Friday, 11 June 2010

A team of researchers led by Chief Scientist Dr Louise Allcock and Project Leader Professor Mark Johnson from NUI Galway has just returned from a research mission to sample habitats on the edge of the continental shelf using the Marine Institute's vessel, the RV Celtic Explorer, and the deep water remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Holland I. The aim of this mission was to explore the little-studied habitats at the edge of the continental shelf, where the depth increases from approximately 400 m to over 3 km. Professor Mark Johnson of The Martin Ryan Marine Science Institute (MRI) at NUI Galway, said: "A feature of the continental margin is the presence of canyons, which increase the complexity of the margin and may be areas of high biodiversity. Up until quite recently, it has been difficult to sample canyons. Deep sea communities are normally sampled by sending down metal grabs or dredges. These methods do not work well in sloping complex habitats like canyons. In contrast, an ROV can manoeuvre to video and sample organisms with a high degree of precision". In addition to mapping sections of habitat, material sampled from the ROV and from cores was passed to taxonomists to help quantify the biodiversity and identify any species that may be new to science. Some sampled organisms will be frozen and returned to the biodiscovery laboratory hosted by the Marine Institute so that they can be made available to researchers looking for new compounds with pharmaceutical potential. Biodiscovery is the term used to describe the collection and analysis of organisms for the purpose of developing new products. Most of the new compounds derived from marine organisms have originated in warm water ecosystems such as coral reefs. To date, relatively little effort has been spent studying bioactivity in temperate waters and the deep sea, despite the abundance here of sponges and other groups known to have great potential for biodiscovery. Samples from the ROV were mostly collected on, or close to, underwater cliffs, some of which were over 100 m high. This sampling included the deepest dive to date with the Holland, to just short of 3000 m deep, twice the depth of the sea floor at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. Organisms were collected using the robotic arms of the ROV, sometime using a suction hose to draw material into a collection box. On surfacing, the collected material was sorted, with material for biodiscovery frozen at minus 80 °C - the best way to preserve the molecules of interest. To make the best use of the mission, the scientific team was drawn from several institutes: NUI Galway, UCC, TCD and Queen's University Belfast. Scientists from UCC are interested in the biodiscovery potential of microorganisms from sponges. This work is complemented by microbiologists from NUI Galway working on the composition and function of microorganisms in the water column. The Trinity team are looking at the links between the canyon habitats and the cycling of nutrients. Queen's University Belfast researchers are interested in biodiversity, particularly the taxonomy of sponges. Links to the wider international research community have been made through associating this mission with the Census of Marine Life COMARGE project (http://www.ifremer.fr/comarge/en/index.html). This mission is partially supported by a Beaufort Marine Biodiscovery Research Award under the Sea Change Strategy and the Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation (2006-2013). The Beaufort Award is a 7-year project linking NUI Galway, UCC and QUB. It provides the human capacity to support this mission, including PhD studentships and postdoctoral appointments. The overall aim of the Beaufort awards is to develop Irish research capacity in five key areas identified in Sea Change, including Marine Biodiscovery, Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management, Sensors and Communications Systems for the Marine Environment, Fish Population Genetics and Economic Research related to Development Dynamics of the Marine Sector in Ireland. These awards are managed and supported by the Marine Institute, and funded under the Marine Research Sub-Programme of the National Development Plan 2007–2013. -Ends-

Thursday, 10 June 2010

NUI Galway has launched the Lucerna Project Report on Capability Transformation and Competitiveness as part of a one-day Symposium with contributions from industry, policy-makers and academics. The symposium included a keynote address by Professor Michael Best of the University of Cambridge and the University of Massachusetts, the Senior Advisor on the Lucerna project. The report is based on a new industry database developed over three years at the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC), NUI Galway. The Lucerna database consists of company and product-related information, which allows for a deeper understanding of technological change and industrial development in Ireland. It represents a systematic approach to identify key industrial clusters that are creating a competitive position for Ireland and consists of business demographics for key technology-based clusters in Ireland. The database allows for the examination of technological activities, the specification of technology-related clusters and most importantly, emerging technologies and technology management capabilities. The database and report is a key project of CISC, it will enable policy makers and academics to answer key questions on the genesis and sustainability of Irish indigenous industry. The project is funded under the EU's Marie Curie Transfer of Knowledge program and reflects a partnership between NUI Galway and the University of Massachusetts, USA. The database details firms and the products they make – single or multiple – and the sectors they operate in. Many firms, particularly large ones, operate in more than one sector. Companies that straddle industry boundaries are most important in understanding industrial change and renewal as firms transition into new industries and products. Lucerna includes rapidly growing companies, those in transition and foreign Multi-National Company (MNC's) subsidiaries that drive industrial growth and, as such, are the carriers, developers and consolidators of regionally distinctive technological capabilities. The report suggests that from a capabilities perspective, Ireland has assimilated certain technological, manufacturing and managerial capabilities primarily from the presence of multinationals and supported by HEI investment that can be the drivers of renewed economic growth. Speaking at the launch of the report, CEO of Enterprise Ireland Frank Ryan said: "The increasing complexity and diversity of business requires new thinking around data and information capture. I congratulate the project team on the substantial work that they have achieved so far and I look forward to further iterations and other sectors being added to the analysis". Paul Ryan, CISC Principal Investigator on the project, said: "The Lucerna project research focuses attention on the real economy, that part that makes up the tax base and the wealth-creation. It puts the business enterprise at the heart of the innovation story. Successful firms have distinctive capabilities. These can be grouped across localised firms into distinctive regional capabilities. The Lucerna project focuses on the identification of the origins and development of such capabilities in high-tech firms in Ireland. These can be the foundations on which to build the road to recovery for the real economy". CISC is an inter-disciplinary research institute, based at J.E. Cairnes Business School of Business & Economic at NUI Galway, focused on building an internationally-recognised programme of research and education on innovation processes and policies that are fundamental to the development of a knowledge-based economy. -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Health Promotion Research Centre (HPRC) at NUI Galway will host its annual summer conference on Thursday, June 10 and Friday June 11, 2010. The focus of the conference will be on men's health. The aim of the event is to promote best practice in multidisciplinary approaches to improving men's health. The conference programme includes keynote addresses from two world leaders in the field of men's health; Professor Alan White of Leeds Metropolitan University, and Professor John MacDonald from the University of Western Sydney. Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, T.D. will attend NUI Galway on the second day of the event and give closing remarks at the conference. The programme will provide delegates with key insights into best practice and innovative approaches to tackling men's health, focusing on important international and national developments in the area of men's health; key settings in which to target men's health initiatives (for example primary care, community settings, workplace); and examples of how to target different sub-populations of men including; young men, rural men and men in the travelling community). The conference programme will appeal to a wide audience including health promotion personnel, primary care teams, community workers, youth workers and voluntary agencies. The focus on men's health is timely in light of the publication, in 2009, of a National Men's Health Policy (NMHP) in Ireland. The NMHP sets out key areas of recommendation in men's health relating to areas including: Strengthening public policy on men's health, Promoting and marketing men's health, creating strategies to promote gender competency in the delivery of health and social services, building services with a focus on preventative health, developing supportive environments for men's health and strengthening community action to support men's health. Dr Margaret Hodgins, Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway said: "The conference builds on the development of a National Men s Health policy and aims to contribute to the successful implementation of this policy. A key focus of the conference will be on identifying national and international examples of successful health promotion interventions that address men s health concerns. The conference will also afford the opportunity to build partnerships and networks across agencies which facilitate multi-disciplinary work". Co-author of the NMHP and keynote presenter at the Conference, Dr Noel Richardson stated: "Much has been achieved in a relatively short space of time in promoting an increased focus and awareness of men's health issues in Ireland. This conference has an integral role to play in supporting those with an interest in or working in the area of men's health, by showcasing best practice across a broad range of men's health issues". For further information on the National Men's Health policy log on to http://www.dohc.ie/publications/national_mens_health_policy.html -Ends-

