipitil deich mbliana a bhfuil athrú ó bhonn déanta aige ar champas OÉ Gaillimh. Tá beagnach dúbailt an spás teagaisc agus taighde againn anois. “Murach ardchaighdeán an taighde agus an teagaisc ní bheimis in ann comhoibriú le leithéidí an Mayo Clinic, Ollscoil Tsinghua agus go leor compháirithe tionscail, agus ag an am céanna cur le cáil idirnáisiúnta na hollscoile.  Tá líon na mac léinn idirnáisiúnta ag dul i méid agus os cionn 3,000 againn den chéad uair riamh agus tá líon iomlán na mac léinn os cionn 18,000 anois. “Cé nach féidir le córas rangaithe ar bith luach ollscoile a mheas, tá áthas orainn go bhfuil aitheantas tugtha dár láidreachtaí ar an gcaoi seo agus na mic léinn ag filleadh ar an gcampas an tseachtain seo.”  Éachtaí OÉ Gaillimh i mbliain acadúil 2015/2016: Tionchar Taighde Sa bhliain 2015, d’éirigh níos fearr le OÉ Gaillimh ná ollscoileanna eile na hÉireann mar gur ghnóthaigh sí an méid is mó maoiniúcháin sna chéad naoi mí de chlár an AE, Deiseanna Nua 2020. I measc na dtograí móra chlár 2020 tá an togra ROCSAFE ar fiú €4.8 milliún é a fhorbróidh róbataic agus réasúnú cliste chun fianaise fhóiréinseach a bhailiú. I mí Bealtaine 2016, d’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh agus Amharclann an Gate comhpháirtíocht eatarthu chun cartlann an Gate a dhigitiú, acmhainn ollmhór do scoláirí amharclannaíochta agus d’ealaíontóirí ar fud an domhain. I mí an Mheithimh 2016 d'fhorbair foireann taighdeoirí bithleighis in OÉ Gaillimh cealla croí a bhíonn ar aon bhuille ag úsáid gaschealla spreagtha, chun déileáil le riochtaí cairduacga a bhíonn i ndaoine óga ón mbroinn. Teagasc Ainmníodh ceathrar Ollúna as OÉ Gaillimh i measc na nIntinní Eolaíochta is Tábhachtaí ar Domhan: 2015 Thompson Reuters. I mí na Samhna 2015, rinneadh comóradh ar ionchorprú oifigiúil Choláiste Ósta na Sionna le OÉ Gaillimh. Rinne OÉ Gaillimh infheistíocht ollmhór in oiliúint chliniciúil i réigiún an Iarthair/Iarthuaiscirt agus bunaíodh Acadamh nua Leighis i gcaitheamh na bliana i Maigh Eo, i Sligeach agus i nDún na nGall. Bhronn an Fóram Náisiúnta um Theagasc agus Foghlaim a Fheabhsú san Ardoideachas Gradaim Náisiúnta Teagaisc ar an Dr Michel Dugon, Roinn na Míoleolaíochta agus ar an Dr Karen Doyle, Roinn na Fiseolaíochta. Forbairtí ar an gCampas I Meán Fómhair 2015, rinne an Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD Áis Taighde Chliniciúil HRB ar fiú €25 milliún é agus Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach a sheoladh go hoifigiúil. Tá an áis suite ar thailte Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh, agus ag feidhmiú mar nasc idir taighde agus a chur i bhfeidhm i suíomh cliniciúil. I mí na Samhna 2015, seoladh Institiúid Cúrsa Saoil agus Sochaí (ILAS) do na heolaíochtaí sóisialta feidhmeacha. Is é seo an institiúid is mó dá leithéid san Eoraip agus tá 150 duine ag obair inti.   -críoch-

Monday, 5 September 2016

NUI Galway, in association with the Kingfisher Club and Aerogen, will host its fourth annual charity 8K Run/Walk on Saturday, 24 September at 10am. The popular event consists of a traffic-free, mixed terrain route around the University’s campus and along the banks of the river Corrib. The event is open to everyone, with runners and walkers of all fitness levels catered for. Entry to the event is €25, with all proceeds going to Jigsaw Galway, the official charity partner. A special early bird rate of €20 is available before Friday, 16 September, with further discounts for group entries. Jigsaw Galway is a free and confidential support service that promotes the mental health and well-being of young people, aged 15-25, living in Galway city and county. Jigsaw also provides advice and guidance to parents, family members, friends and other professionals who are worried about a young person. NUI Galway Vice-President for the Student Experience, Dr Pat Morgan, said: “We have been building on the success of our 8K event on campus each year, with over 700 participants in 2015. We are holding the race earlier this year, and we look forward to welcoming staff, students, alumni, friends and neighbours to the University campus on 24 September for another great event. Little things make a difference and 'The more you move the better your mood' is a key message in support of better mental health. Take this opportunity to enjoy our wonderful campus and show your support for Jigsaw.” To help participants prepare for the event, Aerogen will host a Sign-Up Day for anyone interested on Friday, 9 September from 12pm-2pm in the Insight Building at the front of the IDA Business Park, Dangan. Representatives from Kingfisher Club and Jigsaw will also be present to assist with sign-ups and answer any questions. Kingfisher Club is also organising meet-and-train sessions on Mondays and Wednesday from 1pm-2pm and 5.30pm-6.30pm departing from the Sports Centre on the NUI Galway campus. The sessions are free-of-charge and open to all. To register for the NUI Galway 8K please log on to the Run Ireland Website www.runireland.com/events/nui-galway-8k-0. Updates are also available on the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NUIGalway.8kRun. For further queries email nuigalway8k@kingfisherclub.com. -Ends-

Friday, 2 September 2016

Exercise4Health is back this October, helping the people of Galway take control of their heart health. This programme, designed specifically for those who due to a number of health issues are reluctant to engage in exercise, those who are new to exercise and those who see exercise as their medicine to engage in a meaningful, evidence based fitness programme.  “The programme has been very successful over the past year with many participants improving their cardiovascular fitness, decreasing their risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and overall participants are living healthier lives” said Croí’s Specialist Cardiac Physiotherapist, Denise Dunne. Being physically active prevents and helps control a multitude of health problems, especially, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Exercise4Health provides a locally accessible fitness solution and opportunity for those with diabetes, heart disease, pulmonary disease; those recovering from stroke or cancer or those with breathing difficulties or other long-term health conditions, to commence a safe and beneficial exercise programme. The programme is ideally suited to anyone trying to reduce weight or indeed improve their overall health and wellbeing. The six-week rolling exercise programme is specially designed to suit all levels of current fitness. Prior to enrolling in the class all individuals will be assessed to ascertain current fitness levels. “The social interaction and group inclusion is also a vital part of the benefits of the programme, over the last year it has been a pleasure to see the many friendships develop between members of the group, with everyone enjoying a cup of  tea/coffee at the end of each exercise session” continued Denise Dunne. Croí, Kingfisher and NUI Galway jointly collaborate to bring Exercise4Health and are supporting World Heart Day on the 29 September. The Exercise4Health programme is starting back on Thursday, 6 October, and takes place in the Kingfisher Fitness Club at NUI Galway from 1-2pm every Thursday. For further information or to book a place call Croí now on 091 544310 -Ends-

