Monday, 7 February 2011

Stokes Professor of Glycosciences at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES), Professor Lokesh Joshi, has been awarded an EU-FP7 grant worth €3 million to lead a large collaborative research project known as GlycoHIT over three years. GlycoHIT (Glycomics by High throughput Integrated Technologies) is aimed at developing future technologies that will enable fast and accurate analysis of glycosylation in blood samples from cancer patients. All cells and most proteins in blood are glycosylated, that is they are coated with sugars, and these sugars are known to be altered in many diseases, including cancer. High throughput technologies to analyse these altered sugars, or glycobiomarkers, will allow scientists to diagnose different forms of cancer from a simple blood test without the need for biopsy. GlycoHIT will also further develop sugar testing technologies to allow this rapid form of diagnosis to be used in a clinical setting. As Professor Joshi explains, "The development of reliable and fast diagnostic tests for the early detection of cancer is central to the project and of great importance. Early initiation of treatment can result in increased survival rates and improved quality of life for the patient. This research is an important step toward making that happen." A number of specific sugar biomarkers associated with certain forms of cancer have already been identified, but more are needed to improve the accuracy with which they can be used for cancer diagnosis. GlycoHIT will also assist the identification of improved glycobiomarkers for cancer. By discovering new biomarkers, as well as modifying existing lab technologies to decrease the amount of time required for testing, GlycoHIT has the potential to deliver a diagnosis in minutes rather than days. GlycoHIT is being funded under the EU-FP7 SICA (Specific International Cooperation Action) programme, the goal of which is to encourage much closer research cooperation between EU Member States and non-EU countries, in this case China. GlycoHIT has 15 academic and industry partners from across Europe, the US, Japan and China. A Chinese 'sister' project for GlycoHIT funded by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) has also been identified by the European Commission. The two projects will hold a number of joint events during the project term to share expertise and knowledge. Vice President for Research at NUI Galway Terry Smith said "NUI Galway is delighted to be part of this investment by the EU for research to be led by Professor Lokesh Joshi. It is an affirmation of the quality of research conducted at NUI Galway and promises to further our commitment to enable the translation of research from bench to bedside." Welcoming this funding success, University President, Dr James Browne said: "This development highlights NUI Galway strong research reputation in key areas and our success in building collaborations with international partners. NUI Galway has to date, won over €25 million in competitive EU research funding under Framework Programme 7 (2007-13)." Professor Joshi is also Director of the NUI Galway-led Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster (AGRC), which is examining how glycosylation is involved in the biology of good and bad bacteria, commensals and pathogens, in the gut, with a view to the identification of new therapies for gut diseases. -Ends-

Monday, 7 February 2011

Today saw the beginning of the 11th annual NUI Galway Múscailt Spring Arts Festival, which will run until Saturday, 12 February. This year NUI Galway will host a superb line-up of opera, music, performance, sculpture and visual art revolving around the theme of Exploration, offering an escape into the world of fantasy, astronomy and history. Múscailt has invited special guest artists to create new work on campus, linking art and science. This year's festival hosts an array of Irish and international artists, performances by Gatto Marte, Dermot Healy, Treasa Ní Nhiolláin, NUI Galway Chamber Orchestra and the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet. Writer/storyteller Rab Swannock Fulton and artist Marina Wild have also created a new children's show entitled Pirates, Dragons and Moon Monsters for the Múscailt festival. New drama comes from the recently formed University College Players with a new play by Shane Daly-Hughes entitled NOT FOR OSCAR and GUMS, the NUI Galway Musical Society, will perform the rock musical, The Wedding Singer. The Colours Theatre Company will put on a new dance theatre piece, entitled The Red Apple Tree and Dramsoc will play The Lime-Tree Bower. Ana Perez Pereda, renowned Spanish Sculptor, and Artist José María Molina will spend three weeks on campus and create hanging sculptures in a project linking Art and Science. The NUI Galway Artsoc's annual show, this year entitled Black Hold Paradies, will consist of drawings, paintings, textiles and sculpture Alongside special guests, local artists, staff and students have also created work specifically for Múscailt and annual events including performances by the orchestra and choir are present as always. Speaking about the Festival, Fionnuala Gallagher, Arts Officer, NUI Galway said, "February is a time of creation and I invite everyone to visit the university and sample our exhibitions and performances. Almost everything is free or affordably priced. Come join the fun!" The Múscailt festival is produced by the Arts office at NUI Galway, and all events are open to the public. For full programme, details and further information about the festival visit www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie, or call the NUI Galway Arts Office at 493766 or 495098. -Ends-

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The first ever National Social Work Education Conference will take place in NUI Galway on Friday, 11 February in Áras Moyola. This event is being co-hosted by the National Social Work Qualifications Board (NSWQB) and the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway. It brings together student social workers, newly qualified social workers, practice teachers, researchers, policy makers, universities and employers for the first social work education conference of its kind in the Republic of Ireland. A range of speakers will explore the current issues in social work education and practice encompassing student, teacher, research and employer perspectives. It will create a picture of the current state of play in the discipline and work towards an action plan for the way forward. The aim of the conference is to create a lasting partnership between stakeholders in social work in order to meet future challenges within the discipline. The conference will highlight the importance of continuing professional development for those carrying out challenging work with a focus on one well established accredited post qualifying course in Practice Teaching. Future developments at NUI Galway in this area will also be announced. A Framework for Practice Placements in Ireland will be launched on the day. This is in response to the need for a strong framework of induction for those social workers beginning their careers, and employer-led initiatives for providing appropriate caseloads and supervision for new graduates will be explored at the conference. Professor Bríd Featherstone, Director of Social Work at NUI Galway says: "This conference is being held at a difficult time in Irish history. It will highlight the strengths and challenges facing social workers in a climate where there are increasing levels of need and distress and consider what the key policy issues should be for an incoming government in order to ensure that a high-quality workforce is sustained and developed further. The next decade of social work education in Ireland will be informed by the insights and recommendations that will emerge from this unique gathering at NUI Galway." -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Kernel Capital today launched the €10M Bank of Ireland MedTech Accelerator Fund, Ireland's first Seed Fund to focus exclusively on the indigenous medical technology sector. With investments ranging from €100,000 to €500,000, the Fund is focussed on export orientated high potential start-up Life Sciences companies that operate in the medical device, diagnostics or medical/laboratory sectors. The Fund will operate synergistically with the Information Communications and Technology focussed Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund also managed by Kernel Capital as well as Kernel Capital's later stage Technology Funds that invest in the €2m to €5m range. The launch of this Fund marks the introduction of 'NUI Galway' as an investor with Kernel Capital. NUI Galway joins its strategic alliance partner the University of Limerick, Bank of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland in supporting this unique initiative for early stage Medical Technology companies. As one of the top performing sectors in the Irish economy, medical technology directly employs more than 24,000 people and generated €6.8bn in exports in 2009. Nine of the world's top ten medical technology companies have invested significantly in Ireland. The medical technology market is estimated to be worth circa US$300bn worldwide and the west of Ireland in particular is noted globally as a centre of excellence in the creation of innovative research based companies and indigenous medical device start ups. This new Fund creates greater access to investment enabling early stage companies to capitalise on the sectors potential. Commenting on the announcement, Donal Duffy, Head of Enterprise Ireland Relations, Bank of Ireland said: "Bank of Ireland recognises the importance of supporting start-up businesses across emerging sectors including medical technology. The launch today of the Bank of Ireland MedTech Accelerator Fund with our strategic partner Kernel Capital further demonstrates our commitment to this key growth area and our continuing support for domestic export orientated businesses in Ireland. We are delighted to be a key investment partner in this Fund and welcome the involvement of NUI Galway and University of Limerick and the valuable research work conducted in both Universities to support these emerging sectors." "Enterprise Ireland sees the medical devices and related areas as offering very strong potential for innovative, export focussed start up companies. This new Fund is very welcome, marking an important increase in the availability of capital to support the commercialisation of new and innovative products from ambitious Irish companies," said Seamus Bree, West Region Director, Enterprise Ireland. Dr. James J. Browne, President of National University of Ireland Galway, said: "Through its research activities, NUI Galway continues to play an important role in the development of the Medical Technologies sector in Ireland, so it is particularly appropriate that we are involved in this new initiative. We are delighted to invest with Kernel Capital and join with the University of Limerick in supporting the Bank of Ireland MedTech Accelerator Fund. This Fund will enable new companies to gain access to the seed funding necessary to bring their innovations to the product development stage". Professor Don Barry, President of the University of Limerick, added: "Today s announcement reflects the University of Limerick's commitment to working with Irish industry and reinforces the UL-NUI Galway Strategic Alliance. This Fund will play a key role in helping start-up and emerging companies to access early stage capital to grow, create jobs and commercialise new innovations." Niall Olden, Managing Partner of Kernel Capital said: "We are very pleased to confirm the NUI Galway as our new partner joining Bank of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and University of Limerick Foundation continuing to invest in our new Fund initiatives. It is excellent timing, Ireland boasts Europes leading cluster of MedTech industries and there is considerable untapped potential for new enterprise creation, Irish start-up companies are ideally placed to pioneer the next generation of global healthcare devices. The Fund will operate synergistically with Seroba Kernel our Life Science Associate Firm which is focussed on larger Life Science deals and which has the ability to provide significant follow on finance to appropriate investments." ENDS

