Alumni News

ALIGNED: Art Connecting Students Around The World


As a recent Northwestern graduate, it wasn’t long ago that I spent extensive hours in the library and painting studios to fulfill my Art History major requirements. Working in the humanities is often a solitary task; the time spent studying and preparing your work usually far outweighs time spent sharing ideas and projects. In my experience, this is especially true as an undergraduate, when students have limited access to the professional worlds of their professors and mentors. I remember feeling excited, but also slightly intimidated, by the immense amount of “real world” information and ongoing discourse I felt I needed to learn before I could lend my own voice to the discussion. While that feeling still lingers, there are exciting new ways for students to overcome it.

ALIGNED is a global exhibition providing artistic platforms specifically for undergraduate students. Hosted on six university campuses across four countries–Australia, Ireland, Scotland, and Singapore–the exhibit highlights student projects recognized by the international Undergraduate Awards program. The first exhibition of its kind, ALIGNED provides an exhibiting opportunity for 13 students in their home countries and unites their work in an online gallery, which lets us learn more about some of the world’s leading young artists from the comfort of our laptops. Below are just a few of these impressive projects; I selected four based upon my interests in social justice and information sharing, but you should see the complete gallery for yourself!



AUSTRALIA: Jen Fullerton, “Grey Areas,” Australian National University

To combat the immense amount of information that inundates us digitally, academically and socially each day, Fullerton created abstract sculptures that intentionally lack contextual information. Her work activates viewers to engage in sensory ways, taking a break from our daily routines of information overload.



IRELAND: Elizabeth Burgess, “The Evolution of The News Media,” Limerick Institute of Technology

Burgess grapples with information overload in an entirely different way. Questioning the accuracy of modern day media, especially with social media’s influence on journalism, she created a newspaper covering the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, the Sichuan earthquake in China, and the Arab Spring. The paper begins with rather traditional coverage before becoming interrupted by Tweets, fragmented information and pixelated images.



SCOTLAND: Mandi Halonen, “Everything About Quarter Life Crisis Survival,” University of Dundee
Unemployed? Anxious? In the midst of an existential crisis? No matter how you’re feeling as finals week approaches, this guide has you covered. Its sleek design outlines the symptoms and phases of a quarter life crisis and provides a map with various tips and goals: use less Facebook, go to the gym, dance the night away, seek a good money/passion balance, and so on. As you flip through and identify with a few concerns (or a lot of them), it’s reassuring to know our friends across the pond have similar experiences.


SINGAPORE: Wilfred Lim, “New House,” Nanyang Technological University

“New House” responds to the gradual destruction of Lim’s hometown, a small fishing village in Pengerang, Southern Malaysia. In 2011, construction began to create an oil refinery in the area, which will displace tens of thousands of residents and deprive them of their livelihoods as farmers and fishermen. His elegant photos explore human habitat and the importance of place. I was particularly struck by this project because it introduced me to an issue I hadn’t heard of previously, which encapsulates the crux of ALIGNED as a place for artistic and intellectual global exchange.

I look forward to seeing future renditions of this annual art exhibition: the Undergraduate Awards is a young, rapidly-expanding organization and more is sure to come. In my view, sending the students’ artwork to different universities would increase the exhibit’s global nature while still maintaining a unique experience in each venue. How would you further push the boundaries of connectedness and exchange?

Whether or not you’re an artist, you can become a part of this international network of undergraduates by submitting to the 2015 Undergraduate Awards before the June 16 deadline. All you have to do is submit your portfolio or final papers you’ve written for class. Learn more on their website, fill out the UA Form here , and keep an eye out for next year’s exhibition of impressive work by our peers from around the world.


By Claire Dillon


Claire Dillon is a recent Northwestern graduate and the Director of Education and Outreach for the Chicago non-profit ART WORKS Projects. She also serves the editorial boards of Art Journal and Vexillum: The Undergraduate Journal of Classical and Medieval Studies.

ART WORKS Projects Website



This post was originally published here by the Northwestern Art Review – Northwestern’s Visual Culture Club on May 27th 2015.

