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13 June 2024  


Promoting scholars and scholarship is a core aim of NUI, and through NUI Awards, the University honours academic distinction among its students, graduates and early career academics.

In 2021, the National University of Ireland granted around €1 million to NUI students, graduates, staff and member institutions across the NUI federation.

Every year, this Ceremony is a highly anticipated opportunity to shine a light on the excellence of NUI Awards recipients. The National University of Ireland is honoured to recognise the hard work and achievements of these winners, who come from all academic disciplines and stages. As in 2020, 2021 was a difficult year of great uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact waxed and waned alongside new variants and challenges. NUI’s students, graduates and staff responded and adapted to the ever-changing situation with courage and determination, and we are proud to acknowledge their academic achievements and endeavours.

NUI is particularly proud to highlight the recipients of the NUI Dr H H Stewart Medical Scholarships and Prizes in 2021. These recipients are recent medical and health sciences graduates, many of whom have recently joined the front line against the COVID-19 pandemic.

NUI is also pleased to announce that the Irish Historical Research Prize 2021 is awarded to Dr Máirín MacCarron for her publication ‘Bede and Time: Computus, Theology and History in the Early Medieval World’, published in 2019 by Routledge. The Publication Prize in Irish History was awarded jointly in 2021, to Dr Martin O’Donoghue for his publication, ‘The Legacy of the Irish Parliamentary Party in Independent Ireland, 1922-1949’, published in 2019 by Liverpool University Press, and to Dr Fionnuala Walsh, for her publication ‘Irish Women and the Great War’, published in 2020 by Cambridge University Press.

Dr Edmund Gilbert, a graduate of RCSI, was awarded the NUI Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Sciences and Engineering 2021 for his studies on the genetic structure occurring within Ireland and surrounding populations. Dr Patrick Heslin, a graduate of Maynooth University, was awarded the special NUI Dr Éamon De Valera Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Mathematical Sciences 2021.

For the first time in 2021, NUI awarded a prize to a graduate of the Institute of Public Administration. Luda Connolly was awarded the NUI Club London Scholarship, as the top student from the final year of the programme leading to the BA (Hons) in Public Management.

Opening the Ceremony, former Registrar of NUI, Dr Attracta Halpin, noted that “in what has been another hugely challenging year across the higher education sector, we are so proud to mark the achievements of over 140 students, graduates and scholars here today.” The NUI Chancellor, Dr Maurice Manning, extended his warmest congratulations to everyone receiving an award. He commended the winners “in particular on what you have achieved academically and your success under pandemic conditions.”

Dr Patrick O’Leary, who took over as Registrar of NUI in January 2022, commented that “The NUI Awards reward exceptional achievement in academic endeavour but also seek to resource some of our brightest minds to continue their academic careers.  Today we make awards in a wide variety of areas and the work spans studies of the early medieval era to the NUI Dr H H Stewart Medical Scholarships and Prizes, highlighting the importance of medicine and healthcare during COVID-19.  Congratulations to all the awardees.”

Twitter: @NUIMerrionSq

Please see NUI Awards Programme below

Please click to view the NUI Awards 2021 Programme


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