Friday, 4 June 2010

The Tissue Engineering Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) EU meeting to be held in Ireland for the first time will be hosted by the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway. The event will take place from 13-17 June in the Radisson Blu Hotel. TERMIS – EU meeting is the premier tissue engineering conference in Europe where scientists from the fields of biomaterials, scaffolds, stem cells and cell biologists come together in a combined forum. Some of the plenary speakers for the conference include: James Fawcett, Chairman of the Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair; Helen M. Blau, Professor and Director of the Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine; Randall Moon, Director of the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Washington; and Hans-Dieter Volk, Director of the Institute of Medical Immunology and the Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies. Speaking about the upcoming event, Professor Abhay Pandit, TERMIS-EU 2010 Chair and Director of the NFB at NUI Galway, explained: "The Conference will offer delegates innovative and stimulating topics with a well-balanced programme of plenary speakers, invited symposia, oral presentations, rapid-fire sessions, poster sessions, a debate on the topic This House Believes that Active Biomolecules are more Important than Scaffold Materials in Tissue Engineering Products and educational workshops. In addition, there will be Student and Young Investigator Section activities that will stimulate and engage the next generation of researchers. The social programme will provide a taste of what Galway and the West of Ireland has to offer." In excess of 700 delegates are already registered to attend this high-profile meeting which will have a large focus on Irish researchers including principal investigators, postdoctoral researchers and students from Irish laboratories. The attraction of large groups of world-renowned researchers to Ireland to attend this conference will enhance the international visibility of Ireland, and more specifically Galway, to the global research and global high-tech business communities. TERMIS-EU will stimulate capacity-building in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, an important area of research in which Ireland is an emerging force. The NFB was set-up with funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to establish a critical mass of biomaterials activity in Ireland. NFB has established partnerships with leading academic institutions, research laboratories, hospitals and companies both in Ireland and around the world aiming to support the translation of biomaterials from the laboratory bench to the patient's bedside. The group continues to grow and currently there are 6 Principal Investigators, 7 Post Doctoral Researchers, 26 Post Graduate Researchers, 2 clinical interns and 4 research support staff making it one of the largest biomaterial groups in the EU. For more information or to register visit http://www.termis.org/eu2010/. -Ends-

Friday, 4 June 2010

In a unique collaboration, the graduating Executive MBA class at NUI Galway have completed a strategic study of the Alan Kerins Projects (AKP) charity. The study was undertaken with NUI Galway lecturer, Mike Moroney, during the second and final-year of the Executive MBA programme and was conducted on a pro bono basis. The study was presented to Alan Kerins and the Board of AKP at a recent function at NUI Galway. Welcoming the study as "very timely", Jacqui O'Grady, Chairperson of AKP, commented: "It certainly gives us food for thought particularly as we move into a new and exciting phase in our development. We will be reviewing carefully the findings and will take on board many of the suggestions". Dr James J. Browne, NUI Galway President, commented that the study was an exemplar of the University's civic engagement through its Community Knowledge Initiative. Based on in-depth research, the study represents a fundamental strategic review of AKP, which raises considerable funds for the benefit of thousands of poor and disadvantaged families in Zambia. The study outlines a platform for strategic renewal through investment in the capabilities, infrastructure and management of AKP. In addition to specific operational measures, it envisages augmenting management, leveraging AKP as a networked organisation and an international roll-out strategy. Commenting on the study, Alan Kerins said: "We are very grateful for this excellent report and we are overwhelmed by the amount of work involved in the study and by the quality of the analysis and proposals. We will be giving serious consideration to a lot of the proposed ideas and strategies". The study also has considerable learning and other benefits for the Executive MBA students involved. Brian Molloy, student class representative, found that working with Alan Kerins on the AKP study "was a truly humbling experience for the MBA class. Not only did we get to learn how to apply our skills in a 'live' environment under the expert guidance and mentorship of Mike Moroney, but we also got the opportunity to contribute in some small way to the great work that Alan is doing". Professor Willie Golden, Dean of the College of Business and Law, stated that it is policy to actively promote the engagement of students with businesses and other external organisations, which generates considerable two-way benefits. -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Fifteen NUI Galway applicants were among the recipients of the €8.5million recently awarded to some of Ireland's top scholars and fellows by the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS). These scholarships are awarded to fund research undertaken by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the humanities and social sciences over the next three years. Among the NUI Galway recipients were Dr Justin Tonra, from the School of Humanities and the Moore Institute, who was awarded the prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship 3 CARA and Clionadh O'Keefe, from the Global Women's Studies programme in the School of Political Science and Sociology, who received the Andrew Grene Scholarship in Conflict Resolution, which will be funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Thirteen NUI Galway applicants were awarded Postgraduate Scholarships including: Ciara Staunton, Mary Healy, Aisling De Paor, and Darragh Murray from the School of Law; Carol Staunton and Anna King from the School of Political Science and Sociology; Anne Marie Creaven, Cormac O'Beaglaoich and Triona Tammemagi from the School of Psychology; Cathal Smith and Paul McNamara from the School of Humanities; Aoife Connolly from the School of Languages, Literature and Cultures; and Richard Clutterbuck from School of Geography and Archaeology. Commenting on the awards, Dr Anthony Varley, Vice Dean (Research), at the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, NUI Galway, said: "In view of the substantial rise in the number of applicants and the significant reduction in the number of scholarships, it is extremely heartening to see so many NUI Galway applicants succeed in the recent IRCHSS awards". This year the IRCHSS awarded 92 postgraduate scholarships, of which two were funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs under The Andrew Grene Scholarship in Conflict Resolution, and 25 Postdoctoral fellowships of which 10 were CARA Marie Curie European Commission co-funded fellowships that allow researchers to travel internationally for their studies. There was an increase this year of 50% in numbers seeking the fellowships, including an increase in the numbers of mature graduates and those returning to education. This year was highly competitive with members of the International Assessment Boards commenting on the high quality of applications received. Making the announcement, Professor Caroline Fennell, Chair of the Council, said: "While generally, scholarships are sought by those who have tended to follow an academic career, it is interesting to note the growing interest from those in the workplace wishing to engage in research. We are particularly keen to encourage greater collaboration between business and industry and the research community". "It is more important than ever before that we invest in our future academic pool. We need to encourage thinkers and creators to develop the ideas that will build 21st century Ireland". The IRCHSS was established by the Minister for Education and Science in response to the need to develop Ireland s research capacity and skills base in a rapidly-changing global environment where knowledge is key to economic and social growth. With the support of the National Development Plan, the IRCHSS funds cutting-edge research in the humanities, social sciences, business and law with the objective of creating new knowledge and expertise beneficial to Ireland s economic, social and cultural development. -Ends-

Monday, 31 May 2010

NUI Galway will hold the 8th Annual Symposium on Higher Education entitled Creative Thinking – Re-imagining the University. Hosted by NUI Galway's Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) the conference will take place on 10-11 June in Áras Moyola. This year's theme is 'Creativity in Higher Education' encompassing creative approaches to teaching, curricular design and the nurturing of students' creativity. The idea of creativity is not one which is just concerned with what are traditionally known as the 'creative arts', but rather creativity in its many forms across the sciences, engineering, arts, humanities, medicine, social sciences and commerce. This two day event will feature a range of distinguished keynote speakers and workshop facilitators from the US, UK and Ireland including: Professor Norman Jackson, UK – Imaginative Curriculum Project; Professor Anna Craft, University of Exeter; Professor Keith Sawyer, Washington University, St. Louis; Professor Tim Jones, Burren College of Art; Professor Finbarr Bradley, previously Professor at UCD, NUI Maynooth and DCU; and Dr Kevin Byron, Queen Mary, University of London. Dr Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director of CELT, said: "This is not only an opportunity to share ideas, but also to celebrate the innovative and creative approaches so many staff in higher education in Ireland and beyond take to their teaching. It's a timely reminder of the levels of commitment, passion and effort that exist in the sector". Registration and further details regarding the event are available at http://creativegalway.eventbrite.com/?ref=ebtn, or you can follow the pre and post conference blog at http://ollscoil.blogspot.com/. -Ends-