The Prize

The Undergraduate Awards 2015 Prize

The Undergraduate Awards (UA) is the world’s only prestigious and international academic awards programme, which is wholly pan-discipline. It aims to celebrate and support the world’s brightest and most innovative undergraduate students by recognising their best coursework and projects. The UA is a unique initiative that identifies the world’s top undergraduate research; aims to identify leading creative thinkers through their undergraduate coursework and awards across 25 different categories. Students are chosen for their innovative approach to their subject area – creating world-class research to tackle some of the world’s toughest challenges.

As well as coming to Dublin for an all-expenses-paid trip to receive their medal, UA provides top performing students with the support, network and opportunities they require to raise their profiles and further their career paths.

The Recognition

Becoming a winner, or even highly commended, means your research is the top of your field. The Undergraduate Awards identifies and recognises the most creative and nuanced arguments and ideas coming out at undergraduate level internationally. The overall winners are published in our annual academic journal. The journals are sent to every university library and is often requested by academics as a directory of the finest undergraduates from every discipline. You can see previous journals here. This recognition at the undergraduate level can be catalytic when pursuing further studies, or your chosen career.

The Journal

The Network

Recipients of the Undergraduate Awards are members of an eclectic mix of some of the world’s most creative thinkers and problem-solvers. Being part of the alumni of UA winners gives you unparalleled access to world class students from across the globe. Check out our existing alumni here.

The Summit

Winners are brought to the UA Global Summit in Dublin, Ireland. This is a four-day networking and brainstorming event which brings together the brightest and most innovative students in the world.

The best thing about the UA Global Summit was the opportunity to meet the other winners and highly commended students from all over the world, and across all the disciplines. It was a really challenging and empowering three days!” (Highly Commended Attendee, 2012)

Each year, the winners and highly commended entrants are invited to Dublin to attend the UA Global Summit – a “Davos for students”. The top students from around the world take part in discussions, workshops and events all geared towards enhancing their personal development, encouraging responsible leadership and equipping them with the knowledge they need to further themselves, their ideas and research.

Perfect – three of the best days of my life so far. Gave me clarity to think through a few hard decisions about what direction I want my career to take and has affirmed some aspirations of mine.” (Winner, 2013)

The Summit is exclusive in that only winners and highly commended students can attend. The Summit is designed to celebrate these outstanding students from across the world, and to inspire them with speakers assembled from a diverse range of backgrounds; as diverse as the category winners themselves. The four-day conference reaches its pinnacle at the Undergraduate Awards Ceremony where each of the UA winners are presented with their Gold Medal, for their leading-edge research and course work.

To become a part of this growing network of outstanding students you can submit your work to The Undergraduate Awards by clicking on the UA Form here. If you are not ready to submit your work just yet, you can simply save your details on the UA Form and upload your paper at a later date. #awardyourwork

ALIGNED Exhibition in Limerick School of Art and Design

Yesterday ALIGNED, The Undergraduate Awards (UA) international Art exhibition, launched in Limerick Institute of Technology’s school of Art & Design (LSAD). Over the next eight weeks ALIGNED will exhibit and showcase the work of thirteen undergraduate artists from six different colleges from around the world. The exhibition is already up and running in Singapore and Scotland.

ALIGNED is an exciting, international art exhibition; the first of it’s kind hosted by The Undergraduate Awards.  The artists in this series are all Highly Commended and Winning entrants to The Undergraduate Awards 2014 programme.

The first exhibition in the ALIGNED series was launched in Nanyang Institute of Technology (NTU) Singapore, exhibiting the work of Wilfred Lim and Kho Ruiwei. Wilfred was the programme winner of The Undergraduate Awards 2014 programme for his work New House and Kho was highly commended for her work Constitutional Nightmare, 2014. 

