Postgraduate Scholarships

Hardiman PhD Scholarships
The prestigious Hardiman Research Scholarship scheme was first launched in NUI Galway in 2011 to support outstanding PhD students allowing them to pursue a structured postgraduate degree by research. Since its inception Galway University Foundation has supported this programme with a fund of almost €2.5 million thanks to the generous support of donors such as Cancer Care West, Mayo Pink Ribbon, O’Sullivan Family Trust and the Tony Ryan Trust.
Nessa Byrne Hardiman PhD Scholarship in Autism

Pain perception in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been a topic of much debate over the past few years. In the literature here are reports that ASD is associated with both increased and decreased sensitivity to painful stimuli. The nature of Autism itself means that it is difficult to ascertain if these conflicting reports of pain perception are caused by true differences in pain experience or in fact, differences in pain expression. Deficits in verbal and non-verbal communication are core features of ASD, complicating pain assessment in those with ASD. The research investigates the neurobiological mechanisms that may underpin altered behavioural responding associated with ASD.

To date minimal research has been undertaken examining pain expression and processing in ASD models. Research carried out through the Nessa Byrne Hardiman Postgraduate scholarship aims to characterise pain expression and the neurobiological differences between typically developing controls and autistic-like rodents. The data generated to date have shown that the controls display higher pain thresholds for thermal and mechanical, but not inflammatory, painful stimuli, similar to that seen clinically. Although, alterations in social responding in ASD appear more frequently in males than females, our data indicate that both male and female rodents respond similarly to heat, mechanical and inflammatory pain. This indicates that processing of painful stimuli by the brain is altered in autism like animals and suggests that pain perception in autism could be more complex than solely a dissimilarity in pain expression.

Ongoing work will examine pain responding to other stimuli and further examine associated neurobiological changes that may underlie altered pain expression and experience in the model. By correlating the data with ongoing clinical research it is hope that such research will provide insight into pain processing in ASD and identify potential novel therapeutic targets for pain in people with Autism.

Cancer Care West Hardiman Scholars

A joint initiative between Cancer Care West and Galway University Foundation has resulted in a €1 million donation to provide fully funded scholarships to ten PhD students. These scholars are performing translational research in the area of cancer biology, therapeutics, and all aspects of oncology at NUI Galway and the associates University Hospital, Galway.

O'Sullivan Family Trust Scholarship

The O'Sullivan Family Trust is currently funding two doctoral students as part of an important initiative at NUI Galway's UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre. The Centre is working closely with Tusla (Ireland's Child and Family Agency) to transform child and family services in Ireland. According to John Canavan, Associate Director of the Centre, "this research is contributing to the development of policy and practice that will assist areas such as keeping children out of care and protecting children's rights."
Dr John Canavan, Associate Director of the Centre

The O'Sullivan Family Trust Scholarships gives scholars a valuable opportunity to develop their own expertise, be recognised as experts in their field and contribute to the much-needed development of policy and practice.

Their support funds two doctorate students who are tasked by the UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre to critically evaluate Tusla in the areas of

  • Improving Children's meaningful participation in services delivered for them by Tusla
  • Assessing the implementation of the 'Meitheal Programme' which is a radical new assessment and intervention tool which ensures integrated family and child supports services are identified and delivered for children.
MA in Education for Masters Students

The generous support of our alumni through the alumni fund and the telephone campaign helps to support Access students become teachers through the Masters in Education (ME). The fund helps student teachers through scholarships and bursaries to qualify with an MA in Education following on from their undergraduate degree.

Support for these students is part of NUI Galway’s commitment to address educational disadvantage. Teachers who themselves have come to education from a disadvantaged background further encourages their students to pursue a third level education. By supporting students who have direct experience of social and economic disadvantage to become teachers we are working towards a more diverse community of teachers who inspire others to continue in education.

McGinty Scholarship for Female Physicians

NUI Galway is pleased to announce the new McGinty MBA Scholarship, established by NUI Galway alumna, Dr Geraldine McGinty, to empower female physicians on a career path to healthcare leadership. Physician-led healthcare management is proven to have better outcomes for patient care. By empowering medics to pursue an MBA programme this scholarship will equip them with a skillset to elevate their strategic vision and enhance their management capabilities.

This scholarship will see a new cohort of women who will lead improved and impactful outcomes for patients and staff in the healthcare system. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a female medical practitioner with 3 years postgraduate work experience in medicine. The successful applicant must demonstrate a clear career pathway towards leadership in the healthcare sector.

This year we are delighted to award two scholarships; one to a graduate in Medicine, and another to a graduate in nursing, midwifery or health sciences where the applicant shows a clear career trajectory towards a leadership role in healthcare.

The Scholarship Value is €9,000 per student over their two year MBA programme.