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

NUI Galway and the University of Limerick have announced a partnership of the NUI Galway part-time Bachelor of Commerce and the UL Bachelor of Business Studies programmes. The coordination is part of the NUI Galway/UL Strategic Alliance which aims to further a shared commitment to academic excellence. This latest initiative will open access to business students in both institutions; improving the overall student experience and broaden career opportunities. The part-time Bachelor of Commerce by blended learning at NUI Galway's JE Cairnes School of Business & Economics and the Bachelor of Business Studies by flexible learning at UL's Kemmy Business School will be delivered through a mix of face-to-face weekend workshops, online lectures, tutorials and discussion forums. Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis, podcasts and blogs will be used in an innovative way to achieve programme level learning outcomes. Blended and flexible learning methods of delivery provide third level access to mature students with work and family commitments in any location. In the next academic year, (2011/2012) students will jointly study Organisational Behaviour, delivered by the Kemmy Business School and Business Negotiations/Integrated Case-Based Workshop delivered by the JE Cairnes of School of Business & Economics. In the following year, a greater amalgamation between both business programmes is envisaged. Programme Manager of the part-time Bachelor of Commerce at the JE Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway Éilis O Regan says, "Delivering our combined part-time Business programmes via blended/flexible learning, with monthly face-to-face workshops at NUI Galway and University of Limerick, will increase third level assess to mature students, with work and/or family commitments. This innovative delivery format will also broaden third level access across Ireland for those who did not or could not avail of third level education immediately following second level. The JE Cairnes School of Business & Economics welcomes the opportunity to work with our partners in the Kemmy School of Business." Course Director of the Bachelor of Business Studies by Flexible Learning at Kemmy Business School, UL, Dr. Ronan Carbery says, "The UL/NUI Galway Strategic Alliance adds significant value to students on both Business programmes by not only allowing them to broaden their experience of third level education with the delivery of modules in a new University setting, but by also benefitting from the shared expertise across both Business faculties. The ability for students in both Universities to collaborate with each other and with a broader range of academics will further facilitate a stimulating learning environment in which to engage with the programmes." ENDS

Monday, 31 January 2011

A spin-out company of NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) – Peracton Ltd. has partnered with FusionExperience to offer one of Peracton's flagship products MAARS Fund Management Analytics to the market. The technology was initially developed within DERI at NUI Galway and through Peracton, the MAARS technology is being offered to the finance/business world. The original MAARS technology development research has been funded by Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland. MAARS is a platform that provides complex analytics decision support for most common equities selection (stocks, funds, ETF etc.), audit and compliance as well as forensic capabilities. In a recent report of summer 2010, Forrester claimed that Peracton s MAARS was the Hot Technology to Watch for 2010. A Forrester excerpt says: "Focusing on solving the core industry-specific business problems is the next big wave in the tech industry. Nowhere is it more evident of technology s unique role in solving business problems than in the highly tech-dependent banking market." Mr. Gordon Easden, Practice Leader, FusionExperience says: "The partnership with Peracton will allow us to add the impressive MAARS analytics application to our already extensive set of offerings. This can only be good news for our existing and potential clients and further increase the excellent end to end service we provide to the financial services community. We look forward to working closely with Peracton in the future." Mr. Richard D'Silva, UK Business Development Manager, Peracton says: "At Peracton, we are really excited about working with FusionExperience. Not only does Fusion provide a great opportunity for MAARS to get the right exposure to key people in the Investment and Asset Management space but also their experience in the Financial Services industry will be invaluable as we develop and release more MAARS financial analytics applications in the coming months." Professor Manfred Hauswirth, Vice-Director of DERI at NUI Galway said: "Peracton is a direct outcome of the foreseeing investment of the Irish government into the Smart Economy to create indigenous companies in the knowledge economy. Peracton successfully demonstrates how the "research-to-industry pipeline" can work: from Science Foundation Ireland funded basic research, via Enterprise Ireland supported translation into industrial strength products to a new Irish company providing jobs and producing tax income." For further information contact: info@peracton.com -Ends-

Monday, 31 January 2011

A Fáilte Ireland Conference Ambassador Programme launch was held at NUI Galway recently to encourage the University's academic staff to become conference ambassadors with the focus on the development of International Conferences being hosted on campus. NUI Galway hosted over 40 conferences in 2010 attracting over 5,000 delegates to the region, many of whom were international. Speaking at the launch of the Fáilte Ireland Conference Ambassador Programme, Orla Canavan, Business Tourism Manager, Fáilte Ireland stated that the average spend per overseas delegate attending a conference is €1,500 with the aforementioned conferences contributing significantly to the local economy by well over €5 million. The University facilities have been dramatically transformed through an extensive ongoing capital development programme. The University now boasts one of the finest conference centres in the West of Ireland which includes the recently opened Bailey Allen Hall with capacity for 1,200 delegates. Speaking at the launch, Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil, Registrar, NUI Galway said: "The Conference Ambassador event highlighted the excellent facilities and services at this University to support world-class conferences, meetings and events. We look forward to attracting significant International Conferences to our campus and the impact of this will be twofold; bring real academic benefits for the University – networking, reputation and peer review, and also it will have an enormously important economic benefit to tourism and business in our region." For further information please contact Patricia Walsh at the Conference Office on 091 493467 or email tricia.walsh@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Monday, 31 January 2011

