NUI Galway Awarded 39 Postgraduate Scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships

Nov 02 2020 Posted: 13:08 GMT

Irish Research Council Government of Ireland awards will fuel the pipeline of early-stage researchers across all disciplines

NUI Galway has been awarded funding for 39 Postgraduate Scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships under the Irish Research Council’s Government of Ireland programmes.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD announced funding for a total of 209 Postgraduate Scholarships and 87 Postdoctoral Fellowships. The awards represent an investment of over €21 million in early career researchers across all academic disciplines.

The NUI Galway award recipients will conduct research into a multitude of topics ranging from effective targeted immunotherapy in a local refillable delivery system for ovarian cancer; cognitive deficits in schizophrenia; humanitarian aid in hostile environments; food provision and the homeless population; changing patterns of political violence and peaceful protest in European democracies; adaptive optics performance for the European Extremely Large Telescope; and providing insights from climate archives.

Welcoming this year’s awardees, Minister Harris, said: “I am delighted to announce this investment by government in developing the next generation of research leaders across disciplines. Across higher education, enterprise, civil society and the public sector, expert knowledge and skills is a critical need for our present and our future. The awards announced will support a pipeline of research talent which will be at the forefront of addressing the many challenges and opportunities we face.”

Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “It is wonderful to receive this investment from the Irish Research Council’s Government of Ireland programmes. I congratulate this year’s talented group of 39 postgraduate scholars and postdoctoral fellows, whom I have no doubt will contribute greatly to critical societal needs through their multi-disciplinary research that will have a positive impact across all sectors of society.”

This year’s 30 postgraduate scholars from NUI Galway include:

  • Judit Villena Rodó, Law, will study - Migrant Women, Coercive Control and Intimate Partner Violence: an examination of women’s ability to access remedies in Ireland and Spain.
  • Roisin O'Malley, Psychology, will identify - Learning from what goes well: Improving the quality of primary care.
  • Nikolett Warner, Psychology, will investigate - Being diagnosed with cancer promoting genetic mutations BRCA 1 and 2 in Ireland: Development of an intervention to enhance coping skills and improve knowledge.
  • Aislaigh Cahillane, Literature, will study - Narratives of Water (In)Justice in Contemporary Hydrofictions from Australia, Ireland and the United States of America.
  • Clara Mallon, Theatre Studies, will study - Invisible Ireland? Performing and Representing the Working-Class in Irish Theatre during the Celtic Tiger Era.
  • Dakota Holmes, Physical Geography, will study - Providing Insights from Climate Archives: a multiproxy approach for the reconstruction of Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) response to Quaternary climate events.
  • Maria Cullen, History, will study - Humanitarian aid in hostile environments: comparing the emergency relief operations of Oxfam and Médecins sans Frontières in the Global South, 1979-1986.
  • Siobhán Hamon, Microbiology, Virology and Mycology, will study - Therapeutic potential of parasite-derived immunomodulatory peptides in the treatment of sepsis and acute kidney injury.
  • Divya Ravikumar, Sociology, will study - Food provision and the homeless population: working together to enable solutions.
  • Emma Corley, Psychology, will investigate - Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia: Characterising the Combined Effects of Common Genetic Variation and Early Life Adversity.
  • Alan Keane, Medical Biotechnology, will investigate - The Development of a Next-Generation Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Therapy for Critical Limb Ischaemia.
  • V’cenza Cirefice, Geography, will examine - Local environmental resistance to extractivism in Ireland: A feminist environmental justice lens.
  • Beatrice Canossi, Law, will examine - The use of truth commissions’ evidence in prosecutions: bridging gaps and information sharing between international prosecutions and truth seeking mechanisms.
  • Deborah Malone, who studies Optics, will investigate limitations on Adaptive Optics performance for the European Extremely Large Telescope.
  • Deborah Mireles, Business and Management, will study - Understanding Subsidiary Managers Engagement in Strategic Activities. Deborah also won the Irish Academy of Management Best Paper Award at the 2020 Doctoral Colloquium for her paper on this same research topic.
  • Elizabeth Quirke, Literatures, will study - When They Talk About Mothers’: Investigating Queer Kinship in Contemporary Poetry.
  • Federica Modafferi, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, will study – Investigating the Transgenerational Inheritance of Centromeres using a Bovine In Vitro Fertilisation Model System.
  • Francesca Guido, Classics, will study - Recovering the sources, influence and transmission of Charisius’ Latin grammar.
  • John Ivory, Microbiology, Virology and Mycology, will investigate the reliability and diagnostic validity of clinical manifestations of biofilm in venous leg ulcers.
  • Kathy Dillon, French, will examine - Representing the ‘Other’: The Sociological Importance of Contemporary Francophone women writers: Leïla Slimani, Noufissa Sabï and Houria Boussejra
  • Keith Lyons, Zoology, Ornithology, Entomology and Behavioural Sciences Biology, will study - Venomous Invaders: Investigating the role of venom in ecological invasions.
  • Laura Cutugno, Microbial Genetics, will investigate - Genetic characterisation of the Vibrio vulnificus stressosome and its role in stress response and virulence.
  • Lioba Verena Speicher, Classics, will study - The Old Norse Sagas of Antiquity: a study in cross-cultural Classical reception and transnational networks in Medieval Scandinavia, Ireland, and Europe.
  • Lorene Lefebvre, Agricultural Biotechnology, will examine - Deciphering mechanisms of Biological Nitrification Inhibition in forage and model grasses.
  • Martin Kenny, Theatre Studies, will study - Queer Connections: identifying and expanding a sense of a queer national consciousness through the production, presentation and reception of Irish theatre and performance, from 1960 – 2020.
  • Mary Hopkins, Zoology, Ornithology, Entomology, Behavioural Sciences Biology, will investigate - Preclinical and clinical investigation of the endocannabinoid system as a viable novel target for diagnosis and treatment of low back pain.
  • Marylette Roa, Microbiology, Virology and Mycology, will examine - Diversity and ecology of squamate gut microbiome.
  • Meghan Winterlich, Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry, will investigate - Synthesis and characterisation of novel magnetic metal organic frameworks for a targeted delivery of anti-cancer drugs through magnetic dynamic therapy.
  • Michela Dianetti, Italian, will study - The Narrative of Objects as Ethical Facts in Iris Murdoch and Elsa Morante.
  • Seun Adebayo, Education, will examine - Developing more culturally responsive pedagogies with Irish primary school teachers using a learning study approach.

