Doctoral Travel Bursaries

REBECCA DENNEHY, SPHeRE PhD Scholar, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health

Attended: World Anti-Bullying Forum 2017, Stockholm, Sweden.

Thanks to receiving a College of Medicine and Health Travel Bursary I was able to attend the World Anti-Bullying Forum in Stockholm, Sweden.  This was a large conference and it was attended by renowned researchers working in the area of bullying from all over the world. This was my first time attending an international conference and I had the chance to give two oral presentations “Collaborating with Young People in Cyberbullying Research” and Cyberbullying and Young People: Behaviours, Experiences, Resolutions”. I was fortunate to be able to discuss my work with researchers and practitioners with vast experience in the area of cyberbullying. It was encouraging to see the support for participatory research and for involving young people in efforts to tackle bullying. It was a great opportunity to network and create links with other researchers working in the area both here in Ireland and internationally. It was useful to engage with current research in the area and uplifting to see such passion and commitment for bettering the lives of young people. 



Conference Attended:  Heart Failure Association (Hfa)  – European Society of Cardiology (Esc) Congress, Paris, France 2017 – 29th April – 2nd May 2017

I got a three-fold benefits of this conference: -


  • It updated my clinical knowledge regarding the new trending research in heart failure diseases
  • I attended a workshop about advanced life support and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.


  • I got a very positive feedback about my two posters.
  • My two posters are published in the European Journal of Heart Failure (IF= 5.13)
  • It was a golden opportunity for networking with notable professors, doctors and peers working in the same area of research but of different perspectives and cultures.


  • It improved my presentation skills and capability to explain my research in English, French and Arabic and also, in a scientific and plain languages.


SARAH MARSHALL - School of Pharmacy 

Conference Attended: 23rd HSRPP (Health Services Research & Pharmacy Practice) Conference hosted by the University of Nottingham on April 10th and 11th 2017. The conference theme was ‘Drivers for change: Policy, practice and education’ 

Attendance at this conference provided an opportunity to present my primary research, via a poster presentation (published in the IJPP), to obtain advice and feedback from my peers and to acquire skills to better my research practice. Guidance on the use of social media in research was of particular interest and will be of use in my future work. Finally, I was rewarded “Best Poster Presentation”. This will not only benefit my own academic development, but showcases the excellent research being conducted in this University.


FIONA RIORDAN - Epidemiology & Public Health, School of Medicine

Conference Attended:  Analysing Qualitative Interviews, Location: University of Oxford, Health Experiences Research Group – 19/20 January 2017

Having started the second year of my PhD, I am keen to expand my research skills. As part of the PhD I am conducting a qualitative research study and I want to further my training in qualitative methodology. While I have undertaken some training in qualitative data collection, completing this course would develop my skills specifically in analysing data. The course will be delivered by Dr Jenny Hislop, Co-ordinator on the Qualitative Research Methods Teaching Programme at Oxford, who has extensive experience in qualitative research, and I would expect to gain significantly from completing the course.


MARY ELLEN CROWLEY - School of Pharmacy 

Conference Attended: 2016 AIChE Annual Conference in San Francisco 12th - 18th November 2016

I would like to thank the College of Medicine & Health for facilitating my attendance at the AIChE conference this year in San Francisco. I had the opportunity to present two talks on my research and received valuable feedback from international experts in my field.

The AIChE sessions on innovation and progress in the areas of continuous manufacturing and materials science gave me the opportunity to see the direction many of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies and regulators are moving towards to improve the manufacturing process of medicinal products. This will help develop my future research work. 

The Graduate School in the College of Medicine and Health is inviting applications for up to 10 awards of Travel Bursaries for students currently registered for a doctoral degree (PhD/ MD/ Doctorate) in the College of Medicine and Health.

The purpose of these awards is twofold:

  1. To facilitate students who wish to present their work at an international conference
  2. To facilitate the training of students who wish to acquire skills that are essential for their academic development, but which they cannot otherwise receive in UCC

Applicants can apply for up to €1,000 in financial support that may be used towards the cost of travel, accommodation and registration fees for relevant training courses or conferences. 

The application process for the 2016/2017 academic year bursaries has been organised into two call periods, and the Graduate School are now inviting applications for the second and final call covering the period up to the 30th of September 2017.

The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is Friday 24th February, 2017

Application guidelines and selection criteria are included in application form.  Travel Bursary 2016-2017 Application (314kB)

JOHN KELLY - Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioural Science

Conference attended: 29th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Congress, Vienna - 17/20 September 2016

I would like to thank the College of Medicine and Health for awarding this travel bursary which enabled me to travel to the 29th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Congress in Vienna. The ECNP Congress is a scientific meeting for disease-orientated brain reserch, and brings together neuroscientists, psychiatrists, neurologists and psychologists from around the world. This meeting provided the platform to present my work on the role of the Gut Microbiota in Depression and to interact with world renowned neuroscientists and clinician-researchers. I highly recommend the ECNP conferences to anyone interested in brain research.


JAMES O'LEARY - Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

Conference attended: Eurogenesis Meeting, Bordeaux, France - 11/14 July 2016

I would like to thank the College of Medicine and Health for awarding this travel bursary which enabled me to travel to Bordeaux to attend the 3rd Eurogenesis meeting. Eurogenesis is a specialised conference that focuses on neural stem cells in the adult mammalian central nervous system. I was fortunate to attend this conference as it is only held every 3 years with this year marking the 50th anniversary of the discovery of adult neurogenesis. This conference was a great opportunity to showcase my research which investigates the role of adult neurogenesis in cognition. My work contributed to the conference as it focused on the nuclear receptor TLX, a key regulator of adult neurogenesis and its role as a mechanism by which stress and exercise affect learning and memory. Throughout the conference I was able to meet and discuss with international reserchers in the field of neural stem cells and stress-brain interactions as well to learn from leading neuroscientists through plenary lectures and networking events.