Monday, 31 May 2010

NUI Galway will hold their second annual Social Marketing Conference entitled Making it Happen – Changing Behaviours and Changing Policies on Friday, 4 June in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. In these demanding times, insights into enabling, encouraging and supporting human behaviour from Social Marketing provides new ways to successfully tackle social and public issues in, for example, health, the environment, the community, and policy formulation. Social marketing is the application of marketing concepts and techniques to achieve specific behavioural goals for a social good. Social Marketing has already had considerable success in tackling issues such as obesity, smoking, cancer screening, recycling and road safety in countries including the USA, Canada, Britain, France, New Zealand and Australia. For example, Social Marketing underpinned the recent Get Your Life in Gear Safefood intervention to tackle male obesity for truck drivers in a work setting across Ireland, resulting in positive behavioural change around food choices and physical activity. The leading world authority on Social Marketing, Professor Gerard Hastings, and Director with the Institute for Social Marketing will draw from his 30 plus years of practical experience in the field to deliver the keynote addresses at the event. In recent years Professor Hastings has acted as a Temporary Advisor to the World Health Organisation on tobacco and alcohol marketing, as well as blinding trachoma, and a Special Advisor to the House of Commons Health Select Committee during their enquiries into the tobacco and food industries. He provides regular guidance on social and critical marketing to the Scottish, UK and European Parliaments. Professor Hastings has also acted as an expert witness in litigation against the tobacco industry and was awarded an OBE in the Queen s Birthday Honours List 2009 for his services to healthcare. Dr Christine Domegan, conference organiser and Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway explains: "For those new to the field, the conference will provide a comprehensive introduction to Social Marketing, encouraging participants to consider the scope for using marketing principles and techniques to effect social change and fundamentally alter the way we live for the better. It will demonstrate how professionals, seeking to bring about behavioural and social change, can apply it to practical situations in Ireland". Among the other keynote speakers at the conference are: Dr Ray Lowry, Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University, UK; Professor Jeff French, CEO, Strategic Social Marketing and former director of National Social Marketing Centre, UK; Dr Sally Pears, Bangor University, Wales and "Food Dudes" Healthy Eating Programme; and Professor Paulo Moreira, Deputy Head of the Health Communication Unit, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). To register, or for further details, contact Valerie Parker on 091 495971 or email valerie.parker@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Friday, 28 May 2010

The Royal Irish Academy (RIA) elected two of NUI Galway's top academics for admission today (Friday, 28 May 2010) in recognition of their academic achievement. This is the Academy's 225th admission of new Members since it was founded in 1785. Dr Sinisa Malesevic and Professor Stefan Decker were among only 24 academics on the island of Ireland to achieve this highest academic distinction. Professor Nicholas Canny, President of the RIA, and Director of the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies at NUI Galway said that this group 'is as accomplished and as academically diverse as any cohort elected since our founding members signed the roll in 1785'. He also said that the promotion of research within universities must be related to, and integrated with, their teaching mission. Professor Canny went on to note that if government funding to support research is predicated to occur only where this funding can 'be seen to promote innovation, enterprise and immediate job creation, it would be better [to enforce such a model] in stand-alone research institutes rather than through cross-subsidisation from the teaching mission of higher-research institutions'. Professor Stefan Decker is Director of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway, the largest and one of the most visible institutes dedicated to Web Science. He was an early pioneer of the Semantic Web. As a leading expert in web technologies, Professor Decker is one of the most widely known web scientists. Decker's dissertation work was quoted as one of the inspirations for the DARPA DAML program, which span the Semantic Web effort. His current research interests include semantics in collaborative systems and Web 2.0, Linked Data and distributed systems. He has published over 150 papers in journals and conferences. Dr Sinisa Malesevic is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway. His research interests include the comparative-historical and theoretical study of ethnicity and nationalism, ideology, war, violence and sociological theory. He is author and editor of 9 books including highly influential monographs The Sociology of Ethnicity (2004), Identity as Ideology (2006) and The Sociology of War and Violence (2010). Dr Malesevic has also authored over 50 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters. His work has been translated into several languages. Previously he was a research fellow in the Institute for International Relations (Zagreb) and the Centre for the Study of Nationalism (Prague). He also held visiting research fellowships in the Institute for Human Sciences (Vienna) and the London School of Economics. The Royal Irish Academy is Ireland's premier learned body and vigorously promotes excellence in scholarship, recognises achievements in learning, direct research programmes and undertakes its own research projects, particularly in areas relating to Ireland and its heritage. The Academy now has 441 Members across the disciplines of the sciences, humanities and social sciences and in its entire history only 2,833 people have been Members. Competition for election to membership is keen as it is the premiere academic honour in Ireland and a public recognition of the highest academic achievement. Those elected are entitled to use the designation 'MRIA' after their name. -Ends-

Friday, 28 May 2010

NUI Galway's Professor William Schabas has been awarded the Vaspasian V. Pella Medal for International Criminal Justice by the Association internationale de droit penal. The award, which is named after the Romanian jurist who drafted the first statute of an international criminal court, is given by the Association to a single individual once every ten years. The medal has been awarded three times, the first two laureates being Benjamin Ferencz, who was one of the prosecutors at Nuremberg, and Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, who is now that honorary president of the Association. The recipient of the medal is designated by the previous laureate. Professor Bassiouni presented the medal to Professor Schabas at a ceremony in Siracusa, Italy on 24 May 2010, held at the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences. The Association internationale de droit pénale is the leading learned society in the field of criminal law, tracing its origins to the nineteenth century. William Schabas has held the chair in human rights law at NUI Galway since 2000. He is also director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights. His most recent book, The International Criminal Court, was published by Oxford University Press earlier this year. ENDS

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Postgraduate Committee of Law Students at NUI Galway will host the Second Irish Conference for Law Masters Students on Thursday, 3 June, and Friday, 4 June, 2010. The title of the conference is: "Mastering Law: Conflicts, Challenges and Solutions in Today's Society". The format of the Mastering Law Conference has been designed to provide an exclusive opportunity for MA students of law to come together. Eligible students are invited to interact, present and discuss their areas of expertise in a formal and professional environment. Papers will be presented on all areas of law including: human rights, commercial law, constitutional law, criminal justice and European law. The event will be a forum to exchange ideas and a chance to explore the ways in which perspective fields of law intersect. The theme of the conference aims to facilitate stimulating and critical assessment of the legal climate of the past, present and future. Guest speakers will include Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness, President of the Law Reform Commission and Michael Farrell, Irish Human Rights Commissioner. A former Justice of the Supreme Court of Ireland, Justice McGuinness is currently President of the Irish Law Reform Commission. She has a distinguished judicial career and also served in Seanad Éireann as an independent representing the Dublin University constituency. Since 2005 she has served as Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Law at NUI Galway. Justice McGuinness will be drawing on her wealth of experience to offer her views on the challenges facing Irish Law, and to discuss those areas of the Irish Justice system that might prove to be the most dynamic and engaging for young lawyers about to embark on their careers. Michael Farrell is a Senior Solicitor at the Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC), an independent human rights organisation dedicated to ensuring equal access to justice within Ireland. He is also Vice-Chairman of the Law Society s Human Rights Committee, and in 2001 was appointed as a Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights Commission, a position to which he was re-appointed in 2008. Mr Farrell was co-chair of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, he was heavily involved in the Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland and has since worked towards ensuring refugee rights, gay rights, and towards the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Thelma Byrne, Co-Chairperson of the conference organising committee, commented; "We are thrilled that NUI Galway will host the Mastering Law Conference this year as it is so vital for continuing professional development for students pursuing a legal career. We hope that events such as this one will continue to take place in NUI Galway into the future". The Mastering Law Conference is sponsored by The Millennium Fund, Clarus Press, AIB and The Irish Times. For more information please visit www.masteringlaw.org Ends

