Wednesday, 21 April 2021

NUI Galway to host conference for public and patient involvement in research

NUI Galway is extending an invitation to the public, patients, carers, and the wider research community to attend the Sixth National Public and Patient Involvement in Research Conference on Wednesday, 28 April. The Conference will be an online event, running from 10am-1.45pm. Patrick Murphy, Network Manager at the Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland at NUI Galway, and one of the event organisers said: “Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) helps ensure that health and social care research is more relevant to patients and their needs, and that research is focused on what matters most to patients. It can also help ensure that the results of research are shared with the public and with patients in a way that is accessible to everyone.” Martha Killilea, from the PPI Ignite Network at NUI Galway, co-organisers of the conference, added: “Patients, and indeed their carers, are experts in the reality of living with an illness. Researchers bring their own expertise, including in-depth research skills and a knowledge of existing research evidence, but often do not have personal, lived experience of the topic they are researching. Patients and researchers can therefore collaborate together to conduct research that is of high-quality and also focused on patient needs.” The theme for this year’s conference is ‘PPI: Creating the New Normal in Research’ and will celebrate the successful integration of PPI into research in recent years, and will include two keynote presentations from: Embedded Patient Researcher Robert Joyce, who is the first person to be employed in NUI Galway in a PPI role, will speak about bringing his 28 years of lived experience with secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis to a research team. Dr Martin O’Halloran, Techrete Professor of Medical Electronics at NUI Galway, will focus on embedding PPI in medical device development in Ireland, for example women with lived experience of cancer treatment working with researchers for a solution for hair loss. The conference will include interactive sessions, where attendees will have the opportunity to hear from PPI contributors, and to speak with contributors in current research. Attendees will be able to choose from sessions focused on three different topics: PPI Contributors: My Voice Shaping Research Public and Patient Involvement Around the World Including the Excluded Wendy Costello, a PPI contributor on the conference organising committee, and co-chair of the interactive session’ PPI Contributors: My Voice Shaping Research’ said: “The interactive sessions will be a great opportunity to network virtually and feel part of the global discussion on PPI. The planning by a diverse committee has made this overall programme the most exciting yet.” The conference will close with presentations from the 2021 NUI Galway PPI Ignite award winners and from Professor Sean Dinneen who is leading the newly established national PPI Ignite Network. Speaking about the Conference, Professor Dinneen said: “It is great to see the National Public and Patient Involvement in Research Conference entering its sixth year and going from strength to strength. Meaningful involvement of the public and patients in health and social care research is becoming a feature of the Irish (and international) research landscape and this is reflected in the content of this year’s conference programme.”  Registration for the conference is free, but those wishing to attend must register in advance. Full details are at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/public-and-patient-involvement-ppi-in-research-conference-galway-tickets-143702147993 or email ppi@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-


News Archive

Monday, 19 April 2021

Survey led by NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission is seeking participants to give their experience of remote working one year on from lockdown and future preferences post-pandemic Researchers from the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission are seeking participants for the annual national Remote Working in Ireland Survey. The third survey will gather data on employees’ experiences of remote working one year on from lockdown and seek inputs on their preferences post pandemic. The survey is led by Professor Alma McCarthy and Noreen O’Connor at NUI Galway and Tomás Ó Síocháin and Deirdre Frost at the Western Development Commission.  The study will provide insights on how remote working has changed employees work and employment experiences and builds on two previous national surveys undertaken by the team. In addition to analysing trends across the three surveys, data will capture managers’ experiences of leading and supervising their teams remotely, both now and their future plans post pandemic. Speaking about the annual remote working survey, Professor Alma McCarthy, Professor of Public Sector Management, J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, said: “The surveys we did in 2020 were of huge interest to the public and we got over 12,000 responses from employees who were working remotely across the country.  There are significant changes in how we work arising from the Covid-19 crisis.  It is timely to capture the trends and experiences one year on. The third survey will also provide insights into how managers are finding team management in a remote context, which has not been examined to date.”  Tomás Ó Síocháin, CEO of the Western Development Commission, said: “Much has been learned about the transition to remote work over the last year. Creating a national network of more than 400 remote working hubs and the National Remote Work strategy are just part of the response to what we have learned. This information helps to inform the decision making about balanced future development in our country, helping the transition to a low carbon economy and ultimately has the potential to transform the way we live and work.” The research team will analyse the findings of the third national remote working survey and make them publicly available on both NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute and the Western Development Commission websites in early May 2021. The report and key statistics from the first and second national surveys are also available on these websites. The remote working study findings will be available to inform employers about employee experiences of remote working. The research team will provide recommendations for employers on how to better manage remote working in the current crisis as well as more generally. To complete the survey visit https://bit.ly/3g4DnJA. To view both previous surveys on the Whitaker Institute’s Project page, visit: https://bit.ly/3mFwgZg.   -Ends-