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

: Marking the centenary of Galwayman Peter Tyrrell’s birth, NUI Galway will present the Peter Tyrrell Social Justice Award to the social work student who best engaged with issues of social justice in her/his fieldwork placement. The Award, sponsored by the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, will be presented on Friday, 9 September in Áras Moyola at 1.30pm. On 26 April 1967 Peter Tyrrell’s remains were found on Hampstead Heath. Initial investigation found he had set fire to himself and it took a year to establish his identity. Born in 1916 his early years were spent on the family’s small farm four and a half miles from Ballinasloe. There were ten children in the family and life was characterised by intense poverty and six of the children were taken ‘into care’ in 1924. Eight year-old Peter, along with three older brothers were sent to St. Joseph’s Industrial School in Letterfrack where he remained until 1932. Founded on Fear the book which Peter wrote is an evocative account of his life. His unpublished manuscript remained hidden for many years until it was discovered by the Diarmuid Whelan, an academic based at UCC, who subsequently edited Tyrrell’s memoir for publication and it was eventually published in 2006. Peter’s book seems to have been written between August 1958 and February 1959. In a letter, in March 1964, three years before his death, Peter maintained that the real purpose of his book was to “to provide the necessary documentary proof, before I launch a campaign in this country. What I am planning is public demonstrations.” Undoubtedly a tragic and fragile figure, Peter Tyrrell should also be recognised as a brave, tenacious and determined figure who demanded that the Republic should deliver on its social and political promises.  NUI Galway Lecturer Dr Paul Michael Garrett, who will present the Peter Tyrrell Social Justice Award, said: “Peter’s attempt to spark a campaign to highlight child abuse within the Irish industrial schools was a dismal failure. Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s was not, it appears, ready to listen to accounts of the systematic brutality carried out in places of coercive confinement such as industrial schools. Perhaps more fundamentally, the Republic and beyond was unable to hear, and respond to, what are now referred to as ‘survivor’ of accounts of harm suffered within state-run, or sponsored, institutions. Today, his book – and his life – sends important messages to social workers and social work educators.” “Founded on Fear is a remarkable and tragic testament. Peter’s work and political activism also highlights continuities between historical practices and contemporary responses to the economically and socially marginalised, such as asylum seekers in quasi-imprisonment in so-called direct provision centres”, continued Dr Garrett. -Ends-

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

As part of the ‘It’s OK to Ask’ campaign, the Health Research Board Clinical Research Facility Galway will open its doors and welcome the public this Thursday, 1 September from 4-7pm. Over 100 clinical trials are underway at the facility involving people with cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The event will include three short talks, a self-guided tour and ten thematic exhibitions highlighting areas of research and ongoing clinical studies. Consultants and staff will be on hand to answer questions and describe their work. Short expert talks will be also be delivered by: Dr Andrew Murphy, Professor of General Practice and Director of HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland; Professor of Cellular Therapy Frank Barry, Coordinator of the ADIPOA-2 project; and Professor of Medicine John J Carey, Consultant Physician in Medicine and Rheumatology. These talks will take place in the Clinical Sciences Institute Large Lecture Theatre, room 227. Launched in May 2016, ‘It’s OK to Ask’ is an on-going public awareness initiative that aims to encourage patients, carers, and the public to ask healthcare professionals if there is a clinical trial study they might be suitable for, and to learn more about what exactly is involved in clinical research. Through the campaign, periodic exhibitions in the University Hospital Galway foyer, themed social media blitzes, and public events are planned. The HRB-CRFG is a joint venture between NUI Galway, Galway University Hospitals, and Saolta, and has been in operation since March 2008, with a purpose-built building adjacent to University Hospital Galway. The HRB-CRFG provides the infrastructure, physical space, facilities, expertise and culture needed to optimally support biomedical research. The team focus on studies aimed at understanding a wide range of diseases and speedily translating the knowledge obtained through this research work into reimbursed, regulatory approved advances in patient care. For more information visit https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/open-house-hrb-clinical-research-facility-galway-tickets-26969365097, or contact event organiser Danielle M. Nicholson at danielle.nicholson@nuigalway.ie or 091 49 4282. -Ends-

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The science video competition, ReelLIFE SCIENCE, is open to all primary and secondary schools in Ireland NUI Galway is challenging all primary and secondary school students across Ireland to produce an entertaining and educational short science video for this year’s ReelLIFE SCIENCE competition. Supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme and the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices at NUI Galway, ReelLIFE SCIENCE will award €3,000 directly to the winning schools for science promotion. Since launching in 2013, more than 5,000 students in almost 200 schools around Ireland have taken part in ReelLIFE SCIENCE, while the videos produced have been viewed 70,000 times in over 100 countries worldwide. Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, Professor Mark Ferguson said of the competition: “We are delighted to support this initiative, which cleverly combines science literacy and creativity, provides a great opportunity for students and teachers to engage with science in a novel way. ReelLIFE SCIENCE encourages young people to connect with the science and technology in their everyday lives, and to bring that knowledge to a wider audience, while promoting current Irish research and development.” Secondary school students can choose ‘Irish Science Heroes’, ‘Myths Busted!’ and ‘How Things Work’ as their competition topic, while primary school topics include ‘Science and Me’, ‘Life in Space’ and ‘The Science of Farming’. Winning videos will be selected by a panel of special guest judges including: RTÉ broadcaster and science enthusiast, Rick O’Shea; University College London neuroscientist and Royal Society Fellow, Professor Eleanor Maguire; and BT Young Scientist & Technologists of the Year 2016, Maria Louise Fufezan and Diana Bura from Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin; Rick O’Shea said: “The competition is just such a brilliant, creative and fun idea, I was delighted to be asked to judge after I saw last year's entries! This isn't going to be an easy task.” Closing date for submissions is Friday, 14 October and winning schools will be announced on Monday, 14 November during Science Week 2016, when they will be invited to attend a public screening and awards ceremony during the Galway Science and Technology Festival on 27 November. ReelLIFE SCIENCE is organised by Dr Enda O’Connell and a team of science communication enthusiasts from NUI Galway, in collaboration with the Cell EXPLORERS outreach programme from the University’s School of Natural Sciences. The 2015 secondary school prizewinners were Solas O’Halloran and Matt Tyrkiel from Causeway Comprehensive School in Co. Kerry, with a video entitled ‘The Mystery of Light’, while the winning primary school video from Scoil Aonghusa Senior, Tallaght, Co. Dublin garnered praise from 2015 special guest judge Cmdr. Chris Hadfield, and his fellow astronaut Major Tim Peake. Previous year’s videos and more information about the 2016 competition can be found at www.reellifescience.com. -Ends-

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Leading experts will gather at the Irish Pain Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting in Dublin on Saturday, 3 September, to present and discuss the latest research findings on the management of joint pain. In keeping with the International Association for the Study of Pain’s ‘Global Year Against Pain in the Joints’, the meeting will focus on advancing our understanding and treatment of joint pain. The day will appeal to a broad, multidisciplinary audience of scientists and healthcare professionals as the speakers will cover various topics ranging from advances in our understanding of the biological, psychological and social factors contributing to joint pain to new innovations in psychological and medical treatments for joint pain and how these research findings can be used to improve clinical practice The national and international keynote speakers and topics covered at the Meeting will include: Dr David Cabañero, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain – Basic Science of Joint Pain Professor Candy McCabe, Bristol and Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK – Nursing and Joint Pain Professor Geert Crombez, Ghent Univeristy, Belgium – Psychology and Joint Pain Professor Krysia Dziedzic, Keele University, UK – Physiotherapy and Joint Pain Professor Gerry Wilson, University College Dublin – Rheumatology and Pharmacology and Joint Pain Professor Thomas Graven-Nielsen, Aalborg University, Denmark – Joint Pain Medicine The day will also feature a poster presentation session and the Irish Pain Research Network Symposium, both of which provide an opportunity to showcase current pain research in Ireland. Poster presenters will compete for the Pain Research Medals in clinical and non-clinical pain research. Professor David Finn from the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway and President of the Irish Pain Society, said: “I am really excited to be hosting this year’s Irish Pain Society meeting and anticipate a day filled with informative and thought-provoking talks covering the cutting edge of research on joint pain, as well as fruitful discussions and interactions with colleagues.” The meeting will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Dublin and further details can be found at www.irishpainsociety.com. -Ends-

