9plusNov 09, 2022
PhD at Any Age: Two Perspectives on Returning to Education
Embarking on an educational journey as a 'mature' student (officially over 23 years old) can be a daunting experience. But how does this transition manifest in the postgraduate realm? In this episode, we feature two PhD students, Steve Daly and Nicola Briggs, who chose to return to education later in life. Both have progressed beyond their undergraduate studies and have delved into the realm of research.
Steve and Nicola share their enthusiasm for their research projects focused on physical health and activity. Beyond discussing their academic pursuits, they reflect on the profound impact of returning to education on their personal and family lives.
You can learn more about the projects discussed in the podcast at these websites:
- Football Co-operative - https://www.facebook.com/footballcooperative/
- Ireland Lights Up - https://www.getirelandwalking.ie/irelandlightsup/
- The Centre for Health Behaviour Research at SETU - https://www.wit.ie/research/centres_and_groups/wit_research_groups/health-sciences-research-groups/centre_for_health_behaviour_research/
Science Week and the SURE Network
In this episode we talk about Science Week and the SURE Network. Science Week is a European initiative supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to promote science and scientific enquiry among the entire population. The SURE Network is a group that enhances practice in scientific disciplines at Undergraduate levels across Ireland. Both of these initiatives aim to make science more accessible for people away from the post-graduate sphere.
The panel is made up of Sheila Donegan from SETU’s CALMAST group (working directly on Science Week), Claire Lennon who works with the SURE Network and Emma Kearney, a recent SETU graduate who took part in last year’s SURE conference.
For the first episode of the new series, we’re talking about the Portalis pilot project, led by SETU Humanities, which finished up in September 2023. Portalis mapped the story of the earliest connections between Ireland and Wales, dating back to the Mesolithic period (~10,000 years ago). The project explored how those first settlers adapted to their surroundings in order to survive and sought to understand whether there are any parallels with how we can adapt to climate change now.
Rob O’Connor spoke with project members Denise O’Meara and Jody Power in studio, while also including a conversation with geoarchaeology specialist Joseph Shuldenrein in New York.
For more information on the project and its outputs, please visit portalisproject.eu. Portalis, €1.95m, supported by €1.5m from the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme.
PURE & Current Research Information Systems w/ Susie Cullinane and Jonathan Brazil
PURE is a new Current Research Information Systems (CRIS) that has been rolled out in SETU. Anyone writing a funding proposal or managing a research project will be interacting with this system. Susie Cullinane and Jonathan Brazil from the Research Support Unit (RSU) sat down with Rob O'Connor to discuss what PURE is, why it's being used and the benefits it will bring to researchers. The conversation also turned to related topics such as Open Access Research.
For more information on PURE and the Research Support Unit, please visit the Research at SETU landing page http://setu.ie/research
Bio-degradable plastics w/ Adriana Cunha Neves and David Culliton
Can you turn fish waste into something useful? Yes - by combining biochemistry and engineering! Adriana Cunha Neves and David Culliton talk about their work in creating sustainable bio-degradable plastics from the waste materials of other products, including fish, brewer's grain, leather and more.
You can learn more about Adriana by visiting her profile on the SETU website. You can read more about David or get in contact, by checking out his profile. You can learn more about host Rob O'Connor here. Follow the podcast on Twitter @9pluspodcast
Agri-Environmental Science w/ Thomas Kakouli-Duarte
Microscopic nematodes! Soil ecology! Environmental Science! Aristotle! It's all in in here, as Dr. Thomae Kakouli-Duarte spoke with Rob O'Connor about her professional career to date, starting out studying crop production in Greece, obtaining a post-grad in the UK and now the director of enviroCORE at SETU Carlow. Thomae's enthusiasm for science and environment is profoundly obvious as she brings the subjects to life during the podcast. You'll come away appreciating the importance of those tiny flatworms - nematodes.
You can learn more about Thomae and her work by viewing her profile on the SETU website.
