NUI Galway Opens its Doors for Summer Schools

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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

NUI Galway is offering secondary school students the choice of three separate Summer Schools in June, across the disciplines of Computing, Engineering and Science. Aimed at students in transition, fifth and sixth year, the summer schools are specially designed to give prospective students a real taste of University life through a wide range of hands-on practical activities. Caroline Loughnane, Director for Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, says: "This is our third year of summer schools and they are proving hugely popular. Not only are summer schools a great opportunity to experience University life, but they also help participants to really find out what subjects and courses they will be best suited to in college. We recommend that secondary school students choose subjects they enjoy for their CAO options, and these summer schools are a great way of helping students to discover where their interests lie." From Monday 13 to Friday 17 June, the Computing Summer Camp introduces computing in a novel, fun and interactive way. Students, from first to sixth year, will have the opportunity to explore and experiment with a range of digitally-inspired topics including Digital Media, Games, Robotics, Programming and Animation. Participants will have the opportunity to use leading-edge technologies, from constructing and controlling robots that can interact with their environment, to directing a virtual 'mini-movie' that can be uploaded to a website and shared with friends. On Thursday, 23 June, the Engineering Summer School will offer a taste of experiences as wide-ranging as controlling a wastewater treatment plant remotely, building an eco-house; and for future Formula 1 engineers, designing a go-kart. There will also be a 'Frankenstein Design Feature' on how bioengineers make new body parts. Participants in the Engineering Summer School will also have the unique opportunity of being the first students ever to use the University's new Engineering Building. The state-of-the-art facility opens to all students in September. From Monday 27 to Tuesday 28 June, the Science Experience Summer Event will offer students two whole days to delve into a wide range of scientific disciplines in world class research facilities and institutes. The workshop will feature all disciplines of the College of Science including Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics. Prospective students will get a taste of life as a scientist with the opportunity to gain a closer view of the research facilities with tours, to take part in lab experiments and demonstrations and to speak to the lecturers and the scientists at NUI Galway. Spaces for all Summer Schools are limited so early booking is advised. The last date for receipt of applications is Tuesday, 31 May. To find out more or for applications visit www.nuigalway.ie/summer-schools. -Ends-

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April 2011

HIV and The Criminal Law Seminar at NUI Galway

HIV and The Criminal Law Seminar at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A public seminar on the topic HIV and the criminal law: combating stigma through science will take place next Tuesday, 3 May in NUI Galway. People who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) who have, or are believed to have, put others at risk of acquiring HIV may be prosecuted in many countries. This great intrusion by the law into the lives of HIV-positive individuals in addition to issues regarding confidentiality, discriminatory treatment of certain individuals, and regarding HIV and sex education in schools have become a major concern for many people involved in HIV prevention and treatment, as well as those who provide all kinds of support for HIV-positive people. Dr Grace McCormack from the School of Zoology, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway says; "The incidence of HIV in Ireland has increased dramatically since 1999 and we should all be aware of issues surrounding this infectious disease. This public seminar on criminalisation of HIV transmission is relevant to the public, to health care professionals, and to scientists who track the spread and evolution of the disease" This public seminar will take place in the MRI Annex, NUI Galway on Tuesday, 3 May, 2011 at 5.30 pm. The seminar will be given by Edwin J Bernard, who is a writer, editor and advocate specialising in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-related issues and is being held as part of the 18th International Conference on HIV Dynamics and Evolution, hosted by Dr Grace McCormack and Dr Simon Travers of NUI Galway at the Radisson Blue hotel from 1 to 4 May, 2011. "This is the first time this international conference has been held in Ireland and the seminar has been designed to bridge the gap between science and the public in this important area". For further information please contact Grace McCormack on 086 1003023 or email grace.mccormack@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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NUI Galway Student Awarded Prestigious International Prize

