Naughton gift fuels research on both sides of the Atlantic

Author: Joanne Fahey

For the past six years the Naughton Fellowship program has been encouraging transatlantic research collaborations for undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Notre Dame.

The Naughton Fellowship program allows students with a background in, or aptitude for, STEM fields to experience international research and educational opportunities through a funded exchange program involving the University of Notre Dame and four of Ireland’s leading research universities: Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, and University College Dublin. Irish undergraduates, Master’s students, and Ph.D. candidates can come to Notre Dame on the fellowship, while Notre Dame undergraduates, Master’s students, and Ph.D. candidates can travel to Ireland to study and research topics as diverse as Structural Engineering to Marine Biology and Public Health to Data Science and Analytics.

Notre Dame Students in Ireland

Speaking about the Naughton Fellowships, Professor Rich Taylor, Associate Vice President for Research, said, “We are so grateful for the Naughtons’ history of generosity at Notre Dame. When Dr. Martin Naughton originally launched the fellowship program he said that he knew that STEM education would be ‘essential to the prosperity of society.’ As Notre Dame continues to be a powerful force for good in the world, I am delighted that we can offer both Notre Dame students and Irish students the opportunity to conduct research and build international collaborations through the Naughton Fellowships.”

In addition to the $8 million gift for the fellowships, the Naughton Family has long-supported the University of Notre Dame, providing endowments for a professorship and faculty fellows and for the founding of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies in South Bend, as well as the Keough-Naughton Notre Dame Centre in O’Connell House in Dublin, Ireland, which is now one of Notre Dame International’s Global Gateways.

The Naughton Fellowships have had a real impact on research at Notre Dame by building dynamic collaborations with Irish faculty. For Dr. Andrew Steward, an alumnus of the program, it had practical benefits for his work on cartilage tissue engineering. At the culmination of his fellowship, Steward said, “Being able to perform my research in a well-established lab really helped to catapult it. Researching in Ireland not only helped my work for the two years I was there, but I was also able to bring back countless techniques and strategies that continued to support my research at Notre Dame.”

A current Notre Dame doctoral student, Lauren Assour, the Naughton Fellowship allowed her to establish multidisciplinary collaborations in Ireland that would not have otherwise occurred. Assour, who is utilizing her field of computer science to analyze how mosquitoes transmit malaria, said, “I was able to work with a biologist from a completely different background and with a different skillset than I had worked with at Notre Dame. As a result, my advisor gave me very different insights that helped me to move my research along in interesting ways, including an ancestral reconstruction of mosquitoes, which would never have been on my radar but is a big part of my dissertation now.”

For the Irish students coming to Notre Dame, the program is just as significant. As a participant in the Engineering, Science, and Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Master’s (ESTEEM) Program, Amy Flanagan’s time at Notre Dame has been a meaningful growth experience. She said the program “has been as much about what we learn outside the classroom as in it…It has been an unbelievable opportunity to study at Notre Dame and bring the research skills I have learned in Ireland to one of America’s leading research universities. The continuous support of the Naughton Foundation ensured I was able to perform to the best of my ability, to rise to the academic challenges, and embrace all of the opportunities presented.”

Fellow ESTEEM student, Shane McQuillan, has been able to see his research in action as well. He has co-founded a start-up company that is commercializing the work he did at Notre Dame on a mobile application that uses speech analysis to screen for concussions, which he said “would not have been possible without the Naughton Fellowship.”

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With new students coming and going on a regular basis, Notre Dame will soon be welcoming Dublin City University doctoral student Gillian Duffy to campus. Duffy, who is researching the impact of agriculture on river and stream nutrient levels, is looking forward to both the technical and personal sides of the fellowship; she said, “The Naughton Fellowship gives me the opportunity to study agricultural watersheds in the Midwest, which I would not have had access to otherwise. Additionally, it is a fantastic opportunity to meet a wider community of researchers in my field. This international experience is not only important for my research, but for my personal development, independence, and the chance to meet new people and make new friends.”

The fellowships are awarded on an annual basis, with deadlines fast approaching. For more information, please see naughton.nd.edu . 

