Tuesday, 17 June 2014

NUI Galway is delighted to announce details of their upcoming Youth Academy Summer Camp being held at St Angela’s College, Sligo. Applications are now open for the week long summer camp that will take place from 21-25 July from 10am- 1pm. NUI Galway established a Youth Academy in 2012 in order to give high ability primary school students and their families a taste of what it is like to study at one of Ireland’s most popular universities, in order to inspire them to progress to third level education. Since the Youth Academy opened its doors, almost 800 students have taken part in a range of specially designed courses from IT to Engineering and Psychology to Italian. The Youth Academy is for high ability 4th, 5th and 6th class students in the 95th percentile or above, based on standardised test results carried out annually in schools. It is a fantastic opportunity for high ability students to engage with university at an early age. All courses are highly interactive and use a variety of teaching techniques to ensure students get the most out of their time at the Youth Academy. The courses offered in the summer camp are: A fun introduction to Computer Programming, The Internet and Multimedia Exploring Electronics: Building Cool Stuff with Arduino U r wat u eat Medical Academy...What's up doc? Curious Chemist Programme- Discover your inner mad scientist The summer camp will cost €120 and a limited number of scholarships providing free places on the Youth Academy are available depending on family circumstances. To apply for the Youth Academy Summer Camp at St Angela’s College, Sligo and for further information on all of the courses visit www.nuigalway.ie/youthacademy . Places are allocated on a first-come first-served basis and students participate in one course for the duration of the camp. The closing date for applications is Friday, 27 June, and early booking is advisable. -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

NUI Galway invites alumni, friends and the public to join sporting leaders at the University to help to inform the role of sport in the University’s Strategic Plan NUI Galway is hosting a forum on sport as part of the University’s engagement process with alumni and the public to help to inform its forthcoming strategic plan. The forum follows the recent announcements of bonus CAO points for Elite Athletes and NUI Galway’s sporting, academic and research partnership with Connacht Rugby. NUI Galway, in association with the University’s Alumni Board, is pleased to welcome regional, national and international leaders in sport to the forum;   ·         Gary Keegan: Director, Irish Institute of Sport ·         Neasa Folan: English Institute of Sport, Coach Team GB Rowing 2012 ·         Prof Eamon O'Shea: Tipperary Senior Hurling Team Manager ·         Olive Loughnane: Olympic Athlete and World Silver Medallist ·         Kathy Hynes: Development Officer for Clubs and Participation, NUI Galway ·         Ollie Daniels: Chairman, Salthill Devon FC ·         Nigel Carolan: Manager Connacht Rugby Academy ·         Ray Silke: Galway All-Ireland winning football captain The forum will be held in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Saturday 28 June from 10am-1pm and will be moderated by Caroline Murphy, Board member, Campus Stadium Ireland and former senior TV producer, RTÉ Sport. Topics to be addressed include; achieving sporting excellence, engagement with national sporting bodies, research in action; using scientific expertise and research to benefit athletes and sportspeople, attracting and meeting the physical, structural and academic needs of high performers. Chairman of NUI Galway Alumni Association, Sean O'Rourke, said: "NUI Galway has a fine tradition of achievement across many sports. Its students and graduates have frequently excelled, as they did in numbers with the All Ireland winning Clare hurlers last year, or as they've done down the years at prestigious Rowing events like the annual Henley Regatta. He added “In recent years, a magnificent new sports centre has been opened in the middle of the campus and the latest addition to facilities is new all-weather multi-sport pitch at Dangan. This public forum featuring a wonderful range of speakers such as Gary Keegan, Director of the Institute of Sport and Neasa Folan Team GB 2012 Coach, will help to answer how best to make the most of such resources.” The RTÉ Broadcaster concluded by saying “This is an opportunity for stakeholders, participants and anyone interested in the development of sport in the University and in the west of Ireland to contribute to this hugely important area.” Those interested in attending are asked to register beforehand at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni or telephone the NUI Galway Alumni Office on  091 493750. -ends-

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

NUI Galway invites alumni, friends and the public to join sporting leaders at the University to help to inform the role of sport in the University’s Strategic Plan NUI Galway is hosting a forum on sport to consult with Alumni and graduates on its forthcoming strategic plan. The forum follows the recent announcements of bonus CAO points for Elite Athletes and NUI Galway’s sporting, academic and research partnership with Connacht Rugby. NUI Galway, in association with the University’s Alumni Board, is pleased to welcome regional, national and international leaders in sport to the forum; ·         Gary Keegan: Director, Irish Institute of Sport ·         Neasa Folan: English Institute of Sport, Coach Team GB Rowing 2012 ·         Prof Eamon O'Shea: Tipperary Senior Hurling Team Manager ·         Olive Loughnane: Olympic Athlete and World Silver Medallist ·         Kathy Hynes: Development Officer for Clubs and Participation, NUI Galway ·         Ollie Daniels: Chairman, Salthill Devon FC ·         Nigel Carolan: Manager Connacht Rugby Academy ·         Ray Silke: Galway All-Ireland winning football captain The forum will be held in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Saturday 28 June from 10am-1pm and will be moderated by Caroline Murphy, Board member, Campus Stadium Ireland and former senior TV producer, RTÉ Sport. Topics to be addressed include; achieving sporting excellence, engagement with national sporting bodies, research in action; using scientific expertise and research to benefit athletes and sportspeople, attracting and meeting the physical, structural and academic needs of high performers. Chairman of NUI Galway Alumni Association, Sean O'Rourke, said: "NUI Galway has a fine tradition of achievement across many sports. Its students and graduates have frequently excelled, as they did in numbers with the All Ireland winning Clare hurlers last year, or as they've done down the years at prestigious Rowing events like the annual Henley Regatta. He added “In recent years, a magnificent new sports centre has been opened in the middle of the campus and the latest addition to facilities is new all-weather multi-sport pitch at Dangan. This public forum featuring a wonderful range of speakers such as Gary Keegan, Director of the Institute of Sport and Neasa Folan Team GB 2012 Coach, will help to answer how best to make the most of such resources.” This is an opportunity for stakeholders, participants and anyone interested in the development of sport in the University and in the west of Ireland to contribute to this hugely important area. Those interested in attending are asked to register beforehand at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni or telephone the NUI Galway Alumni Office on  091 493750 -ends-

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

All NUI Galway graduates, friends and guests are invited to a summer BBQ on Friday, 27 June in Grogan's, Glasson, Co. Westmeath. John O'Meara, one of the organisers, said: “This is a terrific way to get together and meet up with former classmates and other NUI Galway graduates. Grogan's in Glasson is an ideal venue. The evening kicks off at 8pm and with the good weather, long evening and excellent food and music it promises to be a great night!” The event is organised by the NUI Galway Alumni Midlands Club and tickets cost €20. To register for the event visit www.nuigalway.ie/alumni or call the Alumni Office at 091 493750. -Ends-

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Online Q&A with Subject Experts to Inform Crucial CAO Decisions Before Change of Mind Deadline July 1st  NUI Galway staff will be on hand to answer students’ queries online at www.nuigalway.ie/askus NUI Galway invites all CAO applicants, both undergraduate and mature students to go online and ask the question! NUI Galway staff will be on hand on Wednesday 25th June between 3pm and 5pm to answer queries, questions or quandaries, as CAO applicants enter the final phase of their decision making process. The deadline for the CAO change of mind is July 1st. Until that time, CAO applicants can alter the courses they have outlined on their CAO form. The change of mind period allows for considered reflection following the Leaving Cert exams and students are urged to fully inform themselves when considering their options. This is an excellent opportunity for each student to get tailor-made information on University facilities and student support services including finance and accommodation or indeed, about the CAO process itself. Senior academic representatives from each of the University’s five colleges will also be on hand to answer students’ questions about subjects and courses across the NUI Galway's 60 courses. Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: "Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions a student will ever make and we want to ensure that both students and parents have all the information they need to help them make the best choice. Go online wherever you are, at home or abroad, and don’t be afraid to ask the question!” Students can go to www.nuigalway.ie/askus at any time between 3pm and 5pm Wednesday 25th of June 2014. Anyone that wishes to pre-register for a reminder text can register at http://bit.ly/caoaskus -ends-

