Monday, 20 June 2011

Dr James Reilly, Minister for Health, will open the 15th Annual Health Promotion conference on Mainstreaming Health Promotion: Promoting Health Across Sectors at NUI Galway. The conference, which commences at 9.30am on Thursday, 30 June, takes place in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. This year’s conference addresses strategies for placing health promotion at the centre of public health policy and strengthening work across sectors to promote the health and wellbeing of all population groups in society. Dr Reilly will deliver his talk on the Government’s commitment to place the health of the population high on its agenda. The Minister said, “The Government is making health an essential component of a programme for recovery for a vibrant and dynamic society.” Dr Tony Holohan, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at the Department of Health and Children, will address this meeting on the development of a new National Public Health Policy Framework 2010-2020. Speaking ahead of the meeting Dr Holohan said, “At a time of major health reform, this framework recognises the importance of ensuring that the public health function is supported, maintained and strengthened. The framework will set out how the public health function will operate over the coming years in order to achieve this vision.” The conference delegates will be engaged in a consultation on the development of the national public health policy during this meeting and will hear from health promotion specialists in statutory and voluntary agencies on their experience and successes in building capacity for health promotion across different sectors. The meeting will be addressed by leading international speakers including; Dr Gauden Galea, Director, Non-communicable Diseases and Health Promotion, WHO Regional Office for Europe and Clive Needle, Director, EuroHealthNet who will address the WHO and European policy perspectives on responding to health promotion and disease prevention challenges in Europe. Professor Margaret Barry of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway commented, “This year’s meeting brings an important focus on how health can be promoted across all sectors in society and builds on the growing evidence that supports a population approach to improving health, and the economic and social benefits that accrue from effective health promotion strategies.” -Ends-

Monday, 20 June 2011

Ms. Justice Catherine McGuinness will chair a seminar entitled Equality Through the Ages which examines key gender equality issues from birth to old age. The seminar is part of the NUI Galway - University of Limerick Strategic Alliance and will take place on Friday, 24 June at 10.00am in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. “Looking at gender equality from birth to old age makes a lot of sense from a legal perspective”, said Ms. Justice McGuinness. “Women have particular experiences at certain life stages. The legal framework must ensure that women can enjoy full and equal rights throughout their lives,” Ms. Justice McGuinness added. The seminar, an initiative of women academics at the two Universities and the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway, is expected to draw a large number of academics and practitioners. Lead convenors of the event, Dr. Lucy-Ann Buckley, Law School, NUI Galway, and Dr. Patricia Conlan, UL, stress the continuing significance of gender equality issues for women, young and old, and also for men. “Despite the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, young girls, mothers of young children and older women are still particularly vulnerable to direct and indirect discrimination,” remarked Dr. Buckley. Drawing on the holistic approaches to policy planning and legal reform identified by the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the day begins with issues affecting the girl child. Legal protection of young girls from cultural practices such as circumcision and the particular educational experiences of children of working class mothers are identified as key gender equality issues in early life. “Legal and practical protection of the girl-child from practices of cultural circumcision in Ireland and abroad must be robust if Irish law is to meet international standards,” remarked speaker Anne Marlborough, Law School, NUI Galway, who will be evaluating current attempts to legislate in this area. Experts on the impact of family life and work in Ireland highlight gender equality issues for men, particularly the issue of fathers’ rights in the family law courts. Dr. Anne Egan, Law School, NUI Galway is joined by Dr. Patricia Conlan, UL and renowned anti-discrimination legal practitioner and academic, Professor Klaus Michael Alenfelder to discuss gender discrimination in work and family life. Professor Alenfelder shares his extensive knowledge of both European and German law, providing a practitioner’s insight on gender discrimination in mid-life. UK barrister and former Fulbright scholar Yvette Budé leads the programme on the third age. Law and policy can have particular implications for women in later life, as explained by Dr. Gemma Carney, Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, who will also speak at the event. “When it comes to old age, many women have accumulated disadvantage over the life course. As populations age, a life course perspective will become central to policy planning, otherwise, a combination of gender and age discrimination could lead to compounded inequalities for older women,” the policy specialist added. The event will be closed by eminent activist, Ms. Sylvia Meehan, whose vision of women’s equality has led to her being awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Limerick in 1997 and the prestigious ’Person of the Year Award’ in 2009, also the year of her 80th birthday. “If we have achieved legal rights it is essential that we insist on their being delivered. The younger generation of women, who have many of the same pressures of work and family life as I had, are taking up the baton for future generations. I fully support the efforts of the strategic alliance and the Gender ARC now and in the future,” Ms. Meehan concluded. For more information on this free event, contact Dr Lucy-Ann Buckley, School of Law, NUI Galway on 087-2245761 or email lucy-ann.buckley@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has announced details of their annual summer schools. The first of these is the summer school on Minority Rights and Indigenous Peoples and will take place from 13 to 17 June. During the following week, 19 to 23 June, the Centre will run a summer school on the International Criminal Court. Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: “We held our first summer school in 2000, and the popularity and international reputation of both the International Criminal Court and Minority Rights programmes continues to grow.” The 2011 Minority Rights and Indigenous Peoples Summer School will provide participants with an overview of the legal, political and philosophical issues pertaining to international human rights law and its relationship to minority rights and the rights of indigenous peoples. The theme of this year’s school highlights religion in contemporary minority rights discourse, focussing on issues such as: religious minorities, religion and international institutions, and Islam in Europe. The summer school on the International Criminal Court at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, which begins on 19 June, is widely acknowledged to be the premier programme of its kind. The programme will consist of intensive lectures, delivered by leading specialists in the field. Students are provided with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its applicable law, its structures and its operations. Lectures also speak about related issues in international criminal law, including universal jurisdiction, immunities and the role of the victim. The International Criminal Court is arguably the most important new international institution since the establishment of the United Nations. The aim of the International Criminal Court is in combating impunity for atrocities and it is at the forefront of a broader movement for achieving accountability. During the summer school on the International Criminal Court, NUI Galway’s Professor William Schabas will deliver a lecture entitled The First Decade of the International Criminal Court. The lecture will take place on Monday, 20 June and will be open to the public. -Ends-

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

NUI Galway has entered into a Research & Education Alliance with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). ICRISAT is headquartered in India with a range of research stations in Africa. This Research Alliance will combine efforts, expertise and capacity in order to advance Plant and AgriBiosciences research for poverty reduction in developing countries in the semi-arid tropics (particularly in sub-Saharan Africa). The Alliance will strengthen collaborations between research groups within the NUI Galway Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Cluster and scientists in ICRISAT. The Alliance will conduct research on staple crops of the poor to improve smallholder productivity and food security. The Director General of ICRISAT, Dr. William Dar recently met with NUI Galway President Dr. James Browne to co-sign the inter-institutional Memorandum of Understanding between NUI Galway and ICRISAT. Dr. Dar has a PhD in Horticulture (Crop Physiology) and has served as Presidential Adviser for Rural Development and Minister of Agriculture in the Philippines prior to joining ICRISAT. Before this, he was Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), and Director of the Philippines’ Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) under the Department of Agriculture (DA). Dr. Dar has been Director General of ICRISAT since 2000. Welcoming the inter-institutional agreement, NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne said, “This significant partnership between NUI Galway and ICRISAT will, I believe, further advance the existing strong research links between our two organisations. Our researchers will collaborate with ICRISAT staff to help some of the world’s poorest countries to improve their agricultural output, ultimately helping to reduce hunger and poverty in developing countries in the semi-arid tropics, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.” Dr. Dar further stated that “NUI Galway has a range of research expertise in the fields of Plant and AgriBiosciences which are highly synergistic with ICRISAT’s scientific programmes and humanitarian mandate. This MoU builds on the existing research links between NUI Galway and ICRISAT in order to forge a more powerful research alliance to advance food security and sustainability goals in the dryland tropics.” He emphasised that the Research Alliance will also help advance the goals of Irish Aid in relation to the Hunger Task Force recommendations to improve smallholder productivity and reduce malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. For further information contact Professor Charles Spillane, Head of Plant & AgriBiosciences Research Cluster, NUI Galway 091 494148. Email: charles.spillane@nuigalway.ie Web links: www.icrisat.org www.nuigalway.ie/botany/ www.plantagbiosciences.org -Ends-