NUI Galway and Music for Galway will celebrate the memory of Galway scholar Emily Anderson (1891-1962) with two concerts featuring the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet performing Beethoven's late quartets. Both concerts will take place in the Aula Maxima in the Quadrangle Building at NUI Galway from 11 to12 February, at 8pm. Emily, a daughter of former NUI Galway President, Alexander Anderson, held a position as German lecturer at the University before settling in London where she worked in the Foreign Office. However, her international reputation was secured by translating the complete correspondence of Beethoven and Mozart into English. Sponsored by NUI Galway, the programmes of the memorial concerts alternate between the two master composers and this year Beethoven is featured. The members of the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet have been living and working in Cork since 1986 when they became the fourth ensemble to hold the RTÉ string quartet residency, established in Cork in 1959. They were appointed Artists-in-residence to University College, Cork in 1991. In 2009, the Quartet took up a position as part-time lecturers in chamber music at DIT Conservatory of Music. The quartet has nurtured, inspired and supported countless young Irish musicians and has commissioned and championed dozens of new works by Irish composers. At the same time it has built an enviable international reputation, regularly touring Europe, the Americas and the Far East. The quartet has released twenty-five CDs, including the complete Beethoven quartets. As part of Music for Galway's outreach programme, the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet will present and discuss excerpts from various string quartets for the students of Maoin Cheoil na Gallimhe on Saturday at 11am. The Huston School of Film and Digital Media will show the documentary In search of Beethoven by Phil Grabsky on Saturday at 2pm. For booking information contact Music for Galway 091 705962. Tickets are available from Opus II in the Cornstore Shopping Mall in Galway City or www.tht.ie -Ends-

Monday, 31 January 2011

NUI Galway's ALIVE programme in partnership with Tanzanian Village Renewal have announced a new initiative whereby five graduates of NUI Galway commenced work as volunteer teachers in Suji Malindi Secondary School, Tanzania from January to December 2011. The initiative was conceived by Lorraine McIlrath of the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) and Maureen Mescall, formerly of the Discipline of Economics, NUI Galway and founder of the registered charity Tanzanian Village Renewal. The five graduates; Aine Staunton, B.A., H.Dip. Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo, Aisling Mitchell, B.A., H. Dip. Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim, Belinda Crossan, B.A., H.Dip. Letterlenny, Co Donegal, Aaron Cunningham, B.Comm. Letterkenny, Co. Donegal and James Lovett, B.Sc., M.Sc., Newcastle, Galway accompanied a group of builders to Tanzania on 31 October, 2010 where they assisted in the construction of a large extension to Suji Malindi Secondary School. Once the builders returned to Ireland following their two week building blitz, the graduates began teaching English to local adults, the girls set up net ball and basket ball courts to the delight of the pupils while Aaron took charge of football matters. The academic year is now in full swing in Suji and with the addition of the five Irish volunteer teachers and their organisational abilities; pupils who had left the school have returned. There are increased numbers of first year students and this year for the first time in many years there will be a fourth form class as retention has improved. The Chairman of the School Board, Mr Nyanga said "It is wonderful to have these teachers here in Suji, and already we are seeing the benefits of their role in our community. We thank them for volunteering and we are grateful to NUI Galway and Tanzanian Village Renewal for organising the initiative and we look forward to many years of continued involvement with our school and village. The people of Suji value education very much and we see it as the means of providing a secure future for our people." The volunteer teachers are setting up a library in the school which they hope will be of benefit to the local community as well. In this regard Maureen Mescall of Tanzanian Village Renewal is appealing to parents, schools and pupils to donate old school books (except through the medium of the Irish language) and appropriate novels which will be sent to Suji at the end of February for the library The books for the curriculum are too expensive for the local parents to purchase and the teachers are currently organising an initiative in conjunction with Tanzanian Village Renewal whereby they will purchase a complete set of all school books for all years and rent them to pupils at a nominal fee for the year. The books would be returned at year end to be rented out the following year again. You can get details of this and follow the progress of the teachers on http://nuigalwaysujiteachers.blogspot.com/ and you if you feel you would like to help by sponsoring a uniform or school books you will find details of how to do so at http://tanzanianvillagerenewal.blogspot.com/. Further information contact Maureen at mpmescall@gmail.com -Ends-

Monday, 31 January 2011

The promotion of Irish has a positive influence on Ireland's socio-economic development and the language should have a central role in the effort now needed to rebuild the country, that's according to the author of a new book entitled Contests and Contexts: The Irish Language and Ireland's Socio-Economic Development. In his book, NUI Galway lecturer in Irish at the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Dr. John Walsh illustrates how historians and commentators on Irish society have ignored the consequences of the rapid decline of Irish. "There is virtually no discussion of language shift in most of the general histories of Ireland published in the past forty years," said Dr. Walsh. "On the other hand, there is another tradition stretching back as far as Thomas Davis and Douglas Hyde of authors who argue that the promotion of Irish has a positive impact on the development of Ireland. I survey those authors, from Davis to contemporary commentators such as Joe Lee, Michael Cronin and Finbarr Bradley and then examine their arguments in the light of various theoretical fields such as sociolinguistics, political economy and development studies. I conclude that we need a new theoretical model, combining elements of sociolinguistics and socio-cultural development, in order to better understand the link between language and development." The language-development link is examined in a number of contexts. Three Gaeltacht areas are chosen as case-studies of the ways in which the promotion of Irish interacts with local socio-economic development. The new developmental policy of Údarás na Gaeltacht is examined, as is the changing focus of the organisation, particularly in the light of renewed concern about the strength of Irish in the Gaeltacht. Areas outside the traditional Gaeltacht – west Belfast and Galway City – are also examined. The book was launched on Friday, 28 January in the Galway City Museum by Peadar Kirby, Professor of International Politics and Public Policy at the University of Limerick. "This is one of the most important books written on the Irish language for a very long time", said Professor Kirby. "For the first time, it examines the claim made by authors as far back as Thomas Davis in the 1840s and continued up to Joe Lee's magisterial book of 1989, that the decline of Irish as the vernacular language of the Irish people has had a detrimental effect on Ireland s socio-economic development. Walsh's book adopts a rigorous social scientific approach to interrogating this claim, contributing important insights not only to debates about Ireland's future development but also to international debates about culture and development. Coming at a time of major national re-appraisal of where we are going as a society, this book has a huge contribution to make to charting the road towards a better future." Dr Walsh was appointed as a Fulbright Irish Language Scholar in 2009 and spent six months researching for the book at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Contests and Contexts: The Irish language and Ireland's Socio-Economic Development is published by Peter Lang in the 'Reimagining Ireland' series. It can be ordered at www.peterlang.com. Further information available from Dr. John Walsh at 091 492563 or john.walsh@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Can sport tell us who we are, where we come from, and even where we may be going? A new book by researchers at NUI Galway provides strong evidence that it can. And, just as recent developments have shown in the economic sphere, Europe is a big part of our sporting past, present and future. Sport, Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe examines, among other areas, the media construction of former Irish international Roy Keane in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s economic boom. The relevant chapter, by Marcus Free of Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, argues that the Manchester United star and former Ipswich manager was the fantasy embodiment of Celtic Tiger Ireland. Free's essay is just one of fifteen in a new collection edited by Philip Dine, Senior Lecturer in French at NUI Galway and Seán Crosson, Programme Director of the MA in Film Studies in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, also at NUI Galway. Sport Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe opens with a foreword by Paddy Agnew, Rome correspondent of the Irish Times. The book then looks at the role sport has played in the evolution of various regional, national and international identities across Europe. Also examining the Irish experience, Alan Bairner explores the life stories of soccer players from a Catholic background who have represented Northern Ireland in international competition, including Pat Jennings, Martin O'Neill and Neil Lennon. This contribution particularly considers the link between the new political arrangements in the North and the possible emergence of a more widely shared sense of Northern Irishness. Other essays in the volume look at the role sport has played in countries across Europe, including France, Greece, Spain, Germany, England, Italy and Hungary, as well as exploring international governing bodies such as UEFA, which have significantly influenced the development of sport across the continent. The sports featured range from boxing to association football and athletics, including a study of the impact of the Olympic Games on Greek national identity by Eleni Theodoraki, a member of the Athens 2004 Organising Committee. Among the contributors are James Riordan, former professional footballer, Russian scholar and author of the bestselling Comrade Jim: the Spy who played for Spartak (Fourth Estate, 2008), who examines sport and politics in Russia and the former Soviet Union; eminent European sports specialist, Arnd Krüger, who looks at sport and identity in Germany since reunification; and Trinity College's very own 'boxing professor', David Scott, who traces the relation between boxing and masculinity from the later nineteenth century to the present day, focusing particularly on textual and visual representation. Sport Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe was launched earlier today in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media by Professor Mike Cronin, co-author of The GAA: A People's History and Academic Director, Boston College Ireland. -Ends-

