Thursday, 3 March 2016

NUI Galway recently celebrated five years of the Hardiman and the Dr Tony Ryan Research Scholarships schemes with a special ceremony in the University. The Hardiman PhD Scholarship scheme was established in 2011 with the objective of attracting the best Irish and international students to NUI Galway. The fully-funded scholarships support students who undertake four-year Structured PhD and are focused on five key areas of research: Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy; Biomedical Science and Engineering; Environment, Marine and Energy; Humanities in Context, including Digital Humanities; and Informatics, Data Analytics, Physical and Computational Sciences. To date the scheme has provided financial support for over 100 PhD students to undertake research in the University’s priority research themes and has been strongly supported by the Galway University Foundation and its donors, most notably the Broderick and Glynn endowments, Cancer Care West and the Ryan Foundation. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, congratulated the Hardiman scholars on their research achievements. Speaking at the event Dr Browne said: “In Vision 2020, NUI Galway’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020, the goal for research and innovation is to produce research that is recognised as being excellent, transformative, and relevant to societal and economic needs, while we train the next generation of researchers. The Hardiman Scholarship scheme is a key component of the University’s support for PhD students.” Posters at the event demonstrated the Hardiman and Dr Tony Ryan scholars’ research achievements including: Sally McHugh, 2014 Hardiman scholar, who showcased the CampusCreate project; and Mary McGill, 2015 Hardiman scholar, fresh from her recent Galway TEDx talk, who gave a talk on how to adapt academic ideas and presentation styles for events. Professor Lucy Byrnes, Dean of Graduate Studies at NUI Galway, said: “The Hardiman PhD scholarship scheme is the most prestigious scholarship scheme at NUI Galway and has a significant international reach, with over half of the scholars coming from other universities across the globe to complete their PhDs. A third of Hardiman scholars’ initial funding came from the Hardiman scholarship scheme but they then competed successfully for national scholarships, such as those from the Irish Research Council, further augmenting the support for PhD students at NUI Galway.” 28 new Hardiman scholars, and one new Dr Tony Ryan scholar, will begin their PhDs in September 2016 and shortly thereafter the 2017 competition will be launched. For further information on the Hardiman PhD Scholarship scheme visit www.nuigalway.ie/hardiman-scholarships. -Ends-

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

First programme of its kind to be offered in Ireland NUI Galway has launched a new Masters programme in Biomedical Genomics, the first of its kind to be offered in Ireland. This programme places NUI Galway at the forefront of training the next generation of scientists and clinicians in the use of cutting-edge DNA sequencing technologies, both within fundamental scientific discovery and in clinical applications. Based at the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, this Masters is an inter-disciplinary programme drawing on expertise from across the University. The programme has been specifically designed to address the growing need for scientists with the quantitative skills necessary to help realise the enormous potential of sequencing-based technologies to deliver on the promise of personalised medicine in order to better understand, diagnose, and treat disease. Keynote speaker at the launch, Dr John Greally, an NUI Galway graduate, Professor of Genetics and Medicine and Director of the Center for Epigenomics at the Einstein College of Medicine in New York, said: “As both a clinician and director of a research laboratory, I see on a daily basis how contributions from genomics scientists in areas such as drug discovery and diagnosis of rare genetic diseases are transforming the field of medicine. I am really excited by this new programme because it provides the unique combination of molecular and analytical skills that are critical in order to take advantage of the current wave of innovation in genomics-based technologies. With this programme, I can see NUI Galway establishing itself as a major centre for biomedical genomics training and research in Europe.” Professor Cathal Seoighe, Director of the NUI Galway programme added: “This exciting new programme will bring together students from diverse academic backgrounds who share the common goal of learning how to apply newly-developed genomics technologies to biomedical problems. I'm delighted that NUI Galway and the College of Science are leading the way in recognising the transformative potential of genomics science both in human health and in basic research.” Graduates of the programme will have a highly marketable and transferable combination of computational and analytical skills as well as specialist knowledge of the application of these skills in the analysis of genomics data. They will be well placed to seek employment in the new field of precision medicine, in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies making use of genomics technologies, or in research roles in both industry and academic settings. This programme will have its first intake of students in the academic year 2016/17. For further information on the MSc in Biomedical Genomics visit http://bioinf.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

PotterFest Galway, Ireland’s only convention celebrating J.K. Rowling’s much loved Harry Potter series, returns to NUI Galway on 12-13 March. The aim of the event is to provide fans of the Harry Potter series with a memorable and magical experience over the course of the weekend. The two-day convention, organised by NUI Galway’s Harry Potter Society, will include events for Potter fans of all ages, including a Hogwarts House Sorting Ceremony, Hogwarts classes, and the chance to play the most popular sport in the wizarding world, Quidditch. Other events include a family fun day, cosplay events, arts and crafts workshops, a petting zoo, and a bouncing castle. Special guests at PotterFest 2016 will include: actor Hugh Mitchell, who Potter fans will recognise as Colin Creevey in ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’; Brian Holden and Meredith Stepien of Team Starkid; and Will Naameh, who runs The Potter Trail in Edinburgh. All guests will take part in panels across the weekend, and will be available for photo opportunities with visitors. On Friday, 11 March, NUI Galway’s Harry Potter Society will be hosting a Yule Ball in the Aula Maxima to celebrate the beginning of the convention, and to bring to a close the Tri-wizard Tournament that has been taking place throughout the year. Tickets for the Yule Ball are €25 and the event is strictly over 18s. Pre-registration tickets for PotterFest Galway, and tickets for the Yule Ball, are available at www.socsbox.nuigalway.ie. Full weekend tickets are €30. Day tickets can also be purchased with Saturday tickets costing €20, and Sunday tickets costing €15. Tickets will also be available at the door across the weekend. For more information, please contact Rebecca Davitt at potterfestgalway@gmail.com, or visit www.potterfestgalway.org. -Ends-

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

NUI Galway’s Student Services will hold its inaugural Wellness Week from 7-10 March. The aim of the initiative is to show students and staff that getting active and eating healthy are essential contributions to your general wellbeing. As part of Wellness Week, the Societies Office are running a new programme called ‘Good Morning NUI Galway’, a series of early morning dance classes, fitness and meditation workshops designed to start the day off in a positive mood. From 8am, societies will be leading salsa, zumba, capoeira, and mindfulness classes, and silent discos. The Climate Change and Food Safety (CCAFS) and Baking Societies will team up with the Societies Office to bring the ‘The Great Chef Challenge’ competition to campus. During the week, four campus chefs will battle it out to see who can create the healthiest week worth of dinners for a shopping basket of €20. Students can taste their creations in An Bialann, College Bar, Friars and Clinical Science Cafe every day and vote for their favourite with the grand final in Áras na Mac Léinn on Thursday, 10 March from 3-5pm. On Wednesday, NUI Galway’s Dance Society will hold a ‘Strictly Come Dansoc’ night in the Bailey Allen Hall from 7.30pm. And on Thursday, the Baking Society will hold a Baketastic Bash, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, in the Bailey Allen Hall from 11am-6pm, which will include a Food Fair with healthy and delicious food ideas, as well as the launch of their new cookbook. Riona Hughes, Societies Officer at NUI Galway, said: “With music, art, a sleep hygiene workshop, Malaysian food, a positive mental health exhibition and the launch of Botany Societies’ ‘Grow it Yourself’ initiative, the week promises to be full of tips on how to increase your wellness and have fun in the process.” The Wellness Week also coincides with Refugee Awareness Week, organised by the Friends of Médecins Sans Frontières and Gender Awareness week organised by Feminist Society. For more information on Wellness Week and other society events in NUI Galway visit www.nuigstudents.ie and www.socs.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