NUI Galway Student Awarded Prestigious International Prize-image

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A doctoral fellow at the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) at NUI Galway, Ciara Fitzgerald, was presented with second prize in the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) Graduate Student Literature Review Prize at their annual meeting in Las Vegas recently. Originally from Bishopstown, Co Cork, Ciara's studies are funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI 4) as part of the Irish Social Sciences Platform. Her research is focused on examining strategic planning and formulation practices in Irish Technology Transfer Office and her prize winning paper focused on Legitimacy, Mission and Management: Key Challenges for Technology Transfer Offices. The criteria for this global competition include topic saliency to AUTM members, adequate richness of discussion for application to practice, and strength of conceptual framework in organising the review. As a prize winner, Ciara was invited to attend the AUTM Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, where her achievement was announced at an all-conference session and where her award plaque was presented. Furthermore, she was invited to present her work at the Conference. "This is an outstanding achievement for Ciara and all at CISC at NUI Galway would like to congratulate her on her success" said Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change at NUI Galway. -Ends-

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NUI Galway School of Medicine Team Win Jack Flanagan Medal

NUI Galway School of Medicine Team Win Jack Flanagan Medal-image

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The Dublin Ageing Research Network (DARN) sponsored 2011 Jack Flanagan Intervarsity Competition took place on Wednesday, 6 April 2011 in Dublin. The event was won by the NUI Galway School of Medicine team which included Larissa Higgins, Tara McDonnell, Tara Tarmey and Teresa O'Dowd. The winners were awarded the Jack Flanagan Medal in Gerontology and a cash bursary. The competition, named after Dr Jack Flanagan, Ireland's first doctor to specialise in modern day geriatric medicine, originated as an intervarsity competition between the penultimate year students of Dublin medical schools and has in recent years expanded to include Galway and Cork medical schools. The event focuses on student teams from each of the medical schools being challenged on their knowledge of medicine and psychiatric programmes and how they interrelate with an ageing population. The competition takes the form of a clinical-pathological review where competitors are given a case to analyse and must formulate a care plan and diagnosis for the patient. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, commended the students on their performance at the event and looks forward to hosting the Jack Flanagan Medal at NUI Galway in 2012. -Ends-

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Bronnadh seic €5,000 ar Choiste Tuismitheoirí Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin

Bronnadh seic €5,000 ar Choiste Tuismitheoirí Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin-image

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Bhronn mic léinn Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, An Cheathrú Rua seic €5,000 ar Choiste Tuismitheoirí Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin ar an Déardaoin, 14 Aibreán 2011. Bailíodh an t-airgead seo i rith Sheachtain na Mac Léinn (14-17 Márta 2011) san Acadamh ar an gCeathrú Rua. Tá feachtas bailiúchán airgid ar bun faoi láthair ag Coiste na dTuismitheoirí agus cabhróidh an t-airgead le háiseanna spóirt a fheabhsú agus a fhorbairt sa scoil. Bhí mic léinn agus foireann an Acadaimh le feiceáil thart timpeall na Ceathrún Rua le linn Sheachtain na Mac Léinn ag bailiú airgid, go háirithe ar an Máirt, 15 Márta mar a rinne siad brú leapa ó TG4 anoir go dtí An Cheathrú Rua. I measc na n-imeachtaí a bhí eagraithe bhí clár beo Iris Aniar ar RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Brú Leapa ó TG4 go dtí An Cheathrú Rua, Oíche Scóladh na Scoláirí, buíon ceoil sna tithe tabhairne, Lá Spóirt, Comórtas Scoraíochta srl. D'eagraigh An Cumann Sóisialta na himeachtaí ar fad agus is iontach an scéal é go bhfuil €5,000 bailithe acu i bhfianaise a laghad airgid atá le caitheamh ag daoine. Ba seo an cúigú Seachtain na Mac Léinn ar an gCeathrú Rua. Cuireann mic léinn agus foireann an Acadaimh an-bhéim ar charanachtaí agus le cúig bliana anuas, tá suas le €25,000 bailithe ag muintir an Acadaimh do charanachtaí áitiúla. "Táimid thar a bheith buíoch díobh siúd ar fad a thug tacaíocht dúinn", a dúirt Oifigeach na Mac Léinn, Louise Ní Dháibhéid. "Tá airgead gann ar dhaoine faoi láthair ach níor loic muintir na háite agus táimid an-sásta leis an méid a bailíodh i bhfianaise na géarchéime eacnamaíochta". Tá breis is 100 mac léinn i mbun staidéir ar chúrsaí lánaimseartha san Acadamh ar an gCeathrú Rua faoi láthair agus a bhformhór mór ag cur fúthu sa cheantar. Is í seo an t-aon institiúid oideachais sa tír atá lonnaithe faoin tuath agus fágann sin go bhfuil dlúthbhaint ag na mic léinn leis an bpobal áitiúil. -Críoch-

