Monday, 1 February 2016

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

Monday, 1 February 2016

Páraic Ó hOibicín, the newly appointed sean-nós Dancer-in-Residence at NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies, will deliver a series of five sean-nós dance workshops beginning on Wednesday, 10 February at 7pm in An Taibhdhearc. A native of Leitir Mucú, Connemara, Páraic is one of a generation of dancers who led the revival of sean-nós dance in the late twentieth century. Key to Páraic’s style of dancing is a faithful nod to older dancers and the tradition that he saw in his youth. The workshops are free and open to all. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. -ENDS- Ceardlanna Damhsa ar an Sean-nós Cuirfear tús le sraith ceardlann damhsa ar an sean-nós san Taibhdhearc are an 10 Feabhra ag 7pm. Is é Páraic Ó hOibicín atá ceaptha mar Rinceoir Cónaitheach in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh i mbliana a bheidh mar stiúrthóir na gceardlann. D'fhás Páraic suas i Leitir Mucú, i gConamara agus is ó Mháirtín Beag Ó Gríofa a fuair sé a chuid damhsa ar dtús. Tá Páraic dílis i gcónaí don seantraidisiún rince agus é ar dhuine desna damhsóirí is tábhachtaí in athbheochaint an tsean-nóis a tharla ag deireadh na haoise seo caite. Tá na ceardlanna saor isteach agus tá fáilte roimh chách. Is iad Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta agus An Chomhairle Ealaíon i bpáirt le hIonad an Léinn Éireannaigh atá ag maoiniú an togra seo. -Críoch-

Monday, 1 February 2016

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

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

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

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

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

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

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

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

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

Thursday, 4 February 2016

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

Thursday, 4 February 2016

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

Thursday, 4 February 2016

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

Monday, 8 February 2016

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

Monday, 8 February 2016

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

Monday, 8 February 2016

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

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

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

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

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

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

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

Thursday, 11 February 2016

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

Monday, 15 February 2016

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

Monday, 15 February 2016

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

Monday, 15 February 2016

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

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

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

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

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

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

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

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The fifth lecture in the Lectures in the Library series, curated by the Centre for Irish Studies to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising, will focus on Captain Jack White, one of the most unusual participants in the Irish revolution. A Christian anarchist and a pacifist, Captain White was a hero of the Boer War who became the first commandant of the Irish Citizen Army. A fervent admirer of Connolly, he did not take part in the Rising, but made a most unorthodox attempt to rescue him from the firing squad. The lecture will be delivered by Dr Leo Keohane, author of Captain Jack White: Imperialism, anarchism & the Irish Citizen Army, and take place on Tuesday, 23 February at 6.30pm in the Galway City Library on Augustine Street. -ENDS- 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

NUI Galway Researcher leads meeting of experts in Brussels on Pandemic Research Project Global experts on pandemics and emergency management are meeting in Brussels today (Wednesday, 17 February). The workshop is organised by NUI Galway’s Professor Máire Connolly and is part of the Pandemic Risk and Emergency Management (PANDEM) project. PANDEM aims to identify research needed to strengthen pandemic surveillance, communications and governance in the European Union. The 2-day workshop seeks to find better ways to identify and respond to potential pandemic threats to Europe. The recent appearance of the Zika virus in the Americas, followed by the World Health Organisation’s declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, has posed new challenges making the issues being discussed even more relevant. Professor Connolly said: “This project is timely given international concerns about the current Zika outbreak, the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa and MERS-CoV in Asia and the Middle East. We don’t know when the next pandemic will occur, or where it will emerge. What we do know is that there is vital work which can be done in terms of preparing for such an event.” PANDEM is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The project brings together public sector and private sector groups including NUI Galway, the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium, the World Health Organisation, the Public Health Agency of Sweden, the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom, and IGS Strategic Communications, London. The 18 month project is bringing together experts from Europe and the United States in health, security, defence, information technology, communications and law for a workshop in Brussels from 17-18 February. They will analyse current threats and review existing capacity for risk assessment and surveillance in Europe, as well as the capacity of European countries to respond to a potential pandemic. They will also be reviewing communications capacity, governance and legal frameworks to help ensure they are ready to respond to a potential crisis. -ENDS-