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Arch Therapeutics, Inc. in collaboration with CÚRAM, Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices and the Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway have successfully met the objectives of a recently completed single-center, randomized, single-blind prospective clinical study of the AC5 Topical Hemostatic DeviceTM in skin lesion patients with bleeding wounds. This was the first study assessing the safety and performance of AC5 in humans and was conducted at University College Hospital, Galway, Ireland. The objectives of the study were to evaluate the safety and performance of AC5 in patients scheduled to undergo excision of skin lesions on their trunk or upper limbs. The primary endpoint was safety throughout the surgical procedure and until the end of a 30-day follow-up period post procedure. Safety of the clinical investigation device was determined by monitoring for treatment related adverse events. The primary objective was met, as the safety outcomes of both the AC5 treatment group and the control group were similar. No serious adverse events were reported. A secondary endpoint was performance as assessed by time to hemostasis. The median time to hemostasis of wounds in the AC5 treatment group was 41% faster than for those in the control group. This result was statistically significant (p<0.001, Wilcoxon signed rank test). An additional secondary endpoint of healing of treated wounds was assessed as measured by the ASEPSIS wound score at Days 7 and 30. There was no evidence, at either follow-up day, of an adverse effect of AC5 treatment on the wound ASEPSIS score. The ASEPSIS score did not appear to be compromised, as the majority of patients had an ASEPSIS score of 0 in both wounds at Days 7 and 30. All AC5-treated wounds healed satisfactorily as per wound healing scoring criteria. Terrence W. Norchi, MD, President and CEO of Arch Therapeutics, said, "These top-line data support that AC5 was safe and performed as expected in the patients enrolled in this study. These successful results mark a significant milestone in the development of AC5 and we are grateful to the support we have received from our colleagues at CÚRAM and CRFG, as well as others involved in the process. We look forward to further advancing our self-assembling peptide technology platform for this and other applications." The clinical study enrolled 46 patients, including 10 who were taking antiplatelet monotherapy. Each patient had bleeding wounds created as a result of the excision of at least two skin lesions under local anesthetic in the same setting. On a randomized basis, one lesion received AC5 and the other(s) received a control treatment consisting of standard therapy plus a sham. Each subject was followed-up for safety assessment both on Day 7 and again on Day 30, which marked the end of the subject's participation in the clinical study. "These results demonstrate significant improvement in efficacy without compromising patient safety. We believe that AC5 represents a unique technology that will provide both rapid and sustained hemostasis and important differentiable clinical benefits," concluded Norchi. Arch's clinical advisory committee has deemed the study results to be clinically significant and have recommended submitting a manuscript to a peer-reviewed medical journal for publication. The Company expects to submit further study details and data, including subgroup analysis, to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. The Company also plans to include data from this trial in a CE mark application for AC5, which is currently anticipated to be filed at the earliest by the end of this year. Arch is currently planning its next clinical-regulatory steps for both the EU and the US. Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM, said: “Clinical trials are an essential component in creating medical devices that realise their full potential and ensuring the safety value of each new development. Without these trials, research cannot be translated into economic, health or societal benefits. Our collaboration with Arch Therapeutics is very exciting. Leaders within CÚRAM have a successful history working with Arch, and we are delighted to support their drive to commercialization for what should be very important products for the healthcare industry.” -Ends-

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

NUI Galway will host the 41st Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium, the largest Surgical Conference in Ireland, from 2-3 September. The annual event provides a platform for healthcare professionals to present their research and clinical work, and allows for the merging of both scientific and clinical information. It is named in memory of the Galway-born surgeon, Sir Peter Freyer, who performed the first successful surgical operation to remove an enlarged prostate in 1900. It comprises multiple research and education sessions across the various surgical subspecialties, two keynote addresses and discussion around the future of Irish Surgery. Professor Michael Solomon, Consultant Surgeon and Director of Colorectal Research at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, will deliver the Memorial Lecture entitled ‘20 Years of Evolving Pelvic Exenteration’ on Friday, 2 September. Professor Solomon is a past President of the Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSSANZ), and previously the Chairman of the Post-FRACS Training Board in Colorectal Surgery of Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and CSSANZ of which he remained a member for 16 years. He has received an honorary fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland as well as an honorary membership of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland.  In 2014 Professor Solomon was recently awarded the prestigious RPA Foundation Research Medal, becoming the first Surgeon to be given this honour. Professor Martin Corbally will deliver the State of the Art Lecture entitled ‘The Surgeon in the Modern World’ on Saturday, 3 September. A graduate of NUI Galway, Professor Corbally is Professor and Head of the Department of Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RSCI) - Medical University of Bahrain, Chief of Staff at King Hamad University Hospital, Kingdom of Bahrain, where he is also a Consultant Paediatric Surgeon.  Having trained in Dublin and London, Professor Corbally has previously worked as Associate Professor and Consultant Paediatric Surgeon in our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin. He is Founder and Program Director of Operation Childlife, a registered Irish charity that brings paediatric surgical, cardiac, anaesthetic and nursing skills to Vietnam and Tanzania, with the support of the RCSI, the Christina Noble Foundation, Children in Crossfire and Atlantic Philanthropy. Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway, Michael Kerin, who is hosting the event along with his colleague Professor Oliver McAnena, said: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Solomon and Professor Corbally to our University. They are focused on advancing the most effective techniques in precision surgery, aimed at improving survival and quality of life of the patient.  Their lectures are the pivotal points of a large programme containing some of the best surgical research from this country. In addition, the Conference provides a great opportunity for mentoring and development of trainees, networking and cultivating the future of Irish Surgery.” For more information visit www.freyer.ie/. -Ends-

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Thirteen young Irish people were honoured for their work in creating digital games and stories on the theme of the health of the oceans at the inaugural European Sea Change Coderdojo Challenge which was held in NUI Galway during the summer. Ciara Heanue from Ballyconneely, Co. Galway, won the Irish Junior Award category for designing a game entitled ‘Wildlife Awareness’. Ciara received a prize of €300 and her game will be included in an iBook about cold-water corals that will be presented as a teaching resource to secondary schools. Conor Salmon and Liam Forde for ‘Gully’s Clean-up’, and Adam Gallagher, Evan Thornton and Daniel Bradley Coyne for ‘Flappy Fish’ were joint winners in the Irish Senior Award category and shared a prize of €500. Due to the high standard at Junior level, three other Irish Junior Merit Awards were awarded to: Sean Connolly, Ruan O’Dowd and Diarmuid O’Donoghue for their ‘Save My Sea game; Paul Schuler, Michael Salmon and Liam Ferrie for ‘SOS - Save Our Seas!’; and Sean Kerr for ‘Animal Saver’. Attending the challenge were Deputy Mayor of Galway City, Councillor John Walsh; Chairman of Coderdojo Galway City, Dr Karl Sweeney; and Co-founder of Galway Coderdojo Brendan Smith, who commend the young Galway game designers for using their coding skills to highlight an issue that is of such global concern. The Sea Change Game Design Challenge was launched in February this year and invited entries from CoderDojo members aged 7-18yrs entrants from Galway. The initiative was also piloted in Lund, Sweden with the possibility of rolling it out across Europe over the next two years. Single and team entrants were encouraged to use their CoderDojos and mentors to develop their games over the three months The challenge is organised by NUI Galway as part of their contribution to a European project called “Sea Change” which aims to establish a fundamental change in the way European citizens view their relationship with the sea.  Dr Anthony Grehan, Earth and Ocean Sciences, NUI Galway and co-organiser of the event, said: “The challenge is to use the fun and popularity of designing and playing tech games to raise awareness of marine issues like the need to protect cold-water coral reefs, how we can begin to address the scourge of micro-plastics, and how we can maintain healthy oceans and seas, for ourselves, for the animals that live in them, and ultimately for the planet.” “There was a surge of interest with 32 entrants from Galway alone, revealing a strong and enthusiastic coding community, which is particularly relevant from an informal learning perspective, considering the recent Digital Strategy for Schools, 2015-2020 and its promotion of coding and programming at both primary and secondary level”, said Dr Veronica McCauley from NUI Galway’s School of Education and co-organiser of the event. The game design was reviewed by a panel of experts including Alan Duggan of Tribalcity.com, Gavin Duffy, RealSim Ltd., and Triona Mac Giolla Rí, Aró Digital Strategy, and judged on ‘best concept’ and ‘ease of use’.  Brendan Smith, Education Outreach Officer at INSIGHT, NUI Galway and Co-Founder of Coderdojo Galway, said: “The aesthetic and technical merit of the project submissions has been highly commended by the judges. And as such, we are delighted to hear that one of the winning games will be included within a soon to be published iBook about cold water corals that will be presented as a teaching resource to secondary schools.” Irish Finalist games are available online at https://scratch.mit.edu/search/projects?q=seachange. Other marine related resources are available on the project website at www.seachangeproject.eu. -Ends-