Thursday, 19 June 2014

NUI Galway today (19 June) conferred degrees on over 280 students. Among that number, 80 were conferred with doctoral degrees. The largest cohort of students to graduate was over 120 future doctors who received their Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree. Among the cohort of medical students, Sarah Cormican from Oranmore, Co. Galway received 8 out of 15 Final Medical Medals for her outstanding academic performance. Every year, NUI Galway awards the Final Medical Medals to the student who receives the highest mark in each subject area. Olympian Paul Hession will be conferred an MB BCh BAO and will receive a Final Medical Medal for Outstanding Sporting Achievement. Speaking at the ceremony, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate each of today’s graduates. It is very encouraging to see the number of research and graduate degrees which we are conferring today. These graduate numbers continue to grow. From a base of about 50 doctorates per year at the turn of the millennium, we now confer up to 4 times that number annually.” President Browne added words of encouragement to graduates conferred at the ceremony: “Do not lose hope or courage in this current economic climate. You have what it takes to make a difference in our society. The opportunities you have to create your own environment and to shape your own futures are enormous.” International students were well represented at the ceremony, with the University conferring a large number of graduates from Malaysia, Canada and the US, among other countries. -Ends- Bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Céim ar 280 Mac Léinn i rith Shearmanais an tSamhraidh Bronnadh céimeanna ar bhreis is 280 mac léinn inniu (19 Meitheamh) in OÉ Gaillimh. Ina measc siúd, bronnadh céimeanna dochtúireachta ar 80 mac léinn. Ar an ngrúpa is mó díobh bronnadh Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Leigheas, Baitsiléir sa Mháinliacht agus Baitsiléir sa Chnáimhseachas (MB, BCh, BAO) ar 120 ábhar dochtúra. Fuair Sarah Cormican as Órán Mór, Co. na Gaillimhe, duine de na mic léinn leighis, 8 mBonn don Bhliain Deiridh Leighis as 15 Bhonn dá feidhmíocht acadúil. Gach bliain, bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Boinn Deiridh Leighis ar an mac léinn leis an marc is airde i ngach ábhar. Bronnfar MB BCh BAO ar an iar-lúthchleasaí Oilimpeach Paul Hession agus bronnfar Bonn Deiridh Leighis air as a chuid Éachtaí Iontacha Spóirt. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne le linn an tsearmanais: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, tréaslaím le gach duine agaibh. Is ábhar misnigh dúinn ar fad go bhfuil an oiread sin céimeanna taighde agus iarchéimeanna á mbronnadh againn inniu. Tá líon na gcéimeanna a bhronntar ag méadú bliain i ndiaidh bliana. Bhíodh 50 céim dhochtúireachta in aghaidh na bliana á mbronnadh againn ag tús an chéid ach bronntar a cheithre oiread sin anois gach bliain." Thug an tUachtarán Browne misneach agus dóchas do na céimithe ag an searmanas bronnta: “Ná cuireadh cúrsaí geilleagair an lae inniu lagmhisneach ná éadóchas oraibh. Tá an cumas ag gach duine agaibh dul i bhfeidhm ar an tsochaí ar shlí éigin. Níl teorainn ar bith leis na deiseanna atá agaibhse an cineál saoil is mian libh a chruthú daoibh féin agus lántairbhe a bhaint as na deiseanna a thiocfaidh in bhur dtreo sna blianta amach romhainn.” Bhí mic léinn idirnáisiúnta i láthair chomh maith ag an searmanas, agus céimeanna á mbronnadh ar chéimithe as an Malaeisia, as Ceanada agus as na Stáit Aontaithe, i measc tíortha eile. -Críoch-

Friday, 20 June 2014

An international research team, led by scientists from NUI Galway, is currently exploring the Whittard Canyon deep-sea submarine canyon system in the North East Atlantic onboard the Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer.  Researchers from Ireland, the UK, the USA and Germany are using the Institute’s ROV Holland I to study the diversity of deep-water animals and relate this to geology and ocean currents. The Whittard Canyon system is at the continental margin approximately 250 miles SW of Cork, covers an area of 2000 square miles, and is home to vulnerable marine ecosystems of cold-water corals, deep-water oysters and file clams. But new research is also revealing a remarkable diversity and abundance of rare black corals, which are protected under international legislation. “The extreme shape of submarine canyons seems to affect the water flow within them in such a way as to deliver nutrient rich waters to particular parts of the canyon system. This allows diverse ecosystems to flourish. Our research is attempting to understand these processes so that we can predict where the most vulnerable ecosystems are likely to occur and therefore ensure the environment is protected,” explained Dr Martin White of NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, and the expedition’s chief scientist. According to Dr Louise Allcock, also of NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, “Black corals are particularly vulnerable to any sort of impact.  They grow extremely slowly and dating studies have shown that some species live for thousands of years.” The Whittard Canyon system is huge, with meandering branches extending over an area of more than 80 by 20 miles. Mapping the system, much of which is in depths below 1500m, to detect vulnerable species is difficult. Therefore the team hopes that the new data will reveal the factors that determine which species occur where. ROV Holland I provides a way of sampling deep-sea animals without impacting the ecosystem.  The team is also providing deep-sea sponge samples to scientists searching for novel pharmaceutical compounds.  If the chemists find interesting compounds such as antibacterial and other pharmaceutical properties in the sponges, they will aim to work out how to synthesize them in the laboratory.  This is the first step in the production of new drugs. The scientists are blogging about their experiences and discoveries aboard RV Celtic Explorer throughout the survey (June 6th – 21st) on the blog scientistsatsea.blogspot.ie and on twitter via the hashtag #ce14009 The research survey is carried out under the Sea Change strategy with the support of the Marine Institute, funded under the Marine Research Sub-Programme by the Irish Government. -Ends-

Monday, 23 June 2014

NUI Galway’s Moore Institute is hosting the 19th annual Chartism Conference from 4-5 July. The conference theme, ‘Ireland and British Democracy’, points to the movement of people and ideas in the battle for political rights. The event will explore the positive and negative ways in which Irish nationalism and the British radical movement, Chartism, coalesced in the mid-nineteenth century. The conference will be launched on Friday, 4 July at 7.30pm in the Mechanics’ Institute, Middle Street, Galway City. Professor Luke Gibbons of NUI Maynooth will deliver a talk at the launch entitled 'Limits of the Visible: Representing the Great Hunger'. Conference organiser and NUI Galway History lecturer, Dr Laurence Marley, said: “The venue for the launch of the conference, the Mechanics’ Institute, has significance. It is a listed building dating back to the early Victorian period, and like similar institutes in Britain, it served as a self-improvement society for working men. Members of the Institute were also associated with the Repeal and Young Ireland movements of that period. In 1884, Irish nationalist leader, Michael Davitt, a man heavily influenced by the British democratic tradition, spoke there on the subject of reviving Irish industries.” Speakers at the Chartism Conference will include: Tim Keane and Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, NUI Galway; Joe McGrath and Maura Cronin, Mary Immaculate College; Joan Allen, Newcastle University; Ian Haywood, University of Rochampton; Michael Huggins, University of Chester; Christine Kinealy, Quinnipiac University; Breandán Mac Suibhne, Centenary College; and Matthew Roberts, Sheffield Hallam University. The conference programme may be accessed at www.galwaychartismday2014.wordpress.com -Ends-

Monday, 23 June 2014

Eleven researchers from the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) gave podium presentations at the prestigious TERMIS-EU 2014 conference in Genova, Italy last week. Abhigyan Satyam, a postdoctoral researcher at the NFB, was awarded the Young Investigator Award for Best Oral Presentation. The NFB, a research centre at NUI Galway, also had three researchers presenting posters at the conference. TERMIS is one of the most prominent organisations in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine globally and attracts interest from the highest levels of the scientific community in biomedical research. The sessions this year focused on biomaterials and intelligent scaffolds, stem cells, growth factors, activation of developmental and regenerative pathways, and translation of research to the clinic and industry. The NFB, a Strategic Research Cluster funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), had the most researchers presenting out of any of the research groups that attended the conference. Satyam’s winning lecture was about using macromolecular crowding to increase cellular activities to create extracellular matrix-rich tissue equivalents faster. When cells are in the body they are in a crowded space which makes them synthesise collagen quickly. When cells are placed in a less dense population area, such as culture conditions in a lab, collagen production is very slow. Satyam’s research, supervised by NFB’s Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis, involves adding inert polydispersed macromolecules into cell cultures to increase the density of the growth area which will, in turn, increase extracellular matrix production. Their research was recently published in Advanced Materials, the top among all materials science journals for 2012. Professor Abhay Pandit, the director at NFB, stated: “Our strong presence at TERMIS-EU 2014 is further indication of the relevance of NFB’s research within Europe. We will continue to initiate collaborative research, with partners from outside of Ireland and look towards funding opportunities within Horizon 2020.” -ends-

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

NUI Galway BA with Creative Writing student, Helen Hughes, has been awarded the University College London (UCL), Faber and Faber/David Tebbutt Scholarship. The award is presented annually to fully fund a place on the prestigious UCL MA in Publishing programme. This is the second year running that an NUI Galway BA with Creative Writing student has been awarded this scholarship, with Philip Connor receiving it last year. Originally from Corr na Móna, Co. Galway, Helen has just completed her final year of the BA with Creative Writing degree at the University. She had her first short story published this year in Ropes literary journal from the MA in Publishing Class in NUI Galway. Commenting on the scholarship, Helen said: “I would like to sincerely thank the Tebbutt family and Faber and Faber for the opportunity of a lifetime. I still have to pinch myself when I think of studying in London this September and getting to work alongside the Faber team! I would never have gotten this far without the support of my family, my friends and the teaching staff in NUI Galway.” Faber and Faber and UCL announced the new scholarship in 2013 in memory of the late David Tebbutt, Finance Director of Faber and Faber. The scholarship is funded by the David Tebbutt Trust, which is jointly administered by Faber and Faber and the Tebbutt family. The principal aim of the Trust is to further the education of those wishing to pursue a career in any of the publishing, writing and information industries and related fields of activity. As well as covering Helen’s full fees for her MA, the scholarship also guarantees her a work placement with Faber and Faber.  Dr John Kenny, Director of the BA with Creative Writing at NUI Galway, said: “I am delighted for Helen – her achievement is a testament to her own creativity and diligence and also to the contribution made to the Creative Writing programme by our teachers, writers and mentors. Helen particularly excelled within our workshop and project-led environment – her combination of talent, hard work and sheer care for the creative endeavours of others will stand her in excellent stead as she moves on now to the next stage of her learning. She will be one to watch in the publishing world.”     -Ends-

