Monday, 30 August 2021

CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUI Galway is now enrolling for its Teachers in Residence Programme for the sixth year, with applications being accepted up to Friday, 24 September 2021. The programme, which will be taking place online, has places available for five primary and five secondary school teachers and will run from October 2021 over ten evenings until March 2022. The online sessions will be held twice a month, from 7-8pm. Teachers will receive 10 ECTS through NUI Galway's Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, fully funded by CÚRAM. As part of the programme, teachers will have the opportunity to develop a science-inspired mural for their school. During the residency, teachers will speak directly with world-leading researchers to learn about medical device research at CÚRAM to improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses. Teachers from all disciplines are invited to participate, to support and encourage multidisciplinary approaches to teaching science. Participants will learn about and receive resources for the classroom including science engagement activities, science capital teaching approaches, and lesson plan kits developed by teachers for teachers, that are linked with the primary and junior cycle science curricula. Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director at CÚRAM, said: "We are delighted with the innovation and creativity shown by the primary and secondary teachers who have participated in this programme. If we can continue to support and inspire our teachers by providing access to current, cutting edge Irish research and work with them to incorporate it into classroom activities, our hope is that they, in turn, can inspire their students for years to come. We also want to provide practical support through resources that can be used in classrooms and online.” Teachers will work directly with CÚRAM researchers to develop high-quality content for the classroom that is relevant, engaging, and practical to use. The material generated during the residency will be shared with all participants and their schools. Lesson plan kits developed from previous years' teachers, including Irish language versions, can be downloaded at https://curamdevicesengage.ie/teachers-in-residence/. CÚRAM is a partner in the Department of Education and Skills' Junior Cycle for Teachers STE(A)M in Junior Cycle initiative. The goal of the initiative is to provide Professional Learning Experiences for Junior Cycle teachers that allow for interdisciplinary responses to societal challenges in subject-specific and cross-curricular contexts. To apply for a place in the Teachers in Residence Programme or to find out more, please contact sarah.gundy@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 30 August 2021

New NUI Galway programme connects with students in the community to create pathways to university Fourteen Irish Travellers have been recognised at a special ceremony after completing NUI Galway Access Centre’s first Educational Transition Project (ETP). The Traveller students received certificates of completion at a ceremony at the University. Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D., sent a video message to the students, saying: “This is your day and you should be very proud. We are very proud of you and all that you have achieved. I applaud you on reaching this major milestone. “My belief is that further and higher education is for everyone and our mission as a Department is to make sure that no-one is left behind.” Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Deputy President and Registrar of NUI Galway, presented the students with their certificates. “This programme builds on NUI Galway’s values of ambition, creativity, impact, collaboration and integrity through a supportive student-centred approach that connected with students at a community level. It is wonderful to see these 14 students now taking their first steps towards third level education,” Professor Ó Dochartaigh said. The Educational Transition Project (ETP) for Traveller students was developed to build on current initiatives and work directly with community organisations in supporting members of the Traveller community to progress to higher education. NUI Galway’s Access Centre held a series of consultation meetings with stakeholders including Traveller organisations, community groups, Galway Roscommon Education Training Board and Traveller students in order to inform and support the design and implementation of the programme. Dr Mary Surlis, Senior Manager NUI Galway Access Centre, said: “The Educational Transition Project is multi-disciplinary and is designed to support Traveller students to achieve their desired educational goals, whether they are school leavers or mature students. “This programme represents an important intervention in ensuring Traveller students access higher education. The success of this year’s programme and the feedback we have received will enable us to develop the initiative further for next year.” The programme commenced in early June 2021 and was delivered online three days a week over five weeks, due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Owen Ward, Programme Co-ordinator, NUI Galway Access Centre, said: “These students are inspirational role models. Despite the additional obstacles they faced as a result of the pandemic, they remained committed to completing the programme. The Access Centre will continue to support these students as they progress in education. This initiative further demonstrates NUI Galway’s commitment to widening the participation of Irish Travellers in third level education.” The ceremony was organised in line with the current University and HSE Covid-19 guidelines. Ends

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Study among Irish school pupils aged 15-17 found: 93% of females and 79% of males agreed that consent is always required for sexual activity 98% agreed it is okay to say no 92% agreed there is a need to talk about sexual consent even in a relationship A new Consent Communication Study among Irish teenagers by NUI Galway’s Active* Consent programme has found that 79% of males and 93% of females agree that consent is always required for sexual activity. The results of the study will be launched today (Tuesday, 24 August) along with a report detailing a set of new consent education resources for Irish secondary schools. The programme launch will include contributions from the Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon, Annette Honan from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment and a number of young people. The Active* Consent for School Communities report is based on original research with pupils, parents and teachers. In particular, the report contains the first in-depth research analysis of consent communication among Irish teenagers from a survey of 613 post-primary students. This research explores findings on attitudes to consent, perceptions of peers, and how young people responded to consent communication dilemmas. This survey found: 93% of females and 79% of males agreed that consent is always required for sexual activity. (18% of males were neutral as to whether consent is always required; 3% disagreed that it is always required. 6% of females were neutral; 1% disagreed). 62% agreed that consent for this activity always needed to be verbal, and 60% said that non-verbal consent to sexual activity is sometimes OK. 51% agreed that their peers think consent is always required for sexual activity, while 37% agreed that their peers think consent should always be verbal. There was a significant gender gap in personal comfort with being sexually intimate with someone they had just met at a party, with females less likely to be comfortable than males. While 7% of females were comfortable with intimate touching, 51% of males said they were comfortable. There was also a significant gap among females between their personal levels of comfort with being intimate with someone they just met at a party, and how comfortable they thought other teenagers were with it. While 7% of females were comfortable with intimate touching, 42% of females agreed that other teenagers would be comfortable with this. 98% agreed it is okay to say “No, I don’t want to” if you don’t want to have sex. 92% agreed there is a need to talk about sexual consent even in a relationship. Nevertheless, being awkward, embarrassed, or being afraid of being judged or ruining the mood emerged as key barriers to consent communication. The survey participants responded to three “consent stories” that explored reactions to someone saying “no” to a partner, to whether a smile constitutes consent, and to how males are perceived if they turn down sex. The report completes a two-year process of developing the Active* Consent programme for schools. This complements the work that Active* Consent carries out with colleges and sports organisations. Based on the research carried out by Active* Consent, the schools programme launched today consists of an integrated package of resources, each of which can also be delivered on a stand-alone basis: A sexual consent workshop for young people aged 15-17 that can be provided in-class or online. Awareness-raising seminars for parents and guardians, along with education/training resources for teachers. Sex on Our Screens, an eLearning resource designed to increase young people’s critical literacy skills on sexual media, pornography, body image, and consent How I Learned About Consent, a new filmed theatrical drama that explores the nuances of consent, how we learn about consent, and the positive changes that take place when we practice active, positive consent. The workshop, seminars and training are available from September, while the eLearning resource and theatrical film will be made available from October onwards. The schools programme can be integrated with existing sexual health initiatives and projects, and the resources are designed to be delivered by teachers or other professionals. The consent workshop was piloted over the past year with 993 students in 10 schools nationally. Workshop survey responses showed significant increases in pupils agreeing that consent needs to be agreed before the start of any sexual activity and that consent should be verbal. The percentage of pupils who agreed that they had the skills needed to deal with sexual consent went from 61% beforehand to 92% afterwards. Some 99% of females, 95% of males, and 100% of non-binary pupils agreed that the workshop was relevant to them, with 90% saying they would recommend the workshop to their peers. The Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon said: “The Active* Consent programme indicates that we are making progress in confronting what is not only a complicated issue, but an extremely important one for developing positive relationships and reducing sexual harassment. The programme will equip secondary school students with self-confidence to speak up if there is something happening that they are not comfortable with. In a perfect world we would like to think attitudes towards sexual harassment are changing but evidence shows us we have a long way to go.” Dr Pádraig MacNeela, Active* Consent Programme Co-Lead, NUI Galway, said: “The Active* Consent schools programme responds to calls from policy makers, researchers, and activists for freely available, research-based tools to support secondary school communities with positive, active consent. Our research tells us that young people, parents, and teachers are all looking for practical advice on open communication that is based on mutual respect. The range of resources we are now providing will help our school communities to address these needs.” Dr Siobhán O’Higgins, Active* Consent Programme Co-Lead, NUI Galway, said: “Our resources aim to build consent competence, which means having the knowledge and skills that enable you to confidently communicate your own boundaries while respecting those of others. We have worked with schools across the country to pilot a new consent workshop that supports not alone teenagers, but also their parents and teachers. We worked with young people to design it, and now, based on piloting with 1,000 of their peers, the Active* Consent workshop is available to schools around the country. “Teachers stated that they want resources to engage pupils in learning about the importance of consent. Parents want support as the primary educators of their children, but many feel they do not have enough information to confidently support their children in this area.” Primary support for the Active* Consent programme comes from Lifes2good Foundation, a Galway-based philanthropic foundation with a primary focus on promoting the rights of women and children through preventative as well as remedial strategies. The programme is also supported by the Rethink Ireland Arts to Action funding scheme, which aims for artistic and cultural contributions to have a significant impact on enhancing Irish society. Over the course of the year, the schools programme will be hosted on the new online learning hub that Active* Consent is providing as a national resource in partnership with the Department of Justice and the Department of Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science. The Active* Consent schools programme will be launched online at 2pm Tuesday, 24 August. To register visit https://bit.ly/3z7Ihw6 or for more information on the Active* Consent programme visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/student-life/student-support/active-consent/. Ends