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy is once again opening its doors for their annual series of public lectures. The first lecture in this series, entitled How to make (and break) a star, will take place at 7pm on Wednesday February 2nd in the Larmor Lecture theatre. The lecture will be given by NUI Galway's Dr Matt Redman from the Centre of Astronomy, School of Physics at NUI Galway, and will explore the life cycle of stars focussing on the way they are formed from enormous, bitterly cold dark clouds to their often spectacular ultimate destruction in supernova and other explosions. Aimed at a general audience, the talk will be illustrated with many tunning images from observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory s Very Large Telescope. Dr Redman's research looks at the conditions around the birth of stars. His talk will also encompass the work of other members of the Centre of Astronomy. Speaking about the upcoming open evenings and lecture series, Dr Andrew Shearer, Director of the Centre of Astronomy, NUI Galway, said: "We are happy to start this years series of public lectures with Dr Matt Redman talk on the life of stars. We have planned five talks on different aspects of astronomy and are suitable for all. We are happy to showcase our work and thus illustrate the contribution NUI Galway makes to the public understanding of science." More details of all the talks can be found on http://astro.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 24 January 2011

The annual NUI Galway Postgraduate Open Day takes place on Wednesday, 2 February, from 12.30 to 4.30pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. Almost 3,500 postgraduate students currently attend NUI Galway, making it one of Ireland's most popular universities for postgraduate study. The Open Day will showcase over 400 of NUI Galway's full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, and doctoral research options. The Open Day will focus on the benefits of doing a postgraduate programme and the practicalities of making an application. 80 information stands will provide details on postgraduate opportunities at NUI Galway, with academic staff and current students on hand to answer questions about specific courses. According to John Hannon, Head of NUI Galway's Career Development Centre: "In the current economic climate, there is increased interest among undergraduate students in staying in education by pursuing postgraduate studies. A postgraduate qualification can provide a real career boost. Undoubtedly, it can maximise career prospects and earnings." NUI Galway offers a wide range of fourth level courses, developing programmes based on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative Research Centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Science and Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Admissions Officer, adds: "People are always interested in up-skilling, improving their qualifications and their employability. With so many options available at postgraduate level, people must choose carefully. The Postgraduate Open Day offers the opportunity to talk to lecturers and current postgraduate students. My advice would be to apply early and often as you can make up to three applications online at www.pac.ie/nuigalway." To book your place at the Open Day visit www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate-open-dayor you can register on the day. -Ends-

Monday, 24 January 2011

The NUI Galway J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics recently launched the inaugural NUI Galway MBA Career & Professional Development Mentoring Programme. The programme is geared to provide MBA students with focused, individual, expert guidance on their career and professional development. "Our research of the top ranked international MBA programmes and survey of over 200 MBA Alumni students last year found that most MBA programmes do not focus sufficiently well on student career development and transfer of learning from the class to work" said Dr Alma McCarthy, MBA Programme Director at NUI Galway. The NUI Galway MBA Career & Professional Development Mentoring programme is designed to ensure MBA students are afforded the best opportunities possible to marry academic learning with professional practice. Pádraig Ó Céidigh, CEO of Aer Arann and Adjunct Professor in the School of Business & Economics, has been instrumental in the design, development and roll out of this initiative. He worked with the School, drawing on his extensive network of business and industry contacts, to generate a highly expert team of mentors. In total, the programme brings together 12 mentors from across a broad range of public and private sector organisations. The mentors have extensive national and international experience in business and industry and many are professionally qualified as career mentors and coaches. All the mentors have distinguished professional careers, some are NUI Galway graduates and many hold MBA qualifications themselves. Speaking at the official launch of the MBA Career Development Mentoring Programme, Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the NUI Galway School of Business & Economics, said: "Our MBA is unique in having this offering and it is a real differentiating feature for the NUI Galway MBA programme. The calibre of the mentors is second to none and we are very lucky to have them on our doorstep and involved in this way with the School and University." Mentors can provide unique and valid external perspectives and insights into organisational life. The challenge for many MBA students is that they are so busy working and studying that they do not take sufficient time to reflect on their careers and make plans to achieve their goals. This programme will help students to respond to challenges in their careers and make their professional work lives easier. The mentoring programme will run for the duration of the two-year MBA programme. The MBA programme at NUI Galway is industry-led and globally-focused providing students with the knowledge, transferable skills and confidence required for innovative and effective management practice. ENDS

Thursday, 20 January 2011

NUI Galway Researchers at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) are leading a European Union, multi-million euro initiative aimed at government transparency and giving citizens a voice in creating policies. The project is entitled 'Puzzled by Policy, Helping you to be part of the EU'. The project aims to help end the detachment and disillusionment of citizens in the policy making process of the EU by improving information resources and tools. Current ways of informing citizens and allowing them to participate can be difficult to access, time consuming to use and yield little results. By providing citizens with an engaging and easy-to-use platform, where they can learn about and engage with policy issues, the initiative hopes to make participation in EU policy much easier. Many Governments today recognise that to deliver effective public policy they need to enhance citizen and community involvement in the policy making process. Unfortunately, many citizens and communities feel that policy development is a process that they do not understand and have little control over. Policy making can be seen by many as an elitist process, taking place only amongst government and the more influential members of society; this project aims to dispel this belief. Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI says "New Web technologies can support our democratic systems. They not only make government more cost effective, but also more transparent. Research and development out of Ireland is leading the way." The project combines advanced eParticipation methods with new Web 2.0, social networking and mobile technologies, in order to reduce the complexity of policy-making and legislative processes of EU and national governments and to pro-actively engage citizens in the policy-making process. 'Puzzled by Policy' is funded by the European Commission's Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) – ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) with a total budget of €3.89 million. It has a consortium consisting of 12 partners from nine European Countries (Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and United Kingdom). The project began in October 2010 and will run for 3 years. For further information, contact Deirdre Lee, Project Coordinator at DERI on 091 495336, email: deirdre.lee@deri.org or log onto www.puzzledbypolicy.eu. -Ends-