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Researchers at NUI Galway are to lead a European project to develop a new product for use in hernia operations. The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB)-led consortium has been awarded an EU-FP7 grant worth € 2.7 million for a proposal entitled Targeting Hernia Operation Using Sustainable Resources and Green Nanotechnologies. The overall objective of the Green Nano Mesh research project is to develop a novel mesh for use in hernia operations. Hernia operations are among the most common surgical procedures performed, with over 20 million taking place worldwide annually. In the US alone, the associated expenditure exceeds $48 billion every year. Despite the early success of non-degradable meshes, there is still no wholly satisfactory therapy for hernia repair. In fact, non-degradable meshes are characterised by poor healing response, unfavourable foreign body reaction and in vivo erosion which lead to a failure rate of greater that 10 per cent and a 42 per cent incidence of recurring hernias. Recurring hernias cause further distress to patients, compromising their quality of life, all the while putting an additional financial strain on healthcare systems. The Green Nano Mesh project aims to provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to currently-used meshes which will improve clinical outcomes for the patient. The consortium is led by Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis and Professor Abhay Pandit of NFB at NUI Galway, and includes academic groups from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; the Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior De Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain; Aarhus University, Denmark; and Centexbel, the Belgian textile research centre. There are also six industrial partners involved in the collaboration including: Collplant, Israel; Luxilon Industries, Belgium; Proxy Biomedical Ltd., Ireland; Vornia, Ireland; Biomatech, France; and European Research Services GmbH, Germany. The driving hypothesis of Green Nano Mesh is that using sustainable raw materials and green nano-processes to fabricate a mesh prototype for hernia repair will eliminate hazardous chemicals from the manufacturing process and result in a clinically relevant, nano-fibrous prototype which is suitable for hernia repair. By processing naturally-occurring materials in eco-friendly ways, the resultant mesh will have superior biological properties helping to reduce incidences of foreign body reaction and toxicity, leading to improved hernia repair. The use of such materials and processes in the medical sector is timely, given that in excess of 206Kt of medical plastics are produced annually in Europe alone. Speaking about the award, Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of NFB, said: “This is our second co-ordinator grant that we have secured in the last six months. We are delighted to get European recognition and support for the research that NFB conducts in nanotechnology. This programme provides fantastic opportunities to access the leading research and industrial researchers in biomaterials across the EU.” The award will fund staff, equipment, consumables and the training and development of researchers in the biomaterials and tissue engineering fields over a four-year period. The programme design encourages increased dialogue between academics, industry and clinicians, fostering the transfer of key scientific and experimental knowledge between the institutions and sectors involved. Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis at the NFB, who is co-ordinating the project, said: “This EU funding demonstrates the competitiveness of Irish research. Furthermore, due to the constructive interaction between academics, industry representatives and clinicians, the technologies under investigation will be translated to bed-side therapies.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

An NUI Galway student, scholar and lecturer have been announced as recipients of the Fulbright Awards 2011. 25 Scholarships in total, valued at € 285,000, were announced recently at an event hosted by the Deputy Chief of Mission from the US Embassy in Ireland Mr. John Hennessey-Niland. The Fulbright Awards are presented on an annual basis to Irish students, scholars and professionals to undertake postgraduate study and research at higher education, cultural and related institutions in the United States. Applications are encouraged in all disciplines including the visual and performing arts. The awards are jointly funded by the Irish and US governments under the Ireland-United States Commission for Educational Exchange. Fulbright scholarships have provided Irish and U.S. students, scholars and professionals with the opportunity to study, lecture and research at top universities and institutions in the U.S. and Ireland respectively since 1957. Máire Ní Chuaig, a native Irish speaker graduated with a BA in Irish and Translation at NUI Galway. She plans on returning to College to complete a Higher Diploma in Education in 2012. Máire will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at the University of Montana. Dr. Noam Lubell is a Lecturer at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, School of Law, NUI Galway. Dr Lubell will undertake his research into the area of future challenges in the law of armed conflict at New York University. Daniel Regan is a PhD candidate in Psychology at NUI Galway. Daniel will pursue his research at the University of California, Berkeley specialising in the area of health psychology with a specific focus on alcohol research. His sister Nell Regan was also awarded a scholarship. Out of the 25 scholarship awards, eight are for research and study in the areas of science, technology, environment and health. This year six Irish awardees will spend time teaching the language and lecturing in Irish culture as Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants. The remaining 10 recipients will conduct study and research in the areas of law, music, writing, politics and other humanities and social science disciplines. Commenting on the awards, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Eamon Gilmore, T.D., congratulated the recipients and said: “The Ireland-United States Commission for Educational Exchange represents not just a commitment to the best educational standards for the successful recipients but also a joint investment by both governments to ever closer ties between our two countries, supporting, as President Obama put it recently in Dublin, the people who make the future happen.” Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. John Hennessey-Niland of the US Embassy in Ireland said: “The Fulbright Awards are one of the most important collaborative initiatives between our two countries. I wish this year’s 25 Irish recipients every success during their term in the U.S. In addition to the important academic and professional experience you are about to embark on, I trust you will make friendships that will remain long after you return to Ireland.” Una Halligan, Chairperson of the Fulbright Commission of Ireland concluded: “Each of these 25 successful candidates was chosen not only on the basis of their individual merits but also because they displayed exceptional leadership ability which is inherent to Fulbright. Great ideas are borne out of people’s ability to think creatively, to collaborate well with others and to follow through in order to make things happen. These recipients are some of the finest in their disciplines; I have no doubt they will be outstanding representatives for this country and will thrive and make the most of every opportunity that comes their way.” The next Fulbright Awards Competition 2012-2013 will open to applicants on Monday 5 September. For more information visit www.fulbright.ie. -ends-