Monday, 24 May 2010

At a recent event in Dublin hosted by the Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA), a project of the Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC), the Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, launched a new scholarly review, Irish Human Rights Law Review (IHRLR), to be published on an annual basis by Clarus Press. The IHRLR is edited by Donncha O'Connell of the School of Law, NUI Galway who is currently a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, London School of Economics. The inaugural edition of the Review contains articles and case notes by, among others: Hon. Justice Michael Kirby of the Australian High Court, Professor Rick Lawson of the University of Leiden, Colm Ó Cinnéide of University College London, Siobhan Cummiskey, Solicitor, Senator Alex White, BL and Dr Alpha Connelly, former CEO of the Irish Human Rights Commission. There are also contributions from NUI Galway academics Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement as well as Marie McGonagle, Ciara Smyth, Dr Padraic Kenna, Dr Laurent Pech and Emer Meeneghan of the School of Law. The Review, which should be of interest to academics, students, practitioners and activists working in the field of human rights, will focus on the domestic application of international human rights law and the critical analysis of human rights standards and processes. Opening the event, Michael Farrell, Solicitor for FLAC and member of the Irish Human Rights Commission, said: "At a time when the human rights of many vulnerable people are under attack as a result of the economic crisis, and the state s human rights and equality infrastructure has been undermined by disproportionate budget cuts, the launch of the Irish Human Rights Law Review is particularly timely." In her speech the Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, said: "Reading through the contributions in the IHRLR, I note that human rights activists, academics and lawyers are at times sensitive - rightly or wrongly - to a certain allergic reaction at the mention of human rights and this needs to be addressed by all sides in the human rights debate so that too many heels are not dug in to the detriment of the citizen. I see the annual publication of the Irish Human Rights Law Review as an important step in that process. More particularly, in the aftermath of Colm McCarthy s report and his recommendations to turn back the tide on the proliferation of single-function state agencies, I also think we all need to look at the intersections rather than the divergences in the work that we do. Human rights are principally about changing mindsets rather than the legalistic application of a set of rules. Perhaps if we thought about it also as the shared public values that enhance the life of every citizen, we can improve the chances of the realisation of those shared values in visibly tangible ways. Changing mindsets involves cultural change and through the investigation of complaints, a public sector ombudsman is uniquely placed to facilitate good public administration which is based on human rights principles." Responding to the Ombudsman, the Editor of the Irish Human Rights Law Review, Donncha O'Connell, said: "It must surely now be time to consider further the question of 'constitutionalising' the office of Ombudsman, a matter that was raised by the Constitution Review Group in 1996. As we approach the seventy-fifth anniversary of the 1937 Constitution in 2012, and as the Labour Party embarks on its innovative constitutional convention in the run-up to the 1916 Centenary, it is time to look more radically at how the Irish Constitution distributes power in the state. I would suggest that the following issues of potential constitutional reform are in need of serious analysis: The reorganisation of various statutory bodies for the protection and promotion of human rights and equality under a 'constitutionalised' office of Ombudsman with a clear and strong nexus to Parliament (akin to that of the Comptroller & Auditor General); The consequential reform of the office of Attorney General to remove the potential for conflict in the role of that office as notional guardian of the public interest and legal adviser to the Government. This would have the benefit of protecting the essential infrastructure for human rights and equality in the state from political interference; and appropriate provision could be made, by means of the Constitution, for guaranteeing the independence and effectiveness of such a reconfigured framework institution." He went on to say that he hoped that subsequent issues of the Irish Human Rights Law Review would provide a platform for the rigorous discussion of this and other matters connected to human rights. The Review can be ordered on www.claruspress.ie which contains a sample of contents and the inaugural editorial. ENDS

Monday, 24 May 2010

Professor Kathleen Martin Ginis, Professor of Health and Exercise Psychology in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University, Canada will give a lecture at NUI Galway on "Innovations in the Study and Promotion of Physical Activity among People with Spinal Cord Injury" as part of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) Biomedical Distinguished Lecture Series on Wednesday, 26 May, 2010, in the NCBES Seminar Room at 3pm. Professor Martin Ginis' research program focuses on psychosocial influences and consequences of physical activity participation. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo, Canada in 1996 and completed postdoctoral training at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. She received the Early Distinguished Career Award from the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity and holds a CIHR New Investigator Award. She has published over 100 scientific journal articles and book chapters, and is a co-author of The Psychology of Exercise: Integrating Theory and Practice. Researchers in the NCBES at NUI Galway are currently investigating a range of potential therapeutic approaches to spinal cord injury. Glycoscience researchers are examining the role of glycans, or sugars, in the spinal cord and the role that those sugars play, both positive and negative, in spinal cord repair. Regenerative Medicine researchers are using gene therapy techniques to promote the regeneration of nerves damaged by spinal cord injury. Following acute trauma to the spinal cord a scar develops at the site of injury. This scar tissue inhibits the regrowth of nerves and prevents regeneration at the site of injury. Work is underway to understand the complex biology of scar formation and to develop therapeutic approaches that will prevent or reverse its development. Professor Frank Barry, Director of the NCBES, NUI Galway, said: "Researchers at the NCBES are focused on the development of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic solutions to spinal cord injury and our multidisciplinary approach is essential in addressing complex challenges in medicine and health. We appreciate the importance of alternative approaches when dealing with devastating and intractable medical problems and Dr Martin Ginis' lecture will present that alternative perspective which is both insightful and influential". Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Bioelectronics lead at the NCBES noted that the development of systems to support ambient assisted living is one of the themes of Bioelectronics at the NCBES, particularly those systems that encourage physical activity. "It is well established that exercise plays a central role in a healthy lifestyle. Professor Martin Ginis is an international expert in exercise psychology. As engineers attempt to develop more effective systems and devices to support physical activity, they will need to work with Health and Exercise Psychology experts like Professor Martin-Ginis to ensure that new developments incorporate the latest principles in exercise psychology". Professor Martin Ginis will also speak following the launch of 'The Jacinta O'Brien Collection' at the University's James Hardiman Library on Tuesday, 25 May at 4pm in the Martin Ryan Institute Annex Theatre. ENDS

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

On Wednesday, 19 May at 7pm RTÉ's Nationwide will visit the great plain of Rathcroghan, celebrated pre-Christian ritual capital and seat of the kings of Connacht. A team of Archaeologists and Geophysicists based at NUI Galway have been carrying out intensive fieldwork in this area for the past 12 years, building on Professor John Waddell's research of Rathcroghan over the course of three decades. A book detailing the extraordinary results of this work, Rathcroghan: Archaeological and Geophysical Survey in a Ritual Landscape, by Kevin Barton and NUI Galway's Professor John Waddell and Joe Fenwick, was published in 2009. The programme will also look at how the community in Tulsk has interpreted this historic landscape and developed the Cruachan Ai Heritage Centre to help us to understand the history of one of the most important royal sites in Europe. To view the Nationwide programme visit http://www.rte.ie/news/nationwide/. -Ends-

