Research Excellence Rewarded at NUI Galway

Pictured at NUI Galway’s annual Research and Innovation Symposium are (Back row) l-r: Dr Derek Morris, Dr Conor O’Byrne, Professor Brian McGuire, Dr Paul Buitelaar, Dr John Cullinan and Professor Kieran Conboy. (Front row) l-r: Dr Lucy Byrnes, Dr Anne O’Connor, Dr Jim Browne, Dr Frances Fahy and Professor Lokesh Joshi. Photo: Aengus McMahon
Sep 06 2017 Posted: 10:21 IST

Research excellence was celebrated at NUI Galway this week with the announcement of a series of high-profile awards at the annual Research and Innovation Symposium. The awards were made to members of the NUI Galway research community by the University’s President.

Accolades included the annual President’s Awards for Research Excellence and the Ryan Innovation Award.

Announcing the awards, which are now in their fourth year, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “These awards are made to members of our research community in recognition of their outstanding and innovative research. Today’s event is an important event in the University’s calendar. It is about recognising and rewarding the very significant research contributions made by our staff and the importance of this in enhancing the reputation of our University internationally. Research affects daily life in many ways and ultimately the goal of most research is to understand and enhance the world around us.”

The 2017 Ryan Award for Innovation went to a team led by Dr Michel Dugon at the School of Natural Sciences, whose lab is exploring the venom of Irish spiders as a potential source of antimicrobial compounds.

Dr Dugon’s team also included NUI Galway’s Dr Ronan Sulpice, Professor Olivier Thomas, Professor Vincent O’Flaherty and Professor Afshin Samali.

The €25,000 Ryan Award for Innovation is aimed at recognising and facilitating the development and translation of innovative ideas in the area of environment, marine and energy, into outputs with societal and economic impact. This initiative has been supported by the Tony Ryan Trust and builds upon past generous support from the Ryan Family.

In addition, the winners of the 2017 President’s Awards for Research Excellence were announced as:

Early Stage Researcher

Dr John Cullinan (School of Business and Economics)
Dr Anne O’Connor (School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures)
Dr Derek Morris (School of Natural Sciences)

Established Researcher

Professor Brian McGuire (School of Psychology)
Dr Frances Fahy (School of Geography and Archaeology)
Dr Paul Buitelaar (School of Engineering and Informatics)

Research Supervisor 

Professor Kieran Conboy (School of Business and Economics)
Dr Conor O’Byrne (School of Natural Sciences)

At the event, Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President of Research at NUI Galway, spoke about the focus of the University’s research: “The purpose of our research is to benefit humanity, society and the economy. In pursuit of this, our talented and ambitious research community collaborate with other universities, companies and non-governmental organisations around the world. This capacity to collaborate means that our research reputation takes us from the west of Ireland, to the heart of Europe and into the top 1% of universities in the world.”

The Research and Innovation Symposium also included an interactive panel session with a focus on early career researchers, as well on talks on Horizon 2020 by Dr Sean McCarthy of Hyperion, and Research Integrity by Dr Maura Hiney of the Health Research Board.


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