This year’s 9 postdoctoral fellows from NUI Galway are:

  • Joanne O’Dwyer, Cell Biology, will investigate - Creation of effective targeted immunotherapy in a local refillable delivery system for ovarian cancer.
  • Dieter Reinisch, History, will study - Changing patterns of political violence and peaceful protest in European democracies: A historical comparison of social movements in Germany and Ireland.
  • Ciaran Arthur, History, will study - Intentional Obscurity and ‘Divine Speech’ in Early English Texts.
  • Cliona Hensey, French, will examine - Reconstructive Memory Work: Trauma, Witnessing and the Imagination in Contemporary Writing by Daughters of Harkis.
  • Dnyaneshwar Garad, Medicinal and Biomolecular Chemistry, will investigate - Sulfamidates as Electrophilic Reagents for the Site-Specific Incorporation of Biologically Relevant Post-translationally Modified Lysine Residues into Protein.
  • Dualta O Fionnagain, Astronomy and Space Science, will study - Characterising high speed transient radio emission from planetary electrostatic discharges using the Owens Valley Low Wavelength Array.
  • Gabriel Krasovec, Developmental Biology, will examine - Exploring the morphogenetic functions of apoptosis in the cnidarian Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus.
  • Mehmet Gurdal, Medical Biotechnology, will examine - Development and assessment of full-thickness scaffold-free human corneal equivalents using macromolecular crowding.
  • Saidulu Konda, Medicinal and Biomolecular Chemistry, will study - Fabrication of bioinspired artificial extracellular matrix scaffold for diabetic wound care.

Congratulating this year’s awardees, Irish Research Council Director, Peter Brown, said: “The Irish Research Council Government of Ireland awards form a critical pillar within Ireland’s research and innovation eco-system. The two programmes, addressing postgraduate and postdoctoral research, are the only ones of their kind in Ireland, funding excellent research across all disciplines and are highly competitive, nationally and internationally.

Awardees benefit greatly from having obtained a research award in their own name, demonstrating world-class potential in their chosen field from early-career stage. Through this and other IRC programmes, the Council continues to deliver the best and brightest research talent for Ireland. Working hand-in-glove with our research-performing organisations, awardees will expand the frontiers of knowledge and generate the research and innovations that will help to address national and global societal challenges.”

Each year the Government of Ireland Programmes collaborate with strategic funding partners to run themed calls. A number of this year’s awardees are supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Foreign Affairs. The 2021 calls are now open on the IRC website and offer new collaborative funding opportunities with additional themed calls from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Met Éireann and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Further information about the Irish Research Council’s Government of Ireland programmes is available at  


Marketing and Communications Office


Featured Stories