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News Archives

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

NUI Galway was awarded the ‘Postgraduate Course of the Year in Science Award’ at the national gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards 2016 which took place in Dublin last week. This year, the prize was awarded for the University’s MSc in Biotechnology. Judges commented on evolving nature of the well-established MSc in Biotechnology programme by stating that despite the course being around since 1981, it is a strong course that keeps evolving with deep-rooted industry links, comprehensive content and a great reputation. The NUI Galway MSc Biotechnology programme is the longest running course of its kind in Ireland and it continues to be the most up-to-date programme in the country. This postgraduate programme is highly regarded nationally and internationally as a programme through which students develop the skills, knowledge and experience required for a successful career in biotechnology. Graduates of the MSc Biotechnology programme are essential for Ireland’s smart economy that has at its core exemplary research, innovation and commercialisation. Potential applicants interested in applying to participate in the MSc in Biotechnology can contact Dr Mary Ní Fhlathartaigh at mary.nifhlathartaigh@nuigalway.ie for more details. -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The fifth ‘Reel Lives Film Fiesta’, organised by NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, is offering free lunchtime screenings of international award-winning films celebrating ageing from 9-13 May. Marking Ireland’s Bealtaine Festival, the ‘Reel Lives Film Fiesta’ screenings will include: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; Still Alice; Quartet; The Lady in the Van; and Pranzo di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch). All films start at 1pm and are open to the public. The screenings will take place in the auditorium of the University’s Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) Building in Corrib Village. The building, which includes a new 250-seater movie venue, has wheelchair access, a theatre-size screen, and surround-sound. The festival opens with a musical comedy, Quartet, boasting a stellar cast of Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Michael Gambon and Andrew Sachs. Set in an English home for retired musicians, the annual fundraising concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday is the focus of everyone’s attention. Still Alice, starring Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin in an intense portrayal of an academic mid-life woman living with Alzheimer’s disease, and its game-changing effect on her family. Pranzo di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch), an Italian subtitled film follows four fabulous ladies in their 90s, none of them professional actors, who are left in the charge of on-screen director Gianni Di Gregorio for the night in a film oozing the lazy charm of a hot August in Rome. This will follow with screen interviews with the film’s cast in a behind-the-scenes take. Thursday’s screening is The Lady in the Van, with the all-star cast of Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings. This film is based on the true story of English playwright, Alan Bennett’s strained friendship with Mary Shepherd, an eccentric homeless woman who lived in an old camper van for 15 years in his garden. Reel Lives closes on the Friday with The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with a cast to include Dev Patel, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, and Richard Gere. In this follow-up to the original Marigold, new relationships are forged alongside pathos, and music. In addition to free entry, audience members can enjoy complimentary refreshments sponsored by NUI Galway’s Students’ Union shop. Parking is available on campus to non-NUI Galway personnel within the pay and display areas of Dangan car park, or a free shuttle bus runs regularly between the Orbsen building on the main campus and the terminus where ILAS is located. There are a limited number of car parking spaces for those with a disability directly outside of the ILAS building. For further information contact event organiser Alison Herbert at 091 495461 or 087 2830757. Full details of the film programme are on www.icsg.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Gender ARC and the Centre for Global Women’s Studies at NUI Galway will host a book launch and public lecture on Thursday, 5 May. NUI Galway’s Dr Caitriona Clear will launch her upcoming book Women’s Voices in Ireland: women’s magazines in the 1950s and 60s. Irish poet and playwright Mary Coll will introduce Dr Clear’s lecture, ‘What we preserve from the past and what we ignore: some new perspectives on women in Ireland in the 1950s and 60s’. The lecture will focus on Dr Clear’s work which involves reflecting and making realisations about the state of Irish women’s history.  Caitriona Clear is a Senior Lecturer in Modern Irish and European History at NUI Galway. Women’s Voices in Ireland: women’s magazines in the 1950s and 60s, is her fourth book, following Social Change and Everyday Life in Ireland 1850-1922, Women of the House: women’s household work in Ireland 1926-1961 and Nuns in Nineteenth-century Ireland. She has also published research on homelessness in post-Famine Ireland, Irish women during the First World War, twentieth-century Irish women writers, and clothes and fashion in Ireland. She is a contributor to the forthcoming Cambridge History of Ireland edited by Thomas Bartlett. Mary Coll is a Limerick poet, playwright and broadcaster. Publications include All Things Considered and numerous contributions to RTÉ Radio One and RTÉ Lyric FM. She has had stage productions of Excess Baggage and Anything But Love, radio plays commissioned by RTÉ Drama On One, lyrics for the Choral Work ‘Spirestone’ and two art song cycles in association with the composer Fiona Linnane. She also has a new play Diamond Rocks: Sunset, commissioned by The Lime Tree Theatre in Limerick and a second collection of poems entitled Silver due for publication this year. Gender ARC (Advanced Research Consortium on Gender, Culture and the Knowledge Society) is a research network linking more than fifty academics at NUI Galway and the University of Limerick who are engaged in gender-focused research across diverse disciplines. The network hosts a variety of seminars and public lectures throughout the year. The event takes place at 5pm in room RG011 in the Hardiman Research Building. All are welcome to this free event light refreshments will be provided. To learn more about this event and future Gender ARC events, please contact Gender ARC Co-Convenor and Director of the Centre for Global Women’s Studies Dr Niamh Reilly at niamh.reilly@nuigalway.ie. -Ends- 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

NUI Galway hosted the 2016 Research Excellence Awards last Friday, 29 April, when winners of the 2016 Ryan Award for Innovation and the annual President’s Awards for Research Excellence were announced. These awards are made to members of the NUI Galway research community, by the University’s President Dr Jim Browne, in recognition of their outstanding and innovative research.  The 2016 Ryan Award for Innovation went to the Nucleic Acid Diagnostics Research Laboratory (NADRL) for their RAP-ID (Rapid Aqua Pathogen Identification) project. The team consists of Dr Kate Reddington (Enterprise Ireland Postdoctoral Researcher), Dr Thomas Barry (PI NADRL and Lecturer) and Ms Shannon Fullbrook (Irish Research Council PhD candidate) from the Discipline of Microbiology at the School of Natural Sciences. The research team have developed novel bacterial culture independent test kits which allows for the very rapid detection and identification of a number of human pathogens that can contaminate water. They aim to launch a spin-out company from NUI Galway focused on the development of these technologies for use in testing building water distribution systems. These innovative technologies address a global unmet market need in the building infrastructure environment bacterial monitoring sector. Now in its third year, the Ryan Award for Innovation is aimed at recognising and facilitating the development and translation of innovative ideas in the area of Environment, Marine and Energy, into outputs with societal and economic impact. This initiative has been supported by the Tony Ryan Trust and builds upon past generous support from the Ryan Family. The Ryan Award is a very prestigious award and €25,000 is a significant amount of funding to make a difference in progressing an innovation, technology or idea to the next level, while delivering impact.  In addition, the winners of the 2016 President’s Awards for Research Excellence were announced as: Early Stage Researcher Award Winners Dr Ekaterina Yahyaoui Krivenko, Irish Centre for Human Rights, School of Law Dr Eoin Whelan, Business Information Systems, School of Business & Economics Dr Eva Szegezdi, Biochemistry, School of Natural Sciences Dr Manus Biggs, Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering & Informatics and CÚRAM Established Researcher Award Dr Gavin Collins, Environmental Microbiology, School of Natural Sciences Professor Gary Donohoe, School of Psychology Research Supervisor Dr Adrienne Gorman, Apoptosis Research Centre, College of Science Dr Lillis Ó Laoire, Scoil na Gaeilge, College of Arts, Social Sciences & Celtic Studies Speaking at the event, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “At a national level, the higher education sector is in an era of performance-based funding. Consequently, it is important that we continue to support, recognise, and encourage outstanding research by rewarding high performance to promote the continued development of research and innovation excellence across campus. Against an increasingly competitive external environment, I am proud of the consistently high quality of our research here in NUI Galway. Dr Browne added, “Last year, we launched our new strategic plan, entitled Vision 2020. This ambitious plan aims to bring NUI Galway into the top 200 universities in the world while securing €100 million in competitive funding from the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme. Among the Irish universities, NUI Galway has had the highest success rate and is also among the top 50 best performing universities in Europe for attracting Horizon 2020 funding. Thanks to the commitment of our research colleagues across many areas, from biosciences to the social sciences, we are on track to meet our ambitious target by 2020.” Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President of Research at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is delighted to celebrate our researchers and the incredible work that they do. The University is committed to producing research that is recognised as being excellent, transformative, and relevant to societal and economic needs. To date NUI Galway has had the highest success rate of all Irish institutions in EU Horizon 2020 funding for research, and among the top 40 in Europe drawing down €30 million. We will continue to support and invest in excellent people to ensure we constantly excel in our achievements, which include: Four Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers in 2015; QS Rankings increase to 250-275 in 2015/2016; and increasing our position in the top 200 of the World University Rankings 2015.” The awards ceremony included an interactive panel session with four NUI Galway EU Horizon 2020 awardees based on their experiences of the Horizon 2020 process and an interactive panel session entitled ‘H2020 Experiences and Future Opportunities.’ ENDS