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The fourth annual NUI Galway Green Week will take place on campus from 24 to 27 January. As part of the annual event NUI Galway will hold a Green Fair on Tuesday, 25 January, in the Bailey Allen Hall. The Fair will feature activities and awareness stands organised by various NUI Galway societies and by the Buildings Office, NUI Galway, and will focus strongly on fashion and the environment. Students of the Galway Technical Institute (GTI) training in Business Fashion Retail are collaborating with NUI Galway students and staff to organise a bring-and-buy sale of pre-loved clothes. This re-use of clothes is a highly effective way for one person to clear out their wardrobe while someone else benefits from a new or 'nearly-new' piece. According to NUI Galway's Environmental Manager, Dr Aoife Collins, "All financial donations received from the clothes sale will be given to the St. Vincent de Paul, Galway. The GTI students will also give demonstrations on how to turn jaded outfits into fashion gems which otherwise may be sent to landfill. They will also create an eye-catching shop-window display of mannequins wearing recycled materials." Anyone wishing to donate clothes, accessories or old mobile phones for the Green Fair can leave them into the Socs Box office in Áras na Mac Léinn up until Monday, 24 January. During Green Week the Galway Market Traders will be stationed outside Áras na Mac Léinn from 25 to 26 January. In addition, a major fact-based panel discussion titled Averting a Future Irish Energy Crisis will take place at 7pm in the O Flaherty Lecture Theatre, located on the main Concourse on Wednesday, 26 January. The discussion will bring together experts in the fields of energy technology, policy, innovation and business and is organised by the Chemistry, Energy and Physics Societies at NUI Galway. For further information please contact Dr Aoife Collins, Environmental Manager, NUI Galway at 091 495944 or aoife.collins@nuigalway.ie or visit www.socs.nuigalway.ie Ends

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2011 Alumni Awards to be presented at the eleventh annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 5 March, 2011 at the University. Following a successful Gala last year, the Gala Banquet will again be held in the Bailey Allen Wing located in Áras na Mac Leinn. The event will be hosted by RTÉ newsreader Siún Nic Gearailt, a graduate of NUI Galway. The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University's more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. The Awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of 68 outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including, for example, Michael D. Higgins, Ciarán FitzGerald, Sean O'Rourke, Professor Frank Gannon, Dr Luke Clancy and Gráinne Seoige. The winners of the six alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2011: Bank of Ireland Award for Business, Public Policy and Law Gabriel D'Arcy BSc 1981, CEO Bord na Móna Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics Michael Conroy BE 1984, General Manager, Cisco Product Group, Ireland Seavite Alumni Award for Science Dr Gerald Farrell BSc 1981, HDip Ed 1982, Managing Director of Eli Lilly (ROI) & former President of Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) AIB Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies John Walshe BA 1968, HDip Ed 1969 Education Editor, Irish Independent Medtronic Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Dr Brian Griffin MB, BCh, BAO 1979, Cleveland Clinic, USA - Director, Cardiovascular Disease Training Programme & The John and Rosemary Brown Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine; US Associate Editor, Heart Aer Arann Alumni Award for Sports Achievement and Leadership Colm Murray BA 1972, RTÉ Sports Presenter Speaking on the announcement of the Awards recipients, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne said: "Our Alumni Awards programme recognises the many Galway alumni who are leaders in their professions and excel in their pursuits at national and international levels. These awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University's more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. I congratulate each of the Award winners and look forward to welcoming them back to their alma mater for the Gala Banquet in March." For booking information contact Emma Goode on 091 492721 or email emma.goode@nuigalway.ie. Online bookings at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends. ENDS

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The European Commission has appointed Professor Nicholas Canny of NUI Galway to the governing body of the prestigious European Research Council (ERC). The ERC is the first pan-European funding organisation for frontier research. It aims to stimulate scientific excellence in Europe by encouraging competition for funding between the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age. Professor Canny is the first person from Ireland to be appointed a member of the Scientific Council, the ERC's governing body. The ERC Scientific Council was established by the European Commission in 2005 and is composed of 22 distinguished scientists and scholars from all over Europe, including some Nobel Prize winners. With a budget of € 7.5 billion to spend on scientific research, the ERC defines the scientific funding strategy and methodologies for Europe, and acts on behalf of the scientific community to promote creativity and innovative research. Speaking about his appointment, Professor Canny said: "I am surprised and delighted by the invitation to be the first person from Ireland to serve on the 22 person governing board of the European Research Council. While I am a little daunted by the challenge, I consider it an honour for myself personally, for NUI Galway and the Royal Irish Academy with which I have been associated for so long, and for the entire research community in Ireland. I am particularly pleased that the selection committee decided in favour of somebody from Ireland to represent the interests and perspectives of European researchers in Humanities and Social Science disciplines" Professor Nicholas Canny is Director of the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities at NUI Galway and President of the Royal Academy. His 1976 study The Elizabethan Conquest of Ireland: a Pattern Established, 1565-76 brought him to international attention. It was awarded the Irish Historical Research prize, as was his more recent work on Irish History Making Ireland British, 1580-1650 (Oxford, 2001). He has also published extensively on Europe's relations with the wider world, and edited the first volume of The Oxford History of the British Empire. His next book the Oxford Handbook of Atlantic History, c1450-c1840, which he has co-edited with Philip Morgan of Johns Hopkins University, will be published March 2011. Nicholas Canny was educated at University College, Galway (now NUI Galway), and at the University of Pennsylvania, and has held post-doctoral appointments at Harvard and Yale Universities, at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies. He served in spring 2005 as professeur invité at the École des Hautes Études, Paris and in 2005-2006 was Parnell Senior Research Fellow at Magdalene College Cambridge. Internationally renowned as a scholar, Nicholas Canny is the only Irish person to share with Séamus Heaney the distinction of being both a Fellow of the British Academy and a Member of the American Philosophical Society. Commenting on the appointment, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, said, "The appointment of Professor Canny to the European Research Council is a great personal honour and brings great prestige to the Moore Institute, and to NUI Galway. As the only Irish representative and the only historian on the Council, he will bring a unique perspective to the work of the Research Council. I have no doubt but that his knowledge and expertise will make him a very valuable member of the ERC." -Ends-