Thursday, 18 February 2016

€2million investment to show entrepreneurship is viable career path for students NUI Galway today launched Blackstone LaunchPad, a multidisciplinary experiential learning programme that supports a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, by providing tools for student entrepreneurs to turn ideas into viable businesses. This is the first Global Launch for the Blackstone programme outside of the US. Blackstone Launchpad supports student entrepreneurs with individual coaching, seminars and training related to building a business. Students will write business plans, complete financial analyses, and design marketing campaigns. In addition, students will be teamed up with external mentors to launch commercial ventures. Speaking at the launch, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “At NUI Galway we believe we have a duty to society to prepare our students for the world of work. We pride ourselves on being a university focused on ‘Real Learning’ and we don’t assume that our graduates will be able to rely on the traditional routes to employment. We work to equip our students with the skills to shape their own future and entrepreneurship is such a skill. Blackstone LaunchPad puts innovation firmly on our students’ agenda in a fresh new way. NUI Galway is proud to be the first university outside the US to host the Blackstone LaunchPad initiative. We’re grateful to Blackstone Charitable Foundation and Galway University Foundation for their support in making this possible.” Alan Kerr, Senior Managing Director of Blackstone, said: “We could not be more pleased to bring Blackstone LaunchPad, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation's signature campus entrepreneurship program, to NUI Galway as well as to Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork. This program can have a considerable impact on campus and across Ireland by providing students with the entrepreneurial resources and mentorship they need to take their ideas to the next level, and we look forward to seeing a positive impact in the years ahead.” Global Connections
 The Blackstone Charitable Foundation announced the first international expansion of its campus entrepreneurship programme, Blackstone LaunchPad, to Ireland in July 2015. Ireland becomes the seventh Blackstone LaunchPad region and its first international one, after Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Montana, and California. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s three-year, €2 million grant will establish a partnership with NUI Galway and other campuses, to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career option and provide over 50,000 students, regardless of major, with a network of venture coaches and an entrepreneurial support system. Blackstone LaunchPad will connect NUI Galway’s 17,000 students to other campuses in Ireland and the USA, the business community, and local entrepreneurs to create an environment that nurtures students to succeed as entrepreneurs. Funding for the programme is provided by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative and the Galway University Foundation. Mary Carty, Executive Director of Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway, said: “To achieve success students need to believe in their potential. Blackstone LaunchPad provides a fantastic opportunity for all students to participate; to test their ideas, to build a network of like-minded peers and to build their confidence and skills all while undertaking their studies here at NUI Galway. The cross-disciplinary nature of the programme is a real asset; as research shows, companies with diverse teams produce better products and are more profitable.” Mary herself is passionate about women in STEM and is an advisor to STEMettes, which builds interest in STEM in young women. Last year she co-founded the first incubator for young women in STEM in the world, the London-based Outbox Incubator, which worked with 115 girls from six countries. 35 companies were established on the programme. Mary brings a decade of experience working in the technology and startup space, founding two multi-award winning technology startups and was a BAFTA Interactive finalist. She has worked extensively across the public, private and non-profit sectors as an advisor, program developer, keynote speaker and lecturer in Ireland, the UK and Scandinavia.  Experiential Entrepreneurship - the student interns Edel Browne is the founder of Free Feet, a multi-award winning medical device designed to treat gait freezing for people with Parkinson's disease and has recently been appointed as Student Entrepreneur in Residence in Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway. She is a past participant on the STEMette's Outbox Incubator in London, a founding member of the Digital Youth Council in Ireland, and a global youth ambassador for AAT (America’s Amazing Teens). Edel is currently studying for a BSc in biotechnology at NUI Galway, and is a past best individual award winner at the BT Young Scientist competition in 2013. Jason Walsh is a Bachelor of Commerce student, Jason is the founder of Stock School, offering free informative sessions to students about the financial markets, trading and investments. Between 2012 and 2013, Jason tracked and logged the Dow Jones Industrial Average intraday activity every day for the entire year. Tracking the Dow allowed him to discover and study the mechanisms of financial market behaviour. He presented this research at the first Undergraduate Research Conference in NUI Galway in March 2015. Stock School eventually found its home as part of the NUI Galway Entrepreneurship Society and is now seeing 130-150 students attend per session. Interestingly the sessions have been mostly balanced with a strong representation in genders. Jason comments on how welcome it is to see as many of his female counterparts as to his male counterparts showing such a keen interest in trading and investing. Damien English TD, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, said: “I send congratulations and best wishes to all involved in the launch today at NUI Galway of Ireland’s first Blackstone LaunchPad. This initiative - the first of its kind outside the US - is a very timely project in Ireland’s economic development. Ireland has a vision of a stable and prosperous economy. In 2012, Government’s Action Plan for Jobs mapped out the many steps necessary to support enterprise in the creation and maintenance of jobs. I am delighted to say we are now seeing real results in the Irish economy. As start-ups and entrepreneurs account for over two thirds of all new jobs, the Government is committed to ensuring the framework conditions are in place for new businesses to start, scale and succeed. By encouraging and training the next generation of entrepreneurs and by nurturing entrepreneurial thinking and talent, university graduates will now be empowered to become innovators; finding alternatives to the more traditional routes to employment by creating their own enterprises and jobs.” Minister English added: “NUI Galway’s leadership in establishing Blackstone LaunchPad here on campus is a vital step to building that strong culture of innovation amongst the brightest minds and talented students who will help to create a better Ireland. NUI Galway’s approach to entrepreneurship education through Blackstone LaunchPad is a wonderful initiative and I commend the University for its vision.” ENDS For further information see http://www.nuigalway.ie/blackstonelaunchpad