Thursday, 5 May 2016

The screening of Hubert Butler Witness To The Future will take place on Thursday, 12 May at 8pm in the Town Hall Theatre. The event is being organised in cooperation with the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, and will be followed by post-screening discussion with Irish producer Lelia Doolan. Hubert Butler Witness To The Future is a new documentary on the writer, essayist and human rights champion Hubert Butler. The film premiered at a sell-out Dublin Film Festival screening in February, followed by a packed out home-coming in Kilkenny’s Set Theatre to launch this tour. Hubert Butler (1900-91) is, in the words of John Banville and Roy Foster who both featuring in the film as “one of the great Irish writers”, our greatest exponent of the essay form since Jonathan Swift; “fifty years ahead of his time” according to writer and broadcaster Olivia O'Leary. Professor Ray Murphy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, said: “Butler was amongst Ireland's great human rights voices of the 20th century. He was unafraid to challenge Church and State in Ireland. He was also an ardent defender of free speech and advocate for a pluralist independent Ireland. Efforts to silence and discredit him almost succeeded. This film is testimony to his enduring legacy.” Film-maker Johnny Gogan's extensive documentary tells the largely untold story of Hubert Butler. Inspired by the events of 1916, the young Hubert turned his back on the Empire and the prospect of a role in the British diplomatic service, and declared himself a republican “in the mould of Wolfe Tone and Henry Flood”. However, being a public intellectual from the Protestant tradition in the new Ireland would prove to be a bruising experience, bringing Butler into conflict with the unholy alliance of Catholic Church and State. In Dalmatia (modern-day Croatia) in the mid 30s, Butler witnessed Jewish people fleeing the German-speaking lands. In response, he travelled to Vienna in 1938 to work with the Quakers who assisted persecuted Jews and so-called “non-Aryan Christians” to escape the city. In 1946, Butler returned to Zagreb where he uncovered evidence of a mass genocide of Orthodox Serbs by the Croatian Nazi puppet (Ustashe) state under the auspices of a “Compulsory Conversion To Catholicism” policy.  Butler found support among liberal intellectuals from the Catholic tradition such as Seán O'Faoláin, Owen “The Pope” O'Mahony and Myles Dillon. What has also come to light in recently de-classified documents is the detail of how the Irish State provided sanctuary to one of the key players in the Croatian genocide, former Croatian Minister of the Interior Andrija Artukovic.  Artukovic had been spirited into the country by Franciscans in 1947, and lived in Dublin under an alias before being given an exit visa to the USA by the Irish authorities in 1948. Butler's insights into the “on the ground” dynamics of religion and nationalism in Europe – a sensibility he gained first in Ireland - ring true today as a lack of internal coherence in the “European Project” and the external pressure of the refugee/migrant crisis bring old tensions and prejudices to the fore.  Butler's description of the war-time Croatian Nazi puppet state as being “the personification, the epitome of the extraordinary alliance of religion and crime” could so easily describe the contemporary Daesh/Islamic State project.  Hubert Butler Witness To The Future is a production of Bandit Films and is being distributed by Studio North West.tv. It was filmed, produced and directed by Johnny Gogan. -Ends-

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Ag Siúl an Bhealaigh Mhóir: Aistí in Ómós don Ollamh Nollaig Mac Congáil Sheol iar-Stiúrthóir Ginearálta RTÉ agus iar-Cheannasaí TG4, Cathal Goan, an leabhar nuafhoilsithe Ag Siúl an Bhealaigh Mhóir: Aistí in Ómós don Ollamh Nollaig Mac Congáil aréir in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. Chaith Nollaig Mac Congáil daichead bliain ina Léachtóir agus ina Ollamh i Roinn na Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh go dtí 2014. Bhí sé ina Mheabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid ar an ollscoil chéanna chomh maith. Chuir sé go mór le léann na teangeolaíochta feidhmí agus na canúineolaíochta chomh maith le léann na meán Gaeilge. Tá aithne ag pobal léitheoireachta na Gaeilge air mar chraobh chosanta agus mar eagarthóir cáiréiseach ar go leor de sheoda liteartha Chúige Uladh. Dúirt an Dr John Walsh, Léachtóir Sinsearach Gaeilge agus duine d’eagarthóirí an leabhair: "Is tráthúil go mbronnfaí an fhéilscríbhinn seo ar Nollaig anois agus é éirithe as, féilscríbhinn atá ina comhartha ómóis agus spéise ar scoth an oide, ar chomhghleacaí tacúil agus ar thaighdeoir críochnúil." Iar-chomhghleacaí agus iarmhac léinn le Nollaig iad na heagarthóirí, John Walsh agus an Dr Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh ó Ollscoil Aberystwyth. Dúirt an Dr Ó Muircheartaigh: "Léiriú grinn ar an ardmheas atá ar Nollaig, sa bhaile agus thar lear, atá sa leabhar toirtiúil seo, ardmheas atá tuillte go maith aige." Dúirt an Dr Aidan Doyle, Léachtóir Sinsearach Gaeilge i gColáiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh: "Is bailiúchán breá aistí é seo a thugann an-léargas dúinn ar na réimsí léinn ba mhó a chothaigh Nollaig Mac Congáil féin agus é i mbun taighde agus múinteoireachta. Bainfidh idir lucht acadúil agus an pobal mór an-taitneamh agus an-tairbhe as a bhfuil idir dhá chlúdach an leabhair." Beidh AG SIÚL AN BHEALAIGH MHÓIR: AISTÍ IN ÓMÓS DON OLLAMH NOLLAIG MAC CONGÁIL ar fáil ó ÁIS, nó ar an suíomh www.leabhaircomhar.com. Tá an leabhar ar fáil sna siopaí ar chostas €20. ISBN 978-0-9927313-8-0. -Críoch- Newly Published Book Launched By Cathal Goan at NUI Galway Ag Siúl An Bhealaigh Mhóir: Aistí In Ómós Don Ollamh Nollaig Mac Congáil The former RTÉ Director-General and former Ceannasaí of TG4, Cathal Goan, launched a newly-published book Ag Siúl an Bhealaigh Mhóir: Aistí in Ómós Don Ollamh Nollaig Mac Congáil, at NUI Galway this week. Nollaig Mac Congáil spent 40 years as a Lecturer and Professor in the Department of Irish at NUI Galway until his retirement in 2014. He also served as Registrar and Deputy President of the University. During his career, he contributed significantly to the fields of applied linguistics, dialectology and Irish language media. From Derry originally, Professor Mac Congáil is known in particular for his work in analysing and editing classic literary works written in Ulster Irish during the 20th Century.  Dr John Walsh, Senior Lecturer in Irish at NUI Galway and one of the book’s editors said: “It is appropriate that this Festschrift be presented now to Nollaig following his retirement as a mark of respect to an excellent teacher, a supportive colleague and a meticulous researcher.”   Dr Walsh is a former colleague of Professor Mac Congáil and his co-editor Dr Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh from Aberystwyth University in Wales is a former pupil. Dr Ó Muircheartaigh said: “This book illustrates clearly the high esteem in which Nollaig is held both at home and abroad, a respect which is well deserved.”  The book contains 18 essays by respected Irish language academics based in Ireland and elsewhere, and includes contributions by former colleagues and students.  Ag Siúl an Bhealaigh Mhóir: Aistí in Ómós Don Ollamh Nollaig Mac Congáil is available to buy at www.leabhaircomhar.com at a price of €20. ISBN 978-0-9927313-8-0. ENDS