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Dr Ger Curley, an expert in Anaesthesia at NUI Galway and Molecular Medicine Ireland Clinician Scientist Fellow, has received a highly prestigious award from the American Thoracic Society (ATS). The Respiratory Structure & Function Assembly of the ATS has awarded Dr Curley its Excellence Award for best abstract presented at its 2011 Annual International Conference, held in Denver, Colorado. The award is in recognition of Dr Curley’s work, conducted with the Lung Biology Group at NUI Galway. His research has demonstrated for the first time the potential for stem cells to enhance repair following Ventilator Induced Acute Lung Injury, a significant cause of disability and death in critically ill patients. Dr Curley’s project was conducted in collaboration with the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway. This award represents a first for Ireland in this arena and brings international recognition for the high quality work being done by Dr Curley and the other members of the Lung Biology Group at NUI Galway. Professor John Laffey, who leads the Lung Biology Group at NUI Galway, commented: “This work provides exciting evidence that stem cells can repair the damaged lungs and by doing so, may help to save the lives of critically ill patients in our Intensive Care Units. There is cause for hope here because we do not have any treatments for this devastating disease. This was a collaborative project that would not have been possible without the world class expertise and experience in stem cell research provided by the scientists at REMEDI.” The research was funded by grants from Molecular Medicine Ireland under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions and by the European Research Council under its Framework 7 programme. -Ends-

Monday, 13 June 2011

A surfing website designed by two students, which has the potential to develop tourism in the West of Ireland, has scooped the top prize of € 15,000 at the NUI Galway Student Enterprise Awards held on Friday, 10 June, 2011. The creators of WestCoastSurfer.com were presented with their prize by Minister of State for Small Business, John Perry T.D., NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne and NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Peter Mannion. WestCoastSurfer.com is the brainchild of Oisin Halpin and Cian Brassil. Oisin is a third year Earth & Ocean Science student from Achill Island, Co. Mayo, whilst Cian is a second year Information Technology student from Kilcolgan, Co. Galway. Their goal is to design, build, promote, develop and manage the premier Irish surfing website. Judges were impressed with the WestCoastSurfer.com brand and its potential draw investment to the domestic economy. Announcing the winner, Chairperson of the judging panel, CEO of Creganna-Tactx Medical, Helen Ryan said: “West Coast Surfer.com has huge growth potential and is well grounded in commercial reality with great opportunities for the West of Ireland. Both Cian and Oisin have all the hallmarks of people who will be very successful.” Six teams contested the final of the NUI Galway Student Enterprise Awards in anticipation of securing an investment of € 15,000 for the winning project. The competition is the initiative of the NUI Galway Students’ Union, with the support of NUI Galway and has the goal of fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the students of the University. The competition successfully attracted entrants from across all of the colleges and schools of the University, from which six ideas were chosen to progress to the final stage. The two runner-up prizes of € 2,000 were awarded to LittleGreenWheels and Algorithm. LittleGreenWheels was created by Laura Crean, from Tralee, Co, Kerry, and Amy Martyn, from Salthill, Galway City and is an environmental recycling centre for children. Algorithm was created by Evelyn Fennelly, a first year Medicine student from Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Her project aims to help students overcome the difficulties of returning to education following childbirth. As part of the final assessment of their entries, students received an investment of € 500 for their projects, and also received the assistance of mentoring from the highly specialised team of mentors, which was comprised of a combination of members of the academic staff of the University and members of the local business community. Minister of State for Small Business, John Perry T.D, who presented the winning team with their prize said: “The drive, determination and enthusiasm of the students is fantastic. It is heartening to see that within NUI Galway the essence of the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. I would also like to congratulate the University and the Students’ Union for their vision in fostering the talents of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.” NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Peter Mannion said: “We have been overwhelmed by the number and standard of entries to the NUI Galway Student Enterprise Awards. The entrants are testament to the exceptional initiative and creativity of students in social and business enterprise. They show that students are both able and willing to create the big ideas that will help fuel our recovery. The Students’ Union is delighted to be in a position to facilitate some of these ideas as they take their first steps. I have no doubt but that we are working with the leaders of the future.” -Ends-

Monday, 13 June 2011

Galway s Bike Week Festival runs from 18 to 26 June 2011. This year, the week will be launched in Galway on 18 June with a mass cycle, a bike village and many other events around the city. As part of NUI Galway’s contribution to the festival, the Green Campus Committee is organising a University-wide Cycle to Campus Day on Wednesday, 22 June. The Cycle to Campus Day aims to encourage staff and students to cycle to campus and to reward those who do so regularly. All members of the NUI Galway community are welcome to participate - whether dedicated commuters or first-time cyclists. Getting involved is easy. Simply cycle your bike to campus and join in the various activities being held around campus on the day. "The Cycle to Campus event is another sign of the growing popularity of bicycling in NUI Galway", says Pierre Ludwick of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI). Over half of all researchers in DERI regularly cycle to work, and Kevin O’Sullivan, a Design Engineer with the Buildings Office at the University is working on a project to install additional secure and covered bike parking, to the direct benefit of this group. The University is boosting bicycling even further with a number of improvements, including the development of a Travel Plan and the provision of new bike parking spaces. Additional covered bicycle racks have been installed in several places around campus, as part of on-going improvements to cycle facilities. "We look forward to making it even easier and safer to ride a bike to work for all employees", says Greg Power, Planning and Projects Officer at NUI Galway. "Cycling has many benefits for staff and students - we now need to keep the momentum and culture change with more and better incentives to cycling ". The Cycle to Work Scheme has also been hugely popular on campus, and is open to all employees, with over 300 staff availing of the scheme since 2009. This scheme encourages more people to cycle to and from work, by gaining a tax saving on procuring a bicycle where it is used by the employee mainly for qualifying journeys. Information about the scheme will be available throughout the day-long event. -ends-

Monday, 13 June 2011

Research in the area of Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine will be furthered through the launch of a structured PhD Programme in the field delivered through the NUI Galway/UL Strategic Alliance and University College Cork. The PhD in Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (BMERM) is a collaborative programme involving partner institutions nationally and internationally, including: Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Sligo, University of Ulster, Queen s University Belfast, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, University of Pittsburgh, USA, Duke University, USA, Rice University, USA, Mayo Clinic, USA, RWTH Aachen University, Germany, Georgia Tech Ireland, and the Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA). The 4 year programme, funded by the HEA under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions Cycle 5, will also involve study visits for Irish students to the world-leading research institute, Georgia Tech based in Atlanta. Director of the Programme, Professor Peter McHugh, of the NUI Galway College of Engineering and Informatics, said “The medical technology industry is one of the pillars of the Irish economy, with a tremendous potential for growth, which is dependent on having a highly educated and trained workforce and a strong research and innovation capability. Biomedical engineering and regenerative medicine are at the heart of this growth potential and this structured PhD programme is designed to produce graduates who will be the next generation of leaders in the industry and in academic research and education in the field.” Professor Tim McGloughlin, Director of Centre for Applied Biomedical Engineering Research at UL said; “This programme will enhance the professional skills of the PhD students through close interaction with the medical devices industry, further enhancing its role in the Irish economy and enabling R&D growth in this key sector.” Professor Noel Caplice, Professor of Cardiovascular Science & Consultant Cardiologist, CUH/UCC said, “This is an exciting interaction between Universities that are already co-operating on stem cell and cardiovascular thematic research. We believe this BERM interaction will only strengthen this collaboration. The PhD programme aims to become a leading international graduate education programme in the fields of biomedical engineering and regenerative medicine in which Ireland is already taking a strong international role. The overall objective is to develop graduates who will produce ground- breaking scientific results benefiting human health and contributing to economic growth. Ireland’s medical technologies sector is a significant global cluster for medical device and diagnostic products. 200 plus medtech companies are involved in the development, manufacture and marketing of a diverse range of products and services, including 100 indigenous companies. Exports of medical device and diagnostics products are valued in excess of € 7 billion annually, representing 9 per cent of Ireland’s total merchandise exports. The sector employs 25,000 people, the highest number of people working in the industry in Europe, per head of population. The Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine PhD Programme will involve significant interaction with the sector through the involvement of the Irish Medical Devices Association which represents 135 companies in the sector. Irish Medical Devices Association Director, Sharon Higgins said; “IMDA is very excited by the launch of the structured PhD Programme in Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. The Programme, developed with close industry involvement, builds on the strengths of the highly active national and international research activities taking place in Ireland, to produce unique graduates with key skills required to further contribute to the economic growth of the medical technology sector in Ireland.” For further information please contact, Professor Peter McHugh, Director of the Structured PhD Programme in Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (BMERM), NUI Galway College of Engineering and Informatics 091 493152 or email peter.mchugh@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Monday, 13 June 2011