Music Industry Ethics with Mark Graham
In this episode, musician and SETU lecturer Mark Graham talks with Rob O’Connor about ethics in the music industry. Mark’s research into this topic is tying together his extensive experience as a professional musician and his academic role at SETU. During the podcast, Mark lays out some common music business practices that could be deemed unethical. Mark is currently researching towards a PhD, with a provisional title of “Moving Towards Ethical and Sustainable Music Industry Practice.”
If you want to learn more about Mark’s work, you can listen to his Irish Music Industry podcast which is available on most podcasting platforms. You might also like to catch up with King Kong Company, the band he used to play with. Their channel on YouTube contains a lot of videos of their work and the band's music is available on most streaming platforms. You can catch up with Mark on Twitter @IreMusPod. Follow 9plus on Twitter @9pluspodcast
Nursing During Difficult Times
This episode of 9plus has been produced as companion piece for an upcoming special collection issue of the Journal of Research in Nursing which will focus on ‘Nursing during difficult times’. The podcast is a collaboration between staff and postgraduate students of SETU and Glasgow Caledonian University, in which they talk about how their PhD research was impacted by the COVID pandemic, how their Nursing & Health-related studies were forced to adapt and what lessons might be learned if another untoward event were to occur. The panel is comprised of Mark White, Patricia Hunt, Teresa Dowling (SETU) and Gordon Hill, Matilde Pieri and Ciara Marie Ryan (GCU).
For more information on the Journal of Research in Nursing, please visit https://journals.sagepub.com/home/jrn
Design Research w/ PJ White and Brian Casey
Two researchers from the designCORE group based on the SETU Carlow campus, sat down with Rob O'Connor to discuss the general topic of "design." What is design? Why is it important? How does it impact on research projects? What about the field of design research itself? PJ White and Brian Casey bring the conversation to life through their clear communication and obvious enthusiasm for the field. An enlightening conversation that could benefit a researcher in any discipline.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion with Allison Kenneally and Susan Flynn
SETU’s Vice President of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Allison Kenneally and Susan Flynn (Head of Dept. of Arts) join Rob O'Connor to talk about the topic of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in research and university practice. They talk about the importance of EDI with respect to gaining a wider perspective on research works, as well as the role EDI plays in funding applications. They discuss their own careers to date and outline how an EDI lens frames their work. In her role as VP for EDI, Allison offers a unique perspective on these matters. Also, Susan discusses a book she recently edited “Equality in the City: Imaginaries of the Smart Future” which is a collection of academic essays that seeks to engender debate as to how future cities will operate from a multi-disciplinary perspective. The book is available as an open access publication via OAPEN. https://library.oapen.org/handle/20.500.12657/59174
John Nolan and Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI)
Prof. John Nolan is the founder and chair of the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI based in Waterford. His research group studies the role of nutrition in vision health and the prevention of blindness, particularly around age-related macular degeneration which is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. John spoke candidly about his research ambitions, the groups of people working with him and his plans for the future, John also offered some excellent insights into research as a career path (and the drawback that also entail).
You can learn more about the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland at nrci.ie. John keeps a personal page at profjohnnolan.com. For more information about the 9plus podcast, please contact Rob O'Connor via any of the usual channels. You can also find the podcast on Twitter @9pluspodcast
Teresa Deevy & the Lyrical Bodies Project w/ Una Kealy, Kate McCarthy and Jenny O'Connor
SETU researchers Dr. Una Kealy and Dr. Kate McCarthy have been involved in research around early 20th century Irish playwright and author Teresa Deevy or some time. Most recently, they are running a project Lyrical Bodies which involves a collaboration with visual artist Amanda Coogan and the Dublin Theatre of the Deaf. Dr. Jenny O'Connor is involved with the project in her capacity as a maker of digital stories, a relatively new medium through which research outputs are disseminated. The podcast gives an overview of Deevy's life and times, her struggles as a feminist writer in early 20th century Ireland and her experiences as a deafened artist. The panel also discuss the Lyrical Bodies project and how that collaboration came about.