NUI Galway has announced that RTÉ 2FM broadcaster Will Leahy will host this year’s Gala Banquet featuring the 2016 Alumni Awards ceremony. Will Leahy, is an NUI Galway graduate BA (1992) LLB (1994) who is a Limerick based solicitor specialising in Local Authority and Family Law. He is also an award winning broadcaster with both RTÉ Radio and Television presenting primarily on RTÉ 2FM and RTÉ Radio One. The 2016 Alumni Award winners will be presented with their awards at the Gala Banquet on Saturday, 5 March, 2016 in the Bailey Allen Wing located in Áras na Mac Léinn on campus. The winners of the six alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2016: Award for Arts, Literature and Celtic Studies - sponsored by AIB - Siobhán Ní Ghadhra, Owner/Producer at Danú Media. Alumni Award for Business and Commerce – sponsored by Bank of Ireland - Ruth Curran, Managing Partner in MERC Partners and Global Chair IIC Partners. Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy and Government – sponsored by Galway University Foundation - Dr Mathilda Twomey, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Seychelles. Alumni Award for Engineering, Science and Technology – sponsored by Aramark - Gearóid Faherty, Former CEO and Chairman of Eurand NV. Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – sponsored by Medtronic - Dr Joe Murray, Professor of Medicine and Consultant, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic. Alumni Award for Contribution to Sport – sponsored by Bank of Ireland - Dr Paul Hession, Olympic and world champion sprinter and junior doctor in Tallaght Hospital. ENDS

Monday, 1 February 2016

NUI Galway will host a Cancer Research and Awareness evening in Galway providing fascinating insights into the future of cancer research and prevention NUI Galway will host a Cancer Research and Awareness evening for the public providing valuable insights into the future of cancer research and in particular, early cancer detection and prevention. The event will take place in Áras Moyola at NUI Galway on Thursday, 11 February from 7pm to 9pm. Organised by NUI Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and NUI Galway’s Cancer Society, the event will share information on all types of cancer with the wider Galway community and the many resources available to people. It aims to encourage public and patient involvement in cancer research; discuss the future of cancer medicine and patient well-being, and the benefits of combining research with psychology and clinical medicine. Special guest, Professor Mark Lawler from the Centre for Cancer Research & Cell Biology in Queen’s University Belfast will headline the event. Joining Professor Lawler on the panel of experts are; Dr Sharon Glynn, Lecturer in Pathology at The Lambe Institute for Translational Research at NUI Galway, Dr Jane Walsh, Director of M-Health Research Group and the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, and Sinead Quinn, Clinical Psychologist and Patient and Family Advocate. The evening will comprise of short presentations by each of the speakers, followed by a panel discussion in which members of the audience can pose questions. Community members, patients, patients’ families, physicians, medical professionals and students will benefit from this multi-disciplinary discussion. Schedule of Panel Discussions: Lorraine Toner, Irish Cancer Society - Introduction Dr Sharon Glynn, College of Medicine, NUI Galway - Current Research Aimed at Preventing the Development of Metastatic Cancer & Future Research Strategies for Cancer Prevention Dr Jane Walsh, School of Psychology, NUI Galway - Tools available for healthy living, exercise and nutrition for cancer patient and for lowering risk. Sinead Quinn, Patient and Family Advocate – Raising Awareness for Early Cancer Diagnosis & Psychological Impact of Cancer Diagnosis Professor Mark Lawler, Centre for Cancer Research & Cell Biology, Queen’s University Belfast - 21st Century Cancer Medicine; Time to get personal General Discussion with Audience and Closing The event is free and open to the public. For further event details email nuigalwaycanceraware@gmail.com, follow on Twitter @nuigalway.ie or Facebook at NUIG Cancer Society. ENDS

Monday, 1 February 2016

NUI Galway announces the international recruitment of 15 of the most promising early-career researchers to support its ambitious research strategy NUI Galway has begun an international recruitment campaign to recruit 15 of the brightest emerging research stars to support the delivery of an ambitious strategy to become a top-200 research-led university by 2020. In partnership with Galway University Foundation, NUI Galway is launching ‘The Foundation Research Leadership Programme’, a new three-year programme to attract the highest calibre of early-career researchers to Galway. Almost €7.5 million will be allocated for the recruitment of the 15 Foundation Research Lectureships, aligned with the University’s strategy to develop internationally-recognised research excellence in a range of priority areas. The Foundation Research Leadership Programme will support the development of early-career academics and future research leaders. Recruitment to the Foundation Lectureships will pay particular focus to the research output and potential of applicants, with candidates being required to have internationally recognised, measurable research output and impact in their careers to date, and to demonstrate convincingly their future research plans and strategy. Crucial to the support of NUI Galway’s Research and Innovation strategy is the attraction and retention of emerging research leaders across the University’s key research themes, building on significant international successes to date. The priority research areas include: Biomedical Science and Engineering; Marine, Energy and Environmental Science; Data Analytics and Informatics; Physical and Computational Sciences; Applied Public Policy and Social Sciences, Digital Humanities and Drama and Theatre Studies. NUI Galway has significantly grown its research activity and output over the last ten years. The identification of priority research areas and subsequent investments in these areas have enabled the University to develop a critical mass of expertise which has led to significant success in securing competitive research grants, nationally and internationally. Currently home to two national SFI Research Centres, in Medical Device Technologies and Data Analytics, NUI Galway is also in the top two best performing Irish universities in the European Horizon 2020 research funding programme. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “At NUI Galway, our ambition is to produce research that is globally recognised as excellent, transformative, and relevant to societal and economic needs. The challenge now is to attract and retain the highest-calibre of emerging researchers in the University’s priority research areas. “Nationally-funded schemes, such as Science Foundation Ireland’s Principal Investigator and Professorship Schemes support the University’s efforts to attract the best senior researchers from a global field. However, we recognise that a gap exists at early-stage career levels. “The Foundation Research Leadership Programme is an exciting new initiative by Galway University Foundation, which will enable NUI Galway to support the most talented emerging researchers from across the globe, with the objective of ensuring our University’s future research success.” Tom Joyce, CEO of Galway University Foundation added: “Galway University Foundation is delighted to support the development of the next generation of research stars at NUI Galway. It is vital that we invest in the best people to carry out transformative research that helps to improve lives and societies, and tackles big global challenges. Inspirational researchers push forward the boundaries of knowledge, leading to life-changing discoveries and policies that shape the future both nationally and internationally.” The first of the Foundation Research Lectureships will be a Senior Lecturer in Medical Electronics, supported by Techrete, a large Irish Engineering company serving the construction market. The successful candidate will work at the interface between Medicine and Engineering, developing innovative engineering-based solutions for today’s medical challenges. Advertising will begin in January 2016 and positions will be appointed in stages throughout 2016, 2017 and 2018. Creating opportunities for female academic research leaders is a key priority and applications from female candidates will be strongly encouraged. For further information about the Foundation Research Lectureships and to make an online application for the research posts visit: www.nuigalway.ie/about-us/jobs To view NUI Galway’s Vision 2020 Strategic Plan visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/vision2020/ ENDS

