NUI Galway Device Will Help Improve Quality of Life for those living with Parkinson's Disease

NUI Galway Device Will Help Improve Quality of Life for those living with Parkinson's Disease-image

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A step on the road towards real-time drug delivery for those living with Parkinson’s Disease A wearable device to help improve the quality of life for Parkinson’s disease patients is being developed in a €4.7 million project involving NUI Galway. The project has completed its first phase which was gathering data on the movements of those living with Parkinson’s Disease. The completed ‘Personal Health System’ will include a portable system, capable of identifying the motor status of patients, guiding them to walk more easily, and delivering real-time data to their medical care teams. Real-time data, it’s hoped will lead to real-time drug delivery which will increase the efficiency of the drug treatment for a longer time. The REMPARK (Personal Health Device for the Remote and Autonomous Management of Parkinson’s Disease) EU FP7 project involves 11 partners across Europe, including NUI Galway and Irish electronics manufacturing company M&M Qualtech, also based in Galway. After Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative condition, with estimates that there are approximately 8,000 living with the condition in Ireland. The REMPARK project expects to ultimately improve the management of the disease, reduce the hospitalisation of patients, and improve medical knowledge on Parkinson’s through the quantitative evaluation of associated motor problem states. Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Professor of Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway and REMAPRK Principal Investigator for NUI Galway says “one of the main problems associated with Parkinson’s is the motor fluctuations suffered by the patients. These include tremors, changes in walking speed, freezing of gait and falls, and the severity of these depends on the patient and the stage of progression of the disease.” NUI Galway’s technical contribution to the project will be in the development of a novel electrical stimulation system to help manage these motor fluctuations. The University will work closely with M&M Qualtech in developing the device. As one of four clinical partners, NUI Galway/University Hospitals Galway will also provide access to Irish Parkinson’s patients to test and evaluate the system under development, with the support and assistance of patient groups such as the Galway Parkinson’s Association and the European Parkinson’s Disease Association. The REMPARK project will also use smart phone technology to feed information to a central computer server, to enable easy interaction with neurologists supervising patients. Dr Tim Counihan, Consultant Neurologist, University Hospitals Galway and Senior Lecturer, NUI Galway explains that “at the moment, medication is used to mitigate the set of symptoms. Neurologists try to set the medication dose in order to avoid the presence of motor fluctuations as much as possible. The problem that neurologists currently face is the lack of quantitative information on the intensity of the symptoms and their duration. Neurologists would be able to manage the disease more effectively if this information could be provided, which we hope is what the REMPARK project will deliver.” The REMPARK group at NUI Galway is a multidisciplinary effort and involves an important collaboration with the Discipline of Physiology, led by Dr Leo Quinlan. Dr Quinlan says “this is a wonderful example of translational research, capitalising on the synergies between Engineering and Biomedical Sciences to deliver solutions to an unmet clinical need and a real-life daily challenge for Parkinson’s patients.” -ends-

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Smartphones to help deliver care for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients

Smartphones to help deliver care for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients-image

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Those interested in taking part in the App study are invited to the IBD patient open day in Salthill, Galway October 19th 2-5pm The HRB Clinical Research Facility (CRFG) at NUI Galway is supporting research utilizing smartphones for the care of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Professor Laurence Egan, gastroenterologist at University Hospital Galway and Professor of Clinical Pharmacology/Consultant Clinical Pharmacologist and Head of the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at NUI Galway is the Principle Investigator for this research study. The research aims to assess a new smartphone application or ‘app’ in the care of patients with IBD (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) to see if patient care can be improved by using this smartphone application. Patients record their IBD symptoms daily on the ‘app’. This information is then sent securely to the clinical research team at HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway. The data is reviewed twice weekly by the IBD research nurse Áine Keogh. If patient symptoms deviate from a normal level, this will alert the IBD nurse who will then contact the patient and consult with the medical team to direct the patient’s care appropriately.  Many patients with Crohn’s and colitis struggle to take the medication. Along with recording symptoms patients can record if they have missed their medication dose. It is hoped that this reminder will help improve medication compliance. Previous studies have demonstrated that using static telephones to follow up IBD patients improves patient satisfaction with their care. However, the use of smartphones to help deliver more personalised health care has not been tested in a scientific setting. This study will test the technology and explore if patients using a smartphone software application to record their daily symptoms will help prevent flare ups of their condition through close monitoring by clinicians and therefore reduce hospitalizations and improve their health and well being. It is envisaged that that the use of smartphone technology may also help improve the care of other groups of patients with chronic medical conditions. Patients with asthma, diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease and depression may benefit from the use of mobile phone technology. The ‘app’ was designed by Open Brolly ( Scotland in collaboration with an NHS Scotland Highland surgeon, Angus Watson. It is funded through the Implementing Translational Telemedicine Solutions by the Northern Periphery Programme ( in collaboration with the Discipline of General Practice NUI Galway (Monica Casey, Patrick Hayes, Liam Glynn) and the HRB CRFG (Professor Laurence Egan and Aine Keogh). Recruitment for the study will take place at Irish Society for Colitis and Crohn’s disease meeting being held on Saturday 19 October 2-5pm at the Salthill Hotel Galway. Further information can be found on For more information on the study please contact the HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway on 091 494281/086 7845554 ( -Ends-

