The inaugural 2012 University College Cork (UCC) Research Awards were presented on Monday 19 November, celebrating UCC researchers who have made exceptional and influential research contributions.
Six individual researcher awards and one research team award were made at the ceremony, which was held in UCC’s Glucksman Gallery. The awards recognise those who push boundaries, enhance knowledge and raise the national and international research profile of UCC.
Professor Anita Maguire, Vice President for Research and Innovation at UCC said: “The Research Awards provide an ideal opportunity to recognise the excellence, talent and potential of leading researchers in UCC across diverse areas”. Dr Michael Murphy, President of UCC, added: “Research is central to the life of a university; UCC is committed to the on-going development of, and support for, research across the diversity of disciplines, with a focus on excellence in addition to impact”.
The 2012 UCC Research Award recipients are: Professor John Cryan, Anatomy and Neuroscience (*Researcher of the Year)*, Dr Cara Nine, Philosophy and Dr Marcus Claesson, Microbiology (*Early Stage Researcher of the Year – *joint award), Ms Mary-Claire O’Regan, TNI (*Research Support Person of the Year*), Professor Graham Allen, English (*Research Supervisor of the Year*), Professor Geoffrey Roberts, History (*Lifetime Achievement Research Award*) and the Microneedles / Immupatch team (*Research Team of the Year*). In addition, three recipients of UCC Strategic Research Fund PhD studentship awards were recognised: Ms Kerrill Costello (supervised by Dr Helena Buffery, Hispanic Studies), Mr Shane McCarthy (supervised by Dr Shane Kilcommins & Professor Caroline Fennell, Law) and Mr Eoin Ó’Muimhneacháin (supervised by Dr Ger McGlacken, Chemistry).
The event was sponsored by Gilead Sciences, Ireland, a leading pharmaceutical company in the field of HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening conditions, with global manufacturing facilities located in Cork. Speaking at the awards ceremony, Ms Julie O’Neill, Vice President and General Manager at Gilead Sciences, said: “Support for Ireland’s research base is an important part of the enterprise sector’s strategy for growth – both for Irish companies as they expand their activities and for multinational companies as they compete for investment at Irish sites. An active research landscape across the university sector is critically important in sustaining Ireland’s workforce of talented doctoral and postdoctoral professionals. UCC, as a national research leader, plays a key role in this”.
The UCC Research Awards embrace all research types and disciplines across the University research community. They illustrate the consistently high levels of achievement, research excellence and impact generated by UCC’s research community. Nominations to the UCC Research Awards were evaluated by a committee chaired by the Vice President for Research and Innovation, and comprising the Chairs of each of the College Research Committees, Directors of both Research Support Services and Technology Transfer, Chair of the Academic Council for Research and Innovation Committee, a representative from UCC’s Research Centres/Institutes and the Dean of Graduate Studies.
The number and quality of the nominations to this programme from each of the Colleges demonstrated the breath of world-class research excellence at UCC. In particular, the response from the postgraduate community in nominating research supervisors demonstrated the influence of research-led teaching and mentoring in developing the research leaders of the future.