The Irish Conference of Medievalists celebrates its 25th anniversary with a conference from 24 to 26 June in the Moore Institute at NUI Galway. The conference reflects the current state of research in Medieval Studies, focusing on the history, archaeology, language and literature of medieval Ireland and Europe. This year’s speakers come from Ireland, USA, Scotland, England, France, Canada, Norway, Iceland and Morocco. The keynote speaker is Professor Alfred Smyth, an eminent historian of early Medieval Ireland and Britain, based at the University of Canterbury. There will be special plenary sessions on Irish and Norse literary connections and on the influence of Columbanus, the Irish missionary active in France and Northern Italy c. 590 to 615. NUI Galway’s Dr Pádraic Moran said, “The return of the 25th Irish Conference of Medievalists to NUI Galway presents an occasion to reflect on 25 years of scholarship in Irish Medieval studies, and recognises the strength of the NUI Galway’s own research community in this important area of our heritage.” A full programme and list of abstracts are available at the conference website: www.irishmedievalists.com. The conference is open to students, academics and members of the public. Visit www.conference.ie for information on registration. -ends-

Monday, 13 June 2011

The Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald, T.D., will officially open the fifth biennial conference of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway later this month. The conference, entitled Protecting Children Through Family Support, will take place over two days, running from 16 to 17 June, in the Áras Moyola Building at NUI Galway. Protecting Children Through Family Support will address the challenges and opportunities in effectively realising children and young people’s right to be cared for safely within their families. The central theme of the conference is how to develop family support interventions that are mindful of children and young people’s right to be protected and child protection (and related) interventions which acknowledge their right to be supported within the family. The theme will be explored through keynote presentations and practice seminars addressing Family Support in universal and preventative settings, through to ’early in the problem’ targeted support services, and child protection and alternative care provision. It will enable practitioners and other key stakeholders the space to listen, reflect and discuss current challenges facing services for children. The keynote speakers will include: Professor Harry Ferguson, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom; Professsor Bob Lonne, Queensland University, Australia; Helen Meintjes, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Dr Susan Bissell, UNICEF HQ, New York; Professor Mary Daly, Queens University Belfast; Carmel Devaney, NUI Galway; Professor Brid Featherstone, NUI Galway; Professor John Pinkerton, Queen s University Belfast; and special guest Róisín Ingle, journalist with the Irish Times. Speaking about the conference, UNESCO Chair and CFRC Director Professor Pat Dolan, commented “With the imminent publication of new child protection guidelines and the establishment of a new child protection agency, the need for services to work effectively with parents, families and communities is critical - social work interventions alone will not protect children.” For further information, or to register for the conference, visit www.conference.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The NUI Galway and UL Alliance have announced an exciting new structured PhD programme in Philosophy of Art and Culture at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. This unique, inter-institutional PhD programme, which will run for the first time in the 2011/12 academic year, has been developed collaboratively by the Philosophy departments at NUI Galway and Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, with the Department of History at the University of Limerick. By blending expertise from the three partner institutions, the highly innovative programme seeks to explore the philosophy of art and culture in an intellectually enriched setting, combining Analytic and Continental Philosophy. The programme offers students valuable insight into the theories and methodologies that are basic to research in all aspects of philosophy of art and culture. It aims to develop students’ skills as active researchers and their capacity to pursue research independently as well as their ability to work in collaboration with others and in broader networks of international research contacts. Students will be encouraged to formulate their work in such a way as to be presentable at conferences and colloquia at both the national and international level and will be instructed in how to teach and develop their research to international standards through specialist disciplinary education. The programme will be offered on an inter-institutional basis across the three partner Institutions. Students will therefore register at either Mary Immaculate College or NUI Galway, but will, under the guidance of their supervisors, take a number of core modules in each of the participating institutions and will choose from a number of other modules on offer. Depending on which modules individual students select according to their own needs, there may also be an element of distance education. Among the modules expected to be taught on the programme at Mary Immaculate College are: Philosophy and the Subject: From the Modern to the Post-Modern; Introduction to Hermeneutics; Literary Aesthetics and Research Methodology. Phenomenology of Art and Culture, History and Philosophy of Pictorial Space and Modernity and Knowledge will be taught at NUI Galway, while modules in Art and Cultures of Display and The Look of the Past will be offered at the University of Limerick. The MIC Director of the programme, Dr. Stephen Thornton, said: “This programme is the first of its kind in Ireland, and offers exciting new possibilities for the promotion of inter-institutional collaboration and research in the philosophy of Art and Culture, construed in a very broad and inclusive sense. We envisage that it will appeal to those who have an interest in Philosophy, Art, Literature and other aspects of contemporary culture and who wish to pursue that interest at the highest level, utilising the expertise available at the three participating institutions.” NUI Galway Professor of Philosophy, Paul Crowther said: “We live in a time when the meanings of art and culture are being subjected to radical questioning through globalisation and modes of new technology. Our programme negotiates this challenge. It does so by combining depth and breadth in philosophical thinking about the arts and the meaning of culture. By this means, it also connects philosophical aesthetics to community-life and the bigger world-picture.” Applicants will normally possess at least an upper second level (2.1) primary degree in Philosophy or a similar award from a cognate discipline from a recognised third level institution. Acceptance may be subject to interview and/or a sample of written work and is entirely at the discretion of the Programme Board. Candidates should be proficient in the use of English for academic purposes. A number of Assistantships will be available for applicants on a competitive basis. For a copy of the Programme Brochure, please contact: Ms Linda McGrath, The Arts Office, Mary Immaculate College: 061-204525 or linda.mcgrath@mic.ul.ie For further information on application procedures for the Structured PhD in Philosophy of Art and Culture, please contact: The Graduate Office at MIC: 061 204556 or hellen.gallagher@mic.ul.ie For application forms see: http://www.mic.ul.ie/programmes/Postgraduate/pdf/EnglishTaught%20Application.pdf. For application via NUI Galway visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/research-postgraduate-programmes/structured-phd/philosophy-art-culture.html . For further information contact: Holly Ní Chomáin, Oifigeach Margaíochta & Caidrimh Poiblí/ Marketing & PR Officer Coláiste Mhuire gan Smál/ Mary Immaculate College. 061 204595 Holly.Cowman@mic.ul.ie www.mic.ul.ie. -ends-

