Summer Internship Programme 2018

Summer Internship Programme 2018 -image

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Applications are invited for research bursaries intended for undergraduate students wishing to pursue a 4-6 week summer research project in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, starting 28 May 2018. Each bursary has a value of 500 euro (or possibly more in certain cases). These internship bursaries are available to undergraduate students of any nationality and university. Preference will be given to students in the penultimate year of their undergraduate studies. Eligible supervisors are listed under "Academic Staff" on the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics website. Candidates should make contact directly with a prospective supervisor to discuss a project and to arrange for the submission of the required recommendation by the prospective supervisor.  Application Deadline 5pm Friday 16 March 2018. Application Procedure To apply for a bursary students should first find a supervisor within the school who is willing to supervise them for a a 4-6 week summer project. The project should start on 28 May 2018, though the 4-6 week research period need not be continuous. Students should email a single pdf file to containing: The name of the proposed project supervisor. A short description of the research project (200 words maximum). A table containing percentage grades for all university modules completed to date. Provisional results for Semester I of the current academic year should be included. Students should also ensure that the proposed supervisor sends a short recommendation to There is no official application form. Evaluation Applications will be evaluated by members of the School's Research Committee. Students will be ranked based on their academic grades, the proposed research project and the supervisor's recommendation letter.

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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

When and Where The Mathematics Enrichment Course and related optional assessments will be held on the following Saturdays in 2016 from 11am to 2pm; see also note 1 below: January 16 (table quiz fun!) January 23 January 30 February 6 February 13 February 27; see note 2 below March 5 March 12 April 2 (local 2.5 hour Olympiad exam); see note 3 below April 23 (Irish Olympiad exam -- two 3-hour papers; see ) NOTE 1: The dates listed ensure that no classes/tests take place around mid-term break in secondary schools (February 15-19) nor during Easter break in schools (March 17-April 1) NOTE 2: Participating girls should be aware that during the Enrichment Training class of 27th February, the European Girls' Maths Olympiad (EGMO) selection exam (see will be held at the same time. Girls who plan to write this exam should meet at 11am in AC216 and will be taken to a nearby room to write the 3-hour paper NOTE 3: Students who write the local Olympiad exam (e.g. to help them decide if they wish to write the Irish Olympiad exam) but who live outside of Galway City may if they wish arrange to write the exam from their homes The location of the sessions will be AC216. This room is located in the Geography area of the Arts/Science Concourse Building and is quite close to the Bank of Ireland on campus. Click on the following Interactive Campus Map. No booking is required to attend Enrichment classes, and it is not even necessary to have participated in the 29th IrMO--Round 1 exam held during 9-13 Nov 2015. We do ask parents to ensure that students travel safely, especially those coming from afar. The sessions are given by highly experienced lecturers from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway. Since the classes are somewhat independent of each other in content, a student who misses any given session can still follow the ensuing classes. The first session on 16th January 2016 will consist of problem solving in which participants will be divided into teams and encouraged to cooperate in thinking creatively to solve mathematical puzzles that generally require creativity. The problems are designed to stimulate student interest and logical thought processes for the sessions that then ensue. A local examination will take place on April 2 and this might help students decide if they feel they should attempt the 29th Irish Mathematical Olympiad (IrMO) final round contest which will be held on April 23 (two 3-hour papers Students who have been invited to attend enrichment classes at NUI Galway should note that they can, if they prefer, attend at a centre geographically closer to them. Thus for example, students from North Donegal are welcome to attend at UCD (see for the schedule of UCD's enrichment classes). What is it about? The theme of the course is mathematical problem solving. This means creating original deductive arguments to establish mathematical facts. We will study problems whose solution requires inventive thinking rather than applying known techniques. While there will be some mathematical theory introduced, the emphasis will be on solving problems rather than accumulating theory. Problems from various areas of mathematics will be discussed, including geometry, combinatorics, number theory, graph theory and algebra. Sessions are run by academic mathematicians from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway. There is no particular connection to the second level curriculum. Who is it for? Students from the senior cycle of second level (transition year and above) are invited to attend the Enrichment Course. If you enjoy mathematics at school, if you enjoy mathematical or logical puzzles, if you like to find satisfying explanations of mathematical phenomena, this course might be for you. Highly mathematically interested students in their junior cycle could also be involved because most problems require a good understanding of basic mathematical facts and the ability to think logically, but no specialised knowlwsge is needed. What can I do with it? You can just enjoy the challenge of mathematical problem solving, if you like. You can use this course to explore your interest in studying mathematics at third level at  or elsewhere, or you can take part in mathematical problem solving contests. For Further Information send an email to Jerome Sheahan