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Adult Education Open Evening at NUI Galway

Adult Education Open Evening at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

An information evening on Adult and Continuing Education courses available from NUI Galway takes place in the Orbsen Building on campus, on Thursday, 5 May from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Over 30 part-time courses will be showcased at the event. NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education part-time programmes are available from foundation level studies through to Masters level. All are available in a modular, flexible format and can be taken through traditional classroom mode or via distance learning for students who are unable to attend the campus on a weekly basis. Nuala McGuinn, Adult Education Development Officer at NUI Galway says, "There has never been a better time for prospective students to refocus their careers. A number of our new programmes including the one-year specialist diploma programmes in Medical Device Science, Environmental Sustainability and Lean & Quality Systems are directly focused on employment and the emerging skill needs of Irish industry." For those interested in pursuing a Degree award in a Science and Technology area, the blended learning Diploma/BSc in Science and Technology Studies is available on a modular basis allowing students to select modules in accordance with family and work commitments. Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Process and Product Improvement are the focal points of the Masters in Technology Management and its related Diplomas in Innovation Management and Technology Commercialisation. "These are offered in conjunction with UL and UCC under the auspices of the Atlantic University Alliance (AUA)", explains Nuala McGuinn, Adult Education Development Officer. One of the newer courses on offer this year is the BA in Early Childhood Studies & Practice which focuses on the training needs of childcare practitioners while the popular BA in Training & Education has been available over a number of years and provides vocational trainers, HR specialists and those in the community/voluntary sector with the knowledge and skills required for today's training professionals. For students who wish to pursue a shorter term award, Diplomas are available in Gemmology, French, Italian, Spanish, Psychology of Counselling, Irish, General Studies and many more. All Diplomas are two-years in duration with classes taking place on campus or at outreach centres one evening per week. Conscious of the many financial pressures placed on students today, NUI Galway facilitates payment on a semester by semester basis. In addition, the University has re-launched its Fees Scholarship initiative which allows a 50 per cent reduction in fees for people who have recently become unemployed and wish to study certain modules or specific programmes which address the future skills of the 'smart economy'. Further details of this scheme can be provided by individual course co-ordinators. Applications for all programmes are accepted from April. For further details on the information evening or on any of the Adult and Continuing Education programmes contact 091 492062 or adulteducation@nuigalway.ie. Full details on all courses are available at www.nuigalway.ie/adulteducation. -Ends-

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New Príomhfheidhmeannach of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge Appointed

New Príomhfheidhmeannach of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge Appointed -image

