Monday, 29 May 2017

Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway hosts major international conference on University-Community Engagement

7th annual International Symposium on Service Learning (ISSL) NUI Galway will welcome over 200 international delegates from South Africa, Egypt, Vietnam, Ireland, UK, Germany and across the USA, to the 7th annual International Symposium on Service Learning (ISSL) which will take place from the 14-16 June 2017. The ISSL is a partnership between the University of Indianapolis, Stellenbosch University and NUI Galway. For three days the delegates will discuss the role of higher education within society through service learning.   Service learning is a teaching approach that connects student learning to the needs of community. Since 2004, NUI Galway has been offering up to 2000 students the opportunity to connect their learning to community. Lorraine McIlrath Director of the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway and Co-Chair of the ISSL said: “Students at NUI Galway have an opportunity to use their knowledge to connect with real world problems - engineering students design and build prototypes for people with physical disabilities, nursing students address the implications of nursing in an Irish multi-cultural context and law students offer pro bono legal information to community partners. We feel that this type of learning can open students’ minds to their role as agents of change within community and society.” The theme of the 2017 symposium is “Service Learning as a Response to Global Transitions in Higher Education: Opportunities for Transforming Higher Education on Advancing Social Impact.” Delegates will share knowledge across different cultural contexts on what matters and works when using service learning as a teaching approach.  Lorraine McIlrath also said: “It has been a fantastic opportunity for universities in South Africa, Europe and the USA to come together to showcase form international perspectives the challenges, opportunities and impact that service learning can have in terms of transforming the higher education experience and that of impact within community and society.” When reflecting on the 7th ISSL, President Robert L. Manuel from the University of Indianapolis said: “Service learning encompasses much more than providing on-site educational experiences or featuring community leaders in the classroom. It represents a true partnership to not only educate students but also instil in them the mind-set and thoughtfulness necessary to enhance their community - no matter where their life takes them. The inspiration ignited today will help us to translate these experiences to the next generation of influencers and community leaders.” For more information contact Lorraine McIlrath Director of the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway at or phone 0877682099 -Ends-

News Archive

Thursday, 25 May 2017

NUI Galway and Tusla Child and Family Agency launches report on ‘Outcomes for Permanence and Stability for Children in Long-term Care’ in Galway and Donegal An important report on outcomes for children and young people in long-term foster care is to be launched in Galway and Donegal. The report entitled ‘Outcomes for Permanence and Stability for Children in Long-term Care’ is based on the views and experiences of foster carers, families of origin and young people who have been in long-term care between the period of 2008 and 2013. The study is focused on the factors that were found to affect the stability of foster care placements for children and youth in long-term care in Ireland. The major study was commissioned by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency and was completed by researchers Dr Lisa Moran, Professor Caroline McGregor and Dr Carmel Devaney at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway. The project was carried out in partnership with Tusla Child and Family Social Work in Donegal and Galway. The findings underline the significance of perceived service support, communication, and relationships as key factors that improve permanence and stability for children and youth in care. Underpinning all of these is the importance of continuity for the young person. The research shows the importance of having supportive adults and peers in young people’s social networks, such as foster carers, social workers, friends, and professionals. It also highlights the importance of children’s relationships with Tusla practitioners and contact with family members as factors that affect stability and permanence. Dr Carmel Devaney and Professor Caroline McGregor from the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “This study allows practitioners, managers and policy makers to hear from children and young people, their parents and their carer on the experience of being in care with the overall aim of improving their outcomes. The main focus of the study is on the factors that affect outcomes for permanence and stability for children in care and how we can best promote these within the care experience. The study produced key recommendations and practice guidance focused on how practitioners and TUSLA can enhance its service provision to improve outcomes for stability and permanence for children in long-term care. These include the importance of effective communication with all individuals within the system including the child's family of origin, their foster family and their wider networks, continuity in terms of placements, relationships with practitioners, with family of origin and with foster families. The report also highlights the huge importance of sibling relationships, which can sometimes be neglected. The importance of the allocated social worker having sufficient time and capacity to do essential direct work with young people while in care and transitioning out of care, and the need for planning ahead for additional resources to be available at times of instability is also emphasised.” The project report, alongside the accompanying literature review and practice guide was launched in Donegal on 22 of May and an additional launch will be held in Galway on 29 May. To read the full report, visit: -Ends-