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Irish State needs to defend its citizens’ rights to a home and protect them from the power of global financial corporations, according to NUI Galway’s Dr Padraic Kenna. His new book, Housing Law, Rights and Policy, provides the first comprehensive reference and critique of the legal and policy elements of the Irish housing system. According to Dr Kenna: “There is an urgent need to re-evaluate what housing law and policy is actually about. Housing and mortgage law must be more than the means of repaying irresponsible loans from international financial corporations. It must be more than disparate pieces of legislation, cases, policy reports and media commentaries on the state of the market. Housing as a means of personal, social and community development must be given a legal status”. Dr Kenna, who is a lecturer with the School of Law at NUI Galway, added: “Today, we need a balance in our housing law and policy. Now might be the time for a new set of representative national organisations of mortgage consumers, social housing tenants, and those who require adequate and affordable housing at Irish and EU level. The new book from Dr Kenna, Housing Law, Rights and Policy, brings together for the first time all the legal and policy approaches which could inform a new paradigm in Irish housing. The book examines the development of the Irish housing system, including contemporary policy perspectives. It also outlines and evaluates the law, rights and policy in relation to older people, people with disabilities, homeless people, State housing finance, private mortgages, housing rights, planning, housing standards, building regulations, local authority housing, private rented housing, apartments, multi-unit developments and estates, housing associations and co-operatives, rural housing and EU housing related law. Housing Law, Rights and Policy is published by Clarus Press. -ends-

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Discipline of Botany & Plant Science at NUI Galway will host the 2011 annual meeting of the Botanical Society of the British Isles, which will run from 18 to 21 June. This is the first time the meeting has been held in Galway and only the second time in Ireland in the Society’s 175 year history. The meeting is aimed at both academic and amateur botanists from throughout Britain and Ireland and will consist of the AGM and a variety of talks by leading experts. The 2011 meeting is taking place in Galway due to its close proximity to some of the best botanical regions in Ireland, including the Burren, Connemara and the Aran Islands. Day excursions to each of these will follow the meeting, led by local botanist experts. Founded in 1836, the Botanical Society of the British Isles is the leading society in Britain and Ireland for the study of our native flora, its distribution and taxonomy and has a membership of over 2,000. Keynote speakers will include: Dr Karen Molloy, NUI Galway Senior Researcher, who will deliver a talk on vegetation change and land-use history in the West of Ireland; Dr Sharon Parr, Burren Farming for Conservation Programme and John Conaghan, Ecological Consultant, will speak about the Burren and Connemara flora; and Dr Matthew Jebb, Director of the National Botanic Gardens, will deliver his talk on Irish archaeophytes (ancient plant introductions). Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, Conference Organiser and Lecturer with the Discipline of Botany & Plant Science at NUI Galway, said: “It will surely be the first time so many botanists will be seen out botanising together anywhere in Ireland. They are coming because Galway is the gateway to three of the best botanical sites in Ireland and Britain. The interest is so large that we have had to divide them into three separate tours of the Burren and Connemara, with delegates all meeting in Carron, Co. Clare and Roundstone, Connemara for an evening meal.” For a full schedule visit http://www.bsbi.org.uk/meetings.html#Galway. Registration is now closed. -ends-

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

NUI Galway Executive MBA students are in New York this week on an International Study visit to Fordham University. The 25 NUI Galway students will embrace various lectures, teachings and topical presentations from the highly esteemed academics at Fordham University. The combination of on-campus tuition, key industry site visits and presentations will enable the students to receive full exposure to the most current thinking in Business Administration and Management from the US. This inaugural trip by the Executive MBA class has been heralded by Dr Ann Torres, Programme Director at NUI Galway, as: “A wonderful chance for the Executive MBA students to embrace this unique learning opportunity in New York City. Fordham has a wonderful reputation of producing the best and the added advantage of being so ideally located to the Financial District and the driving force of the US economy. The exposure of these Masters’ students to the exciting and unique academic offering that they will receive at Fordham will certainly offer them a distinct competitive advantage as Executive MBA graduates.” The students will be accompanied on their trip by Dr Torres and Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J. E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway, as well as other members of the academic staff at the University’s Business School. Goldman Sachs in association with Galway University Foundation and NUI Galway Alumni Association are hosting a welcome reception for the NUI Galway Executive MBA class, enabling them to connect with successful NUI Galway graduates based in the US. This is an ideal opportunity for the current students to observe how successful NUI Galway graduates have been all over the world and the vital roles that they play in managing successful organisations in New York and indeed across the US. Suzanne Ryan, Executive MBA Student and Alumni Association Coordinator of the trip commented that: “This is the highlight of our academic studies to date; it is a wonderful opportunity for us as students of NUI Galway to get access to such esteemed lectures and wonderful facilities at Fordham University as part of our EMBA programme. As managers, we can actively learn from and directly apply this experience to our own work environments on our return.” Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics said: “This exciting academic exposure for the Executive MBA students. We are proud of the esteem that the NUI Galway Business School is held in internationally, and I look forward to establishing greater links with Fordham University and other US Universities through innovative programmes in the future.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The School of Psychology at NUI Galway will host a one-day workshop entitled Mindfulness and Values in Acceptance Commitment Therapy. The workshop will take place in Áras na Mac Léinn on Wednesday, 15 June. The workshop will focus on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), an approach to psychotherapy and sound living, and will be delivered by Dr Kelly Wilson, co-developer of ACT and Associate Professor of Psychology with the University of Mississippi. ACT is based on emerging clinical science that demonstrates the broad utility of mindfulness and values in human wellbeing. It’s a hybrid therapy in terms of approach and technique, bringing together aspects of mindfulness, Gestalt therapy, and humanist-existential thought, all organised under a contemporary contextual behavioral framework. The ACT approach is about embracing necessary suffering in order to make more committed, life-affirming choices and live in accordance with deeply held personal values. Dr Wilson has devoted himself to the development and dissemination of ACT. Over the last 20 years, he has published numerous articles, chapters and books on ACT and the theory and empirical science underlying it and has led workshops in 21 countries. He has recently published a book, Mindfulness for Two, on the use of mindfulness in Acceptance Commitment Therapy and this workshop will present many of the methods and techniques discussed there. Speaking about the upcoming one-day workshop, Dr Ian Stewart, Lecturer with the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, said: “ACT is an increasingly popular form of psychotherapy in the United States and internationally. The key to its success is its basis in a unified empirically-based understanding of human psychology. Kelly Wilson is an expert in both the research and the therapeutic delivery of this approach. I’d thoroughly recommend this workshop to any clinician or professional for whom an understanding of human psychology is a key part of their work.” For further information on the workshop, or to register, visit www.conference.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