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Múscailt Spring Festival is coming. From 7 to 12 February 2011, NUI Galway will host a superb line-up of opera, music, performance, sculpture and visual art with many free events to which the public are welcome. The theme this year is Exploration (in all its senses). Múscailt has invited special guest artists to create new work on campus, linking art and science. There is the Irish premiére of a new opera, a new children's show, original drama, new writing and an abundance of music. Alongside special guests, local artists, staff and students have also created work specifically for Múscailt and annual events including the musical and performances by the orchestra and choir are present as always. Continuing the success of Múscáilt, music will feature strongly in this year's programme with the Festival hosting the Irish premiére of Gatto Marte's (Cats from Mars) new Opera , Colombo Tutto Tondo, (Colombus, the world is round). In association with Music for Galway RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet will perform two concerts celebrating Beethoven's late quartets. NUI Galway Chamber Orchestra will perform movements from Mendelssohn's Italian symphony and Weber's clarinet concerto featuring special guest Robert Solyon and GUMS -NUI Galway Musical Society will perform the rock musical, The Wedding Singer, a comic tale of a Wedding Singer whose fortunes change when he is jilted at the altar. During the festival Dermot Healy, celebrated Irish writer of poetry, novels, plays, memoir and screenplays will read from his forthcoming book, Writing in the Sky and emerging writer Rab Swannock Fulton will introduce his new sci-fi 'blog novel 'in progress, Marcus Marcus and the Hurting Heart. Ana Perez Pereda, renowned Spanish Sculptor, and Artist José María Molina will spend three weeks on campus and create hanging sculptures in a project linking Art and Science. Titled 'Jovian Sequences', the sculptures are inspired by Jove's moon's movements, showing time dancing around the orbits, drawing spiral lines, in a visual game incorporating the three dimensions of the orbits within the space, and the spiral development, which shows the fourth dimension, time. The two artists will also host interventions in Physics and Astronomy in conjunction with the Centre for Astronomy and local art colleges, GMIT, GTI and LIT. Fred Robeson, artist from Holland, will transpose 50 individual prints on to the lift shaft on the balcony of Áras na Mac Léinn, to produce a giant artwork entitled 'Nature Versus the City'. He will be working on it from mid-January and will unveil the work during the festival. The Artsoc's annual show, this year entitled Black Hole Paradise, will consist of drawings, paintings, textiles and sculpture. This year, writer/storyteller Rab Swannock Fulton and artist, Marina Wild, have joined forces to create a new show for children up to 10 years of age, Pirates, Dragons and Moon Monsters, involving performances of rhyming poems, in the surrounds of original paintings, all on the theme of exploration. The Red Apple Tree, a new dance theatre piece, will be presented by The Colours Theatre Company. A new, modern-day, drama entitled NOT FOR OSCAR by Shane Daly-Hughes will be performed by the recently formed University College Players and Dramsoc will play The Lime-Tree Bower by Conor McPherson. Commenting on this year's line up, Fionnuala Gallagher, NUI Galway Arts Officer says, "This year Múscailt celebrates 'Exploration' offering an escape into the world of fantasy, astronomy and history. We will experience Jove's moons, through sculpture; recreate Columbus' journey through song and music and watch Dermot Healy's barnacle geese 'writing in the sky'. Belts may be tightened but the creative world is very rich in 2011 and Múscailt is in full swing." All exhibitions are open throughout the week. The programme includes many more events by Comedysoc, Dramsoc, Juggling Soc, Comic Soc, Anime Manga soc, Filmsoc, individual artists and new dramatic monologues by staff and students in a SOLOS Show. A comic market-place with chill-out zones is also on offer. For full details, see website www.muscailt.ie. For a copy of the programme and more info, contact the Arts Office at 493766 or 495098 or Fionnuala Gallagher at fionnuala.gallagher@nuigalway.ie. Tickets for events will be available from the Socsbox at 091 492852 or socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. For more info on society events see www.socs.nuigalway.ie. Flirt FM 101.3 will provide daily updates. All ages are extended an invitation to come on campus and enjoy the events, shows and exhibitions on offer from 7 to 12 February. -Ends-

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The 6th annual Teddy Bear Hospital, the largest ever in Ireland, will take place at NUI Galway from 27 to 28 January. Organised by the Sláinte Society, the NUI Galway branch of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations, the event will see over 1,300 sick teddy bears admitted to the hospital, accompanied by their owners, 1,300 primary school children between the ages of three and seven. Up to 200 students from NUI Galway will volunteer to diagnose and treat the teddy bears. In the process, they hope to help the children feel more comfortable around doctors and hospitals. Event Organiser, Bryan Reidy, a second year medical student at NUI Galway and a member of Sláinte Society, said: "This year 1,300 ill teddies and their concerned owners will visit the Teddy Bear Hospital over two days. We hope to build on the successes of previous years and show that going to the doctor isn't so scary after all." This year, 32 local primary schools are participating in the event. On arrival at the Teddy Bear Hospital on campus, the children will go to the 'waiting room'. Then the children and their teddy bears are seen by a team of Teddy Doctors and Teddy Nurses, who will examine them and decide if Teddy needs to visit the specially designed Teddy X-ray or MRI Machine. A Teddy Pharmacy will also feature, stocked with healthy fruit from Total Produce along with medical supplies from Boots to help Teddy recover. After all this excitement the children can enjoy a bouncy castle and visit an Order of Malta ambulance, sponsored by Medisource. Entertainment will be provided throughout the day by NUI Galway's Juggling Society and face painters. Recently, the Medical School at NUI Galway announced that it has been allocated additional places on its flagship undergraduate Medical programme. Students applying to study medicine this February for a September 2011 start, will see an additional 19 places made available, bringing the total number of Medicine places at NUI Galway to 118, making it the second largest Medical School for undergraduate Irish and EU students in the country. Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway's Societies Officer, said: "The Teddy Bear hospital is now established as the NUI Galway societies major community outreach programme and we are thrilled with its success. It is wonderful to invite the children and their teddies on to campus for such a great reason and it is a fantastic opportunity for the students to engage in a meaningful way with the Galway City and County schools." -Ends-

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Asylum seekers experiences' of Ireland's Direct Provision System NUI Galway will host the second event in the Fair Ireland Forum dialogue series on Thursday, 27 January at 7pm. The dialogue will explore asylum seekers' experiences of Ireland's direct provision system. The perception of asylum seekers themselves will form the central focus of the dialogue with additional contributions from a legal and NGO perspective. The event will be held in the Siobhan McKenna Theatre in the Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway. The Fair Ireland Forum is an initiative of members of NUI Galway staff that aims to create space for the NUI Galway community to make concrete contributions to public debates on the current challenges facing Ireland – grounded in principles of fairness, social inclusion, democratic governance, accountability and respect for human rights. Fergal Landy, a member of the Fair Ireland Forum steering group at NUI Galway says: "The inaugural Fair Ireland Forum event in May 2010 was a great success and explored the human rights of children and families in Ireland, a dialogue that broadly took place in the aftermath of the Ryan Report on institutional abuse. The upcoming event is crucial to encourage this generation to show leadership in scrutinising the direct provision system now, rather than leaving it to subsequent generations saying we never knew what was going on." Participating in the dialogue will be Director of Galway Refugee Support Group, Triona Nic Giolla Choille, Albert Llussà i Torra, Solicitor with Daly Lynch Crowe and Morris and Vice-Chair of the Irish Refugee Council, and representatives of the asylum seeking community in Galway. Dr Vinodh Jaichand, the Deputy Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, will facilitate the dialogue on the evening. There will be an opportunity for a public discussion/question and answer period. As part of this event there will also be a slide-show photography exhibition entitled New Bridges: a collection of photographs and stories by people living in direct provision. This exhibition is the result of a four-month collaboration in 2010 between visual ethnographer Zoë O'Reilly (NUI Maynooth) and eight individuals seeking asylum in Ireland and living in the direct provision system. The work is part of a doctoral research project, aiming to explore and to create better understandings of asylum and direct provision in Ireland, from the experiences of those living within this system. All photographs and texts were created by the participants of the project. The event is free and open to the public. This dialogue series is supported by the Social Sciences Research Centre (SSRC). ENDS