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Dr Rebecca Metzner, United Nations Chief of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Food and Agriculture Organisation, will deliver a public talk in the Galway Business School on Wednesday, 24 February at 7.30pm. The talk is organised by Coastwatch Europe, in association with NUI Galway’s School of Geography and the Ryan Institute. One of the goals of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations is to promote the combination of modern, cutting edge research with local knowledge and practices to conserve and improve local resources, producing multiple benefits at the local and global level. With the growing challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, it is important to protect and build upon the knowledge and associated practices. Around Galway Bay inshore fishermen, and particularly traditional seaweed harvesters, have expressed growing concern about the future of the region. Proposals for large scale salmon aquaculture, a major harbour extension, and international interests in seaweed processing and harvesting on the foreshore are of particular concern for the traditional local small scale operators. Dr Metzner will also meet with small-scale fisheries and traditional gathers of Galway Bay to discuss their rights and opportunities in light of new developments in marine law and policy in Ireland. Karin Dubsky of Coastwatch said: “We extended the invite because we feel most small-scale fishers and communities are not on the radar of national and regional decision makers.” Dr Kevin Lynch, NUI Galway’s School of Geography and the Ryan Institute, said: “The issues around traditional activities on our coasts require an integrated approach to future coastal and marine initiatives. Our Masters of Science students have a number of projects ongoing in this area and the students are looking forward to meeting Dr Metzner to discuss best practices from other countries where similar issues arise.” -Ends-

