All 2007

Minister to launch new research staff association at NUI Galway

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Pictured at the launch of the NUI Galway Research Staff Association (GRSA) are from left: Dr. Barry Glynn, Chairman, GRSA; Mr Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and Professor Tim O Brien, Director of Regenerative Medical Institute, NUI Galway The newly formed Galway Research Staff Association (GRSA) at NUI Galway has been officially launched by Eamon Ó Cuív T.D., Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs at a ceremony on Thursday, 19 April 2007. With over 250 contract researchers currently working in the National University of Ireland Galway, the primary function of the GRSA is to promote the interests of contract research staff within the University and in so doing to create a working environment which encourages excellence in research and serves to attract and retain high quality researchers. Speaking at the launch, Professor Tim O'Brien, Director of the Regenerative Medical Institute (REMEDI) at the University said: "Structured research careers for PhD graduates will be crucial to the future economic success of the country. This has been recognised by the Advisory Council for Science Technology and Innovation who are currently drafting a report for Government on this issue. Successful implementation of a plan to address this issue will be necessary if we are to continue to attract the brightest and the best students to a career in research". GRSA chairman, Dr Barry Glynn, who is based at the National Diagnostics Centre, NUI Galway said: "The Association welcomes the increased investment in science required for building Ireland's knowledge economy. However recognition of the contribution made by the existing researcher base is lacking and the means to integrate them into the proposed structure remains unclear. "Contract researchers at NUI Galway contribute to the economic as well as educational success of the University. Despite their evident importance to the university problems facing researchers have not been properly addressed including: job security, career structure, pensions, and salary levels relative to qualifications." The specific aims of the GRSA are: To provide a collective voice for researchers within the University to articulate and promote their views and to liaise with University authorities. To improve the status of researchers on fixed contracts within the University, commensurate with their contribution, experience and responsibilities. To encourage greater recognition of the contribution of researchers through parity of esteem and reward. To provide a forum for research staff to meet, network and discuss issues of mutual concern and in so doing to build a cross-disciplinary University research community. According to the Association, state funding of research centres will fail to deliver results unless experienced research staff is in place, while training of the next generation of PhD students, essential for the Government's strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation, depends upon the direct involvement of these researchers. Further information is available at or by emailing ENDS

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NUI Galway offers new Degree in Project & Construction Management

Monday, 16 April 2007

The Faculty of Engineering at NUI Galway is to offer a new full-time, four-year degree programme in Project and Construction Management starting in September 2007. The honours BSc degree is being offered in response to the shortage of suitably qualified professionals across all sectors of the built environment following the enormous investment in physical infrastructure in recent years. The degree programme is listed on the CAO website as GY410 and an additional notice will shortly be sent by the CAO to all students who have applied through the CAO process. Potential applicants can then include the programme through the Change of Mind process until July 1 2007. Professor Padraic O'Donoghue, Dean of Engineering at NUI Galway said: "This programme represents an exciting new offering in the area of construction/project management. The programme represents a further expansion of NUI Galway's degree options in the area of the built environment which also include degrees in Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Health and Safety and an MA in Planning. The new degree will equip students with a knowledge and understanding of project management, particularly in the construction sector, and enable them to embrace the challenges of modernisation, innovation and change in tomorrow's knowledge based economy." A key aspect of the programme is the broad-based multidisciplinary approach involving several faculties. In addition to the strong input from Civil and Industrial Engineering, there is also a significant input from the Faculty of Commerce along with Science and Law. This broad-based training will provide graduates with a unique set of marketable skills that will allow them to meet the challenges that they will face in an ever competitive industry. Prof. O'Donoghue added: "Deficiencies in the supply of graduates in the areas of project and construction management have been identified and the new programme will meet these demands. Thus, the course aims to prepare graduates to be capable of assuming technical, management, academic and research/development level positions in the construction industry." Further details and information can be sought from Prof. Padraic O'Donoghue or Dr. Kevin McNamara, Department of Engineering, NUI Galway at 091 492170/492291 or e-mail ENDS

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NUI Galway Human Rights Expert Awarded International Law Accolade