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The College of Science at NUI Galway is delighted to announce that for the second year running it will host Science Experience Workshops for second-level students. The workshops will take place on 24 and 25 June and students will have the opportunity to delve into a wide range of scientific disciplines and explore future career opportunities. Students, limited to just 100 in total, will take part in unique hands-on activities and experience working in world class research facilities and institutes. Some of the institutes open to the students will include Applied Optics, the Environmental Change Institute, the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and the Regenerative Medicine Institute. These centres are focused on a wide range of world class research activities such as stem cell research, climate modelling (including volcanic ash dispersion forecasting and assessment), next generation lens solutions, and innovative diagnostic and therapeutic solutions to biomedical challenges. Throughout the workshop, attendees also have the opportunity to shadow scientists and gain an invaluable insight into a wide range of scientific disciplines. Dr Mark Foley, Vice Dean of Communications and Strategy, College of Science, NUI Galway, says: "The Science Experience Workshop provides an excellent forum whereby students get information on the diverse range of science activity at NUI Galway. Participants have the chance to see the state-of-the-art teaching, research and sporting facilities while they will also get the chance to experience life on campus while learning about Science and interacting with students, staff and their peers from across the country". This year's event will include participation from the winners of the BT Business of Science & Technology Programme 2010. The third-level summer placements are funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). For further information on the College of Science or future Science Experience Workshops, call 091-492182 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/science/news.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Three NUI Galway researchers were among the recipients of the €8.5 million for 47 cutting-edge research projects announced today by Batt O'Keeffe T.D., Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation. Dr Patrick McGarry and Dr Mark Bruzzi from Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, and Dr Peter Crowley from the School of Chemistry were awarded €539,500 for research projects which will create new jobs for the smart economy. Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Lecturer Dr McGarry's research, 'An experimental and computational investigation of the effect of strain rate on stress fibre remodelling, nuclear deformation and gene expression in cells', examines the effects of continuously changing forces within our bodies on the shape of our cells. This collaborative project also involves other researchers from the Regenerative Medicine Institute at NUI Galway and UCD and is of interest to the medical device sector in the region. Dr Mark Bruzzi's project, 'Deformation and Fracture of Small Nitinol Structures', investigates the fundamental behaviour of nitinol through the use of both experimental testing and analytical methods. Quantifying how nitinol fundamentally behaves will allow the design and development of better and safer medical devices in Ireland. NUI Galway Chemistry Lecturer, Dr Crowley's research, 'Protein Probes: From Self-Assembly to In Vivo Trafficking', focuses on proteins which are large molecules that enable cells to grow and divide. This project will develop new tools to stick proteins together and develop our knowledge of how proteins get inside cells. The research will contribute to progress in the area of therapeutics. Minister O'Keeffe said the research areas are "profoundly linked to our health and wellbeing and the researchers' work will generate high-value downstream jobs". "The €8.5 million investment will create jobs and training opportunities for 105 researchers, mainly PhD students, and their work will in turn generate new jobs down the line which will have significant implications for our well-being as a nation," said Minister O'Keeffe. The 47 research projects are being funded under Science Foundation Ireland's Research Frontiers Programme. The programme supports internationally-competitive, high-quality exploratory research in higher education across the science, maths and engineering disciplines. "By helping researchers at a relatively early stage in their work, the programme is targeting our most promising scientists in building their research teams and track records and enhancing our competitiveness," said Minister O'Keeffe. Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, Professor Frank Gannon, said: "The Government's goal of becoming a hub for international research is further advanced by this Research Frontiers Programme investment. "Ireland's performance in the fields of scientific and engineering research is directly linked to our future competitiveness and our quest for a measurable transformation to the smart economy. Last year, the Research Frontiers Programme resulted in many notable outcomes such as 88 collaborations with 83 companies, 715 academic collaborations, and 537 scientific papers. "The programme has contributed to Ireland's rapid ascent in the ranking of scientific output, rising from 36th place in 2003 to recently breaking into the top 20. Ireland has joined countries such as Finland, Germany and the US in the scientific output stakes," Professor Gannon concluded. -Ends-

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Important Research conducted at NUI Galway published by Royal Society A European project involving Irish scientists from NUI Galway and Queen's University Belfast has found that recently introduced seaweed types from areas such as Japan and California are spreading more rapidly in Europe than ever before. Professor Mark Johnson with The Martin Ryan Institute (MRI) at NUI Galway is the corresponding author on a paper which has gone online in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. The essence of this paper denotes how particular species of seaweed introduced to Europe have spread. This includes an increasing rate of spread in recent years. There are over 500 seaweed types in Ireland, and some 126 non-native species from Asia and the US have been recorded in Europe over the past century. The research paper published by the Royal Society (Fronts, Jumps and Secondary Introductions Suggested as Different Invasion Patterns in Marine Species, with an Increase in Spread Rates Over Time) is one of the outputs from a project known as ALIENS (Algal Introductions to European Shores). The research ran over four years and focused on the ecology, spread and impacts of introduced seaweeds. Professor Johnson remarked, "Research of this nature has relevance for marine and aquaculture policy into the future. This involves continuing with existing approaches to educate boat owners to clean their boats in order to stop the spread of invasive species of seaweed and protect native varieties. There are also efforts to control the spread with restrictions throughout the aquaculture industry. At present, some invasive species of seaweed can crowd out or displace native plants. It is important that we continue to protect our native species." PhD student Frederic Mineur, who worked with Professor Johnson on the project reconstructed the historical spread of seaweed dating as far back as 200 years ago. Species of seaweed introduced to a region often spread out from the point of introduction at a relatively even rate. However, other patterns can also occur. Most seaweeds introduced to Europe appear to have been introduced at more than one point or have unpredictable long range dispersal. Looking at the spread patterns over time, the rate of spread appears to be increasing for more recent introductions. This could be because there are more opportunities for seaweeds to associate with carriers like shipping or aquaculture. Another possibility is that the resistance of coastal environments to novel species' introductions is declining. This current study is complete but there are plans to extend the work to understand more about the dispersal of introduced species. There may be particular routes that more than one species has travelled by within Europe and conversely there may be barriers within Europe to the spread of species. To access the article featured in the Royal Society, follow the link below. http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2010/04/20/rspb.2010.0494.abstract -Ends-

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

NUI Galway charity Voluntary Services Abroad (VSA) have embarked on a final "bed push" from University College Hospital in Galway to Limerick city. A team of twenty NUI Galway medical students took to the streets of Galway, Ennis and Limerick, at the weekend pushing a hospital bed, with the aim of raising funds for the charity. Volunteers have fundraised over €70,000 in the past eight months by tirelessly holding events throughout the west. It is hoped that this final marathon event brings them closure to reaching their target of €100,000 before volunteers leave in June. "Where possible we spend money locally, in order to reduce transport costs and maximise the benefit the local economy" said auditor of VSA, Tadhg Sullivan. This summer, 37 medical student volunteers will travel to eight partner hospitals in Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and Senegal, providing financial and practical support in an increasingly difficult financial environment within the African healthcare system. VSA was founded in 1977 by Galway doctor, Dom Colbert, and is run by fourth year medical students, it raises funds for health care facilities in developing countries. Volunteers travel to hospitals and clinics abroad, personally funding their own travel and accommodation expenses, so that all funds raised can go towards the purchase of medical supplies and equipment. ENDS