Monday, 23 August 2021

NUI Galway sponsored research demonstrates that clinicians should treat patients on their stomachs Critically-ill Covid-19 patients are less likely to die or to require invasive ventilation if lying prone on their stomachs while receiving oxygen, a global research project sponsored by NUI Galway has found. The impact of the technique, known as awake prone positioning, was assessed in hospitals in six countries on more than 1,000 coronavirus patients requiring advanced breathing support. The findings are published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. The study was the first clinical trial of its kind into the practice of awake prone positioning and ran from April 2020 to January 2021. It showed that treating patients in this position, while they received high flow nasal cannula oxygen, reduced death and the need for invasive mechanical ventilation. Dr Bairbre McNicholas, Honorary Senior Lecturer at NUI Galway and Intensive Care Consultant at University Hospital Galway, said: “Providing an evidence base for what we do in the intensive care unit is critical so that we support and implement recommendations that work. “This study, which was part of a global effort and was sponsored locally by NUI Galway and the Health Research Board-Clinical Research Facility Galway, as part of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, shows that clinical trials can be scaled up and done properly and efficiently during a pandemic and demonstrates what we can achieve when we work together.” The study involved 1,121 patients in the US, Canada, Mexico, France, Spain and Ireland, and it is the first time awake prone positioning has been studied to such an extent. Some of the key findings: :: Awake prone positioning reduces death and the need for invasive intubation in patients with severe Covid-19 who require high flow nasal cannula oxygen. :: The technique is safe and well tolerated by patients. :: Blood oxygen levels are significantly improved in patients who adopt awake prone positioning. :: The longer patients can sustain being in prone positioning, the greater the success of the treatment and the less likely they were to need invasive mechanical ventilation. :: Given the scarcity of ventilators and oxygen therapy, particularly in low and middle income countries, this study provides welcome data on the efficacy of awake prone positioning which will ensure that the low-cost strategy to invasive mechanical ventilation is supported as a treatment strategy. Dr McNicholas said: “I tell patients that going on your tummy will improve the oxygen levels in your blood, that although it is uncomfortable, the longer you can put up with this position, the less likely you will need to go onto require needing a breathing tube.” Lisa Power was treated using awake prone positioning while being treated at University Hospital Galway for Covid-19. Ms Power said: “I am extremely grateful to all the staff at University Hospital Galway, particularly the medics in ICU and especially as I was awake proned. It really helped my breathing and made me much more comfortable without having to put me on a ventilator. I cannot thank the staff enough for all the care they provided.” Professor Tim O’Brien, Executive Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, NUI Galway and Consultant Physician in Endocrinology and Metabolism, Saolta University Hospital Group, said: “Given the scarcity of ventilators and oxygen therapy, particularly in low and middle income countries, this study provides welcome data on the efficacy of awake prone positioning which will ensure that it is supported as a treatment strategy. “NUI Galway’s approach to global medicine is based on effective collaboration and on bringing together some of the best minds to solve the healthcare challenges of today. Using a new approach, called a meta-trial, teams from around the world united data in a pre-planned analysis from inception. This enabled an accelerated trial with a large number of patients - a global collaborative methodology that is essential during a pandemic.” Ends

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Kylemore Abbey and NUI Galway have come together to form a new partnership to deliver the Kylemore Abbey Biodiversity Stewardship Programme. The Programme which is a collaboration between Kylemore Abbey and the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway, aims to: Document the current biodiversity profile on the 1,000-acre Kylemore Estate. Identify biodiversity projects and research topics which will benefit not only Kylemore Abbey but the wider community. Develop a Biodiversity Management Plan for Kylemore to preserve and safeguard the biodiversity of the Estate. Provide a location and rich ecosystem in which students will be able to study and learn about species, habitats and wider ecological and sustainability topics with practical applications. Conor Coyne, Executive Director of the Kylemore Trust explains that “the partnership between Kylemore Abbey and NUI Galway will allow for research to be undertaken on the extensive range of flora and fauna found in the habitats at Kylemore and eventually the findings of these studies will form a Biodiversity Management Plan for Kylemore Abbey to ensure changes are made for the better of our environment and to safeguard biodiversity”. One of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions, Kylemore Abbey carefully balances commercial activity with the well-being of the community and environment, aiming to lead the way in sustainable tourism and focusing on enhancing biodiversity. Nestled beneath the Duchruach Mountain, running along the banks of the Dawros River and rich with freshwater lakes and waterfalls, the Kylemore Estate hosts an abundance of habitats. Its soft peatlands are complimented by grasslands and an Oceanic Oak Woodland. Initial work on the programme is already underway and students have already commenced work on a range of research projects. Kylemore Abbey looks forward to strengthening relationships with NUI Galway while preserving and sharing the heritage, beauty, peace and ethos of the Kylemore Estate. A team consisting of a wide range of NUI Galway staff and students, led by Environmental Science Lecturer Dr Gesche Kindermann, will contribute their experience and expertise to the collaboration. This includes staff and students from Environmental Science, Botany and Plant Science, and Zoology, all of whom will bring their individual expertise to support the conservation of both species and habitats at Kylemore. Students from a variety of courses, including the MScs in Biodiversity and Land Use Planning, Environmental Leadership, Sustainable Environments, and the BScs Environmental Science, Botany and Zoology will have the opportunity to use the Kylemore Estate for projects and research. NUI Galway Lecturer Dr Kindermann states that “This stewardship programme offers a wonderful opportunity for us and our students to study the biodiversity at Kylemore while contributing to the conservation and enhancement of our natural environments, habitats and species”. One of the core values guiding the Benedictine Community at Kylemore Abbey is Stewardship where the Kylemore Estate and all things on it have been preserved with care and diligence over the last 100 years. Consequently, environmental sustainability is a deep-rooted objective. Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ addresses the environmental challenges being encountered around the World. The significance of this encyclical along with another core value of the Benedictine Community, education, provides the inspiration to drive the sustainability work at Kylemore Abbey and this partnership with NUIG. Sr. Máire Hickey OSB, Abbess of Kylemore Abbey spoke of her enthusiasm about the partnership “We are delighted to be engaging with NUI Galway on this programme. As custodians of Kylemore Abbey and advocates for the protection of the environment and promotion of sustainable practices, the biodiversity stewardship programme and associated partnership aligns seamlessly with our own beliefs and our ethos of education and is a wonderful step forward for the protection and enhancement of biodiversity in Kylemore.” This new biodiversity programme is one of a host of sustainability initiatives, already underway on the 1,000-acre estate, including: Removal of invasive plant species from woodlands and pastures A programme of afforestation with indigenous trees Production of environmentally friendly and peat-free compost for the Victorian Gardens Electrification of the fleet Planning for renewable energy sources Replacement of agricultural stock with indigenous Connemara Ponies Protection measures for the freshwater pearl mussel Supporting local and regional suppliers – to promote the regional economy and cut down on environmental impact of long-haul distribution networks Working towards eliminating Single Use Plastic Ongoing training in sustainability and development of a Green Team Developing a food waste partnership The work is already underway and the newly developed partnership with NUI Galway intends to develop Kylemore Abbey as a centre of biodiversity and sustainability research, education, and promotion. To learn more about the ongoing work, plans, and progress see www.kylemoreabbey.com.  -ENDS-

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

90% of samples analysed showed traces of microplastics Researchers from Earth and Ocean Sciences and the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway have carried out an extensive study on the microplastic content of sediments at 87 locations in habitats designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) around the coastline of Ireland. Microplastics were detected in 79 of the 87 locations studies representing 90% of samples analysed. Dr Liam Morrison led the study, which has been published in the international journal Marine Pollution Bulletinand was co-authored by NUI Galway PhD student Ana Mendes and Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Nessa Golden. Microplastics were detected in samples from 79 of the 87 locations studies representing 90% of samples analysed. The study showed that microplastic abundance was closely related with distance from known sources and concentrations were greater in intertidal (on the shore, between tides) as opposed to subtidal (below the level of the lowest tide) sediments. The abundance of microplastics in the intertidal zone is partly influenced by movement of the sea, including wave action, tides, and currents, whereas the subtidal zone is a much more stable environment and could be considered a sink for microplastics. It was found that the most common plastic type or polymer was polypropylene (PP) (34%) followed by polyethylene terephthalate (PET) (26%) and polyethylene (PE) (26%), comprising of a total of 86% of all the microplastic detected. The dominant colour observed was clear followed by blue, white and black and the appearance of clear PE/PET fibres may indicate grey-water sources (wastewater from sinks, showers, baths and primarily washing machines), as PE/PET is common in clothing, while PP clear fibres are likely from commercial and/or recreational fishing materials. A relationship between sediment grain size, microplastic abundance and distance from known sources (river/waterways, urban settlements, and wastewater treatment facilities) was established. A higher concentration of microplastics in finer sediments (such as mudflats) within a 2 km distance from a known source, was observed with microplastic concentration decreasing with an increase in sediment grain size or as sediments get coarser (such as sandy beaches) and/or distance from a possible source of microplastics. The results demonstrate that an understanding of potential sources of pollution, sediment type (sandy beaches to mudflats) and hydrodynamic conditions (waves and currents) are very important in terms of MP abundance and distribution in marine sediments and in terms of effective waste management strategies and policy aimed at reducing the global plastics problem. Dr Morrison said: “This study provided a broader assessment of microplastic abundance by representing 87 inshore locations around Ireland. In addition, Ireland is the highest producer of plastic waste per person in the EU and the fourth worst in recycling rate, according to the latest data released by Eurostat. “Owing to their great diversity, ranging from size and other properties, microplastics can effectively penetrate through food webs where absorption and desorption of pollutants and associated chemicals can occur, creating a complex range of potential hazards for biota and humans” This study provides an insight into the state of microplastic debris in Irish coastal sediments and a baseline for further research and policy making towards marine litter and in particular micro-litter in Ireland. Read the full study in Marine Pollution Bulletin here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0025326X21008365 -Ends-

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

A new digital exhibition from a team at NUI Galway has been launched, opening up the archive of renowned theatre and opera designer Joe Vaněk. Drawing on material held at the University’s Hardiman Library, the exhibition offers a unique insight and perspective into the work of one of European theatre’s most highly regarded designers, from Dublin to Broadway, since the 1980s. Made up of more than 300 archive images, from costume drawings to set designs, production photographs and notebooks, the newly digitised material showcases a new history of design in contemporary Irish theatre. It also includes correspondence with directors and playwrights such as Brian Friel, whose work he was closely associated with. Joe Vaněk said: “Over the years, it has been my privilege to work with several esteemed directors - Patrick Mason, Alan Gilsenan, Michael Barker Caven and Annie Ryan. Also, it has been a source of great professional pride, that I have had the opportunity to design premieres of new plays by major Irish playwrights including Brian Friel, Tom Kilroy, Frank McGuinness, and Tom MacIntyre. “Now I find myself with an archive dedicated to my design work in theatre and opera at NUI Galway, and I am honoured to be amongst such luminaries as the novelist John McGahern, actors Barry Fitzgerald and Siobhan McKenna, and director Garry Hynes. My thanks - needless to say - goes to the Hardiman Library of NUI Galway, to Barry Houlihan and colleagues, for their enthusiasm and persistence in getting this digital show on the road.” The online exhibition is curated by researcher Grace Vroomen with a project team from NUI Galway including Dr Barry Houlihan, Dr Cillian Joy, Eimhin Joyce and Aisling Keane. It can be viewed at https://exhibitions.library.nuigalway.ie/s/joe-vanek/page/welcome. The exhibition charts a scenographic journey from page to stage through the theatrescapes of Vaněk’s distinguished career. It also includes newly published materials that show landscapes, architecture and related items that were documented during Vaněk’s early research and ideas for productions. It focuses on key material in the archive, such as design for Friel’s plays, including the Tony Award-winning production of Dancing at Lughnasa, as well as work with theatre companies Druid, Landmark Productions and Corn Exchange, and designing new plays by many of Ireland’s leading writers including Sebastian Barry, Marina Carr, Tom Murphy, Frank McGuinness, Tom Kilroy, Hugo Hamilton and Tom MacIntyre. Opera designs include work for Opera Ireland, Opera Theatre Company, Irish National Opera, Wexford Festival Opera and Opera Collective. John Cox, University Librarian at NUI Galway, said: “We are honoured to hold the archive of Joe Vaněk at NUI Galway and to be able to share insights into his work with an international audience through this online exhibition.” Dr Barry Houlihan, NUI Galway Archivist, said: “Joe Vaněk’s archive of theatre and opera design, and its digital exhibition, are a window into the vibrant world of Vaněk’s set and costume designs for more than three decades. Joe’s kind support of our digitising this remarkable archive means it will inspire students and theatre-makers all over the world.” Professor Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, said: “Joe Vaněk has made an enormous contribution to Irish culture over many decades. The donation of his archive to NUI Galway makes an amazing resource available - a resource that is of national and international significance. These designs and other archival items will inspire our students, stimulate new research, and stand as a lasting testament to the work of a great theatre-maker. We are proud and grateful to host this work.” Ends