Thank you again for this great opportunity.


SARAH FITZGERALD - Department of Epidemiology and Public Health

Conference attended:  Annual Meeting of the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) in Cape Town, South Africa – 8/12 June 2016

I attended the 2016 Annual Meeting of the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) in Cape Town, South Africa which was held from the 8th-12th June.  This was my first time attending the ISBNPA annual meeting which is heavily focused on my research area of interest, evaluation of dietary interventions.  I found the keynote speakers, particularly Professor Vicki Lambert very inspiring.

Furthermore, the conference provided me with a fantastic opportunity to network with experienced researchers and to receive their valuable feedback on my research.  I had an oral presentation for one of my PhD publications which investigated obesity, diet quality and absenteeism in the workplace.  This presentation generated a helpful discussion and I received informative feedback regarding this publication.

I also had the opportunity to present a poster on another of my PhD publications (cost-analysis of nutrition interventions) which is currently under review with a journal.  This poster also received positive attention and useful feedback from researchers conducting similar research in the area of physical activity interventions.  I am hoping this may lead to future potential collaborations.

Overall, this conference was a worthwhile experience and I feel it will be of great benefit to my future career.


CIARAN O LEIME - Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

Conference attended:  Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society (PNIRS) 2016, Brighton, UK - 8/11 June 2016

I am very grateful to have received the College of Medicine & Health bursary which allowed me to attend the 23rd annual PNIRS meeting in Brighton. PNIRS is the largest gathering of world renowned researchers in the field of psychoneuroimmunology.

This field focuses on the connection between brain health and immune function.  While at this conference I was able to attend talks and discussions on the advancements in our understanding of how our immune system can impact upon our brain health.  I was also able to present our research and received very positive feedback and advice particularly in planning my future studies in assessing how immune function regulates hippocampal neurogenesis.

To have attended this conference has greatly advanced my understanding of the field and allowed me to meet with key researchers and discuss with them both their research and my own. I wish to thank the College of Medicine & Health again for affording me this opportunity.


 MAKIKO NISHI -  Dental School

Conference attended:  The 12th International Conference of Asian Academy of Preventive Dentistry, Tokyo, 27-29 May 2016

The conference was a great opportunity for me to network with Asian and Japanese colleagues.  I received good questions to my poster presentation from three viewers: an associate professor, a pharmacist and an associated research scientist.

At a social event, one Japanese professor asked me to coordinate the invitation of someone from Ireland to Japan as a speaker on water fluoridation. I am currently working on this.

In another social event, I was pleased to talk with Professor Ogawa, who is the dental officer in WHO (World Health Organisation), and with the chief dental officer from Malaysia and her colleague.


MUTAHIRA LONE- Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

Conference attended:  Experimental Biology 2016 meeting, April 2-6, 2016, San Diego.

I would like to thank the College of Medicine and Health for the travel grant which facilitated me to attend the EB- AAA conference and present my research as a scientific poster to international peers.

The theme of this symposium was based on anatomy education research which was relevant to my own research area. The talks and workshops offered insight and opportunity to see the research and educational methods employed in different parts of the world. I presented a poster on my research and obtained positive feedback. It was a wonderful networking experience.


MARIA KELLY - School of Pharmacy

Conference attended:  European Society of Clinical Pharmacy annual European Symposium in Lisbon, Portugal, 28/30 October 2015

 Attendance at this symposium benefited my development as it offered me an opportunity to present my work to an international audience. The symposium focussed on developing clinical pharmacy, education and research within the field. The symposium also offered me the opportunity to attend workshops. At this event, I attended; “Successful Scientific Writing: getting conference abstracts accepted and “Successful Scientific Writing: original research papers”. Both of these workshops were run by Froppe van Mill, editor of the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy. These workshops provided valuable insights into the selection process which will be of future benefit to my academic development.


AMRUTA NAIK - Molecular Virology Diagnostic & Research Laboratory, Department of  Medicine

Training attended:  3 weeks training course on HCV pseudoparticle generation at Centre for Virus Research, MRC, University of Glasgow, UK - 19th Oct- 6th Nov 2015

 I am grateful to the College of Medicine & Health for providing me with the funding to attend 3 weeks training course on generating HCVpp.

Dr. Patel’s lab is in the forefront of developing pseudoparticle assays. Training in his laboratory provided me an excellent platform to study the neutralization of HCVpp by patient derived antibodies. This training has given me more confidence in planning the experiments which are crucial in completing my PhD project. Also it has provided a great opportunity to establish research connection and a possible collaboration with one of the strongest groups in HCV research. Overall, attending this course has a huge positive impact on my research skills


NICOLA RONAN – Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Conference attended:  North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference (NACFC), Phoenix, Arizona, USA -  8/10 October 2015

I am very appreciative of this travel bursary which facilitated my attendance at the 29th North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference in Phoenix. The NACFC is the largest worldwide annual-scientific-meeting in Cystic Fibrosis (CF). While at the NACFC conference I had the opportunity to attend a short course on advanced drug therapy for CF in addition to workshops and symposia on the latest developments in CFTR modulation which will be invaluable to my ongoing development.

Attendance at NACFC offered me the opportunity to present our research thus enhancing my presentation skills. I also received invaluable peer feedback on the content of my on-going research.

Many thanks to the COMH for this opportunity to receive unrivalled state-of the-art medical and research education on cystic fibrosis and for networking with other clinicians and scientists.


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