Thursday, 26 June 2014

20 Presidents of Higher Education Institutions sign a national charter to underscore their commitment to the civic and community engagement role and responsibilities of their institutions At a recent landmark event in Dublin Castle 20 presidents of Higher Education Institutions came together as leaders of higher education in Ireland, to publicly sign up to the 10 point Campus Engage Charter on Civic and Community Engagement. Under the charter the presidents underscore their commitment to the civic and community engagement role and responsibilities of their institutions. Launching the Charter, Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn T.D. said, “Today is an important recognition of commitment by Ireland’s higher education institutions to build on what has been achieved to date and place Ireland at the fore internationally in terms of promoting civic and community engagement by higher education.  The importance of ‘engagement’ is recognised in the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030, and in the HEA’s performance framework, which both ask higher education institutions to engage openly with their community and wider society and for this to infuse every aspect of their mission.   I congratulate all involved in the realisation of the Charter, and specifically to the Presidents for their commitment.” The launch of an Irish Charter for Civic and Community Engagement builds on the pioneering actions taken by other countries including Australia, UK and the US, who have signed up to similar agreements at national level to support and strengthen the civic role and responsibilities of higher education. NUI Galway (through the CKI) founded Campus Engage in 2007 and in 2013 the University mainstreamed it to the HEA for national embedding. This new Charter was developed byCampus Engage, now with representation from 17 Higher Education Institutions, Institutes of Technology Ireland and the Irish Universities Association, whose role is to promote innovative teaching, learning and other activities in the area of civic and community engagement. Speaking about this initiative, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said: “We in NUI Galway are very proud of the national leadership role which our University has played in the development of civic engagement as a core value for higher education in Ireland.  For over 10 years we have pioneered this field, developing areas such as volunteering and service learning within the curriculum through the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) established on our campus in 2003. The Campus Engage Charter gives full expression to the values which we’ve espoused and I am delighted to see the collective commitment of my colleagues in higher education harnessed in this way.” -Ends-

Friday, 27 June 2014

NUI Galway today conferred three outstanding individuals with honorary degrees. Those conferred were: Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science; Lt. Gen. Sean McCann retired Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces; and Finian O’Sullivan Founder of Burren Energy Plc.. NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, speaking at the conferring ceremony, said: “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Each one has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of political life, public policy and the international oil industry. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals.” Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). A native of Carna, Co. Galway, Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn is the current EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. She is a former TD for Galway West (1977-1997) and was the first woman Cabinet Minister since the foundation of the State. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn is also a former columnist with The Irish Times, TV presenter, and non-executive director of both Aer Lingus and Ryan Hotels. She is a former Member of the EU Court of Auditors and a former Member of the Governing Authority of NUI Galway. Lt. Gen. Seán McCannwas conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). Recently retired Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, Lt. Gen. McCann was among the first of the Cadet classes to attend what was then UCG, and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1974. He is a graduate of the United States Command and General Staff College and was inducted into their International Hall of Fame in 2011. He served overseas on six occasions and led the Defence Forces during the historic initial deployment of Irish personnel to Mali and Syria in particularly challenging operational environments. He is being honoured in recognition of the strong relationship between the Army and NUI Galway since 1969. Lt. Gen. McCann was the first NUI Galway graduate to hold the post of Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces. He was born in Cork but grew up in Tipperary. Finian O’Sullivan was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa). A Science alumnus of NUI Galway, he worked with Chevron as part of their frontier exploration and development team concentrating on the arctic and western plain of Canada. In 1980 he joined the oil service company United Geophysical in California undertaking exploration around the eastern hemisphere. Moving to Australia in 1982 he led Geophysical Systems Corporation operations expanding through the region to India, China and Thailand. Following a period with Olympic Oil and Gas Corporation in Houston, while based in London, Finian set up on his own, Burren Energy Plc which developed and discovered hydrocarbon resources in Central Asia, India and West Africa in addition to a shipping and trading venture in the Caspian region. Burren Energy Plc was sold to ENI in 2008 and Finian joined the Bayfield Group in July 2008. Finian was also an NUI Galway Alumni Award Winner in 2009. The three graduands join the ranks of previous honorary alumni which include, among many others, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Snr and Jnr, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan and Margaret Atwood. -Ends- Bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Céimeanna Oinigh ar an gCoimisinéir Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Lt. Gen. Seán McCann agus Finian O’Sullivan Bhronn OÉ Gaillimh céimeanna oinigh ar thriúr den scoth inniu Is iad na céimithe oinigh: Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Coimisinéir an AE do Thaighde, Nuálaíocht agus Eolaíocht; Lt. Gen. Sean McCann, iar-Cheann Foirne Fhórsaí Cosanta na hÉireann; agus Finian O’Sullivan a bhunaigh Burren Energy Plc.. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, ag an searmanas: “Tá an t-ádh le OÉ Gaillimh céimithe oinigh den scoth a bheith aici in imeacht na mblianta ach is eisceacht céimithe oinigh na bliana seo. Tá a c(h)ion féin déanta ag gach céimí oinigh daoibh i réimsí éagsúla na polaitíochta, an bheartais phoiblí agus thionscal idirnáisiúntas na hola. Tá an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo.” Bronnadh Céim Dhochtúireachta le Dlíthe (honoris causa) ar an gCoimisinéir Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. Is as Carna, Co. na Gaillimhe ó dhúchas don Choimisinéir Geoghegan-Quinn agus is í atá ina Coimisinéir Eorpach um Thaighde, Nuálaíocht agus Eolaíocht faoi láthair. Bhí sí ina TD do Ghaillimh Thiar ó 1977-1997 agus ba í an chéad bhean í le bheith ina hAire Rialtais ó bunaíodh an Stát. Bhí sí ina colúnaí chomh maith leis an Irish Times; ina láithreoir teilifíse; agus ina stiúrthóir neamhfheidhmiúcháin ar Aer Lingus agus Ryan Hotels. Is iar-Chomhalta í de Chúirt Iniúchóirí an AE agus iar-Chomhalta d'Údarás na hOllscoile in OÉ Gaillimh chomh maith. Bronnadh Céim Dhochtúireachta le Dlíthe (honoris causa) ar an Leifteanant-Ghinearál Seán McCann Bhí Leifteanant-Ghinearál Seán McCann, iar-Cheann Foirne Fhórsaí Cosanta na hÉireann, i gceann de na chéad ranganna do mhic léinn an Airm in UCG ag an am, agus bronnadh céim Thráchtála air i 1974. D'fhreastail sé ar Command and General Staff College Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá agus glacadh leis san International Hall of Fame in 2011. Thug sé seirbhís thar lear sé bhabhta agus bhí sé i gceannas ar na Fórsaí Cosanta nuair a cuireadh comhaltaí na hÉireann go Mailí agus go dtí an tSiria den chéad uair ag tráth a bhí thar a bheith dúshlánach. Tá an onóir seo á bronnadh air mar aitheantas ar an ngaol láidir idir an tArm agus OÉ Gaillimh ó 1969. Is é an Lt. Gen. McCann an chéad chéimí de chuid OÉ Gaillimh a bhí ina Cheann Foirne ar Fhórsaí Cosanta na hÉireann. Rugadh i gCorcaigh é ach d'fhás sé aníos i dTiobraid Árann. Bronnadh Céim Dhochtúireachta le hEolaíocht (honoris causa) ar Finian O’Sullivan. Alumni Eolaíochta de chuid OÉ Gaillimh é. D'oibrigh sé do Chevron ar an bhfoireann taiscéalaíochta agus forbartha imeallchríche timpeall ar an Artach agus ar mhachairí thiar Cheanada. I 1980, thosaigh sé ag obair leis an gcuideachta seirbhíse ola United Geophysical in California i mbun taiscéalaíochta timpeall ar an leathsféar thoir. Bhog sé go dtí an Astráil i 1982 áit a raibh sé i gceannas ar oibríochtaí  Geophysical Systems Corporation á leathnú amach chuig an India, an tSín agus an Téalainn. I ndiaidh seal a chaitheamh le Olympic Oil and Gas Corporation in Houston, agus é lonnaithe i Londain, bhunaigh Finian a chuideachta féin, Burren Energy Plc a bhí i mbun acmhainní hidreacarbóin a aimsiú agus a fhorbairt san Áise Láir, in India agus san Afraic Thiar chomh maith le fiontar loingseoireachta agus trádála sa réigiún mórthimpeall ar an Muir Chaisp. Díoladh Burren Energy Plc le ENI in 2008 agus thosaigh Finian ag obair leis an Bayfield Group i mí Iúil 2008. Bronnadh Gradam Alumni OÉ Gaillimh ar Finian in 2009. Beidh an triúr seo anois i measc céimithe oinigh eile mór le rá a tháinig rompu cosúil le Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Sinsear agus Sóisear, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan agus Margaret Atwood. -Críoch-

Monday, 30 June 2014

Smartphone app study sees participants walk extra half mile or 1000 steps per day Is the secret to increased physical fitness in your back pocket? Using a smartphone app, participants in an eight-week trial were found to walk over 1,000 steps - or half a mile - extra per day. The research was carried out by the National University of Ireland Galway and is published today in the British Journal of General Practice. This is thought to be the first randomised controlled trial research evidence showing that use of a smartphone pedometer app, which provides feedback on physical activity and goal achievement, is associated with a clinically meaningful increase in physical activity. Not only did participants see improvements in step count, but some of those who used the smartphone app also had decreases in blood pressure and weight. A growing body of evidence shows that behaviour-change programmes using computer tailoring can be effective in changing lifestyle risk factors, such as physical activity. The emerging field of captology — the study of computers as persuasive technology — has described many of the mechanisms by which mobile phones have become such an important platform for changing human behaviour. Dr Liam Glynn, a Senior Lecturer in General Practice at the National University of Ireland Galway, and a practicing GP, led the research project called SMART MOVE: “Captology is a very interesting area for medical practitioners. The penetration of smartphones into our everyday lives, along with the availability of so many apps promoting physical activity, represents a unique opportunity in population health. There is real potential within healthcare to use these devices to explore, understand, and positively change human behaviour. “Our research has shown that significant improvements in physical activity rates can be achieved, which we know can lead to long term health benefits such as reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes”. “Rather than just providing more evidence that tracking in any form supports behaviour change, the results of this trial represent an important step forward in the challenging issue of physical activity promotion by describing an intervention that is effective, accessible and potentially sustainable. Further data with longer follow-up are being collected from the current trial of the pedometer app conducted across six European countries,” added Dr Glynn. Methodology The trial recruited 90 participants, which were randomly divided into two equal groups. A control group who did not use the app and an intervention group who did. The app was based around the concept of a pedometer with a live and accurate recording of step count as the participant went about their daily activity. This provided constant feedback and tracking of physical activity with a visually appealing graphic display of step count history and the ability to goal set and receive visual rewards for goals achieved. Both groups in the trial were given similar physical activity goals and information on the benefits of exercise. However, and crucially, only the intervention group was told how to use the app to help them achieve these goals. The results from the trial were striking in that use of a smartphone application increased physical activity over an eight week period, compared to the control. The magnitude of change (over 1000 steps/day or approximately a half mile), is clinically meaningful and, if continued is expected to result in long term health benefit. While the control group demonstrated an initial increase in physical activity, this was followed by a decrease to baseline activity by the end of the trial period while the increase in activity seen in the intervention group was maintained. The potential advantage of using a smartphone application is that no additional piece of technology such as pedometer is required and people generally carry their mobile phone devices on their persons continuously. It has been suggested that significant improvements in public health in the future are more likely to come from behavioural change rather than from technological or scientific innovation. The results of this smartphone app trial would suggest that novel technologies such as mobile devices and related smartphone applications may become an important driver for the behavioural change process. Funding for the research was awarded by the European Union’s Northern Periphery Programme 2007–2013, through the Implementing Transnational Telemedicine Solutions Project. For further information visit www.galwayconnectedhealth.ie/ -ends-