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Thirteen young Irish people were honoured for their work in creating digital games and stories on the theme of the health of the oceans at the inaugural European Sea Change Coderdojo Challenge which was held in NUI Galway during the summer. Ciara Heanue from Ballyconneely, Co. Galway, won the Irish Junior Award category for designing a game entitled ‘Wildlife Awareness’. Ciara received a prize of €300 and her game will be included in an iBook about cold-water corals that will be presented as a teaching resource to secondary schools. Conor Salmon and Liam Forde for ‘Gully’s Clean-up’, and Adam Gallagher, Evan Thornton and Daniel Bradley Coyne for ‘Flappy Fish’ were joint winners in the Irish Senior Award category and shared a prize of €500. Due to the high standard at Junior level, three other Irish Junior Merit Awards were awarded to: Sean Connolly, Ruan O’Dowd and Diarmuid O’Donoghue for their ‘Save My Sea game; Paul Schuler, Michael Salmon and Liam Ferrie for ‘SOS - Save Our Seas!’; and Sean Kerr for ‘Animal Saver’. Attending the challenge were Deputy Mayor of Galway City, Councillor John Walsh; Chairman of Coderdojo Galway City, Dr Karl Sweeney; and Co-founder of Galway Coderdojo Brendan Smith, who commend the young Galway game designers for using their coding skills to highlight an issue that is of such global concern. The Sea Change Game Design Challenge was launched in February this year and invited entries from CoderDojo members aged 7-18yrs entrants from Galway. The initiative was also piloted in Lund, Sweden with the possibility of rolling it out across Europe over the next two years. Single and team entrants were encouraged to use their CoderDojos and mentors to develop their games over the three months The challenge is organised by NUI Galway as part of their contribution to a European project called “Sea Change” which aims to establish a fundamental change in the way European citizens view their relationship with the sea.  Dr Anthony Grehan, Earth and Ocean Sciences, NUI Galway and co-organiser of the event, said: “The challenge is to use the fun and popularity of designing and playing tech games to raise awareness of marine issues like the need to protect cold-water coral reefs, how we can begin to address the scourge of micro-plastics, and how we can maintain healthy oceans and seas, for ourselves, for the animals that live in them, and ultimately for the planet.” “There was a surge of interest with 32 entrants from Galway alone, revealing a strong and enthusiastic coding community, which is particularly relevant from an informal learning perspective, considering the recent Digital Strategy for Schools, 2015-2020 and its promotion of coding and programming at both primary and secondary level”, said Dr Veronica McCauley from NUI Galway’s School of Education and co-organiser of the event. The game design was reviewed by a panel of experts including Alan Duggan of Tribalcity.com, Gavin Duffy, RealSim Ltd., and Triona Mac Giolla Rí, Aró Digital Strategy, and judged on ‘best concept’ and ‘ease of use’.  Brendan Smith, Education Outreach Officer at INSIGHT, NUI Galway and Co-Founder of Coderdojo Galway, said: “The aesthetic and technical merit of the project submissions has been highly commended by the judges. And as such, we are delighted to hear that one of the winning games will be included within a soon to be published iBook about cold water corals that will be presented as a teaching resource to secondary schools.” Irish Finalist games are available online at https://scratch.mit.edu/search/projects?q=seachange. Other marine related resources are available on the project website at www.seachangeproject.eu. -Ends-