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NUI Galway Video Exhibition Investigates the Relationship Between Time and the Image

NUI Galway Video Exhibition Investigates the Relationship Between Time and the Image-image

Thursday, 17 October 2013

NUI Galway PhD student Nora Duggan will host single channel video projection exhibition, Quad, in the University’s Art Gallery from 18-26 October from 12-4pm daily. The temporal relations between stillness and movement constantly drive Nora's art practice. Taking the original Quadrangle building of NUI Galway as her subject, she compiled a series of digital photographs and videos over the past year, recording the movement of light in and around the building and its surrounds. These images are then reconfigured, manipulated, cut and collaged together in order to investigate the ambiguous nature of time. As she reaches the mid-point of her practice-based PhD at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway, Nora looked to Quad for evidence of how her research has progressed to date, but also to inform her future direction. Nora explains: “The work questions how our experience of time can be informed/influenced/reflected through combined stillness and movement in digital imagery. Here, linear and chronological time are abandoned, and replaced by the possibilities suggested when time is understood as a multitude of simultaneous temporal relations that expand and contract, existing not merely as past, present and future but as future pasts, present futures, and so on.” The opening reception for the exhibition will take place at Friday, 18 October at 1pm. This exhibition coincides with the Practice-based Research Symposium titled 'The Intelligence of Art: Art Practice as Research' at the Huston School of Film and Digital Media, NUI Galway, running from 24-26 October. -Ends-

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Autumn Conferrings at NUI Galway

