Monday, 27 September 2010

NUI Galway will hold their annual Open Days this Friday, 1 October and Saturday, 2 October. An important occasion for prospective students, Open Days provides an opportunity to talk to NUI Galway students and staff, explore the campus and find out more about courses of interest. Friday's Open Day, on 1 October, is aimed at school groups, although individuals are also very welcome to attend. Saturday's Open Day on 2 October, is for students thinking about university and their parents and families. With over 60 degree programmes on offer at NUI Galway, lecturers and Deans will be on hand at exhibition stands to answer questions on courses, CAO points and career paths. A talk specifically for parents at 11am on Saturday will give an overview of the career paths of NUI Galway graduates, as well as looking ahead to the job market of the future. Many of the newer courses at the University have been designed to be responsive to the changing needs of the employment market and meet the needs of the Smart Economy. The Open Days will feature a mix of taster sessions and short lectures to provide a feel for university life. Events will include hands-on science workshops, interactive demonstrations with cameras, media equipment and podcasts and interactive sessions with IT systems and robotics. According to NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, the Open Day is an ideal opportunity to find out exactly what the University has to offer: "Our Open Days offer prospective students the opportunity to meet our lecturers and find out about courses which might be of interest. NUI Galway has a long-standing reputation and dedicated staff, many of whom are world leaders in their fields, committed to delivering the highest quality education and student experience. The Open Day will help students make an informed decision when it comes to filling out the CAO form." During the Open Days, tours of the campus will allow prospective students to visit the Sports Centre, home to 45 student sports clubs, and Áras na Mac Léinn, the base for over 100 student societies. The tours will also take in, among other elements, accommodation and library facilities. For further details on NUI Galway Open Days, visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/opendays/. -Ends-

Monday, 27 September 2010

NUI Galway today (Monday, 27 September) launches a new website which aims to educate travellers to high altitude and their healthcare professionals about the effects of altitude on the human body. The website was developed by Dr Gerard Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine and Medical Education at NUI Galway, in collaboration with medical students completing the special study module in High Altitude Medicine. The website www.highaltitudemedicine.ieprovides useful information on the physiological effects of altitude and acclimatisation to high altitude environments. It also includes information and advice on the recognition, management and prevention of high altitude illness, and useful facts about aviation medicine. There is also a collection of referenced essays on the historical aspects of high altitude medicine, adaptations of native high altitude populations, and the effects of high altitude training on elite sports performance. There are also useful updates on the website on important research findings in high altitude medicine from the published literature as well as links to other relevant websites. A novel feature of the website is a video demonstration on the use of a portable hyperbaric chamber, which is a sealed chamber that lowers the altitude by increasing the ambient barometric pressure in an effort to increase the oxygen levels in the blood of a victim suffering from high altitude illness. The video was filmed and edited by the students themselves. Dr Flaherty, who is an experienced travel medicine physician with a particular interest in high altitude medicine, explains: "Travel to high altitude destinations, especially in the Alps, the Andes, the Himalayas and East Africa, has become a popular vacation option for people of all ages. The highly specialised information required to travel safely to high altitude is often not accessible to travellers or their healthcare professionals. We identified a need for a non-commercial educational website which would help to ease the anxiety associated with travel to high places and hopefully make such travel safer and more enjoyable." The website will become a valuable learning resource for medical students at NUI Galway and other educational institutions as well as trekkers, mountaineers and healthcare professionals offering them pre-travel health advice. Dr Flaherty, who is President-elect of the Travel Medicine Society of Ireland and a Fellow and external examiner of the Faculty of Travel Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow, added: "This is an example of how our innovative special study module programme at the School of Medicine in NUI Galway is capturing the imagination of our medical students and the wider public. The students learned a lot about teamwork, attention to detail, original scientific writing and responsibility from preparing material for our website. These are all essential attributes for our medical doctors of the future." -Ends-

Monday, 27 September 2010

The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway will host a number of events as part of Maths Week Ireland from 9 to16 October. During this week, various fun activities have been organised to promote awareness, appreciation and understanding of maths among the general public. On Monday, 11 October, one of Spain s best known mathematicians- Fernando Blasco who is also a magician, television personality and author of several books, will give a talk in the Colm O hEocha Theatre, Arts Millennium Building at 7pm. The talk is open to the general public, and he will perform some tricks involving elementary mathematics. Topics such as prime numbers, sudoku, which are Japanese number puzzles, and the Rubik s cube are among the facets of mathematics to be explored. On the following day, Fernando will perform more of his magic and maths aimed specifically at primary and secondary school audiences. During the second half of the week, there will be several special maths workshops held to highlight the importance, usefulness and enjoyment of mathematics. These workshops will be aimed at primary and secondary school students. Topics explored at these sessions will include: "How Julius Caesar used maths to protect his empire"; "How blind people do and read maths", delivered by Dr David O Keeffe and an exploration of Einstein's famous theory entitled "Special Relativity Made Easy" by Dr Patrick Browne, both of the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, at the University. NUI Galway's Dr David O'Keeffe says: "Maths can often be a bit of a mystery to the wider public, a subject that may feel inaccessible to them. But in actual fact, it doesn t need to be the case. Everywhere around us, maths is in use. When you strip away the details on how modern technology operates; for example mobile phones, iPods, computers etc., it all boils down to doing mathematics. The Maths Week events in NUI Galway will act as a bridge to connect young and old with maths in a fun and interactive way. Maths is more than something that remains in the clutches of academia and we want to show people that it can be useful to everyone." Schools throughout Galway are encouraged to participate in these special events to make maths accessible to a wider audience. Maths Week Ireland is a partnership of universities, institutes and groups working together to promote awareness, appreciation and understanding of mathematics to all. From a national perspective, events will be happening at institutes of technology, universities, museums, libraries, visitor centres and other venues. -Ends-