Thursday, 1 May 2014

An exhibition of the digital Abbey Theatre Archive opens to the public for the first time today to mark the launch of the Hardiman Research Building. Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn TD today opened two new buildings at NUI Galway; the Hardiman Research Building for research in the humanities and social sciences, and a new home for the University’s School of Psychology. The new buildings, with a combined investment of €23 million, will offer world-class teaching, learning and research facilities for staff, students and the public. The Hardiman Research Building, recently named the 2014 Irish Building & Design Architectural Project of the Year, is situated at the heart of NUI Galway’s campus, adjacent to the James Hardiman Library. Home to NUI Galway’s unique collection of more than 350 literary, theatrical, political and historical archives, the Hardiman Research Building will house the digitised Abbey Theatre Archive, the world’s largest digital theatre archive, in development since 2012. An exhibition of the digital Abbey Theatre Archive opens to the public for the first time today to mark the launch of the Hardiman Research Building. The ‘Performing Ireland’ exhibition features a taste of the more than 1 million items that comprise the Abbey Theatre Archive, dating from 1894. The Hardiman Research Building brings together the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies and the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change. The Moore Institute is a leading voice in digital humanities, medieval and early modern history and literature and travel and cultural encounter. The Whitaker Institute, honouring the enduring contribution of public servant T.K. Whitaker, is the largest national business and social science institute on the island. Together these institutes have secured nearly €30m in competitive funding awards. The new NUI Galway Psychology building opened today by Minister Quinn brings both students and staff under one roof for the first time in the School of Psychology’s 40-year history. A new electro-physiological laboratory will further enhance the School’s standing as a centre of excellence for Health Psychology; it counts two of Ireland’s total of six Health Research Board Leaders amongst its 20 staff. Built at a cost of €8m, the Psychology building will cater for more than 200 students. Funding for this project was made through HEA and Department of Education and Skills, with additional support from private sources. Speaking at the launch, Minister Ruairí Quinn said: “The investment we celebrate today is a very welcome enrichment of facilities to support the humanities and social sciences at NUI Galway. The Hardiman Research Building is a unique platform for digital humanities and social sciences research in Ireland and will further develop NUI Galway’s reputation as a major international research centre in the field of digital humanities” NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said “these new, landmark buildings at the heart of our campus are testament to the breadth of the humanities and social sciences; from the creative arts to the complexity of the mind. They will be centres of education and research, home to future generations of scholars and to NUI Galway’s unique collection of archives from the past.”  The €15 million Hardiman Research Building project was partially funded under the Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions (PRTLI) and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund.  €10 million of funding was provided by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through PTRLI Cycle 5 and the balance from private sources through Galway University Foundation.  The ‘Performing Ireland 1904-2014’ exhibition to mark the opening of the Hardiman Research Building and the NUI Galway Psychology building is open to the public in the foyer of the Hardiman Research Building and will run until October. Further details available at www.nuigalway.ie/AbbeyTheatre -Ends- Osclóidh an tAire Ruairí Quinn Áras nua Taighde Uí Argadáin agus Scoil Síceolaíochta nua OÉ Gaillimh Osclófar taispeántas de Chartlann dhigiteach Amharclann na Mainistreach don phobal den chéad uair inniu chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar sheoladh Áras Taighde Uí Argadáin. Inniu, d’oscail an tAire Oideachais Ruairí Quinn TD dhá fhoirgneamh nua in OÉ Gaillimh; Áras Taighde Uí Argadáin do thaighde sna daonnachtaí agus sna heolaíochtaí sóisialta, agus ionad nua do Scoil Síceolaíochta na hOllscoile. Bhí infheistíocht €23 milliún i gceist leis na foirgnimh nua, agus cuirfidh siad áiseanna teagaisc, foghlama agus taighde den scoth ar fáil don fhoireann, do mhic léinn agus don phobal. Ainmníodh Áras Taighde Uí Argadáin mar Thionscadal Ailtireachta na Bliana 2014 ag Gradaim Foirgníochta agus Dearaidh na hÉireann, agus tá sé lonnaithe i gcroílár champas OÉ Gaillimh, in aice Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin. Is in Áras Taighde Uí Argadáin atá bailiúchán uathúil de bhreis is 350 cartlann litríochta, amharclannaíochta, polaitíochta agus stairiúil, agus is ann a bheidh Cartlann dhigitithe Amharclann na Mainistreach, an chartlann dhigiteach amharclannaíochta is mó ar domhan, atá á forbairt ón mbliain 2012. Osclófar taispeántas de Chartlann dhigiteach Amharclann na Mainistreach don phobal den chéad uair inniu chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar sheoladh Áras Taighde Uí Argadáin. Tugann an taispeántas ‘Performing Ireland’ blaiseadh de bhreis is aon mhilliún mír atá i gCartlann Amharclann na Mainistreach, ag dul siar go dtí an bhliain 1894. Tá Institiúid de Móra do Thaighde sna Daonnachtaí agus sna hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus Institiúid Whitaker don Nuálaíocht agus don Athrú Sóisialta anois lonnaithe in Áras Taighde Uí Argadáin. Tá Institiúid de Móra ina ceannródaí maidir leis na daonnachtaí digiteacha, stair mheánaoiseach agus nua-aoise luaithe agus litríocht agus taisteal agus cultúr. Is i gcuimhne ar an obair mhór a rinne T.K. Whitaker, fostaí sa tseirbhís phoiblí, a ainmníodh Institiúid Whitaker agus tá sí ar an institiúid náisiúnta ghnó agus eolaíochta sóisialta is mó ar an oileán. Ar an iomlán tá beagnach €30 milliún i maoiniú iomaíoch faighte ag na hinstitiúidí seo. I bhfoirgneamh nua Síceolaíochta OÉ Gaillimh, a d’oscail an tAire Quinn inniu, tagann mic léinn agus comhaltaí foirne le chéile faoi aon díon amháin den chéad uair ó bunaíodh Scoil na Síceolaíochta 40 bliain ó shin. Cuirfidh saotharlann nua leictrea-fhiseolaíoch le seasamh na Scoile mar ionad sárchaighdeáin don Síceolaíocht Sláinte; tá beirt den seisear Ceannairí Boird Taighde Sláinte mar chuid dá foireann de scór duine. Chosain an foirgneamh Síceolaíochta €8m agus beidh níos mó ná 200 mac léinn in ann leas a bhaint as. Fuarthas maoiniú don tionscadal seo ón HEA agus ón Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna, chomh maith le tacaíocht bhreise ó fhoinsí príobháideacha. Ag labhairt dó ag an seoladh, dúirt an tAire Ruairí Quinn: “Is iontach an saibhriú ar áiseanna tacaíochta do na daonnachtaí agus na heolaíochtaí sóisialta in OÉ Gaillimh an infheistíocht seo atá á ceiliúradh againn inniu. Is ardán uathúil é Áras Taighde Uí Argadáin do thaighde sna heolaíochtaí sóisialta agus sna daonnachtaí digiteacha in Éirinn agus cuirfidh sé le cáil OÉ Gaillimh mar lárionad idirnáisiúnta taighde i réimse na ndaonnachtaí digiteacha.” Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh an Dr Jim Browne, “Is teist iad na foirgnimh nua, shuntasacha seo i gcroílár an champais ar fhairsinge na n-eolaíochtaí sóisialta; ó na healaíona cruthaitheacha go castacht na hintinne. Ionad oideachais agus taighde a bheidh iontu, áit a mbeidh scoláirí an todhchaí mar aon le bailiúchán uathúil OÉ Gaillimh ar chartlanna ón am atá caite.”  Fuarthas roinnt den mhaoiniú €15 mhilliún d’Áras Taighde Uí Argadáin faoin gClár um Thaighde in Institiúidí Tríú Leibhéal (PRTLI) agus fuarthas cómhaoiniú faoi Chiste Forbraíochta Réigiúnaí na hEorpa.  Chuir an Roinn Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta €10 milliún ar fáil trí PTRLI, Timthriall 5 agus fuarthas an chuid eile ó fhoinsí príobháideacha.  Tá an taispeántas ‘Performing Ireland’ ag déanamh ceiliúradh ar oscailt Áras Taighde Uí Argadáin agus foirgneamh Síceolaíochta OÉ Gaillimh agus tá sé ar oscailt don phobal i bhforhalla Áras Taighde Uí Argadáin as seo go dtí mí Dheireadh Fómhair. Tá tuilleadh eolais ar fáil ar www.nuigalway.ie/AbbeyTheatre -Críoch-