This podcast also dovetails with a Mind the Gap Films documentary about Teresa Deevy featuring Amanda Coogan and the Dublin Theatre of the Deaf, which was partly shot in SETU and includes contributions from Una, Kate and Jenny. "Tribute: The Teresa Deevy Story" is broadcast on RTE television on Thursday 10th November 2022 at 10.15pm and will be available on the RTE Player afterwards.
This podcast is also a fist attempt by the SETU podcast team to create a Deaf-accessible podcast. A multi-camera video of the studio recording of the podcast is available (with captions) and another video with an Irish Sign Language (ISL) overlay. A full text transcription of the podcast is also available.
Captioned Video: https://youtu.be/sZUrYTbO0UE
Video with ISL translation: https://youtu.be/5G2C4G_rsXo
Full text transcription: https://bit.ly/3UvTxfY
Mens Health with Noel Richardson
Noel Richardson from the SETU Carlow Campus talks about his research around the broad area of Men's Health and how his work is shaping national (and international) policy. He talks about projects that target hard-to-reach populations with positive health activities, such as On Feirm Ground, which is directly concerned with Irish farmers and agriculture workers. Noel's research interests include men’s health policy, gender and health, mental health and suicide prevention in men. Prior to his academic career, Noel was an international athlete, representing Ireland on numerous occasions in long distance running events.
Veronica Campbell: Cell Biologist & President of SETU
For the first episode of the 2nd season, Rob O'Connor sat down with the new President of the South East Technological University (SETU), Professor Veronica Campbell. They talked about her research journey as a cell biologist, from an 11-year old looking at samples under the microscope in Scotland, through to undergraduate and postgraduate study, onto running her own lab at Trinity College Dublin and her work in pharmacology and the neuropharmacology of cannabinoids. They also talked about how these experiences inform her role as President of SETU.
Follow the podcast on Twitter @9pluspodcast
James O'Sullivan & Technology Transfer
The podcast guest for this episode is Dr. James O'Sullivan, the Technology Transfer manager at WIT. James is responsible for shepherding research activities from the theoretical to commercial stage. The term "technology transfer" might also be a misnomer, as commercialisation is open to all disciplines, not just technology or science. James also talks about his professional journey, his scientific background and how he ended up in the role he occupies today.
Ocular Therapeutics Research Group (OTRG) w/ Larry Fitzhenry, Niall O'Reilly & Tess Ames
The OTRG are researching non-invasive ways to treat sight-loss and other eye conditions. Three members of the group (Larry Fitzhenry, Niall O'Reilly & Tess Ames) sat down in the studio to chat with Rob O'Connor about the motivations behind their research, what's involved and the potential impacts of their work.
You can learn more about the Pharmaceutical & Molecular Biology Research Centre (PMBRC) at pmbrc.org. You keep up to date with the OTRG on Twitter at @OTRG_PBMRC and you can follow the podcast @9pluspodcast
Robots in Agriculture w/ Christine O'Meara and Kieran O'Donoghue
Following on from the previous episode about Agricultural Technology, in this episode we dig a bit deeper in the use of robots in agriculture by speaking with two Irish members of AgRoboFood cluster. Christine O'Meara specialises in commercialisation and innovation and is with WIT's Walton Institute and Kieran O'Donoghue is a robotics researcher based in Tralee as part of MTU. We discussed practical applications of robots on farms, from picking fruit to targeted pesticide spraying. We also explored the definition of a robot in 2022 and other technological advances in the farming space. The podcast also gives an insight into how large scale EU research is managed across the continent.
You can learn more about AgRoboFood at agrobofood.eu. A case study is referenced during the conversation which can be found here globalambition.ie/agrobo-using-robotics-to-increase-efficiencies/
Agricultural Technology at The Walton Institute
Hazel Peavoy of The Walton Institute joined Rob O'Connor in the virtual studio to provide an overview of some of the agri-tech projects that have been undertaken at WIT. These have massive potential impacts in terms of food quality and efficiency, as well as food security. Climate change is also a major theme of the research.