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

NUI Galway invites graduates from the classes of 1970 and 1980 to attend a reunion day on Saturday, 9 October. The reunion will begin at 3pm in the Quadrangle with a reception and photo exhibition, followed by a bus tour of campus. The celebrations will continue later that evening in the Hotel Meyrick on Eyre Square with a reunion dinner. A 60s/70s/80s disco will follow to round off the evening with some musical memories. JB Terrins, Director of Alumni Relations at NUI Galway, encourages alumni to come along: "Reunions are special opportunities for graduates to revisit NUI Galway and renew old acquaintances. Many alumni from the classes of 1970 and 1980 have already booked their places and many are returning from outside of Galway to be here. These events come around only every decade and our alumni never regret grabbing this chance to roll back the years with old friends". The Alumni Association at NUI Galway serves 70,000 alumni worldwide with an extensive range of programmes administered by the Alumni Office. These include alumni groups, both national and international, publications, reunions and alumni awards. Visit www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends for further details. For further information on the reunion or to book your place contact Colm O'Dwyer in the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Moffetts Restaurant at NUI Galway has been listed in the top five restaurants in Ireland in Institutional Catering by the Hotel & Catering Review Gold Medal Awards. Moffetts is operated by Masterchefs Hospitality, a brand leader in Fine Dining who also operate three other outlets on Campus. A team of expert judges travelled all over the four provinces of Ireland during the summer months seeking out the best in the business. "What makes these awards so special is we are assessed by our peers, experts in the industry, and it reflects a tremendous effort by our team lead by General Manager Grainne Barrett and Head Chef Paul Gannon. We work hard to maintain very high standards of food and service and we are delighted that out efforts have been recognised" said Managing Director Pat O' Sullivan. Moffetts Restaurant opens from 8.30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday and is available for private bookings outside of these hours. Tel 091 525423. -Ends-

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

NUI Galway will be honoured at Music for Galway's 30th Anniversary Fundraising Gala Reception and Concert which takes place on Saturday, 16 October in the Town Hall Theatre. Proceedings start with a pre-concert reception at 7.15pm followed by the concert at 8pm. The Music for Galway 30th Anniversary Fundraising Gala Reception and Concert will celebrate all that is best in music in Ireland West and beyond, and marks three decades of international concert seasons in Galway. On this milestone occasion, honours will be conferred on NUI Galway for its 30 years of generous support, and on Erika Casey, founder member of Music for Galway. Operatic arias and duets will be performed by Metropolitan Opera baritone Rodion Pogossov who will be joined by soprano Evelina Dobraceva and pianist Dearbhla Collins. John Behan RHA has donated a bronze cast sculpture, 'Cellist', inspired by Adrian Mantu, cellist with Galway Ensemble in Residence ConTempo Quartet, and this sculpture will be auctioned off on the night along with jewellery donated from Cobwebs. Raffle prizes include an original John Behan print, a night at the Renvile House Hotel, and tickets to the Live from the MET at the EYE cinema including champagne from the g hotel. Tickets are €30 and are available from the Town Hall Theatre booking office at 091 569777 or www.tht.ie. For further details please contact Music for Galway at 091 705962 or info@musicforgalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 20 September 2010

NUI Galway is delighted with the news that it has retained its position in the Sunday Times University Guide. Having won the inaugural Sunday Times University Guide 'University of the Year' in 2002 and again in 2009, NUI Galway cites success in CAO figures and in the recent PRTLI Awards as contributors to its position in the University Guide. Speaking about the announcement, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "It is very gratifying to have held our position, following our designation last year as University of the Year and coming in the same week as we have increased our position in the QS World University Ranking. This validation of the work and reputation of NUI Galway has been further substantiated by our recent funding success in the Irish Government s recent Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) and by the significant increases in demand for our courses, as evidenced in our CAO figures. Our initiatives to build strategic alliances with partners such as University of Limerick and Georgia Institute of Technology highlight our commitment to engaging with the needs of our region, the national economy and the government's strategy for the Smart Economy. Our strong record of industry collaboration and world-class research in fields such as biomedicine, renewable energy, and internet technologies are proof of this commitment". Dr Browne continued: "In a difficult economic climate, with significant staff and budget cuts, I am proud that NUI Galway continues to build on our international reputation for academic excellence". NUI Galway extends their congratulations to Dublin City University on being named the 'Sunday Times Irish University of the Year 2010', to Cork IT on being named the best Institute, and to IT Sligo, named 'most improved' Higher Education Institution and wishes them all every success for the year ahead. -Ends-

Monday, 20 September 2010

"Developing a New Paradigm- Trust and Confidence in Children's Services" NUI Galway will host a seminar entitled "Developing a New Paradigm- Trust and Confidence in Children's Services" which will take place on Tuesday, 28 September at 6pm. The seminar will be comprised of a panel and open discussion exploring the challenges and solutions of child and family services in Ireland. The seminar is jointly hosted by the University's Masters in Social Work and the Child and Family Research Centre at the School of Political Science and Sociology. The panel of Irish experts in the field of children's services who will offer their reflections on future directions of children's services include: Michelle Clarke, Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs; Geoff Costello, Social Worker; Fergus Finlay, Barnardos Children's Charity; Jennifer Gargan, Irish Association of Young People in Care (IAYPC) and Ursula Kilkelly, founder member of the Irish Youth Justice Alliance and Law Lecturer in UCC. The panel discussion will be opened to the audience which will be composed of frontline practitioners, managers, academics and other stakeholders and will be followed by a structured question and answer session. The seminar will be of relevance to anyone with an active interest in or for those working in the child and family sector in Ireland. It will offer a space to reflect on the challenges at a time when the sector faces both criticism and change. The session will be chaired by NUI Galway's Professor of Social Work, Bríd Featherstone. Commenting on the event, Professor Featherstone says: "This is a tumultuous time for child and family services in Ireland. At NUI Galway, we want to contribute to current debates and try and think a little differently about future directions. We are particularly concerned that, in times of financial constraint, we use resources wisely and that they are primarily focused on ensuring that families receive timely and appropriate help from skilled and well supported practitioners". -Ends-