Friday, 2 May 2014

NUI Galway has been successful in securing two substantial research grants announced this week by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D. and the Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock T.D. The €47 million funding grants for pioneering research initiatives were delivered by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, through the Science Foundation Ireland Investigators Programme. The Programme will provide funding over a three to five year period, for 36 research projects involving over 200 researchers. Professor Noel Lowndes, Established Professor of Biochemistry at NUI Galway, was awarded €1.8 million in funding for his project ‘The ATR and ATM kinases: new roles in maintaining genome stability’. The second project, ‘Role of NRXN1 in neurodevelopmental disorders: from stem cells to clinical phenotypes’ was awarded €1.73 million in funding. The project is a collaboration between Professor Sanbing Shen, Professor of Fundamental Stem Cell Biology with REMEDI at NUI Galway, and Professor Louise Gallagher from TCD. Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to see Professor Lowndes' and Shen's research proposals being selected by international peers and SFI for funding. This funding allows us to continue the excellent research in NUI Galway with partner institutions.” Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “Central to our Action Plan for Jobs is ensuring that we focus our on research and innovation on job-creation – turning good ideas into good jobs. The funding we are announcing today will directly support over 200 highly skilled researchers in Ireland through to 2019, and is linked to 62 private sector companies. This investment through SFI helps to develop Ireland’s international reputation for excellent research with impact. This allows us to continue to attract foreign-direct investment, as well as to support Irish companies, long-term economic competitiveness and most importantly ultimately job-creation.” Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD said: “This major investment will support world-class research in key priority areas that support economic and social development in Ireland. By concentrating on sectors of strength, the SFI Investigators Programme aligns funding to areas of increasing national and international importance. This will create many opportunities for successful collaboration between industry and Ireland’s science ecosystem.” The Science Foundation Ireland Investigators Programme supports excellent scientific research that has the potential to impact Ireland’s economic and societal development. The 36 projects were selected by competitive peer review by 400 international scientists, focusing on excellent research with potential impact. -Ends-

Friday, 2 May 2014

 Insight @ NUI Galway participate in defining intelligent use of data that will revolutionize decision making in businesses, sciences, and society through Big Data Value At the recent European Data Forum in Athens the European Partnership for Big Data Value launched the public consolitation for a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) on Big Data Value, which Insight @ NUI Galway participated in defining. The objective of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) is to describe the main research challenges and needs for advancing Big Data Value in Europe in the next five to ten years. The SRIA will be an important channel for providing input to the European Big Data Value Partnership that aims to establish a Public Private Partnership on Big Data Value within Horizon 2020. The intelligent use of data will revolutionize decision making in businesses, sciences, and society in the future. Value creation from Big Data could become the major driver of the European digital economy. Big Data is one of the key assets of the future. Mastering the creation of Value from Big Data will enhance European competitiveness, will result in economic growth and jobs, and will deliver societal benefit.  “Strategic investments are needed by industry and governments to enable Europe to take a leading position in the global big data economy”, said Dr. Edward Curry, Insight @ NUI Galway who participated in defining the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA). The European Partnership for Big Data Value (EP-BDV) sets out the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) which must be achieved in order to realise this. Curry explains that the draft SRIA was the outcome of many months of analysis with inputs from a pan-European multi-stakeholder group from industry and commerce, including large enterprises and SMEs, research and academic institutions, and users of Big Data in different sectors. Europe needs research and innovation in deep analysis, to improve data understanding, in optimized architectures for analytics of data at rest and in motion, in advanced visualization and user experience, and, underpinning these, in data management engineering. Alongside vital research and innovation in technologies and applications, many infrastructural, economic, social and legal challenges will have to be addressed in an interdisciplinary fashion. Underpinning successful exploitation will be the availability of highly and rightly skilled Big Data Scientists and Big Data Engineers. The EP-BDV proposes a contractual Public Private Partnership (cPPP) to deliver this SRIA within the European research and innovation landscape of Horizon 2020 and national and regional initiatives. For maximum impact, the cPPP must build upon, continue and accelerate these initiatives, federating national and European activities, reinforcing and augmenting a Europe-wide research and innovation effort, with clear strategies for exploitation, skills development, and investment to maximise take-up. The new initiative is a common effort with new stakeholders welcome to provide their views on the SRIA. Survey is open to all and will be accessible until 5 May 2014 and will take around 15 minutes to complete at http://www.bigdatavalue.eu Feedback will be integrated in the final version of the SRIA and presented to the NESSI summit 2014 on 27 May in Brussels. -Ends-        

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

NUI Galway is offering secondary school students the choice of seven separate summer schools in June, across the disciplines of Business, Nursing, Computing, Engineering, Science and Law. 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. The Nursing Summer School will take place on Wednesday, 4 June. This initiative will give students the opportunity to learn more about studying Nursing and the careers available to them upon graduation. Activities at the Summer School will focus on lifesaving skills include CPR, recognising vital signs and hand hygiene. Spaces for this Summer School are limited to 32 students and are on a first-come, first-served basis. NUI Galway’s one week Computing Summer Camp introduces computing in a novel, fun and interactive way. Students will have the opportunity to explore and experiment with a range of digitally-inspired topics including Programming, Games, Modelling and Robotics. The summer camp will also give students a sense of the exciting possibilities in computer science and information technology, and will also provide an insight into the range of topics that form part of the highly successful BSc in Computer Science and Information Technology. The camp takes places from 9-13 June from 9am-4pm and is open to all secondary school students from 13 -17 years of age. In addition there will be a Computer Science and Information Technology Experience day, aimed specifically at transition year students, which will run on Thursday, 12 June. Students interested in the Engineering Summer School have a choice of two different days to participate, Thursday, 19 June, or Friday, 20 June. Taking place in the University’s new Engineering Building, the Summer School offers a unique hands-on practical experience to get a taste of life as an engineer. Activities include a robo-soccer game, go-kart design for future Formula 1 engineers, designing an eco-house, remote control of a wastewater treatment plant and building and testing a pace-maker circuit. There will also be a 'Frankenstein Design’ feature on how bioengineers make new body parts. From Wednesday 25 to Thursday 26 June, the Science Experience Summer Event will offer students two 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 do their own lab experiments and demonstrations, find out more about careers in Science and hear about the latest discoveries and inventions. The closing date for applications for the Science Experience Summer Event is Thursday, 15 May. Students interested in working in the exciting and dynamic world of business won’t want to miss the opportunity to experience the Business Summer School. Open to all secondary school students the Summer School is made up of workshops and lectures bases around the five subject areas taught by the School of Business and Economics; Marketing, Human Resource Management, Accounting, Economics and Business Information Systems. Activities include five 45 minute workshops providing insights into each subject, tours of student facilities at NUI Galway and students will have the opportunity to find out about the financial positioning of their local businesses. Students will get a taste of life as a business student and see how their learning will be applied in the Business World. The Summer School will run on Tuesday 24 June. New for 2014 is a one day Law Summer Camp, organised by the University’s School of Law. A degree in law opens up a broad range of career opportunities in a many different areas.  The Camp will be interactive with students learning about criminal law, corporate law and topical legal issues. This will be a fun and productive introduction to law, and why studying law at NUI Galway is your best option. This event will take place on Friday, 6 June, and spaces are limited to 30. Early booking is advised for all Summer Schools. For further information, or for application form, visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/summer-schools/. -Ends-

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

For the second year running NUI Galway was awarded the ‘Best Business Postgraduate Course of the Year Award’ at the national gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards 2014 which took place in Dublin recently. This year, the prize was awarded for the University’s MSc in Marketing Practice programme. Judges commented on the strong links the MSc in Marketing Practice has with industry, responding to emerging skillsets required by employers particularly in the areas of Digital Marketing Management, Sales, Market Intelligence, and Marketing Communications (from advertising and PR to event management and CRM).  According to Programme Director, Ann Walsh, “Over 95% of graduates of the MSc in Marketing Practice secure employment as a direct result of being on the programme, so competition for places on the programme is intense and means we attract the highest calibre students from third level institutions all over the country each year.”   Host companies that return repeatedly in search of students from the NUI Galway include; Multinationals such as GSK, Creganna Tactx, Fintrax, KPMG; SMEs: Smyths Toys, Supermacs, Dubarry of Ireland, Irish Pride State Agencies; Bord Bia, ESB International, ESB ecars, Failte Ireland Not-for-profit organisations: Croí, Simon Community, Sophia, Galway Arts Festival Specialist marketing agencies: Strategem, Aró, Maverick, The Marketing Department and many locals SMEs.  Graduate of the programme, Michael Walsh, Marketing Director, Dubarry of Ireland said, “Dubarry of Ireland has been taking graduates from the MSc in Marketing Practice programme over the past 30 years. It is a programme with a very strong emphasis on the practical application of the graduate’s knowledge to challenges in their working environment. The back-up support and workshops provided as an integral part of the programme are also very helpful to both company and graduate alike. We are proud to say that there are a number of very successful people out there today both here in Ireland and overseas that have used Dubarry and the MSc Marketing Practice programme as a launch platform for their careers.” Companies interested in a marketing intern from NUI Galway’s MSc in Marketing Practice programme can contact marketingpractice@nuigalway.ie or call Programme Director, Ann Walsh on 091 492575.  -Ends