Monday, 16 April 2007

The Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, Professor William Schabas has been awarded the Certificate of Merit by the American Society of International Law. Prof Schabas was honoured for his book, 'The UN International Criminal Tribunals: the Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone' (Cambridge University Press, 2006), which was chosen from a list of 60 publications worldwide. The Society awards three certificates every year for what it judges to be the best books in the field of international law. The American Society of International Law is one of the leading learned societies in the field of international law. Prof. Schabas received the accolade at the Annual Meeting of the Society in Washington, D.C. from Society President, Professor José Alvarez. Certificate of Merit Awards were also presented to Professor James Hathaway, of the University of Michigan, and Professors Fionualla Ni Aoilain and Oren Gross, of the Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster. Meanwhile, Prof Schabas has addressed the Baker Peace Conference in Ohio, where he delivered a keynote speech on international criminal justice. The theme of this year's annual conference, organised by the Centre for Contemporary History, Ohio University, was the transatlantic relationship and issues facing the Atlantic Alliance, including the use of force, the role of international institutions, U.S.-British relations, war crimes and the international criminal court. "The paradox of the United States position is that it has always been at the top of the list of countries enthusiastic about international criminal justice, and this goes right back to Nuremberg in 1945," said Prof Schabas. "But of course in recent years, the United States has become rather hostile to the most important new initiative in this area, the International Criminal Court. Basically, the United States resents the fact that the Court is independent of the Security Council. This has been welcomed by most other countries, who see this as important to the Court s impartiality and integrity. But for the United States, it means it cannot control the Court, explained Professor Schabas. "United States opposition to the International Criminal Court is part of the larger phenomenon of a growing rift between the United States and Europe on many issues in the field of human rights. We disagree on so many things, from capital punishment, to basic entitlements to medical care and education, to the International Criminal Court." ENDS

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Nobel Prizewinner gives NUI Galway lecture

Monday, 16 April 2007

Pictured during Dr Prusiner's visit to NUI Galway are from left: Professor Nicholas Canny, Vice President for Research, NUI Galway; Dr Stanley Prusiner and Professor Noel Lowndes, Head of the Department of Biochemistry, NUI Galway. Nobel Prizewinner Dr Stanley Prusiner was a recent guest of the Department of Biochemistry, NUI Galway where he delivered a lecture on 'Prions, Mad Cows and Dementing Diseases'. Dr Prusiner was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his ground breaking discovery of Prion proteins (acronym for proteinaceous infectious particles), and identification of prions as the key agents in dementia-causing neurodegenerative diseases such as Mad Cow disease and Scrapie in animals and the counterpart human diseases Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS). Dr Prusiner's research also demonstrated that these diseases can be passed from one species to another. His findings have also been recognised as having implications in the identification of the cause of other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Prusiner is currently the Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Professor of Neurobiology and Biochemistry at the University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Prusiner was the guest of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society, the latter of which received Science Foundation Ireland funding for the event.

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'Citizenship, Globalisation and the War on Terror' Seminar at NUI Galway

Thursday, 12 April 2007

NUI Galway's Keynote Seminar Series, organised by the Community Knowledge Initiative, (CKI) continues on Thursday, 19 April, 2007, when Dr Maurice Mullard, Reader in Social Policy at Hull University will deliver an address on 'Citizenship, Globalisation and the War on Terror'. Focusing on themes related to civic engagement and active citizenship, the series is being offered as a response to the impact that volunteering has in today's communities. Dr Mullard will argue that citizenship is not a static concept, but reflects changing hopes and aspirations. He believes expectations of citizenship are at present being shaped and defined by the dual processes of Globalisation and the War on Terror. During the seminar Dr Mullard will investigate two possible models of citizenship; the consumer citizen and the cosmopolitan citizen. The former lives in a world where consumption confirms identity and membership of community while the latter seeks to make real the nature of greater human connections in a globalised world. Dr Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director of the Centre for Learning and Excellence (CELT) at NUI Galway and head of CKI says; "The theme of citizenship is topical just now with the Taoiseach recently launching the Taskforce on Active Citizenship report. This seminar will allow us to take a step back and look at the formation of notions of citizenship and the influence played by world events". Tickets for the free event, which is hosted in partnership with the Department of Political Science & Sociology, are available from Mary Bernard at the Community Knowledge Initiative at or on 091 493823. The seminar will be held in the Charles McMunn Theatre, Arts/Science Building from 1.00 to 2.00pm. Further information on the CKI Keynote Seminar Series is available at the CKI website at ENDS

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