Friday, 13 August 2021

Removal of moisture has a 100% success rate on killing Japanese knotweed plants and regrowth under lab conditions  A research study from NUI Galway in collaboration with multinational infrastructure consulting firm AECOM and University of Leeds has found that the removal of moisture could act as a potential control strategy for smaller infestations of Japanese knotweed, which are particularly common in urban settings. Findings show that incorrect herbicide treatment cannot control the growth and regeneration of this invasive plant, but that fully drying the plant material in a lab environment allowed it to be returned to the soil without risk of regrowth. The research also showed that if there are no nodes attached to the rhizomes (root like underground shoots), there is no regeneration. Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica) is a problematic invasive plant found in many areas of Europe and North America. Notably, in the UK, the species can cause issues with mortgage acquisition. It can grow up to two to three metres in height and can dominate an area to the exclusion of most other plants. Control of Japanese knotweed is complicated by its ability to regenerate from small fragments of plant material; however, there remains uncertainty about how much rhizome is required and how likely successful regeneration is under different scenarios. The study, published in the journal PeerJ today (12 August 2021) investigated the ability of crowns (underground mass from which rhizomes and shoots emerge) and rhizomes with different numbers of nodes to regenerate successfully from three sites in Yorkshire and Lancashire in the north of England. Two of the sites had been subject to herbicide treatment for two years prior to sampling and the third site had no history of herbicide treatment. The study found that the success of regeneration is related to plant fragment size, with larger fragments more likely to successfully regenerate and, for rhizomes, if there is no node, there is no regeneration. Additionally, it was found that the removal of moisture on living material resulted in 0% regeneration after plant material was dried and replanted. Senior author of the study, Dr Karen Bacon, Lecturer in Plant Ecology, Botany and Plant Sciences, Ryan Institute, NUI Galway, said: “Japanese knotweed is one of the most invasive plant species in the world and has major negative impact on ecology and biodiversity. The findings of this study that showed virtually no difference between the regrowth of treated and untreated Japanese knotweed samples suggest that herbicide treatment, which is often the most suitable approach to tackle the species, is not always being done effectively. “We also show clearly that the size of the plant fragment is critical to the initial regrowth, with smaller fragments producing much smaller regrown plants. Additionally, if there are no nodes, there is no regeneration, which may suggest potential management strategies in the future. This also highlights that small infestations and plants should not be viewed with the same concern as larger ones and that rapid management should be a goal of tackling this problematic species.” Dr Bacon added: “Our finding that the removal of moisture has a 100% success rate on killing Japanese knotweed plants and preventing regrowth after they were replanted also raises an important potential means of management for smaller infestations that are common in urban environments. This requires additional field trials, which we hope to undertake in NUI Galway soon.” When crowns and rhizomes were planted in lab conditions, no significant differences were observed in the new stem diameter, maximum height of stem or maximum growth increments among crowns, when comparing plants that had been treated with herbicide for two years to plants that had no history of herbicide treatment. This shows the importance of monitoring treated areas for regeneration and sustaining treatment over longer periods. Crown material had a higher regenerative capacity, with all traits measured from the planted crowns being significantly greater than those of the planted rhizome fragments. At least one node was necessary for successful regeneration (regrowth) of rhizomes and the smallest initial fragment weight to regenerate and survive the experiment was 0.5 grams. 0.7 grams was the previously reported smallest fragment to regenerate. It should be noted that such tiny fragments produced only very small and weedy plants that would take many years to regain health and spread significantly, if they survived. After the 60-day growth experiment, all plant material was subjected to the removal of moisture through air drying by sitting on the lab bench for 38 days until all plant fragments were at their dry weight. They were then replanted in soil and provided with the same nutrient, water and light conditions as the growth phase of the experiment. This resulted in no regrowth (emergence or regeneration) after replanting. These findings suggest that the removal of moisture could be a valuable addition to management strategies for small to medium scale infestations of Japanese knotweed common in urban settings, by providing a new option for dealing with plant material removed from the soil (the disposal of which can be costly). Dr Mark Fennell, Associate Director at AECOM and co-author of the study, said: “Our latest research sought to add to existing knowledge about how to manage and remove Japanese knotweed. Our key finding, that drying out the plant effectively kills it, should provide reassurance to landowners that the plant is not as indestructible as is often stated. While this invasive species remains a problem plant that can have a negative impact on biodiversity, our research provides a better understanding of the plant, paving the way for the development of more efficient and cost-effective ways of dealing with it. We hope our research helps to challenge some of the popular stigma that surrounds Japanese knotweed.” The findings from this study coincide with a UK-based review of the advice around how to manage Japanese knotweed in the built environments. Dr Karen Bacon and Dr Mark Fennell are both members of the Japanese knotweed specialist group advising the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. The new guidelines are currently out for public consultation with the hope that final versions may be released later in the summer or early autumn. Read the full study in PeerJ here: https://peerj.com/articles/11783/.  -Ends-

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

The IPCC have published their landmark AR6 report on climate change which states: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred.” Wednesday, 11 August 2021: ICHEC, Ireland’s high-performance computing authority, established in and hosted by NUI Galway, completed a large ensemble of global climate simulations which comprise Ireland’s contribution to the international Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). The datasets and results were included for assessment in the recently released IPCC AR6 Reports. The simulations place Ireland amongst leading international scientific researchers on climate change.  ICHEC’s work was carried out in collaboration with Met Éireann and is funded by the EPA, Met Éireann and the Marine Institute. The global climate simulations, carried out by ICHEC, are described in this report.  The future global climate was simulated using the EC-Earth climate model, which was developed by a consortium of European institutes, of which ICHEC is a member. The updated CMIP6 climate projection data provide more detailed projections of the future global climate and will lead to a better understanding, not only of the physical climate system, but also of the climate impact on the environment and societies. Visualisations of EC-Earth global projections can be seen here; 2m temperature change, precipitation and September sea ice fraction. “Spiral animations” of the full CMIP6 global temperature datasets can be viewed here and here. The large datasets (~1500TB) are hosted on the ICHEC ESGF (Earth-Systems Grid Federation) node for sharing with the international community and will feature in many future studies on the environmental, social and economic impacts of climate change. Since 1995, the CMIP has co-ordinated climate model experiments involving multiple international modelling teams. The CMIP project has led to a better understanding of past, present and future climate, and CMIP model experiments have routinely been the basis for future climate change assessments carried out by the IPCC. ESGF is an international effort of climate centres with a mission to support CMIP and future IPCC reports. The climate team at ICHEC are currently running regional climate models to dynamically downscale the global CMIP6 data to provide detailed climate projections for Ireland (https://tinyurl.com/u2m8sk2y). These simulations are run on the ICHEC supercomputer, Kay. This research, and the resulting regional projections, will continue to inform national climate change policy such as the various governmental sectoral adaptation plans. Commenting on the results of the work, Dr Paul Nolan, Climate Science Programme Manager, ICHEC, said: “The global climate projections comprise Ireland’s contribution to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project and the results were included for assessment in the recently released IPCC AR6 Reports. In addition, the large datasets are shared with the international community and will feature in many future studies on the environmental, social and economic impacts of climate change.” Alastair McKinstry, Environmental Programme Manager, ICHEC, said: “The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project experiments are a crucial part of the IPCC AR6 report. At ICHEC, the EC-Earth results are standardised and published via the Earth System Grid to enable automated comparisons with observations and other model projections from international climate modelling institutes. The standardisation and sharing of data have been key to quantifying the uncertainty in the climate projections and enabling the attribution of extreme events to climate change.” Professor JC Desplat, ICHEC Director, said: “ICHEC has the modelling capabilities, high-performance computing resources and international reach to ensure Ireland can participate in CMIP modelling experiments. This research ensures Ireland remains at the forefront of global climate change research and continues its involvement with future Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects and IPCC reports. Our climate projections, combined with those of the international community, will inform global climate policy over the coming years. Requirements for participation in CMIP include an internationally respected model, access to a powerful supercomputer and substantial data storage resources. ICHEC currently meets these criteria in its ability to participate in projects of this scale.” For more information about ICHEC, visit: www.ichec.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Researchers at NUI Galway and Athlone Institute of Technology have launched a survey to better understand Irish consumers knowledge of seafood packaging and its waste management. The survey is being carried out simultaneously in Spain and Portugal and is led by the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere. Ireland has one of the lowest levels of consumption of seafood in Western Europe, with very different consumption patterns than other countries. For example, Ireland tends to consume on average higher portions of packaged or frozen seafood whereas in other European countries, fresh seafood is consumed. In 2017, it was estimated that seafood consumption in Ireland was 23 kg/capita. Whereas in Portugal, which has the highest consumption rate for seafood in Europe at 57 kg/capita. The results of the survey will be used to aid in a better understanding of the differences in seafood consumption and waste management in Ireland, Spain and Portugal. Ultimately, the results will support the development of public policies that will promote efficient use of seafood packaging. The study is part of NEPTUNUS, an Interreg Atlantic Area funded project that aims to support the sustainable development of the seafood sector in the Atlantic area (Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal and the UK) by developing tools for eco-labelling and low impact strategies for production and consumption. Dr Eoghan Clifford, senior lecturer in the College of Science and Engineering at NUI Galway and NEPTUNUS principle investigator, said: “Given these large differences in consumption and the type of seafood products purchased the results of this survey can help to close a knowledge gap in Irish seafood consumption trends, behaviours, and knowledge of seafood packaging. These results will be useful for policy makers and for future research into how Irish consumers can increase their intake of this nutritious food and add to their understanding of seafood packaging.” The survey, which is made up of 25 questions and takes less than 10 minutes to complete, is available in both Irish: https://survey.ipma.pt/index.php/597922?newtest=Y&lang=ie ,  and English: https://survey.ipma.pt/index.php/597922?newtest=Y&lang=en To learn more on the project visit www.neptunus-project.eu -Ends-