A spin-out company from the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI). at NUI Galway is bringing a new experience to music lovers. Seevl provides new ways to explore the cultural and musical universe of users’ favourite bands and artists, and lets them discover other connected ones, based on a rich set of connections that can exist. The service, free for its users, offers an online discovery user-experience, whether it is by browsing artists, labels or genres, or by combining these features together to find new ones. It also makes its data available to developers that want to build new applications on top of the platform. Dr Alexandre Passant, CEO and founder of Seevl, which is based in Galway City, Ireland, said: “We want to recreate, online, the music discovery experience that people have when reading records sleeves, trying to know every fact about their favourite artists, or engaging in conversations about the bands they like. To do so, we get data from various sources on the Web to build consolidated artist profiles, so that we can then enable semantic search and explanatory recommendations of related bands. For instance, if you like the Beatles, we will tell you that you may like the Quarrymen as it used to be the former band of most of their members! Combined with the social experience, these features make Seevl a unique music discovery service.” To enable its platform, Seevl brings together several years of R&D in Semantic Web and Linked Data technologies that have been researched at DERI, which is a Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) established with funding from Science Foundation Ireland. Seevl also partners with OpenLink software to deliver its infrastructure. Stefan Decker, Director of DERI, said: “This shows that our research can have an impact not only in academia but also in the industrial world, and that DERI is focused on supporting spin out activity from NUI Galway”. For further information visit the public beta site at http://seevl.net/. -Ends-

Thursday, 2 June 2011

In cooperation with Queen’s University Belfast and Essex University, the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host an international tripartite video-conference dedicated to the life and work of Professor Kevin Boyle. Professor Boyle was a renowned international human rights lawyer. The conference will take place on Saturday, 11 June, in the Moore Institute, NUI Galway. The conference is jointly organised by the three universities where Professor Boyle spent his career. A tribute to his work, the conference will focus on key themes in human rights with which he was most engaged. According to Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, “the conference will bring together three of the world’s leading human rights institutions and some of world’s leading human rights lawyers who were both friends and colleagues of Professor Kevin Boyle.” Professor Boyle began his career at Queen’s University Belfast where he was deeply engaged in the civil rights movement. In the late 1970s he joined NUI Galway where he launched the Irish Centre for Human Rights. The last two decades of his life were spent at the University of Essex, where he directed its Human Rights Centre. In addition to his enormous academic contribution, Professor Boyle was active with important international NGOs such as Article 19, of which he was the founding director. He served as a special advisor to Mary Robinson when she was High Commissioner for Human Rights. Professor Boyle appeared frequently before the European Court of Human Rights, winning important cases that dealt with a broad range of issues, including freedom of expression, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and torture. Keynote speakers at the conference will include Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, Professor of Law and Chair of the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex. For further information on the conference contact Nathan Derejko at the NUI Galway Irish Centre for Human Rights on nathanderejko@gmail.com. -Ends-

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Applications are being accepted immediately for 30 fully-funded PhD scholarships at NUI Galway. The Hardiman Research Scholarships are four-year structured PhD scholarships, and include full fees and an annual stipend of € 16,000. The deadline for applications is 19 June. The scholarships are focused on five key areas of research in which NUI Galway offers world-leading expertise: Biomedical Science and Engineering Galway is one of four global hubs for Medical Technologies. NUI Galway is Ireland’s leading university for Biomedical Science and Engineering, and home to the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES). Major research clusters include REMEDI, Regenerative Medicine Institute, Cancer Biology and Therapeutics, Glycosciences and Biomedical Engineering, focused on Biomechanics and Functional Biomaterials. Informatics, Physical, and Computational Sciences The University supports research in mathematics, core physical sciences, and Information Technology leading to new technologies and contributing to the knowledge-based economy in Ireland. DERI, the Digital Enterprise Research Institute, is the world’s largest institute for semantic web research and is a SFI Centre for Excellence in Science and Technology. Environment, Marine, and Energy This research area covers environmental change and modelling, atmospheric studies, biodiversity and bioinformatics, marine science and law, and sustainable energy. At NUI Galway, researchers in the Ryan Institute work to assess the harmful environmental impacts associated with global and regional climate change. Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy Focused around the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) and the Life Course Institute, NUI Galway is committed to improving understanding of innovation and social entrepreneurial strategies. Humanities in Context NUI Galway research examines areas such as disease, ageing and challenges to the environment from archaeological, literary or historical perspectives. The Moore Institute fosters the culture of research in this field at NUI Galway. NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, said: “Our primary strategic aim is to attract the best students to NUI Galway and to support their development as innovative individuals who will contribute globally to economic, cultural and social development. The alignment of the scholarships to particular areas of research reflects our University’s growing international reputation in these fields of enquiry.” The Hardiman Research Scholarships offer opportunities for suitably qualified individuals to pursue a structured postgraduate degree by research. Structured PhD programmes, while retaining the focus on the advancement of knowledge through original research of traditional programmes, also provide professional development modules in subject-specific and transferable skills. Named in honour of James Hardiman, who was appointed the University’s first Librarian in 1849, the scholarship programme aims to produce highly focused PhD graduates from a pool of national and international candidates. Dean of Graduate Studies at NUI Galway Pat Morgan, said: “Throughout his life, James Hardiman displayed a tremendous breadth of interest, expertise and scholarship that has led to the naming of the award in his honour. His life and works will hopefully provide a source of inspiration to all those upcoming researchers who will be awarded the accolade of Hardiman Research Scholars”. Applications and more information are available to download at www.nuigalway.ie/hardiman-scholarships, with closing date for applications on 19 June and interviews taking place the week after. -ends-

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

NUI Galway has marked the 150th anniversary of the creation of Italy with an interdisciplinary one-day workshop focused on specific themes of debate. In 1861, with the creation of the Italian Kingdom, Italy became for the first time in her history a unified nation. The one-day workshop at NUI Galway, held on Friday, 27 May, was called ’Debating the Italian Nation - Historical and Cultural Perspectives’. NUI Galway staff from the disciplines of History and Italian were joined by prestigious overseas scholars to discuss the significance of the idea of the nation for contemporary Italian history, society, and culture. According to NUI Galway’s Professor Paolo Bartoloni, Head of Discipline, Italian Studies: “The 2011 anniversary is an occasion to reflect upon this important event in history and its significance from different perspectives. Our intention is to pay respect to an idea, but also to read that idea against and in relation to the mediation of time, memory, history and culture. The history of unified Italy is a history of struggles, of significant achievements, of great individual and popular successes, starting from the Wars of Independence, to the Resistance, to the economic boom. And yet it remains a history intercalated by divisions: the division between the rich and poor Italy, the Italy of the north and the Italy of the south. Professor Bartoloni added: “One of the most enduring historical catch-phrases to describe Italy is ’The Divided Italy’. This is a problematic division, a division that calls into question the very notion of unity. It is not by accident that time and time again attempts have been made to address and remove this division, an while it is imperative that economic, and power relation divisions, such as those still characterizing men and women relations, must be relentlessly tackled, it is also necessary that cultural differences be maintained.” Some 150 people study Italian at NUI Galway, including the BA in Italian and the BComm in Italian. The University is offering an evening Diploma in Italian in September 2011. -Ends-

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

NUI Galway is giving its graduates an opportunity to attend a unique graduate support event on Tuesday, 14 June from 9.30am to 1pm in the Careers Seminar Room, Arts/Science Building. The NUI Galway Graduate Job Search Boot Camp is a free event, organised by the Career Development Centre, and will focus on effective CVs, interview skills and using social media in the job search process. Interactive workshops will challenge participants to review their current approach to their job search and to apply the learning gained to enhance their job prospects. “We look forward to working again with our recent graduates and strongly encourage those who are looking for new ways to market themselves to come along and get their career back on track”, said John Hannon, Head of the Career Development Centre, NUI Galway. Places are limited to ensure individual attention and graduates are encouraged to book a place via the Careers website as soon as possible. To register or for the full programme, visit www.nuigalway.ie/careers. -Ends-