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Three NUI Galway based organisations – The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), the Centre for Cell Manufacturing in Ireland (CCMI) and Orbsen Therapeutics – will collaborate with a number of European groups in developing a stem cell therapy and new diagnostic tests in the area of corneal transplantation. NUI Galway’s Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and Orbsen Therapeutics will lead a €6M EU FP-funded project known by the acronym “VISICORT” (Adverse Immune Responses and their Prevention in Corneal Transplantation), to develop new diagnostic tests and a cell therapy for the prevention of immunological complications in people receiving corneal transplants. Corneal transplantation is the most common transplant carried out worldwide with over 100,000 procedures per year. It is often the only treatment available to restore sight to people who have lost vision due to diseases of the cornea – a layer of clear tissue at the front of the eye which allows light to pass through the pupil and lens to the retina. The EU FP 7-funded collaborative research programme will be jointly coordinated by Immunology researchers Professor Matthew Griffin and Dr Thomas Ritter of NUI Galway’s REMEDI in partnership with Orbsen Therapeutics and 10 other academic and industry-based partners from a total of 5 European countries. President of NUI Galway, Dr James Browne congratulated Professor Griffin and Orbsen on their success commenting, “The VISICORT project is a great example of how NUI Galway’s visionary approach to research and commercial entities housed side by side on campus, can deliver major European Union funding successes like this. The collaboration between NUI Galway, Orbsen Therapeutics and a number of European partners, demonstrates the ‘ecosytem of research’ that is part of a long-term strategy to enable the university to become a world player in the biomedical science area. I would like to congratulate all involved in this project and on this research success” Ciaran Cannon TD Minister of State for Training and Skills at the Department of Education and Skills added his congratulations stating, “This is an excellent win for Galway and for Ireland and it underlines the benefits of combining university research excellence with commercialisation expertise in a single site. I am delighted to see this model in action on campus in NUI Galway. I want to congratulate President Browne, Professor Griffin, Dr Ritter and all at Orbsen Therapeutics on their success and wish them the very best with this project.” Speaking about the successful funding of the project, Professor Matthew Griffin said, “It is extremely exciting to have the opportunity to collaborate in this way with such an outstanding group of researchers and experts from different parts of Europe. Our common goal of further improving the results of corneal transplantation for patients with loss of vision through a better understanding of the immune response can only be achieved by combining the skills and resources of all the partners.” Dr Thomas Ritter added, “In recent years, our Immunology research programme at REMEDI has focused at a basic level on understanding the immune response to transplanted tissues such as the cornea as well as on the immune modulating effects of stromal stem cells. By combining our expertise with that of each of our partners in this project, VISICORT now gives us the chance to directly apply these research areas to people with severe eye disease who can benefit from new tests and cellular therapies.”      Laboratory studies for VISICORT will be carried out by Dr Ritter’s and Professor Griffin’s team at the REMEDI laboratories in NUI Galway’s recently-opened Biosciences Building. They will collaborate with leading researchers at the University of Edinburgh and Fios Genomics Ltd in the United Kingdom and at Nantes University in France as well as with Biostór, an Irish company specialising in the transport and storage of biological samples. Clinical studies involving over 700 corneal transplant patients will be carried out by leading experts in eye surgery and tissue banking at the RCSI-affiliated Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin, the Charité University in Berlin, Germany, the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark and Nantes University Hospital in France. Orbsen Therapeutics CEO Brian Molloy added “Orbsen are delighted to be a part of VISICORT and look forward to seeing our cell therapy product being manufactured here on campus in NUI Galway by the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI). Projects such as this highlight the continuing development of Galway as a global hub for Bioscience research and therapy development. Orbsen is very proud to be playing a significant role in this process.” The VISICORT project is a strong validation of the research funding policy that has been adopted by Government and implemented by bodies such as Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the university sector. The CCMI and REMEDI are both SFI funded centres based on the NUI Galway campus. Orbsen Therapeutics is a privately held company founded and located on campus at NUI Galway. Within VISICORT these elements come together with a research plan lead by REMEDI investigators, a cell therapy product developed by Orbsen and clinical-grade cells to be manufactured for use in patients at CCMI. The €6M EU funding for this project will enable additional high value jobs to be created and ultimately may aid the discovery of a new cell therapy to improve corneal transplant outcomes across the globe. -Ends-

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

A showcase ‘Coderdojo’ computer programming youth club will offer a taste of life online for parents, young adults and younger children at one of a number of centres in Galway Parents, teachers, teenagers and children interested in computer programming are invited to attend a Coderdojo event at NUI Galway. Members from Coderdojo, one of lreland’s fastest growing volunteer youth clubs will showcase their own computer games and digital stories on Saturday, May 17 from 12pm to 2pm at NUI Galway’s Insight Centre for Data Analytics (formerly DERI), Dangan Business Park, Galway. The event will coincide with International Scratch Day. Coderdojo is an open source, volunteer-led movement orientated around running free not-for-profit coding clubs for young people in a relaxed and social environment. At a dojo (Japanese term for training centre), young people between the ages of 5 and 17 learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs and games. Dojos are setup, managed and taught by volunteers. The first Coderdojo was established in Cork in June 2011 by James Whelton and Bill Liao. Since then it has become an Irish technology export success story active in forty-three countries. Brendan Smith, one of Coderdojo Galway’s co-founders and Insight’s Outreach Officer said, “There is a real appetite amongst our young people to learn how to code. They want to move on from playing computer games to making their own versions. This is shown by the fact that every Saturday, in towns across Galway including Athenry, Clifden, Eyrecourt, Kinvara, Loughrea, Mountbellew and Tuam as well as in NUI Galway, hundreds of enthusiastic children and teenagers create their very own games, digital stories and web applications facilitated by volunteer Coderdojo mentors.” Coding is the new literacy of the 21st century; it is as important for children to learn how to programme as it is how to read and write. It is vital for Ireland to develop a sustainable knowledge economy and society, to create the next generation of products and processes using the creativity of today’s youth. May 17 is International Scratch Day. Developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Scratch is the world’s most popular computer language for young people. It has a cross-disciplinary ethos and structure that combines mathematics with elements of arts, engineering and personal development. So we are using this opportunity to encourage our young coders or ‘ninjas’ to showcase their projects to the general public.” East Galway TD Ciaran Cannon, Minister of State for Training and Skills at the Department of Education and Skills has taken a very pro-active ‘hands-on’ approach in promoting digital creativity in schools and amongst communities. Government educational reform has ensured that five decades after the tentative introduction of computing into Irish schools, coding will soon become part of the national post-primary curriculum at junior cycle level. This has resulted in the birth of the first generation of Irish children that can code, people who are truly ‘digital creators’ rather than just passive ‘digital users’. Galway is quickly becoming the Youth Coding Capital of Ireland and possibly of Europe. During the inaugural Europe Coding Week last November, not only was Ireland the most active country but Galway city and county hosted the highest concentration of events of any region in Europe. Over the last year, volunteer tutors from NUI Galway, GMIT, Hewlett Packard and Fidelity have worked together to coordinate the delivery of computer programming courses to thousands of pupils and students in over sixty primary and post-primary schools across counties Mayo, Westmeath and Galway. Local young people’s clubs such as ‘091 Labs’ and the Coderdojos are providing informal after-school digital makers’ environments. Insight at NUI Galway is part of a cross Ireland university research centre designed to provide a national ICT research platform based on world-class research programmes that will serve as a global beacon for the science and application of Big Data Analytics. -Ends-

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Scoil Chaitriona Junior School in Renmore today played host to a visit from a member of the prestigious Discover Primary Science & Maths Excellence Squad to celebrate their involvement in the DPSM Awards of Science and Maths Excellence. 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the awards and to celebrate a panel of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) scientists are capturing the imagination of primary school pupils around the country during visits to a number of lucky schools. Sarah Gundy, Project Officer at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials at NUI Galway, today introduced the pupils of Scoil Chaitriona to the concepts of anatomy, physiology, and disease of the heart through a series of hands-on activities. Pupils acted as tissue engineers to fix heart shaped cookies using various decorations. Icing of differing colours was used to represent the types of scaffold materials available, and marshmallows and sprinkles were used to represent components that can be added to enhance scaffolds such as medicine and cells. Speaking at Scoil Chaitriona, Sarah Gundy said, “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to visit Scoil Chaitriona today to introduce pupils to our work on tissue engineered scaffolds. It is so encouraging to see children and teachers genuinely engaged with and enjoying science and maths. By sparking children’s interest in these subjects at an early age, they are enthused to engage with science and maths as they grow older which may lead them to explore the possibility of a career in these areas in the future.” Jane McLoughlin, DPSM Coordinator at Scoil Chaitriona Junior School said, “The DPSM programme develops children’s confidence and enthusiasm for science and maths. The concepts are broken down into manageable activities that facilitate learning in an enjoyable manner. Over the last number of years, the Award of Science and Maths Excellence has given us something to work towards as a school and there is a real sense of achievement in meeting the criteria to achieve the award while also engaging in fun practical activities which help the children to gain an understanding of the world around them.” The Awards of Science and Maths Excellence are awarded to schools who present evidence of meeting five criteria which encourage a whole school approach to the Discover Primary Science and Maths (DPSM) programme over the course of the school year. SFI hopes to present awards to over 500 schools this year. Hundreds of schools around the country are already participating in Greenwave, a nationwide project to track the arrival of spring, and in doing so are meeting one of the award criteria. Evidence of the completion of the five criteria is recorded in a log book and submitted to Discover Primary Science & Maths in May. Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said, “We expect to present DPSM Awards of Science and Maths Excellence to over 500 primary schools this year and it is encouraging to see how the DPSM programme has grown since it was first introduced in 2003. Through their involvement in the initiative, primary school pupils are gaining an appreciation of the fundamental importance of science and maths in our everyday lives. The quality of work being done by the schools involved is outstanding and we are delighted to be able to acknowledge some of that work with visits from the Discover Science & Maths Excellence Squad.” For further details and to enter the awards, visit www.primaryscience.ie. For information on Greenwave, log on to www.greenwave.ie -Ends-