Monday, 1 February 2016

The Galway University Musical Society’s 16th musical, ‘The Addams Family’ will take place in the Black Box Theatre from 9-13 February at 8pm, with a special matinée on Saturday, 13 February at 2pm. Over 50 NUI Galway students will perform in the musical about everyone’s favourite ghoulish American family, who have an affinity for all things macabre. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents. Tickets cost €15, €12 for students and €10 for groups of four plus. The Saturday matinée, organised especially for families, will cost €10 for adults and €5 for children. The Galway University Musical Society is an amateur musical society which has been nominated for numerous Association of Irish Musical Society (AIMS) awards and receiving fantastic reviews. Tickets are on sale now at the Socs Box at www.socsbox.nuigalway.ie or 091 492852, or the Town Hall Theatre at www.tht.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 1 February 2016

Páraic Ó hOibicín, the newly appointed sean-nós Dancer-in-Residence at NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies, will deliver a series of five sean-nós dance workshops beginning on Wednesday, 10 February at 7pm in An Taibhdhearc. 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 are an 10 Feabhra ag 7pm. 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-

Monday, 1 February 2016

Eight NUI Galway academics attended a celebration of ‘Women in Science’ by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, in Áras an Uachtaráin at the weekend. The event celebrated the leading role that women play in scientific research and industry. Since his inauguration in 2011, the President has spoken repeatedly about the importance of using scientific insights to address the great challenges facing humanity and our fragile planet and to ensure the benefits of this research are shared equitably among and within nations. The celebratory event highlighted the achievements and inspirational roles played by a growing number of women in this regard. Representation was drawn from the universities and institutes of technology in Ireland, as well as a small number from scientific state agencies and bodies.  There was also a group of competitors and organisers from the BT Young Scientists Competition. Speaking at the celebratory event, President Higgins said: “It gives me great pleasure to host this event, aimed at celebrating the leading role that women are playing in scientific research and industry. Science is an important and influential discipline – one which has a pivotal role to play in the great concerns of humanity in our time, and one which has the potential to make the greatest contribution to improving our world. “As experts in their fields, award winners, holders of distinguished Chairs and Professorships, esteemed researchers, writers and lecturers they are breaking new ground and paving the way for new generations of women who will also wish to use their talent and creativity to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, and play their unique role in crafting a better world. I wish each and every one of them success in their fields of expertise, in their future careers and in their capacities as inspirational role models for the scientists of the future.” The eight NUI Galway researchers were: Dr Adrienne Gorman, Vice-Dean for Research in the College of Science and Principal Investigator in Apoptosis Research Centre Dr Eva Szegezdi, Lecturer in Biochemistry, Head of the Blood Cancer Biobank in Ireland, and Principal investigator of the Cancer Niche Laboratory Dr Laoise McNamara, Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering Dr Elaine Dunleavy, Wellcome Trust Research Fellow with Biochemistry and Centre for Chromosome Biology Dr Róisín Dwyer, Lecturer in Translational Science Professor Grace McCormack, member of the Zoology Discipline of the School of Natural Sciences and the Biodiversity and Bioresources cluster of the Ryan Institute Dr Michelle Kilcoyne, Lecturer in the Discipline of Microbiology Dr Sharon Glynn, Lecturer in Pathology -Ends-

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

NUI Galway will hold a ‘Scientist for a Day’ workshop for children aged 7 to 13 years old on Tuesday, 16 February from 10am-3pm. Organised by three science outreach initiatives based in NUI Galway, Cell EXPLORERS, Eco EXPLORERS and Kitchen Chemistry, the workshop will include a full day of science-related activities such as preparing DNA, observing colourful chemical reactions and working with live exotic animals. With Cell EXPLORERS, children will learn about the fascinating world of cells which are the basic building blocks of all living things. They will set up their own experiment to prepare DNA from a chosen fruit. Kitchen Chemistry will teach children how to make their own glow sticks and grow crystals at home. To complete the day, Eco EXPLORERS will present an exciting display of live exotic animals, ranging from tarantulas to snakes and stick insects. Adele Gabba, PhD student and lead of the Kitchen Chemistry team, said: “We are very excited to run this event once again. It is a unique opportunity for children to practice hands-on science in a real laboratory setting. They will learn and discover under the guidance of scientists who are passionate about sharing their enthusiasm for science and education. It’s a great way to stimulate children’s interest in science in a fun and interactive way.” All three workshops will be delivered by NUI Galway staff and students. The cost to attend is €10 per child, with discounts available for multiple bookings, €18 for two children, €25 for three, or €30 for four. Registration will open on Thursday, 4 February at 7pm and bookings can be made at http://scientistforadayfebruary2016.eventbrite.com. Once registered, email the registration form from Eventbrite to cellexplorers@nuigalway.ie for each child who would like to participate (maximum 4 children per Eventbrite order). Please reference your Eventbrite order number on the registration form. Places are limited, so early booking is advised. -Ends-

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

NUI Galway’s Societies have been awarded the second annual Bank of Ireland Society Bursary. The Bursary, worth €10,000, promotes the valuable work of student societies, enhancing the student experience and enriching the wider community. The aim of the award is to support the societies in organising events of social, cultural, humanitarian and educational importance. Events with creativity and originality are also especially encouraged. Among the events which received funding, €1,000 was awarded to Dramsoc for the Irish Student Drama Awards (ISDA) annual Theatre Festival, a week-long festival in which third-level drama societies will travel to Galway and perform plays from their home college. The Festival will be running from 17-24 March. Cumann Staire (History Society) received €700 for Irish History Students Association (IHSA) Annual Conference, which is taking place on the weekend of February 19-21. The Conference offers a unique opportunity for not only students, but also the wider community to engage with history in a less formal setting. It is the only fully student-led constituent event on the University’s ‘A Nation Rising’ programme of events to mark the centenaries of the 1916 Rising and the Battle of the Somme. Other winners of the Bursary this year include: The Literary and Debating Society; Irish National Law Debates; Cancer Soc; Relay for Life; Neuro Soc; Seeing the Light; Friends of MSF; Refugee Crisis Week; Slainte Society; Movember; Tag Rugby; Potter Society; Triwizard Tournament; African Caribbean Society; Afrofest; India Society; Diwali; and the Juggling Society’. The bursary was presented by Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience, Tom Joyce, Chief Executive of Galway University Foundation and Marie Cassidy, Customer Service Manager at the NUI Galway branch of Bank of Ireland. More information on upcoming society events can be found on http://socs.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The third in the ‘Lectures in the Library’ series, curated by NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies, to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising will focus on Richard Henebry, a trenchant critic of attempts to modernise Irish language writing, who compared Pádraig Pearse’s short stories to ‘the mincing of an underassistant floor-walker of a millinery shop’. The Reverend Dr Richard Henebry was a Waterford-born scholar, priest and patriot whose commitment to Irish traditional music is evident in the posthumuosly published A Handbook of Irish Music (1928), a unique analysis of traditional music.   The lecture, ‘Dr Richard Henebry, 1863-1916’, will be delivered by Dr Méabh Ní Fhuartháin and will focus on Dr Henebry as a revivalist and scholar in the field of traditional music and will contextualise his scholarship in Ireland of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  The lecture will begin at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 9 February at Galway City Library. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The School of Law at NUI Galway is to host a major conference on surrogacy and the law on 12 March 2016. Among the speakers is the world-leading child psychologist, Professor Susan Golombok, Director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge. Also presenting are Dr Kirsty Horsey, an academic and member of the Surrogacy UK Working Group on Surrogacy Law Reform, and NUI Galway alumna, Deirdre Fottrell QC, who has acted in a number of leading surrogacy cases that came before the superior courts in the UK. Other speakers include Professor Deirdre Madden from UCC and Dr Andrea Mulligan, a barrister and academic. The conference is being organised by Dr Brian Tobin, a family law expert at the School of Law, NUI Galway, who provided legal expertise on the assisted reproduction provisions contained in the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality.       Announcing the conference, Dr Tobin stated: “Ireland has yet to enact legislation regulating surrogacy. Laws proposed in 2014 by the then Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter, were scrapped later that year as the Government felt that further consultation was required. However, there is a concern that the issue of surrogacy could lose priority. This conference is therefore timely and designed to bring together experts in the field with a view to forging a framework for the regulation of surrogacy in Ireland.” -Ends-