New House showcased in NTU, Singapore

New House showcased in NTU, Singapore


Constitutional Nightmare, 2014 showcased in NTU, Singapore

Constitutional Nightmare, 2014 showcased in NTU, Singapore

Each exhibition will take place in the artist’s home institution from now until the end of June 2015. The Exhibition is taking place in four different countries and has already opened in Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore and the University of Dundee, Scotland.  Other Institutions taking part include Australian National University, Canberra; Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and National College of Art and Design (NCAD) which are both in Ireland. All exhibitions are hosted centrally in the ALIGNED exhibition at

Lorraine Cleary, Emily Robards and Elizabeth Burgess are all exhibiting their work this week in the Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD).  The 3 artists completed their undergraduate degree in Limerick and were all Highly Commended for their work in The UA 2014 programme. The exhibition will run until the 20th of May.

Lorraine Cleary, currently studying for a Masters in Interactive Media at the University of Limerick, is exhibiting her work Mise en Scene, “an investigation into the boundaries that exist between spatial entities. Involving an exploration of these entities in their ambiguous states, the in-between, on the threshold of transformation.”

Webcam Footage Projected

Webcam Footage Projected showcased in LSAD, Ireland

Emily Robards, an artist living and working in Co. Limerick, is also showcasing her work A Susurrus,… “meaning a whisper or a murmur…links the spiritual, human and animal worlds together with an underlining narrative of innocence and the uncanny.”



A Sussurrus,.. showcased in LSAD, Ireland

A Sussurrus,.. showcased in LSAD, Ireland

A Sussurrus,.. showcased in LSAD, Ireland


Elizabeth Burgess, a junior designer working in Dublin, showcasing her work The Evolution of The News Media “…we receive the news fast, all at once and it’s difficult to distinguish what is truth, fiction or just idol gossip. It asks the question: does social media democratize the news or defile it by supporting news stories with questionable sources?”


The Evolution of The News Media showcased in LSAD, Ireland


Last week ALIGNED launched in the University of Dundee, exhibiting the work of Highly Commended entrant Mandi Halonen.  Her piece Everything About Quarter Life Crisis Survival is a book that “explains everything you need to know to survive the quarter life crisis. The book has three elements: the guide, the map of life, and an emergency pack.” This exhibition will run until the 31st of May. 


Everything About Quarter Life Crisis Survival showcasing in the University of Dundee

You can see the full exhibition on our website at ALIGNED.

If you would like to take part in next year’s international art exhibition, you can submit your work to The Undergraduate Awards 2015 programme.  You can fill out this form and submit your work by the deadline: June 15th 2015.

For more information on submitting your work, check out the submission criteria or email us with any questions on Good Luck!

Would John Williams’ Stoner survive today?

A tale of quiet devotion to scholarship seems all the more poignant given the relentless nature of today’s academy, says Rachel Carey.

Recently, almost 50 years after its original publication – but only two years after it became a best-seller – I got around to reading John Williams’ Stoner.

For those of you who are not familiar with the book, which was hailed by The New Yorker as “the greatest American novel you’ve never heard of”, it is a beautifully written story about one man’s perfectly ordinary life. Its protagonist, William Stoner, is an assistant professor at the University of Missouri and, through his perspective, we are offered (among many other things) a vivid portrayal of academic life. In his first year as an undergraduate, Stoner becomes enthralled by the study of English literature, having discovered the “epiphany of knowing something through words that could not be put in words”. The passion he feels for his chosen subject drives him towards a patient and lifelong dedication to its study. He becomes neither an extraordinary teacher nor a celebrated scholar, but we become invested in him and his life, and the world in which he works.

Just as the novel emphasises the importance of the character’s journey, William Stoner’s love of academia is rooted in the pursuit of knowledge rather than its end product. At an early stage in his career, Stoner is reminded by his adviser to “remember what you are and what you have chosen to become, and the significance of what you are doing”. Despite the novel being set in the first half of the 20th century, this piece of advice struck me as relevant – albeit increasingly difficult to follow.

Today, the unfortunate truth is that your “significance” as an academic, your scholarly worth, is judged almost solely on your output. You might sign up for a life in academia believing in, and enjoying, the scientific process itself, but succeeding in it requires more than belief. It requires, above all else, high impact publications and grants. The process of finding answers and seeking truths is almost entirely eclipsed by the urgency with which we need to report those answers, write up those truths and, of course, secure more funding.