Friday, 19 February 2016

Team ‘Millennial 5’ travelled to the Netherlands to represent Shannon College of Hotel Management at the European Mise en Place Cup (EMCup) last week. The team comprised of five third-year students from Kilkenny, Clare, Cork, Budapest, Hungary and the USA. The students won the ‘Best Case Study’, and awarded second place in the overall competition. Hazel Mullarkey, from Ennis, Co. Clare, was one of the students on the winning team: “The competition was an amazing experience and gave us the opportunity to network with hospitality professionals and students from other hotel schools all over Europe.” Dr Phillip Smyth, Head of Shannon College, said: “This fantastic achievement reinforces the importance of in-depth business knowledge for young hoteliers and the ability to analyse the ever changing market place. Our students took on some of the best hotel schools in the world and beat them in the analysis of a hotel business case and were second overall. High level analytical skills are critical for success in the hotel business and our students have them.” The theme for this year’s EMCup was ‘Surfing the Silver Wave’ which investigated the impact of the ageing population on the Hotel and Tourism Industries. Within 35 years, there will be more people alive older than 60 than there will be people younger than 15. During most of the 21st century, the people over 60 will be the fastest-growing consumer group in the world. This ‘Agequake’ influences the business models of various industries such as health, retail, technology and hospitality. Students were asked to focus on the opportunities that will arise in the hospitality sector from this shift in demographic. Team Millennial 5 proposed setting up a new awarding body in Europe to rate hotels on their facilities and services for the elderly population. Patrina Meskell, Marketing Lecturer at Shannon College, said: “We are all extremely proud of the girls, they put in so much hard work and it really paid off. They represented the college at the highest standard.” ENDS

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

An NUI Galway PhD student was awarded first prize for her poster presentation at the Eighth Annual Scientific Meeting of the Faculty of Pain Medicine which took place in Dublin recently. The prize was awarded to Louise Corcoran from Tuam, Co. Galway. The research poster presentations were judged by a panel of experts who commended the high quality of the research. Researchers from the Centre for Pain Research and Galway Neuroscience Centre (within the NCBES) at NUI Galway have had an excellent record of success in this competition over recent years. Prize-winner Louise, a second-year PhD candidate in the Discipline of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, won first prize for her poster presentation entitled ‘Impaired expression of fear-conditioned analgesia in the stress- and pain-hyper responsive Wistar-Kyoto rat strain’. Louise’s research, supervised by Professor David Finn and Dr Michelle Roche, involves the investigation of mechanisms underlying co-existent mood and pain disorders as well as the identification of future therapeutic targets. Louise’s research is funded jointly by NUI Galway, a Government of Ireland Postgraduate Fellowship from the Irish Research Council and a grant from Science Foundation Ireland. Professor David Finn, Co-Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Pain Research, said: “We are delighted to see NUI Galway researchers win these prestigious prizes for their work. Our pain research aims to advance the understanding and treatment of chronic pain, a major unmet clinical need affecting at least 20% of the population.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