Thursday, 4 February 2016

First time a regional heat has been held in Galway Ten NUI Galway scientists will battle it out for a place in the national final of FAMELAB, the largest science communication competition in the world. This is the first time ever that a regional heat for the international competition has been held in Galway. The competition will be held on Tuesday, 9 February, at An Taibhdhearc Theatre at 7pm and is free to attend. The ten scientists come from a variety of backgrounds, from a Professor of Mathematics to a researcher in medical device design. Presentations will answer a range of questions from ‘Can biomaterials fix a broken heart?’ to ‘Will we use light to control the brain?’ to ‘How can coral reefs survive in cold, wet Ireland?’. The competing scientists will be given a total of three minutes each to explain their research, or any scientific concept, as clearly, simply and charismatically as possible, to a public audience and a panel of judges. This will be followed by three minutes of questions from the judges and the audience. Scientists are given the instruction that they can use ‘only what they can carry with them onto the stage’ to help illustrate their stories. Two finalists will be announced on the night and will be sent forward to a communications master class in Dublin on 19-20 March. They will then compete in the Irish final of FAMELAB which will be held in the Science Gallery in Dublin on Thursday, 7 April. The overall national winner will attend the Cheltenham Science Festival, UK in June 2016 and will compete in the FAMELAB International finals. The judges include: Professor Dónal Leech, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Science Michelle Ní Chróinín, Press Officer, NUI Galway Dr Miriam Haughton, Lecturer, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, NUI Galway Brendan Smith, Education and Community Outreach Officer, Insight Centre for Data Analytics, NUI Galway To attend FAMELAB please register at https://famelabgalway2016.eventbrite.com. Follow the Galway competition on @FameLab_Galway. -Ends-

Thursday, 4 February 2016

NUI Galway awarded Research Leader role to implement Ireland’s first National Dementia Strategy to be underpinned by high-quality evidence through research projects funded by the Health Research Board (HRB) and The Atlantic Philanthropies Professor Eamon O' Shea, Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway has been selected as Research Leader of Dementia Care as part of the establishment of a new National Centre for Social Research on Dementia, which will start this year as a result of significant investment from the Health Research Board (HRB) and The Atlantic Philanthropies. The establishment of a new National Centre for Social Research on Dementia and a suite of applied projects, exploring topics such as the use of home computer tablets for care management, dementia-friendly hospital design and the links between stroke and dementia, will start this year as a result of significant investment from the HRB and The Atlantic Philanthropies. "The awards are part of a very deliberate and focused plan to improve dementia care", says Graham Love, the Chief Executive of the Health Research Board. "They are aligned with the National Dementia Strategy and they all focus on improving quality of life for people living with dementia and those caring for them. From making our hospitals more friendly for dementia patients, or using technology to remotely track health markers like patient blood pressure and weight, each of these new projects will make a very real and tangible impact on people's lives and improve how we deliver their healthcare services." Mary Sutton, Country Director for The Atlantic Philanthropies added that, "This is part of a broader investment by Atlantic in the development of dementia health and social care. With the HRB, we want to see the dementia landscape transformed through an infusion of new leadership in thought and practice, building research collaborations between academia and the wider practice and policy community both here in Ireland and also internationally." A cornerstone of this integrated approach is the HRB Research Leader position in Dementia care. Professor Eamon O'Shea is a world-renowned expert on dementia and his Research Leader Award (RLA) represents a 5-year investment in dementia research between the HRB, NUI Galway and The Atlantic Philanthropies. The post will be expected to influence and inform national policy and practice and strengthen an evidence-informed approach to healthcare delivery. According to Professor O'Shea, "Too often people use the word 'burden' when talking about dementia. My vision is to champion a research programme and strategy that focuses on choice, capabilities, connectivity and personhood for people with dementia. This investment by the Health Research Board and The Atlantic Philanthropies will enable us to create a National Centre for Social Research on Dementia where the research focuses on the person living with the dementia and their needs, not just their symptoms. Our aim is to do research that looks at the best ways to provide care for people living with dementia that are based on choice rather than just relying on the traditional residential care model. We want to understand how the person connects with others during the care process, and the role of family carers in understanding and delivering care.  Our interest is in personalised, non-pharmacological approaches to care such as physical exercise and the beneficial effects of non-pharmacological interventions. Ultimately it is about putting the person with dementia at the centre of decision-making at all times. We have been very deliberate in our proposals. We are committed to working in partnership with key stakeholders in dementia-related activity and care in Ireland such as the Health Service Executive, the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland, and Genio. We will examine social, economic, civic, cultural and legal aspects of dementia so that we can enhance and enrich the lives of those with the condition." Dr Dympna Casey from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway will also participate in the dementia research programme. Dr Casey’s role will focus on Comprehensive Resilience-building Psychosocial Intervention (CREST) to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their carers. The project will combine a number of separate interventions into one umbrella programme to improve the quality of life for patients. It will comprise of four components to address: cognitive stimulation; group physical activity; dementia education; assistive technologies to support personal control and retain skills. The project will finalise the CREST intervention and undertake a pilot evaluation that will lead to a subsequent randomised control trial. The new funidng will support: A HRB Research leader in Dementia to influence and inform national policy and practice and strengthen an evidence-informed approach to healthcare delivery (Award value: €1.6m over five years). A new HRB Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement (ICE) Award (Award value: €572,000, over three years) to support three post-doctoral positions to examine the links between stroke and dementia. Five new Applied Research Projects in Dementia (Award value €1.5m, with each lasting between two and three years). See summaries below for more detail. A new dementia research and practice knowledge exchange network (Award value: €150,000 over two years). This will support an independent, multi-disciplinary network of dementia related researchers, practitioners, patients, families and other stakeholders, to enhance exchange of information and views among members, improve dissemination and awareness of Irish dementia and related research, enhance exchange and public and patient involvement in dementia research and consolidate links and cooperation between all who have an interest in dementia or research. Four PhD Scholarship positionssupported by the HRB SPHeRE programme. This 'first-of-its-kind' in Ireland training programme was established by the HRB to develop a pool of researchers with the specialist skills to conduct population health and health services research. The four scholarships will have a special emphasis on dementia-related topics. ENDS