Thursday, 21 April 2016

NUI Galway societies were presented with four awards at the recent Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) National Society Awards. Over 400 students and staff from third-level institutions across Ireland came together to celebrate the achievements of student societies and acknowledge the contribution they make to their institution and the wider community.   NUI Galway won ‘Best Society in an Academic, Cultural and Social Field’ for the Medical Society. Alison Duffy, Vice-Auditor of the NUI Galway Medical Society said: “2015-16 has been one of the most successful years for NUI Galway Medical Society. Through our diverse events and projects, we aim to support our students academically and socially. We advocate, fundraise and strive to be a force for positive change in the University and wider community. We are thrilled to have won this prestigious award which was made possible by the great team on our committee.” NUI Galway’s Draíocht Society won the ‘Best Society in a Civic and Charity Field’ for their work sending volunteers to each of the partner charities in Nepal and Tanzania during the summer months, and for their successful fundraising throughout the year. According to Auditor Siabhra Medley: “Draíocht enables students to make an incredible difference for people in the developing world and allows students to experience cultures that are radically different to their own. This year we worked with our partners in Nepal when the earthquake destroyed the orphanage and school our society had built and ensured supplies and vaccinations got to the village where our founder member was stationed.” The ‘Best Fresher Award’ went to first year Bachelor of Arts student Ciarán MacChoncarraige from Oranmore, Co. Galway. Throughout the year Ciarán has been actively involved with French and Draíocht Societies, while also assisting other societies and the Students' Union with numerous events and campaigns. The very popular PotterFest organised by Potter Soc won ‘Best Intervarsity’ which saw a weekend of fun in NUI Galway including the hotly contested battle for the Triwizard Cup in which contestants fought their way through a giant maze of tasks and trivia to see which college would be crowned champions of the tournament. BICS is a national organisation dedicated to providing a national forum for the societies in Ireland’s Universities, Colleges and Institutes of Education. BICS now represents 21 colleges, 901 societies with 180,000 students across the island of Ireland. The organisation helps students from across the country to network, meet new people and run events on and off campus. A new award, ‘The Best Mental Health Promoting Event’, was introduced this year in association with the Please Talk campaign to acknowledge the role of societies in creating opportunities to challenge the stigma around mental health, to promote wellness, healthy lifestyles and to help make third level colleges open, supportive and inclusive environments for their student populations. Riona Hughes, BICS Chairperson and NUI Galway Society Officer, said: “The BICS Awards is a wonderful celebration of all that is marvelous about the students who are so creative and dedicated and who transform the college experience for their peers. Research has shown that involvement in societies helps students complete their studies, teaches them valuable life skills, enhances their employability and supports them on their learning journey to become future leaders. For our 21st Awards there are many reasons to celebrate and none more so that the support, respect and genuine affection all the students have shown to each other throughout the day. The staff members present from our member colleges have every reason to be proud of every single society representative here tonight, the future of our country is in good hands.” For more information about BICS Awards visit http://bics.ie/. -Ends-

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Members of the public invited to make key contributions to healthcare research Tuesday, 19 April, 2016: NUI Galway will hold a conference focusing on Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in research on Wednesday, 27 April in the Westwood House Hotel from 10am-3.45pm. PPI involves an active partnership between members of the public, patients, researchers and doctors to ensure that the voice and perspective of the public/patient influence all stages of the research process. One of the central themes of the conference is that members of the public can make a difference and contribute to healthcare research. The conference is particularly open to the public, along with patient organistations and researchers. Involving the public and patients in planning and conducting research ensures that the real life experiences of patients are considered when decisions are being made about what research should be done, and about how to design studies that are sensitive to the needs of patients. Researchers may not have had personal experience of the condition they are researching, so hearing from patients about the experience of suffering from a particular illness or of living with a particular condition provides a powerful insight into what matters most to patients. The conference showcases how people with intellectual disability, young adults with diabetes, people with aphasia (a language disability that can occur after a stroke) and a dementia family carer have all contributed richly to research in those areas. Ciara Keighron, an NUI Galway student who will co-present alongside the University’s Professor Sean Dinneen at the conference, said: “I am part of a panel of young adults with Type 1 diabetes who are working with researchers at NUI Galway to help develop a new model of care and better approaches to self-management for people like me. I am excited to think that I can contribute to making life better for other young adults with T1 diabetes. The conference is organised by the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland at NUI Galway, a collaborative group of researchers conducting clinical trials through general practice and primary care. Director of the Network, Professor Andrew Murphy said: “Patients and the public always offer unique, invaluable insights that help shape our research – we need to listen.” For more information visit www.primarycaretrials.ie or contact Edel Murphy, NUI Galway on 091 495308 or email info@primarycaretrials.ie.  -ENDS-

Thursday, 21 April 2016

NUI Galway is recruiting additional participants for a study on the efficacy of Pilates in falls prevention in healthy older adults over 65 years old. The outcomes assessed will include questionnaires and tests of physical activity, balance, foot pressure, mobility, gait, cognition and falls. One hour classes will take place in Áras Moyola twice weekly for six weeks. There will be a total of 12 sessions for each group. The participants are advised to wear comfortable clothes for exercises and to bring their own exercise mat.     Conducting the study is Larissa Donatoni da Silva, an NUI Galway PhD Health Science, physiotherapist and Pilates instructor. Larissa said: “Pilates is a technique to improve flexibility, core and coordination. The exercises will start from basic to intermediate level. We want to measure your level of function with questionnaires and tests so that we can compare it with people who are not practising Pilates.” For more detail or to participate in the study contact Larissa Donatoni da Silva at 089 4592533 or laridonatoni@gmail.com. -Ends- 

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

NUI Galway postgraduate course has been shortlisted for the national postgradireland Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards 2016. The MSc (Biotechnology) programme is shortlisted in the Postgraduate Course of the Year in the Science category. The award winners will be announced on Thursday, 28 April at a reception in the Mansion House, Dublin. The annual Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards recognises excellence amongst Irish postgraduate course providers. The winning courses are judged on the success of the course including employability of graduates, recognition of the course’s quality or ranking by external bodies, research record of academic staff, and providing a good experience for students. Judges also take feedback from students into consideration when selecting a winner. Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Recruitment Officer at NUI Galway, said: “We’re delighted to again make the shortlist for these important national awards; it’s great that the calibre of our postgraduate courses is being acknowledged, as is their effectiveness in terms of employability, and interaction with industry and business. The MSc Biotechnology is now accepting applications and those interested can apply online via the Postgraduate Applications Centre at www.pac.ie/nuigalway. We also offer generous full-time taught masters scholarships for first-class students, so that’s another reason to consider NUI Galway for postgraduate studies.” NUI Galway offers a wide range of fourth level courses, developing programmes based on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative Research Centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. Over 3,600 postgraduate students (including international students) currently attend NUI Galway. For further information on any of the postgraduate courses available at NUI Galway call 091 495148 or visit www.nuigalway.ie/courses. -Ends-

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Volunteering For Social Change Focus of NUI Galway Presidential Award Ceremony  Over 1,000 NUI Galway students were presented with volunteering awards at a special ceremony on campus this week. The ALIVE certificate acknowledges volunteering efforts by NUI Galway students both on and off campus in a range of clubs, societies and community-based organisations. The ALIVE (A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience) programme was established by NUI Galway’s Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) in 2003 to harness, acknowledge and support student volunteering. The goal of NUI Galway’s internationally acclaimed student volunteering programme, ALIVE, is not only to connect students with volunteer vacancies in Galway but also mould and design graduates who make meaningful contributions to society as future volunteers and community actors.  Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Programme, ALIVE coordinator, said: “Volunteering makes a difference.  Students at NUI Galway are encouraged to volunteer to learn valuable civic skills that will enhance all our communities into the future.  Each student reflects on how their volunteering makes a difference.” This year, students have volunteered with Bohermore Youth Development Project, Galway Autism Partnership, Galway Traveller Movement, Presentation Primary School Homework Club and St. Francis Day Centre. Student volunteer Amy Mannin volunteered with Ability West’s best Buddie programme: “I have so many positive experiences as part of being a volunteer with Best Buddies. I have gained a forever friend through meeting my buddy Jenny. I have learned to listen more and try to be as supportive as I can to someone else. It has enlightened my perspective towards individuals with intellectual disabilities in a very positive way. I have gotten to meet so many individuals with such positive outlooks on life.” This year’s ceremony featured two special guests, NUI Galway graduate and activist for LGBTQ rights, Ivan Fahy and NUI Galway PhD candidate, Chris Noone. Ivan spoke about the the importance of being different and unique, and Chris focused on his work with creating a social enterprise, Key Ideas and Decisions, a new civic engagement platform by young people for young people.  Lorraine added: “Both Ivan and Chris epitomise passion for activism in Irish society and will inspire attendees to continue to volunteer for change and greater social justice in Ireland.” To find out more about NUI Galway’s ALIVE programme visit www.nuigalway.ie/alive. -Ends-