Autumn Conferrings at NUI Galway-image

Friday, 18 October 2013

Six Honorary Masters Degrees will also be presented Almost 4,000 students will graduate from NUI Galway during the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies which take place from 19-25 October. NUI Galway will also confer six Honorary Masters Degrees during the ceremonies on Lorna Siggins, Michael Murphy, Bernard Kirk, Liam Mac Con Iomaire, Micheál Ó Conghaile and Thomas Roche. Lorna Siggins - Masters of Arts honoris causa:  Lorna is The Irish Times Western and Marine Correspondent since 1998. Born in Scotland to Sligo parents, Lorna was educated in Glasgow, Kildare and Dublin, where she studied Arts at TCD. After teaching in the Middle East for a year Lorna took up journalism, beginning as a freelancer and in 1988 she joined The Irish Times where she spent ten years based in their Dublin newsroom. In 1993, she spent seven weeks with Dawson Stelfox, the first Irishman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, and his team in the Himalayas. She is also a published author on Everest, the volunteer sea rescue services, former President Mary Robinson and the Corrib Gas controversy in Mayo. Michael Murphy - Masters of Arts honoris causa: Born in Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Michael is a UCD graduate. After a long career as a newscaster with RTÉ, he left to pursue his interest in psychoanalysis. He now combines his practice as a psychoanalyst, lectures in the subject at St Vincent's Hospital and UCD, while maintaining a broadcasting career with RTÉ. His 2009 memoir detailing his battle with prostate cancer also addressed child abuse and sexuality. The memoir received critical acclaim, was followed by a collection of poetry and a second memoir is due for publication.  Bernard Kirk - Masters of Science honoris causa: Director of the Galway Education Centre.  Born in Cork, he taught in Claregalway primary school for 13 years.  He is co-founder of Robotics Ireland, the All Ireland Primary Schools Debating Competition and Space Camps Ireland.  He chairs the Galway Music Residency. His committee memberships include NUI Galway's University's Research Ethics Committee, National Education Committee and TCD's Science Gallery. Liam Mac Con Iomaire - Masters of Arts honoris causa: Born in Casla, he trained as a primary school teacher before joining RTÉ as part of the Nuacht desk. He worked as a journalist, newsreader and sub-editor. He moved to UCD as Director of the Modern Irish Languge Laboratory. Liam is a long-time collaborator of Tim Robinson and has translated a number of Robinson’s works along with other author’s works. He also founded Sean Nós Cois Life. Widely published, his scholarship in journalism, communications and the Irish language are renowned. Micheál Ó Conghaile - Masters of Arts honoris causa: Micheál is a creative writer, social historian and cultural innovator in the fields of literary and music publishing. He founded Irish-language publishing company Cló Iar-Chonnachta in 1985. As well as his own creative literary work, he has translated plays The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Lonesome West and the Irish-language film Kings; and edited a short story anthology for teenagers. His awards include the Butler Literary Award of the Irish American Cultural Institute and a Hennessy Literary Award. He was writer-in-residence at Queen's University, Belfast and at the University of Ulster between 1999 and 2002. His works have been translated into Romanian, Croatian, Albanian, German and English. Thomas Roche - Masters of Engineering honoris causa: Inventor, industrialist, entrepreneur, farmer and community activist who has invented machinery for electricity and telecom industry across the world, Thomas is originally from East Galway. He invented the internationally renowned ‘Pole Erector’ which while attached to a JCB can erect a thirty foot pole for electricity and telephone supplies, which has been exported internationally. Thomas established his own manufacturing company, Roche Manufacturing Ltd., and designed a range of industry and agriculture products under the brand name ‘Roco’. Throughout the years Thomas has received many awards from the IDA, the Irish Trade Board and Enterprise Ireland amongst others. Commenting on the conferring of this year's graduands, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history. This week we are proud to honour Lorna Siggins, Michael Murphy, Bernard Kirk, Liam Mac Con Iomaire, Micheál Ó Conghaile and Thomas Roche. Each of these individuals has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of journalism, broadcasting, education, literature and engineering innovation.  NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise their exceptional talents and achievements.” The annual Autumn Conferring Ceremonies will begin with the Adult and Continuing Education ceremonies, where awards will be conferred on over 950 students who completed their certificate, diploma and degree courses at many locations across the country. -ENDS- Bronnadh an Fhómhair in OÉ Gaillimh Bronnfar Sé Chéim Mháistreachta Oinigh chomh maith Bainfidh beagnach 4,000 mac léinn céim amach in OÉ Gaillimh sna Searmanais Bronnta Céime a bheidh ar bun idir an 19-25 Deireadh Fómhair. Bronnfaidh OÉ Gaillimh Céim Mháistreachta Oinigh ar an seisear seo a leanas: Lorna Siggins, Michael Murphy, Bernard Kirk, Liam Mac Con Iomaire, Micheál Ó Conghaile agus Thomas Roche. Lorna Siggins - Céim Mháistreachta Oinigh sna Dána honoris causa:  Tá Lorna ina Comhfhreagraí ag an Irish Times ar chúrsaí mara agus an Iarthair ó 1998. Rugadh san Albain í ach b’as Sligeach a muintir. Fuair sí a cuid oideachais i nGlaschú, i gCill Dara agus i mBaile Átha Cliath áit a ndearna sí staidéar ar na Dána i gColáiste na Tríonóide. Chaith Lorna bliain ag múineadh sa Mheánoirthear sular thug sí aghaidh ar shaol na hiriseoireachta. Thosaigh sí amach mar shaoririseoir agus ansin i 1988 thosaigh sí ag obair leis an Irish Times áit ar chaith sí deich mbliana sa seomra nuachta i mBaile Átha Cliath. I 1993, chaith sí seacht seachtaine le Dawson Stelfox, an chéad Éireannach a bhain barr Sliabh Everest amach, agus a fhoireann sna Himiléithe. Tá saothar foilsithe aici ar Everest, na seirbhísí deonacha tarrthála farraige, iar-Uachtarán Máire Mhic Róibín agus conspóid Ghás na Coiribe i Maigh Eo. Michael Murphy - Céim Mháistreachta Oinigh sna Dána honoris causa: Rugadh Michael i gCaisleán an Bharraigh, Co. Mhaigh Eo agus bhain sé céim amach in UCD.  Chaith sé blianta fada mar léitheoir nuachta le RTÉ agus ina dhiaidh sin dhírigh sé ar an tsíocanailís. Tá sé ag obair anois mar shíocanailísí, bíonn sé ag léachtóireacht ar an ábhar in Ospidéal Naomh Uinseann agus UCD, agus bíonn sé fós ag plé leis an gcraoltóireacht in RTÉ. D’fhoilsigh sé a chuimhní cinn in 2009. Rinne sé cur síos iontu ar an ailse phróstataigh a bhí air agus labhair sé faoi mhí-úsáid leanaí agus gnéasacht. Fuair na cuimhní cinn ardmholadh ó na léirmheastóirí. D’fhoilsigh sé ansin bailiúchán filíochta agus tá cuimhní cinn eile le foilsiú aige anois.  Bernard Kirk - Máistreacht Oinigh san Eolaíocht honoris causa: Stiúrthóir ar Ionad Oideachais na Gaillimhe.  Rugadh i gCorcaigh é agus mhúin sé i mbunscoil Bhaile Chláir ar feadh 13 bliana.  Tá sé ar dhuine de bhunaitheoirí Robotics Ireland, Comórtas Díospóireachta Bhunscoileanna Uile Éireann agus Campaí Spáis na hÉireann.  Tá sé ina chathaoirleach ar Cheol Cónaitheach na Gaillimhe.  Tá sé ar choistí éagsúla cosúil le Coiste Eitic Taighde OÉ Gaillimh, An Coiste Oideachais Náisiúnta agus Gailearaí Eolaíochta Choláiste na Tríonóide. Liam Mac Con Iomaire - Céim Mháistreachta Oinigh sna Dána honoris causa: Rugadh Liam i gCasla, agus fuair sé a chuid oiliúna mar bhunmhúinteoir sular thosaigh sé ag obair le RTÉ i seomra na Nuachta. Bhí sé ina iriseoir, ina léitheoir nuachta agus ina fho-eagarthóir. Chuaigh sé as sin ansin go UCD ag obair mar Stiúrthóir ar Theanglann na Nua-Ghaeilge. Tá Liam ag comhoibriú le fada an lá le Tim Robinson agus is iomaí saothar le Robinson agus le húdair eile atá aistrithe aige agus is é a bhunaigh Sean Nós Cois Life. Is iomaí saothar le Mac Con Iomaire atá foilsithe, agus tá cáil i bhfad agus i gcéin ar a shaothar iriseoireachta, cumarsáide agus Gaeilge. Micheál Ó Conghaile - Céim Mháistreachta Oinigh sna Dána honoris causa: Is scríbhneoir cruthaitheach, staraí sóisialta agus nuálaí cultúir é Micheál i réimse na foilsitheoireachta liteartha agus ceoil. Bhunaigh sé an chuideachta foilsitheoireachta Ghaeilge, Cló Iar-Chonnachta, i 1985.. Chomh maith lena shaothar cruthaitheach liteartha féin, tá na drámaí The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Lonesome West agus an scannán Gaeilge Kings aistrithe aige; agus tá cnuasach gearrscéalta curtha in eagar aige do dhéagóirí. I measc na ngradam atá bainte amach aige tá Gradam Liteartha Butler ón Irish American Cultural Institute agus Gradam Liteartha Hennessy. Bhí sé ina scríbhneoir cónaithe ag Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste agus ag Ollscoil Uladh ó 1999 go dtí 2002. Tá a shaothar aistrithe go Rómáinis, Cróitis, Albáinis, Gearmáinis agus Béarla. Thomas Roche - Céim Mháistreachta Oinigh san Innealtóireacht honoris causa:Is as Oirthear na Gaillimhe do Thomas ó dhúchas. Is aireagóir, tionsclóir, fiontraí, feirmeoir agus gníomhaí pobail é a bhfuil meaisínre cruthaithe aige do thionscal an leictreachais agus na teileachumarsáide ar fud an domhain. Is é a chéad cheap an tArdaitheoir Cuaillí a bhfuil cáil idirnáisiúnta air. Bíonn an fearas seo ceangailte le JCB chun cuaille tríocha troigh a ardú do sholáthar leictreachais agus teileafóin. Tá sé á easpórtáil go hidirnáisiúnta. Bhunaigh Thomas a chuideachta déantúsaíochta féin, Roche Manufacturing Ltd., agus dhear sé réimse táirgí tionscail agus talmhaíochta faoin ainm branda ‘Roco’. Is iomaí gradam atá bainte amach ag Thomas leis na blianta ón Údarás Forbartha Tionscail (IDA), ón mBord Tráchtála agus ó Fhiontraíocht Éireann agus eile. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr James J. Browne faoi chéimithe na bliana seo: “Tá an t-ádh ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith bainteach leis an oiread sin céimithe oinigh den scoth ó bunaíodh an Ollscoil. An tseachtain seo, táimid bródúil céim oinigh a bhronnadh ar Lorna Siggins, Michael Murphy, Bernard Kirk, Liam Mac Con Iomaire, Micheál Ó Conghaile agus Thomas Roche. Tá a c(h)ion féin déanta ag gach céimí oinigh daoibh seo i réimsí éagsúla na hiriseoireachta, na craoltóireachta, an oideachais, na litríochta agus na nuálaíochta innealtóireachta. Is cúis áthais dúinn anseo in OÉ Gaillimh an deis a bheith againn aitheantas a thabhairt don tallann agus don tsárobair atá déanta ag na daoine seo.” Cuirfear tús le Searmanais bhliantúla Bhronnadh Céimeanna an Fhómhair leis na searmanais Oideachais Aosaigh agus Leanúnaigh, áit a mbronnfar dámhachtainí ar níos mó ná 950 mac léinn a chríochnaigh a gcúrsaí teastais, dioplóma agus céime in ionaid éagsúla ar fud na tíre. -CRÍOCH-