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

NUI Galway is looking for new companies to join its successful Business Innovation Centre on campus. The centre offers office and research facilities and is ideally suited for start-up and early stage technology and creative businesses. Also on offer is access to creative facilities, equipment and know-how across the University, with additional support available from NUI Galway's Ignite Technology Transfer Office. NUI Galway consistently performs strongly when it comes to technology transfer activities, having formed seven spin-out companies in 2009, signing 17 license agreements and filing 48 patent applications. This commercialisation expertise is brought by the Ignite Technology Transfer Office team to the companies based in the Business Innovation Centre. Dr Neil Ferguson from NUI Galway's Technology Transfer Office, says: "The aim of the incubation centre is to create an environment, which promotes entrepreneurship and new business growth. It also offers suitable incubation space and support services for new knowledge intensive companies in sectors such as biotechnology, biomedical, ICT and Engineering. Companies currently based at NUI Galway have gone from strength to strength, despite the difficult economic climate". Some of the companies currently based at NUI Galway include network monitoring solutions company Netfort Technologies, Medical Device company Zuresa, learning solutions company Learn Skills, 3D content company RealSim, online accounting solutions provider SwiftAccounts.ie, and software company DSX Ltd. It is the energy, drive and commitment shown by these companies which will drive Ireland's Smart Economy forward with successes such as; Netfort Technologies increased profitability in 2009, Learn Skills launching SEEK Academy, RealSim awarded High Potential Start Up status by Enterprise Ireland, Zerusa recently received both the CE mark and FDA clearance for its innovative Next Generation Guardian II Hemostasis Valve and SwiftAccounts.ie on target to go live this summer Shane Hayes from DSX Ltd, which has been based at the University since its inception in 2006: "NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre is a great place to do business, because of the workspace suitability for start-ups, the technical infrastructure, the atmosphere of innovation and co-operation as well as having research and industry located together". With the potential to house 24 companies, as well as hot-desking and a bio lab facility, the Business Innovation Centre has many advantages for start-up companies such as: competitive rates for fully fitted space; access to expertise and specialists in the all sectors, state-of-the-art facilities and equipment; and strong support structures for new business development. For more information on how to get started in NUI Galway Business Innovations Centre please contact technologytransfer@nuigalway.ie or 091-492147. ENDS

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Dr Edward Curry, an eBusiness Researcher at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), NUI Galway will join senior executives from around the world as a featured panellist at the 2010 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, the premier international event for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and senior IT executives to become better business leaders. Dr Curry will be speaking about Enterprise 3.0 and is one of more than 50 presenters from a wide range of industries, as well as leading academics from the MIT Sloan School of Management. As a technology driven event the Symposium informs technology vision and discussion on better ways to advance technology leadership and enhance business performance for enterprises. As the volumes of data generated by the enterprise increases, so too must the organization s ability to link, acquire and decipher all the information to optimize performance. For many CIOs, Enterprise 3.0, a system of effective knowledge management, provides new services through more effective data integration. However, it also presents new challenges, particularly in the areas of solution's technology adoption and its integration into existing business units. According to Dr Curry, "Enterprise 3.0 is about breaking down barriers that stop or slow information flows within or between companies. Linked data technology, a cornerstone of Enterprise 3.0, is having a significant impact by simplifying the way businesses share and reuse their data assets". In the Enterprise 3.0 panel, experts on the Web of Data and Linked Data will discuss emerging approaches to Enterprise 3.0. The discussion will provide CIOs with more insights into upcoming approaches surrounding the global IT market and how these concepts can better serve a company. Edward Curry investigates the impact and adoption trends of emerging technologies within industry. His specific focus for the last number of years has been how linked data technology and the web of data are changing the way business work and interact with information. Dr Curry added: "The fundamental concept of linked data is that data is created with the mindset that it will be shared and reused by others. Linked data can empower employees to be creative and innovative when working with data, to combine, manipulate and analyse it to find unexpected reuses beyond its original intended purpose." "Our attendance remains high because we attract key academic contributors such as Dr Edward Curry," said Graham G. Rong, the 2010 CIO Symposium Chair. "By bringing together innovative leaders, we foster an environment where attendees gain great insight about how to drive growth and be successful in these challenging times." Sean O'Riain, eBusiness Unit at DERI comments that "DERI s core research theme is Enabling a Network of Knowledge and we are now experiencing significant uptake of technologies such as linked data a major step in the realisation of this goal". The MIT Sloan CIO Symposium is the premier global event for CIOs and senior IT executives to improve business leadership. In one day, CIOs and senior IT executives receive actionable information that enables them to meet the challenges of today s changing global economy. The annual event offers a day of interactive learning and thought-provoking discourse on the future of technology, best practices, and business that is not available anywhere else. The event attracts CIOs, senior business executives, senior IT decision makers and thought leaders from academia. Ends

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

NUI Galway Student Psychological Research Yields Interesting Findings New research suggests that reminding young male drivers of their own mortality through 'fear appeals', such as those used in many road safety campaigns, may actually increase their intentions to take driving risks. The research was carried out by Psychology student Ms Rachel Carey and Dr Kiran Sarma at the School of Psychology, NUI Galway. The study investigated how awareness of death among young male drivers, together with personality factors, can influence intentions to take driving risks. Findings suggest that many young males perceive 'fast driving' as central to who they are and when told that they should not drive fast because of the carnage that can ensue, they rebel against the message with intent to take more driving risks. The research also showed that high impulsivity was linked to risky driving. The research has implications for road safety campaigns that target young males through messages that portray the consequences of fast or dangerous driving. The NUI Galway study suggests that young drivers exposed to dangerous driving facts report a greater intention to drive fast after exposure than had they been presented with neutral facts. 80 male university students (aged between 17 and 24, all of whom were in possession of a full driver's license) were recruited on the campus at NUI Galway and asked to complete a questionnaire. This questionnaire first assessed the relevance of driving for participants' self-esteem. Half of the participants were then exposed to images of car crashes and facts about the potential death-related consequences of driving, such as "17 to 24 year old males account for over 1 in 5 driver deaths". The other half of the participants were presented with neutral driving facts. Participants then completed a personality inventory which measured impulsivity. Finally, they reported their intentions to take driving risks in real-life scenarios. "It would appear that young Irish males can view fast driving as part of their personal identity – who they are", says Rachel Carey who is currently completing her final year of a BA in Psychology at NUI Galway. "Driving is tied up in their self-concept and telling them not to drive fast because they might die, or they may kill others, is perceived as being an assault on their self-esteem. They react defensively by reporting a more marked intention to drive fast because, for many, doing so bolsters their self-esteem", she says. Rachel, from Headford, Co. Galway, recently received the highest undergraduate award for research at the annual Congress of Psychology Students of Ireland. The congress is supported by the Psychological Society of Ireland and the Northern Irish branch of the British Psychological Society. Ms Carey will now present her research to both professional bodies. Dr Kiran Sarma of the School of Psychology at NUI Galway who supervised the research said: "The research was designed in consultation with international experts and supports findings reported aboard. While conducted within the limitations of undergraduate research of this nature, its unique value is that it looks beyond the concept of self-esteem to personality factors and suggests that impulsivity may interact with self-esteem in predicting greater intention to take driving risks. Further research can explore these relationships with greater specificity and inform the design and content of deterrence information campaigns". The BA in Psychology at NUI Galway is a three or four-year accredited undergraduate degree that provides graduate basis for registration as a psychologist. The School of Psychology educates more than 1000 students in both undergraduate courses and post-graduate professional training in clinical psychology, health psychology and applied behaviour analysis. More information on the School can be accessed at www.nuigalway.ie/psychology. -Ends-

Monday, 10 May 2010

NUI Galway researchers have developed Ireland's own capability of Icelandic plume dispersion forecasting and assessment. In a first for Ireland, and one of only a few in Europe, the forecasting system is expected to be one of the most sophisticated in Europe after further refinement over the coming weeks. The four-day forecasts of plume density and dispersion are produced at least twice a day currently and over the next week will increase to six-day forecasts four-times daily (www.macehead.org). Professor Colin O'Dowd, Director of the Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies at NUI Galway, which is behind this major development, stated: "The rapid development of the volcanic plume forecasting model to provide Ireland's own capability of assessment and prediction is an not only an excellent example of national collaboration and solidarity amongst key scientific partners in times of national need but also of innovation and a capacity for rapid response in a crisis. The combined skill of NUI Galway in atmospheric physics and air pollution research, Met Éireann in weather and climate research, and the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC) in computational science, was the perfect recipe for the rapid success". Professor O'Dowd added: "The ICHEC supercomputers have been critical to accommodating the daily influx of terabytes of model initialisation data and the number crunching of these data in highly complex regional climate and weather forecasting models used in the prediction facility. Essential to the success was the ability of ICHEC to contribute computational research scientists to the demanding challenge of optimising computer code for parallel supercomputing, involving 2,500 parallel processors, necessary to address complex problems. The underlying research funding that enabled this significant achievement was provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)". While the initial aim is not to replace the official London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre for aviation decisions, it certainly provides an additional informative tool for potential air travellers and allows them the capability of making more informed travel decisions based on additional information. -Ends-