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Former Olympic rower and NUI Galway graduate, Neville Maxwell, will deliver a talk on combining sports and academic performance at NUI Galway’s Undergraduate Open Day. The Open Day, which takes place on Saturday 16 April from 10am to 3pm, is an excellent opportunity for students, along with their parents and families, to explore NUI Galway’s facilities and to learn first-hand from the lecturers themselves about the more than 60 courses on offer. Lecturers and current students will be on hand to talk to students and parents at the main Exhibition area in the Bailey Allen Hall, with over 80 subject-specific exhibition stands. The ‘Parents Programme’ will provide parents and students with information on important issues such as fees and funding, careers, accommodation and support services for students. To get the most out of your day visitors are encouraged to view the timetable of talks at www.nuigalway.ie/opendays. Talk Highlights include: A guest appearance by Neville Maxwell, Olympic rower and former NUI Galway student. Information will also be available about the range of supports and scholarships for athletes Career talks - “Where are the jobs? What are my employment prospects after University?” Blackstone LaunchPad- Training the next generation of Innovators and Entrepreneurs SUSI- Applying for a student grant Creative Arts Performance Points- bonus CAO performance points Taster sessions designed to give a real insight into studying at NUI Galway will include: Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – Introduction to the Healthcare Programmes Arts – BA Connect Programme in Drama, Theatre and Performance studies Studying Engineering- what parents and students need to know Introduction to Commerce International Hotel Management Niamh Connolly, Marketing Officer at NUI Galway, said: “Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions a student will ever make and parents play a key role in supporting students as they take this important next step. Open Day is the perfect opportunity for parents to ensure they have access to all of the information they need to support sons and daughters through their university career. We are encouraging anyone with an interest in studying at NUI Galway to come along, talk to our lecturers and current students, find out about the courses, explore the campus and decide for yourself whether NUI Galway feels right for you. Open Day has proved invaluable in the past to many students, particularly those considering their options before the CAO change of mind deadline of 1 July.” Tours of the campus will include the state-of the-art sports complex and gym, and the Engineering Building. Tours of student accommodation will also be available to visitors on the day, with the tour shuttle bus departing regularly from outside the Orbsen Building. Guided walking tours of the main campus will also take place throughout the afternoon. Full Open Day Programme is available here: http://www.nuigalway.ie/media/April-Open-Day-Programme.pdf. To find out more visit www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, phone +353 91 494398 or email visit@nuigalway.ie. -Ends- Iar-rámhaí Oilimpeach Fógartha mar Aoichainteoir ag Lá Oscailte OÉ Gaillimh Is é an t-iar-rámhaí Oilimpeach agus céimí OÉ Gaillimh, Neville Maxwell, a thabharfaidh aoichaint ar an spórt agus an obair acadúil in OÉ Gaillimh don Lá Oscailte Fochéime. Beidh an Lá Oscailte ar siúl Dé Sathairn, an 16 Aibreán ó 10am go 3pm, agus is iontach an deis é do dhaltaí agus dá dtuismitheoirí agus dá dteaghlaigh, áiseanna OÉ Gaillimh a fheiceáil agus cloisteáil ó na léachtóirí féin faoin mbreis is 60 cúrsa atá ar fáil anseo. Beidh léachtóirí agus mic léinn reatha ar fáil ar an lá le labhairt le daltaí agus lena muintir i Halla Bailey Allen, áit a mbeidh breis is 80 seastán a bhaineann le hábhair ar leith. Cuirfidh ‘Clár na dTuismitheoirí’ eolas ar fáil do thuismitheoirí agus do mhic léinn ar cheisteanna tábhachtacha cosúil le táillí agus maoiniú, gairmeacha, lóistín agus na seirbhísí tacaíochta atá ar fáil do mhic léinn. Chun an tairbhe is mó a bhaint as an lá moltar do chuairteoirí breathnú ar amchlár na gcainteanna anseo www.nuigalway.ie/opendays. I measc na gcainteanna beidh: Aoichaint le Neville Maxwell, rámhaí Oilimpeach agus céimí de chuid OÉ Gaillimh. Beidh eolas le fáil chomh maith faoin tacaíocht agus na scoláireachtaí atá ar fáil do lúthchleasaithe Cainteanna faoi ghairmeacha – “Where are the jobs? What are my employment prospects after University?” Blackstone LaunchPad - Oiliúint don chéad ghlúin eile Nuálaithe agus Fiontraithe SUSI - Iarratas a dhéanamh ar dheontas na mac léinn Pointí Breise do na hEalaíona Cruthaitheacha - pointí breise CAO I measc na seisiún beag chun léargas ceart a thabhairt ar an staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh tá siad seo: Leigheas, Altranas agus Eolaíochtaí Sláinte – Eolas ar na Cláir Cúraim Sláinte Na Dána – An Clár BA Connect sa Drámaíocht, Amharclannaíocht agus Taibhiú Staidéar ar an Innealtóireacht – eolas riachtanach do thuismitheoirí agus do dhaltaí Eolas faoi Thráchtáil Bainistíocht Óstáin Idirnáisiúnta Dúirt Niamh Connolly, Oifigeach Margaíochta in OÉ Gaillimh: “Ceann de na cinntí is tábhachtaí a dhéanfaidh dalta go brách an ollscoil a fhreastalóidh sé/sí uirthi a roghnú. Tá ról tábhachtach ag tuismitheoirí tacú le daltaí agus iad i mbun an cinneadh sin a dhéanamh. Is é an Lá Oscailte an deis is fearr do thuismitheoirí a chinntiú go bhfuil an t-eolas ar fad acu chun tacú le mac nó le hiníon i rith a t(h)réimhse ag an ollscoil. Molaimid do dhuine ar bith ar spéis leo staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh teacht chuig an Lá Oscailte, labhairt leis na léachtóirí agus leis na mic léinn reatha, eolas a fháil faoi chúrsaí, breathnú ar an gcampas agus a fháil amach duit féin an bhfeileann OÉ Gaillimh duitse. Bhain go leor mac léinn leas as an Lá Oscailte sna blianta roimhe seo go háirithe má bhí rún acu athrú intinne an CAO a úsáid roimh an spriocdháta an 1 Iúil.” Ar thurais den champas, taispeánfar an t-ionad spóirt le giomnáisiam den scoth mar aon leis an bhFoirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta. Beidh turais ar fáil de lóistín na mac léinn chomh maith ar an lá agus féadfaidh cuairteoirí dul ar an mbus a bheas ag fágáil go rialta taobh amuigh d'Áras Oirbsean. Tabharfar na cuairteoirí ar shiúl na gcos freisin tráthnóna timpeall an phríomhchampais. Tá Clár iomlán an Lae ar fáil anseo: http://www.nuigalway.ie/media/April-Open-Day-Programme.pdf. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil téigh chuig www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, cuir glao ar +353 91 494398 nó seol ríomhphost chuig visit@nuigalway.ie. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

NUI Galway will host a free public concert in the Aula Maxima on Monday, 18 April at 8pm. ‘Polar Voices – From the Arctic to the Atlantic’ consists of performances by members of Ensemble XXI dedicated to the ancient music of the indigenous people of the Russian Arctic, as well as the story of the great Irish explorer, Henry Kellett in the Arctic. Ensemble XXI, Russia’s first independent orchestra, was founded by the Irish conductor, Lygia O'Riordan and Finnish violinist, Pia Siirala during their studies at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. The orchestra has, over the last decade, carried out an intense study of the music of the indigenous peoples of the Russian Arctic, namely in Chukotka, Kamchatka and in Sub Arctic Sakhalin. This resulted in the establishment of ‘Polar Voices’, which is dedicated to the preservation of the music collected in recordings and film and in its preservation and exposition as a world treasure. Lygia O'Riordan said: “The world is rightly concentrating on the disappearance of ice and creatures in the Arctic as we witness the horror of climate change, yet there is another catastrophe occurring in the Arctic too - the disappearance of the cultural treasures of small nations. It can be compared to the white washing of ancient cave paintings or the destruction of ancient artefacts. In the case of the ancient music from Palaeolithic times, once it goes to the grave with the indigenous Elders it can never be heard again.” ‘Polar Voices - from the Arctic to the Atlantic’ presents this music in film and describes in readings from diaries written during the field trips of “Polar Voices” life amongst the nomads and the Small Nations of the Russian Arctic. Pia Siirala will perform her composition for solo violin on indigenous themes Ulita's Walk.  The performance will also tell the story of the Irish explorer, Henry Kellett who was one of the foremost Arctic explorers in the mid 1800's. He discovered the two islands, Herald and Wrangel that now make up the Russian National Arctic Park, also known as the ‘Nursery of Polar Bears’. Further information is available at http://www.ensemblexxi.org/ensembletimes.htm. -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