Monday, 20 September 2010

The ninth annual NUI Galway Volunteering Fair will take place on Wednesday, 29 September, in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn from 1-5pm. With over 2,000 students, staff and members of the general public expected to attend, the Fair will be officially opened Galway City Mayor Michael Crowe. Over 70 charities and community organisations will showcase the wide range of volunteering opportunities. The Fair is part of a week-long celebration of volunteering at NUI Galway, the culmination of which will coincide with the National Day of Volunteering on Friday, 1 October. Lorraine Tansey is the Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway: "Students are actively seeking volunteering prospects with homework clubs in local schools, fundraising for national charities, befriending people with a disability, or volunteering abroad. Students benefit enormously from getting involved and gain valuable experience, while bringing energy, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn". Exhibitors at the Volunteering Fair will include: Big Brother/Big Sister, Foróige, Galway Simon Community, Enable Ireland, Brothers of Charity, COPE Galway and Positive Mental Health. Lorraine Tansey added: "We are delighted to not only welcome community organisations to highlight their work and opportunities for volunteers but also to welcome members of the public onto campus". Through NUI Galway's volunteer programme, ALIVE, students can access an online database of volunteering opportunities. The programme also includes a series of workshops to help students make the most of their volunteering experience. At the end of the academic year students can apply for an ALIVE Certificate which is awarded by NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, at a special ceremony in recognition of their commitment to volunteering. To book a stand or for further information, please contact the ALIVE office on 091 493823 or email alive@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Friday, 17 September 2010

NUI Galway student Melanie Hennessy, from Cloughleigh, Co. Clare, has been selected by the Junior Chamber International as one of their 2010 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World. JCI honours 10 outstanding people under the age of 40 each year and Melanie will receive her award in the category of Humanitarian and/or Voluntary Leadership. Melanie, a 21 year-old medical student, has helped set up a school in Nepal. She also established her own University society, Draíocht, to generate funds to build an orphanage for the children of Nepal where she is currently working on improving the lives of these children. She also set up another charity TEAM Nepal, which she runs with a friend. Melanie returned to Nepal earlier this year with a group of 17 volunteers where they created Walking Hospitals, where volunteers walk with the local doctors to different villages to help those in need. After her initial nomination by NUI Galway earlier this year, Melanie was named as one of Ireland's Outstanding Young People of the Year, before being selected as a 2010 JCI Outstanding Young Person of the World. Speaking about Melanie's achievement, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, said: "Through her activities as a dedicated humanitarian and an advocate for the welfare and protection of orphans in Nepal, Melanie has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to volunteering activities. As a medical student at NUI Galway, her studies and her voluntary work show a real concern with improving human suffering. Volunteerism and service learning are hallmarks of a NUI Galway education. NUI Galway is the first Irish university to introduce Service Learning to its curriculum. Students such as Melanie, from all disciplines, avail of opportunities to volunteer, and in many cases gain credit for their civic engagement activities. Melanie, in her fundraising work and in her efforts to improve the medical and social conditions of children in Nepal, has shown a commendable energy and talent for social action and I would like to congratulate her on this tremendous achievement". Melanie and the nine other awardees will be recognised at the 2010 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons ceremony at the JCI World Congress in Osaka, Japan this November. -

Friday, 17 September 2010

Researchers at NUI Galway have published an article examining the importance of culture and the arts to Galway City's economic and social development ahead of today's (Friday, 17 September, 2010) national day of action on the importance of the Arts to Ireland's economic recovery. The publication entitled - Culture and creativity: A case study from the West of Ireland was published this week in the international journal Cities. In the article, researchers Dr Patrick Collins of NUI Galway's Centre for Innovation and Structural Change and Dr Frances Fahy of the School of Geography review cultural policy in Ireland and focus on the production of culture and gauge its assimilation into the economic life of Galway City by looking at various facets of the city's economic structure. The issues highlighted by the researchers are exceptionally relevant in light of today's national day of action organised by the 'National Campaign for the Arts', an organisation made up of individuals and groups working in the Arts in Ireland. The day of action aims to highlight the fundamental importance of the Arts to Ireland's economic recovery. The authors argue that Galway provides interesting insights for policy and practice as well as cultural and creative activity arising out of place specific circumstances. The research explores the changing role of culture and draws attention to the tensions surrounding the perceptions of ownership of culture and questions to what impact this will have regarding the city's sustainability into the future. Dr Collins commented on the importance of the Arts for the city of Galway saying: "Aspects of culture and the arts have filtered down to form many economic, urban and social facets we recognise in Galway today. The positive spillovers in terms of quality of life, place competitiveness and urban morphology are seen as crucial to prospective investors and visitors to the city". -Ends-

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

NUI Galway is offering open nights at the Imbusch Observatory in Dangan, on 13 and 27 October, 10 and 24 November and 8 December at 7pm. An informative hour-long lecture will be followed by a hands-on viewing of the sky by night, weather permitting. The Imbusch Astronomical Observatory was opened in 2004 and is used by students studying Physics and Astronomy at NUI Galway. The observatory is equipped with a modern computer controlled 16" telescope and camera, and a radio telescope with a hydrogen line spectrometer, which is able to map out and measure the velocity of the sun and the Milky Way. There is also a 10" portable telescope - computer controlled – for visual observations of planets, star clusters, nebulae and other bright objects. Admission is limited to two per person and is strictly by ticket only, on a first come first served basis. All bookings are by email and those interested should send requests to tara.shanahan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 13 September 2010