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Tá suirbhé seolta ag taighdeoirí in OÉ Gaillimh agus in Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Bhaile Átha Luain chun tuiscint níos fearr a fháil ar eolas tomhaltóirí ar phacáistíocht bhia mara agus ar bhainistíocht a dramhaíola. Tá an suirbhé á dhéanamh go comhuaineach sa Spáinn agus sa Phortaingéil agus tá sé á stiúradh ag Institiúid Mara agus Atmaisféir na Portaingéile. Tá Éire ar na tíortha a bhfuil na leibhéil is ísle iontu maidir le tomhailt bhia mara in Iarthar na hEorpa, agus tá treochtaí tomhailte le sonrú inti atá an-éagsúil le macasamhail tíortha eile. Cuir i gcás, is gnách go dtomhlaítear líon níos airde de bhia mara atá pacáistithe nó reoite ar an méan in Éirinn, san áit a dtomhlaítear bia mara úr i dtíortha Eorpacha eile. In 2017, measadh gurbh é 23 kg/capita an tomhailt bhia mara in Éirinn. Sa Phortaingéil, tá an ráta tomhailte is mó maidir le bia mara san Eoraip mar atá 57 kg/capita. Bainfear úsáid as torthaí an tsuirbhé le cuidiú le tuiscint níos fearr a fháil ar na difir idir tomhailt bhia mara agus bainistíocht dramhaíola in Éirinn, sa Spáinn, agus sa Phortaingéil. Ar deireadh thiar, tacóidh na torthaí le polasaithe poiblí a fhorbairt, polasaithe a chuirfidh chun cinn an úsáid éifeachtúil as pacáistíocht bhia mara. Is mar chuid de NEPTUNUS an staidéar seo, tionscadal i Limistéar an Atlantaigh atá á mhaoiniú ag Interreg a bhfuil d’aidhm aige tacú le forbairt na hearnála bia mara i limistéar an Atlantaigh (Éire, an Fhrainc, an Spáinn, an Phortaingéil, agus an Ríocht Aontaithe) trí bhíthin uirlisí le haghaidh éic-lipéadaithe agus straitéisí le haghaidh táirgthe agus tomhailte a fhorbairt. Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an Dr Eoghan Clifford, léachtóir sinsearach i gColáiste na hEolaíochta agus na hInnealtóireachta in OÉ Gaillimh agus príomh-imscrúdaitheoir NEPTUNUS: “Mar gheall ar na difir mhóra maidir le tomhailt agus cineál na dtáirgí bia mara a cheannaítear is féidir go mbeidh torthaí an tsuirbhé seo ina gcuidiú chun an bhearna eolais sna treochtaí a bhaineann le tomhailt bhia mara, iompar, agus eolas ar phacaistíocht bhia mara in Éirinn a líonadh. Beidh na torthaí seo úsáideach do lucht déanta polasaithe agus do thaighde amach anseo ar an gcaoi ar féidir le tomhaltóirí na hÉireann a n-iontógáil den bhia folláin seo a mhéadú agus cur lena dtuiscint ar phacáistíocht bhia mara." Tá an suirbhé, ina bhfuil 25 ceist agus nach nglacann 10 nóiméad le líonadh ar fáil i nGaeilge: https://survey.ipma.pt/index.php/597922?newtest=Y&lang=ie , agus i mBéarla: https://survey.ipma.pt/index.php/597922?newtest=Y&lang=en Le tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoin tionscadal téigh chuig www.neptunus-project.eu -Críoch-

Thursday, 30 September 2021

NUI Galway study to identify care needs of LGBT+ people with dementia Researchers warn of risks of social isolation, loneliness and fear of discrimination A new research project has been launched at NUI Galway to help service providers understand more about the care needs of older LGBT+ people with dementia. The team will work with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland to develop recommendations to help improve services and supports. The project has the support of Independent Senator David Norris, who said: “It is important to realise that gay people like many others in society may face isolation and loneliness as age increases.” Dr Sinéad Hynes, study lead with the Discipline of Occupational Therapy at NUI Galway, identified some of the challenges faced by LGBT+ people. “International studies have shown that LGBT+ people with dementia experience micro-aggressions from other patients or care providers and that they are sometimes vulnerable to abuse,” Dr Hynes said. “We know that older LGTB+ adults are less likely to engage with health services, yet they are more likely to report poor general health. There are also significant worries related to preparation for ageing. We want to know what is needed in an LGBT+ inclusive dementia service in Ireland.” The 2016 LGBTIreland Report showed that 40% of older LGBT+ adults in Ireland do not disclose their sexuality or gender identity to their healthcare providers due to the fear of discrimination. The research team highlighted that LGBT+ people with dementia, who have memory difficulties and may have challenges maintaining their identity as their dementia progresses, endure a significantly more difficult deliberation over whether or not to disclose personal information Part of the NUI Galway research project involves a survey for LGTB+ people aged 50 and over, those who are partner-caregivers of LGBT+ people and others. More information is available at https://diversifyingdementiaservices.questionpro.eu Dr Laura O’Philbin, Interim Research and Policy Manager at the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland, said: “The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is delighted to be supporting this essential research which will help all dementia service providers understand more about the care needs of older LGBT+ adults. There is still so much work to be done, however, research powers change and this research is a key step in the right direction.” Dr Hynes added: “Very little attention has been given to their needs and with the support of the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland we are addressing this lack of knowledge by working to create a set of consensus-based recommendations.” Ends

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

University hosts online event to connect businesses with our brightest and best A record number of top employers are set to showcase career opportunities at NUI Galway’s Virtual Graduate Jobs Fair. Some 115 companies are taking part in the online event on Tuesday October 5th, vying for the best and brightest to join their ranks. NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre is urging current students and recent graduates of the University to register for the fair and make the most of the chance to engage with employers. Students registered on the University’s Careers Connect portal can book their places today. Marie Laffey, Head of the Career Development Centre at NUI Galway, said: “Our Virtual Graduate Jobs Fair provides students with the opportunity to present their professional side, get comfortable with networking, learn what types of jobs are available in their sector, find out about the skills and experience employers value in a graduate. “Most importantly it gives students the chance to get their name in front of employers they’d like to work for and hopefully impress them. “Students also often discover organisations they didn't know much about, so it opens up new career ideas and options.” NUI Galway’s 2021 Virtual Graduate Jobs Fair has seen an unprecedented level of demand from employers, from all sectors of the economy, who want to connect with our final year and post-graduate students. NUI Galway’s Virtual Graduate Jobs Fair takes place online on the GraduateLand portal on Tuesday, 5th October from 11am-4pm. Ms Laffey added: “Our set-up for the Graduate Jobs Fair makes it easy to match students to the employer and offers opportunities for employers to customise their stall with open positions, videos and other marketing collateral while giving them ability to chat with students through web chat or video. “Ireland had the fastest economic growth in the second quarter of this year, with some forecasts of a post-lockdown boom. There are also signs of labour shortages in many sectors and this means there are an abundant opportunities for graduates. That is also reflected in the demand from employers to attend our Graduate Jobs Fair.” Ends

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Ócáid ar líne á reáchtáil ag an Ollscoil chun gnólachtaí a nascadh le scoth na gcéimithe Beidh an líon is airde fostóirí mór le rá ag léiriú deiseanna fostaíochta ag Aonach Post na gCéimithe in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá thart ar 115 cuideachta ag glacadh páirt san imeacht ar líne Dé Máirt, an 5 Deireadh Fómhair, chun na céimithe is fearr a mhealladh le teacht ag obair leo. Tá an tIonad Forbartha Gairmeacha in OÉ Gaillimh ag moladh do mhic léinn reatha agus dóibh siúd ar bronnadh céim de chuid na hOllscoile orthu le gairid clárú don aonach agus an deis a thapú labhairt le fostóirí. Is féidir le mic léinn atá cláraithe ar thairseach Careers Connect na hOllscoile áit a chur in áirithe inniu. Dúirt Marie Laffey, Ceann an Ionaid Forbartha Gairmeacha in OÉ Gaillimh: “Tugann Aonach Post na gCéimithe an deis do mhic léinn a ngairmiúlacht a léiriú, dul i gcleachtadh ar líonrú, foghlaim faoi na cineálacha post atá ar fáil ina n-earnáil, fáil amach faoi na scileanna agus taithí a thaitníonn le fostóirí a fheiceáil i gcéimithe. “Níos tábhachtaí fós, tugann sé deis do mhic léinn iad féin a chur in aithne d’fhostóirí ar mhaith leo post a fháil leo agus b’fhéidir dul i gcion orthu. “Is minic a thagann mic léinn trasna ar eagraíochtaí nach raibh mórán eolais acu fúthu agus osclaíonn sé sin smaointe agus roghanna nua gairme." Tá éileamh níos mó ná riamh ag fostóirí, as gach earnáil, ar Aonach Post na gCéimithe, 2021 de chuid OÉ Gaillimh agus iad ag iarraidh casadh le mic léinn sa bhliain deiridh agus le hiarchéimithe. Beidh Aonach Post na gCéimithe ar siúl ar líne ar thairseach GraduateLand Dé Máirt, an 5 Deireadh Fómhair ó 11 am–4pm. Dúirt Marie Laffey: “Leis an leagan amach atá ar Aonach Post na gCéimithe bíonn sé éasca mic léinn a mheaitseáil le fostóir agus tugann sé an deis d’fhostóirí poist oscailte, físeáin agus saoráidí margaíochta eile a thaispeáint ag a seastáin agus chomh maith céanna beidh an deis acu labhairt le mic léinn trí chomhrá gréasáin nó trí fhíseán. “Bhí an fás eacnamaíoch is sciobtha in Éirinn sa dara ráithe den bhliain, agus tá roinnt ag tuar go mbeidh borradh i ndán dúinn i ndiaidh na dianghlasála. Tá comharthaí ann freisin maidir le ganntanas lucht saothair in earnálacha go leor agus ciallaíonn sé sin go bhfuil neart deiseanna ann do chéimithe. Is léir an méid sin freisin san éileamh ó fhostóirí freastal ar Aonach Post na gCéimithe." Críoch