Tabhartas Uí Neachtain ag Cur le Taighde ar Dhá Thaobh an Atlantaigh

Le sé bliana anuas, tá clár na gComhaltactaí Uí Neachtain ag cur comhoibriú taighde trasatlantach chun cinn i measc mic léinn fochéime agus iarchéime in Ollscoil Notre Dame.

Tuagnn clár na gComhaltachtaí Uí Neachtain deis do mhic léinn a bhfuil cúlra acu sa réimse Eolaíochta, Teicneolaíochta, Innealtóireachta agus Matamaitice (nó STEM mar is fearr aithne air), nó iniúllacht acu ar an réimse sin, tabhairt faoi dheiseanna idirnáisiúnta taighde agus oideachais, trí pháirt a ghlacadh i gclár malartaithe maoinithe idir Ollscoil Notre Dame agus ceitgre ollscoil cheannródaíocha ó thaobh taighde de in Éirinn: Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath, Coláiste na Tríonóide, An Coláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath, agus An Coláiste Ollscoile, Corcaigh. Is féidir le fochéimithe, mic léinn atá i mbun Máistreachta nó iarrthóirí Ph.D. in Éirinn teacht go dtí Ollscoil Notre Dame ar an gcomhaltacht seo. Is féidir, freisin, le fochéimithe, le mic léinn Máistreachta agus iarrthóirí Ph.D. Notre Dame taisteal go hÉirinn ar mhaithe le staidéar agus taighde a dhéanamh ar réimse leathan taighde idir Innealtóireacht Struchtúr agus Bhitheolaíocht Mhuirí, agus idir Shláinte Phoiblí agus Eolaíocht Sonraí agus Analaisíocht.

Ag labhairt dó ar Chomhaltachtaí Uí Neachtain, dúirt an tOllamh Rich Taylor, Leas-Phríomhoide Comhlach ar Thaighde “Táimid an-bhuíoch den fhlaithiúlacht a léirigh muintir Uí Neachtain do Notre Dame thar na blianta. Nuair a sheol an Dr Martin Naughton an clár comhaltachta ar dtús bhí a fhios aige go maith go mbeadh an t-oideachas STEM ina ‘chuid riachtanach de rathúnas na sochaí’. De réir mar a leanann Notre Dame ar aghaidh agus é ina fhórsa cumhachtach don mhaitheas sa domhan, is cúis áthais dom gur féidir linn na deiseanna a chur ar fáil do mhic léinn Notre Dame agus do mhic léinn na hÉireann araon, taighde a dhéanamh agus comhoibriú idirnáisiúnta a thógáil trí Chomhaltachtaí Uí Neachtain.”

Trinity College Dublin

Mar aon leis an tabhartas $8 milliún do na comhaltachtaí féin, tá tacaíocht á tabhairt ag Muintir Uí Neachtain d’Ollscoil Notre Dame le fada an lá. Cuireann Muintir Uí Neachtain dearlaic don ollúnacht agus do chomhaltaí dáimhe ar fáil, chomh maith leis an maoiniú do bhunú Institiúid Mhic Eochaidh-Uí Neachtain um an Léann Éireannach in South Bend, chomh agus do bhunú Ionad Mhic Eochaidh-Uí Neachtain Notre Dame i dTeach Uí Chonaill, Baile Átha Cliath, atá anois mar cheann de Thairseacha Domhanda Idirnáisiúnta Notre Dame.

Bhí tionchar bríoch ag Comhaltachtaí Uí Neachtain ar an taighde atá idir lámha in Notre Dame trí chomhoibriú dinimiceach a chothú le foireann taighde in Éirinn. Don Dr Andrew Steward, alumunus de chuid an chláir, bhí buntáistí praiticiúla ann dá thaighde ar innealtóireacht fíochán loingeáin. Ag buaic a chomhaltachta bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá aige “Chuir an deis tabhairt faoin taighde i saotharlann sheanbhunaithe go mór leis an ábhar a fhás agus a fhorbairt. Ní hamháin gur chabhraigh an dá bhliain a chaith mé i mbun taighde in Éirinn leis an taighde féin, ach bhí mé in ann freisin iliomad teicnící agus straitéisí a thabhairt ar ais liom, rud a thacaigh feasta leis an taighde atá ar bun agam in Notre Dame.