NUI Galway’s 16th annual Arts Festival programme, Múscailt, was launched today by singer and songwriter Sharon Murphy. The Festival, which runs from 6-9 March, will contain a superb programme of art, music, performance, song, sculpture, talks and workshops, and all events are free and open to the public. This year’s theme is ‘Seas an Fód/Stand Your Ground’ and seeks to celebrate several festivals at once including Mother’s day, Seachtain na Gaeilge and International Women’s Day, as well as the birth of Spring and creativity. The programme also contains a number of bilingual events, Irish/English and also Spanish/English. The festival will open on Sunday, 6 March, Mother’s Day, with a Mindful Movement Workshop, led by choreographer Bernadette Divilly, on the theme of Mother. A special concert will follow later that evening with special guests West Liberty University Singers, USA, led by Dr Scott Glysson, who will perform Bernstein’s Psalms, with renowned guest organist Jonathan Emmons, in Galway Cathedral. NUI Galway’s Choralsoc, Unitunes - the University’s staff and student choir, and Testostertones will open the concert. Art and installation will feature heavily during with week including: ‘156 Steps’, an exhibition of sculpture, artworks and video installation by artist Anne O’Byrne; ‘Creatures from the Campus’ by Colours Street Theatre; and a solo show of portraits and paintings by Owen Durkan. Sculptor Donnacha Cahill has built a large scale gramophone especially for Múscailt, and this will be a portable stage and music player throughout the festival. Representing ‘Romantic Notions’, the Gramaphone will take a few unscheduled detours around the city during the festival and the public are invited to participate. Events throughout the week include: Two exhibitions including ‘Yield’, a group exhibition of paintings and drawings, and ‘Focus 16’, a selected exhibition of Photsoc’s best works. ‘Loophead’, solo dance performances by James O’Connell. ‘Jane’s Next Step’ by Aine Gallagher, a bi-lingual romp through an Irish class with Jane, who has accidentally been crowned Ireland’s fifth funniest Irish-speaking comedian. ‘Seacht Seacht le Rogha Bhríde’. Run in collaboration with Flirt FM and Seachtain na Gaeilge, Bríd Ní Mhaoileoin will MC a workshop and singing session with seven songs. Singer and songwriter Sharon Murphy will showcase her new album ‘Where I Belong’. ‘Nights at the Circus’, a Victorian funfair organised by the Victorian Society. Contemplative Dance Workshop on International Women’s Day, led by Bernadette Divilly, will investigate the work done by women, paid and unpaid, and will give an opportunity to dance and validate the contribution of women to the work field. The SOLO SHOW will showcase seven original ‘five-minute monologues’ from staff and students. JuanJo Sierra Alcala will present his award-winning Nature Photography from around the world. Susan Stenger, a flautist, composer and soundscape artist for film and installation, will give an audio-visual presentation of her work and include a short performance by John Cage. James Fleming will perform a new one-man show ‘The Spinner’ on the mystical adventures of a cockeyed cowboy seeking justice upon the streets of his urban prairie. Commenting on this year’s line up, Fionnuala Gallagher, NUI Galway Arts Officer, said: “Our theme this year, ‘Seas an Fod/Stand Your Ground’, reminds us to look around us and the programme of events reflect this. Everyone is welcome to participate.” All exhibitions are open seven days and free to attend. For the full programme of events or further information visit www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie or contact NUI Galway’s Arts Office at or 091 495098. -Ends- Clár an 16ú Féile Múscailt seolta in OÉ Gaillimh Sheol an t-amhránaí agus an cumadóir amhrán Sharon Murphy clár na féile Múscailt, féile ealaíon bhliantúil OÉ Gaillimh, inniu. Beidh féile na bliana seo, an séú ceann déag, ar siúl ó 6-9 Márta. Beidh neart imeachtaí den scoth ar siúl lena linn, idir ealaín, ceol, léiriúcháin, amhránaíocht, dealbhóireacht, cainteanna agus ceardlanna. Beidh na himeachtaí ar fad saor in aisce agus beidh fáilte roimh chách.   ‘Seas an Fód’ téama na féile i mbliana. Déanfar ceiliúradh inti ar Lá na Máithreacha, Seachtain na Gaeilge agus Lá Idirnáisiúnta na mBan, agus ar thús an earraigh agus na cruthaitheachta. Tá cúpla imeacht dátheangach (Gaeilge/Béarla agus Spáinnis/Béarla) ar an gclár. Cuirfear tús leis an bhféile Dé Domhnaigh, 6 Márta, Lá na Máithreacha, le Ceardlann Gluaiseachtaí Machnamhacha ar théama na máthar faoi stiúir an chóireagrafaí Bernadette Divilly. Beidh ceolchoirm speisialta ar siúl níos déanaí an tráthnóna sin a mbeidh na haíonna speisialta West Liberty University Singers, SAM, páirteach inti faoi stiúir an Dr Scott Glysson. Cuirfidh Glysson, i gcomhar leis an aoi-orgánaí Jonathan Emmons, Sailm Bernstein i láthair in Ardeaglais na Gaillimhe. Cuirfidh Unitunes – cór fhoireann agus mhic léinn na hOllscoile – agus Testostertones tús leis an gceolchoirm. Beidh an-bhéim ar an ealaín agus ar ealaín suiteála i rith na seachtaine. Ar na taispeántais a bheidh ar siúl beidh ‘156 Steps’, taispeántas dealbhóireachta, saothair ealaíne agus suiteáil físe leis an ealaíontóir Anne O’Byrne; ‘Creatures from the Campus’ le Colours Street Theatre; agus seó aonair portráidí agus pictiúr le Owen Durkan. Tá gramafón ollmhór tógtha ag an dealbhóir Donnacha Cahill don fhéile. Beidh sé ag feidhmiú mar stáitse agus mar sheinnteoir ceoil iniompartha. ‘Nóisin Rómánsúla’ an téama a bheidh ag an nGramafón agus beidh sé le feiceáil in áiteanna éagsúla ar fud na cathrach i rith na féile. Iarrtar ar an bpobal a bheith páirteach sna hócáidí seo. Seo a leanas cuid de na himeachtaí eile a bheidh ar siúl i rith na seachtaine: Dhá thaispeántas: ‘Yield’, grúpthaispeántas pictiúr agus líníochtaí, agus ‘Focus 16’, taispeántas de scothshaothair Photsoc. ‘Loophead’, léiriúcháin rince aonair le James O’Connell. ‘Jane’s Next Step’ le hÁine Gallagher, sciuird dhátheangach trí rang Gaeilge le Jane, bean a bhí sa chúigiú háit de thaisme i gcomórtas na mban agus na bhfear grinn a bhfuil Gaeilge acu. ‘Seacht Seacht le Rogha Bhríde’. I gcomhar le Flirt FM agus Seachtain na Gaeilge, beidh Bríd Ní Mhaoileoin i mbun ceardlainne agus seisiún amhránaíochta ina gcanfar seacht n-amhrán. Tabharfaidh an t-amhránaí agus an cumadóir amhrán Sharon Murphy blaiseadh dúinn dá halbam nua ‘Where I Belong’. ‘Nights at the Circus’, aonach siamsaíochta Victeoiriach atá á eagrú ag Cumann na Victeoiriach. Beidh ceardlann sa Rince Machnamhach ar siúl ar Lá Idirnáisiúnta na mBan, faoi stiúir Bernadette Divilly. Déanfar iniúchadh sa cheardlann ar obair na mban, idir obair íoctha agus obair neamhíoctha, agus beidh deis ag daoine damhsa a dhéanamh agus deimhniú a thabhairt ar a bhfuil déanta ag na mná ó thaobh oibre de. SOLO SHOW - seacht ‘monalóg cúig nóiméad’ nuascríofa ó chomhaltaí foirne agus ó mhic léinn. Cuirfidh JuanJo Sierra Alcala a chuid Grianghraf den Dúlra as gach cearn den domhan i láthair. Déanfaidh Susan Stenger, ar fliúiteadóir agus cumadóir ceoil í agus a bhíonn ina healaíontóir fuaime le haghaidh scannán agus ealaín suiteála, cur i láthair closamhairc ar a saothar. Beidh léiriúchán gairid le John Cage le feiceáil chomh maith. Cuirfidh James Fleming seó aonair nua ‘The Spinner’ ar stáitse, seó faoi na heachtraí rúndiamhra a bhaineann do bhuachaill bó atá ar thóir na córa ar shráideanna a fhéarthailte uirbeacha. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Fionnuala Gallagher, Oifigeach Ealaíon OÉ Gaillimh faoin bhféile: “Cuireann téama na bliana seo, ‘Seas an Fód’, ar ár súile dúinn gur cheart dúinn breathnú inár dtimpeall agus léiríonn clár imeachtaí na féile é sin. Tá fáilte roimh chách.” Beidh na taispeántais ar fad oscailte ar feadh seacht lá agus iad saor in aisce. Tá clár iomlán na n-imeachtaí agus tuilleadh eolais le fáil ag www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie nó is féidir teagmháil a dhéanamh le hOifig Ealaíon OÉ Gaillimh ag 091 495098. -Críoch-