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

CÚRAM launches new exhibit showing how medical device research is aided by marine resources CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at NUI Galway, has launched a new public exhibition showcasing how marine resources can aid medical device research. Guest speakers attending the launch were Mayor of Galway City, Collette Connolly and Filmmaker Ken O'Sullivan. The marine-inspired display at Galway Atlantaquaria, the National Aquarium of Ireland, shows how scientists are studying sponge slime to fight cancer and harmful microbes; using algae for controlled release of medicine; and copying barnacle glue to create surgical glue. Visitors can browse information panels, tanks and models of marine resources that are used in medical device research. Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director at CÚRAM, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Galway Atlantaquaria to showcase an exciting aspect of medical device research and we look forward to continuing the collaboration and developing the exhibit and associated educational resources for schools and families over the coming years.” Liam Twomey, Director at the National Aquarium, said: “Galway Atlantaquaria continues its collaboration with state and semi-state organisations. Our technical know-how and good design links with Anchor Studios have resulted in a superb new exhibit that has already started to draw attention from aquarium visitors. We look forward to continued engagement with CÚRAM over the coming years.” CÚRAM’s research is focused on developing innovative and smart medical devices and implants that will benefit patients with chronic ailments such as cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and neural diseases. This new exhibit investigates how marine-inspired medtech research can heal the body. It also ties in with Galway Atlantaquaria’s education programme and reinforces the message of the importance of ocean health and conservation. The exhibit is located on the upper floor of the National Aquarium and is fully accessible. Dr Sarah Gundy, CÚRAM’s coordinator of content development for the exhibit, said: “If we lose the biodiversity of our oceans, we also lose potential ways to help fight diseases. Keeping our oceans healthy helps us discover new ways of developing medical therapies, which, in turn, keeps us healthy.” Dr Nóirín Burke, Director of Education at Galway Atlantaquaria, said: “Working with the team at CÚRAM on this exhibit has been such as positive experience. The oceans are part of our lives, from the air we breathe, the water we need to survive, and the food we eat. The connection between the ocean’s health and our health cannot be overstated and launching an exhibit which helps people explore this relationship is so important for the aquarium team.” Ends

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Cuirfear tús leis an dara sraith de cheardlanna amhránaíochta fiorúil ar an sean-nós le Saileog Ní Cheannabháin, atá ceaptha mar Amhránaí Cónaitheach ag OÉ Gaillimh 2021. Beidh na ceardlanna a reachtáil gach Céadaoin ag 7:30in ar an 6ú, 13ú, 20ú, 27ú Deireadh Fómhair, agus an 3ú Samhna. Is cainteoir Gaeilge ó dhúchas í Saileog a tógadh le Gaeilge i mBaile Átha Cliath. Is as Aill na Brón a hathair, an t-amhránaí clúiteach Peadar Ó Ceannabháin, agus is é Peadar an chéad fhonnadóir a chuaigh i bhfeidhm go mór uirthi. Chaith Saileog roinnt mhaith ama ó bhí sí an-óg ag éisteacht le fonnadóirí as Iorras Aithneach agus tá Seán 'ac Dhonncha, Sorcha Ní Ghuairim, Dara Bán Mac Donncha agus Seáin Jeaic 'ac Dhonncha i measc na bhfonnadóirí is mó a chuaigh i bhfeidhm uirthí. Tá dhá album eisithe ag Saileog I bhfíor-dheiriú oidhche (2012), cnuasach amhrán a bhailigh Séamus Ennis in Iorras Aithneach sna 1940idí agus Roithleán (2016). Tá na ceardlanna saor in aisce agus beidh fáilte roimh chách. Cláraigh ar Zoom ag https://bit.ly/3ECELgp. Tuilleadh eolais ó Samantha Williams ag 091 492051 nó samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie Is iad Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta, An Chomhairle Ealaíon agus Ionad Léann na hÉireann, OÉ Gaillimh, a mhaoiníonn an tionscnamh seo. -Críoch-

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Saileog Ní Cheannabháin, the 2021 Sean-Nós Singer-in-Residence at NUI Galway, will give a second series of virtual sean-nós singing workshops beginning on Wednesday, 6 October at 7.30pm. The singing workshops will run weekly on Wednesdays of the 6, 13, 20, and 27 of October, and the 3 November. A sean-nós singer, musician and composer, Saileog learned and played both traditional and classical music from a very young age. She grew up listening to singers from Iorras Aithneach and cites Seán 'ac Dhonncha, Sorcha Ní Ghuairim, Dara Bán Mac Donncha agus Seáin Jeaic 'ac Dhonncha as formative influences on her approach and singing. She has released two albums; I bhfíor-dheiriú oidhche (2012), a collection of songs collected by Séamus Ennis in Iorras Aithneach in the 1940s and Roithleán (2016). The workshops are free and open to all. Registration is available on Zoom at https://bit.ly/3ECELgp. Further information available from Samantha Williams at 091 492051 or samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. -Ends-

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Terence O’Malley on campus visit to meet inaugural scholars The Chairman Emeritus of global law firm DLA Piper has heralded the impact of a special new scholarship set up in partnership with the School of Law at NUI Galway. The Terence O’Malley DLA Piper Scholarship provides funding and support to enable and empower successful students to study a law degree at NUI Galway. Terence O’Malley, who has family roots in the west of Ireland, was welcomed to the campus by Professor Geraint Howells, Executive Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law. He also met the inaugural scholars, Bachelor of Civil Law students Ava Cullinan, from Kilrush, Co Clare and Emily Donnellan, from Maree, Co Galway. Terry O’Malley said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit the NUI Galway campus and meet the first scholars. It is very gratifying to hear about the impact of the awards as well as having the opportunity to visit the School of Law and learn about the education and learning on offer.” Professor Howells said: “It is a pleasure to welcome Terence O’Malley to NUI Galway and thank him in person for DLA Piper’s generous support of NUI Galway students. Partnership with Irish and global law firms are key to ensuring that we can attract and retain a diverse student group who will go on to make an impact and contribution in their fields.” The Terence O’Malley DLA Piper Scholarship launched in 2020 at NUI Galway following Mr O’Malley’s retirement from a highly-regarded legal career, serving in various roles including as DLA Piper's US Managing Partner, US Co-Chairman, and Global Co-Chief executive officer. In addition to the scholarship provides funding and support to successful students over the course of their law degree, a separate annual bursary is also awarded to the student who achieves the highest grade in the University’s new Law and Innovation module. Terence O’Malley DLA Piper Scholar Ava Cullinan said: “Having received this scholarship, the financial burden I carry throughout my journey to become a solicitor has greatly lessened. I believe that a disadvantaged background should not hinder me from accessing my full potential, and it is in this regard that I cannot understate the importance and impact of the scholarship on both my personal and professional aspirations.” Terence O’Malley DLA Piper Scholar Emily Donnellan said: “The scholarship has afforded me relief and a greater sense of security while pursuing my studies so far. I hope to represent and advocate for people in the justice system. I enjoy working with and helping others and I would hope to make a positive contribution to society through a career in Law. I am grateful for the opportunity and the sense of relief the scholarship has provided me with while I pursue my studies, having allowed me to focus and prioritise studying for my course." DLA Piper is a global law firm with lawyers located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. DLA Piper established in Ireland in 2019 with offices in Dublin.  DLA Piper clients range from multinational, Global 1000, and Fortune 500 enterprises to emerging companies developing industry-leading technologies. Applications details for the 2021 Terence O’Malley DLA Piper Scholarship will be announced in October. For further details visit www.nuigalway.ie/dlapiperscholarship. Ends

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Almost 100 online booths are being set up for students to put NUI Galway academics and staff on the spot during the University's Autumn Undergraduate Open Day. The special one day virtual event - from midday to 4pm on Saturday 2 October 2021 - is offering an extensive interactive experience for students, parents and guidance counsellors to explore courses and careers and to connect with the University. Ninety-one booths are being set-up as part of the online open day where lecturers, programme directors and staff are on hand to answer questions and talk about University life. A main stage for panel discussions is also being hosted on the day, featuring five keynote talks with distinguished graduates and high achieving students, including a chance to hear how to cultivate an Olympic mindset, as well as practical tips to get the most from the University experience. Advance registration is required in order to access to the platform, with further info at www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, or by emailing caohub@nuigalway.ie. Sarah Geraghty, Director of Student Recruitment and Outreach at NUI Galway, is urging people to register in order to plan your day; pick your talks; and pop in to the booths. “We are very conscious that the Leaving Cert Class of 2022 have faced many challenges and have shown great resilience over the last two years,” She said. “Our aim for NUI Galway Undergraduate Open Day is to support students and parents as they start to think about options for next year. We hope the open day will be an informative and dynamic event which will help students to explore the endless career opportunities that await them and help identify the courses and pathways that are right for them.” As well as asking questions in the booths, visitors can download relevant details and watch videos. Each of the course or subject booths will feature at least one live presentation on the day include introductions to subject areas such as arts, business, law, engineering, science, medicine and nursing, as well as tasters on more niche, specialised courses and subjects. NUI Galway has new subjects available for 2022 - International Development and Performance and Screen Studies for GY101 Joint Honours students; and Physics and Climate Physics for GY301 Science students. Representatives from NUI Galway’s support services teams will be available to chat with students and parents including booths dedicated to accommodation, admissions, fees and other professional and support services. The Access Centre will provide information on the alternatives entry routes to third level education including the Access Programme, QQI/FETAC Level 5 places and support available from the Disability Support Service. Ends