Thursday, 25 May 2017

NUI Galway hosts ‘Bioheterocyclees 2017’ XVII International Conference on Heterocycles in Bioorganic Chemistry More than 100 of the world’s leading chemists will gather in NUI Galway to discuss the use of heterocycles in the growing pharmaceutical industry that makes up more than half of the total exports from Ireland every year. Heterocycles are used as antibiotics to kill cancerous cells, and are used in more than 84% of drugs that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Some of the smallest compounds in chemistry are responsible for some of the biggest advances in medicine. From Viagra to statins (medication which helps to reduce cholesterol) to drugs for treating cancer, most of these Irish-manufactured pharmaceuticals contain active ingredients that are heterocycles. Heterocyclic chemistry is the branch of organic chemistry dealing with the synthesis, properties, and applications of these heterocycles, which are used in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. This is the first time Ireland has hosted the International Biannual Conference entitled ‘Bioheterocycles 2017’, which is expected to draw in participants from across Europe, the US, India and Japan. The convention began in the Netherlands in 1980 and is highly regarded for concentrating on advances in drug discovery, medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry. Conference Chairman, Dr Fawaz Aldabbagh, Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway, said: “This conference will showcase some of the heterocycles produced by Irish industry and by academia. Our goal is for an informal meeting where young scientists can interact with recognised international speakers. This is an exciting scientific and social program to look forward to.”  The conference will take place from 28 – 31 May 2017 in the Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway. For more information about the conference, visit: and -Ends-

Monday, 22 May 2017

NUI Galway conference to explore how to conduct research that engages with minority population groups on issues that impact them on a daily basis NUI Galway is bringing together world leaders in the field of participatory health research to explore how best to use participatory methods that empower groups, often ignored, to have a voice that can be heard. On the 23 May, the School of Psychology will host a one day conference to discuss the challenges of some of the greatest health problems we face and give those most affected a chance to share their perspectives on possible solutions.  Participatory Health Research is becoming increasingly important when planning health care resource allocation. The ‘International Collaboration for Participating Health Research Conference’ will include 20 experts in the field of participatory research. The conference will focus on underserved groups including transgender young people, asylum seekers, children living with chronic pain and those living with Aphasia.  The conference will give international experts a chance to share research from Canada, Europe, the UK, Australia and Ireland, through key note speakers, presentations and workshops sharing skills and insights. Audience participation at every stage will be encouraged. Speaking in advance of the conference, Dr Siobhán O’Higgins from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, said: “This is a great opportunity for researchers and students to meet people who have been leading the way in Participative Health Research globally.”  International guest speakers at the Conference will include:  Dr Jon Salsberg, McGill University, Canada, will discuss how best to work with communities so that they can articulate their needs to academies and be heard. Professor Anne MacFarlane, University of Limerick, will discuss the views of migrants and asylum seekers generated during the EU RESTORE project. Dr Anne O’Kelly, NUI Galway, will share insights gained from children and young people about their experiences of parental divorce. Dr Lisa Gibb, University of Melbourne, Australia, will talk about scaling up participatory research projects with children and the global network of participative researchers involved in ‘Kids in Action’. Dr Harry Shier, Centre for Education in Health and Environment (CESESMA), Nicaragua, will facilitate a workshop on what one needs to be an effective participative researcher. Dr Tina Cook, Northumbria University, UK and Dr Sarah Banks, Durham University, UK, will facilitate a Dilemmas Café – exploring ethical challenges in participatory research. For conference information and registration, visit: -Ends-