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The workshop coincides with the design of the €1bn European Southern Observatory super-telescope; with a 39m mirror, it is ten times bigger than the world’s largest telescope today NUI Galway will host an international workshop on the development of large astronomical telescopes for the next decade. Such telescopes will enable astronomers to see faint objects such as the first galaxies, formed just after the big bang, and also to see planets similar to Earth, near other stars. The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) with a 39m diameter mirror is currently being designed by the European Southern Observatory. Discussions about the role Ireland could play in this ambitious project are taking place with the Government. Professor Andy Shearer of NUI Galway said “This international workshop acknowledges the role astronomers from NUI Galway have played in developing the most advanced astronomical instrumentation. It also recognises the potential Irish industry has for participating in this massive international project. At the moment there is a debate about Ireland's membership of the European Southern Observatory. As members, Irish scientists and Irish industry would be able to take part in, and bid for,  some of the most technologically challenging projects in the world." The workshop “Speed and Sensitivity: Expanding Astronomical Horizons with ELTs” http://astro.nuigalway.ie/speedandsensitivity/  will be held in NUI Galway from May 13th to 16th. Astronomers in the Centre for Astronomy NUI Galway are very pleased to have been chosen to host the workshop to discuss what science and what instruments will be needed by the ELT over the next decade. The largest telescope in use today uses a mirror 11 metres across - the bigger the mirror the fainter and further a telescope can ‘see’. Astronomers require bigger telescopes to see fainter objects in the universe. The European Southern Observatory is currently designing a telescope, with a 39m mirror, known as the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). This billion euro project will become the most powerful astronomical facility in the world. It will enable astronomers to see faint objects such as the first galaxies which formed just after the big bang and planets like the earth around other stars. Speed and Sensitivity is sponsored by the European Union through its Opticon [http://www.astro-opticon.org/] project and through Science Foundation Ireland. An important part of the workshop will be a discussion to involve industry in developing new instruments for the telescopes. Ireland’s photonics industry will be well-place to benefit from this project. -ends-

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Students seeking to develop new skills or considering part-time study options are advised to visit NUI Galway’s Adult Learners Information Evening on Tuesday, 13 May from 5-7.30pm in the Orbsen Building on the University campus. An extensive range of part-time, flexible-learning programmes are on offer suitable for those who require professional development opportunities to up-skill or enhance their career prospects. Students are invited along to meet representatives from over 30 part-time programmes which will be showcased at the event, these include subject areas of: Business and managment, Community Education, Education & Training, Early Childhood Studies, Languages, Information Technology, Pre-University Courses, and Science and Technology programmes. “Having recently rebranded the area of adult education to its new title of Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, the Centre will continue to offer the same commitment and support to adult learners by dedicated team members, but will also provide educational opportunities and programmes which focus on up-skilling and cross-skilling students for today’s competitive and fast-changing market place” explains Centre Director, Nuala McGuinn.   NUI Galway’s Adult Learning and Professional Development programmes suit students with a variety of learning and lifestyle needs. Courses are offered through classroom-based mode, online learning or through a blend of both, offering flexibility and support to prospective students. Ms McGuinn continued, “While students may choose programmes for their own personal development and enjoyment, the majority of learners are seeking career advancement and new skills to enhance their CV. Programme content which is offered in a flexible manner, meets the professional develoment requirements of learners while enabling them to continue in or seek employment will always be in high demand.”  Some of the newer programmes on offer this year include the Diploma in Business Analytics and the Diploma in E-business Analysis. These programmes aim to develop students’ analytical skills and their business/technology skills and also their understanding of information systems within organsations. Interest in programmes in the Science and Technology area including specialisms in Medical Device Science, Environmental Sustainability and Lean & Quality Systems has grown over the past number of years as a direct result of industry requiring increased skills in these areas. Study options are available at Diploma, Degree and individual module level. Diplomas are also available in a selection of high quality language courses for adult learners. Students practice their chosen language through a variety of activities, such as guided speaking practice, listening comprehension activities, grammar and vocabulary exercises. Languages on offer include Gaeilge, French, Italian (via classroom mode and online), Spanish and German. Students can also chose to take individual modules from the suite of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit options and may be useful for learners who do not have the time to commit to a full programme of study or for those who require a module for the purposes of retraining or up-skilling.  Standalone modules are available in Innovation Management, Technology Management, Education and Training, Early Childhood Studies, Community Education and Software Engineering. This year many of our popular programmes such as the fully online MSc in Software Engineering and Database Technologies, Diploma in Software Engineering and the Professional Diploma in Education (Further Education) are on offer again. Additionally, the Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate in Practice Based Play Therapy is available in conjunction with the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy (APAC), this course is ideal for teachers and educators who wish to add therapeutic play skills to their existing teaching or psychology skills for working with children. A full list of all programmes and application details are available at www.nuigalway.ie/adultlearning. Additional information is available at by contacting the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development at adultlearning@nuigalway.ie or 091 495241, or visit the Centre’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nuigalway.adulted. -Ends-

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Cell EXPLORERS represented Ireland  as the only Irish science outreach representative group at the National Student Travel Foundation (NSTF) Malta Science Expo, which took place during April in the Maltese capital Valletta. To encourage young peoples’ engagement in science, the Expo invites science communicators from abroad to attend and give workshops to inspire and excite the next generation of scientists. The NSTF Malta Science Expo is a successful science engagement programme that has run for several years. It is composed of a comprehensive set of science based competitions for students as well as a programme of scientific activities delivered by both Maltese and International scientists. This year, Cell EXPLORERS had the opportunity to bring their hands-on molecular biology activities to the Expo. A team of three scientists, led by Programme Director Dr Muriel Grenon, travelled from NUI Galway to bring the ‘Fantastic DNA’ workshop to the primary school children of Malta. During the week, over 400 Maltese children performed banana DNA extractions with the Cell EXPLORERS team. Based in the School of Natural Sciences in NUI Galway, Cell EXPLORERS is an outreach programme that proposes hands-on and fun practice of cellular and molecular biology to engage young people in biological and biomedical sciences. The programme, funded by the Wellcome Trust and Science Foundation Ireland Discover Science and Engineering Awards, is piloting a model of sustainable public engagement in science unique in Ireland. This model involves both a curriculum-integrated component and a strong base of volunteering undergraduate, postgraduate students, lecturers and researchers. Expo organiser, Karl Agius, was pleased with the performance of Cell EXPLORERS at the event: “Cell EXPLORERS have continued to improve the quality and reach of the NSTF Science Expo through their workshop. Thanks to their enthusiasm and communication skills, they excited and motivated the kids to the wonders and realities of science and imbued in them the wish to know more.” Dr Grenon was also delighted with the positive response of the Maltese children and teachers to the workshop: “It is incredible to see that the hands on science lesson designed by NUI Galway Cell EXPLORERS undergraduate students works as well in Malta than in Ireland. We have met a lot of interest among teachers, students and lecturers, and initiated collaborations which should allow the Cell EXPLORERS model to develop further away than Ireland.” Cell EXPLORERS continues to expand its activities here in Ireland, with the first ever Bio-EXPLORERS science holiday camps taking place this year in conjunction with Eco-EXPLORERS. For more information on Cell EXPLORERS and any upcoming activities visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/bughunters/ or take a look at their facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/Cellexplorers. -Ends-

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

NUI Galway societies were presented with two awards at the recent Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) National Society Awards. Over 360 students and 50 adjudicators from across Ireland came together to celebrate the achievements of students involved in society organisation at the highest level. The Awards ceremony took place in the spectacular Titanic Museum in Belfast, with presentations made to 16 award winners, from nine different categories. This year, the NUI Galway Astronomy Society won the Best New Society Award for an outstanding year in which they encouraged the campus and general public to explore and look up at the night’s sky. Their galactic variety of events promoted astronomy across campus and awakened a curiosity to what the cosmos is all about. They organised the first Science Fortnight and hosted numerous guest speakers, including Professor Joslyn Bell. NUI Galway's second award of the evening was in the Best Photo category. The award, which best captured the spirit of societies, went to the Rovers Society, an outdoor society, based on the scouting ethos, bringing the spirit of activity, involvement and volunteering to third-level. Since its inauguration in 1999 NUI Galway has won more national society awards than any other college in Ireland and tops the leader board at 35 trophies, with the next competitor standing at 24. NUI Galway Societies Officer and BICS Awards Coordinator, Riona Hughes, said: “The two-day event was a major success. It was all about celebrating, all of the societies who attended had achieved a very high standard in their own institutions and the judges were very impressed and had two very long days of deliberation which included interviews with all the nominees. The BICS Awards are the highlight of the societies calendar and afford them an opportunity to network and share ideas and we are already expecting great things next year. The enthusiasm, talent, generosity and vision of all the students present augurs well for the future of our country.” For more info on BICS Awards visit www.bics.ie. -ENDS-