The Religion of Journalism: Our God is Reality – What's There? The MA in Journalism Programme at NUI Galway has announced that international television journalist, Dave Marash will give the first lecture as part of the 2010/11 Guest Speaker Programme. The title of the lecture is "The Religion of Journalism: Our God is Reality – What's There?" and will take place on Tuesday, 21 September at 12 pm in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre in the Arts Millennium Building. The event is free and open to the public. Dave Marash is expected to draw on his wealth of experience as an American television journalist to discuss the nature and best practices of journalism and the role the industry plays in a democratic society as well as a range of other topics. Bernadette O'Sullivan, Director of the MA in Journalism at NUI Galway, says: "The Guest Speaker programme is an integral part of the MA course content. It gives students the opportunity to engage with, and exchange ideas with working journalists and editors. To kick start with someone of Dave Marash's calibre and range of experience, at a time when so many media changes and challenges are evolving in front of our eyes, is exciting, not just for the journalism students at NUI Galway but also for those interested in media, politics and critical thinking". For over sixteen years, Dave worked at ABC News on Nightline, a highly-influential nightly current affairs programme. In his time there, he covered major stories that took him to such places as the Former Yugoslavia, Sudan, Honduras and Northern Ireland. Before Nightline, he spent more than a decade in local news and sports, and worked at ABC's 20/20 and CBS Radio. The broadcaster won an Overseas Press Club Award for his 1972 radio reports on the Munich Olympic Games terrorist attack, and also received an Emmy Award for his Nightline coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing and for his coverage of the explosion of TWA Flight 800. Dave Marash attracted considerable attention when he joined Al Jazeera English (AJE) to become the network's Washington DC anchor. This was a significant move for such a high profile journalist. Al Jazeera English is a 24-hour English-language news and current affairs channel, headquartered in the Middle East, that reports from the region and the developing world back to the Western World, and from the southern to the northern hemisphere. Due to various perceptions of the channel's output, AJE has no major cable or satellite distribution deal in the United States but it is available on the Web. The event is sponsored by the NUI Galway campus company www.socialmedia.net, a web-based publisher, focusing on developments in technology, innovation, and social media. Its mission is to cover the next phase of the Web, making it accessible to both technical and non-technical readers alike by providing, a positive view of technological developments in the online world, a place where interested parties can contribute to articles, and a place to find some useful and emerging ideas in the area of the Web. -Ends-

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

For the third consecutive year, NUI Galway has increased its position in the QS World University Rankings. Rising 11 places to 232nd in this year's ranking, NUI Galway is one of only two Irish universities to move up the league table. Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, said of the achievement: "This is excellent news for NUI Galway and a fitting acknowledgement of the exceptional developments in teaching and research that have taken place at this University in recent years. Although all ranking systems have their limitations in that they seek to measure performance across a narrow range of criteria, the QS World University Rankings is one of the best regarded evaluations of higher education in the world, and it is great to see NUI Galway making its mark on that ranking. This increase to 232nd in the world, is the third consecutive jump for NUI Galway, and represents an increase of an incredible 252 places in the last three years. This result confirms NUI Galway's position as one of Ireland's leading universities, and a growing force in research on the international stage". President Browne added: "It is clear that Irish universities are competing in a global market now. In spite of the economic difficulties the country faces, we need to continue to invest in teaching and research if we are to continue to attract the best staff and students and to maintain and enhance Ireland's position within higher education globally". NUI Galway also remains in the top 300 ranking of universities for Arts and Humanities (274) for the second year in a row, in the QS World University Rankings' discipline categories. The QS World University Rankings have been running since 2004 and are amongst the highest profile global evaluations of comparative university quality. The World University Rankings were conceived to present a multi-faceted view of the relative strengths of the world's leading universities. The calculations leading to the QS World University Rankings are based on data gathered in the following categories: Academic Peer Review, Employer Review, International Faculty Ratio, International Student Ratio, Student Faculty Ratio, and Citations per Faculty (citation data supplied by Scopus). -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Pat Carey T.D. launched the second phase of a national syllabus for Irish at third level at an event in Dublin on Monday, 6 September. The project is directed by An Mheitheal um Theagasc na Gaeilge ar an Tríú Leibhéal, a support group established in 2008 and comprising representatives of Irish Departments in two universities and other third level institutions on both sides of the border. The work is co-funded by Foras na Gaeilge and the participating colleges. With the support of Foras na Gaeilge, a Project Manager was re-employed to design a syllabus and teaching and learning materials for students of Irish in the second year of the BA or B Ed programmes. A first year syllabus and accompanying teaching and learning materials were published in September 2009, also with the support of Foras na Gaeilge. Professor Máirín Nic Eoin of the Department of Irish, St. Patrick's College and Dr John Walsh of the Department of Irish, NUI Galway, are Joint Directors of the project. Professor Nic Eoin said: "I am extremely proud that we now have a syllabus and teaching materials available for both first and second years. The Project Manager, Ailín Ní Chonchúir, has worked very hard to develop attractive multi-media resources. We are looking forward very much to moving on to the final phase of the project, the development of a third year syllabus, once we have secured appropriate funding". According to Dr Walsh of NUI Galway: "Our group, An Mheitheal um Theagasc na Gaeilge ar an Tríú Leibhéal, are pioneers in the teaching of Irish. Everything we have done has been based on the European Framework of Reference for Language Learning and is in tune with the latest best practice regarding the teaching and learning of languages. We believe that this work is very important particularly in the context of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language which is to be published soon. The syllabus and teaching and learning materials are published electronically, and are available on the Project website www.teagascnagaeilge.ie, which is administered by Dr Caoimhín Ó Dónaill of the University of Ulster. The launch took place in St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra, in Dublin, where the Project Manager is based. -Ends-

Monday, 6 September 2010

The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway have once again joined forces with PC manufacturers Lenovo and Compupac to present engineering and informatics students the opportunity to purchase a high performance laptop at a 40% discounted price. This is the second year in a row the University has provided this scheme, the only university in Ireland and the UK to have established such an initiative. The initiative was introduced to ensure that all students within the engineering and informatics disciplines have access to a quality laptop with the capability of meeting the demands and challenges of a student on campus, as well as having the performance specifications required to run advanced applications. The College of Engineering and Informatics, in conjunction with Lenovo and Compupac, have identified a specific high performance laptop which is specially built to last the four-year duration of the degree programmes. Each laptop is preloaded with software tailored for engineering and informatics which is essential for the students. The University has also negotiated a credit agreement with the local Bank of Ireland branch which will allow students the option of paying for the laptop over three years. When students purchase the Lenovo ThinkPad T410 Notebook they will have access to an introductory workshop, on-campus support services, next working-day consulting facilities, a four-year warranty and four-year accidental damage insurance. Students will also have access to the 85 wireless hotspots across the NUI Galway campus. A new addition to this year's scheme is the inclusion of 3G, making mobile computing a reality, allowing the student to work anywhere anytime. Speaking about the initiative, Aodh Dalton, Chief Technical Officer, Electrical and Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway, said: "The College of Engineering and Informatics is delighted with the high-performance Laptop Programme as it gives our students a distinct advantage with their studies. This initiative also ensures that the students have and familiarise themselves with the tools used in the industry". For more information on the Laptop Programme visit http://nuiglaptops4students.compupacit.ie/ or contact Aodh Dalton at aodh.dalton@nuigalway.ie or 091 495288. -Ends-