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Beidh beagnach 100 seastán ar fáil ar líne ag a mbeidh deis ag daltaí cruacheisteanna a chur ar lucht acadúil agus ar fhoireann OÉ Gaillimh ag Lá Oscailte Fochéime an Fhómhair. Cuirfidh an t-imeacht speisialta lae – a bheidh ar siúl ó mheán lae go 4pm Dé Sathairn, an 2 Deireadh Fómhair 2021 – eispéireas fairsing idirghníomhach ar fáil do dhaltaí, tuismitheoirí agus múinteoirí gairmthreorach a thabharfaidh deis dóibh eolas a chur ar chúrsaí agus ar ghairmeacha agus teagmháil a dhéanamh le foireann na hOllscoile. Tá nócha a haon seastán á socrú mar chuid den lá oscailte fíorúil ina mbeidh léachtóirí, stiúrthóirí cláir agus comhaltaí foirne eile ar fáil chun ceisteanna a fhreagairt agus labhairt faoi shaol na hOllscoile. Beidh díospóireachtaí painéil ar siúl ar phríomhardán freisin, ina measc cúig phríomhóráid ó chéimithe mór le rá agus mic léinn ardfheidhmiúla. Beidh deis ag an lucht freastail fáil amach conas meon Oilimpeach a chothú, chomh maith le leideanna praiticiúla chun an leas is fearr a bhaint as eispéireas na hOllscoile. Is gá réamhchlárú chun rochtain a fháil ar an ardán, agus tá tuilleadh faisnéise ag www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, nó is féidir ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig caohub@nuigalway.ie. Tá Sarah Geraghty, Stiúrthóir Earcaíochta Mac Léinn agus For-rochtana in OÉ Gaillimh, ag moladh do dhaoine clárú ionas gur féidir leo an lá a phleanáil; na cainteanna is spéis le daoine a roghnú; agus bualadh isteach chuig na seastáin. “Tuigimid go maith gur iomaí dúshlán atá os comhair Rang na hArdteiste, 2022 agus go bhfuil teacht aniar mór léirithe acu le dhá bhliain anuas,” a dúirt sí. “Is é an aidhm atá againn le Lá Oscailte Fochéime OÉ Gaillimh ná tacú le daltaí agus le tuismitheoirí agus iad ag tosú ag smaoineamh ar roghanna don bhliain seo chugainn. Tá súil againn go mbeidh neart eolais le fáil ag an ócáid dhinimiciúil seo a chabhróidh le daltaí díriú ar na deiseanna gairme ar fad atá rompu, agus a chabhróidh leo na cúrsaí agus na conairí a fheileann dóibh a aithint.” Chomh maith le ceisteanna a chur ag na seastáin, is féidir le cuairteoirí sonraí ábhartha a íoslódáil agus féachaint ar fhíseáin. Ag gach ceann de na seastáin cúrsa nó ábhair beidh cur i láthair beo amháin ar a laghad ar an lá, réamhrá ar réimsí ábhair mar na dána, gnó, dlí, innealtóireacht, eolaíocht, leigheas agus altranas, chomh maith le blaiseadh de chúrsaí agus ábhair níos sainiúla agus níos speisialaithe. Tá ábhair nua ar fáil ag OÉ Gaillimh do 2022 – International Development and Performance agus Screen Studies do mhic léinn Comh-Onóracha GY101; agus Physics agus Climate Physics do mhic léinn Eolaíochta GY301. Beidh ionadaithe ó sheirbhísí tacaíochta OÉ Gaillimh ar fáil freisin le labhairt le daltaí agus le tuismitheoirí agus beidh deis lóistín, iontráil, táillí agus ceisteanna eile gairmiúla agus tacaíochta a phlé. Cuirfidh an tIonad Rochtana faisnéis ar fáil faoi na bealaí iontrála malartacha chuig oideachas tríú leibhéal lena n-áirítear an Clár Rochtana, áiteanna QQI/FETAC Leibhéal 5 agus tacaíocht atá ar fáil ón tSeirbhís Tacaíochta Míchumais. Críoch

Monday, 27 September 2021

Students have been urged to take up the offer of a Covid-19 vaccination at a special walk-in clinic on the NUI Galway campus. The pop-up facility opens tomorrow morning, Tuesday 28 September 2021, on the main concourse of the Arts-Science block and will offer vaccines from 9am to 5pm Tuesday to Thursday this week. The clinic is open to any student or member of staff on a walk-in basis. NUI Galway and Saolta University Health Care Group are encouraging students to take up the offer to ensure they are fully vaccinated so they can get the most from University life. Frank Harburn, Saolta General Manager for the rollout of the regional vaccination programme in the West and North West, welcomed students to the campus and said: “Young people, including third level students have shown remarkable responsibility and resilience during the pandemic and I want to thank them for every effort and every sacrifice they have made to help bring the Covid-19 virus under control. “Vaccine uptake among the younger population is very high and this is having a positive impact on the rate of community infection across the region. “But as restrictions are easing and on-campus life returns to normal we are asking any student who has not yet been vaccinated, or who needs a second dose, to come forward. “The vaccine is free, safe and the best form of protection from serious illness with Covid-19.” Dr Eoin McDonncha, Medical Director at the University’s Student Health Unit, said: “Our students first of all deserve huge credit for the way they have responded to all the public health requirements to limit the impact of Covid. Compliance with all the measures being take on campus is extremely high. “The vast majority of students have been vaccinated but we urge anyone who has not had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated to drop-in. The vaccination programme has been successful in Ireland and taking up the offer this week is an important part of the efforts to make this year at university as safe and meaningful as it can be.” Anyone seeking a vaccination at the clinic must bring photo ID - a vaccine will not be given without it. Anyone seeking their second dose, should also bring their vaccine record card to verify the time period since the first dose. The HSE has advised that a minimum of 21 days must have passed since the first dose. NUI Galway Nursing student Ciarán Freeman worked on the Covid-19 vaccination programme and is urging fellow students to make use of the walk-in clinic. “It is a fantastic initiative. I hope we can appeal to the few people who still need to be vaccinated to come forward. As vaccinators we will be absolutely delighted to welcome any student to the clinic, regardless of reasons as to why their vaccination has been delayed. We will just be delighted that you've come in for your vaccine,” Mr Freeman said. “Being part of the vaccination programme was an absolute privilege and a career enhancing experience for me. Both as an Emergency Medical Technician and a student General Nurse, I witnessed the best of Ireland's healthcare professions come together to deliver a very successful public health programme. It was particularly inspiring for me to see the programme was nurse-led.” Ends

Friday, 24 September 2021

An Olympic medal winning rower and an All-Ireland winning hurler have urged fellow students at NUI Galway to take part in the unicov.org rapid testing project to combat Covid-19. Athlete-scholars Fiona Murtagh and Galway senior hurler Conor Whelan added their voices to the project as thousands of young people settle into the return to campus. NUI Galway is leading the programme, which is seeking hundreds of student volunteers for rapid antigen testing and saliva-based PCR and LAMP testing, as well as conducting wastewater surveillance. Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Fiona Murtagh said: “Sport and teamwork go hand in hand. The Olympics was possible this year because of our safety measures in preventing the spread of Covid-19. In order to keep campus life here in Galway as normal as possible, I encourage everyone to work together in helping to control the spread of Covid. Please join me in taking the tests and participate in the UniCoV programme.” Conor Whelan, All-Star and All-Ireland winning hurler with Galway in 2015, said: “I’m encouraging all students to volunteer for the UniCoV programme, to take the tests and work together as part of a team in the fight against Covid. It’s been great to see students back on campus and life going back to normal as we know it. “But keep in mind the fight against COVID is still ongoing and follow the HSE guidelines. I encourage all students to volunteer for UniCoV programme in order to avoid any outbreaks and help with early detection.” Unicov.org allows for large-scale comparative analysis of Covid-19 testing technologies to inform the development of early warning systems for future disease outbreak prevention and control. For further detail about the project and to register, go to www.unicov.org. As well as NUI Galway being the lead site for the project, it is also running in Trinity College, UCD and UCC. More than 2,100 tests have been completed so far at NUI Galway, with the project coordinators targeting a significant rise in testing the coming weeks. More than 400 employees and students have volunteered at NUI Galway alone, with the target of 2,000 participants at each of the four sites. NUI Galway Professor Breda Smyth, UniCoV’s national coordinator, said: “UniCoV together with vaccination, face masks, social distancing and hand washing, is an additional layer to protect the community and to help prevent any asymptomatic spread of SARS-CoV-2.” “Rapid tests have the potential to enhance and complement the existing public health strategy for monitoring of the virus. UniCoV needs people from across the entire university community - students and staff - to get involved, volunteer and take part.” Ends