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Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics NUI Galway Student Chapter Annual Conference 2015

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics  NUI Galway Student Chapter  Annual Conference 2015-image

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Conference Date: December 3rd 2015 Information Technology Building, NUI Galway Contact: This second annual conference is being organised by the NUI Galway Student Chapter of SIAM, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, currently the only chapter in the Republic of Ireland. The aim of the conference is to bring together research students from different universities, giving them the chance to broaden their horizons and see what other students in their research area are working on. The event is generously supported by SIAM(Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics), MACSI(Mathematics Applications Consortium for Science and Industry) at the University of Limerick, the Stokes Cluster of the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway, theComplex Systems Research Centre, and the NUI Galway Mathematics Society. The webpage for last year's conference can be viewed here. We are pleased to confirm that Dr Dana Mackey (Dublin Institute of Technology) and Prof. James Gleeson (MACSI, University of Limerick)will be this year's plenary speakers. Registration for attendance and poster presentations is still open - those intending to register should complete the form at this location

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NUI Galway Awarded International Grant For Schizophrenia Study

NUI Galway Awarded International Grant For Schizophrenia Study-image

Monday, 15 May 2017

Dr. Derek Morris has been awarded a NARSAD Investigator Grant from the Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation, for his research into risk genes that cause schizophrenia and how they contribute to cognitive deficits in patients. The research will focus on new schizophrenia risk genes that function in epigenetic mechanisms (controller) genes that regulate the functions of other genes. The Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation is the top non-governmental funder of mental health research grants, which awarded a total of $3.9 million to 40 mid-career scientists from 36 institutions in 10 countries. “Schizophrenia is desperately in need of new drug treatments as current anti-psychotic drugs, discovered serendipitously more than 50 years ago, are only partially effective and do not treat the cognitive deficits in patients that most affect their quality of life” Dr Morris said. 

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Preserving the Promise of Higher Education

Preserving the Promise of Higher Education-image

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

An exceptional seminar will be presented on Preserving the Promise of Higher Education: our critical roles in excellence and access by international speaker  Prof. Noah Finkelstein, Co-director of Center for STEM Learning and the National Network of STEM Education Centers, Department of Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder.  The seminar will be at 1pm in Room 203, River Room in the Arts Science Building on Monday November 20th 2017. The event is open to all but please register in advance using the Event Bright link below. Institutions of higher education serve essential roles in building our society, and are currently relied upon to help address national and international challenges. As such, attention is being paid to the needs to transform higher education to make our programs more accessible and impactful, especially within the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Because of decades of research in student learning, we are now positioned to make scholarly and evidence-based decisions that will enhance these teaching, learning, access and success in higher education. This talk examines how we, and STEM disciplines themselves, are positioned to address current barriers and opportunities. The seminar will review the growth of Finkelstein's own programs in STEM education, in particular, research and programmatic efforts in improving our courses, university-community partnerships, and models of institutional change. Please register at:  This Exceptional Seminar is co-hosted by Cell Explorers (SNS) and School of Physics please contact Claudia  Fracchiolla at for additional information.

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Why science education is for life and not just a week in November

Why science education is for life and not just a week in November-image

Monday, 27 February 2017

Informal Science Education (ISE) is defined as continuous learning of all STEM disciplines that takes places across diverse settings and experiences outside of formal learning environments. Throughout our lifespan, we spend more time outside of formal learning environments than in it. These activities include watching science TV programmes, navigating science related websites, engaging with social media or listening to radio or podcasts. Read more about the opportunites that ISE presents here as we embrace the momentum of Science week in NUI Galway.