Events Calendar

Upcoming Events Time / Date Location
Driftwood 20:00 Saturday,
22 July 2017
Bailey Allen Hall
Driftwood 16:00 Sunday,
23 July 2017
Bailey Allen Hall
Driftwood 20:00 Tuesday,
25 July 2017
Bailey Allen Hall
Driftwood 20:00 Wednesday,
26 July 2017
Bailey Allen Hall
Driftwood 20:00 Thursday,
27 July 2017
Bailey Allen Hall
Driftwood 20:00 Friday,
28 July 2017
Bailey Allen Hall
Driftwood 14:00 Saturday,
29 July 2017
Bailey Allen Hall

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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The public are invited to a fascinating public lecture of a winter expedition with the German icebreaker “Polarstern” to Antarctica. The talk will be delivered by Professor Peter Lemke of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz-Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Germany on Wednesday, 14 September, at 7.30pm in the Colm O’hEocha Theatre in the Arts Millenium Building at NUI Galway. Professor Lemke has participated in nine polar expeditions with the German research icebreaker “Polarstern”, and has collections of stunning photographs depicting the Antarctic landscape and intriguing experiences to share. He is visiting Galway to participate in the Atlantic Ocean Climate Scholars Programme which is a week-long intensive, accredited workshop examining how climate and oceans interact, with particular examples from the Atlantic Ocean and higher latitudes. The lecture is open to members of the public and is part of a workshop organised by Dr Pauhla McGrane of the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART) being held in Galway, from 12-19 September,offered to international postgraduate students of marine, atmosphere and climate-related sciences. “Polar regions play an important role for our climate, but direct observations are difficult to obtain and can only be achieved with greatest effort. This is especially true in wintertime” said Professor Lemke. “Severe blizzards, being trapped between thick ice floes and forced to drift with the ice, the darkness of the polar night and temperatures around minus 30°C. This presentation will take you along on an extraordinary winter expedition into the Antarctic Ocean. It shows the beauty of the frozen ocean, presents some insight into polar and climate research, and demonstrates everyday life on a research icebreaker,” he continued. High latitudes have received attention recently because of significant changes in the atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean, and on land, especially in the Arctic. The surface air temperature in the Arctic has increased about twice as fast as the global air temperature. The Arctic sea-ice extent in summer has decreased by 35% since 1979, and the sea-ice thickness during late summer has declined in the Central Arctic by about 40% since 1958. A warming has also been observed at depth in the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. But surprisingly there is no negative trend observed in the Antarctic sea ice. Both, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass, and the sea level is rising. Most of these observed trends are in agreement with warming scenarios performed with coupled climate models, which indicate an amplified response in high latitudes to increased greenhouse gas concentrations. But details of the complex interaction between atmosphere, sea ice and ocean, and the impacts on the ecosystem and the human society are still only marginally understood. Results will be shown from the latest Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and from a winter expedition the speaker has lead into the ice-covered Weddell Sea (Antarctica). Dr Pauhla McGrane, coordinator of SMART said: “We are delighted that Proffessor Lemke has agreed to provide his unique insight into carrying out climate research in hostile polar environments, particulaly when accompanied by such beautiful stark images. This is especially relevant as this year we will run the second North South Atlantic Training Transect on-board the RV Polarstern from Germany to South Africa which will train 24 postgraduate students, including seven Irish students, in researching climate, ocean and atmospheric interactions at sea. These innovative offshore international collaboarations, developed with AWI, the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) and funded by the Nippon foundation are essential in developing excellent climate and ocean scientists to measure and understand our changing planet”. Professor Lemke continues to work on the observation of climate processes in atmosphere, sea ice and ocean and their simulation in numerical models for the polar components of the climate system. On six expeditions on Polarstern he acted as chief scientist.  For more than 30 years he served on many national and international committees on polar and climate research. He was the Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter 4 (Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground) of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report published in 2007. The IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Al Gore in 2007. For the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC published in 2013 Proffessor Lemke worked as Review Editor of Chapter 4 and as Lead Author of the Technical Summary. All members of the public are welcome and refreshments will be served afterwards. The Atlantic Ocean Climate Scholars Programme is a collaboaration between SMART, NUI Galway, AWI and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) that is funded by the Nippon foundation under NF POGO Regional Training fund.  -ends-