Monday, 22 August 2016

CAO Points Increase Significantly for Commerce, Science and Health Sciences at NUI Galway The continuing popularity of NUI Galway was reflected by CAO offers issued today, with the vast majority of courses maintaining or increasing points from 2015. Across all five colleges, points have risen. Commerce (Global Experience), Biomedical Science, Biopharmaceutical Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Occupational Therapy, and Speech and Language Therapy, all require 500 points or more for entry. Arts (Psychology), Commerce (International) with French, with German and with Spanish, Commerce (Accounting), Financial Mathematics and Economics, and Mathematical Science, all finish in the high 400s. NUI Galway’s Admissions Officer, Stephen O’Dea, said: “For the fourth year running, NUI Galway’s courses in Commerce have seen a steady increase in their points indicating a continued growth in interest in these areas. International Commerce programmes continue to be a popular choice for students with a global outlook and the strong performance of the new Commerce (Global Experience) confirms this. NUI Galway’s strength and reputation in Biosciences is also reflected with Biomedical Science continuing to perform well (530 points) and Biopharmaceutical Chemistry maintaining its 500 points entry requirement. There has been a steady interest in the Financial Mathematics and Economics programme at 485 points. This is reflective of a growing confidence in the national and international economies and financial markets, and growth in employment opportunities therein, both at home and abroad.” This year to assist high-achieving, school leavers from Ireland’s newest communities, such as refugees, to achieve their third-level goals with NUI Galway a new national pilot scheme have been put in place. Four students will be offered places as part of NUI Galway’s new merit-based Inclusive Centenaries Scholarship Scheme. Students have until Friday, 2 September to apply and can visit www.nuigalway.ie/scholarships for details. Stephen concluded: “Incoming students will be well placed to benefit from NUI Galway’s significant and ongoing capital investment programme and its fostering of innovation, entrepreneurship and research. NUI Galway is a diverse community and this year we are delighted to provide scholarship support to benefit members of Ireland’s newest communities to help to realise their full potential.”   With NUI Galway anticipating an intake of over 3,000 new students in September, a hotline is in place for students, parents and teachers. The First Year Student Hotline number is 091 493999 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/startinguniversity/ . The hotline will be available from Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, and on Saturday, 27 August from 9am to 1pm. Courses on the rise: Prospective students have shown particular interest in Commerce programmes, especially those with an international focus, reflecting awareness of the need for language mobility in the global jobs market. NUI Galway’s three International Commerce programmes (French German, and Spanish) all reached 480 points and NUI Galway’s new programme Commerce (Global Experience) is particularly popular, opening with a points requirement of 500. For the first year, Shannon College of Hotel Management’s course offerings fall within NUI Galway’s programme portfolio, with both Business Studies in International Hotel Management and Commerce in International Hotel Management showing points increases. Biomedical Engineering reached 500 points for the first time. Computer Science and Information Technology remains popular, maintaining its 2015 points requirement of 425, as do Business Information Systems (430 points) and Commerce (Accounting) (460 points). The popularity of NUI Galway’s two Law programmes continues with Corporate Law ending on 385 points and Civil Law on 435 points. Demand for Science courses has increased, with entry to Bachelor of Science Programme up 10 points to 400. Recognising NUI Galway’s national and international leadership in Biosciences, Biomedical Science remains at 530 point, the University’s second highest points programme. Biopharmaceutical Chemistry remains at 500 points, while Biotechnology finished at 440. Entry onto the medical programme requires 723 points (including HPAT), the same as 2015, and General Nursing finished at 445, Psychiatric Nursing at 415 and Midwifery at 440. Both of NUI Galway’s Therapy programmes, Occupational and Speech and Language finished at 530 points. In Arts, NUI Galway’s popular Creative Writing degree continues to attract a great deal of interest with the points increasing by 20 to 445. Arts (Mathematics and Education) has increased in demand with a 25 point rise to 435 and NUI Galway’s new Arts Degree (Children’s Studies) opens at 350 points. -Ends- An-éileamh ar OÉ Gaillimh arís agus tairiscintí an CAO ag teacht amach  Ardú mór ar Phointí an do chúrsaí Tráchtála, Eolaíochta agus Eolaíochtaí Sláinte OÉ Gaillimh Ba léir ó na tairiscintí a rinne an CAO inniu go bhfuil an-éileamh ar OÉ Gaillimh arís i mbliana. Tá líon na bpointí atá de dhíth ar fhormhór mór na gcúrsaí gan athrú nó ardaithe ó 2015. D'ardaigh líon na bpointí atá ag teastáil chun cúrsaí a dhéanamh i gcúig choláiste na hOllscoile. Tá 500 pointe nó níos mó ag teastáil chun áit a fháil sa Tráchtáil (Taithí Idirnáisiúnta), an Eolaíocht Bhithleighis, an Cheimic Bhithchógaisíochta, an Innealtóireacht Bhithleighis, an Teiripe Shaothair agus an Teiripe Urlabhra agus Teanga. Tá níos mó ná 400 pointe ag teastáil i gcás cúrsaí sna Dána (an tSíceolaíocht), an Tráchtáil (Idirnáisiúnta) le Fraincis, Gearmáinis nó Spáinnis, an Tráchtáil (Cuntasaíocht), Matamaitic an Airgeadais agus Eacnamaíocht agus Eolaíochtaí Matamaiticiúla. Tabharfaidh OÉ Gaillimh áit do cheathrar mac léinn mar chuid den Scéim nua Scoláireachtaí Uileghabhálacha Comórtha Céad Bliain a bhronnfar ar bhonn fiúntais i mbliana. Cabhróidh an scéim phíolótach náisiúnta seo le daoine sárchumasacha atá ag fágáil na meánscoile agus arb as nua-phobail na hÉireann iad (teifigh, mar shampla) oideachas tríú leibhéal a bhaint amach in OÉ Gaillimh. Beidh go dtí Dé hAoine, an 2 Meán Fómhair ag mic léinn chun iarratas a dhéanamh agus tá tuilleadh eolais ar fáil ag www.nuigalway.ie/scholarships. Dúirt Oifigeach Iontrála OÉ Gaillimh, Stephen O’Dea: “Siod é an ceathrú bliain as a chéile a tháinig ardú ar líon na bpointí atá de dhíth chun cúrsaí Tráchtála a dhéanamh in OÉ Gaillimh, rud a léiríonn go bhfuil an tsuim sna cúrsaí seo ag méadú léi. Is iomaí mac léinn a bhfuil spéis acu ina bhfuil ag tarlú sa domhan mór a roghnaíonn an cúrsa Tráchtála Idirnáisiúnta agus léiríonn an chaoi ar éirigh leis an gcúrsa nua sa Tráchtáil (Taithí Idirnáisiúnta) sin. Léiríonn an t-ardú ar na pointí don chlár Innealtóireachta Neamhainmnithe i mbliana go dtuigeann mic léinn an fiúntas atá le céim Innealtóireachta a dhéanamh in OÉ Gaillimh, go háirithe i bhfianaise mhargadh iomaíoch fostaíochta an lae inniu. Is léiriú ar láidreacht agus ar cháil OÉ Gaillimh san eolaíocht bhitheach an tóir atá i gcónaí ar an Eolaíocht Bhithleighis (530 pointe) agus ar an gCeimic Bhithchógaisíochta (500 pointe). Tá suim á cur sa chúrsa Matamaitic an Airgeadais agus Eacnamaíocht go leanúnach agus tá 485 pointe de dhíth chun áit a fháil ar an gcúrsa. Léiríonn sé seo go bhfuil an muinín atá ag daoine sa gheilleagar náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta agus as na margaí airgeadais ag fás agus go bhfuiltear ag súil go mbeidh deiseanna fostaíochta sna réimsí sin in Éirinn agus thar sáile." Mar fhocal scoir, bhí an méid seo le rá aige: Bainfidh mic léinn tairbhe as an gclár suntasach leanúnach infheistíochta caipitil in OÉ Gaillimh a chuireann ar chumas na foirne agus na mac léinn aghaidh a thabhairt ar nuálaíocht, ar fhiontraíocht agus ar thaighde. Is pobal ilghnéitheach in OÉ Gaillimh agus tá áthas orainn scoláireachtaí a chur ar fáil i mbliana chun cabhrú le baill phobail nua na hÉireann chun barr a gcumais a bhaint amach."  Tá OÉ Gaillimh ag súil go mbeidh 3,000 mac léinn nua ag teacht chuici i Mí Mheán Fómhair agus tá beolíne ar fáil do mhic léinn, tuismitheoirí agus múinteoirí. Is í uimhir Bheolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana 091 493999 nó téigh chuig http://www.nuigalway.ie/new-students/. Beidh an bheolíne ar fáil ó Luan go hAoine, ó 9am go dtí 6pm agus ar an Satharn, an 27 Lúnasa, ó 9am go dtí 1pm. Cúrsaí a bhfuil borradh ag teacht fúthu: Léirigh mic léinn nua suim ar leith sna cláir Tráchtála, go háirithe na cláir a bhfuil gné idirnáisiúnta ag baint leo, rud a thaispeánann go dtuigeann an pobal mór an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an ilteangachas sa mhargadh domhanda fostaíochta. Bhain na Cláir Tráchtála Idirnáisiúnta (Fraincis, Gearmáinis agus Spáinnis) a chuireann OÉ Gaillimh ar fáil 480 pointe amach agus bhí an-tóir ar an gclár nua sa Tráchtáil (Taithí Idirnáisiúnta) agus tá 500 pointe de dhíth chun áit a fháil air. Tá cúrsaí Choláiste Ósta na Sionna i measc na gcúrsaí atá luaite le OÉ Gaillimh den chéad uair i mbliana agus tháinig ardú ar líon na bpointí atá ag teastáil don Staidéar Gnó sa Bhainistíocht Óstáin Idirnáisiúnta agus don Tráchtáil sa Bhainistíocht Óstáin Idirnáisiúnta. D'ardaigh líon na bpointí atá ag teastáil chun áit a fháil ar an gcúrsa Innealtóireachta Neamhainmnithe go 445 i mbliana, rud a léiríonn an tsuim atá ag daoine ar fud na tíre sa réimse seo agus bhain an Innealtóireacht Bhithleighis 500 pointe amach den chéad uair riamh. Tá éileamh ar an Eolaíocht Ríomhaireachta agus  Teicneolaíocht na Faisnéise go fóill agus tá 425 pointe de dhíth chun áit a fháil ar na cúrsaí sin agus is amhlaidh atá sé do Chórais Faisnéise Gnó (430 pointe) agus don Tráchtáil (Cuntasaíocht) (460 pointe). Tá an-tóir ar chláir Dlí OÉ Gaillimh agus tá 385 pointe de dhíth chun an Dlí Corparáideach a dhéanamh agus 435 i gcás an Dlí Shibhialta. Mhéadaigh an t-éileamh ar chúrsaí Eolaíochta agus tá 400 pointe de dhíth chun áit a fháil orthu, méadú 10 bpointe. Ní haon ionadh gurb é an cúrsa Eolaíochta Bithleighis an dara cúrsa is mó a bhfuil pointí ag dul leis (530 pointe) toisc go bhfuil OÉ Gaillimh go mór chun cinn i réimse na nEolaíochtaí Bitheacha go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta. Tá 500 pointe de dhíth chun áit a fháil sa Cheimic Bhithchógaisíochta agus 440 i gcás na Biteicneolaíochta. Tá 723 pointe (HPAT san áireamh) ag teastáil chun áit a fháil ar an gclár Leighis, mar a bhí in 2015, agus 445 de dhíth chun an tAltranas Ginearálta a dhéanamh, 415 don Altranas Síciatrach agus 440 don Chnáimhseachas. Tá 530 pointe de dhíth chun áit a fháil ar an dá chlár teiripe a chuireann OÉ Gaillimh ar fáil, an Teiripe Shaothair agus an Teiripe Urlabhra agus Teanga. Maidir leis na Dána, cuireadh an-suim sa chéim sa Scríbhneoireacht Cruthaitheach. Tháinig ardú 20 pointe air agus 445 de dhíth chun áit a fháil ar an gclár.  Tháinig ardú 25 pointe ar an gcúrsa sna Dána (Matamaitic agus Oideachas) agus tá 435 ag teastáil chun áit a fháil air agus tá 350 pointe de dhíth i gcás na céime nua sna Dána (Staidéar Leanaí). -Críoch-