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NUI Galway Park and Ride Facility first route to benefit from City Direct Defibrillators

NUI Galway Park and Ride Facility first route to benefit from City Direct Defibrillators-image

Friday, 18 October 2013

City Direct Buses Are First Private Bus Fleet in Ireland To Install Mobile Defibrillators City Direct has just announced the introduction of mobile defibrillators on their NUI Galway Park & Ride shuttle buses – which operates to and from the college for more than 17,500 students and 2,000 staff members. City Direct is currently the largest omnibus operator outside public service provider Bus Éireann. The company has just installed defibrillators on two of their buses and plan to roll it out to the rest of its fleet in 2014. This also means that every City Direct driver will be first aid trained, indicating a massive investment from the company into the health and safety of their passengers. Putting the customer first, City Direct was looking to do something special, something that no other bus company was doing, at no extra cost to the customer. More people die in Ireland every year from cardiovascular disease than any other disease. It accounts for 36% of all deaths and is a major cause of disability. Defibrillation is the recommended treatment for the life-threatening condition - cardiac arrest when the heart stops working. The defibrillator delivers a charge to the heart that allows the normal heart rhythm to be re-established. Currently, the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest is thought to 1%. This is linked to a breakdown in the four necessary steps; the Chain of Survival to be taken as soon as a person suffering a cardiac arrest: 1. Early Access – phone 112 for an ambulance immediately. 2. Early CPR  3. Early defibrillation 4. Early advance care in the hospital. These steps, the first 3 of which can be provided by City Direct staff increase the patient’s survival rate significantly – by as much as 50% if the casualty is defibrillated within 5 minutes of collapsing. Dr Kieran Loftus, NUI Galway Executive Director of Operations said “NUI Galway welcomes City Direct’s Provision of AEDs on their on-campus Park & Ride Buses. This complements NUI Galway’s own AED programme and helps ensure that the University community is better prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies.” Since 2009 City Direct has operated a park and ride service on behalf of NUI Galway, since 2009, providing a shuttle bus operating to and from the college.  The 500 car space car park is located at Corrib Village and the Park and Ride facility is accessed off the Upper Newcastle / Moycullen Road (N59) via the entrance to Corrib Village. They will also be introducing Wi-Fi on their buses in the near future and are exploring the possibility of being the first “Leap” card operator in Connacht. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Undergraduate Receives Hamilton Award