Monday, 6 September 2010

Five NUI Galway graduates have volunteered to travel to the village of Suji in Tanzania to teach at a secondary school this October. The volunteers have been co-ordinated by Maureen Mescall from the College of Business and Economics at NUI Galway and in association with the charity Tanzanian Village Renewal. The volunteers will spend a year in the school in Suji, which currently has only two teachers for the 450 pupils. The NUI Galway volunteers are Jim Lovett from Newcastle, Galway, who is currently studying for a PhD in Mathematics and is also a Bachelor of Arts and Masters in Arts and Literature graduate; Higher Diploma in Business Studies graduates Áine Standún from Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo; Belinda Crossan from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal; Aisling Mitchell from Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim; and Bachelor of Commerce graduate Aaron Cunningham from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Speaking about the NUI Galway volunteers, Maureen Mescall said: "The students in Suji are very lucky to be gaining the services of these very fine graduates of NUI Galway and I know from experience that they will be welcomed and cared for by the people of Suji". Tanzanian Village Renewal is a registered charity and was set up by Maureen and her husband Michael. The Mescalls first travelled to Tanzania in 1999 on holiday where they met Dr Margaret Hogan, a Clinical Psychologist working at the National Hospital Muhimbili in Dar es Salaam. Impressed by the work carried out by Dr Hogan and her team, Maureen returned to Dar es Salaam to volunteer over the summer months. While volunteering the Mescalls were asked if they could help to carry out small projects and with this in mind, set up the registered charity Tanzanian Village Renewal. In March 2008 the couple led a team of electrician and plumbers to carry out work in the village of Vikrouti in Tanzania, where they wired houses, schools, outhouses and repaired broken wells. The work of the volunteers resulted in the locals having lights in their homes, toilet and shower facilities, access to television and radio, as well as being able to grow their own vegetables. Tanzanian Village Renewal is once again getting ready to lead a team of builders and carpenters to build an extension to the school in Suji. If you would like to volunteer, or to offer your support, contact Maureen at 087 7981788. -Ends-

Monday, 6 September 2010

Former EU Commissioner Pádraig Flynn will deliver a lecture entitled 'EU Policy Entrepreneurship – How EU disability policy was made and the lessons for the Lifecourse' at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 22 September. The event will take place at 6pm in Room MY129, Áras Moyola, and is part of a series of public lectures being organised by the new Lifecourse Institute at NUI Galway. The former Commissioner will discuss the formation of EU disability law and policy in the mid-1990s which took place when he was Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs in Brussels. He will be joined by Terry Stewart, a former Director in the European Commission and responsible for disability policy development. Former Commissioner Flynn will also be joined on the panel by Dr Arthur O'Reilly, former Chief Executive of the National Rehabilitation Board and the National Disability Authority, who played a leading role in disability policy development at both Irish and European levels at the relevant time. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, said: "This is an exciting event for NUI Galway. The mid-1990s was a turning point for European disability policy. The history should not be lost – in part because it tells how things can still be achieved even in bad times". Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the Child and Family Research Centre, and current Chair of the Lifecourse Institute at NUI Galway, commented: "It is important for people to understand how advances for one group can have policy and tactical lessons for other groups including the elderly, families and children. I would urge those interested in the future of European elderly policy and family policy to attend as well as those interested in disability". This event will be an opportunity to reflect on the role Ireland played in advancing disability policy at EU level and discuss how future policy-development, both in Ireland and in Europe can continue to advance the rights of people with disabilities. The Lifecourse Institute brings together the research and educational programmes of three Centres at NUI Galway involved with public policy aspects of the human lifecourse, the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, the Centre for Disability Law and Policy and the Child and Family Research Centre. The lecture is open to all memebers of the public. For further details please contact Dr Eilionóir Flynn in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at eilionoir.flynn@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 6 September 2010

NUI Galway is delighted to announce the 2010/2011 'Arts in Action' Programme, which invites students to engage with the creative arts during their studies. Aimed at students across the campus, 'Arts in Action' offers access to a variety of international-standard arts events throughout the academic year. New additions and highlights this year include an exhibition from the Architectural Association of Ireland, an NUI Galway/Telegael digital media exhibition and a contemporary opera from the Italian ensemble Gatto Marte. Following from the success of last year's programme, the 2010/2011 programme will see the return of the popular 'Arts in Action' Traditional Arts concert in both semesters, with Frankie Gavin featuring this October and Máirtín O'Connor with Contempo in March of 2011. NUI Galway's continuing commitment to the arts, its contribution to the many current initiatives on and off campus, is founded in the strong belief that the relationship between academic studies and the arts is significant. Engagement with the Arts shapes future lives, develops highly qualified graduates, active citizens and leaders in many fields of endeavour. Mary McPartlan, Director of the Arts in Action Programme at NUI Galway, explains: "Arts in Action is an original and unique programme which has now become part of the University's academic schedule. Its core commitment is to make creative arts of international standards of excellence available through embedding the arts into the academic life of the student". Several new modules associated with this year's programme include Medicine and the Arts, (Clinical Sciences) Exploring the Arts, (Discipline of English) The Art of Good Communication, (J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics), Access to the Arts, (ACCESS programme) and volunteers on the ALIVE programme. The Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, Dr Edward Herring, said: "The exploration of the creative arts has been aligned historically with the academic study of literature and the humanities. The new developments at NUI Galway extend well beyond the confines of these traditional affiliations, embracing the College of Business, Public Policy, and Law and the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Medicine and the Arts is the University's first foray into the field of music therapy while Business and the Arts explores the connections between the creative and commercial sectors, which will be vital to the success of the smart economy". Further information can be viewed at http://www.nuigalway.ie/arts/artsinaction.html or join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Arts.in.Action.NUI.Galway. -Ends-