Don iarrthóir reatha Ph.D., Lauren Assour, chuir Comhaltacht Uí Neachtain ar a cumas comhoibriú ildhisiplíneach a bhunú in Éirinn, comhoibriú nach mbeadh ar a cumas murach an chomhaltacht. Tá iniúchadh ar siúl ag Assour san eolaíocht ríomhaireachta ar an gcaoi a tharchuireann muiscítí maláire. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá aici, “Bhí mé in ann obair le bitheolaí ó chúlra iomlán éagsúil a raibh raon scileanna difriúla aige ná mar a bhí ag comhghleacaithe liom in Notre Dame. De thoradh air sin, thug mo chomhairleoir léargas an-difiriúil dom, léargas a threoraigh an taighde i mbealaí spéisiúla, cuir i gcás an t-athógáil shinseartha ar mhuiscítí, smaoineamh nach mbeadh agam riamh ach atá mar chuid lárnach den mhiontráchtas anois.”

Do mhic léinn a thagann go Notre Dame ó Éirinn, tá an tionchar suntasach céanna ag an gclár orthu. Mar iarrthóir ar an gclár Máistreachta um Shár-Fhiontraíocht san Innealtóireacht, Eolaíocht agus Teicneolaíocht nó ESTEEM mar is fear aithne air, aithníonn Amy Flanagan an taithí mar dheis don fhás agus don fhorbairt. Dúirt sí “baineann an clár le deiseanna foghlama sa seomra ranga agus lasmuigh de.. is deis dhochreidte í staidéar a dhéanamh in Notre Dame agus an raon scileanna atá agam a thabhairt go dtí ceann de na hollscoileanna is fearr i Meiriceá ó thaobh taighde de. Chuidigh síorthacaiocht Fhondúireacht Uí Neachtain liom mo lánacmhainneacht a bhaint amach, aghaidh a thabhairt ar na dúshláin acadúla, agus tabhairt faoi na deiseanna go léir a cuireadh os mo chomhair amach.“

shane_mcquillan_2218

Bhí deis ag mac léinn eile de chuid an chláir ESTEEM, Shane McQuillan, a thaighde a fheiceáil faoi lánseol. Tá gnólacht nuathionscanta comhbhunaithe aige anois ina bhfuil tráchtálú ar siúl ar an saothar a bhí idir lámha aige in Notre Dame: aip fón póca a úsáideann anailís urlabhra chun scagadh a dhéanamh ar chomhtholgadh, deis dar leis “nach mbeadh indéanta murach Comhaltacht Uí Neachtain.”

Agus mic léinn nua ag teacht is ag imeacht go rialta, cuirfidh Notre Dame fáilte sara i bhfad roimh iarrthóir dochtúireachta eile, Gillian Duffy ó Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Claith, chuig an gcampas. Tá taighde ar siúl ag Duffy ar an tionchar atá ag an talmhaíocht ar leibhéil na gcothaitheach in abhainn agus i sruth. Tá sí ag súil go mór leis an ngné thicneolaíoch agus phearsanta den chomhaltacht. Ag labhairt di ar an gcomhaltacht dúirt sí “Tugann Comhaltacht Uí Neachtain deis dom staidéar a dhéanamh ar dhroimeanna draenála talmhaíochta sa Mheánoirthear, agus ní bheadh fáil agam air sin murach an chomhaltacht. Ina theannta sin, is deis iontach í bualadh le pobal níos leithne taighdeoirí sa réimse seo. Tá an taithí idirnáisiúnta tábhachtach ní hamháin don taighde, ach don fhorbairt phearsanta agus neamhspleáchas, agus tugann sé deis dom bualadh le daoine nua agus cairde nua a dhéanamh.”

Bronntar na comhaltachtaí ar bhonn bliantúil agus tá na spriocdhátaí ag druidim linn. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil, féach ar naughton.nd.edu .

Aistrithe ag Claire M. Dunne, FLTA i Roinn Theanga agus Litríocht na Gaeilge

Originally published by Joanne Fahey at research.nd.edu on October 29, 2014.