Thursday, 18 August 2016

NUI Galway recently hosted the second International Conference on Pollution Control and Resource Recovery for the Livestock Sector (LivestockWaste2016). The conference provided a forum for researchers and industry representatives to present, discuss and develop their innovative technologies and practices for managing livestock waste and recovering resources. Sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland, Environmental Protection Agency, Engineers Ireland, Teagasc, NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute and Fáilte Ireland, the conference also facilitated the introduction of many innovative international solutions to representatives of the Irish livestock sector and engineering industry with the aim of improving practices in Ireland. Professor Xinmin Zhan, Chair of LivestockWaste2016 and Professor with NUI Galway’s Civil Engineering, said: “In recent years, economic development, population growth and demand for a better quality of living have resulted in the growth of the livestock sector. As a by-product of the sectors activities, a large volume of waste is generated making the livestock sector one of the largest agricultural pollution sources in most developing and developed countries. In addition to the waste generated, the livestock sector is a major contributor to climate change as a result of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from rumen animals, on-farm activities and animal waste management. In order to alleviate the pollution from the sector, innovative technologies and practices for managing livestock waste and emissions are being developed worldwide.” Over the three days international renowned experts delivered keynote speeches on a number of critical topics relating to waste management within the Livestock sector including: Professor Kornelia Smalla, The Julius Kühn Institute, Germany; Dr Karl Richards, Teagasc, Johnstown Castle; Professor Han-Qing Yu, University of Science and Technology of China; Dr Jerry Murphy, University College Cork; Professor Xia Huang, Tsinghua University, China; and Professor Dave Chadwick, Bangor University in Wales. In addition, the international conference delegates delivered, both, oral and poster presentations, over the three days. These presentation were grouped under a number of thematic areas, including but limited to: pollution policies and regulations for the livestock sector; emerging contaminants in livestock waste streams; technologies for waste prevention; anaerobic digestion and composting; pollution control technologies; Greenhouse Gas emissions; technologies for nutrient recovery; and other relative technologies. The Environmental Engineering Research Group in Civil Engineering has been very active in carrying out research and practice in environmentally sustainable agricultural waste management. Professor Xinmin Zhan, who chaired the LivestockWaste2016 conference, is leading the GreenFarm project funded by SFI. The project explores the technical and financial feasibility of anaerobic co-digestion plants on Irish pig farms, and the DairyWater project investigating measures to increase the environmental sustainability of the Irish dairy processing industry. -Ends-

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Highlighting the important partnership between NUI Galway and Tsinghua University, a concert took place on campus this week, with Dr Yue Xiaoyong, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, as special guest. The lunchtime event, attended by over 200 guests, featured the Tsinghua University Symphony Orchestra and visiting students from the University. Fresh from a performance in the Black Box over the weekend, the students danced and performed in traditional dress. One of Asia’s leading universities, Tsinghua University has a longstanding tradition of co-operation in teaching and research with NUI Galway. This was formalised in December 2014 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding witnessed by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and President of China, Xi Jinping, both alumni of NUI Galway and Tsinghua respectively. The concert coincided with the visit by Tsinghua Vice-Chancellor SHI Zongkai, Vice Chairperson of University Council, who was on campus for a series of strategic meetings with NUI Galway administrators and academics, including University President, Dr Jim Browne. This annual meeting, known as Tsinghua-NUI Galway Day is now a feature of the collaboration and sees senior academics from both institutions briefing each other on research developments and planning their programme of collaboration. Dr Browne commented: “It was a great honour to welcome our colleagues from Tsinghua University in the presence of His Excellency Ambassador Yue. Our strong ties with a range of Chinese universities greatly benefit and support research collaborations, as well as student and academic exchanges. NUI Galway also has a growing network of graduates in China and this plays an important role in reinforcing our research links with some of China’s leading universities, including Tsinghua, Beijing Institute of Technology and Harbin Institute of Technology.” NUI Galway has academic exchange and collaborations with 30 institutions throughout China and Hong Kong. “I look forward to visiting the China Education Expo as part of a national delegation with Richard Bruton, TD Minister for Education and Skills in October of this year”, added Dr Browne. The China Education Expo has become one of them most prominent education fairs in China, attracting a substantial number of top international education providers, as well as a significant volume of student visitors. This year Ireland will be awarded the prestigious role of ‘Country of Honour’ for the event. Meanwhile, hundreds of Chinese delegates from some of the most well-known research institutions and universities were at NUI Galway for a joint international conference on environment, health and geographical information science. ISEH 2016, ISEG 2016 and GeoInformatics 2016 run until the 20 August, more information is available at www.conference.ie -ends-

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

From Shakespeare to Harry Potter NUI Galway will host the 13th conference of the European Society for the Study of English (ESSE) from 22-26 August. This event will bring over 800 scholars to Galway, from almost every country in Europe, as well as north and south America, the Middle East, China, Australia, and elsewhere. ESSE is a scholarly organisation dedicated to the study of English language, literature and cultural studies. This is the first time that it has been held in Ireland and is one of the largest conferences in the humanities in Europe. The event includes over 80 seminars on a huge range of topics. Great literary figures such as Shakespeare and Charles Dickens feature, but there are also seminars on more recent literary creations such as Harry Potter. Seminars also cover a wide range of subjects, including religious writing, young adult fiction, crime writing, romantic poetry, and much more. Papers in the area of linguistics focus on such topics as special education, the influence of English on European languages, and business terminology. There are also papers on contemporary film and television, ranging from such movies as The Piano to the TV show Penny Dreadful. The three keynote speakers are Emma Smith from Oxford, who will speak about Shakespeare’s first folio; Paul Baker from Lancaster, who will speak about the differences between British and American English; and the Irish writer Colm Tóibín, who will speak on the topic of violence in the works of Yeats and Joyce. Other special events include an exhibition on Shakespeare and Kenneth Branagh, hosted by NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library; an evening of Sean-Nós Song and Dance; a reading by Mike McCormack and Mary O’Malley; and a Druid Academy public interview with Irish draamatists Stacey Gregg, Sonya Kelly, Amy Conroy and Meadhbh McHugh. The conference is organised by Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, Patrick Lonergan: “Bringing ESSE to Galway is a huge privilege. It allows us to make connections all across Europe and the wider world – something that our students and staff can only benefit from. With the news that Galway will be European Capital of Culture in 2020, this event gives us a great opportunity to present ourselves to a European audience and to showcase Galway’s excellence in the areas of education, culture and hospitality.” As a subject English is one of NUI Galway’s highest ranked, being placed in the Top 200 QS World University Rankings. The ESSE event also showcases the University’s excellence in other areas: its major theatre archive holdings, as well as its programmes in such areas as Creative Writing, Literature and Publishing, Theatre Practice and Production, Irish Studies, and more. Further details on the conference website: www.esse2016.org/. -Ends- 

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Scientists at NUI Galway have put a call out to people from every county in Ireland to keep an eye out for native Irish bees this summer. Beekeepers and bee-enthusiasts in particular are being asked to report any feral or unmanaged hives in their area. The team of scientists, with help from watchful members of the public, have already found more than twenty feral Irish Honey Bee hives, inlcuding one in the statue of a lion on the estate of Mote Park, Roscommon. Reports have also been received from reliable sources pointing to long-term presence of ‘wild’ hives in seven additional counties. Of particular interest at this stage are old abandoned houses and castles, outbuildings, residential houses, and woodlands. The overall aim of the project is to settle the debate as to whether there truly remain any indigenous Irish Honey Bees - Apis Mellifera Mellifera - persisting in the wild. If they do exist, then their gene pool may well prove important in the fight against the varroa mite which is destroying hives all over the world. This mite seriously affects honey bee health to such an extent that most beekeepers have to chemically treat bees multiple times per year. Professor Grace McCormack, of NUI Galway’s Zoology Department, is leading the project which has been funded by The Eva Crane Trust: “When disease wiped out swathes of native Irish Honey Bee colonies in the past, foreign subspecies of honeybees were knowingly imported as a proposed solution to bolster numbers. Due to generations of interaction with escapees of domesticated colonies, fears are that the Irish Honey Bee populations currently found in the wild are introgressed (mixed) with non-native subspecies and hybrid strains of French, Dutch, Italian and Russian extraction.” By locating and monitoring active colonies in isolated and unmanaged hives, the scientists hope to test two assumptions held by many. Firstly, that honeybees cannot persist in the wild, so those that are supposedly found are new colonies that have swarmed from nearby beekeepers each year. Secondly, that colonies found in the wild are hybrids and not native bees. “To test these assumptions, ideally we would like to identify hives that people know have been continually active for periods of more than two-three years”, added Professor McCormack. When wild hives are found, the morphology, genotype, and health of the bees are recorded. The genotype will be used to identify if bees are native Irish honeybees and if the same genotype persists over multiple years. Of particular interest are pure Apis mellifera mellifera with unique Irish genotypes that remain healthy despite no chemical intervention. Members of the public who think they know of a ‘wild’ hive or would like to know more about the project can email nuigbeeresearch@gmail.com,  call 091 494490 or visit the Bee Genes Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/The-Bee-Genes-761379923978769/?fref=ts  -ends-