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Two medical device researchers have been awarded funding to carry out their research at NUI Galway. Adam Santorelli and Dr Emily Porter will be based at the Medical Device Research Group within the Lambe Institute for Translational Research at NUI Galway. Adam Santorelli, of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, has been awarded a James M. Flaherty Research Scholarship from the Ireland-Canada University Foundation (ICUF). This competitive award targets emerging researchers and supports a short research visit to investigate topics of strategic importance and encourage partnerships between Canada and Ireland. A final-year PhD student, Adam’s research focuses on developing low-cost hardware for microwave imaging. At NUI Galway, he joins a research team focused on microwave medical imaging, led by Dr Martin O’Halloran. Microwave imaging is a highly promising technology that is just now reaching the stage of clinical testing. It has the potential to offer extremely cost-effective medical imaging, enabling wider access to cancer screening, particularly in remote or developing regions. Working alongside the team at NUI Galway, his research looks to develop advanced imaging techniques for low-cost radar-based systems. Dr Emily Porter has been awarded the Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Grant, which are bestowed on early-career postdoctoral researchers to enable short but high-impact research-related travel missions. The award aims toward encouraging excellence in all areas of Irish scholarship and facilitating research on an international stage. Dr Porter works with the European Research Council research team in the new Translational Research Facility at NUI Galway. Her research, supervised by Dr Martin O’Halloran, she examines the dielectric properties of human tissue and how these properties can be utilized in up-and-coming medical technologies. The Charlemont Grant will enable her to visit a well-established dielectric property laboratory, run by Dr Sammut at the University of Malta, where she will be in a unique position to learn from some of the best in the field. The research trip promises to facilitate future collaborations with the University of Malta and help to accelerate the investigation of tissue properties at NUI Galway. Dr Martin O’Halloran, ERC Research Fellow and Head of the Medical Device Research Group in the Lambe Institute, said: “These awards highlight the quality of researchers now joining the ERC-funded Medical Device Lab at NUI Galway, and are an early success for the newly-opened Lambe Translational Research Facility.”  -Ends-

Monday, 8 February 2016

Irish Research Council announces its Decade of Centenaries programme as part of Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme- Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway and Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Chair of the Irish Research Council, launched the Irish Research Council’s Marking the Decade of Centenaries: Ireland 1916-2016 programme today in NUI Galway. As part of the Centenary Programme, the Irish Research Council (IRC) is marking the Decade of Commemorations by supporting flagship research projects related to 1916. A highlight of the programme is the Irish premiere of Sir Arnold Bax’s In Memoriam – In Memory of Patrick Pearse taking place in the National Concert Hall on 19th February 2016. The concert will also be broadcast live by RTÉ Lyric FM. NUI Galway is hosting 1916 Global, a conference exploring the Easter Rising within a global context and examining contemporary events in 1916 such as the Mexican revolution. Other highlights include conferences, online exhibitions, readings and the launch of a mobile walking app of key locations of the Rising in Dublin. The programme is part of a new broader initiative, #LoveIrishResearch, recently launched by the Irish Research Council. Its aim is to increase public awareness of the important research conducted in higher education institutions throughout the country. Minister for Research, Skills and Innovation, Damien English TD, commenting on the Council’s Decade of Centenaries Programme, said “The Decade of Centenaries offers a unique opportunity for national reflection and remembrance, for all members of Irish society including Ireland’s higher-education institutions. The breadth and diversity of the programme, reflecting the full complexity of Irish and European history, demonstrates that academic discourse and research is vital to any acts of national commemoration.” Dr Jim Browne, NUI Galway President, commented by saying: “NUI Galway is delighted to host this launch of IRC’s programme to mark the Decade of Centenaries. The projects supported are a wonderful reflection of the exciting work of humanities scholars across the higher education sector in Ireland. NUI Galway is very pleased to be included in this programme, as part of our own plans to mark the anniversary of 1916. We are delighted to support the IRC’s #LoveIrishResearch initiative to highlight public awareness of the important research conducted in higher education institutions throughout the country.” Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Chair of the IRC, added “The Irish Research Council is delighted to be part of the national programme of centenaries. The public interest in the Rising emphasises the centrality of humanities research to the public discourse on this period. The diversity and range of these projects are a reminder that Ireland, and being Irish, is complex and can be expressed in a number of ways. 1916 belongs to everyone and research by humanities scholars ensures that the legacy of 1916 is inclusive and belongs to every citizen of Ireland.” Further details on IRC-funded ‘Marking the Decade of Centenaries’ projects, including further flagship awards will be available in the coming months, please visit www.research.ie and follow us on Twitter, @irishresearch. ENDS

Monday, 8 February 2016

NUI Galway’s Cancer Society is organising the annual Relay for Life event, to be held on Wednesday, 9 March at the Kingfisher Complex on campus. Last year, NUI Galway’s first Relay for Life event raised over €10,000 for the Irish Cancer Society, with over 200 participants at the event. Relay for Life is a 12 hour non-competitive relay where teams of 5-20 people take turns walking or running around a track. The event will begin at 6pm with a range of activities and a ‘Candle of Hope’ ceremony will take place at 10pm to remember those touched by cancer. After the ceremony the event’s atmosphere changes again as more upbeat events, symbolises the ups and downs of a cancer patient's journey. Throughout the night there will be catering available along with entertainment such as belly dancing, yoga, choirs and bands. The event will end at 6am with the sunrise. Relay for Life is a family-friendly event and open to all. Registration for the event is €10 per person, and individuals and teams can also fundraise for cancer separately. To sign up for the event email cancersoc@socs.nuigalway.ie or register through the University’s Socs Box at www.socsbox.nuigalway.ie or 091 492852. For more information visit the NUI Galway Cancer Society Facebook page at NUIG Cancer Society. -Ends-

Monday, 8 February 2016

NUI Galway are being proactive on developing students’ healthy relationships through ‘Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance’ (SHAG) week-long programme which runs from 8-12 February. Across campus various schools, centres and student groups have joined together to celebrate healthy relationships with a programme that includes drama, workshop training, comedy, writing, debating and community engagement. The Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance will kick off the week with an original devised theatre piece 100 Shades of Grey, in association with #WakingTheFeministsWest. 100 Shades of Grey stages the complexity of sexuality in Ireland today, through a focus on sexual assault and the boundaries of sexual consent in living practice. 100 Shades of Grey take place in the Bank of Ireland Theatre, NUI Galway, on Monday 8 and Tuesday, 9 February at 8pm. There is a suggested donation of €3 at the door with all proceeds going to the Galway Rape Crisis Centre.   100 Shades of Grey began as a theatrical response of the research on sexual consent of Dr Padraig MacNeela and his colleagues in the University’s School of Psychology. The piece has evolved over a two-year process with three key periods of development as a project between NUI Galway’s Dr Charlotte McIvor and a revolving ensemble of student actors and writers which has included first-year to postgraduate students working together. This iteration will be the first complete staging of the piece, and is directed by Dr McIvor with a cast of student performers. Dr McIvor said: “As a live medium, theatre is a really useful tool for education and debate. Our challenge was to create a compelling piece of theatre that let audiences engage actively with these challenging themes while also still being entertained. This production is not an end but a beginning of what we hope will be an ongoing conversation that we can encourage as widely as possible in Irish society.” Throughout SHAG week ‘Smart Consent’ workshops will be offered to all students, in response to a recent survey which showed that 87% of students said they would like to get more information on sexual consent. The workshop format provides students with an informal and interactive means to explore positive sexual health and consent in particular. Many adults see consent as a grey area – is consent always verbal, can you give consent if you have been drinking, and so on. The workshop is a safe and supportive environment to explore these issues. Each workshop is gender-specific to encourage open discussion, and is led by trained group leader. Participants are not asked to disclose any personal information, as the content is based on activities drawn from research findings with young Irish adults. The Smart Consent initiative is led by Dr Padraig MacNeela, with Elaine Byrnes and Siobhan O’Higgins from the School of Psychology. In December 2015, the Irish Research Council and HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme awarded the team a Research for Policy and Society grant to study the impact of the Smart Consent workshop over the next year. NUI Galway’s Literary and Debating Society will hold a panel discussion on the role of mandatory consent training in higher education, and Flirt FM will feature a series of interviews with community organisations and engaged students on SHAG topics throughout the week. The School of Psychology will host a workshop on Pornography: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Wednesday, 10 February, in The View, Áras Na Mac Léinn, from 1-2pm. This workshop is designed to enable participants to think critically about the messages portrayed in pornography. For the full line-up of events see www.nuigalway.ie/safecampus. -Ends-