NUI Galway Undergraduate Receives Hamilton Award-image

Friday, 18 October 2013

NUI Galway undergraduate student, Saorla Molloy, was recently awarded the Hamilton Award in Mathematics by the Royal Irish Academy (RIA). Awards were presented to students of Mathematics in nine of the Higher Education Institutions in Ireland. Saorla, from Taylors Hill, Galway City, is currently in the final year of her Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics. Saorla was judged to be the most outstanding student in all the mathematical degrees taught in NUI Galway. Professor Michel Destrade, Head of Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway, said: “We are very proud of Saorla’s stellar achievements. She will have no problem finding a fully funded postgraduate position after her degree if she wishes to continue in that direction, and we hope that her example will inspire more female students to pursue mathematical and scientific studies.” The recipients of the Hamilton Award in Mathematics receive a scroll and €250 cheque, generously sponsored by Arup Consulting Engineers. Its Director, Fergus Monaghan, speaking at the prize giving ceremony, said “Arup is delighted to support the RIA and the Hamilton lecture series. We recognise that graduates are key to our future, in particular in the fields of Science and Mathematics. Arup is happy to recognise and support this year’s award winners.” This event formed part of Hamilton Day activities at the RIA which each year celebrate Hamilton’s life and contribution to mathematics. It took place on October 16th, the anniversary of the day in 1843 that William Rowan Hamilton scratched his fundamental formula for quaternion multiplication on Broome Bridge in Dublin. A replica of his inscription is on permanent display on the ground floor of Áras de Brún in NUI Galway. This year, Sir Roger Penrose from Oxford University delivered the Hamilton Lecture entitled Twistor Theory: A Developing Hamiltonian Legacy. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Honour Leaving Certificate Excellence

NUI Galway Honour Leaving Certificate Excellence-image

Friday, 18 October 2013

Download large version of image here: Leaving Certificate Excellence Scholarships 2013 NUI Galway recently celebrated the success of a select group of first-year students with a special ceremony on Thursday, 17 October, in recognition of the high points they achieved in the recent Leaving Certificate Examination. As part of the University's annual Excellence Scholarships, 57 students received €2,000 each, along with a specially designed NUI Galway scroll. Each year the Excellence Scholarships are given to new entrants at NUI Galway who reached a minimum of 560 points in their Leaving Certificate examination, except in Medicine. For Medical students 10 Scholarships were awarded certificates, based on the combined results in the Leaving Certificate and the new Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland). The Excellence Scholarships are designed to recognise and reward Leaving Cert success for the highest-achieving students, and encourage their ongoing commitment to academic excellence during their time at NUI Galway. The awards may be held with any other scholarships or grants, including the University's Postgraduate Scholarships, Mature Student Scholarships, Sports Scholarship Scheme and schemes specific to individual colleges for those who excel in their University exams. Speaking at the award ceremony, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne, who presented the cheques to each individual winner, said: “I am delighted to present the scholarships to these 57 outstanding individuals in recognition of their academic talent. NUI Galway constantly strives to support and promote academic excellence across all disciplines. The purpose of these Awards is to encourage each student to develop his/her academic potential to the fullest, by setting a realistic threshold of excellence and rewarding every student who attains that level. It is also a chance to give due credit to their parents and teachers for their important contribution to such success.” This year Excellence Scholarships were awarded to students from 40 individual schools throughout Ireland. The winners represented 14 counties including Clare, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly, Sligo and Tipperary. -Ends- Ceiliúradh in OÉ Gaillimh ar Scothmhic Léinn a rinne Éacht san Ardteistiméireacht Rinneadh ceiliúradh in OÉ Gaillimh le gairid ar ghrúpa ar leith mac léinn chéad bhliana ag searmanas speisialta Déardaoin, an 17 Deireadh Fómhair, mar aitheantas ar na pointí arda a ghnóthaigh siad i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta. Mar chuid de shearmanas bliantúil na hOllscoile le Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa a bhronnadh, bronnadh scoláireachtaí ar fiú €2,000 iad mar aon le scrolla speisialta ar 57 mac léinn. Bronntar na Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa gach bliain ar mhic léinn atá díreach tosaithe ag freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh agus a fuair 560 pointe, ar a laghad, i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta, seachas mic léinn leighis. Sa Leigheas, bronnadh 10 Scoláireacht, bunaithe ar thorthaí na hArdteistiméireachta agus na Tástála Iontrála nua (H-PAT Ireland) araon. Tá na Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa ann chun luach saothair a thabhairt do na daltaí is fearr a n-éiríonn leo san Ardteistiméireacht, agus chun a dtiomantas leanúnach i bhfeabhas acadúil a spreagadh le linn a dtréimhse in OÉ Gaillimh. D’fhéadfaí go mbeadh scoláireachtaí nó deontais eile ag an té a fhaigheann na scoláireachtaí seo, Scoláireachtaí Iarchéime na hOllscoile, Scoláireachtaí do Mhic Léinn Lánfhásta, Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt na hOllscoile agus scéimeanna a bhaineann go sonrach le coláistí agus iad siúd a n-éiríonn thar barr leo sna scrúduithe Ollscoile san áireamh. Ag labhairt dó ag an searmanas bronnta, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, a bhronn na seiceanna ar na buaiteoirí ar fad: “Is cúis áthais dom na scoláireachtaí seo a bhronnadh ar an 57 duine den scoth seo mar aitheantas ar a gcumas acadúil. Déanann OÉ Gaillimh iarracht i gcónaí tacú le feabhas acadúil i ngach uile dhisciplín agus é a spreagadh.  Tá na Gradaim seo ann le gach mac léinn a spreagadh le lántairbhe a bhaint as a gcumas mar mhic léinn, trí thairseach réalaíoch feabhais a leagan amach agus luach saothair a thabhairt do gach mac léinn a bhaineann an leibhéal sin amach. Deis atá ann freisin le haitheantas a thabhairt don tsárobair atá déanta ag a dtuismitheoirí agus ag a múinteoirí.” I mbliana bronnadh na Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa ar scoláirí ó 40 scoil ar fud na hÉireann. Bronnadh scoláireachtaí ar mhic léinn as na 14 chontae seo a leanas – an Clár, Dún na nGall, Baile Átha Cliath, Gaillimh, Ciarraí, Cill Chainnigh, Liatroim, Luimneach, Longfort, Maigh Eo, Muineachán, Uíbh Fhailí, Sligeach agus Tiobraid Árann. -CRÍOCH-

