‘Huge drop’ in literacy levels of Irish university graduates – OECD study

Posted in Research, Teaching on February 21st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Up to 6% of Irish university graduates are functionally illiterate, according to latest international research. These rates, contained in an OECD study, are significantly higher than in Finland (2%) or the Netherlands (3%), though are similar to the UK (7%) …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 20 February]

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UCD Investing €6.5 million to house 50% more start-up companies

Posted in Research on February 20th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Last August, UCD announced a €6.5 million development project to expand the capacity of NovaUCD, the University’s Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs, to increase capacity to house early-stage start-ups by over 50%. The project to renovate and extend the facility’s east courtyard commenced in August 2018 and is expected to be completed by summer this year …” (more)

[Shivani Shukla, University Observer, 20 February]

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Which Skills for a PhD Student?

Posted in Research on February 18th, 2019 by steve

“Training of PhD students. It’s a big topic and large sums of money are involved. As I wrote in the autumn, there are concerns about the decisions that are being made. With the recent announcement of 75 new Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) by the EPSRC, the topic is bound to be in the air again. The blog-that-calls-itself UKRI Observatory did its third analysis of what was going on …” (more)

[Athene Donald’s Blog, 17 February]

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Arts graduates earn least while teachers earn most, survey finds

Posted in Research on February 18th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Young teachers earn most within months of leaving college while arts graduates take in the least, a survey of more than 29,000 recent third-level graduates has found. When broken down by type of course, education graduates – such as teachers – had the highest reported average salaries (€38,701) nine months after graduating …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 18 February]

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Employment rates for college graduates at boom-time levels

Posted in Research on February 18th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The vast majority of college graduates are opting to stay and find work at home, new figures show. Overall, some 78% of graduates from the class of 2017 were working nine months after graduating, figures not seen since the height of the economic boom …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 18 February]

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A Turning Point for Scholarly Publishing

Posted in Research on February 18th, 2019 by steve

“Debate over the future of scholarly publishing felt remote to Kathryn M Jones, an associate professor of biology at Florida State University – that is, until she attended a Faculty Senate meeting last year. There she learned that the library might renegotiate its $2-million subscription with the publishing behemoth Elsevier, which would limit her and her colleagues’ access to groundbreaking research …” (more)

[Lindsay Ellis, Chronicle of Higher Education, 17 February]


Overworked and isolated: the rising epidemic of loneliness in academia

Posted in Life, Research on February 17th, 2019 by steve

“Universities were created to be places where people learn and educate together. But a UK survey has found 46% of researchers feel lonely at work. Social isolation is particularly common among early career academics – 64% of PhD candidates report such feelings …” (more)

[Olivier Sibai and others, The Conversation, 29 January]


Obsession with third level a factor in construction worker shortage

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on February 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“It’s almost beyond ironic that the original home of the navvy is so short of building workers that the problem is threatening the construction of badly needed homes and infrastructure …” (more)

[Irish Times, 16 February]

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The day women demanded to eat at Trinity’s Dining Hall

Posted in Research on February 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland““This week witnessed a striking advance in the progress of the feminist movement in Trinity.” So began a report in the Trinity College Notes column of The Irish Times on Saturday, March 7th, 1931. The battleground was the Dining Hall in the Front Square of Trinity …” (more)

[Una Mullally, Irish Times, 16 February]


UCC to cut ties with nobel winner Dr James Watson over ‘deplorable’ comments

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on February 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“University College Cork has cut ties with a Nobel Prize winner after what the university described as ‘deplorable’ comments on the subject of ethnicity and genetics. Dr James Watson, who helped discover the structure of DNA, has been criticised for ‘racist’ comments in a recent documentary, which sparked international outrage. A New York laboratory recently said it was revoking all his titles and honours …” (more)

[Kevin O’Neill, Irish Examiner, 15 February]

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Brain drain in Northern Ireland much worse than in the Republic

Posted in Research on February 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Emigration has played a huge role in moulding the Republic, affecting all aspects of society and the economy. For most of the last century, as many bright and innovative young people left, its impact was generally unfavourable. In recent decades, however, the pattern has been rather different. While many still go, most of them come back, often enriched by their experience abroad …” (more)

[John FitzGerald, Irish Times, 15 February]

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The Burkean’s Mission Has Changed. Conservatives Are Right to Worry

Posted in Research on February 12th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Considerable publicity surrounded the launch of the Burkean this time last year. The announcement of a student publication backed by the godfather of Irish conservatism, Declan Ganley, immediately captured students’ attention …” (more)

[Matthew Murphy, University Times, 12 February]


The Burkean Has Diverged from its Original Purpose and Crossed a Line

Posted in Research on February 12th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Burkean Journal is something that, for better or worse, is irreparably tied to my name, thanks in part to articles published in this very paper. Though it seems like a lifetime ago, the interview I did with The University Times was no more than a year and a half ago. As mentioned then, the idea was to create a new campus publication out of a wish to shake up College discourse …” (more)

[Louis Hoffman, University Times, 11 February]


22,000 animals euthanised at UCC

Posted in Research on February 12th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“More than 22,000 animals have been euthanised after being used in scientific research at University College Cork in the last three years. Almost half of the animals euthanised after being used in research were mice, while fish also comprised a significant portion …” (more)

[Kevin O’Neill, Irish Examiner, 12 February]

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Ireland’s pay gap between men and women in R&D highest in Europe

Posted in Research on February 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The pay gap between women and men working in scientific research and development positions in Ireland is the largest in the European Union, with women earning on average 30% less than men, research has found. The European Commission on Monday released She Figures 2018, which presents key indicators on progress made towards gender equality in research and innovation, to mark the 20th anniversary of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 11 February]

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A Hint of Blue Skies for Irish Science?

Posted in Research on February 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“I was quite excited the other day when I got an email notifying me that Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has announced a new funding programme called Frontiers for the Future. What particularly caught my attention are the so-called Frontiers for the Future Projects …” (more)

[In the Dark, 9 February]

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The future of journal publishing here today

Posted in Research on February 8th, 2019 by steve

IrelandThe bad news: the scientific community can no longer afford commercial science journals. The good news: the scientific community no longer needs commercial science journals. The bottom line: open internet archives and overlay journals are the solution …” (more)

[Syksy Räsänen, In the Dark, 8 February]

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DCU purchased rodents for scientific research

Posted in Research on February 6th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The university bought 1790 mice and rats between 2016 and 2017 for scientific research purposes, The College View has learned. Mice took up the majority of the purchases with 1,296 of the 1,790 rodents. The other 494 were rats. DCU also declined to provide the name of the supplier of the rodent …” (more)

[Brian Mahon, The College View, 6 February]

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Plan S – Get your feedback in!

Posted in Research on February 4th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“It’s been a rather busy first day back at teaching, and I’m a bit tired after my first Engineering Mathematics lecture, so I’ll just post a couple of quick items on the topic of Open Access Publishing. The most important thing is a reminder that the deadline for submission of feedback on the Plan S proposals is February 8th 2019 …” (more)

[In the Dark, 4 February]


The Cost of the Open Journal of Astrophysics

Posted in Research on February 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Our recent publication of a paper in the Open Journal of Astrophysics caused a flurry of interest in social media and a number of people have independently asked me for information about the cost of this kind of publication. I see no reason not to be fully ‘open’ about the running costs of the Open Journal, but it’s not quite as simple as a cost per paper …” (more)

[In the Dark, 1 February]

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