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children Youth and Civic Engagement at NUI Galway will deliver the D’Arcy McGee Beacon Inaugural Fellowship Lecture, hosted by the University of British Columbia. The online lecture entitled ‘Empathy Education: Intersectional Approaches to Youth and Civic Engagement’ will take place on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 6pm BST. During his lecture Professor Dolan will discuss how empathy education in secondary schools and community youth programmes enables young people to be responsive to others and more responsible in their behaviour. Using methodologies such as training youth to be social researchers, or peer to peer learning through music, sport and literature are all crucial parts of empathy and compassion education. Research has shown that these methods not alone can be woven into the classroom settings to reduce hate speech, racial profiling and other discriminatory behaviours by young people, but they also promote positive behaviour. Speaking ahead of the event Professor Pat Dolan, NUI Galway, said: “While we know that empathy education is crucial for positively engaging young people in their families and communities, we should not have to focus on young people’s negative or riotous behaviours as a means of valuing them. “The instances of violence involving youth from loyalist and nationalist communities in Northern Ireland last week is a serious concern. It occurs in the context of a segregated schools system in Northern Ireland, coupled with a lack of cross community empathy education, which if it did exist it could have helped prevent the violence that is based on a lack of understanding among young people who actually have far more in common in terms of their disadvantage.” The lecture is free to attend and open to the public. For more details, or to register for the event visit: https://bit.ly/3djBXJs or email gillian.browne@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

NUI Galway partners with 12 European institutions to build new resources to aid digital decoding of literature NUI Galway’s Moore Institute has joined forces with 12 other institutions across Europe for a research project that aims to aid new approaches to the study of literature in the digital age. Computational Literary Studies Infrastructure (CLS INFRA) is a four-year partnership to build a shared resource of high-quality data, tools and knowledge needed for literary studies using artificial intelligence and other computational methods. The project is being supported with €5 million funding from the European Commission. Dr Justin Tonra, Lecturer in English at NUI Galway, whose work in the project will focus on bridging the gap between computational and traditional literary studies, said: “When studying literature we often focus on a small number of books by a small number of authors. With the aid of computers, we can ‘read’ literature at a scale that opens windows onto topics like gender, language and colonialism, and how they are represented in our shared and varied European cultural heritage.” The overall aim of CLS INFRA is to open up the best data mining resources Europe has to offer in the growing field of Computational Literary Studies, which enables a big-data approach to the study of culture. For instance, it can help scholars to detect patterns which show what literary genres were prevalent at certain times; if and how gender manifests in the language of writers; whether the movement of literary style can be mapped across time and space. The CLS INFRA project will identify and map the specific requirements of researchers who wish to study literature using technology and AI. Partners in the 13 institutions will bring together existing resources as well as develop new tools, services and literary collections. A further aim of the project is to open up Computational Literary Studies to more researchers and enable investigation into Europe’s multi-lingual and interconnected literary heritage and cultural diversity. Support services and training will be provided to researchers who are new to the use of computers and AI for literary study. Scholars from under-represented regions and languages, as well as independent and citizen scholars, will also be supported. Dr Maciej Eder, Director of the Institute of Polish Language at the Polish Academy of Sciences and Principal Investigator of CLS INFRA, said: “This is a very exciting project which promises to make great advances in how we use computers to study literature. “One of the great challenges to Computational Literary Studies is that the landscape of digital literary sources is very fragmented, as scholars and readers struggle to find texts that are made accessible and reusable in standardised ways. CLS INFRA will address this deficit in a way that will allow the field to flourish.” Dr Tonra added: “The partnership of 13 European institutes will also foster systematic and meaningful cooperation across national borders and linguistic boundaries, as well as disciplines of study. “Human beings are storytellers. Nowhere do we see the expression of human ambitions, values, norms and desires more clearly than in the collected literary works that have been created over centuries of human creativity. “The emergence of information and communications technologies has given us an unprecedented opportunity to share, compare and understand this legacy across national borders and linguistic boundaries.” Ends


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