Monday, 10 May 2010

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Barry Andrews TD today launched a report on the lives of young carers in Ireland at the National Conference of the Carers Association in Croke Park. Speaking at the launch, Minister Andrews said: "Study of Young Cares in the Irish Population was commissioned by my Office and undertaken by the Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway. It is the first national qualitative study of young carers in Ireland and gives an insight into the lives of children and young people, who provide care in the home and uncovers the reality of their situation". "While the report is preliminary and exploratory, it does mark an important milestone in improving our understanding of the positive and negative impacts for children who are involved in caring and makes a positive contribution to policy development and debate on this issue", stated Minister Andrews. "It is encouraging that the report notes that many of the young carers or their households received supports, which they found helpful", added the Minister. Minister Andrews noted that in 2010, HSE funding of approximately €210 million will provide nearly 12 million Home Help hours in respect of an estimated 54,500 clients. Home Help support is generally provided for people with needs, over the age of 65 years. "However, the service is flexible and the remaining 15% of the budget supports clients under the age of 65 years. This service represents an important indirect support for young carers. In addition, young carers who are over 16 may be eligible for the Respite Care Grant if they are providing full time care, which is administered by the Department of Social Protection" added the Minister. "My Office will help to raise the profile of young carers by disseminating and making available, an attractive six page briefing note highlighting this study's key messages" concluded Minister Andrews. Dr Allyn Fives, a co-author of the report, from the Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, presented the study's key findings. Dr Fives explained that young carers who took part in this study performed such tasks as helping with domestic chores, general care including help with feeding, medication and mobility. "Some young carers also provided psychological or emotional support or provided intimate care, involving toileting, dressing and bathing. Looking after siblings was also identified as a way in which some young people took on a caring role. Other types of care included seeking support from service providers, translating and interpreting information, helping with paying bills, post or telephone calls" he continued. Dr Fives noted that both positive and negative impacts of caring were identified in the study. "Caring for a family member can have positive impacts for young people. It can lead to greater maturity and compassion as well as closeness to the person cared for by the young person. However, for some young people there can be negative impacts, including absence from or distraction while at school, feeling socially isolated, becoming ill, and experiencing feelings of boredom, worry and resentment" added Dr Fives. "It is important to differentiate between a level of caring that has largely positive consequences and a level of physical or emotional caring that impairs the child's health, development or welfare" he concluded. -Ends-

Monday, 10 May 2010

NUI Galway is inviting graduates from the classes of 2000 and 2005 to attend its Reunion BBQ on Saturday, 5 June. The Reunion BBQ will begin at 7pm in the Students' Union Bar, Áras na Mac Léinn, overlooking the River Corrib. The Reunion will bring together those classes celebrating their 10th and 5th reunions for a fun, informal evening on campus. Entertainment will be provided by a band and DJ playing music from the late 90s and 2000s. JB Terrins, Director of Alumni Relations, encourages alumni to come along, "Reunion is that perfect excuse to put the date in your diary and say 'Right, that's the day we'll all get together again'. Busy lives mean that old friends fall out of touch and we're told regularly that graduates look for these occasions to pull out the stops. Many alumni from the classes of 2000 and 2005 have already booked their places and they never regret making the effort. You never know who'll be there". The Alumni Association serves over 70,000 alumni worldwide with an extensive range of programmes administered by the Alumni Office. These include Alumni Clubs, both national and international, Alumni Publications, Reunions and Alumni Awards. Graduates who are interested in getting involved with any of the above programmes are encouraged to contact the Alumni Office for further details. Register at http://www.nuigalway.ie/alumni/reunion10.htmlor for further information contact Colm O'Dwyer in the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Thursday, 6 May 2010

NUI Galway has announced the graduands to be conferred with Honorary Degrees on Friday, 25 June 2010. Bernard Collins, Chairman VHI; Board member IDA Ireland and Cancer Care West; former senior executive Boston Scientific Corporation. Anne Maria Dennison, National President, Irish Countrywomen s Association (ICA), the largest women's organization in Ireland. The ICA celebrates its Centenary in 2010. John Killeen, CEO of the Colas Group (Cold Chon); Chairman of the Galway Docklands Redevelopment Committee; Chairman, Let's do it Ireland (Galway Volvo Ocean Race Stopover); former President of The Academy of Engineering and The Institution of Engineers of Ireland. Seán Ó hUiginn, Irish Diplomat, former Ambassador to United States and Germany. Commenting on the announcement of this year s graduands, Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: "NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history; and those being honoured this year form a very distinguished group. In different ways, they represent and exemplify the talents and achievements of modern Ireland in the fields of business, engineering, international relations and social and cultural development. We are delighted to honor them individually as well as the groups they represent." -Ends-

Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Human Rights of Children and Families: Prevention, Intervention and Support in Times of Crisis NUI Galway will host the first event in a dialogue series for 2010, organised by the Fair Ireland Forum, on the topic of 'The Human Rights of Children and Families: prevention, intervention and support in times of crisis'. The event will take place on Tuesday, 11 May at 7pm, in the Bank of Ireland Theatre at Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway. The dialogue will be between Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chairholder of Children, Youth and Civic Engagement, and Fiona Neary, Director of Rape Crisis Network Ireland The topic of this dialogue is one of great significance in light of the proposed Children's Rights Referendum, which would create a constitutional framework for the rights of children. There have been calls for the Government to set a date for the referendum. Continuing revelations of child abuse within the family home and reports of a recent increase in domestic violence also pose threats to human rights. The response of government, policy makers and support workers to these challenges, and how they create and implement prevention and intervention strategies and provide for survivors of abuse and neglect, particularly in times of economic recession, will impact generations of Irish citizens and residents. Fiona Neary and Professor Dolan bring a combined experience of over 35 years of scholarship, support and frontline work in defending the rights of children, adolescents and women and will discuss the opportunities and challenges of protecting and supporting children and families in times of crisis. Fergal Landy, a researcher at the Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: "This event and the Fair Ireland Forum initiative is a contribution to the national conversation about the current challenges we face and the type of society we want to have, now and in the future. We are delighted to launch this series of events with a dialogue between two eminent individuals who have demonstrated leadership skills in their respective fields and we welcome all the people of Galway to come to the University and to participate fully in the event and future events". The Fair Ireland Forum is an initiative of members of the NUI Galway academic community that aims to create space for the University and the wider community to participate in and make concrete contributions to public debates on the current challenges facing Ireland – grounded in principles of fairness, social inclusion, democratic governance, accountability and respect for human rights. The 2010 Dialogue series will deal with topics of immediate and critical concern to Ireland featuring a host of distinguished academics and members of civil society. The inaugural discussion will be facilitated by Dr Lionel Pilkington of the School of Humanities, NUI Galway, and is free and open to the public. There will be a public discussion/question- and-answer period following the dialogue. Further information can be attained by contacting stacy.furlong@nuigalway.ie or visiting the website, www.fairirelandforum.org. -Ends-