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Leascheannaire (Deputy Head) Raidió na Gaeltachta Dónall Ó Braonáin has been appointed Príomhfheidhmeannach (Chief Executive) of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge at NUI Galway. Dónall Ó Braonáin has won graduate scholarships in both Irish and Latin at University College Dublin. Following an MA in Irish and postgraduate training in Linguistics, Philology and Palaeography, he lectured in the Department of Modern Irish in UCD for several years and worked on academic publishing projects in the Royal Irish Academy (Dictionary of Irish Biography, Foclóir na Nua-Ghaeilge). He joined RTÉ as a journalist in 1999 and reported extensively from the Tribunals of Inquiry, the Courts and local, European and general elections while working as a reporter and sub-editor with Nuacht RTÉ and TG4 and as a producer with Raidió na Gaeltachta. A former presenter of Nuachtiris on RTÉ Radio 1, he contributes regularly to the Scottish Gaelic service BBC Radio nan Gàidheal. He has commentated on major events such as the election of Pope Benedict XVI and the state funerals of Charles Haughey and Patrick Hillery. He is a former chair of the Dublin Broadcasting Branch of the National Union of Journalists and a former secretary to the ICTU/RTÉ Group of Unions. Appointed Leascheannaire of Raidió na Gaeltachta in 2006, he was responsible for Editorial Operations, Financial and Human Resource Management, Regional Development and the Broadcast Archive at the station headquarters in Casla, Co. Galway. Dónall is particularly experienced in directing organisational change and performance management programmes and has a strong interest in regional development. Welcoming Mr Ó Braonáin's appointment, NUI Galway President Dr. James J. Browne said "the appointment of Dónall Ó Braonáin as Príomhfheidhmeannach of an tAcadamh is an excellent one. I look forward to working with him in promoting third level education through Irish on campus, in the Gaeltacht centres, among the Irish community and the Diaspora." -Ends-

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Leinster scoops Debating Science Issues All-Ireland Finals

Leinster scoops Debating Science Issues All-Ireland Finals-image

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

St. Vincent's Secondary School, Dundalk, Co. Louth were declared the All-Ireland winners of Debating Science Issues (DSI) 2011. The grand final, which took place at the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin on April 14, was the result of a field of 56 schools narrowing to just four. The confident team from Dundalk persuaded Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science at NUI Galway, Dr Amy Sanders, Wellcome Trust Special Projects Manager, and Professor Orla Shiels Lecturer in Pathology and Medical Jurisprudence, that "animal testing is necessary for the advancement of disease treatment". Colaiste an Phiarsaigh of Glanmire Co. Cork were the Runners up at the Final. Ulster was represented by St. Catherine's Vocational School, Killybegs, Co. Donegal and Connacht by St. Joseph's College Garbally, Co. Galway. Debating Science Issues is a cross border schools science debating competition supported by a Wellcome Trust People Award for four consecutive years and involves eight collaborating partners: the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, W5 in Belfast, Biomedical Diagnostics Institute at DCU, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, CRANN at TCD, CLARITY at UCD, and Tyndall National Institute and Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre both at UCC. The competition encourages young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. Schools taking part initially receive a three hour biomedical, bioethical workshop to facilitate discussion on the ethical issues raised by stem cell research, genetically modified food, nanotechnology, health and self-testing kits or flu vaccinations. School students research further in preparation for the debate motion related to the initial workshop. From there, the debate motions circulate so that students debate on an array of controversial topical issues. Boston Scientific and NUI Galway's College of Science sponsored the provincial trophies and prizes. Other judges at the DSI grand final included Professor Tim O' Brien, Director of REMEDI; Danielle Barron, Editor of the Irish Medical News; Dr Diarmuid O'Brien, Editor of the Irish Medical News; Professor Gerry McKenna, Executive Director of CRANN, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ulster; Dr Louise Mylotte, Lecturer in Biology at St. Angela's College, Sligo; and Dr Marion Boland Scientific Programme Manager at Science Foundation Ireland. REMEDI's Outreach Officer and competition co-ordinator, Danielle Nicholson, said: "Debating Science Issues tackles many of the prevailing big scientific, philosophical dilemmas. Students discussed the methods of science and utilitarianism and debated the moral status of the embryo; I was impressed." Connacht team mentor and teacher Fr. Iomar Daniels from Garbally College said of the initiative, "DSI has shown the students the importance and relevance of science and how it permeates the entire fabric of our society." -Ends-

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Call for Action to Improve Safe Disposal of Unwanted Medicines in Ireland