Monday, 17 January 2011

The discipline of Occupational Therapy at NUI Galway will host an equipment expo on Friday, 28 January from 10am to 4pm.The Expo will focus on equipment for adults and children with physical disabilities. The event will take place in the School of Health Sciences, Áras Moyola in the University, and is open to everybody, including disability service providers, students, health professionals and service users. A wide range of equipment will be exhibited on the day from daily living aids, to hoists to beds, to adapted toys. With regard to seating; wheelchairs, shower chairs, comfort chairs and specialised buggies will all be on display. These buggies and wheelchairs, when carefully chosen, may enable a person to move and socialise independently, while other specialised seating may prevent further disability and maximise the person's posture while they are eating, drinking or working. A range of hoists will also be on display, including those with active sensory products and pressure care systems. Appropriately recommended equipment such as hoists and slings can make a carer's job of moving a person with specific care needs safer and easier. There will also be multi-sensory handwriting programmes, adapted scissors and colourful educational games that can assist in motivating a child to succeed at school. Adapted toys can also enable children with limited use of their hands to play age appropriate games, and these will also be exhibited. Equipment will be on display from a variety of companies from all over Ireland. Hazel Killeen of Occupational Therapy at NUI Galway says: "The goal of health care is to enable a person participate to their fullest potential in everyday life. This includes providing an environment to make people more independent so they can dress, wash, eat, communicate and move freely in their community. A health professional can recommend equipment that can mean the difference between dependence and independence for a person and we at NUI Galway are delighted to play our part in informing all parties of the products and services available to them." -Ends-

Monday, 17 January 2011

NUI Galway will host a Drop-in-Day for Mature Students on Thursday, 27 January in AM205, the Arts Millennium Building in the University. The event is open to anyone who would like information on the Mature Student application process from 10am until 4pm. The primary purpose of the Drop-in-Day is to provide potential Mature Students with information prior to important application closing dates for CAO Applications and MSAP exams registration on 1 February 2011. NUI Galway invites mature students to apply through the CAO system, which has a deadline for applications of the 1 February 2011. In order to qualify as a Mature Student, applicants need to be 23 years or over and must wish to pursue a full time degree programme. Mature Applicants for programmes in The College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies degrees at NUI Galway are also required to register prior to the 1 February 2011 for the Mature Students Admissions Pathway (MSAP) exam which takes place on 19 February 2011. This exam will consist of a two hour paper designed to determine the candidate s verbal reasoning; candidates will also be required to complete two short essays. The MSAP is independently administered by ACER (Australian Council for Educational Research). Details on registration and MSAP exam tips are available at http://www.msap.acer.edu.au/. Trish Hoare, Mature Students Officer at NUI Galway says "We welcome Mature Students at NUI Galway and recognise the contribution they make to each course with their wealth of experience and passion for learning. The economic climate has made many people consider new careers and to retrain in new professions, so we want to ensure that applicants have all the information they need and that they are aware of the important deadlines for applications. The Drop-in-Day will allow potential students find answers to questions and concerns they may have about becoming a Mature Student." For further information please contact: Trish Hoare, Mature Students Officer at NUI Galway on 091 492695 or email maturestudents@nuigalway.ie or visit www.nuigalway.ie/mature. -Ends-

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Two Postgraduate Researchers at Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) in NUI Galway recently won awards for presentations related to their ongoing projects. Andrew English won the Best Poster Award at the Surface Science of Biologically Important Interfaces (SSBII) conference which was hosted by Ulster University, Belfast. Bill Daly, was awarded the Best Podium Presentation at the Neuroscience Research Day meeting in Galway recently. This is the second award Bill has won for this particular project. His first award was for the Best Podium Presentation at the European Society of Biomaterials in Finland in September. Both students are supported by Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis and Professor Abhay Pandit at the NFB. Professor Pandit who is Director of the NFB says, "These awards demonstrate the quality of research conducted at NFB and the high calibre of training we are providing researchers." Andrew English's award-winning poster demonstrated an ongoing project entitled, "Topographical Cues for Cellular Guidance". During the project Andrew is producing synthetic nano-textured scaffolds for cells, through incorporation of spatiotemporal and biological signals, aiming to favourably control cellular functions. Creating tissue-engineered structures or scaffolds that mimic the complex architectures of native tissues could potentially be used as therapy for injured or degenerated tissues. In order to promote functional neo-tissue formation, these scaffolds should support cellular attachment and proliferation, maintain cell phenotype and facilitate directional growth. This work is conducted in co-operation with Proxy Biomedical Ltd, a leading biomaterials manufacturer and Research and Development service provider based at Spiddal, Co Galway. Proxy Biomedical's involvement in this project ensures immediate translation of the work from the lab-bench to clinic. Bill Daly is developing a biomaterials-based technology in the area of peripheral nerve regeneration. The project aims to improve current clinically approved conduit systems to repair critical nerve gap damage in peripheral nerves. A critical nerve gap injury is one where the distance is too great for the nerve to reconnect naturally, preventing regeneration. Bill is developing an implantable system which not only physically bridges this gap but will also provide stimulatory support. An additional interesting component of this work is his focus on the molecular interactions during the regeneration process. The information obtained can provide improved treatments and better patient recovery in peripheral nerve repair operations in the future. Systems currently available do not repair injuries beyond this critical gap. -Ends-

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Top experts from the fields of energy technology, policy, innovation and business will come together in NUI Galway on Wednesday, 26 January, 2011 to discuss the future of energy in Ireland. The Energy Night has been organised by the Chemistry, Energy and Physics Societies at NUI Galway. The NUI Galway Energy Night will open at 5:30pm in the Orbsen Building Foyer with a showcase of the rich and varied range of cutting-edge energy research currently underway at the University. With presenters working in areas from bio fuels to wave energy, and smart buildings to smart grids, the showcase will provide attendees and researchers alike with the opportunity to meet, learn and exchange ideas on the future of energy in Ireland. Following this, a major fact-based panel discussion entitled Averting a Future Irish Energy Crisis will be held at 7pm in the O Flaherty Lecture Theatre, located on the main Concourse. RTE's Environmental Editor Paul Cunningham will moderate the discussion. Panel participants include Professor J. Owen Lewis, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Paul Lynam, Chief Executive of Siemens Ireland, Emeritus Professor at the Combustion Chemistry Centre NUI Galway and acclaimed fuels researcher John Simmie, Neil Walker, Head of the Energy and Environment Unit at the Irish Business Employers Confederation (IBEC), and Philip Walton, Emeritus Professor of Physics at NUI Galway and nationally-renowned nuclear energy expert. NUI Galway Energy Night is an entirely student and postdoctoral organised event, being jointly undertaken by the Chemistry, Energy and Physics Societies at NUI Galway. This is the first time that a broad section of students have come together at NUI Galway or any other Irish University to organise such an event, and it reflects the seriousness with which the students regard the future of energy supply, demand, cost and security in Ireland. It is their hope that the NUI Galway Energy Night will be a spark that ignites enhanced understanding, interaction and collaboration between energy stakeholders in the policy, business, technological and academic spheres as well as the public. The event is made possible by the generosity of sponsors Enerit Ltd., the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) and SEAI. The entire event is open to all members of the public. If you are interested in attending the panel discussion please email nuigenergy@gmail.com as space in the lecture theatre is limited. More information on NUI Galway Energy Night is available on the facebook page – NUIG Energy Night or by contacting Rory Monaghan at rory.monaghan@nuigalway.ie or 085 1509336 or http://sites.google.com/site/nuigenergynight2011/ -Ends-