Research commissioned in 2013 by the University and College Union showed that mental health problems are on the rise among UK academics. This might stem in part from the psychological make-up of those who work in academia, a world of overachievers and perfectionists; we often tend to push ourselves further, and harder, than we should. But there’s more to it than that.

There is certainly something in the nature of the work that makes self-doubt and anxiety inevitable. Working in academia has often made me feel as though I’m wandering through a forest. You start out wanting to explore new avenues and discover unknown territories. The trails are imprecise and indistinct, and you’re never quite sure that you’re going the right way – you’re not actually entirely sure you’re not going around in circles. You become acutely aware of the limits of your knowledge. You are reminded of it every time you read an old study you haven’t seen before, or hear for the first time about new, cutting-edge research. We often joke that we all have “imposter syndrome”, but honestly, it’s hard to shake the doubt when you are so regularly reminded of all that you don’t yet know – even, and perhaps especially, about your chosen area.

I think, though, it is the pressure that comes with a “publish or perish” environment, and the type of mindset it encourages, that has the most potential for harming our mental health. Academia is a world that breeds relentless self-comparison and self-assessment, where we feel the need to strive for impossible standards, to prove (as much to ourselves as to everyone else) that we are capable, that we can cope with the pressure, that we can succeed. We emerge from our PhDs knowing that there are more people than jobs and feeling like small fish in a rapidly expanding pond. When we try to keep up the pace by taking on more work, when we work longer hours, when we sit at our computers late into a Sunday evening, thinking “this is what I’ve signed up for”, we are accepting destructive and dangerous thought patterns that are becoming ingrained in academia. By accepting them, we normalise them, we trivialise them; we perpetuate them.

When, every so often, you emerge into a clearing in the academic forest, any sense of relief manifests itself very cautiously. There’s always another deadline round the corner, so we are reluctant to pause and savour these moments; the instinct is to run straight ahead. When we are only as good as our highest-impact publication, we cannot afford to get complacent.

Williams’ Stoner is an unassuming, unpretentious, unexceptional man. Yet, when I finished this book, I found myself admiring and envying him. I envied his raw appreciation for his chosen subject, and the fulfilment he’d found in committing his life to its study, regardless of where that study took him. It would be nice to say we should all take a leaf out of Stoner’s book, except that I don’t believe that would get us very far in 2015. Academia has become a world where one’s love for research is secondary to the extent to which one can yield output from it. In this context, it’s hard to maintain belief in ourselves and to “remember the significance” of what we are doing. When we are lost in the forest, the bigger picture can be frustratingly elusive.

I wonder how different life for Stoner would have been, if he had worked in academia today. Would he have carried on until his retirement with the same love for the university, the same belief in the value of academic life? Or, as is my suspicion, would the university have taken one look at his publications, told him that he should have applied for more grants, and kicked him out the door?

Rachel Carey is a research associate in psychology and behaviour change at University College London. These are her personal views.

This article was first published here in Times Higher Education Magazine on 30th April 2015. Visit Times Higher Education Website for news and events on  here.



Aligned | The Undergraduate Awards Art Exhibition 2015

An exhibition of our 2014 Winning and Highly Commended entrants in the Visual Arts category

Aligned is the first art exhibition of its kind: a series of exhibitions taking place over the course of 7 weeks, from May 8th – June 28th, across six higher education institutions of art and design in four countries: Ireland, Scotland, Singapore and Australia. The institutions are displaying the work of their past and current students who were either winners or highly commended entrants to the The Undergraduate Awards.

The exhibition will launch on each campus starting from May 8th, but it will also be hosted virtually on where an international audience can view all the works of art and information on the artists themselves.

aligned globe

Executive Director of The Undergraduate Awards, Louise Hodgson says “This is the first international art exhibition of its kind – being hosted virtually as well as on campuses around the world, but I have to admit: I’m mostly excited about displaying so many emerging Irish artists to a global audience. This is a huge opportunity for them.”

The work from the Overall Winner of the Visual Arts category: Katie Watchorn, has been published in The Undergraduate Journal and can be viewed here.  Her installation ‘A Softness Preserved You’ deals with traditional Irish farming practices. “I am interested in the care and maternal instincts of the farm environment, and the materials used to portray this nurturing towards non-humans,” commented Katie.

