Designing Futures launch transformative VIP Modules

Sep 12 2022 Posted: 14:51 IST

The Designing Futures team is excited to launch their Vertically Integrated Project (VIP) modules. ‌The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program is a transformative approach to enhancing higher education by engaging undergraduate and graduate students in long-term, large-scale, multidisciplinary project teams that are led by faculty.

"Vertically Integrated" refers to VIP team compositions, which can include undergraduate, postgraduate (taught) and research students in addition to University staff.  As of 2022 University of Galway became the only Irish university to join the VIP Consortium, led by Georgia Institute of Technology. VIP programmes are now active in over 40 universities with 4,500+ students participating per term around the globe.

Through VIPs, students work in teams with faculty to address grand challenges. Students earn credits and can participate in multiple semesters, with returning students taking on additional leadership/project responsibilities. 

From January 2023, undergraduate students at the University of Galway will have the opportunity to join VIP modules. Students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds will have the opportunity to develop applied research skills whilst working in VIP teams, supervised by academic Principal Investigators. Students will also be supported to become effective research team members in weekly interactive VIP classroom sessions.

VIP benefits for students include:

  • Receiving training in transferable skills including team working
  • Getting an opportunity to work on an established research project
  • Identifying connections between their discipline and others
  • Developing non-discipline skills useful within discipline (statistics, role play)
  • Developing links with industry or community partners

We have an exciting array of VIP projects available for students, including those focused on translating neuroscience research for patient benefit, democratising knowledge through comedy and improvisation, improving community engagement and education in STEM, understanding the physics and psychology of sound, and supporting small to medium enterprises towards their sustainability goals.

VIP Principal Investigators meet a group of up to five students six times per semester and co-mark their final research report.

VIP benefits for Principal Investigators include:

  • Enhancing the visibility for your research
  • Providing an opportunity to pilot new ideas
  • Developing interdisciplinary connections
  • Enhancing real-world applications
  • Training and inspiring future researchers

If you are a staff member with a VIP suggestion or you would like to make VIP modules available to students in your discipline, contact Ms Oonagh Meade, Lecturer in Transdisciplinary Research at

To find out more about VIPs please see our VIP FAQ page

Follow @GalwayDF