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The fourth in the series of ‘Lectures in the Library’ will tell the remarkable story of Dubliner Eilish Dolan from her wrongful incarceration as a 15 year old girl to her adult career as a writer of romantic fiction. It is a story of courage and betrayal, love and resilience that epitomises the political, human and social contradictions of Ireland as it emerged from the 1916 Rising through the war of independence and the civil war. The lecture will be delivered by Eilish’s nephews, Michael Dolan and Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair and Director of NUI Galway’s Child and Family Research Centre. The lecture will begin at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 16 February at Galway City Library in Augustine Street. The ‘Lectures in the Library’ series is organised by NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising.  ENDS

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Fully funded opportunities for filmakers The SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM) at NUI Galway and the Galway Film Centre have launched a partnership project called ‘Science on Screen’, funded through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Discover Programme. The Programme aims to facilitate, promote and increase the inclusion of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) content in Irish film and TV production. The ‘Science on Screen’ project will fund two 26 minute science films with a budget of €35,000 each. These two films will incorporate areas of research currently underway in CÚRAM. Interested producers are invited to register their interest by contacting scienceonscreen@galwayfilmcentre.ie and are invited to attend an information day at CÚRAM on Saturday, 27 February from 10am-1pm. The information day will be an opportunity for producers and filmmakers to hear first-hand from scientists working in CÚRAM, who will give short presentations on key areas of research currently underway in the centre. Following this initial briefing and introduction to the research areas by CÚRAM’s researchers, filmmakers will be invited to apply for the funding by submitting a treatment to Galway Film Centre by Friday, 25 March. Treatments will be assessed on a competitive basis and two filmmakers will be selected. The project aims to provide two experienced filmmakers with funding and access to leading scientists and laboratories within CÚRAM, as well as to patient groups, to explore methods of scientific ‘story telling’ that incorporates aspects of current research being carried out by CÚRAM and its academic partners across Europe. Over 200 renowned experts in biomaterials, drug delivery, cell therapy, glycoscience and device design are working on blue sky research and industry projects associated with the research centre. Galway Film Centre is also in discussion with a broadcaster to air the finished films by November 2016. Declan Gibbons, Manager of Galway Film Centre, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this iniative which offers a very exciting and well-funded opportunity to filmmakers. The research that is being done in CÚRAM is at the cutting edge of modern science and we hope that this work will inspire filmmakers to make films that are informative, creative and the start of a whole new wave of film and science projects. It also fits perfectly with our remit as UNESCO City of Film a core aim of which is to promote educational film projects.” Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said: “We hope that the project will encourage greater collaboration between the research and filmmaking communities in Ireland. There are a great many stories to tell that originate or are influenced by what happens in the laboratory and we look forward to working with filmmakers to bring them to the fore.” CÚRAM’s goal is to radically improve the quality of life of patients suffering from chronic illnesses and over 200 renowned researchers are working on projects to find solutions for illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, neural diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and chronic back pain, by developing the next generation of smart, implantable medical devices. For further information and to register for the ‘Science on Screen’ Information Day at CÚRAM contact scienceonscreen@galwayfilmcentre.ie, or 091 770748, or visit www.galwayfilmcentre.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Comedian Kevin McAleer, painter John Byrne and writer Susan McKay will come together for a special event in NUI Galway celebrating the Irish border. ‘Borderlines’ will take place on Thursday, 18 February at 7pm in the Aula Maxima. The event is organised by the University’s Arts in Action programme, in association with the School of Law and NUI Galway’s 1916 Commemorative Programme, ‘A Nation Rising’. Kevin McAleer, an Irish comedian from County Tyrone has declared it “the best little border in the world”. Born in Belfast, John Byrne has set up the smallest museum in Ireland along its noble route, and Susan McKay, an author and journalist from Derry, has worked the north, south, east and west of the border. They will consider the artists, songsters and writers who have been allured by the border’s mysterious charms, and share their own deep thoughts.  Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law, said: “This is the first collaboration between the School of Law and the Arts in Action programme. For lawyers, territorial borders have a particular interest. This event will afford an additional, creative insight to augment what might seem like an arid or legalistic understanding of lines on maps and, hopefully, it will do so in an amusing fashion.”   Dr Mary Harris, co-ordinator of NUI Galway’s 1916 Commemorative Programme said: “Radicals at the time of the Rising were dismissive of arguments for partition, but the Ulster question proved more intractable than expected. This event provides a welcome exploration of the border from a variety of interpretive perspectives.” For further information on ‘Borderlines’, and the Arts in Action Programme, contact Kate Howard at artsinactiongalway@gmail.com or 086 8456773. -Ends-

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Professor Colin Brown, Director of NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, represented the Irish Marine Universities Consortium in Brussels recently as the European Marine Board (EMB) formed its own legal entity as an international non-profit association under Belgian law. The foundation of a non-for-profit association is the first step in a process to eventually become a fully independent legal entity and to secure the future of EMB as the primary marine science foresight and strategy think tank in Europe. The EMB provides a platform for its member organisations to develop common priorities, to advance marine research and to bridge the gap between science and policy, in order to meet marine science challenges and opportunities. Its stakeholders include the Board’s members, partner European and international networks, policymakers, strategy developers and programme managers at national, European and international level, as well as the marine science community. It provides the components for transferring strategic state-of-the-science knowledge and policy recommendations from the scientific community to national agencies, governments and European institutions. The Irish Marine Universities Consortium consists of NUI Galway, University College Cork, University of Limerick, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and Dublin City University. The Consortium provides a forum to help co-ordinate marine-related research and teaching initiatives in Irish universities. -Ends-

Monday, 15 February 2016

Galway Kentucky links celebrated through Pickow-Ritchie Archive Building on the Ritchie-Pickow archive housed in NUI Galway's James Hardiman library, The ‘Jean Ritchie Scholarship’ was officially launched by the University’s International Office celebrating its growing links with Berea College, Kentucky in the US. The Scholarship offers a full tuition waiver to one outstanding Berea College graduate pursuing a one year MA programme in NUI Galway. Permission was granted by Jean Ritchie and her family to name this scholarship in her honour prior to her demise last June. In a project which celebrates these links between Galway and Appalachia, Mary McPartlan, Traditional Artist in Residence and University teacher at NUI Galway, has recorded a CD in tribute of the late Jean Ritchie, whom she met during Mary’s Fulbright Scholarship in 2013. The CD ‘From Mountain to Mountain’, also launched at the event, brings full circle the Fulbright projects of Jean Ritchie and Mary McPartlan in an exchange of musical interpretation, with Irish and Appalachian songs recorded by Mary with US jazz legend, Bertha Hope. In 1996 the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway, acquired the Ritchie-Pickow Photographic Archive, along with tapes of sound recordings. These included many of the singers and musicians that Jean recorded as part of a project to trace the roots of many of the songs and tunes she would have grown up with in the Southern Appalachians. The photographs were taken and the recordings made by the US husband and wife team, George Pickow and Jean Ritchie on visits to Ireland in 1952 and 1953. Jean Ritchie, singer, folklorist and dulcimer player was born on 8 December 1922 in Viper, Kentucky. She was the youngest of a family of 14 children, known as 'The Singing Ritchies'. Jean graduated from the University of Kentucky and in 1952 she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to enable her to research the origins of her family's songs in Great Britain and Ireland. Ritchie's late husband George Pickow, a photographer, accompanied her and they spent approximately eighteen months recording folk songs and traditional musicians and taking photographs. The photographs include images of many well-known uilleann pipe players, such as Seamus Ennis, the McPeake trio, Leo Rowsome; vocalists, including Elizabeth (Bess) Cronin from West Cork, Sarah Makem and story tellers, such as Paitsín Faherty from the Aran Islands. Speaking on the Scholarship Launch, Anna Cunningham, Director of International Affairs at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is honoured to establish a link with Berea College, Kentucky. Through our bi-lateral exchange two NUI Galway students have already spent time in Berea and currently four students from Berea are on campus in Galway. Berea College has a deep and enduring commitment to preservation, promotion and enjoyment of traditional and folk arts, in addition to its commitment to social justice, global understanding and inter-racial education. We look forward to welcoming the first Jean Ritchie Scholar to NUI Galway this September to pursue an MA programme.” ENDS