NUI Galway will host the second Twitter Mixed Days conference from 19-20 April. The conference is intended to foster collaboration and to build community and will take place in the University’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. The increasing availability of massive datasets from the Twitter platform is revolutionising the scientific study of a variety of phenomena in fields as diverse as Sociology, Computer Science, Business, Law, Crisis Management, Psychology and others. Yet, while many important advances have taken place in these different communities, the dialog between researchers using Twitter data across disciplines is only beginning. The purpose of Twitter for Research conference is to bring together leading researchers in order to lay the foundation for ongoing relationships and to build a lasting multidisciplinary research community.  A ‘Workshop on Extracting Business Value from Twitter Data’ will take place on Tuesday, 19 April. Designed to arm participants with the knowledge to extract real business value from the Twitter platform and the data it produces, Joe Rice from Twitter will deliver the keynote talk. Additional workshops on the day will include: Twitter for Beginners by Dr Clément Levallois, Emlyon Business School; How to use Twitter to Generate Leads by Ineke Oates, Virtual Office Worx; Customer Behaviour with Message Analysis by Dr Maciej Dabrowski, Altocloud; and Extracting Intelligence from Twitter Data, which will be delivered by DrTheo Lynn, DCU. To register for the workshops visit https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/workshop-on-extracting-business-value-from-twitter-data-tickets-21561019590. Wednesday, 20 April sees the Twitter for Research conference taking place. The multi-disciplinary conference is open to all researchers interested in using Twitter data or studying the platform itself. Participants from sociology, business, computer science, law, politics, and crisis management are particularly welcome. To register for the conference visit https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/twitter-for-research-tickets-19409213480 Dr Eoin Whelan, conference organiser and lecturer in Business Information Systems at NUI Galway, said: “We are very excited to be hosting the second Twitter Mixed Days conference. With 320 million active users generating 100,000 tweets per minute, the Twitter platform holds enormous potential for both researchers wishing to reveal the often hidden workings of our societies, and for industry practitioners intent on adding real value to their organisations. The conference takes place over two days and brings together researchers and practitioners from multiple fields and countries. In my own research I have used large twitter datasets to explain how exposure to diverse and contrarian viewpoints results in more creative ideas, and it is in this spirit which the conference takes place.” For further information contact Dr Eoin Whelan at eoin.whelan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Distinguished Lecture will be delivered by Professor Emeritus Nicholas Canny and chaired by Dr Máire Geoghegan-Quinn The Annual Distinguished Lecture 2016, hosted by the School of Law at NUI Galway, will be delivered by Professor Emeritus, Nicholas Canny, in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Friday, 15 April at 8pm. The title of his lecture will be “English Law in Early Modern Ireland: Promoting or Impeding Anglicization?’ and will be chaired by the former EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Dr Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. In the past, the annual lecture has been delivered by: Professor Christopher McCrudden of Oxford University; Baroness Brenda Hale of the UK Supreme Court with Ms Justice Catherine McGuinness of the Irish Supreme Court; Judge John T. Noonan of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Professor Neil Walker of Edinburgh University and Mr. Justice Nial Fennelly of the Irish Supreme Court. Last year it was delivered by Sir Declan Morgan, the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, and the event was chaired by Chief Justice of Ireland, Susan Denham. Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Law, said: “Nicholas Canny is an internationally renowned scholar and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn is a public figure of real distinction. We hope that this event will be an opportunity for our students and alumni to hear from two outstanding individuals. This is the first time that the lecture has been delivered by someone from outside the discipline of Law and it affords an opportunity for perspective-taking with historical insight that will be both rich and stimulating.” The lecture is held annually to mark the end of the academic year and to bid farewell to final year law students and provide an opportunity for them to be introduced to members of the NUI Galway Law School alumni community as they embark on the next stage of their careers. -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The venom from a false black widow spider known as the Steatoda nobilis is being researched for the first time at NUI Galway for its therapeutic potential for anti-cancer properties An NUI Galway scientist has begun research on venom variations from the false black widow spider and its therapeutic potential for anti-cancer properties. The venom will be tested on different lines of human cancerous cells. This is the first time that an Irish bug is being investigated for its potent bio-activity and the first time that venom from this particular spider is been investigated. Dr Michel Dugon, an Irish Research Council Fellow in Botany and an Adjunct Lecturer in Zoology at the School of Natural Sciences in NUI Galway, is carrying out the research on the rapid evolution of spider venom and its potential therapeutic applications. To date less than 100 species worldwide have been investigated for the therapeutic potential of their venom. Mr Dugon will use the venom from a local invasive spider, the false black widow, known as the Steatoda nobilis, which arrived in Ireland in 1997 and is well known in the British Isles as ‘the most venomous spider in the UK’. There is evidence of people having fairly serious effects from the bite of this spider, which result in symptoms similar to a wasp or bee sting, but until now the venom has never been studied. In his research Dr Dugon is using the false black widow spider as a model to determine: If there is some truth regarding the potency ot their venom. If the venom is in fact different between populations, which would explain why this spider has such a bad reputation in Ireland and the UK but not in its native range in Madeira and the Canary Islands. If the venom has potential anticancer properties. Initial tests have shown that the venom from this spider causes significant cell death when diluted with one part venom to one million part water. The venom will now be tested on different lines of human cancerous cells. In the case of spiders, virtually all of the 40,000 species known worldwide possess a pair of fangs and venom glands used to kill prey and deter predators. Venom is a complex cocktail containing hundreds of bioactive components, including potent toxins. Spider neurotoxins can shut down the central nervous system of their prey, leading to respiratory or cardiac arrest. Commenting on the new study, Dr Michel Dugon said: “These toxins, once rearranged, can become powerful tools for the treatment of diseases. It is already asserted that each species of spider possesses its own cocktail of toxins, giving unique properties to its venom. Worldwide, this represents at least 40,000 toxic blends that might hold treatments for diseases crippling millions of people. What if venom was not just species-specific but population-specific? Or maybe even individual-specific, just like our fingerprints? That would mean millions of bioactive combinations are there to be explored and a huge biodiverse pharmacy may be waiting to be harvested.” Dr Dugon added, “We thought that the venom from a Steatoda nobilis would be quite benign and rather unlikely to cause mass cell death in a biological assessment on healthy or cancerous cell lines, especially once the venom is diluted and sprayed on cells. To our great surprise, the venom from this spider causes significant cell death even when diluted with one part venom to one million part water. We are just amazed that a solution containing 0.0001% of crude venom still manages to cause serial death in our cell lines. What causes it? We hope to find out soon.” Michel Dugon has opened the ‘Venom Systems and Proteomics Lab’ in the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway with the aim of identifying venomous animals that are a potential source of novel bioactive compounds. He currently works in collaboration with Dr Ronan Sulpice (Botany), Dr Peter Crowley (Chemistry), the team of Professor Afshin Samali (Biochemistry) and the team of Professor Lokesh Joshi (VP of Research) at NUI Galway. ENDS

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

NUI Galway online treatment programme for chronic pain sufferers extended due to interest A recent online treatment programme, set up by expert psychologists and physiotherapists, aims to help those who suffer from chronic pain. Recruitment has been extended until Friday, 29 April due to the number of inquiries received in recent weeks. The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, with the support of the Health Research Board, is currently recruiting people with chronic pain (pain which has lasted for three months or more). The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) trial will provide eight online sessions to people in the comfort of their own home. At the moment, such supports are mainly available through specialised hospital-based pain management teams.  Chronic pain affects up to 35% of the Irish population and is increasingly recognised as a disease in its own right. Chronic pain is sometimes associated with psychological effects, which may include anxiety and changes in mood, as well as forgetfulness, and difficulties in focusing attention, planning tasks and making decisions. The ACT trial is based on emerging clinical science that demonstrates the usefulness of managing chronic pain through mindfulness and psychological wellbeing. The study is open to people all over Ireland and will take place over the coming months. GPs and physiotherapists around the country are being encouraged to refer suitable people with pain to the study. The free online sessions in the ACT programme will focus on values and goals that are individual to each person in the trial. Participants will be provided with instructions on a range of activity-pacing techniques to encourage more consistent levels of activity from day-to-day. In addition, mindfulness techniques and cognitive behavioural therapy will help identify both negative thinking patterns and the development of effective challenges.  Dr Christopher Dwyer, coordinator of the study at the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway, said: “We know that psychological therapies provided to people with chronic pain are beneficial, particularly for people at risk of long term disability. However, this type of service is often only accessible via specialised hospital-based pain management teams. In this trial, we will offer this type of service to people all over the country and at any stage of injury.” People who take part in the ACT trial will not need to attend any clinic or the University at any stage. All materials are tailored for those wishing to learn effective ways of managing their chronic pain. Participants can access physiotherapy and all medical services as usual while involved in the trial.  Study supervisor Dr Brian McGuire said “this is a promising new online pain management programme and we are hopeful it will be of benefit to people with chronic pain.” For further information contact Dr Christopher Dwyer at the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway at painresearch@nuigalway.ie or 091 495 391, or see the website http://www.nuigalway.ie/centre-for-pain-research/ before Friday, 29 April. GPs or physiotherapists who are interested in referring suitable patients to the trial can also use these contact details. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

NUI Galway will host the seventh Conference of Italian Archaeology between on 16-18 April, attracting almost 200 participants from across Europe, North America, South America, North Africa, and Australia. Over the three days, 150 presentations will reveal the newest discoveries in the archaeological heritage of Italy from prehistory through to the modern period, with a particular focus on funerary archaeology. The highlight of the conference will be a special session of papers to honour two of the UK’s leading scholars in Italian archaeology, Ruth Whitehouse and John Wilkins, who run the Accordia Research Institute in University College London, the premier research organisation for the study of early Italy in Britain. The conference is organised by NUI Galway’s discipline of Classics, with support from Fáilte Ireland, Galway University Foundation, NUI Galway’s College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the Moore Institute, and the discipline of Archaeology. Dr Edward Herring, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, said: “NUI Galway is delighted to be hosting the Seventh Conference of Italian Archaeology this Apil and to join the select band of universities that have been home to this prestigious event, following Lancaster, Sheffield, Cambridge, London, Oxford and Groningen. This conference gives us the chance to showcase our work in Classics and Archaeology and to welcome international scholars to our beautiful campus and world-class facilities. For me, personally, bringing the conference to Galway is a particular pleasure as Italian Archaeology is my own research field and I previously helped organise the conference when it was held in London in 1990.” The Conference of Italian Archaeology series began in Lancaster in 1977 and has been subsequently hosted by several universities in the UK and the Netherlands. -Ends-

