Friday, 20 May 2022

Top three schools named in national science competition for randomised trials

Three primary schools have been named top of the class in a national competition showcasing randomised trials. The Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials (START) is held every year, with this year’s best randomised trials awarded the START Trophy 2022. This year, the top three are all from Galway, with their success and their trial questions celebrated at a special event at NUI Galway, as part of the Health Research Board-Trials Methodology Research Network. The primary schools are:  Scoil Bhríge agus Bhreandáin Naofa, Corrandulla, Galway Do 5-minute movement breaks between subjects help improve concentration? Gaelscoil Dara, Renmore, Co. Galway:  An bhfoghlaimíonn páistí níos fearr ó mhúinteoir ná ó chéile? Do children learn better from a teacher or from each other? Claregalway Educate Together, Claregalway, Co. Galway Does 5 minutes of exercise help children focus for a test compared to children who do not exercise As part of the START competition, primary schools were invited to create their very own fun randomised trial, with the top three brought on campus to celebrate their achievements and explain some of their work. It is a fun, project-based approach to learning about randomised trials. It also helps meet key aspects of the current school curriculum in several subjects including maths, science, SPHE and ICT. Commenting on the START competition, Professor Declan Devane, Scientific Director of the HRB-TMRN at NUI Galway, said: “We started this competition for two reasons. Firstly, we wanted to raise awareness of the importance of randomised trials with children. Secondly, we wanted to harness the creativity and imagination of children in the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of trials. The high standard and variety of applications we receive each year demonstrates that the START competition has indeed raised the awareness of randomised trials and capitalised on children’s innate ability to explain difficult concepts clearly and in a fun way. We are very proud of all our applications.” Dr Mairead O’Driscoll, Chief Executive at the Health Research Board, said: “The questions devised by each of these finalists are fascinating. The curiosity and creativity of their bright young minds perfectly captures the essence of the START competition. I really look forward to seeing the answers their randomised trials deliver. However, I do not envy the judging panel as it will be extremely difficult choosing a winner! The best of luck to all finalists from everyone at the HRB.” START encourages children to learn more about healthcare decisions and how we can improve health and wellbeing by learning about randomised trials.  Sometimes called clinical trials, randomised trials are a type of research study often used to find out if a new medicine or treatment works. The decision about which treatment a person gets is decided at random (often by a computer) rather than being decided by the doctor or research participant. This means that we can be more certain that any differences in the results between the groups are caused by the treatment, and not by differences in the characteristics of the people who take part in the trials.  The competition is run by the Health Research Board-Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TRMN), which is a collaborative Network across five University partners - NUI Galway, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and the University of Limerick. It is held to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day and the anniversary of the first clinical trial carried out in 1747 in the British Navy. Three judges selected the three shortlisted schools : Iseult Mangan, Former Primary School Principal Cloghans Hill NS (2017 START winner) and Teen Turn Mentor  Professor Shaun Treweek, Professor of Health Services Research, University of Aberdeen, UK Sarah Chapman, Knowledge Broker at Cochrane UK. To learn more about START visit: Follow on social @STARTSchools or Ends

News Archive

Monday, 16 May 2022

NUI Galway is now accepting applications for its Taught Masters Scholarship Scheme. The merit-based scheme are valued at €1,500 per student and is open to all EU students undertaking a full-time Taught Masters Programme who have a first-class honours (or equivalent) in a Level 8 primary degree. NUI Galway offer 200 taught postgraduate programmes across all disciplines. Over 50 of the postgraduate courses are delivered fully online or via blended learning, so especially suit those who are working full or part-time, want to upskill, and enhance their career prospects. For the 2021–22 academic year, NUI Galway awarded 254 Taught Masters Scholarship towards student’s postgraduate studies. NUI Galway Masters student Emily Atkinson said: “The postgraduate scholarship is a fantastic opportunity that rewards and incentivises the hard work it takes to achieve first class honours. The scholarship allowed me prioritise finding the right postgraduate course for me, and to focus on my studies during my MSc Consumer Psychology.” Scholarship recipient Christina Gleeson said: “Without the postgraduate scholarship, it would have been more financially challenging to take on a Master’s degree after my undergraduate degree. The scholarship was a driving factor to not only achieve my goals in getting a ​first-class honours undergraduate degree in Psychology, but also it stood to me financially, and in feeling confident in my level of education going into my MSc in Clinical Neuroscience.” Applications are now open those starting graduate studies in September 2022, and the closing date for applications is 31 August 2022.   For more information on the scholarship scheme email or visit Ends

