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UCC celebrates research excellence at annual awards

1 Jun 2022
Dr Maria Rodriguez Aburto and Dr Carlos Garrido Castellano who will both be presented with Early Stage Researcher of the Year at the 2021 University College Cork Research Awards

A total of 29 outstanding researchers will today have their contributions to innovation and knowledge enhancement recognised at the 2021 University College Cork Research Awards, which will be held this evening at the Glucksman Gallery.

These prestigious awards were established to afford the university an opportunity to celebrate researchers, and those supporting research and innovation, who have made exceptional and influential contributions to research and innovation, and who have raised the national and international profile of UCC.

Researchers are to be awarded across 20 categories, five of which recognise specific achievements in the innovation space.

The guest of honour at this evening’s awards is Director General of Science Foundation Ireland Professor Philip Nolan, who will deliver a speech at the ceremony.

The Awards coincide with today’s announcement that four researchers from UCC and Tyndall National Institute are to share in almost €200,000 in funding from Science Foundation Ireland through its Discover Programme, which supports education and public engagement in STEM disciplines. 

The UCC researchers awarded were Catching Stories: Testimony of Infectious Disease in Ireland (€48,488) led by Dr Cliona O'Carroll, Jellyfish Fantastic: Increasing Ocean Literacy through Creative Design and Participation (€49,340) led by Dr Thomas Doyle, and Tree Explorers 2 (€49,257) led by Dr Eoin Lettice.

Dr Alan O’Riordan at Tyndall National Institute was awarded €50,000 for Uiscope 2022: Device-Enabled Citizen Science Project on Water Quality.

UCC Vice President for Research & Innovation Professor John Cryan congratulated all those due to receive an award later today:

“The UCC Research Awards are about celebrating our excellence in Research & Innovation. UCC is a research intensive university  and these awards are about acknowledging the outstanding contributions made  by our researchers locally, nationally and globally.

The full list of UCC Research Awards 2021 winners are:



Researcher of the Year 2021

Professor Justin Holmes

Early Stage Researcher of the Year 2021

Dr Carlos Garrido Castellano


Dr Maria Rodriguez Aburto

Research Support Person of the Year 2021

Dr Louise Burgoyne


Saba Loftus

Research Supervisor of the Year 2021

Dr Ronan Carbery 

Research Communicator of the Year 2021

Dr Paul Deane

Innovator of the Year 2021

Dr Frank Peters

Research Award for Open Science 2021

Dr K. Matvienko-Sikar - PaPOR TraIL 

Consultancy Project of the Year 2021

Dr K. Neville CRBC: COVID Response Team

Creating a Culture for Responsible Conduct of Research 2021

The Social Research Ethics Committee

Best publication of the Year involving an Undegraduate student as an author 2021

Jennifer Murphy


Thomas P Sheerin

Best Research Team 2021

The Marine Ecology Group led by Dr M. Jessops - 


The Pregnancy Loss  Research Group led by Dr Keelin O' Donoghue

Career Achievement Research Award 

Professor Ivan Perry

Research Image 2021

Dr Vuslat Juska

Licence Team of the Year 2021

A. Morrissey, D. McGovern, R. Burke

Engaged Research of the Year 2021

Prof. Brian Ó Gallachóir -Dingle Peninsula 2030 

Vice President for Research & Innovation Award for Interdisiplinary Research 2021

Prof P. Ó Macháin, Dr D. Iacopino

Research Collaboration of the Year 2021

Dr Gerard McGlacken

Spin-out company of the Year 2021

Dr. Declan Soden - Mirai Medical

Start-up of the Year 2021

Clare Meskill  - Teleatherapy

Presidents Award for Research Impacting the Sustainable Development Goals 2021

Dr. Ger Mulally - Imagining 2050

University College Cork

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