Monday, 15 August 2016

NUI Galway will once again open its dedicated First Year Student Hotline on Wednesday, 17 August. The hotline will be open to students and their parents/guardians and will run until Friday, 30 September, 2016. With NUI Galway anticipating an intake of over 3,000 new students in September, a team of specially-trained staff and students will be on hand to answer any questions students and parents may have. The hotline will be available from Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, and on Saturday 20 and 27 August from 9am to 1pm. The availability of these services coincides with the period of frantic activity and decision making that immediately follows the release of the Leaving Certificate results. The team will be on hand to deal with numerous issues that are of concern to incoming first year students, such as: points requirements for courses; first round offers; registering as a student of the University; start dates; fees and accommodation options. Tara Leydon, Academic Records and Registration Officer at NUI Galway, says: “The next few weeks is a very exciting time for all Leaving Certificate students as the culmination of years’ of hard work come to fruition. The next step for many is the transition into third-level education which is a significant milestone, not only for the students themselves, but also for their families, and we at NUI Galway understand the impact of this change, especially for those entering into university for the first time. In order to help those who are deciding to embark upon a university degree programme, we will provide support, information and guidance through our First-Year Student Hotline, to answer any questions that individuals might have about any aspect of university life. We invite all students, parents and advisors to avail of this service to make the passage to NUI Galway as smooth as possible.” Students, parents and advisers can contact the First Year Student Hotline at 091 493999 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/startinguniversity/ for up to date information. -Ends- Beolíne ar fáil do Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana in OÉ Gaillimh  Beidh Beolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana ar fáil arís i mbliana in OÉ Gaillimh ó Dé Céadaoin, an 17 Lúnasa ar aghaidh. Beidh mic léinn agus a dtuismitheoirí/a gcaomhnóirí in ann glaoch ar an mbeolíne go dtí Dé hAoine, an 30 Meán Fómhair 2016. Beidh os cionn 3,000 mac léinn nua ag tosú in OÉ Gaillimh i mí Mheán Fómhair agus beidh foireann oilte comhaltaí foirne agus mac léinn ar fáil chun ceist ar bith a d'fhéadfadh a bheith ag na mic léinn nó ag a dtuismitheoirí a fhreagairt. Beidh an bheolíne ar fáil ó Luan go hAoine, ó 9am go dtí 6pm agus dhá Shatharn, an 20 Lúnasa, agus an 27 Lúnasa, ó 9am go dtí 6pm.  Beidh na seirbhísí seo ar fáil sa tréimhse chorraitheach sin ina mbíonn ar dhaltaí cinneadh a dhéanamh i ndiaidh dóibh torthaí na hArdteistiméireachta a fháil. Beidh an fhoireann ar fáil chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar cheisteanna a bheas ag déanamh imní do mhic léinn na chéad bliana, lena n-áirítear: na pointí a bheas riachtanach do chúrsaí ar leith; an chéad bhabhta tairiscintí; clárú mar mhac léinn san Ollscoil; dátaí tosaithe; táillí agus roghanna lóistín. Seo a leanas an méid a bhí le rá ag Tara Leydon, Oifigeach na dTaifead Acadúil agus Clárúcháin, OÉ Gaillimh, faoin mbeolíne: "Tá athrú mór saoil i ndán do dhaltaí na hArdteistiméireachta agus beidh toradh a saothair acu anois i ndiaidh blianta a chaitheamh ag oibriú go crua. Is é an chéad chéim eile don chuid is mó acu an t-athrú ón dara leibhéal go dtí an tríú leibhéal. Is athrú mór é seo, ní hamháin dóibh féin ach dá dteaghlaigh chomh maith agus is maith a thuigimidne in OÉ Gaillimh an tionchar a bhíonn aige seo orthu, agus go háirithe orthu siúd atá ag tabhairt faoin ollscoil den chéad uair riamh. Chun cabhrú leo siúd a bheas ag tabhairt faoi chéim ollscoile, cuirfimid tacaíocht, eolas agus treoir ar fáil trí Bheolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bliana, agus freagróimid aon cheist a bheas acu faoi shaol na hOllscoile. Tá fáilte roimh mhic léinn, tuismitheoirí agus a lucht comhairlithe úsáid a bhaint as an tseirbhís chun cuidiú leis an aistear chuig OÉ Gaillimh.” Féadfaidh mic léinn, tuismitheoirí agus lucht comhairlithe teagmháil a dhéanamh le Beolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana ar 091 493999 nó dul go dtí http://www.nuigalway.ie/startinguniversity/ chun an t-eolas is deireanaí a fháil. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

NUI Galway has successfully completed the first year of a new intern junior mentoring programme, iJuMP. The mentoring programme was introduced by the West Northwest (WNW) Intern Training Network into the University’s School of Medicine in September 2015. iJuMP aims to establish a peer teaching experience delivered by interns to final-year medical students to improve preparedness for clinical practice. The development of skills such as leadership, coaching and teaching to the interns was also an objective of the programme. Dr Dara Byrne, senior lecturer in medical education and simulation at NUI Galway and intern coordinator WNW, said: “The peer teachers are neither professional educators nor experts. Essentially, they teach their peers or juniors whilst they themselves continue to learn by designing and delivering teaching sessions to small groups, act as mentors and give ward-based tutorials to improve awareness around intern training posts and the role of the intern. iJuMP programme has been hugely successful and beneficial to both interns and students and something that the interns should be very proud of.” The iJuMP interns were selected and attended a two day ‘teach the teacher’ course designed for medical professionals, facilitated by Oxford Medical Training. Clincial tutorials were delivered over both semesters and were supported by two meet and ‘greet the intern’ evenings called ‘Your Event Your Future’. Funding for the programme came from the Health Service Executive’s National Doctors Training and Planning Development Funding Programme. To view testimonials from the interns visit https://vimeo.com/177832547.  -Ends-

Monday, 8 August 2016

NUI Galway will host the Sixth Annual Tudor and Stuart Ireland Interdisciplinary Conference from 19-20 August in the Moore Institute, Hardiman Research Building. This year’s programme will feature a selection of plenary speakers including Professor Mary O’Dowd of Queen’s University Belfast, and Professor Andrew Hadfield from University of Sussex, as well as a special panel session ‘Shakespeare and Ireland ‘ and a session in honour of Professor Steven Ellis from NUI Galway’s Discipline of History. The programme also boasts thirty-six research papers across both days of the conference. Co-Organiser Dr Bronagh McShane, Postdoctoral Researcher with NUI Galway’s Moore Institute, said: “The Tudor and Stuart Ireland Interdisciplinary Conference annually welcomes established academics, early stage and independent researchers, as well as postgraduates from Ireland and beyond to present their research in a genuinely collegial environment.”  For more information visit https://tudorstuartireland.com/ or follow on Twitter @TudorStuartIre. -Ends-