Friday, 24 September 2021

Ciste Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge méadaithe 10%   Suas le 2,000 mac léinn ag freastal ar chúrsaí sna hionaid Ghaeltachta   Fostófar duine le PhD sa Luathoideachas nó réimse gaolmhar le ceardlanna a reáchtáil sna hionaid Ghaeltachta agus modúil a fhorbairt don BA sa Luathoideachas   Beart ar leith le cuidiú le cur i bhfeidhm fhorálacha Bhille na dTeangacha Oifigiúla (Leasú) 2021   D’fhógair Catherine Martin, T.D. an tAire Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán agus Jack Chambers T.D., Príomh-Aoire an Rialtais agus an tAire Gaeltachta agus Spóirt, inniu (24 Meán Fómhair) go bhfuil ciste trí bliana ar fiú €3m é ceadaithe ag an Roinn don Údarás um Ard-Oideachas le leithdháileadh ar Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge chun cur ar a gcumas leanúint le raon cúrsaí trí mheán na Gaeilge a chur ar fáil sna trí ionad Gaeltachta atá acu - i nGaoth Dobhair, i gCarna agus ar an gCeathrú Rua. Is ionann an t-allúntas seo agus €1m in aghaidh na bliana acadúla don tréimhse 2021/22, 2022/23 agus 2023/24 - €300,000 sa bhreis ar an gclár maoinithe trí bliana a chuaigh roimhe. Mar chuid den chlár oibre atá comhaontaithe leis an Acadamh, tá beartaithe duine le PhD sa Luathoideachas nó réimse ghaolmhar a fhostú chun: • ceardlanna a reáchtáil sna hIonaid Ghaeltachta; • modúil a fhorbairt don BA sa Luathoideachas don réimse luathoideachais a mbeidh mar chuspóir aige tacú leis an oiliúint chuí a chur ar fáil trí Ghaeilge do chleachtóirí luathoideachais atá ag obair i naíonraí sa Ghaeltacht agus taobh amuigh di, Faoin gcur chuige atá aontaithe leis an Acadamh, cuirfear gearrchúrsaí i sealbhú agus saibhriú teanga, mar a bhaineann sé leis an réimse luathoideachais ar fáil sna hionaid Ghaeltachta de chuid an Acadaimh atá lonnaithe i nGaoth Dobhair, ar an gCeathrú Rua agus i gCarna. Dúirt an tAire Martin: “Is ábhar dóchais domsa an líon mac léinn ón nGaeltacht a théann ar aghaidh go dtí an ollscoil agus iad in ann sin a dhéanamh ina dteanga dúchais in ionaid atá lonnaithe sa Ghaeltacht. Nuair a chuirtear san áireamh go mbaineann breis agus dhá mhíle mac léinn tairbhe bhliantúil as an raon cúrsaí a bhíonn á riar ag an Acadamh sna trí ionad Gaeltachta de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh - a chuireann fostaíocht ar fáil do bhreis agus 60 duine faoi scáth an Acadaimh - is léir go bhfuil leas á bhaint as infheistíocht na Roinne, atá ar leas na Gaeilge agus na Gaeltachta. Cabhróidh an maoiniú breise atá á fhógairt inniu ar bhealach praiticiúil leis an mbonneagar Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht a neartú tuilleadh ar leas fhorfheidhmiú na Straitéise 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge agus an Phlean Gníomhaíochta 2018-2022 don Ghaeilge atá mar thaca aige” Dúirt an tAire Stáit Chambers: “Le ceadú an allúntais trí bliana seo - a thagann ar sála an chláir mhaoinithe trí bliana a tháinig chun deiridh le gairid, tá mo Roinn ag déanamh beart de réir briathair mar a bhaineann sé cur i bhfeidhm an Phlean Gníomhaíochta 2018-2022 don Ghaeilge. Is údar sásaimh faoi leith dom an beart faoi leith atá luaite sa chlár mar a bhaineann sé le gnóthaí luathbhlianta. De thoradh an bhirt seo glacfar le céim bhreise a bheidh ar leas an chóraisluathbhlianta sa Ghaeltacht agus ar leas an pholasaí don oideachas Gaeltachta agus an phróisis pleanála teanga dá réir. Cuirfidh feidhmiú córasach an chláir oibre atá mar ábhar an mhaoinithe seo leis an gcomhpháirtíocht atá bunaithe le fada leis an Acadamh, ar mhaithe le deiseanna oideachais tríú leibhéal a chur ar fáil trí Ghaeilge in ionaid Ghaeltachta na hollscoile. "Tá áthas ar leith orm go bhfuil an tAcadamh ag díriú isteach ar chúrsaí oiliúna a chur ar fáil don earnáil luathoideachais sa Ghaeltacht. Luíonn sé seo isteach le feidhmiú rathúil an phróisis pleanála teanga agus an pholasaí don oideachas Gaeltachta araon.” Dúirt An tOllamh Breandán Mac Suibhne, Stiúrthóir Léinn an Acadaimh: “Tá tábhacht ar leith ag baint leis an luath-oideachas i bpleanáil teanga. Leis an mhaoiniú breise seo, beidh Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh ábalta tacaíocht níos fearr a thabhairt do dhaoine atá ag obair i naíonraí cheana féin. Agus beidh sí ábalta córas oiliúna a chur ar fáil le cuidiú le daoine atá ag gabháil isteach san earnáil luath-oideachais dúshláin teangeolaíochta a aithint agus a shárú. Tá muid iontach buíoch don Aire agus don Aire Stáit agus d’fhoireann uilig na Roinne as deis a thabhairt dúinn ról nós lárnaí a bheith againn i bhforbairt na h-earnála tábhachtaí seo. "Lena chois sin, tá an Roinn ag cuidiú leis an Ollscoil réimse níos leithne léachtaí agus ceardlanna a chur ar siúl sna hionaid Ghaeltachta—i gCarna, ar an Cheathrú Rua, agus i nGaoth Dobhair; rachaidh na h-imeachtaí seo chun tairbhe don phobal agus do mhic léinn a bhfuil trémhse á caitheamh acu sa Ghaeltacht mar chuid dá gclár léinn.” I gcomhréir lena bhfuil luaite i mbeart 2.19 den Phlean Gníomhaíochta - go ndíreofar ar fhorbairt a dhéanamh ar oiriúnú a dhéanamh ar na cláir éagsúla chun tacú tuilleadh le cur chun cinn an phróisis pleanála teanga - tá aontaithe ag an Roinn leis an Acadamh go gcuirfear raon cúrsaí ar fáil ar mhaithe le tacú tuilleadh le cur i bhfeidhm an phróisis pleanála teanga mar a bhaineann sé leis na ceantair Ghaeltachta, na Bailte Seirbhíse agus na Líonraí Gaeilge. Tá tuilleadh eolais ar fáil faoin bPlean Gníomhaíochta 2018-2022 ar fáil ANSEO. Foilseofar an dara tuairisc bhliantúil maidir le cur i bhfeidhm an phlean ina chumhdófar an tréimhse ó mhí Iúil 2019 go Nollaig 2020 go luath. -Críoch-

Friday, 24 September 2021

NUI Galway has been awarded a special €1million fund to drive the University’s strategy and improvements in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.  Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. announced the Performance Funding as part of dedicated investment by Government for higher education institutions in recognition of innovative programmes to help create a better society. NUI Galway is one of only five institutions to be awarded funding. The fund was secured following the submission of a case study detailing recent actions to advance gender equality within the University. It will support the expansion of work in the area of gender equality and the wider Equality, Diversity and Inclusion agenda. President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “The award of €1million Government funding, a very significant portion of the funding available, to help progress the equality agenda is testament to the impactful work and dedication of our NUI Galway community in recent years. “It is also a clear appreciation of NUI Galway’s commitment to advancing equality for all our staff and students consistent with our values of openness and respect. Diversity welcomes all the talents and, by doing so, makes for a better, stronger university. This work continues and is the responsibility of us all to support its progression in line with our focus on excellent work for the public good.” Aoife Cooke, Head of Equal Opportunities at NUI Galway, said: “All of the people involved in progressing equality at our University are delighted with the award from Government and it is a huge boost to everyone as we embed equality, diversity, and inclusion in our culture and address equality challenges.” With the establishment of a Gender Equality Task Force at NUI Galway, opportunities for women to progress in the University have greatly improved over the past four years. As highlighted by the recent Bronze Athena SWAN Award for the University, a range of initiatives have been taken in relation to equality at the University since 2016/17, including improvement in the representation of women in senior academic roles. The proportion of female staff holding the role of senior lecturer at NUI Galway increased from 33% in 2016/17 to 47% in 2020/21. The proportion of female staff holding the role of personal professor in the University increased from 16% to 28% over the same period. Ends

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Walk-in vaccination centre opening on campus next week New map linked to NUI Galway app for step-by-step campus navigation NUI Galway has launched a special orientation programme to welcome a record intake of first year students to the University for the second year running. Around 3,500 new students will be taking up offers of places on programmes at NUI Galway this year, with in-person lectures available for all students from next Monday 27 September 2021. Ahead of next week, the University has confirmed a walk-in vaccination centre is to operate on campus. The service will open next Tuesday (September 28th), offering vaccination to students from 9am-5pm, three days a week (Tuesdays-Thursdays). A new campus map has also been created and linked to the NUI Galway app to help students, staff and visitors to find their way around the University grounds. More than 127,000sq metres of indoor space has been mapped, allowing step-by-step navigation to any room or location in the most popular buildings on campus. President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, extended a warm welcome to all those coming to the University campus for the first time, and to those returning to continue their studies. “I want to say congratulations and extend a warm, safe welcome to the class of 2021. All of the students coming to campus this year have demonstrated remarkable resilience amid the significant challenges presented by Covid-19,” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said. “Our education and our lives have been disrupted by the pandemic and it is our aim to provide the best experience for students, safely and sustainably, on campus, for the academic year ahead. “Táimid buíoch do phobal na Gaillimhe agus an cheantar máguaird don tacaíocht fial dár micléinn, go bhfuil gá leis i mbliana níos mó ná ariamh. We are conscious of our impact on Galway and the health, wellbeing and safety of our staff, students and the wider Galway community is our top priority. We are working hard to make this academic year a success, ensuring NUI Galway operates within public health guidelines. “As part of that we are asking everyone in our university community to recognise the importance that we place on our values of respect, openness, excellence and sustainability and to maintain our commitment to personal and collective responsibility for the public good. "We thank all our students who have already taken up an offer of a vaccine. A walk-in centre is opening and we urge all those who are eligible for a vaccine, and haven’t yet taken up the offer, to do so now." Róisín Nic Lochlainn, NUI Galway Students’ Union President, said: "NUI Galway Students’ Union is here to represent all NUI Galway students and defend their rights. We are welcoming our students to campus with a mix of online and in person events to help them make friends, save money and become a part of the University community. This includes our huge Rudaí Álainn bag giveaway, free SU Card credit, our Walk & Talks, the Hump Day Hoolie, outdoor cinema, a Beach Clean Up, a swop shop, our Life Skills Courses, Walktober and the launch of our Hygiene Bank initiative. “We have worked with the University to make sure every measure has been taken to ensure that your safety is our priority while also looking forward to an enjoyable year on campus." NUI Galway Student Services, University management, the four Colleges and the Students’ Union have worked in partnership to plan a series of online and on-campus orientation events. They run from today Wednesday 22 September 2021, through to Sunday 26 September 2021. Dedicated online sessions and workshops are being held as part of efforts to help students settle in and transition to higher education, to learn about how their programme will be delivered and to help them to engage with staff and fellow students. Over the weekend, on-campus orientation takes place in line with public health advice. Senior University academics and management will personally deliver welcome messages to students, while NUI Galway Student Services is hosting information sessions, including advice to try and stay safe and well. Students are being encouraged to explore the campus on foot and by bus, to familiarise themselves with resources and facilities. Special zones are being set up for live music, health and wellbeing, mindfulness workshops, societies events, sports pop ups and a walking theatre. Dean of Students Professor Michelle Millar said: “A huge effort has gone into the welcome programme for our new students. It is hugely important that we do our best to connect with our new students and help them connect with one another after all they have endured over the last 18 months or so. “The 2021 orientation is partly a welcome, it’s partly congratulations for getting to NUI Galway and looking at what the whole student experience means. It is also important for all of our students to feel part of a wider community and to recognise they have a role to play in that community and a responsibility to make the best of their time and their place here in Galway.” Further information on the orientation programme is available at https://www.nuigalway.ie/startinguniversity/newstudents/newundergraduate/ Ends