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

NUI Galway recently conferred special certificates on the tenth cohort of ‘graduates’ from its Youth Academy. In total, 324 primary school children from across the West of Ireland received their certificates, with more than 1,000 friends and family attending the ceremony. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing primary school students and their families to university life. Since its foundation, almost 2,000 students have graduated from a variety of courses on Saturday mornings ranging from Mandarin to Art, Engineering to Creative Writing, Cell-EXPLORERS and Kitchen Chemistry to IT and The World of Cops and Robbers to Social Innovation. The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high ability fourth, fifth and sixth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The Youth Academy is a very important initiative by this University. We feel that it responds to the educational needs of our most important young citizens and gives talented young students the opportunity to get experience of learning in a university. NUI Galway is committed to the sharing of knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all. I hope that initiatives such as the Youth Academy can highlight how the University can and does serve its community, not only here Galway but in society in general.” For further information on the courses and participation please contact Geraldine Marley, NUI Galway Youth Academy Coordinator, at youthacademy@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

NUI Galway study highlights the different pathways of normal development of worrisome thoughts in children and young adolescents, dependent on the child’s gender and pubertal status A study carried out by researchers at NUI Galway found that while children at age 10 worry the most, young female adolescents at age 13, are most affected in performing daily activities due to worrisome thoughts, as published today (5 April) in the British Journal of Health Psychology.   Anxiety and worry is a normal part of childhood and adolescence, however, research observing children throughout childhood to evaluate the development of worrisome thoughts is lacking, and makes it difficult to distinguish between normal and pathological worrying patterns. The study was carried out by Dr Line Caes at the School of Psychology & Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway in collaboration with Professor Christopher Eccleston and Dr Emma Fisher both from the Centre for Pain Research at Bath University. The study investigated mothers’ perspectives on their child’s normal level of worry and impact on daily life from childhood to early adolescence. The data for the study was extracted from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) in which 2,227 mothers reported on their child's worry content, frequency, control, and emotional disruption when their child was aged 7, 10, and 13 years old. The researchers found that age 10 seems to be a pivotal age with respect to worries, with mothers reporting the highest level worry frequency at age 10 combined with a low ability to control those worries at this age. However, the highest level of impact in performing daily activities due to worrisome thoughts was observed at age 13, particularly for girls. These findings suggest that parents may perceive the increased level of worries and the difficulty to control these worries when their children are 10 years of age as a normal part of growing up. However, early adolescence, especially for girls, might be a vulnerable time for the development and early identification of intrusive worries. The child’s gender and pubertal status play a role in understanding how normal worry patterns develop from age 10 onwards, with advanced puberty at age 10 being associated with overall higher worry frequency and emotional disruption. The authors discussed the findings within a developmental framework outlining the normal development of worrisome thoughts, associated distress, and how it impacts on engaging in daily activities, throughout early adolescence. The study highlights that increased knowledge of typical worry patterns could help inform a better understanding of adolescence as a vulnerable time for the development of mental health problems, such as Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Commenting on the study, Dr Line Case from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway explains: “This study represents an exciting collaboration between NUI Galway and Bath University providing a new view on how children develop and how they are affected by a normal aspect of life, worry, depending on their developmental stage. These findings will help inform future research and policy on early detection and treatment of pathological levels of anxiety in childhood.” The study is supported by Galway University Foundation and the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway. For further information on the data from ALSPAC visit: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac To read the full paper in the British Journal of Health Psychology visit: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjhp.12174/abstract ENDS

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

To mark International Clinical Trials Day the ‘Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network’ based in NUI Galway launches START COMPETITION for primary school students On May 20th every year, the world celebrates International Clinical Trials Day. This event marks the anniversary of the first ever documented clinical trial, which was conducted on sailors in the Royal Navy in 1747. To celebrate this important occasion, the Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) based in NUI Galway has launched the Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials (START) competition. This competition invites 4th, 5th and 6th class students and their teachers to design, carry out and evaluate their very own clinical trial. Participation in this competition meets several key aspects of the school curriculum including Maths, Science, English, Irish, Information & Communication Technology and Social, Personal & Health Education. Students are asked to choose a simple, easy to answer question and use the proper steps of a trial to answer it scientifically, using the resources provided on the HRB-TMRN website. Questions might include things like ‘Can using coloured paper for written spelling tests increase students’ scores?’ or ‘Does 10 minutes of dancing every morning before classes improve student’s attention?’. Findings from each trial can be reported through podcast, video, website, report format, collage or poster. The purpose of the competition is to help students become aware of the clinical trial process, rather than answering a ground breaking question. Commenting on the project, Dr Sandra Galvin, HRB-TMRN Coordinator based in NUI Galway said: “This is an exciting new initiative and the first of its kind to bring awareness of clinical trials to the younger community. Schoolchildren and their teachers are so creative and we are really looking forward to seeing what innovative ways teachers and pupils go about designing and reporting their trial.” All schools submitting an entry will be listed among the ‘Trial Aware Primary Schools 2016’ on the HRB-TMRN website, and shortlisted entries will be invited to Galway on Friday, May 20th, where the winner will be announced and presented with the START Trophy 2016. Each project will be assessed by: How well does the project adhere to the structure of a clinical trial? Does the project provide new insights into a healthcare issue in the school or local or wider community? How well presented are the findings of the trial, so that any member of the community could understand the findings? Can other schools learn something new from this project? To register your trial complete the Trial Registration Form, which can be found on the website www.hrb-tmrn.ie and it email to hrb-tmrn@nuigalway.ie or alternatively Post to: Room 235, 1st Floor, Áras Moyola, School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway. ENDS

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Two NUI Galway mature students, Brian Doherty and Arron Claffey-Conneely, have been awarded two Experiment Intercultural Learning (EIL) Group Explore Travel scholarships. This is the fourth year in a row that students from the University have received the award. This year four NUI Galway students were shortlisted among the 25 applicants from every Irish institution reviewed for the scholarship, with four overall winners. EIL Explore is a programme that funds participants with an interest in global issues to travel abroad for the purpose of volunteering, cultural immersion, or language education through a variety of awards. Brian, from Galway City, is a first year mature student of Youth and Family Studies under the College of Arts Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. Under the EIL scheme, Brian will be going to Ecuador in June to work with children in need. Also from Galway City, Arron is currently in his third year of his Arts degree studying Psychology and Social and Political Studies. Aaron, who came in to his degree via the Access Course, will be going to Thailand to work with Burmese refugees. The vision is that upon their return to Ireland, students will have grown as individuals and will use this wonderful learning experience to be agents for change in their local community advocating for a more globally just society. Trish Bourke, NUI Galway’s Mature Students Officer, said: “Working with Mature and Access students on these EIL Travel Scholarships is one of the highlights of my year. I am proud that NUI Galway’s Mature Students have been winners for four years in a row outperforming all other universities.” -Ends-

Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change in NUI Galway will hold its Annual Research Day on Wednesday, 13 April. The Institute is named after Dr T.K. Whitaker who is widely recognised for setting Ireland’s economy on a path of internationalisation and modernisation through his 1958 study, Economic Development. Throughout his illustrious career, Dr Whitaker demonstrated and implemented innovative ideas and approaches to challenges and issues facing our economy and society. The event is open to the public, researchers and policy makers. The Whitaker Institute has adopted a similarly innovative, multidisciplinary and transformative approach in its research on challenges facing business and society in Ireland and internationally. As such, the Whitaker Institute has positioned itself to play a leading research-led role in the debate on the future of economic development across its three research themes of Sustainable and Inclusive Societies, Public-Sector Innovation and Reform and Business, Innovation & Economic Development. Focusing on these main themes, the Whitaker Institute Research Day is an opportunity for researchers and policy makers from across multiple disciplines to meet and discuss how the multi-perspective research of the Institute, on a range of social and economic issues, can promote a more sustainable and inclusive society. Professor John McHale, Director of the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, said: “The Whitaker Institute Research day will discuss topics such as climate change, environmental sustainability, gender equality, information management in the public sector and healthy societies. While the Irish economy and the policy issues were very different on the eve of T.K. Whitaker producing his famous 1958 study compared to the issues we face now, there are still potential resonances from that time for research and policy making in Ireland today. The research day is about discussing those ideas that can have real policy impact and ultimately help deliver a more sustainable and inclusive society.” The research day will involve a series of talks at NUI Galway. The day is divided up into five main sessions. The first morning session sees each cluster of the Whitaker Institute give a short presentation on their research and how it advances the three key research themes of the Institute. The other sessions throughout the day will see Whitaker researchers presenting some of the key ongoing projects of the Institute in more detail. There will also be a number of external speakers on the day. A plenary talk will be delivered by Professor John Fitzgerald, Chair of the Advisory Council on Climate Change who will speak on moving to a low carbon Irish economy. And Orlaigh Quinn, Head of the Expenditure Policy and Reporting & Government Reform Unit in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, who will take part in a panel discussion on information management in the public sector. The event will take place in the Hardiman Research Building at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 13 April. To register attendance online, and download the full agenda for the day, visit http://whitakerinstitute.ie/event/whitaker-research-day/. Attendance is free but registration is required. ENDS