Spirituality with Bernadette Flanagan & Paul Clogher
Bernadette Flanagan and Paul Cloger are directors of the SpirSoP research group at WIT (Spirituality in Society and the Professions). They spoke with Rob O'Connor about some of the fundamental questions around spirituality, how their work is applied in certain areas (including tourism and technology). Finally, they engaged in a discussion around one of Paul's recent publications concerning the cinema of contemplation and "First Reformed", directed by Paul Schrader and starring Ethan Hawke.
Women in Research
Ahead of International Women's Day 2022, three female researchers in the final stages of their PhD studies joined the podcast to talk about their work, describe their motivations and chat about issues affecting women in the research world. Aisling McGrath is involved with the Men's Sheds' "Sheds for Life" project. Madhuri Dandamudi is with the Ocular Therapeutics Research Group (OTRG) at WIT and is researching alternative delivery mechanisms to injections for back-of-the-eye therapies. Orla Hayes works with the RIKON group and her area is small business marketing across the omnichannel.
You can find out more about each of the women and their work by following them on Twitter:
Aisling McGrath @ash_mcg
Madhuri Dandamudi @madhurikrishnaG
Orla Hayes @orlanihaodha
Research Support Unit (RSU) at WIT
Dr. Geralidine Canny (Head of Research) and Josephine Holohan (Project Manager) spoke with Rob about the Research Unit Unit (RSU) at WIT. They talked about Local, National and European funding streams that are available to researchers as well as detailing some of the supports the RSU provides to assist researchers in applying for funding. They also spoke about scholarships that are available to postgraduate students and the inaugural WIT Research Awards.
Niamh Murphy & Health Promotion
Professor Niamh Murphy recently co-authored a paper which was published in The Lancet, one of the highest-impact research journals in the field of health and medicine. “An evidence-based assessment of the impact of the Olympic Games on population levels of physical activity” was concerned with the legacy of large-scale sporting events on the health and fitness of the general public. Niamh tells her own research story, from studying as an undergraduate in Limerick, to postgraduate work in Queens University, followed by a stint in UCC and then WIT. A theme of promoting physical activity has been constant throughout all her research.
Find out more about Niamh's work via her WIT profile. The full text of The Lancet paper is available to read at https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)01165-X/fulltext. Follow 9Plus on Twitter @9pluspodcast
SEAM: Ramesh Raghavendra and Eoghan O’Donoghue
Dr. Ramesh Raghavendra relaunched the South Eastern Applied Materials (SEAM) group in 2009 which has become one of the leading material science & engineering research outfits in Ireland. Ramesh and his colleague Eoghan O'Donoghue spoke with Rob O'Connor about 3D printing, additive manufacturing, simulation and analysis. They talked about its applications, from building better bicycles to the potential of manufacturing parts for space exploration.
Growth Hub: Margaret Tynan and Felicity Kelliher
The GROWTH HUB's mission is to encourage growth and entrepreneurial mindsets among students at WIT. School of Business Faculty Dr. Margaret Tynan and Prof. Felicity Kelliher spoke about the research which informs the GROWTH HUB, as well as describing some activities occurring within the space such as LEGO SERIOUS PLAY. The spoke about some projects that have already come out of the GROWTH HUB and their plans for a recently hired PhD student.
Evan Matthews & The Exercise Effect
Dr. Evan Matthews has been involved in a pilot project - The Exercise Effect - studying the impact of physical exercise on patients suffering from severe mental health issues. Evan and Rob discussed the research informing the project, the findings from the initial study and how it might progress in the future. They also spoke about Evan's background and how he unexpectedly found himself in an academic career despite not thinking of himself as "academic" at school.
For the first episode, Rob spoke with the Head of Research at WIT, Dr. Geraldine Canny to talk about her own research journey from NUIG, to Harvard, then Switzerland and now Waterford. Geraldine describes some of her own research into treatments for endometriosis and briefly talks about the Research Support Unit at the institute.
Geraldine's WIT staff profile can be found at wit.ie/about_wit/contact_us/staff_directory/dr-geraldine-canny and you can also follow her on Twitter @geraldine_canny
Follow the 9plus podcast on Twitter @9pluspodcast
Trailer for the forthcoming series 9plus from Waterford Institute of Technology