University of Galway celebrates Fulbright awardees

The 2023-24 Fulbright Irish Awardees at the US Ambassador's Residence in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.
Jun 09 2023 Posted: 12:48 IST

University of Galway has welcomed the announcement that two academics, a student and a member of the alumni are Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2023-24.

They were presented with awards by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, and US Chargé d'Affaires to Ireland Mike Clausen at a ceremony in the US Ambassador’s Residence. 

Professor Becky Whay, Vice-President International at University of Galway, said: “The tradition of Fulbright is one which builds on the unique and deep bonds between Ireland and the US, as well as affording some of our keenest and brightest researchers an opportunity to further their academic excellence and cultural collaboration. University of Galway is delighted to see our academics, student and alumnus feature in the programme and we look forward to their return, as they add to transatlantic academic and cultural links.”


University of Galway awardees are:


Fulbright Irish Scholar

Dr James Britton is an Irish Research Council Enterprise Partnership Scheme Postdoctoral Fellow in Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Galway. This project is co-supported by Epilepsy Ireland. As a Fulbright-NUI Scholar at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, California, James will investigate the use of Sonogenetics, to modulate the electrical firing of neurons and how this technique can be used to treat neurological conditions.

Fulbright Irish Scholar in Residence 

Tom Felle, Associate Professor of Journalism at University of Galway. His research interests encompass digital news, verification, data-driven journalism, fake news and disinformation, and democracy-related topics such as trust, transparency, and accountability. He has provided advice and testimony to national governments and the EU, and collaborated with the United Nations migration agency, IOM, as the lead academic partner for the Global Migration Media Academy from 2020-2022. His Fulbright award will see him work on creative writing, journalism and internationalisation projects with East Los Angeles College, California.

Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants 

Shauna Ní Dhochartaigh is a BA in Gaeilge and History student and native of Rann na Feirste, in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht. She was the 2022 Gaeltacht Mary in the Mary from Dungloe International Arts Festival. Shauna was Debating Officer of the Cumann Gaelach in the University and guided the society’s debating team to victory in Gael Linn’s Debating Competition at Oireachtas na Samhna 2022. She will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

Seán Ó Coistealbha is a native of An Spideal, Connemara. He is a graduate of Irish and history from the University. He taught in Dublin from 1979-80; worked as a language and cultural officer at Údarás na Gaeltachta from 1980-81; and was Youth Manager at Muintearas Teo and subsequently chief executive until January 2023. He is a published poet and has had numerous stage and film appearances as an actor. He is passionate about the Irish language, archaeology, heritage, culture and the Irish diaspora. Sean will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

The Fulbright bilateral exchange program is known for selecting outstanding candidates from across the island of Ireland to study and work with US institutions across all disciplines ranging from health, science, technology and business to the arts and culture. As the Fulbright Awardees forge ahead on these exciting opportunities, the breadth of their US engagement is diverse and impressive.

Fulbright Irish Scholars, Students, and Foreign Language Teaching Assistants will also engage with US society and share their knowledge and expertise when they return home.

U.S. Chargé d'Affaires to Ireland, Mike Clausen said: “The Fulbright Program represents the US government’s preeminent international educational and cultural exchange initiative. It plays a crucial role in sustaining and advancing the unique and close relationship between the United States and Ireland. Fulbright awardees exchange research, knowledge, ideas, and culture and contribute to solving important global problems. I congratulate this year’s awardees and wish them success in the United States and beyond.”

The next round of applications for Fulbright Irish Awards will open on 28th August 2023. Interested candidates should visit for more information.


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