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Royal Irish Academy (RIA) has elected three of NUI Galway’s top academics for admission in recognition of their academic achievement. NUI Galway’s Professor Peter McHugh, Professor Colin O’Dowd and Professor Donal O’Regan were among twenty-three scholars in total from around Ireland who joined the ranks of Ernest Walton, Erwin Schrodinger, Seamus Heaney and Mary Robinson by becoming Members of the Royal Irish Academy. Membership is awarded to persons who have attained distinction in education and research. The NUI Galway professors work in the fields of Biomedical Engineering, Climate Physics and Mathematics. NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, commented: “Research and academic excellence are the cornerstones of all that we do here at NUI Galway. My colleagues’ attainment of what is the highest academic honour in Ireland is testament to the calibre of our staff and research.” Professor Peter McHugh Peter McHugh is the Established Professor of Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway. He is an internationally recognised expert in biomechanics, and works closely with clinicians and industry in order to develop mathematical models of human tissue and medical implants in an effort to understand their precise behaviour and to facilitate the design of new treatments and clinical procedures. Professor McHugh is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland and a recipient of the Silver Medal of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. His research is widely published and highly cited in high impact international journals. Professor Colin O’Dowd Colin O’Dowd is Personal Professor in the School of Physics and Director of the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies at the Ryan Institute, NUI Galway. He is internationally recognised for his innovations, publications and international leadership in the fields of atmospheric aerosol formation, transformation and climate effects. Professor O’Dowd has been joint-chief editor of the premier atmospheric science journal (JGR-Atmospheres), and has been awarded Fellowship of the Institute of Physics, Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, International Smoluchowski Award, and a DSc by the University of Manchester. Professor Donal O’Regan Donal O’Regan is a Personal Professor of Mathematics at NUI Galway. He is internationally recognised as an expert in the field of Nonlinear Analysis, and he has made valuable contributions to fixed-point theory for single and multivalued maps, critical-point theory, operator equations and inclusions, degree theory and oscillation theory. Professor O’Regan has published extensively in prestigious, high impact factor ISI journals, and his many books and papers are highly cited. He also serves on editorial boards for many international journals. The Royal Irish Academy, which was founded in 1785 and has now 455 members, is the principal learned society in Ireland. Those elected to membership are entitled to use the designation ’MRIA’ after their name. -Ends-

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Gender and Child Welfare Network, which is an international group of researchers and practitioners, will hold its fourth Interdisciplinary conference, and its first Irish conference, at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 15 June, 2011. The network has organised three successful conferences previously on the relationship between gender and child welfare. This conference will focus specifically on the relationship between gender, child protection and family support. The keynote speaker for the conference will be Norah Gibbons, Director of Advocacy with Barnardos. Ms Gibbons will be discussing her recent report on the Roscommon case, which highlighted the importance of understanding and working with gender issues in child protection and family support. In particular, the report noted that an assessment of the role of the father in such cases is very important. Generally, practices in child welfare can ignore the role of fathers, thus missing out on those who are at risk but also those who might be supporters in the family. Moreover, the focus on mothers can often be unfair in that they are expected to carry the burden of protecting children from violent or abusive men. Conference organiser and Professor with the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, Professor Bríd Featherstone, said: “I am delighted that this event is taking place at NUI Galway and that such a distinguished group of speakers from so many countries will be contributing their insights on such an important topic.” This conference brings together experts from the US, Canada, UK, Germany and Ireland to discuss their research in the following areas: working with men and women around domestic violence; training social workers to engage fathers; men in social work; working with mothers in case of child sexual abuse; new approaches to working with violence by children and young people; and working with fathers where a child has a disability. For further information on the conference, or to register, visit www.conference.ie. -ends-

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The 9th Galway Symposium on Higher Education will take place in NUI Galway from 9 to 10 June in Áras Moyola. The 9th Symposium is being jointly organised by NUI Galway’s Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and NAIRTL and this year the event is also the Annual Conference of NAIRTL. The title this year is Engaging Minds. Active Learning, Participation and Collaboration in Higher Education and will focus on aspects of student engagement in the learning process. Higher Education institutions are increasingly focusing on the importance of active student engagement in the learning process, moving away from the traditional stereotype of passive lectures and examination towards processes that involve participation, challenging intellectual problems, imaginative use of technologies and new approaches to large classes. Learners who take responsibility for their own development and who feel a sense of purpose and ownership are more likely to meet the aims of a graduate population that has high levels of critical thinking, flexibility and creativity. This international conference will address these topics. The two day symposium will be comprised of short papers, presentations, workshops, panel discussions and posters on themes such as students as co-creators of knowledge, civic engagement and social responsibility, the first year experience, engaging large classes and technology enhanced learning. Keynote speakers will include: Dr Lesley Gourlay, Director, Centre for Academic and Professional Literacies, University of London; Dr Derek Bruff, Assistant Director, Center for Teaching, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA; Elisabeth Dunne, Head of Project Development, University of Exeter; Professor Mike Neary, Dean of Teaching and Learning, University of Lincoln; Professor Guy Claxton, Co-Director Centre for Real-World Learning and Professor of Learning Sciences, University of Winchester; and Dr Paul Kleiman, Deputy Director of PALATINE and Senior Research Fellow, Lancaster University. Dr Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director of CELT said: “The theme of engagement touches on the very heart of what a ’higher’ education should be about. It’s about engaging the mind, experimenting with new ideas, critically engaging with the world around us, laying the foundations upon which to build a better future, nurturing individual creativity and collective responsibility, and hopefully about having some fun along the way.” Registration for the event is on the NAIRTL website NAIRTL website . The twitter hashtag for the event is #nairtl11. -Ends-

Monday, 30 May 2011

Professor Mike Clarke, newly appointed Adjunct Professor to the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway, will give his inaugural lecture entitled Systematic Reviews for Natural Disasters and other Humanitarian Emergencies: Evidence Aid. The event will take place on Thursday, 9 June, at 6pm in the Lecture Theatre, Áras Moyola Building in NUI Galway. Professor Clarke is the Chair of Research Methodology at Queen’s University in Belfast and Director of the All-Ireland Hub for Trials Methodology Research. He is also the former Director of the UK Cochrane Centre. He has worked actively on dozens of systematic reviews in a wide range of areas, as well as on large randomised trials in topics such as maternity care, breast cancer, poisoning and stroke. He is the Podcast and Journal Club Editor for The Cochrane Library. Commenting on his upcoming lecture, Professor Clarke said, “I am honoured to be giving this lecture in NUI Galway, with its history of working with Non-Governmental Organisations and governmental agencies in humanitarian emergencies. In the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami on St Stephens Day 2004, a group of us within The Cochrane Collaboration saw an unmet and pressing need for systematic reviews to provide evidence for people and organisations planning for and responding to natural disasters. We established Evidence Aid, and the devastating natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies since then have confirmed the need to strengthen and expand this work. I look forward to sharing these plans in my lecture.” Professor Clarke has a strong commitment to improving access to systematic reviews for people living and working in low- and middle-income countries, in particular to make it easier for individuals and organisations who have to cope with natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies to use systematic reviews in their decision making. Welcoming Professor Clarke s impending lecture, Professor Kathy Murphy, Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway, commented: “I am delighted with Professor Clarke s appointment to the School as Adjunct Professor. He brings with him a wealth of experience at the forefront of health care research and evidence synthesis. Professor Clarke s work on Evidence Aid pools together evidence that can help those who are responding to crisis situations and is a strong example of how researchers can practically respond to natural disasters and other major healthcare emergencies.” To reserve a place, please contact Sheena Connolly at sheena.connolly@nuigalway.ie before Friday, 3 June. -Ends-