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NUI Galway Postgraduate Open Day to Highlight Career Opportunities

NUI Galway Postgraduate Open Day to Highlight Career Opportunities-image

Monday, 21 October 2013

NUI Galway will host the Spring Postgraduate Open Day on Tuesday, 5 November, from 12-4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. The Open Day will showcase over 400 of NUI Galway’s full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, as well as doctoral research options. With one of the broadest portfolios of postgraduate teaching and learning in the country, NUI Galway’s Postgraduate Open Day will offer potential students the opportunity to meet academic staff and current students. With over 70 information stands, information will be available on courses, scholarships, fees and other practical considerations. Talks on funding opportunities will take place, along with presentations on how undertaking a postgraduate course in NUI Galway can boost your career opportunities. Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Officer at NUI Galway, says that “a postgraduate qualification broadens your skills-set, increases your specialist knowledge, and can improve your job prospects: over 91% of our graduates are currently employed or are in further study within six months of graduating. Making an online application to an NUI Galway postgraduate programme is so easy; it takes less than ten minutes and it could be the best ten minutes you’ll ever spend investing in your future.” NUI Galway offers many new and unique programmes, building 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. NUI Galway also offers postgraduate conversion courses, where students can change their study-direction at postgraduate level and perhaps then move into a more buoyant field. John Hannon, Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre says “Irish graduates have been ranked top in Europe in terms of how employers rank graduates, and postgraduate study can definitely boost employability. Over the last three years postgraduate numbers going in to employment has grown consistently and a postgraduate qualification allows you to recession-proof your CV. NUI Galway has extensive and well-established links with employers, professional bodies, research organisations, and commercial and voluntary sectors which can benefit you in your job search.” To book your place at the Open Day visit or register on the day. To apply for an NUI Galway postgraduate course visit -ENDS-

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Online Learning Website Launched at NUI Galway

Online Learning Website Launched at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