Monday, 15 February 2016

Academy integrates medical education with clinical delivery for medical doctors of the future Minister for Health, Dr Leo Varadkar TD today (12 February 2016) officially launched the Sligo Medical Academy, an NUI Galway partnership with Saolta University Health Care Group and Sligo University Hospital for the training of doctors. The Academy is housed in a purpose-designed facility located within the premises of Sligo University Hospital. This is a major investment by NUI Galway into Clinical training in Sligo, one of a series of proposed medical academies in the West/North West region. Construction of similar facilities at Mayo and Letterkenny University Hospitals have also been developed. Speaking at the official opening, Minister Varadkar said: “This new Academy is a win-win for medical students, patients, and the north west region. It broadens the training available to medical undergraduates in the region, improves quality of care for patients, and should also help to attract and retain more medical staff in the west and northwest. I congratulate all of those involved in developing the Sligo Medical Academy and look forward to their future plans.” Medical Education and Clinical Delivery The new medical academy will allow doctors of the future to fine tune their clinical skills under the watchful eyes of 11 part time tutors/lecturers covering all medical specialties. 60 students per semester from 3rd, 4th and final medical years rotate through Sligo for one year clinical training. The co-location of the Academy with the hospital is deliberate as it allows students to attend didactic teaching in the Academy and also bedside teaching in the hospital. One of the strengths of the NUI Galway Medical School Academies is the ratio of both tutors to students and also of students to patients. Sligo University Hospital provides our student with excellent exposure to a wide variety of specialities. From January 2016 onwards, the Sligo Medical Academy and Sligo University Hospital will also be welcoming student as part of the School’s new Junior Internship programme called iJuMP (Intern Junior Mentoring Programme). The School of Medicine promotes the development of its graduates to a level of excellence in preparedness for clinical practice, allowing them to function as a competent doctor in a changing, complex and demanding working environment. Final year medical students will from January be working on the wards as part of a team and functioning as junior interns. They will be supported by supervising consultants and will work closely with current interns to learn everything about the clinical environment first hand. Speaking at the launch of the Sligo Medical Academy, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “As well as being enormously important for the clinical education of our students, the real benefit of this partnership is to the health system across our region. Our relationship with Saolta University Health Care Group through the Sligo Medical Academy brings a range of tangible benefits: including better learning outcomes for medical students; better treatment rates for patients, with increased personnel on wards; and better opportunities for recruitment and retention of top staff in hospitals across the region through association with the University. Many people and organisations have given their energy to see this project come to fruition and NUI Galway is very pleased to be opening this new Medical Academy in Sligo today.” Commenting, Gráinne McGann, General Manager of Sligo University Hospital said: “The opening of this Academy is a welcome development here at Sligo University Hospital as it builds on our links with our academic and research partners. This facility will enhance the hospital’s reputation and contribute over time to even higher standards of patient care in all of our clinical departments. The further integration of medical education and clinical delivery will support the recruitment and retention of the highest quality medical staff to our hospital and the region”. Sligo Medical Academy Building The €2 million euro (700 M2) state of the art facility will include a lecture theatre, clinical skills laboratory, tutorial rooms, mock consultation rooms, tutor offices, and study spaces for the students. The new landmark development will be constructed at levels 7 and 8 above the existing Library. Dr Geraldine McCarthy, Dean of Medical Education in Sligo added, “Sligo Medical Academy is an exciting development for Undergraduate Medical students in the North West. It is a state of the art facility, with lecture theatre, clinical skills lab and small group teaching rooms for 60 NUI Galway students from 3rd year 4th year and final year. The academy has been running since 2009 with 10 part time Clinical Tutors and it is wonderful to now have a purpose built facility to meet the medical students' training needs. It represents a significant investment by NUI Galway in Sligo University Hospital to train our future doctors”. ENDS

Monday, 15 February 2016

An extra special celebration in memory of Galway scholar Emily Anderson will take place in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway at 8pm on Friday, 19 February. This year, NUI Galway and Music for Galway have been joined by KPMG to bring eight top international and national wind players to Galway to perform some of Mozart’s most glorious repertoire, his two greatest Wind Serenades. Alongside these two great masterpieces, Galway audiences will hear an arrangement by Joseph Heidenreich of Mozart’s irresistible overture to ‘The Magic Flute’ and the Irish premiere of a work by British composer Jonathan Dove inspired by themes from Mozart’s other great opera ‘The Marriage of Figaro’. This work was commissioned by Glyndebourne Opera Festival in the UK in 1991 to mark the bicentenary of Mozart’s death. A highlight in Music for Galway’s calendar, this concert celebrates the life and work of Emily Anderson. Born in 1891, she was the daughter of the then President of the Queen’s College Galway, Alexander Anderson. She studied German, lectured for a brief spell in the University, but then left Ireland for a career in the British Foreign Office. Always passionate about music and with a deep affinity for the German language, she went on to translate and edit the full correspondence of Mozart and, ten years later, that of Beethoven. By doing so she made the thoughts, dreams and anxieties of these composers accessible to music lovers, academics, researchers and film makers all around the English-speaking world. To this day her translations remain an invaluable resource. For over a decade, NUI Galway and Music for Galway has been presenting annual concerts in her memory. They alternate between full Beethoven and full Mozart programmes. This year will focus on Mozart and featuring eight musicians. Led by British oboist Nicholas Daniel, these are Israeli clarinettist Chen Halevi, British bassoonist Amy Harman and horn player Martin Owen. They will be joined by Irish musicians Conor Cavanagh (oboe), brothers Macdara (clarinet) and Cuan (horn) Ó Seireadáin, and John Hearne (bassoon). Tickets are €20 / €16 concessions and Music for Galway friends, or €6 for students and are available from Music for Galway at 091 705962, Opus 2, High Street, online at www.musicforgalway.ie. Music for Galway gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Arts Council. -Ends-