Saturday, 28 May 2011

NUI Galway was among the award winners at the recent Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Annual Doctor Awards in Dublin. Andrew Murphy, Professor of General Practice at NUI Galway and his SPHERE team were awarded both the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Award for Best General Practice Paper and the overall Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Award for Best Research Paper published by an Irish doctor in 2011. The SPHERE study was published in the British Medical Journal and focuses on the secondary prevention of heart disease in General Practice and was funded by the Health Research Board and the Irish Heart Foundation. NUI Galway’s John Laffey, Professor of Anaesthesia and his research group were also awarded the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2011 Prize in the Anaesthesia/Pain category. This work, published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia, investigated the efficacy of novel airway devices to reduce the in people at higher risk for difficult or failed tracheal intubation, which can cause serious harm in patients who are undergoing major surgery or who require artificial respiration in the Intensive Care Units. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, commended both research teams on their achievements at the highly competitive event. -ends-

Monday, 30 May 2011

The School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at NUI Galway will host an international conference on ecocentrism and ecocriticism entitled From Ego to Eco - Imagining Ecocentrism in Literature, Film and Philosophy. The conference will take place in the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI Galway from 10 to 11 June. For many centuries, anthropocentric world views were crucial for the implementation of nature toward man s ends and played a part in creating the multifarious imbalances that today threaten ecosystems on a global scale. In film, literature and critical thought alternatives to anthropocentrism are being outlined, sensitivities awakened towards a global eco-consciousness that pays attention to the interdependence of species and ecosystems. A shift from imagining homo sapiens at the top of a hierarchy of existence or, alternatively, at the centre of global concerns to imagining a unity of being is taking place in literature, art and film through the ages. A unique and different inventory of artistic techniques, modes of expression, structures of realising this shift towards ecocentrism go hand in hand with an academic shift of focus. The aim of the conference is to bring together scholars from various disciplines within the Arts and Sciences and the Humanities to reflect on these changes and on ways in which works of art and mind break free from anthropocentric paradigms. Artistic visions and theoretical concepts that place humans in neighbourly relations with the 30 million surrounding species shall be central but also the discontents and possible dangers inherent in ecocentrism. Keynote speakers at the conference will include: Professor Lawrence Buell, Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature, Harvard University; Professor Hubert Zapf, Professor of American Literature, University of Augsburg, Germany; and Dr Thomas Duddy, Lecturer of Philosophy, NUI Galway. Commenting on the upcoming conference, Dr Tina-Karen Pusse, conference organiser and Lecturer in German at NUI Galway, said, “Our conference is meant to inaugurate green studies at NUI Galway and beyond. It will be an opportunity for people from all over the world to come together and reflect upon a paradigm shift. So far Homo Sapiens was placed at the top of our concerns and the center of all our values and structures. The leading question of this conference is: How can we implement ways of thinking (and hence acting) that lead to a paradigm shift and displace the Ego from its central position? How, from within the different disciplines of the so tellingly called ’humanities’ can this shift be understood and implemented? Which pieces of art, texts, ideas, can help us in this endeavour? This conference shall answer a few of these questions but first and foremost it will be an occasion of weaving a global network of scholars who have been working ceaselessly in the field of ’green studies’. We are certain that this is the way to go ahead and have already started to implement research alliances with universities such as University of Limerick and Trinity College Dublin, but also international networks with universities in Germany, Switzerland, Romania and the Czech Republic. We hope to strengthen these connections with the conference and to make NUI Galway the hub of these activities.” To register for the conference email tina-karen.pusse@nuigalway.ie or visit http://www.wix.com/nuigalway/from-ego-to-eco-conference. -Ends-

Friday, 27 May 2011

Professor Denis O’Hearn will be giving the 2011 Social Sciences Research Centre (SSRC) Annual Lecture in NUI Galway. During his talk, entitled Reassessing the Celtic Tiger: Its Rise and Fall, Professor O’Hearn will be speaking on his work in light of recent events with his talk. The talk, in association with the Department of Economics, will be on Thursday, 9 of June from 2 to 4pm in Lecture Hall 1 (CA111) in the Cairnes Building in NUI Galway. The SSRC Annual Lecture is a tradition of the Social Sciences Research Centre (SSRC), which is one of the longest running research centres in NUI Galway, established in 1965 in the then University College Galway. Professor O Hearn is Professor of Sociology, Binghamton University, State University of New York and has published extensively on Ireland, social movements, the sociology of economic change and much more. He is the author of Inside the Celtic Tiger, which cast an important critical eye on, and raised fundamental questions of, the former economic boom’s sustainability and its social impact. Professor Terry McDonough, Department of Economics, NUI Galway says “Denis O Hearn was one of the first analysts to argue that the Celtic Tiger had feet of clay. He is returning to Ireland for the first time since the economic crisis to give his informed take on the end of the Tiger. This will be of paramount interest to all those who have been following recent economic events.” The event is free and all are welcome. For further details about the talk, please go to the SSRC website: www.nuigalway.ie/ssrc or email Dr. Oliver Feeney on oliver.p.feeney@nuigalway.ie for more information. -Ends-

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

TG4 presenter and NUI Galway graduate Eimear Ní Chonaola today launched a new part-time degree in Applied Irish at NUI Galway. This is a new part-time degree which is being jointly offered by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge and Roinn na Gaeilge. This is the first Arts degree in Irish to be made available on a part-time basis that will be delivered via blended learning. The Part-time Bachelor of Arts is a four-year degree programme in Applied Irish. The programme is delivered via blended learning, which involves a mixture of traditional face-to-face classes and internet-based learning. IT skills are not a prerequisite for entry to the programme. Appropriate IT training will be provided at regular intervals throughout the programme. The degree is aimed at mature students who may currently work full-time. Delivery by blended learning allows students with work and/or family commitments to study at times that suit their lifestyle. The BA syllabus will cover a wide range of subjects with special emphasis on language skills and on the Irish language in the contemporary world in a literary, professional, social and cultural context. Students will also take modules in applied areas such as translation and media studies. NUI Galway President, Dr James Browne, who was also present at the launch, stated: “I am delighted that this innovative new BA will be starting in the next academic year. NUI Galway endeavours to cater for adult learners who want to go back to education. This new part-time degree will offer the flexibility needed for people to continue their busy lives while at the same time gaining a University degree. I warmly welcome this degree.” For further information or to access an application form, please go to www.oegaillimh.ie/acadamh or www.oegaillimh.ie/gaeilge or contact Éamon Ó Cofaigh at 091 493802 or eamon.ocofaigh@oegaillimh.ie. -Ends-