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

A book by a senior lecturer in Women s Studies at the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway has been selected as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2010 by the American Library Association/CHOICE. Dr. Niamh Reilly s Women s Human Rights: Seeking Gender Justice in a Globalising Age (Polity Press) explores the emergence of transnational, UN-oriented, feminist advocacy for women's human rights, especially over the past three decades. It identifies the main feminist influences that have shaped the movement and exposes how the Western, legalist, state-centric, and liberal biases of mainstream human rights discourse impede the realisation of human rights in women's lives everywhere. Ultimately, the book reaffirms a commitment to critically reinterpreted universal human rights principles and demonstrates the vital role that bottom-up, transnational movements play in making them a reality in women's lives. Every year the American Library Association/CHOICE editors single out the most significant print and electronic works reviewed in CHOICE during the previous calendar year. Appearing annually in CHOICE's January issue, this prestigious list of publications reflects the best in scholarly titles and attracts extraordinary attention from the academic library community. In publishing the Outstanding Academic Titles feature, CHOICE acknowledges and honours the authors, editors, and publishers of these works for their vital contribution to the scholarly endeavour. Dr. Reilly says she is delighted with the selection, "It is a wonderful endorsement, not only of the book itself but of women's human rights as an important field of research and teaching." Along with Women s Human Rights: Seeking Gender Justice in a Globalising Age, Dr. Niamh Reilly has authored, co-authored, and edited a number of other books, including Women Testify: A Planning Guide for Popular Tribunals and Hearings (2005), State Accountability for Women s Human Rights in Ireland (1997), Without Reservation: The Beijing Tribunal on Accountability for Women's Human Rights (1996), and Demanding Accountability: The Global Campaign and Vienna Tribunal for Women s Human Rights (1994). She has over 20 years experience of teaching, research, publishing and advocacy in the field of women s human rights at various institutions in Ireland and the United States and has worked with the United Nations and with a number of international and national women s and human rights NGOs. For further information please contact Dr Niamh Reilly at 091 495403 or niamh.reilly@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

NUI Galway will hold an Information Evening from 7 to 9pm on Thursday, 20 January in the Temple Gate Hotel, The Square, Ennis, Co Clare. This event is for students who are considering applying to NUI Galway and for their parents or guardians. The Information Evening will commence with a series of short talks about NUI Galway and the courses on offer. Current students and representatives from the five colleges of the University will be on hand at information stands to answer any questions visitors may have. "This is an excellent opportunity to talk to representatives from all of NUI Galway's Colleges about the subjects of interest. It is also a chance to find out about practical issues like accommodation, fees, scholarships and new programmes on offer", said Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. Ms Loughnane added: "Choosing a University is one of the most important decisions in a young person's life, and we offer a University with a strong reputation for top quality teaching and a proven track record in producing graduates with the right mix of skills and knowledge to succeed in an increasingly uncertain job market." NUI Galway continues to increase its number of undergraduate applications with an increase in the order of 18 per cent in CAO first preference applications over the last two years. NUI Galway's increased popularity is in part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market, including an Energy Engineering degree, eight BA CONNECT programmes and a Math and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. To find out more about the Information Evening in Ennis, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Office, Celine O Donovan, Schools Liaison Office on 087 2391219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 10 January 2011

The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway will host a series of Sean-Nós Singing workshops from late January until the end of March. The workshops will be led by Sean-Nós Singer-in-Residence Treasa Ní Mhiolláin, who has an international reputation in the sean-nós song tradition, and in 1996 won the prestigious Sean-nós Cois Life award and has twice won the coveted Corn Uí Riada award. The workshops will take place at the Centre for Irish Studies on Distillery Road at 7pm each Tuesday, beginning on 25 January. The workshops are free of charge and everyone is welcome to attend. 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. For further details, contact Samantha Williams at 091 492051 or samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Monday, 10 January 2011

The official launch of NUI Galway's Medical Academy at Letterkenny General Hospital took place last week. Letterkenny General Hospital (LGH) has been chosen as a step-out clinical site for the education of Medical Students from NUI Galway. From last week, 20 third year Medical Students will carry out one full year of their training at the hospital, studying the same curriculum as their classmates based on the campus of Galway University Hospitals (GUH). Both GUH and LGH will use Internet and video-conferencing facilities to facilitate linkages between the centres including multidisciplinary meetings, joint lectures, tutorials and discussion groups. In September, 40 medical students in their 4th and 5th years of training will be based at Letterkenny General Hospital. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of School of Medicine, NUI Galway carried out the official opening of the academy as part of the induction day for the students and members of the Medical Academy. The medical students and multidisciplinary staff attended the event from the hospital. Short presentations were made by the Directors of Medical Education at LGH, Dr Joanne Kearney and Dr Brian Callaghan. Also by Sean Murphy, General Manager, LGH and Barry O Callaghan, Medical Student. The arrival of the students provides Letterkenny General Hospital with an opportunity to forge a permanent relationship with a University, which offers advantages for patient care due to the sharing of resources in the areas of research and education training. Dr Joanne Kearney commented, "This is a very welcome development and I believe the relationship will be beneficial also in ultimately attracting doctors of the highest calibre to seek permanent positions at the hospital. I look forward to enhancing the links with NUI Galway in the future". Dr Brian Callaghan said, "This is a new and historic journey for the hospital which has been transformed into a University teaching hospital; the Medical Academy is a catalyst for future development of medical education in the hospital". ENDS

Monday, 10 January 2011

The Business German in Ireland Working Group has been announced as the winner of the Kuratorium Award for 2010. The group includes three NUI Galway lecturers, Doris Devilly, lecturer and coordinator of the B.Comm (German) programme at NUI Galway; Dr. Deirdre Byrnes (Law and German) and Aine Ryan (German). This award is presented annually by the Kuratorium (Board of Trustees) of the German-Irish Chamber of Commerce to groups, individuals or organisations that have made a special contribution to the furthering of German-Irish relations in Ireland. This year's recipients are a group of third level teachers of Business German with representatives from most Irish universities (including NUI Galway), institutes of technology and other third level colleges as well as the Goethe Institute. They were presented with the award for their ongoing work of promoting German in Ireland and the importance of language learning in such an export dependent economy. Doris Devilly, lecturer and coordinator of the B.Comm (German) programme in NUI Galway and one of the founding members of the Business German in Ireland Working Group, added: "Graduates who have completed a combined degree programme with Commerce and German are highly employable, even in the current job market. In the larger European context it is clear that high quality graduates with an excellent knowledge of German language and business culture can make significant contribution to German-Irish relations and are essential to Ireland's economic recovery." According to one graduate of NUI Galway's Commerce and German degree: "Germany is the economic powerhouse within the EU and plays an important part in the Irish economy. I feel that having studied Commerce with German, I now have a greater professional scope and more career opportunities than general Commerce graduates. German is currently one of the most wanted business languages internationally and by being able to speak it a greater variety of job offers is now available to me. I am more than happy to have chosen Commerce with German and would advise any business student with an interest in a language to consider the same course." The Business German in Ireland Working Group was founded in 2001 and will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year. To coincide with this anniversary, it will be launching a website which will contain material for teachers, students and business people as well as advertising opportunities for student bursaries. -Ends-