Friday, 3 September 2010

A researcher at NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) has won the first prize at the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Mashup Challenge, which seeks technologies that combine existing web resources into a new and useful service. Dr Alexandre Passant, Postdoctoral Researcher and unit leader at DERI, developed and built an innovative web-based music recommendation system* called dbrec. The core new feature of dbrec is its capability to explain recommendations to its users, in that with a simple click of a mouse a user can understand why particular information is related to others in the search, for example, two artists may be linked by the fact that they are in the same music genre or perhaps that they both play guitar and are on the same recording label. dbrec relies on DBpedia, a structure version of Wikipedia, to compute the recommendations and makes them available using Web standards so that new applications can be built on top of it. The linkages between search items are made possible by using Semantic Web and Linked Data technologies, two major trends regarding the evolution of the Web, that are actively researched in DERI within various national and international projects as well as standardisation activities. The Semantic Web is largely concerned with improving connections in the World Wide Web to make more sense of the data that is published online. Award winner Dr Alexandre Passant explains: "dbrec shows the new and exciting possibilities offered by Semantic Web and Linked Data in terms of open recommendations systems and explanatory user-interfaces. It also demonstrates the value of Linked Data to build mash-up applications and how to make use of structured information using Web standards". The AI mashup prize was awarded at the closing ceremony of the Extended Semantic Web Conference 2010 by Elsevier, a leading publisher in science and health information, following a demonstration during a public session at the conference, and this first prize is the result of the votes from the attendees. DERI's impact on Semantic Web and Linked Data was demonstrated further at the conference when Dr Passant picked up a second award in the Semantic Web Scripting Challenge for sparqlPuSH, awarded by Talis, which was collaborative work between Dr Passant and members of the Kno.e.sis Center at Wright State University, Ohio. sparqlPuSH provides an infrastructure for real-time information monitoring on the Semantic Web, and can consequently be used in scenarios such as emergency management. Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI at NUI Galway, said: "These recent prizes provide further confirmation of the high quality of research at this University and in Ireland, leading to innovative products and services". -Ends-

Friday, 3 September 2010

The first annual School in Cinema, Human Rights and Advocacy is being held this week at NUI Galway, under the auspices of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media and the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Human rights activists, film-makers and interested students from Ireland and various parts of the world attended the course, which consisted of a varied programme of workshops, seminars and film screenings with established film-makers and academics. "Our aim is to widen the horizons of professionals in the film, documentary, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and media sector, reflecting on the use of film and video advocacy as an instrument for enhancing human rights awareness on critical social, political and environmental issues, and to influence change", explained Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. The programme is directed by Nick Danziger, a leading practitioner in the field of human rights documentary making, and Claudia Modonesi, an expert in the organisation and management of cultural events related to human rights. "A wide ranging group of experts in the field have gathered at NUI Galway to discuss bringing other voices into the media. At a point where there are significant current crises in the world financial and ecological systems that could not be more urgent work", said Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media. This team of facilitators also collaborated in the successful Summer School in Cinema and Human Rights that ran from 2005 to 2008 in Venice at the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation. The summer course has been made possible thanks to financial support from the Galway University Foundation. -Ends-

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The third annual meeting of GlycoScience Ireland, organised and sponsored by the Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster (AGRC) of NUI Galway and the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT), is being held this week in Dublin. GlycoScience Ireland is an academic organization which aims to build support and promote Glycosciences research in Ireland and to provide visibility and collaborative opportunities for Irish glycoscientists with international academic and industrial communities. Building upon the success of the last two meetings, this year will continue to look at trends in Glycosciences taking a broader international view that will highlight Irish science internationally and facilitate Irish based scientists in networking with many global leaders in this field. Professor Lokesh Joshi, Stokes Professor of Glycosciences and Director of the AGRC at NUI Galway, said: "The importance of glycoscience in biomedical and clinical research is being widely acknowledged. Glycoscience Ireland is bringing Irish and International researchers from academic, clinical and industrial sectors together to collaborate and focus on translational projects. Glycoscience Ireland and the community of glycoscience researchers in Ireland are working together to promote Ireland as a hub of glycoscience and related research". Attendees include representatives from the major Irish funding agencies, Irish academic institutions, Irish and multinational Biopharmaceutical and Biotechnology industries, and a distinguished panel of speakers from the US and Europe. This year s conference will include poster prizes donated by BioImages Ltd. -Ends-

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Pocket Anatomy, a Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology campus-based company, has launched Pocket Body - the latest application (app) for medical students and other health care professionals on Apple's App Store. This medical software, featuring comprehensive human musculoskeletal anatomy content by means of a multi-layered sequence of high-definition photo-realistic illustrations of the human body, is a breakthrough in human anatomy education. Pocket Body was developed in conjunction with the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at NUI Galway. Pocket Body features a fully anatomically accurate human character with nine layers of musculoskeletal content, enabling the user to navigate from the skin layer through the superficial to deep musculature, and on through to ligaments and the skeleton. In each layer, structures are pinned for identification and associated with each pin is additional concise relevant information including clinical notes. All of the information is presented in an interactive, mobile and accessible format which takes full use of the features of the device on which the app runs (iPhone, iPad or iTouch). This is a marked contrast with the two-dimensional (2D) printed pictures and diagrams commonly used in the teaching of advanced human anatomy today. Additional features allow the user to make learning notes as they progress through the learning content, and also utilize the built-in quizzes as a self-test capability to assist in their learning and exam preparation. Pocket Body will assist medical and other health care students gain a deep understanding of human musculoskeletal anatomy and assist in examination preparation. By making comprehensive human musculoskeletal anatomy content available on demand it will also act as a continuing anatomy resource throughout their degree programme, and as a reference on into the professional workplace. Dr Brendan Wilkins, an anatomy lecturer based in the NUI Galway's College of Medicine and Health Sciences worked on the development of Pocket Body with a team of third and fourth year medical students and together they specified and wrote all of the content within the app. Combined with the software design expertise of Pocket Anatomy, the result is an innovative and exciting app which will serve as a supplement to the lectures, classes and complementary texts used by the medical and health care student and provide a detailed source of human anatomical content, on demand, through the student's own portable device. Mark Campbell, CEO of eMedia and creators of Pocket Anatomy says: "We are excited with the launch of Pocket Body, which has been co-developed by medical students for medical students. This new software enables medical students to visualise complex anatomical structures in a novel format, thereby assisting students to gain a deep understanding of the human musculoskeletal system through the use of interactive high definition photo-realistic illustrations of the human body.As medical students and educators continue to embrace new technologies in their teaching and learning practices, Pocket Anatomy will continue to push the boundaries in the use of new technologies for the purposes of medical education". "This project demonstrates how SME s can leverage local academic expertise within Universities and IoT s to accelerate the product development cycle" said Mark Campbell. Pocket Body is now available for the iPad, iPhone and iTouch. To purchase and download Pocket Body please visit: http://www.PocketAnatomy.com/iTunes.php. -Ends-