Thursday, 8 May 2014

A paper published by the Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Nurse-led Community Environment (PRINCE) research team won the General Practice category at the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI) Doctor Awards recently. The winning paper examined the effectiveness of a structured education pulmonary rehabilitation programme for improving the health status of people with moderate and severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in primary care. The study was funded by the HRB and consisted of a two-armed randomised cluster trial. In one arm (intervention group), persons with COPD received a structured education pulmonary rehabilitation programme, while the other arm (control group) received usual care. The study found that people who attended the programme were significantly better able to manage their breathing difficulties than those who did not attend. Principal study investigators for the study were Professor Kathy Murphy and Dr Dympna Casey of NUI Galway’s School of Nursing & Midwifery, and involved collaboration with researchers in NUI Galway, the UK and the HSE. The authors were Dr Dympna Casey, Professor Kathy Murphy, Professor Declan Devane, Dr Adeline Cooney, Bernard McCarthy, Lorraine Mee, Dr John Newell, Professor Eamon O’Shea, Dr Carl Scarrott, Dr Paddy Gillespie, Collette Kirwan and Professor Andrew W. Murphy. Andrew W. Murphy, Professor of General Practice at NUI Galway, accepted the award on behalf of the team: “The RAMI awards recognise excellence in international peer reviewed clinical research papers which have been carried out in Ireland. Our study involving 32 general practices and 350 participants, found that a primary care based pulmonary rehabilitation programme facilitated by trained physiotherapists and practice nurses who had no prior COPD expertise, is feasible, safe, and effective.” Co- principal study investigator Dr Dympna Casey said: “We are thrilled that our paper received this award, we both feel strongly that health care research must make a real difference to patients’ lives and we are delighted that the findings of our large trial does just that.” The winning paper is available from the following link http://thorax.bmj.com/content/early/2013/06/09/thoraxjnl-2012-203103.long#aff-5 -Ends-

Thursday, 8 May 2014

NUI Galway has become a new partner of the All Ireland Institute of Hospice Palliative Care (AIIHPC). The new membership is part of a significant expansion of AIIHPC’s partner organisations from 12 to 17. Following this expansion its partners now include all Universities and major hospice providers and on the Island of Ireland. AIIHPC, the first organisation of its kind in Ireland, was established in October 2010, following a successful bid by the 12 Consortium members to secure funding. The Institute works to improve policy and practice, education and research relating to hospice and palliative care in both the Republic and Northern Ireland. The Institute is particularly committed to the engagement of users, carers and communities. The expanded make up of AIIHPC was officially launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food Simon Coveney TD at Marymount University Hospital and Hospice.   Minister Coveney said: “It is a pleasure to formally recognise the enlarged consortium of partners working together to ultimately benefit patients and their families. The Institute is playing a key role – informing improvement, engaging with communities, facilitating change and leading developments.” Kathy Murphy, Professor of Nursing at NUI Galway and member of the AIIPHC Management Committee, said: “NUI Galway is pleased to be part of this important research, education and practice network. This collaboration will enable more effective knowledge exchange and development resulting ultimately in better outcomes for those receiving palliative care.” The 12 original Consortium members are: Dublin Academic Medical Centre; Milford Care Centre, Castletroy, Limerick; Marie Curie Centre, Belfast; Northern Ireland Hospice, Belfast; Our Lady's Hospice & Care Services, Dublin; Queens University Belfast; St. Francis Hospice, Raheny, Dublin, St. James's Hospital, Dublin; Trinity College Dublin; University College Dublin; University of Limerick and the University of Ulster. Other new partners include DCU, Marymount University Hospital and Hospice, NUI Maynooth and UCC. AIIHPC Deputy Chairperson, and CEO Our Lady’s Hospice and Services in Harold Cross, Mo Flynn said the expansion showed strong and growing support for the Institute. “The five additional members will further increase AIIHPC’s capacity to benefit patients who receive palliative and end of life care and their families. Working together, and across Ireland, the Institute is achieving real impact and helping to drive change.” The significant bulk of AIIHPC’s funding comes from The Atlantic Philanthropies, with additional funding from Health Research Board, Irish Cancer Society, Irish Hospice Foundation and the Public Health Agency. Consortium members also contribute funding. -Ends-

Thursday, 8 May 2014

A gold medal which will be awarded each year to the most outstanding student on the Masters in Preventive Cardiology programme at NUI Galway was inaugurated this week at a special ceremony in the Croí Heart and Stroke Centre, Galway The Kieran Daly Medal was inaugurated to honour the immeasurable contribution which Dr. Kieran Daly, Honorary Clinical Professor in Medicine at NUI Galway and Consultant Cardiologist at Galway University Hospitals, has made to education and training in Cardiology over a long and distinguished career. Additionally, the medal honours the leadership Dr Daly has shown over many years , firstly as Research & Medical Director of Croí and for the past five years as Chairperson of the organisations Board of Directors, a position which he retired from earlier this month. At the launch of this prestigious award, Dr. Gerard Flaherty, Programme Director of the NUIG Masters in Preventive Cardiology programme, one of only two such courses in the world, spoke of the very high esteem in which Dr. Daly is held by his colleagues, students and trainees over the years. Having worked with Dr. Daly, he added that he “always admired his dedication, intellect, technical skills, and consummate professionalism, all fitting attributes to be associated with graduates from the Masters programme”. Dr. Flaherty added that the award of this medal at the annual conferring ceremony at NUI Galway would help to raise the profile of this popular programme and ensure that it continues to attract the most capable and highly motivated students. He thanked Dr. Daly for allowing his name to be associated with the award. Speaking at the launch of the Kieran Daly Medal, Croí CEO, Neil Johnson said "this is a very appropriate acknowledgement to the contribution Kieran Daly has made to the advancement of Cardiology education and practice in the west of Ireland". The first group of students on the Masters in Preventive Cardiology programme at NUI Galway are due to graduate in November this year. This unique programme is delivered over a 12-month period as a full-time Level 9 degree programme, with most of the didactic and much of the clinical instruction delivered in the state-of-the-art Croí Heart and Stroke Centre in Galway. In addition, students have access to e-learning resources developed by the multiprofessional teaching faculty at Croí and NUI Galway. Places on the programme for 2014/15 are filling fast and any interested applicant should apply at www.pac.ie/nuigalway. -Ends-

Thursday, 8 May 2014

NUI Galway has won the top award for most biodiverse campus at Ireland’s first Intervarsity BioBlitz competition, beating off stiff competition from UCC, TCD, DCU and Dundalk IT. Over a 24 hour period, 43 volunteers combed the University’s campus and recorded a total of 581 species. With extensive semi-natural habitats on NUI Galway grounds, the BioBlitz teams recorded 333 plants and tree species, 55 bird species, 75 insect species- including 21 butterflies and moths, 33 diatoms, 30 terrestrial and freshwater slugs and snails, 19 different mosses, 18 other invertebrates, 8 mammals, 5 lichens, 3 fish, a frog and 1 alga. Along with NUI Galway staff and students, many volunteers were graduates of NUI Galway and specifically School of Natural Sciences. They are now themselves staff in GMIT, NUI Maynooth, UCD, National Parks and Wildlife Services, all as professional field ecologists Ireland’s BioBlitz is designed to increase public awareness of the variety of life in Ireland and to highlight some of the ecological services that biodiversity provides to enhance our quality of life at the global and the local level. The Bioblitz demonstrates the high level of skill and expertise necessary to study many aspects of Ireland’s biological diversity. It also demonstrates the importance of being able to survey and identify plants and animalsas these are important aspects of Ireland’s biodiversity and skills that are taught at NUI Galway. Keith Warnock, Vice-President for Capital Projects: “The University is very pleased to have participated in the BioBlitz, and delighted to have emerged as the campus with the highest level of biodiversity. We have worked hard to ensure that as new buildings are constructed in response to growing student numbers and research activity, the built environment leaves ample room for this wide range of plant and animal life.” This initiative was supported by NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, the Buildings Office and the Green Campus team. NUI Galway’s statistics from the BioBlitz competition can be viewed at http://records.biodiversityireland.ie/bioblitz.php?fk=IntervarsityBioBlitz2014_NUIGalwaySite&sn=NUI%20Galway&bkey=IntervarsityBioBlitz2014. -Ends-

Monday, 12 May 2014

‘Rails Girls Galway’ is part of a worldwide movement that hopes to bridge the gender divide in technology and to facilitate women in learning computer programming. Returning to Galway this year the event aimed at females interested in computing technology and engineering will take place this summer in NUI Galway. The free weekend workshop will provide women with the tools and the collective learning community to build web applications and software services. It will be held on 20-21 June at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics located in the Dangan IDA Business Park. The organisers are mainly young female IT researchers involved in local third level colleges, businesses, schools and volunteer digital makers’ clubs. Though primarily targeting the local female population, there will also be participants from across Ireland and from overseas. The weekend event is free, is open to all women of any age from sixteen years upwards, and suitable for both those who wish to learn how to code and those with experience of programming. The workshops will use 'Ruby on Rails', a powerful web application framework for the Ruby programming language. According to Myriam Leggieri, Insight researcher and one of the chief organisers, “Last year’s event in Galway was an outstanding success with women of all ages from a range of backgrounds learning together. We want to build on the dynamic that was so evident in 2013 and to make ‘Rail Girls’ an annual activity in a city that is and can develop even more as a vibrant hub for digital industries and innovation.” Ireland needs a generation of indigenous young coders of both sexes to help lay the foundations of the ‘Knowledge Economy’ and create the products for a sustainable future. There is, in particular, a serious shortage of female IT developers in the country and across the world as well as in the professions of science, technology, engineering and maths professions generally. “There is no reason why this should be the case except for a lack of exposure to such environments. Events such as 'Rails Girls' directly addresses the lack of exposure to technology and empowers girls to take the first step in learning these in-demand skills and acquiring the skills to conquer one of the last great frontiers of science, namely the World Wide Web” Ms Leggieri said. The first event, launched by Linda Liukas and Karri Saarinen, was held in Helsinki in 2010. It now is a worldwide phenomenon. Karri summarised the philosophy behind the movement: “The Internet was built by, and for, boys. As a girl, one often feels like lacking the vocabulary to access it. With ‘Rails for Girls’, we want to demystify the world of web applications and encourage women to learn about software development and programming. We believe that women need the skills and language to understand that world.” Further information and application forms are available at www.railsgirls.com/galway. There are a limited amount of places available so prompt registration is recommended. The closing date for applications is Thursday, 5 June. -Ends-