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Four NUI Galway postgraduate courses have been shortlisted for the fourth national gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards 2010. The award winners will be announced on Thursday, 20 May, at a reception in the Burlington Hotel in Dublin. The two NUI Galway courses shortlisted for the Postgraduate Course of the Year in Business Award are the Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Practice and MSc in Corporate Strategy and People Management. The MA/Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Media and MSc in Neuropharmacology have been shortlisted for the Postgraduate Course of the Year in Science and Engineering Award. NUI Galway is the only university from the Republic of Ireland to have been shortlisted for this category in the 2010 awards. This is the first year of the Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards, which recognise excellence amongst Irish postgraduate course providers. The winning courses will be judged on the success of the course including employability of graduates, recognition of the course's quality or ranking by external bodies, research record of academic staff, and providing a good experience for students. Judges will also take feedback from students into consideration when selecting a winner. The Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Practice course at NUI Galway is a one-year specialised and innovative full-time postgraduate programme which was specifically designed to provide Irish business graduates with professional marketing experience early in their careers, while allowing Irish companies to develop and enhance their marketing capabilities. The one-year full-time MSc in Corporate Strategy and People Management provides students with a deep and analytical understanding of strategic management and people development in the knowledge-based economy. The programme focuses equally on both fields and on their various interfaces. The MA/Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Media teaches technological tools and techniques to enable students to express themselves creatively using both traditional and unconventional technologies. It seeks to marry creative potential, technical possibilities and business prospects. It offers professional education at graduate level in digital technology, creative thinking, applied design and entrepreneurial approaches to building a business. The Discipline of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at NUI Galway has been actively engaged in neuropharmacological research for over 30 years. In 1998, it introduced the MSc in Neuropharmacology to provide students with the skills necessary to develop a career in this area of research. Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Admissions Officer at NUI Galway, said: "We are delighted to make the shortlist for these inaugural awards; it's great that the calibre of our postgraduate courses is being acknowledged. The four courses in question are still accepting applications now so those interested can apply online via the Postgraduate Applications Centre at www.pac.ie". NUI Galway offers a wide range of fourth level courses, developing programmes based on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative Research Centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. Almost 3,500 postgraduate students currently attend NUI Galway with many of them traveling from overseas. For further information on any of the Postgraduate courses available at NUI Galway call 091-492844 or visit www.nuigalway.ie/postgrad. Ends

Friday, 30 April 2010

All graduates currently struggling to gain employment should come along to a unique graduate support event in NUI Galway on Thursday, 13 May, from 10am to 4pm in IT 125 in the Information Technology Building. This free event, organised by the Career Development Centre and the Alumni Office, is targeted at NUI Galway graduates, but all are welcome to attend. Information on emerging employment areas, innovative job search strategies and tips on how to stay motivated, are just some of the topics that will be covered by a panel of experts. Attendees are also encouraged to bring along their CVs for individual review with Career Development Centre staff and alumni. The Career Development Centre have this year partnered with the NUI Galway Alumni Office to provide a unique opportunity for attendees to get one-to-one advice on their interview technique from past graduates who have extensive interviewing experience. A limited number of NUI Galway Graduates will also be given the opportunity to avail of the support of a Graduate Guide from experienced members of the Alumni Association who will provide follow up coaching and support. There will also be a networking lunch with a variety of professional bodies including IBEC/Gradlink, Engineers Ireland and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, all of whom have continuous professional development options and initiatives to support unemployed members. "We look forward to continuing our support to alumni through this unique event and strongly encourage those who are looking for new ways to market themselves to come along and get their career back on track" said John Hannon, Head of the Career Development Centre, NUI Galway. Details of the full programme are available on www.nuigalway.ie/careers. For further details contact the NUI Galway Career Development Centre on 091 493589 or email josephine.walsh@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 29 April 2010

- Launch of Colman Doyle Photography Exhibition at NUI Galway - The James Hardiman Library is delighted to announce that it will host an exhibition of the photographs of Irish photographer Colman Doyle. The exhibition will be launched by John Quinn, writer and former broadcaster with RTÉ, on Wednesday, 5 May, 2010 at 5.30pm in the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway. The exhibition of over 80 photographs is on loan from the National Library of Ireland, where Colman Doyle's large photographic collection is to be found. The collection of photographs includes portraits of politicians such as Charles J. Haughey, Jack Lynch and Eamon de Valera, and visiting dignitaries and heads of state including John F. Kennedy and Princess Grace of Monaco. Colman Doyle is widely acknowledged as one of the most important Irish photographers of the twentieth century. He was probably Ireland's first documentary style photographer, noted for his portraits of political leaders and literary figures, as well as for his photographs of ordinary people throughout the country. As a sports photographer, he acquired a huge reputation for his action shots of GAA matches and horse races. John Quinn, who will launch the exhibition, is a well-known broadcaster who worked in RTÉ for 25 years and won various prestigious awards throughout that time. He collaborated with Colman Doyle on the book All Changed: Fifty Years of Photographing Ireland, in which they individually chronicled life in Ireland over 50 years in words and images respectively. The photographs on exhibition will also include fascinating vignettes of Irish life from the 1950s to the 1990s, covering topics such as changes in daily life in Ireland and on the Blasket Islands. Doyle also recorded daily life in Northern Ireland during the 1970s and 1980s, a period during which he photographed behind-the-scenes images of political meetings and street violence. An added feature of the exhibition will be the film Colman Doyle Ábhar Machnaimh, first broadcast on TG4 in 2006. The film follows the photographer as he returns to capture images in West Kerry, reconnecting with his earliest work as a press photographer, and looks back at the astonishing collection of photographs taken by Colman Doyle over the decades. John Cox, NUI Galway Librarian, welcomed the exhibition: "This is a wonderful exhibition, with fascinating insights into Ireland's last five decades. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity afforded by the National Library of Ireland to exhibit these photographs in Galway". Cox added: "The photographs in the exhibition cover 50 years of Irish life and we have many resources in the Library that connect to the era from a political, social, economic and historical point of view. These are all realms touched on in this comprehensive photographic exhibition". Following the launch the exhibition will run until Friday, 25 June on the ground floor of the James Hardiman Library and admission is free. Library opening hours are available to view at www.library.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The Adult and Continuing Education Office at NUI Galway will host an information evening in the Orbsen Building on Thursday, 6 May, from 6.30-8.30pm. Over 40 courses will be showcased at this public event which provides an opportunity for prospective students to meet with the coordinators of the various courses on offer. NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education part-time programmes are available from foundation level studies through to Masters level. The courses can be either classroom-based or delivered through distance learning for those unable to attend the campus on a weekly basis. This year, a new part-time BA programme will be launched at the Open Evening,which will commence in September 2010. The BA in Early Childhood Studies and Practice is delivered via distance learning and aims to meet the needs of practitioners in the childcare sector who wish to pursue further education and training in a flexible manner. The new cycle of the Bachelor of Arts will be of interest to students wishing to pursue subjects in English, Spanish, Sociological and Political Studies. Both programmes are available over four years on a part-time basis. Nuala McGuinn, NUI Galway Adult Education Development Officer, explains: "Students are awarded a Diploma in Arts after two years and a full Bachelor of Arts on completion of the full four-year cycle". For prospective students seeking career advancement in a high-tech industry such as medical devices and pharmaceuticals, a BSc or a Diploma in Science and Technology Studies commences in August 2010. This programme is delivered on a part-time basis using blended learning. Course coordinator Dr Niamh Nolan, said: "For students wishing to retrain or update their skills in response to Ireland's Smart Economy objectives, a number of one-year diplomas also are available in Medical Device Science and Environmental Sustainability. With modules available on a standalone basis, students may select individual or groups of modules at their own pace and accumulate credits over a number of years to attain a diploma or degree award providing ultimate flexibility for the learner". For students who wish to pursue a shorter term award, diplomas are available in Geology, Gemmology, Social Gerontology, Irish Music Studies and in a number of European Languages. All diplomas are two-years in duration with classes taking place on campus one evening per week. Modular learning options are also available on a range of courses including the MSc Software Engineering and Database Technologies, MSc Technology Management, BA Training and Education. This option allows students to take isolated modules to meet their own continuing professional development and upskilling requirements. Students interested in this route are advised to contact programme coordinators for advice on modules and options available to them. Applications for all programmes are accepted from April. For further details on the information evening or on any of the Adult and Continuing Education programmes contact 091-492062, 091-495845 or adulteducation@nuigalway.ie. Full details on all courses are available at www.nuigalway.ie/adulteducation -Ends-