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Educationally disadvantaged studentsf chances of going to college have just been given a boost with the offer of over 1650 college places through the DARE and HEAR initiatives. This is a 61% increase on the number of offers made in 2009. The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) and the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) give a points reduction to disadvantaged students and students with disabilities thus increasing their chances of success in getting to Third Level. In the run up to the Leaving Cert 2010 the schemes were integrated into the CAO application system and opened up to secondary school students nationwide, with a record number of applications being received. The accesscollege.ie website was also launched as part of a targeted marketing campaign. Development of the schemes was supported by the Department of Educationfs Strategic Innovation Fund. These latest developments underscore the continuing commitment of the Irish Higher Education sector to tackling social exclusion. In June 2008 the HEA National Access Office launched the National Action Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2008]2013, setting out ambitious targets and equity of access measures for the next 5 years. Those targets include an entry rate of at least 54% for all socio-economic groups by 2020 and a doubling of the number of students in 3rd level with sensory, physical and multiple disabilities by 2013. According to Ann OfBrien, Chairperson of the DARE and HEAR Schemes, gthe significant increase in the number of offers made this year is a welcome sign that these schemes are on track to meet national targets. It also offers encouragement to students from these groups to begin considering higher education as a real option in the future." Access schemes are effective in overcoming the effects of disadvantage as shown by the recently published Trinity Access Programme (TAP) report which shows that the quality of degrees attained by access graduates mirrors those attained by other graduates. However, continuing efforts are needed in this area as shown in recent Geary Institute research which demonstrated that students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds have lower earnings expectations. gThe current economic climate reinforces the importance of tackling exclusion, said IUA Access Manager Maureen Dunne, as disadvantaged groups are even less likely to get jobs in a tight labour market, and this problem is magnified greatly for people with lower educational attainment. The HEAR and DARE initiatives help overcome this problem by boosting access to college and helping disadvantaged students fulfil their true potentialh. -Ends-

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, has paid tribute to the late Mick Lally, former actor and graduate of the University. A native of Tourmakeady, Co Mayo, Mick Lally, graduated from the University with a BA 1969, HDip in Ed 1970, and an Honorary MA in 1999 for his contribution to Irish theatre, at home and abroad. Dr James J. Browne, NUI Galway President, said: "The University offers its sincere condolences to Mick's family, many friends, and colleagues. Mick Lally was an outstanding actor of his generation, perhaps of any generation. We truly valued him as a graduate. His national and international reputation earned him the status as an icon of Irish theatre. An Irish speaker who served his native Mayo and country with complete commitment, it is our pleasure to have him associated with this University, Mick will be remembered fondly". In 1975 following from a successful summer of drama productions, three budding actors from the then UCG Dramasoc Garry Hynes, Marie Mullen and Mick Lally founded Druid Theatre Company. Druid went on to become an award-winning theatre company of international renown. Mick Lally was conferred with an Honorary Master of Arts, honoris causa, Degree on 27 October, 1999. -Ends-

Monday, 30 August 2010

NUI Galway will host two of the world's leading researchers in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cognitive Science at the Annual Irish Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science Conference (AICS) which will take place from today (Monday, 30 August) to Wednesday, 1 September. Professor Scott Kelso, USA and Professor Ulrik Brandes, Germany, are both very distinguished in the field. Artificial Intelligence is concerned with producing machines that perform tasks requiring intelligent behaviour. Cognitive Science is the study of mind and human intelligence, including computational models of human cognition. Josephine Griffith, Lecturer in Information Technology at NUI Galway, says: "Although Artificial Intelligence might sound abstract and futuristic, it has a surprisingly large number of practical real-world applications. When you search with Google, get a book recommendation on Amazon, play against the computer in an Xbox game or use speech recognition on a modern mobile phone, you are using Artificial Intelligence". Professor Scott Kelso, an Irish-born neuroscientist, encouraged a paradigm shift in the understanding of complex human behaviour. Prior to his work, many scientists thought that coordinated behaviour, such as picking up an object, was controlled by a central program that instructed components, like limbs, to behave together. Professor Kelso contended that the behaviour was self-organised and that the coordinated pattern emerged as the result of interactions among a vast number of connected elements. Professor Ulrik Brandes is a Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Konstanz, Germany. He is an expert on theory and analysis of social networks, which are the graphs of relationships between people who use services such as Facebook and Twitter. During his address he will question the effectiveness of current practice in many fields, including viral marketing and research assessment in terms of detecting the most influential of social economic and information networks. This long-running AICS conference series, established in 1988, allows participation from researchers across the island of Ireland and beyond. This year will feature 22 presentations from researchers from Irish Universities and Institutes of Technology, as well as a Student Symposium. The topics are diverse and will include: AI in computer games strategies, for robotic learning, clientism in Irish politics, AI for tracking human emotions, automatic recognition of sentiments expressed online and in reviews, understanding how people learn second languages, and interpretation of brain scans. Dr Michael Madden, Lecturer and Programme Director of the BSc in Information Technology at NUI Galway, also comments: "NUI Galway has a long-standing involvement and distinct expertise in both AI and Cognitive Science research. AI is an important branch of Computer Science, with Irish AI researchers publishing frequently in international AI conferences and journals. There have also been some notable successes in AI commercialisation in Ireland, including AI-related patents filed in several universities and some spin-out companies". -Ends-