Call for Action to Improve Safe Disposal of Unwanted Medicines in Ireland-image

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A new study undertaken by the Centre for Health from Environment at NUI Galway's Ryan Institute, finds most unwanted or leftover prescription medicines are disposed of incorrectly. Disposal of medicines by flushing down sinks and toilets, or including in general household waste, is a common occurrence and may result in environmental contamination. The research was conducted by 2nd year medical students at NUI Galway, Sarah Cormican and Michelle Furey. Out of 207 people surveyed for the Public Awareness Regarding the Safe Disposal of Unwanted Medicines in Galway City study, most had leftover medicines in their home but only one third regularly returned them to a pharmacy. Over half of respondents reported disposing of unwanted medicines along with general household waste, by flushing down toilets and sinks, or by burning. The study was undertaken in the context of international reports which show that many people do not know that unwanted medicines should not be by thrown into household waste or flushed down toilets or sinks. This is because the drugs can eventually end up in rivers and ground water and may contaminate drinking water supply. "We know that drugs are designed to have biological effects at low concentrations and therefore it makes no sense to take the risk of disposing of them in this way," explained Professor Martin Cormican, Director of the Centre for Health from Environment at NUI Galway. He added, "The levels of drugs in the environment are probably too low to have acute toxic effects, but the potential health and environmental impacts of long-term exposure to low levels of many different drugs is very difficult to assess." The study concluded that when respondents were given advice by a health-care professional, over half would be more likely to dispose of medicines correctly. In Ireland there is an additional problem because there is no ongoing national system for the safe disposal of unwanted medicines. Many retail pharmacies will take back unwanted medicines, but they do this on a goodwill basis and at a considerable cost to them. The HSE have in the past organised 'dump campaigns' for unwanted medicines but these are not a regular event. Professor Martin Cormican added, "The project highlights the need to put in place a national system for safe disposal of unwanted medicines similar to the battery recycling scheme. There is also a need for action to let people know about the need for safe disposal." -Ends-

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Brain Imaging Techniques Topic of NUI Galway Meeting

Brain Imaging Techniques Topic of NUI Galway Meeting-image

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

NUI Galway will host an international meeting entitled Combining Human Brain Imaging Techniques, at the end of April. International experts will review the latest advances in brain imaging techniques and the challenges and opportunities that lie in combining these techniques. The workshop, taking place from Friday, 29 April until Sunday, 1 May, will bring together a number of leading basic and clinical scientists to discuss the latest advances in combined imaging techniques. It will do so in an effort to further advance knowledge in the field and establish networks of excellence that further our knowledge in the future. Brain imaging techniques allow researchers and clinicians to view activity or problems within the human brain, without invasive neurosurgery. There are a number of accepted, safe imaging techniques in use today in research facilities and hospitals throughout the world. Each of these brain imaging techniques have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and there may be potential benefits and difficulties in combining these techniques to achieve a fuller analysis of brain functioning. Dr Michael Hogan, School of Psychology at NUI Galway said, "Researchers and clinicians who seek to combine various different brain imaging techniques are faced with a number of challenges. These include interference between measurement systems, integration of measurement outputs, and integration of theoretical foundations to support measurement integration, to name a few. Nevertheless, rapid advances are being made at the levels of theory, measurement, and computational analysis systems that are furthering our understanding of brain functions in states of health and disease. There is great scope for the development of novel brain imaging techniques and technologies and my hope is that NUI Galway will lead the way by establishing strong links across discipline areas within the University and new networks of excellence both nationally and internationally." The meeting is organised by Dr Michael Hogan, NUI Galway, in collaboration with Joshua Balsters, Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Dublin; Jacinta O Shea, Oxford University; and Steven Jackson, Nottingham University. It is supported by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and the Health Research Board (HRB). Academics, post-doctoral and postgraduate researchers in basic and clinical neuroscience are encouraged to attend. Registration is free and bursaries are available for students and junior scientists. To register and obtain further information, visit www.erni-hsf.eu. -Ends-

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