Monday, 8 August 2016

‘Promoting Interdisciplinary Collaboration for Health Research in Horizon 2020’ NUI Galway will host the Irish Research Council Interdisciplinary Research Workshop for Health on Friday, 16 September, in the Aula Maxima. The workshop aims to facilitate the creation of long-term interdisciplinary networks for health‐related research, with the target of securing European funding under the upcoming Horizon 2020 Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing Work Programme (2016/2017). The workshop, ‘Promoting Interdisciplinary Collaboration for Health Research in Horizon 2020’, is open to those working in health-related research, including academics, researchers, industry, health service providers, and NGOs. Dr Molly Byrne, Director of NUI Galway’s Health Behaviour Change Research Group, School of Psychology, and coordinator of workshop explains: “One of Ireland’s key industrial strengths is in the Med-Tech Sector. With 13 of the world’s top 15 medical device companies based in Ireland, employing over 25,000 people, the economic and societal value of this sector cannot be overstated. Much of this success has been achieved through close collaboration with Irish academic research institutions, bridging the inter-sectoral gap between industry and academia. However, interdisciplinary gaps within health research in Ireland still exist, and with changes to the funding landscape, truly interdisciplinary research is vital to success.” The workshop will: Highlight areas of strengths across the disciplinary divide Identify opportunities to enhance health-related research through interdisciplinary collaboration Facilitate network creation with the aim of developing detailed plans for collaborative submissions to the upcoming Horizon 2020 Health calls in the area of Personalised Medicine One of the experts speaking at the workshop is Dr Adamantios Koumpis of the Faculty of Computer Science and Mathematics, University of Passau, Germany. Dr Koumpis was a Research Fellow at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute, NUI Galway with responsibilities for fundraising, research strategy design and development of synergies with European industry for new projects design. He has successfully led over 50 commercial and research projects for new technology development, technology adoption and user uptake, at national and European level. Also speaking is Professor Sally Wyke, Deputy Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, and Associate of the School of Medicine at the University of Glasgow. Professor Wyke’s research is focused on helping people manage and maintain their health, reduce risk of ill health and manage their symptoms and illnesses. She currently leads an EU FP7 project (2013-2018): EUROFIT: Social innovation to improve physical activity and sedentary behaviour through elite European football clubs – European Fans in Training. For further information or to register for the workshop visit www.conference.ie, or contact Valerie Parker, Health Behaviour Change Research Group, NUI Galway at valerie.parker@nuigalway.ie or 091 49 4454. -Ends-

Monday, 8 August 2016

The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has announced details of a special entrance maths examination to give students a second chance to pursue a career in engineering. The exam, which takes place on Wednesday, 24 August, is for students who achieve the CAO points for an undergraduate engineering degree course at NUI Galway but who have not met the obligatory maths requirement. NUI Galway will also hold an intensive preparatory course for applicants intending to sit the exam. This free course will run from 18-24 August. For more than 20 years NUI Galway has provided this special entrance exam to help applicants who did not achieve the required grade C3 or better in higher level mathematics. Those who took lower level maths in the Leaving Cert may also apply for the exam. Students who pass this examination will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and, providing they have the necessary points, will receive an additional CAO offer at Round Two. From 18-24 August, in addition to preparing students for the special entrance examination, lecturers will demonstrate the relevance and application of mathematics to engineering. The aim of the preparatory course is to bridge the gap between the Leaving Certificate lower level and that required to be successful in the entrance exam. This will be achieved by tackling a variety of problems of increasing difficulty. Learning how to approach a problem and apply the knowledge available will be emphasised. Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “The nature of engineering programmes is that they are focused on the development of analytical and problem solving skills, and thus require significant use of mathematics and applied mathematics. Every year we see a number of promising students who perform poorly on the day of the Leaving Cert exam. Our Special Entrance Maths Examination provides these students with a second opportunity to demonstrate that they have reached the necessary standard in maths. Over the years, we have had some exceptionally talented students graduate and pursue successful careers in engineering because they were given the second chance which this exam represents.” NUI Galway offers students an undenominated entry to engineering. This course is specifically designed for students who are interested in becoming an engineer, but uncertain as to which field they want to specialise in. This course offers students the option of studying engineering in a general way for one year before going on to specialise in their chosen field in year two. To apply for the special maths exam please visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathsexamination/. Those interested in the revision maths course should visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathspreparatorycourse/ for further details. -Ends- Seans Eile á thabhairt ag OÉ Gaillimh do Mhic Léinn na hArdteistiméireachta trí Scrúdú Speisialta Matamaitice a Reáchtáil Tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh i ndiaidh sonraí a chur ar fáil faoi scrúdú speisialta iontrála matamaitice, scrúdú a thugann seans eile do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi ghairm na hinnealtóireachta. Beidh an scrúdú ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 24 Lúnasa, agus tá sé dírithe ar mhic léinn a bhaineann na pointí cuí don CAO amach chun cúrsa céime san innealtóireacht a dhéanamh in OÉ Gaillimh ach nach bhfuil an marc riachtanach acu sa mhatamaitic. Chomh maith leis sin, beidh dianchúrsa ullmhúcháin ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh roimh ré dóibh siúd ar mian leo an scrúdú a dhéanamh. Beidh an cúrsa saor in aisce seo ar siúl ón 18-24 Lúnasa. Le breis agus scór bliain anuas, tá an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo á reáchtáil ag OÉ Gaillimh chun cabhrú le hiarratasóirí nár éirigh leo an grád riachtanach C3 nó os a chionn a bhaint amach sa pháipéar matamaitice ardleibhéil. Féadfaidh daoine nach ndearna ardleibhéal matamaitice san Ardteistiméireacht cur isteach ar an scrúdú chomh maith. Má fhaigheann mac léinn pas sa scrúdú seo beidh an riachtanas matamaitice sásaithe aige/aici agus gheobhaidh sé/sí tairiscint eile ón CAO i mBabhta 2, chomh fada is go bhfuil na pointí riachtanacha aige/aici. Ní hamháin go n-ullmhófar daltaí don scrúdú speisialta iontrála idir 18-24 Lúnasa, ach léireoidh léachtóirí an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an matamaitic san innealtóireacht agus an úsáid is féidir a bhaint aisti. Is é an aidhm atá leis an gcúrsa ullmhúcháin seo cur lena mbíonn foghlamtha ag daltaí ag an ngnáthleibhéal san Ardteistiméireacht, le go n-éireoidh leo sa scrúdú iontrála matamaitice. Cuirfear é seo i gcrích trí dhul i ngleic le fadhbanna éagsúla ag leibhéil éagsúla deacrachta. Cuirfear béim ar an gcaoi le tabhairt faoi fhadhb agus ar an gcaoi a gcuirfear an t-eolas atá ar fáil i bhfeidhm. Dúirt an tOllamh Gerry Lyons, Déan na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is é mianach na gclár innealtóireachta go bhfuil siad dírithe ar fhorbairt a dhéanamh ar scileanna anailíseacha agus ar scileanna chun fadhbanna a réiteach, agus dá bhrí sin caithfear úsáid shuntasach a bhaint as matamaitic agus as matamaitic fheidhmeach. Gach bliain feicimid daltaí cumasacha nach ndéanann chomh maith agus a d’fhéadfaidís ar lá an scrúdaithe Ardteiste. Tugann an Scrúdú Speisialta Iontrála Matamaitice deis eile do na daltaí seo léiriú go bhfuil an caighdeán riachtanach sa mhatamaitic bainte amach acu. Thar na blianta, d’éirigh le roinnt mac léinn a raibh cumas eisceachtúil iontu, céim a bhaint amach agus dul sa tóir ar shlí bheatha dóibh féin san innealtóireacht mar go bhfuair siad an dara deis leis an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo.” Tá cúrsa neamhainmnithe san innealtóireacht ar tairiscint do mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an cúrsa seo dírithe go háirithe ar mhic léinn a bhfuil suim acu a bheith ina n-innealtóirí ach nach bhfuil cinnte cén réimse ar mhaith leo díriú air. Tugann an cúrsa seo deis do mhic léinn staidéar ginearálta a dhéanamh ar an innealtóireacht ar feadh bliana sula roghnaíonn siad a réimse speisialtóireachta i mbliain a dó. Chun iarratas a dhéanamh ar an scrúdú speisialta matamaitice téigh chuig:  http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathsexamination/. Ba chóir do dhaoine ar spéis leo an cúrsa ullmhúcháin a dhéanamh dul chuig http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathspreparatorycourse/ chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil. -Críoch-