NUI Galway has launched its “Online Learning at NUI Galway” website showcasing over sixty programmes across eight disciplines including IT, Science & Technology Studies, Social Sciences, Medicine, Nursing Studies and many others.  All the programmes featured are available in a part-time, blended learning or online mode.  “Last year, over 1,300 students undertook courses via flexible learning at NUI Galway”, says Nuala McGuinn, Director of Lifelong Learning at NUI Galway. “Technological advances and online learning systems mean that the University’s reach is now far greater. Facilities such as Blackboard are used widely in the University’s teaching to facilitate online communications between students and lecturers.  The number of non-traditional students at NUI Galway has increased significantly from 16% of the overall student population in 2006 to almost 23% in 2013.” The array of programmes NUI Galway offers gives students an opportunity to up-skill in an area of personal and professional interest over a manageable timeframe. Each programme and module consists of a set of learning materials, which are specifically designed for online or blended learning. They facilitate independent study, are self-instructional in nature and are designed for students working at home. Students who register for a blended learning programme should expect to attend seminars, laboratory, or skills sessions on-campus or in an outreach location. The number of sessions that students are required to attend will depend on the programme chosen.  “Students who register for a fully online programme will complete all course work, including examinations, online”, explains Nuala McGuinn. Further developments in extending the reach of the University beyond the traditional lecture theatre has been the development of a number of Open Online Courses, known more widely as MOOCS (massive open online courses) by University staff.  “These Open Courses do not carry any formal academic credit, they are designed purely for self-study, general interest or professional development and span a range of subject areas”, highlights Dr Iain MacLaren, Director of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at NUI Galway. “These courses will be made free to the general public and include areas such as Irish Studies – history and archaeology, Planning Change and Innovation, - Education, and areas related to research expertise in the University”.  The Planning Change and Innovation course has recently commenced, while opportunities to register for the other free Open Courses will be advertised at different stages during the 2013-2014 academic year. Internationally, NUI Galway is a member of the prestigious group of European Universities, the Coimbra group.  As a member of Group’s e-Learning Task Force, NUI Galway are organising a series of online seminars on a range of aspects relating to technology and the future of higher education. For further information on the programmes available visit or email  -Ends-

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NUI Galway Study Finds Recovery in Numbers of Pine Marten, Ireland’s Most Elusive Mammal

NUI Galway Study Finds Recovery in Numbers of Pine Marten, Ireland’s  Most Elusive Mammal-image

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

NUI Galway and WIT study finds healthy numbers of Pine Marten in the Midlands, but rare in the East An NUI Galway study on Ireland’s most elusive mammal, the native pine marten, is to be published in the European Journal of Wildlife Research. The study, which was collaboration between NUI Galway and Waterford Institute of Technology, was funded by The Irish Research Council and the European Squirrel Initiative, and led by Dr Emma Sheehy and Dr Colin Lawton of the Ryan Institute’s Mammal Ecology Group in NUI Galway.  The study, which involved the use of DNA analysis to assess pine marten population abundance in the midlands and the east of Ireland, found that the pine marten has recovered to healthy numbers in the Irish midlands. “Pine marten numbers in the midlands appear to be slightly higher than other parts of Europe” says Dr Sheehy. “This is likely to be a result of both a lack of competition with other terrestrial mammal species, and the relatively warm winters and lack of seasonality we experience in Ireland, compared with much of the pine marten’s natural range. However, it is important to note that we actually know very little about the true potential of contemporary pine marten numbers in much of Europe, as pine marten populations have been decimated by human impacts historically as a result of hunting, persecution and deforestation.”  The pine marten is a slow breeding species, very sensitive to loss of habitat and persecution and a population can take a very long time to recover from such impacts. In Ireland, the pine marten has been protected by law since the late seventies, and this has helped the population to recover. “However, while we have recorded healthy numbers in the midlands they are still quite rare in the east and still absent altogether from some parts of the country” says Dr Sheehy.   DNA analysis was also used to determine which mammals Irish pine martens were feeding on and where. The woodmouse was found to be the most frequently consumed mammal in the pine marten’s diet, and the first evidence of the pine marten preying upon the invasive North American grey squirrel was also recorded by the group. “We were particularly interested in how often squirrels feature in the diet of the Irish pine marten population” says Dr Sheehy. The study reveals that the native red squirrel has an extremely low frequency of occurrence in the diet, but in areas that the invasive grey squirrel is still present, it features significantly more frequently than the native red. “This is likely to be a result of differences in ecology between the red and grey squirrel. Red squirrels are suitably adapted to living with a tree-climbing predator such as the pine marten and indeed they have co-existed successfully in Ireland and Europe over many millennia. In contrast, the grey squirrel, which originates in America, lives in much higher numbers and is less agile than the red squirrel, making it both an easier prey item to catch, and also much more numerically available too” says Dr Sheehy.  An interesting element of the study was that where pine marten numbers were found to be high, such as the midlands, the grey squirrel was either absent or rare, even in sites where they had previously been very well established. “So much so that we eventually had to use a specially trained scent detection dog from the UK to help us find evidence of pine marten in the east where the grey squirrel was available to eat” says Dr Sheehy.    Dr Sheehy and Dr Lawton expect to have further insights from their research into the relationship between red and grey squirrel distribution and pine marten abundance published later this year. -Ends-

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