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Tibetan Buddhist Monk to deliver public mindfulness classes at NUI Galway as part of the University’s ongoing initiative towards integrating a mindful culture As part of its ongoing initiative towards integrating mindfulness into the University’s culture, NUI Galway will host a day of Mindfulness classes with Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Gelong Thubten. The classes are free and will take place in NUI Galway’s Aula Maxima Lower on Friday, 15 April, throughout the day from 8.15am to 5pm.   This month’s theme will focus on Mindfulness Using Visual Objects, followed by a reflection practice on ‘Contemplating the roots of happiness and suffering. Exploring the mechanisms of stress and the psychology of happiness.’ Classes are open to all university staff and students, the general public, researchers, student counsellors and advisors, healthcare professionals, mindfulness practitioners, and anyone with an interest in mindfulness. The April class is the fourth in a series of monthly classes, which will continue over the coming months, excluding May. The purpose of the classes is to provide a thorough training in mindfulness, teaching new themes and reflection practices each month, which should be practiced in between modules. For those attending for the first time, there is an opportunity to cover the previous three sessions at the 12pm class. Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Gelong Thubten is based at the Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery in Dumfriesshire in Scotland and works with businesses, hospitals, schools, prisons and addiction centres, and counts among his clients such organisations as the NHS, Google, Morrisons, Clifford Chance and Linklaters. He has lectured on Buddhism and meditation at the universities of Oxford, Helsinki and Cardiff.  Commenting on what people can expect from the Mindfulness classes Gelong Thubten said: “Mindfulness teaches people to understand more about themselves and where their thinking habits are coming from. It is a way of training the mind to reduce stress and develop greater clarity. It’s about focusing on the present moment, feeling less controlled by our own thoughts and having more mental freedom. At its core mindfulness is teaching people to be compassionate and valuing themselves and others around them.” Class Schedule for Friday, 15 April, 2016: 8.15am – 9:00am 10.45am – 11.30am 12:00pm – 12.45pm (Beginners) 13.15pm – 14:00pm 17: 00pm – 17:45pm For more information about NUI Galway’s Mindful Way visit: www.nuigalway.ie/mindfulway ENDS

Thursday, 14 April 2016

NUI Galway’s Enactus Society recently held their annual showcase which saw the student’s present five projects which they ran over the previous year. These projects benefit the world, socially, economically and environmentally and engage those most vulnerable in our society with members of the University. NUI Galway was one of the founding Irish teams of Enactus Ireland and this year will mark its fifth year of involvement. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, participating students from all disciplines form a team on their university campus and apply business concepts to create and implement community empowerment projects around the globe. Enactus NUI Galway students take entrepreneurial action to positively impact on the lives of those in need in their community. Partnerships with the community include Galway Simon Community, COPE Galway, Ability West, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Croí and The Olive Branch for Children. Working with both the Galway Simon Community and COPE Galway, the Wall Flower Initiative involved training long-term homeless men on the development of vertical gardening pockets for urban spaces as well as how to grow plants from seeds. In the HeadstARTS project, a team of students organised weekly drama and dance sessions with teenagers from Ability West, while the CARA group engaged adolescents from CAMHS in a series of art classes under the tutelage of local volunteer artist Maeve Gallagher. Now in its second year, the Communication Awareness Project (CAP) led by students from the Discipline of Speech and Language Therapy, provides training programmes for staff in the service industry on how to communicate with members of our community who experience verbal communication challenges. Future plans for Enactus NUI Galway include ensuring the sustainability and expansion of the current projects and to develop new projects. The OppTech Micro Finance team is working on developing a business training programme and a supplementary app to bring to Tanzania. They are accompanying volunteers from the Draíocht Society on campus this summer to deliver this pilot programme. New project “Whats the craic?” is focused at the concept stage and is looking to facilitate learning language exchanges at NUI Galway. The current Team Leader and PhD candidate at NUI Galway, Orlagh Reynolds, has been involved in Enactus for over a year and also attended the Enactus World Cup 2015 which took place last year in Johannesburg, South Africa. Orlagh said: “From working with some of Galway’s key community organisations to travelling to the Enactus World Cup in Johannesburg, Enactus has given me insight into what is needed to make a sustainable impact in our community and beyond. Our showcase demonstrated the incredible work of our team and impact of our projects.” Michael Campion, a lecturer at NUI Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, and Faculty Advisor for Enactus NUI Galway, said: “The typical student who engages with Enactus is enterprising and passionate about making things better for others. Designing and developing Enactus projects is not easy due to the criteria laid down by the Enactus worldwide organisation. It challenges students to be innovative, enterprising and hard-working. It’s a privilege to work with and support such students in their Enactus endeavours.” In May, Enactus NUI Galway students, along with nine other third-level institutions, will gather at the Chartered Accountants of Ireland in Dublin for the Enactus Ireland National Final 2016. The winners will represent Ireland at the Enactus World Cup, which this year will be held in Toronto, Canada in September. -Ends-

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Online study at NUI Galway seeks participants throughout Ireland, to understand how and why people experience sleep difficulties like sleep paralysis The School of Psychology at NUI Galway is starting a study on the number of people affected by sleep paralysis and unusual sleep experiences. The researchers are seeking over 1,000 participants throughout Ireland to take part in the online study. This study is interested in looking at how people’s emotions and lifestyles relate to their sleep. It is also interested in understanding how and why people experience sleep difficulties like sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis can happen when we are falling asleep or waking up and is often viewed as a distressing experience. Previous studies at NUI Galway have found that about a quarter of its students have reported experiences of sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis involves a person experiencing the inability to move when they are just falling asleep or when waking up from sleep. People who experience sleep paralysis often report seeing a shadow of a man or an old woman, or a sense of someone being present in their room. Sometimes the figure sits on their chest, or just simply moves towards them. Other people report their bed clothes being moved or their body being touched.  In some cases, the person reports that they feel as if they are looking down on themselves whilst being unable to scream or move. Most reported the experience as very frightening, but some will have pleasant recollections, such as a dead relative coming to caress their face or tuck-them-in. One student reported that she recalled the Easter Bunny jumping up on her bed! The study is being carried out by Michelle Tomas, a Doctoral student on the clinical psychology training programme at the School of Psychology in NUI Galway and her supervisor Dr Jonathan Egan, Deputy Director of the clinical programme. Dr Jonathan Egan from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, said: “We are interested in how general well-being, sleep quality, stress and mood are related to episodes of sleep paralysis. No study has addressed a large non-student population in Ireland before and we hope to get over a thousand people to participate in the research.” To participate in the study visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/sleepstudynuigalway ENDS

Friday, 15 April 2016

Kyle Moore, an NUI Galway final year Bachelor of Arts student was recently awarded the prestigious American International Group, Inc. (AIG) Legatum Prize. The prize challenges the world’s brightest young minds to generate new ideas to some of the toughest policy questions. Kyle, from Raish, Co. Mayo, was presented with the £3,000 prize and the 2016 trophy with his innovative proposal for a reciprocal 'caring credits' system within the EU. His idea, which is published in full, along with the other finalists’ entries by the Legatum Institute, proposes that participants would earn credits through caring for the elderly, which they could ‘cash in’ later in life in any EU member state, either to fund their own care or that of family members. He cited an existing Japanese scheme as a good example for Europe to follow. Now in its fourth year, this prestigious award challenged entrants with devising solutions to the huge demographic challenges of ageing societies to ensure that older people can lead more prosperous lives. The aim of the AIG Legatum Prize is to give younger people across the world a voice, and to bring together the best and brightest young thinkers to address issues of relevance to public policy that are inadequately addressed and understood in existing research. Dr Edward Herring, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, said: “I am delighted to congratulate Kyle Moore on his outstanding achievement. His award-winning proposal demonstrates the very best qualities of an Arts and Social Sciences' education, in that it is creative, entrepreneurial, innovative, and socially responsible. Kyle's achievement brings tremendous lustre to this University and we are very proud of him.” A distinguished panel of judges, chaired by Jeremy Cliffe, Bagehot columnist at The Economist, questioned the five shortlisted finalists in a Dragons’ Den-style format in front of a packed room of business leaders, academics, think-tankers and students. Adam Winslow, Chief Executive Officer of AIG Life Limited, said: “Kyle is a worthy winner, but there were many great ideas presented to the judges. We need to engage the brightest minds of all generations to find a solution to the demographic challenge that brings continued prosperity. It was genuinely inspirational to witness the range of different solutions proposed by these young thinkers to the very real problem of ensuring that an ageing society is a prosperous one.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