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Dr Carol Coulter, Director of the Child Care Law Reporting Project (CCLRP), has been appointed as an honorary Adjunct Professor in the School of Law, NUI Galway. Dr Coulter graduated from Trinity College with BA and PhD degrees in English, and also holds a Diploma in Legal Studies and an MPhil in Law. She became a journalist and joined The Irish Times in 1986, working as a reporter, acting London Editor, acting Northern Ireland Editor, Deputy News Editor, Legal Affairs Correspondent, Legal Affairs Editor and Assistant Editor. As Legal Affairs editor she initiated and edited the ‘Law Matters’ page in The Irish Times, as well as writing extensively there on the courts, law, human rights and justice. She won a number of journalism awards, including Campaigning Journalist of the Year in 1990, Legal Print Journalist of the Year in 2000 and 2012, and also overall Legal Journalist of the Year in 2012. From 2006 to 2007 she took leave of absence from The Irish Times to run a pilot project on private family law for the Courts Service, initiating the publication of reports on family law proceedings in Ireland. These were published in quarterly magazines, Family Law Matters, from 2007 to 2009 and on the Courts Service website. This pilot project resulted in a Report and Recommendations for the Board of the Courts Service, published in October 2007. In October 2012, Dr Coulter left The Irish Times to take up a position as Founder and Director of the Child Care Law Reporting Project, which is examining the public child care law system. To date this has published over 300 reports of child care cases in the District Court and High Court, and two Interim Reports, including statistics and analysis, on its website, www.childlawproject.ie. A third and Final Report, with recommendations, was published in November 2015. Dr Coulter has lectured extensively in the cultural, social and legal areas, both in Ireland and internationally, including in the UK, the US and Japan, and has also published a wide range of essays and books in these areas. From 1992 to 2004 she edited the Undercurrents pamphlet series for Cork University Press. The Child Care Law Reporting Project, directed by Dr Carol Coulter, is now in Phase 2 following the publication of the Final Report from Phase 1 in November 2015. This phase will combine reporting on a reduced number of cases with an in-depth analysis of a number of highly complex and lengthy cases. It is funded jointly by Galway University Foundation and the Department of Children & Youth Affairs for two years.  A formal Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed to guide the implementation of the Phase 2 project. The partners in this Agreement are: The Child Care Law Reporting Project, NUI Galway School of Law, Galway University Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, Tusla, Free Legal Advice Centres and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.  The Agreement provides for the establishment of a Research Coordinating Group, which includes the Head of the School of Law, Professor Donncha O’Connell, which will guide the development of the research programme and assist in identifying ways of implementing the recommendations that arise from the project within the two years. Galway University Foundation has negotiated with Atlantic Philanthropies to provide €70,000 in funding for the project and has a separate agreement in place with FLAC, which provides technical and administrative assistance to the CCLRP, for the management of these funds on behalf of the project. As well as participating in the Research Coordinating Group, NUI Galway will assist the project through a separate Galway University Foundation-funded Hardiman Scholarship to the School of Law. The scholarship, awarded to the School of Law and linked to the CCLRP, is for a PhD to be supervised jointly by Dr Connie Healy and Dr Carol Coulter. The PhD will look at international best practice examples of Child Protection systems that successfully address the needs of vulnerable children coming before the child protection courts. The aim will be to complement and add significant value to the research arising from Phase 2 of the Child Care Law Reporting Project. The Scholarship has been awarded to Maria Corbett who has worked with the Children's Rights Alliance for many years. Announcing the appointment, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “Our association with Carol Coulter is very exciting and speaks directly and unapologetically to the kind of societal impact that NUI Galway’s School of Law at NUI Galway aims to achieve. Through her involvement as a doctoral co-supervisor and as a public figure of considerable standing we hope to pursue with her valuable and exciting projects in the years ahead.” In accepting the appointment, Dr Coulter said: “I am delighted to be associated with NUI Galway’s School of Law which has a well-deserved reputation for teaching and scholarship in public interest law and human rights, of which children’s rights are an important part. I look forward to working with Professor O’Connell, Dr Healy and Maria in further developing this area of law and generally contributing to the work and public profile of the School.” -Ends- 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy to hold conference on Voices of Individuals: Collectively Exploring Self determination project NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy project, The Voices of Individuals: Collectively Exploring Self-determination (VOICES) will hold its opening conference on Friday, 26 February at the Wood Quay Venue in Dublin. The conference will explore the experiences of people with disabilities in exercising, or being denied, their right to make decisions about their lives, known as legal capacity. It will focus on people’s lived experiences in the following areas – consent to sex, consent to medical treatment, contracts and the criminal justice system. Speakers include people with disabilites, academics, and activists with experience of using stories to drive social change. Professor Gábor Gombos, a world-renowned independent disability rights defender, will deliver the keynote address. Professor Gombos says: “It is important that people with disabilities are at the heart of advocating for a just and inclusive world, where all persons with disabilities enjoy their human rights without any kind of discrimination. The right to legal capacity is at the very core of this.” Mr Rusi Stanev will respond to the keynote with his experiences of being denied legal capacity and his involvement in a landmark case on this issue in the European Court of Human Rights. The Honorable Kristin Booth Glen will also respond with her insights on these issues, from her 15 years experience serving on the New York City Civil Court and the New York State Supreme Court. Dr Eilionóir Flynn, Principal Investigator on the VOICES Project and Deputy Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, said: “This conference, and indeed the project as a whole, places a focus on the experiences of people with disabilities and is designed to give people with disabilities a voice regarding their right to legal capacity.” 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 event and registration remains open until Monday, 22 February. Further information is available at www.ercvoices.com or email Clíona on ercvoices@nuigalway.ie or 091 494272. Participant accessibility requests and enquiries are welcomed. ENDS

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

NUI Galway will host two special lectures by leading international experts from 19-20 February, examining where and when humans first arose, and where they hope to travel to in the future. On Friday, 19 February at 7pm, Dr Tracy Kivell of the University of Kent will deliver the William King Annual Lecture on the ‘Mysteries of our newest extinct relative: Homo naledi and the Rising Star Cave’. Dr Kivell is a senior member of the scientific team which discovered this new South African fossil human species, making international news headlines last year. These particular fossils potentially represent some of the earliest representatives of the group to which all people today belong and they were unearthed in an area known as the Cradle of Humankind. The team which described Homo naledi noted that these ancient humans may have deliberately and intentionally disposed of the dead members of their community deep inside the Rising Star Cave system. The William King Lecture is an event run by the School of Natural Sciences in NUI Galway which brings an international expert to Galway each year to deliver a talk on human evolution. William King was the first Professor of Geology at Queens College Galway and became the first scientist to ever name a new and extinct species of human when he proposed the name Homo neanderthalensis in 1863. This was an important step in the birth of palaeoanthropology, or study of human evolution. The naming of Homo naledi by Dr Kivell and her colleagues represents the latest addition to the human family tree. Event co-organiser, Dr John Murray of NUI Galway’s Earth and Ocean Sciences, said: “The revelation of Homo naledi to the world represents one of the most significant recent advances in the study of human evolution. These distant ancestors may have lived some two, or perhaps even three million years ago, and the proposal that they may have carefully disposed of their dead fundamentally changes our perception of what it truly means to be ‘human’.” On Saturday, 20 February at 6.30pm, Professor Sanjeev Gupta of Imperial College London will deliver a lecture on ‘The Geological Adventures of Curiosity in Gale Crater, Mars’. Professor Gupta is a Participating Scientist and Long Term Science Planner on NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover mission and has played a leading role in this epic voyage of discovery to the Red Planet. This talk is co-sponsored by the Geological Survey of Ireland and Geological Survey of Northern Ireland. For over three years, the car-sized rover Curiosity has been exploring the surface of Mars and the ancient rock formations exposed there and has made many important discoveries. Recently, Professor Gupta and his colleagues reported evidence for a long vanished ancient lake at Gale Crater, implying the presence of relatively wet climatic conditions on Mars in the distant past. Emmett Hart from the NUI Galway Galway Earth and Ocean Society, which is also involved in organising the event, said: “The exploration of the surface of Mars represents one of modern science’s greatest achievements. Mars holds considerable promise as a future planetary destination for humans, and, remarkably, appears to have had surface conditions amenable to life in the past.” Both of these lectures will take place in the O’Flaherty Lecture Theatre, on the Arts Science Concourse. A limited number of free tickets for both evenings are available to the general public, and these must be booked in advance at https://naledi-mars.eventbrite.com. -Ends-