Monday, 30 August 2010

Research on ageing led by Professor Tom Scharf, Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway, has been profiled in a new brochure that seeks to raise the profile of social science research in the UK. Published jointly by the Academy of Social Sciences, the British Society of Gerontology, and Age UK, the brochure was recently launched in the House of Commons, London and is part of the Making the Case for the Social Sciences series. The brochure highlights projects undertaken by researchers on ageing that have had a significant impact on public policy or social behaviour, and helped society to address some of the challenges that are associated with demographic change. The research by Professor Scharf is a study of the experiences of older people living in some of England's most disadvantaged urban communities. Having collected an array of information from older residents in neighbourhoods in London, Liverpool and Manchester, Professor Scharf drew from the older people's daily experiences of poverty, social isolation, loneliness, and crime to help shape public perceptions of the ageing of some of Britain's most disadvantaged citizens. This research has been used by charities, local authorities, and national government in their efforts to improve the quality of older people's lives. In particular, Professor Scharf's research has encouraged policy-makers to consider intervening earlier in individuals' lives, for example, at times of bereavement or when chronic health problems begin, in order to prevent the onset of disadvantage. Commenting on the research, Professor Scharf said: "It's more important now than ever before for scientists to emphasise the value of their work to a general audience. Policy makers often need good research evidence delivered in simple, jargon-free language. If researchers are to have a positive impact on policy, they have to think of new and creative ways to communicate their findings". Professor Scharf will speak about his research at a forthcoming seminar entitled Maximising the Impact of Research: Perspectives from Social Gerontology on Monday, 13 September at 12 noon in Room MY336, Áras Moyola at NUI Galway. The seminar is open to all. For further details on the seminar please contact the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at 091 495461 or icsg@nuigalway.ie. The Making the Case for the Social Sciences: Ageing brochure is available for download here. -Ends-

Monday, 30 August 2010

NUI Galway will host Ireland's largest surgical conference, the 35th Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium, from 3-4 September 2010. Dr Patrick Boland, a senior member of the Orthopaedic Service in the Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York Hospital, will deliver the Memorial Lecture at 5pm on the first day of the conference. The annual event provides a platform for healthcare professionals to present their research and clinical work and allows for the merging of both scientific and clinical information. It is named in memory of the Galway-born surgeon, Sir Peter Freyer, who performed the first successful surgical operation to remove an enlarged prostate in 1900. Dr Patrick Boland will speak on the topic: "Living with Metastatic Bone Cancer". He specialises in the management of malignant and benign tumours of the bone, including those of the spine and pelvis, and in soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities. Soft tissue sarcomas are particular types of malignant tumours which can develop from soft tissues like fat, muscle, nerves, fibrous tissues, blood vessels, or deep skin tissues. Dr Boland also has special training in limb salvage surgery, which is the removal of limb cancers while preserving the function of the limb. He has a special interest in the management of tumours of the sacrum, a large triangular bone located at the base of the spine and connected to the pelvis. Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway, Michael Kerin says: "We are delighted to welcome Dr Boland to our University. He is involved in such extensive research activities, including on-going clinical research in sacral tumours and in the assessment of quality of life in patients with metastatic bone cancer, that he offers a great insight in this important area of surgical medicine". On the second day of the Surgical Symposium, Brendan Moran, Consultant Surgeon at North Hampshire Hospital NHS Trust, Basingstoke, UK will present a lecture entitled: "The Learning Curve in Colorectal Cancer Surgery - Grappling with New Technology". -Ends-

Thursday, 26 August 2010

The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) and the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway have formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM), one of the leading institutes in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine in the USA. Speaking at the signing, Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the NFB, NUI Galway, said: "This agreement facilitates the establishment of student and faculty exchanges, research collaborations and the co-development of any specific tissue engineering and regenerative medicine-related projects which may have academic, clinical and commercial implications". The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is part of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The centre has built up a significant reputation in the development of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and is renowned for development from concept to translation in the clinic. Professor Timothy O'Brien, Director of REMEDI at NUI Galway, said: "I look forward to the potential that this agreement offers to both REMEDI and WFIRM to accelerate the translation of regenerative medicine from basic research to the clinic". The agreement between the institutions was established through Professor David Williams, who is based at Wake Forest University and who is also Scientific Advisor to the NFB and Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of NFB at NUI Galway. The NFB is a Science Foundation Ireland funded strategic research cluster which has established a critical mass of biomaterials research in Galway. -Ends-

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

NUI Galway has been granted funding for two research projects focussing on older people by The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI). The Centre recently granted four projects funding amounting to almost €300,000 on a national level, and NUI Galway projects account for half of them. The research is aimed at improving the lives of older people and informing future policy for an ageing population in Ireland. NUI Galway's Professor Eamon O' Shea, from the Irish Centre of Social Gerontology is Principal Investigator on "Social Exclusion and Older People in Diverse Rural Communities". This project brings together multidisciplinary researchers from NUI Galway and Queen's University Belfast with community organisations Rural Community Network and FORUM Letterfrack. The group will examine social exclusion among older people living in diverse rural areas and investigate ways to prevent social exclusion. The second project, also a collaboration between NUI Galway and Queens University Belfast, entitled: "Older Women Workers' Access to Pensions: Vulnerabilities, Perspectives and Strategies" will examine the position of older women workers, both rural and urban, in relation to their access to economic security, most particularly in the form of pensions. This is key policy consideration in Ireland due to the current economic and financial crisis. NUI Galway's Principal Investigator on this project is Dr Nata Duvvury, of the School of Political Science and Sociology. There are over one million people aged 60 or older living on the island of Ireland and this number is set to increase in the coming decades. This demographic shift will require creative policies to respond to the needs of an older population. New policies will, in turn, require improved research relating to ageing if they are to be well-designed and effective. The CARDI Grant Programme has funded 18 projects to date and aims to promote north-south research partnerships that bring together different subject areas to look at issues affecting older people in new ways. A focus of the programme is to support research that seeks to involve older people and to inform better policy making relating to ageing issues and older people. Professor Bob Stout, Queen's University Belfast, Co-chair of CARDI, said: "The four grant winners will examine crucial issues of concern for older people including social exclusion, financial security and health and social care. They also have a strong focus on the policy implications of their research work and show a commitment to partnership and interdisciplinary work, all of which underpin CARDI's mission". CARDI is a not for profit organisation developed by leaders from the ageing field across Ireland (North and South) including age focused researchers, academics, statutory, voluntary and community sector representatives with support from The Atlantic Philanthropies. It is overseen by a Steering Group and hosted by the Institute of Public Health in Ireland. For Further information go to www.cardi.ie/grantprogramme. -Ends-