‘Strength In Numbers: Teaming up to improve the health of young adults with type 1 diabetes’ NUI Galway will play host to a major three-day international symposium focusing on improving health outcomes for young adults with type 1 diabetes from 22-24 June. Type 1 diabetes requires intensive self-management, including monitoring blood glucose, administering insulin, carbohydrate counting, and regulating exercise, to maintain good diabetes control. This daily self-management routine is challenging for most, but is especially difficult for young adults whose lives are often characterised by transition, independence and unpredictability. The Irish Young Adult Type 1 Diabetes Study team, based in NUI Galway, have been working since 2011 to better understand the needs and perspectives of young adults with type 1 diabetes and this three-day event is the culmination of that work. On the first day, Dr Molly Byrne, Health Behaviour Change Research Group, NUI Galway, will bring together expert researchers and clinicians to agree a standardised set of outcomes for use in future research with young adults with type 1 diabetes. The highpoint of this three-day event will be the a major international expert conference ‘Strength In Numbers: Teaming up to improve the health of young adult with type 1 diabetes’ on Thursday, 23 June. Healthcare professionals, young adults with type 1 diabetes, researchers and policy makers are invited and encouraged to attend this free conference, which is funded by the Health Research Board through a Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme. Headed by Professor Seán Dinneen, Consultant Physician at Galway University Hospitals and Head of NUI Galway’s School of Medicine, the conference will see national and international experts presenting to a multi-disciplinary audience on service provision and technology for supporting self-management in young adults with type 1 diabetes. The conference will host an array of international speakers from the Steno Diabetes Center in Denmark, the University of Sheffield, Kings College London, Cardiff University, the University of Aberdeen and Diabetes UK, as well as a host of national healthcare providers and experts from the HSE and Irish universities. The final day will involve two parallel sessions: an ‘Expert Panel’ and a ‘Hackathon’. The Expert Panel will be focused, and people will be specifically chosen to attend based on their skills and experience. This panel meeting will involve feedback sessions and workshops to reach a consensus on the final protocol for an intervention to improve health outcomes for young adults with type 1 diabetes in Ireland. The Hackathon will bring together software developers, health-focused start-up businesses, people with type 1 diabetes and healthcare professionals to focus on possible technology solutions which could be applied in a future young adult intervention. Professor Seán Dinneen who is leading the study, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming a diverse range of experts, including expert patients, to the NUI Galway campus in June to help us think through how we might improve the delivery of care to young adults living with type 1 diabetes.” The ‘Strength In Numbers’ conference on Thursday, 23 June, is open to anyone with an interest in young adult type 1 diabetes management. This innovative, multi-disciplinary conference is not an information event for people with diabetes but will be of interest to health services providers, researchers, young adults with type 1 diabetes and policy-makers. Join the Strength In Numbers conversation using the #TIDSINs2016. For full programme details or to register for free visit http://goo.gl/3I1zMG. For further information contact Dr Lisa Hynes in NUI Galway’s School of Psychology on 091 494458. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

NUI Galway will host a public lecture and a one-day seminar series on multilingualism and language diversity in contemporary Ireland on 22 and 23 April in the Aula Maxima.  Both free events are open to the public and are part of NUI Galway’s official 1916 centenary programme. On Friday, 22 April, at 7pm, Professor Antonella Sorace, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, will deliver a public lecture entitled ‘Why multilingualism matters: the view from linguistic and cognitive research’. Professor Sorace is a world-leading expert on multilingualism and is committed to disseminating her research findings beyond academia. She is the founding director of the information and consultancy centre ‘Bilingualism Matters’. On Saturday, 23 April, leading researchers from Ireland and Europe will deliver a series of talks as part of a one-day seminar. Topics include multilingualism in education, in the home, in modern-day Europe and in speech and language therapy. All talks will be in English but will refer to a variety of languages including Irish, English, Chinese and Polish. Insurgents in the GPO in April 1916 were joined by a Swede and a Finn, neither of whom could speak English. Then as now, linguistic diversity was part of Irish life, even in unusual circumstances. The public lecture and one-day seminar will investigate aspects of multilingualism in Ireland 2016. Dr Rióna Ní Fhrighil, Lecturer in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at NUI Galway and Chairperson of the organising committee, said: “This is a unique opportunity for parents, teachers and other interested parties to hear about the latest research in the area of multilingualism and to discuss the challenges posed and the opportunities presented by linguistic diversity in Ireland 2016.” Further information and the full programme is available at www.multilingualism2016.wordpress.com -Ends- An t-Ilteangachas á Cheiliúradh in Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh Beidh léacht phoiblí agus seimineár lae faoin ilteangachas in Éirinn na linne seo ar siúl san Aula Maxima’, OÉ Gaillimh, ar 22-23 Aibreán. Tá an dá imeacht mar chuid de chlár comórtha 1916 na hOllscoile. Beidh fáilte roimh an bpobal agus ní bheidh aon táille le híoc le freastal ar cheachtar den dá ócáid. Ar an Aoine, 22 Aibreán ag 7pm, tabharfaidh an tOllamh Antonella Sorace, Ollscoil Dhún Éidinn, léacht phoiblí dar teideal ‘Why multilingualism matters: the view from linguistic and cognitive research’. Is saineolaí aitheanta ar an dátheangachas agus ar an ilteangachas í an tOllamh Sorace agus bhí sí ar dhuine de bhunaitheoirí ‘Bilingual Matters’, ionad eolais agus comhairleoireachta do thuismitheoirí atá ag tógáil clainne le dhá theanga. Is é an Dr Zbyszek Zalinski, iriseoir agus láithreoir le RTÉ, a dhéanfaidh cathaoirleacht ar an léacht phoiblí. Ar an Satharn, 23 Aibreán, beidh saineolaithe ó Éirinn agus ó Mhór-roinn na hEorpa ag tabhairt cainteanna faoi ghnéithe éagsúla den ilteangachas, ina measc, sealbhú teangacha sa bhaile, páistí ilteangacha agus cúrsaí oideachais, an teiripe chainte agus urlabhraíochta. Cé go mbeidh na cainteanna ar fad trí mheán an Bhéarla, díreoidh na cainteoirí ar theangacha éagsúla an Pholainnis, an tSínis agus an Ghaeilge, san áireamh. Bhí Sualannach agus Fionnlanach nach raibh aon Bhéarla ar a dtoil acu in éindí le lucht an Éirí Amach in Ard-Oifig an Phoist ar 24 Aibreán 1916. Mar atá anois ann, bhain éagsúlacht theangeolaíoch le saol na hÉireann an uair úd chomh maith, fiú amháin i gcásanna fíoreisceachtúla. Deir an Dr Rióna Ní Fhrighil, Scoil na dTeangacha, Litríochtaí agus Cultúr agus duine den lucht eagair: “Beidh faill ag tuismitheoirí, ag múinteoirí agus ag an bpobal i gcoitinne tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoin ilteangachas féin agus faoi na deiseanna agus na dúshláin atá romhainn in Éirinn ilteangach na linne seo.” Tá an clár iomlán chomh maith le heolas faoi na cainteoirí aonair ar fáil ag www.multilingualism2016.wordpress.com. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy project, The Voices of Individuals: Collectively Exploring Self-determination (VOICES) will hold its first workshop on the 27th and 28th of April in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway.   The first day of the workshop is open to the public and will be a conference style event exploring the experiences of people with disabilities in exercising, or being denied their right to make decisions about their lives, known as legal capacity. The conference will include both international and domestic perspectives in the area of legal capacity and will also look at different ways to tell stories. Speakers include people with disabilites, academics, and activists with experience of using stories to drive social change from around the world. The VOICES project takes an innovative approach to law reform by using the stories of those with lived experience of disability and pairing them with respondents to develop grounded recommendations for reform. The second day of the workshop will be a private day where storytellers can share their experiences and can start working together with respondents. The keynote speaker will be Amita Dhanda, Professor of Law and Head of the Centre for Disability Studies, NALSAR, University of Law, Hyderabad in India. Dr Dhanda has actively engaged in negotiating the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and has been closely involved in the law reform work in her own country to formulate disability rights laws especially legal capacity and support regimes which are in conformity with the UNCRPD. Participants attending the conference will include: World-renowned independent disability rights defender, Professor Gabor Gombos; Theresia Degener, Vice Chair of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Committee; Maths Jesperson of PO-Skåne, a professional service with personal ombudsmen for people with severe psychosocial disabilities in Sweden; and Jolijn Santegods, a grass roots human rights activist and leading figure in human rights for people with psychosocial disabilities internationally.                                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 workshop will bring together storytellers with disabilities and respondents from academia, activism, front-line workers and policy-makers to jointly develop proposals for reform of laws, policies and practice on legal capacity. The participants come from 12 countries and will explore many different and exciting ways to share their experiences of exercising and being denied legal capacity – through oral and written storytelling, art, theatre and performance.” 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 April. 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