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UCC Fulbright Irish Awardees Forge Links in the USA

19 Jun 2024
Photo (L-R): Jack Murray, Édith de Faoite, Professor Sarah Culloty (Fulbright Board Member and Head of the College of SEFS at UCC), Róisín Ní Bhroin, Dr Karen McCarthy, Luke O'Donoghue. Image credit: Robbie Reynolds.

An Intellectual Property Commercialisation Manager in UCC Innovation and a PhD student in Pharmaceutics are amongst the five University College Cork (UCC) scholars to receive prestigious Fulbright Awards for 2024-2025, to study and work in the U.S.

From August 2024 to August 2025, the Fulbright UCC Scholars will attend leading U.S. institutions to research, study, teach, and collaborate with experts.

Dr Karen McCarthy, an Intellectual Property (IP) Commercialisation Manager is the recipient of a Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar award and will be hosted by Duke University in North Carolina. Her research will focus on an analysis of the Irish and U.S. university ecosystems, and the influence of systematic and demographic factors in supporting innovation.

Jack Murray, a PhD student in Pharmaceutics at UCC will apply machine learning to databases of FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved drug products, with a focus on generating formulation and pharmacokinetic prediction models to support the clinical translation of challenging drug candidates. He will conduct this work under the guidance of Professor James Polli at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, the host institution for a number of FDA-funded research centres.

Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship (FLTA) awardees Róisín Ní Bhroin, Édith de Faoite and Luke O’Donoghue will teach the Irish language at the University of Notre Dame, at the College of Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, Massachusetts, and at the University of Montana respectively.

Professor Sarah Culloty, Head of the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science at UCC, and a Fulbright Board Member said: "Congratulations to the UCC awardees on this remarkable achievement! Being selected as a Fulbright recipient is a testament to their dedication, excellence, and commitment to fostering mutual understanding across cultures. This prestigious award not only recognises academic and professional accomplishments but also the potential to make a significant impact on the global stage. May this experience enrich their lives and inspire them to continue making positive changes in our interconnected world."

The Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, and the Embassy of the United States of America in Dublin announced 21 Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2024-2025. Recipients were presented with Awards at a ceremony in Iveagh House on Thursday June 13th. The full list of UCC scholars receiving Fulbright Awards for 2024-2025 are:

Dr Karen McCarthy (UCC Innovation)
Award: Fulbright TechImpact Scholar
Dr McCarthy is an Intellectual Property (IP) Commercialisation Manager in University College Cork, Ireland. She has a BSc Hons degree in Microbiology, a PGDip in Technology Commercialisation, and a PhD in Molecular Microbiology. Her professional career has focused on the interface between research and industrial development, and the impact realised across the wider ecosystem in collaboration with public/private stakeholders, both nationally and internationally. She is a member of the Royal Irish Academy's Life and Health Science Committee, an I-CORPS@SFI Academy Instructor and an alumnus of the Advance HE Aurora program, in addition to developing Ireland's first digital badge programme in intellectual property management for the research community.

Jack Murray (School of Pharmacy)
Award: Fulbright Irish student
Jack is a PhD student in Pharmaceutics at UCC. His research explores computational methods to streamline the development of orally administered drug candidates. He obtained his BPharm and MPharm from UCC and completed his pre-registration training at the Mercy University Hospital. He continues to practise as a community and hospital pharmacist. He received an Irish Research Council scholarship to pursue his doctorate and was awarded the Jane Grimson Medal of Excellence for being the top-ranked postgraduate researcher in the sciences.

Róisín Ní Bhroin (Master’s Student in the School of Law)
Award: Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship
Róisín graduated with first-class honours in Law and Irish from UCC in 2023. She is currently completing a Master’s in European Law and Irish in UCC. Róisín is an active member of UCC’s vibrant Irish language community. She is the Postgraduate Representative of An Chuallacht, the Irish Language Society, and was the Editor of Breac 2024 (UCC’s Irish language publication). Róisín is a language tutor with the Department of Modern Irish, teaching conversational and grammar classes to undergraduates. While at UCC, Róisín developed a deep affinity with the Kerry Gaeltacht. She first visited Ballyferriter as a first-year student and returned during her master’s as a tutor to UCC students. Róisín is looking forward to teaching Irish at the University of Notre Dame as a Fulbright FLTA Awardee.

Édith de Faoite (MA in Modern Irish)
Award: Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship
A native of County Kerry, Édith graduated with a first-class Bachelor of Commerce and an Irish degree from University College Cork in 2023. She is currently completing an MA in Modern Irish at University College Cork as a Rick and Rebecca Riordan Scholar. Her MA thesis examines the work of Máire Ní Shíthe (Dul Amú), a playwright and journalist who was active during the Irish Literary Revival. Édith works as an undergraduate tutor for first year students of Irish and with Visitor Services in UCC, providing tours of the university. She developed an Irish language tour, which is now a tour option for all visitors to UCC. Édith will teach Irish at the College of Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Luke O’Donoghue (Master’s Student in in Modern Irish)
Award: Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship
Luke is currently completing his dissertation in Modern Irish. He received a first-class honours degree in Irish and History from UCC in 2023. He earned a Mansion House Prize for his final year results in Irish as well as the Jennifer O’Reilly Prize for his history dissertation. He teaches tutorials in Irish, covering both grammar and conversational skills. Luke was born and raised in Cork City. He has a long-held interest in the culture of the Gaeltacht as well as a desire to spend time outside of Ireland. On his FLTA Award at the University of Montana, he will have the opportunity to share the expertise he has cultivated both inside and outside the classroom.

The Fulbright bilateral exchange programme has facilitated academic and cultural exchanges and strengthened Ireland-U.S. relations since 1957. The programme has a reputation for selecting exceptional candidates from across Ireland to study and work in disciplines ranging from health, science, technology and business to culture, the arts, and the Irish language.

Dr Sheena McHugh, Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Health and Fulbright Ambassador for UCC, said: "I want to congratulate all this year's Fulbright Awardees at UCC and wish them well for their time in the U.S. The Fulbright programme is special, it provides a unique opportunity to step out of your everyday routine and take time to learn, to experience and to share both professionally and culturally. I know the awardees will benefit from this experience for years to come. For those interested in applying, the Fulbright Irish Awards for 2025-2026 will open on 29th August 2024. Interested candidates should visit for more information."

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