Monday, 20 September 2021

NUI Galway has announced the appointment of the University’s new Head of the School of Law - Professor Martin Hogg. Professor Hogg will take up the new role in November, having joined from the University of Edinburgh, where he served as Head of School and Dean of Law. Professor Geraint Howells, Executive Dean for the College of Business, Public Policy and Law at NUI Galway, said: "We are delighted to have Martin joining us. He is a leading contract law scholar and an experienced leader. “Our Law School has an outstanding reputation for its teaching and scholarship. Martin is an ideal person to help us build on our strengths and develop new initiatives to meet the needs of our community." Professor Hogg said: “I’m honoured and very happy to be joining NUI Galway’s Law School as Head of School and Established Professor in November. “The Law School is an inspiring centre of learning and research, whose students and staff are widely known for their commitment to justice and the rule of law. I’m looking forward to meeting as many of them as I can in the coming months, as well as alumni and practitioner communities. “The whole NUI Galway community has already extended to me the warmest of Galway welcomes, for which I am very grateful.” Professor Hogg’s research interests lie in all aspects of the law of obligations, including comparative obligations theory, contract and promise, and fundamental structural language in the law of obligations. He has published widely in this field, including Promises and Contract Law and Obligations: Law and Language with Cambridge University Press. He is the Scottish Reporter for the European Tort Law Yearbook. Professor Hogg spent two years qualifying as a Solicitor with Dundas & Wilson CS in Edinburgh, before being appointed Lecturer at the Faculty of Law at Edinburgh in 1995. He was appointed Senior Lecturer in 2004 and in 2013 he was appointed to a Chair in the Law of Obligations. Professor Hogg is a (non-practising) member of the Faculty of Advocates (the Scottish Bar). Professor Hogg brings with him a wealth of experience, having previously held office as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Law, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Teaching, Deputy Director of Research, and Convener of the Board of Studies. He took office as Deputy Head of the Law School in Edinburgh in 2014, and became Head of School and Dean of Law in 2017. Professor Shane Darcy, Interim Head of the School of Law, said: “On behalf of my colleagues at the School of Law, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Professor Hogg. We are very excited to have him join us as Head of the School of Law and very much look forward to working with him in this role at NUI Galway.” NUI Galway’s School of Law delivers innovative legal education in a dynamic school dedicated to impactful, high quality legal research. It hosts the internationally renowned Irish Centre for Human Rights and the Centre for Disability Law & Policy. The School has introduced several new programmes in recent years, including the undergraduate degrees Law (BCL), Criminology and Criminal Justice and Law (BCL) and Human Rights. It also offers a suite of postgraduate LLM programmes and is home to a vibrant doctoral community. Further information www.nuigalway.ie/law Ends

Friday, 17 September 2021

Art exhibition and special concert from Galway Music Residency kick-off Culture Night and the beginning of culture, learning and research link Twenty-one uniquely decorated currachs have journeyed from Inis Oírr to the NUI Galway campus to officially launch a new partnership between Áras Éanna arts centre and the University. The special exhibition - showcasing unique works by John Behan, Jennifer Cunningham, Ger Sweeney and Áine Phillips, among others - is opening as part of Culture Night. The currachs will remain on display in the Quadrangle at NUI Galway for one month, with the public invited to visit free of charge and without prior booking. The new partnership between NUI Galway and Áras Éanna will see the University and the arts centre on Inis Oírr work together to promote the islands and the West more generally as places of culture, learning and research. A new fund has been established by the University to support staff and students who wish to travel to the island and use the facilities at Áras Éanna as part of their studies. NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I often use the metaphor of the ‘currach full of fish coming in to shore’ from Máirtín Ó Direáin’s poem ‘An tEarrach Thiar’ to describe the resourcefulness and potential of our university community and our region. “I am delighted that 21 currachs have come to campus to launch the new partnership between the University and Áras Éanna. We respect the unique language, culture and environment that we share in the West of Ireland and we are open to collaborating with Áras Éanna and the Inis Oírr community to promote that distinctiveness as part of the life of our university.” Áras Éanna Artistic Director, Dara Mac Aoidh, said: “After a very successful summer exhibition across Inis Oírr, we are delighted to bring the ‘Curacha’ exhibition to NUI Galway where the University community and the wider Galway community will get to see this wonderful exhibition. “We welcome this new partnership between the University and Áras Éanna, and look forward to working on many collaborations and projects in the future that will benefit both the University and the island of Inis Oírr.” NUI Galway and Áras Éanna formally launched the exhibition, coinciding with nationwide Culture Night celebrations, in partnership with Galway Music Residency. As part of the launch, ConTempo Quartet performed a specially selected suite of classical and contemporary music connected to the ocean, composed by Alec Roth, Claude Debussy and Katharina Baker. NUI Galway Drama students were also on hand to recite a selection of poetry by Máirtín Ó Direáin. The exhibition of 21 currachs will run until 10 October 2021. Ends

Thursday, 16 September 2021

SFI CÚRAM backed piimpact.com to help academics focus on impact and public good CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at NUI Galway has launched a new website and online toolkit to support researchers in developing a more holistic view of the impact of their work. piimpact.com has been designed to help both experienced and early-career academics gain a better awareness of how the work will benefit the public and what difference it has the potential to make.  Dr Brendan Dolan, lead postdoctoral researcher on the Principal Investigator Impact project, said: “We wanted to identify the strategies and approaches of our individual scientists, and PIs in particular, to enhance the impact potential of their work, including how they engage and collaborate with various stakeholders who could benefit from the research undertaken. “Our aim is to use these findings to inform and assist new principal investigators taking on this role by providing practical learning tools and resources for learning and professional development training.” One of the research themes within CÚRAM since 2015 has focused on translation and impact of research in medical devices. Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said: “At CÚRAM, we are focused on designing the next generation of ‘smart’ medical devices. We want to provide our researchers with extensive pathways or routes to impact, through the productive and focused industry, clinician and public engagement and collaboration. “This website and toolkit offer a fantastic opportunity to begin to prepare for and plan one’s journey as a successful Personal Investigator and plan for impact. Moreover, the toolkit offers a novel approach to planning for impact, wherein one can plan one’s collaborations to maximise impact.” The piimpact.com online resource and toolkit was developed on the back of the Principal Investigator Impact project and feedback from almost 600 principal investigators across Ireland. It highlighted the need for increased support structures to enable researchers to work more effectively and efficiently towards impact, while taking on the ever increasing responsibilities. The project aims to support research relating to the development of medical devices, and in academia in general. It will allow researchers to more effectively plan for, monitor and evaluate the broader, non-academic impact – the benefits to society beyond traditional metrics such as journal publications and citations. A white paper on preparing medical device scientists for the PI role and impact, developed by the Principal Investigator Impact project is available here: http://www.piimpact.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/curam_whitepaper_spreads.pdf. -Ends-

Thursday, 16 September 2021

More than half of productions at the 2021 GIAF feature former students of the University NUI Galway and Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF) have joined forces to herald the role of the University’s graduates in this year’s theatre productions. More than half the shows at the 2021 GIAF feature former students working behind the scenes and on stage to bring a wealth of drama, arts and culture to audiences as they flocked back to live, in-person events. Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, said: “We began partnering with Galway International Arts Festival from our shared desire to ensure that the next generation of theatre-makers and artists would have the skills and experiences needed to build sustainable careers, both here in the west of Ireland and in other national and international contexts. “Through programmes like the SELECTED internship scheme, our students have gone behind the scenes to meet artists, producers, and other professional experts on GIAF shows. We're seeing the fruits of that approach now, with more than half of this year's theatre productions featuring recent NUI Galway graduates.” Among the alumni are recent graduates from the BA in Drama who took part in the SELECTED programme this summer and went on to work as stage manager, assistant stage manager and props person on Cogadh Na Saoirse. Others are playing key roles in the performances on stage, with actor Catherine Denning, a BA and MA graduate, featuring in Branar's Sruth na Teanga, while Cogadh na Soairse was written by MA graduate Philip Doherty and After Love was written by BA graduate Dani Gill. NUI Galway graduates are also working on the Abbey Theatre's Happy Days on Inis Oírr and Druid Theatre's The Seagull. Professor Lonergan highlighted that NUI Galway is also proud to support the Irish premiere of Enda Walsh's Medicine, starring Domhnall Gleeson, and that another production, Ar Ais Arís, emerged from the University’s Aistriú project. John Crumlish, chief executive of the Galway International Arts Festival, said: “Galway International Arts Festival's partnership with NUI Galway on SELECTED has been very rewarding. We always envisaged the programme being a support for young people who wanted careers in culture, so we are delighted to see alumni working for arts organisations that are part of the festival programme itself. We hope to work with NUI Galway to further develop the programme over the coming years and play our part in developing the careers of the next generation of arts professionals." Professor Lonergan added: “The development of this SELECTED programme as a conduit from the University to the Galway International Arts Festival is an important part of our contribution to Irish culture and Irish life. “Our University believes in engagement, both as an important part of our teaching and as a societal good - and our partnerships with the Galway International Arts Festival is an important manifestation of those values.” The two week SELECTED programme offers an opportunity for a number of NUI Galway students to experience a unique academy initiative which gives them full access to many aspects of the Galway International Arts Festival and a behind-the-scenes insight into how the programme is put together. Ends

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

NUI Galway hosts cross border competition for young people to make science short video and win €1,000 for their school or youth organisation A NASA astronaut is calling on budding scientists to produce fun, short science videos for the innovative ReelLIFE SCIENCE cross border competition. The best films from young people in primary and post-primary schools and youth groups and organisations across the island of Ireland will each win €1,000. The videos can be up to 3 minutes long and can communicate any aspect of the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. ReelLIFE SCIENCE is asking for entries on one of eight topics - Climate Action, How Things Work, Myths Busted!, Science and Me, Science Heroes, Science in Space, Science on the Farm and Healing the Body. NASA astronaut Colonel Greg “Box” Johnson is taking time out of his work at the US space agency to join the judging panel for ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2021. "I'm honoured to join the judging team for this year's ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2021 video competition. What a fun way to get young people excited about the science that is happening around us in our daily lives,” Colonel Johnson said. “Last year's winners were very interesting and enjoyable. I'm looking forward to this year's batch of science video creativity. Good luck scientists!" Video entries can be in Irish or English. Students can create them on smartphones, tablets or cameras and the best productions will be shown at a public screening at the Galway Science and Technology Festival on 21st November 2021. The closing date for entries is Friday, 15 October 2021. Dr Ruth Freeman, Science Foundation Ireland’s Director of Science for Society, said: “Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to support this initiative. The ReelLIFE Science competition helps to nurture young people’s ability to develop their critical thinking and communications skills. It also gives them the opportunity to explore the world of STEM by tapping into their creative side. I am really looking forward to seeing what the entrants come up with and wish all involved the best of luck.” The ReelLIFE SCIENCE programme is organised by Dr Enda O’Connell and a team of scientists from NUI Galway. Since launching in 2013, more than 16,000 young people in 500 schools and youth organisations across Ireland have taken part.   ReelLIFE SCIENCE is supported by Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme, the Community Knowledge Initiative, the CÚRAM SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices and the Cell EXPLORERS science outreach programme. More information about taking part can be found at www.reellifescience.com. Ends