Friday, 13 May 2022

NUI Galway has announced the first student to be awarded the Séamus McDermott Entrepreneurial Scholarship.    Alan Donnelly, a native of Killala, Co Mayo, is a first year BSc Financial Mathematics and Economics student. During his fifth year in Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Crossmolina, Co. Mayo, he developed a suite of Digital Flashcards to help with revision when he was travelling to school on the bus.  The Digital Flashcards become very popular with classmates and teachers, Alan created a charity donation list, and students who donated were sent a copy of the cards. The Séamus McDermott Entrepreneurial Scholarship is funded through the generous philanthropic support of the Liffey Trust. The scholarship will help to support students in the University’s newly launched student innovation and entrepreneurship hub, IdeasLab. It will also help to promote the concepts of job creation, entrepreneurial development and education for life for undergraduate students commencing their studies.  Alan said: “I am incredibly honoured to be the inaugural recipient of the Séamus McDermott Entrepreneurial Scholarship. I was very fortunate to have wonderful teachers in Gornor Abbey who supported my entrepreneurial spirit. Being a student in NUI Galway I can develop these skills further through working with the IdeasLab and the Consultants and Entrepreneurship Society.  “Through the award of the Scholarship, I am also connected with students from across Ireland through The Liffey Trust and I look forward to developing my knowledge and my network through all of these opportunities.” Alongside his studies at NUI Galway, Alan is actively engaged in the student entrepreneurship community working with IdeasLab and the NUI Galway Consultants and Entrepreneurs Society. Chairman of The Liffey Trust, Aidan Corless said: “Alan has what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and we are delighted to sponsor his journey through NUI Galway, who are leading the way in promoting entrepreneurs. Alan joins other Seamus McDermott Entrepreneurial scholars from other institutions and is now connected to our business hub in Dublin.”  The Liffey Trust was established more than 30 years ago and has been supporting entrepreneurs to establish and grow new businesses since then. The NUI Galway scholarship is named in honour of the founder of the Liffey Trust, Galway native Séamus McDermott, in recognition of his contribution to entrepreneurship in Ireland.  First year undergraduate students at NUI Galway can apply for a scholarship valued at up to €9,000 for the duration of their studies at the University. The next call for applicants will commence in October 2022.  For further information on the scholarship contact  Ends

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

NUI Galway co-leads European dialogue highlighting its place as a world top 50 university for sustainable development  The planned regeneration of Nun’s Island in Galway City is to feature at a special event held as part of NUI Galway’s role in the European ENLIGHT University Alliance. The European Dialogue conference is hosted by Uppsala University, Sweden and co-led by NUI Galway and takes place this week, May 11-12, 2022 on the theme of Sustainable Urban Development. The conference will involve representatives from Galway City Council, the Western Development Commission and Galway Chamber as stakeholders in the development of the west of Ireland and Galway region.  This week’s ENLIGHT European Dialogue is an opportunity for the universities and stakeholders from across the nine regions in the partnership to connect, learn and reflect on novel approaches to the pressing challenge of sustainable urban development. Key sustainable urban development projects will be showcased and discussed, including NUI Galway’s partnership with Galway City Council on the regeneration of Nun’s Island to create collaborative cultural spaces. Professor Becky Whay, NUI Galway’s Vice President International, said: “The ENLIGHT alliance exemplifies NUI Galway’s commitment to openness and diversity in our University, creating international opportunities for students and staff, as well as connecting Galway and the wider western region with the ENLIGHT cities and regions. NUI Galway wants to excite our students and staff, attracting world class partners that better enable us to contribute to broader transformations at local, national and global levels and ENLIGHT is a key contributor to this.” NUI Galway is the number one university in Ireland and a world top-50 for sustainable development, according to the Times Higher Education’s Impact Rankings.  Paul Dodd, NUI Galway’s Vice President Engagement, said: “NUI Galway is building on the foundation of strong regional partnerships through ENLIGHT to enable deeper engagement on big challenges facing society.  “ENLIGHT affords us and our stakeholders a great opportunity to create a dialogue on sustainable urban development at a European level and showcase best practice in the university – a world top-50 for sustainable development.  “Our focus is also on learning from challenges being put forward by colleagues across the network and using these to form the basis for challenge-based education projects and research collaborations, and new opportunities for our students and staff.” ENLIGHT is a partnership of nine universities, supported by the Government and the European Commission, to build a platform for the creation a new type of European university campus where students and staff have increased opportunities for international study, training, teaching, research and sharing of services. The ENLIGHT University Alliance includes - NUI Galway; Comenius University, Bratislava (Slovakia); University of Groningen (Netherlands); University of Bordeaux (France); Gent University (Belgium); University of Tartu (Estonia); University of Gottingen (Germany); University of the Basque Country (Spain); Uppsala University (Sweden). ENLIGHT aims to collaboratively transform higher education, addressing societal challenges and promoting equitable quality of life, sustainability and external engagement with the communities of the partner universities. Ends

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