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Prof Noel Lowndes elected to Royal Irish Academy

Prof Noel Lowndes elected to Royal Irish Academy-image

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Professor Noel Lowndes from the Centre of Chromosome Biology (pictured centre) received the honour of being elected as a Members of the Royal Irish Academy during a special admittance ceremony at Academy House in Dublin last Friday (26 May 2017).  Read further

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Poster Prize Award to Tom Rossiter

Poster Prize Award to Tom Rossiter-image

Monday, 21 November 2016

Congratulations to Botany and Plant Science PhD student Tom Rossiter (supervised by Dr Dagmar Stengel) on winning the best poster prize award at the 10th Irish Earth Observation Symposium (IEOS10) hosted by UCC (27/28th October 2016)

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Dr Dara Stanley delivers plenary lecture at first Irish Ecological Association conference

Dr Dara Stanley delivers plenary lecture at first Irish Ecological Association conference-image

Monday, 21 November 2016

The inaugural conference of the Irish Ecological Association took place at IT Sligo from 24-26th November. Dr Dara Stanley (Lecturer in Plant Ecology, Botany and Plant Science) was invited to give a plenary talk at the conference. She presented her work on the impacts of pesticides on pollination service delivery, as well as some on-going work on plant-pollinator interactions in species rich grasslands in South Africa. The conference was a huge success with almost 150 delegates registered. A great start to the Irish Ecological Association, and we look forward to the growth of the association in the future!

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Welcome to new PhD student Michelle Larkin

Welcome to new PhD student Michelle Larkin-image

Monday, 21 November 2016

Welcome to Michelle Larkin, who has just started a PhD in Botany and Plant Science. Michelle did her undergraduate degree in NUI Galway, followed by an MSc in Ecological Assessment in University College Cork. Michelle will be supervised by Dr Dara Stanley, and will be investigating plant-pollinator interactions in species rich grasslands in the west of Ireland.

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Talk on floral colour change, plant-pollinator interactions and hawkmoth pollination

Talk on floral colour change, plant-pollinator interactions and hawkmoth pollination-image

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

On Monday 30th Jan, Dr Dara Stanley (Botany & Plant Science, NUI Galway) was invited to Trinity College Dublin by the Botanical Society. Dara gave a talk on her recent work on floral colour change, plant-pollinator interactions and hawkmoth pollination from Uganda and South Africa.

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Outstanding Junior Scientist award for NUI Galway Physics PhD student

Outstanding Junior Scientist award for NUI Galway Physics PhD student-image

Friday, 24 November 2017

Alison Connolly  was awarded the UK Ireland Aerosol Society ‘ Outstanding Junior Scientist’ award for a conference presentation on her PhD research work entitled; ‘An assessment of occupational exposure to pesticides among amenity horticulturists’. The UK Ireland Aerosol Society Conference was held in the University of Birmingham on November 16th 2017. Alison is a PhD student working with Dr Marie Coggins in the School of Physics

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Prof. Martin Leahy to lead €6 million European grant to develop novel imaging platform for regenerative medicine

Prof. Martin Leahy to lead €6 million European grant to develop novel imaging platform for regenerative medicine-image

Friday, 24 November 2017

Professor Martin Leahy of the Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging (TOMI) group at the School of Physics,  NUI Galway will lead a consortium, who have been awarded a €6 million European grant, to develop a novel imaging platform for regenerative medicine. This new project, ‘STARSTEM’ will allow researchers and eventually, hospital doctors, to detect and measure the healing effects of novel stem cell therapies, even where they occur under the skin. Regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies provide unique opportunities for treating a wide range of human diseases. While clinical trials have shown very promising results, scientists do not yet fully understand how stem cells trigger healing, or indeed where the cells go after they are administered to the patient. This uncertainty makes it difficult for regulators to approve new stem cell therapies, and for doctors to prescribe them. The new STARSTEM project will address both of these challenges. Therapeutic stem cells will be ‘tagged’ with tiny gold star-shaped nanoparticles (‘nanostars’) invented at NUI Galway, which will make them much easier to detect with an exciting new imaging technology, optoacoustic imaging (OAI). This will enable researchers to track the location of very small amounts of stem cells, after they are administered. The effects of the stem cell therapy will also be measurable using OAI, which can detect healing as it happens, by measuring oxygen levels in the blood, formation of new blood vessels, and other signs of healing. These new insights will greatly help to take regenerative medicine into the clinic, a key aim of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway. While STARSTEM is focused on developing new imaging technologies, it opens the door to new clinical research in regenerative medicine, with new tools and capabilities, and so helps to unlock the promise of regenerative medicine. Initially using osteoarthritis as its model disease target, STARSTEM’s platform has the potential to advance new treatments for cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and a host of other illnesses. Professor Martin Leahy, Coordinator of STARSTEM and the Director of TOMI at NUI Galway, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to use fundamental advances in the physics of imaging to validate stem cell treatments for arthritis. Once demonstrated in this application the STARSTEM technology can be used to enable a wide range of stem cell therapies.” Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director of REMEDI at NUI Galway, said: “It is critically important that we understand dynamics and distribution of stem cells so that we can optimise treatments for patients. This project will allow us to make great strides in this regard.” STARSTEM brings together leaders in the nano-materials, regenerative medicine, and bio-imaging fields from across Europe. The team includes; NUI Galway (Project Co-ordinator); Technical University of Munich; University of Genoa; University of Cambridge; The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Barcelona; iThera Medical GmbH; Biorigen Srl; and Pintail Ltd, Ireland. STARSTEM has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. This article has been extracted from the following source:

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Top IOP Award for Dr Jessamyn Fairfield, School of Physics, NUI Galway

Top IOP Award for Dr Jessamyn Fairfield, School of Physics, NUI Galway-image

Friday, 14 July 2017

The Institute of Physics (IOP) has awarded the Mary Somerville Medal to Dr Jessamyn Fairfield of the School of Physics, for “stellar work as a speaker and writer on physics for a popular audience, and for having organised and hosted many innovative events bringing physics to the Irish public.” The prize is awarded annually to an early career researcher with exceptional contributions to public engagement with physics.   Dr. Fairfield is the director of Bright Club in Ireland, a research comedy variety night supported by Science Foundation Ireland with events in Galway, Dublin, Athlone, and Cork. She is also co-organizer of Soapbox Science Galway, an event bringing female scientists into public spaces to talk about their work. Dr. Fairfield gives regular public lectures, writes for Physics World and her own blog, and collaborates with artists and the community to demonstrate that physics is for everyone.   Information on the IOP  Mary Somerville Medal and a summary of Dr Jessamyn Fairfield's contributions (to public engagement with physics)  can be found at the following link: IOP Early Career Awards. All of the IOP award winners for 2017 are listed on their website. 

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Help astronomers find elusive muons disguised as gamma rays

Help astronomers find elusive muons disguised as gamma rays-image

Friday, 10 March 2017

The VERITAS gamma-ray astronomy collaboration has launched a new citizen science project as part of Zooinverse, an online platform for collaborative ‌volunteer research. To get started visit the Moun Hunters website at Humans can still outperform computers at many image recognition tasks and we would appreciate your help. NUI Galway is a member of the VERITAS Collaboration which operates an array of array of gamma-ray telescopes in Arizona. The muons are found in images taken by these telescopes. Muon hunters is led by the University of Minnesota

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The Mason Gold Medal 2015 – Professor Colin O’Dowd

The Mason Gold Medal 2015 – Professor Colin O’Dowd-image

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The Royal Meteorological Society has announced that Professor Colin O’Dowd has been awarded the Mason Gold Medal 2015. Throughout Professor O'Dowd's career, he has provided international leadership in the field of atmospheric aerosol particles.  His work has focussed on making detailed and careful observations of particles, particularly in the marine atmosphere, and providing novel insight into the advancement of our knowledge of many key processes. The Mason Gold Medal is awarded to a Fellow of the Society for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the fundamental processes that determine the variability and predictability of weather and climate. The Medal is awarded biennially and will be presented at the High Impact Weather and Climate Conference at the University of Manchester on 6th – 8th July 2016, followed by a one-hour lecture on the 7th July by Professor Colin O’Dowd. Further information highlighting this notable achievement is available here. 

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NUI Galway Research features at global photonics conference

NUI Galway Research features at global photonics conference-image

Friday, 26 February 2016

Compact Imaging and NUI Galway presentations at US photonics conference highlight the dramatic size and cost reductions made possible by MRO™ OCT Technology Researchers and technologists from Compact Imaging, Inc. (CI) and their research collaboration partner NUI Galway, who together are developing miniature optical sensors that noninvasively image and measure subsurface characteristics of human tissue, had featured roles at the recent annual SPIE/Photonics West Conference, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. SPIE/Photonics West is the world’s premier photonics and bio-photonics industry conference. The conference, which is attended by scientists and industry executives from more than three dozen countries, consists of plenary sessions, presentations and panels on the latest research and developments in optics, photonics and bio-photonics. Martin Leahy, professor of applied physics at the School of Physics in NUI Galway, and a key adviser to Compact Imaging, served as a conference chair and presented a significant paper on Compact Imaging’s innovative OCT technology, MRO™ (Multiple Reference OCT), titled, ‘The How and Why of a $10 Optical Coherence Tomography System’. More information can be found here:

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Galway astronomers solve the mystery of flares from the Crab Nebula

Galway astronomers solve the mystery of flares from the Crab Nebula-image

Thursday, 7 January 2016

The Centre for Astronomy at the School of Physics in NUI Galway are the lead researchers and authors of a recent international study published in January 2016 in one of the world’s leading primary research journals in astronomy and astrophysics, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS ). A joint Irish-French-US set of observations have led to a better understanding of the unexpected flaring activity seen coming from the Crab supernova remnant. The project led by Irish astronomer Professor Andrew Shearer from the Centre of Astronomy at NUI Galway, involved using the NUI Galway developed, Galway Astronomical Stokes Polarimeter (GASP ) polarimeter on the 200” Palomar telescope in California. Their work for the first time tied together changes in the optical polarisation with apparent changes in the gamma-ray (high energy x-ray ) polarisation. A supernova remnant occurs when a star explodes and spews its innards out across the sky, creating an expanding wave of gas and dust known as a supernova remnant. Arguably, the most famous of these remnants is the Crab Nebula, which exploded in 1054. The Crab Nebula has been studied extensively over the last fifty years and recently found to be the source of gamma-ray and X-ray flares. Professor Andrew Shearer from the School of Physics at the Centre of Astronomy in NUI Galway, said: “Our studies show how Galway’s GASP polarimeter will be important for future observations of these high energy astronomical sources. After the recent Government announcement that Ireland will join the European Southern Observatory (ESO ) we hope to contribute to future world class telescope projects such as the European Extremely Large Telescope.” Further information is available here.

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IOP Frontiers of Physics 2015

IOP Frontiers of Physics 2015-image

Saturday, 26 September 2015

The 15th annual IOP Ireland Frontiers of Physics Teachers Conference was held at NUI Galway in September 2015. The event, which is supported by the Professional Development Service for Teachers, combines cutting edge physics with practical sessions. Many aspects of physics were highlighted by speakers from the School of Physics, NUI Galway including Dr Miriam Byrne, speaking on the quality of air in schools, Dr Mat Redman on our astrophysical origins and Dr Mark Foley on biomedical physics. Dr Veronica McAuley and Martin McHugh from the School of Education spoke on teaching and learning with videos and hooks. Complementing the highlights of physics research were practical sessions on bringing physics back to the classroom including workshops on exploring light with Sean O’Gorman, Eleanor Nolan on CERN and particle physics, Dr Rebekah D’Arcy on states of matters while the Science on Stage team had a series of demos and ideas which they had picked up at the recent Science on Stage event in London. The event closed with a session reviewing and discussing  the 2015 Leaving Certificate physics paper.

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Eleven researchers in Irish universities named among world's top 3,000

Eleven researchers in Irish universities named among world's top 3,000-image

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Eleven researchers based in Irish universities have been ranked among the world’s top 3,000 by the multinational media body Thompson Reuters. Inclusion means the person’s research is listed in the top 1 per cent for the number of times their work has been cited by other scientists. Inclusion in this publication means the researcher is among those “who are on the cutting edge of their fields. They are performing and publishing work that their peers recognise as vital to the advancement of their science”.  NUI Galway had three academics on the list: Henry Curran (engineering), Colin O’Dowd (geosciences) and Donal O’Regan (mathematics). Professor Colin O'Dowd leads the Atmospheric & Environmental Physics research cluster at the School of Physics, NUI Galway. He has been responsible for developing the Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station on the west coast of Ireland into one of the best equipped and scientifically important WMO Global Atmospheric Watch stations in the world.   

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News Archive 2017

Photonics Ireland Conference 2017

Photonics Ireland Conference 2017-image

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Welcome to Photonics Ireland 2017. The biennial Photonics Ireland conference series is the premier conference event for photonics research in Ireland. With a list of high profile national and international invited speakers, the main purpose of the conference is to showcase some of the latest research in photonics. Papers will describe the latest achievements in important technical areas of photonics and will provide an up-to-date overview of new research directions. The conference will also provide new stimulation for ongoing research in these fields. With a commercial aspect – a session on Entrepreneurship – and activities linked to the International Year of Light, the conference will benefit both students and other attendees, with a focus on the economic importance of the science. The event will also provide students the opportunity to showcase aspects of their work as part of a poster exhibition and with a social setting to encourage networking. The conference takes place in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway from September 13th - 15th 2017. See the conference website for further details - Photonics Ireland Conference 2017.

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