The 13 artists taking part in this exciting global event are:

  • Elizabeth Burgess, Limerick School of Art and Design, Ireland
  • Lorraine Cleary, Limerick School of Art and Design, Ireland
  • Padraig Conway, National College of Art and Design, Ireland
  • Avril Corroon, National College of Art and Design, Ireland
  • Martha Daly, National College of Art and Design, Ireland
  • Jen Fullerton, Australian National University, Australia
  • Mandi Halonen, University of Dundee, Scotland
  • Wilfred Lim, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Aisling Reddin, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
  • Emily Robards, Limerick School of Art and Design, Ireland
  • Kho Ruiwei, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Katie Watchorn, National College of Art and Design, Ireland
  • Nicola Whelan, National College of Art and Design, Ireland


Aligned is the first art exhibition of its kind, celebrating top undergraduate artistry and design on a global platform. The Undergraduate Awards is the world’s only international, pan-disciplinary academic awards programme. Six exciting exhibitions taking place in universities across four countries; the work will be hosted centrally through and will be promoted across all social media.

The six participating universities are;

  • Australian National University, Australia
  • Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
  • Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland
  • Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • National College of Art and Design, Ireland
  • University of Dundee, Scotland


To submit your artwork and designs to The Undergraduate Awards 2015 programme, please fill out the UA Form before our deadline June 16th. 

Grinding Teeth with Exam Stress? Trinity Researchers Have Found a Solution!

A group of researchers at Trinity College Dublin, School of Dental Science have come together and announced a new ‘spin-out’ company called SelfSense Technologies Ltd and has launched it’s first product; an intelligent mouth guard device called SmartSplint, which records and monitors teeth grinding of patients and allows their dentists to help them manage the condition (bruxism) more effectively.

The researchers are Dr Padraig McAuliffe and Professor Brian O’Connell from the Dublin Dental Hospital and School of Dental Science at Trinity College Dublin and Dr Ramesh Babu and Dr James Doyle from AMBER, the Science Foundation Ireland funded materials science centre based at Trinity College Dublin. SelfSense Technologies Ltd has licensed sensor technology from Trinity, and has already secured €100k investment from NDRC. SelfSense Technologies Ltd will develop diagnostic and monitoring sensors for tooth‐grinding and SmartSplint will be brought to market in autumn this year by the Trinity College spin‐out company. The team is seeking to raise investment in the next 6‐9 months and continues to work in close collaboration with the world class research and clinical facilities at Dental Hospital and the AMBER Centre at Trinity College Dublin.


As it turns out, tooth grinding or clenching is a very common issue that affects up to half a million Irish people on a daily basis. The nightly grinding of teeth is more than a minor inconvenience. It can be a chronic condition, leading to severe facial pain and headaches, dental wear and damage to crowns, veneers and implants. The cost of repairing teeth damaged by bruxism is huge but can be greatly reduced by wearing a night guard (splint). Unfortunately, because bruxism mainly occurs at night, many patients don’t realise that they are grinding.

SmartSplint will be able to deliver up to date, personalised information about bruxism right to the patient’s phone and help them to understand their condition better and even point to how they could modify their lifestyles to reduce how much they grind.

SelfSense Technologies has secured a licence to technologies developed with over €700k in grant funding from EI, SFI and HRB at Trinity College Dublin and the Dublin Dental Hospital.

As with The Undergraduate Awards, Trinity Research encourages inter-disciplinary collaboration and work across all research areas. You can find more information on Research at Trinity College Dublin here as well as more news on research at Trinity.  For more information on postgraduate studies at TCD, have a look at the prospectus here.

TCD logo stacked (1)

Google AdCamp Invites Top Students to Apply

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 9.26.46 AM

Corporate partner to The Undergraduate Awards, Google have an exciting initiative available to students!  Google AdCamp is a unique opportunity for students interested in developing their skills in online sales and advertising.  The AdCamp program is a 3 day, all expenses paid camp that offers a collaborative curriculum focused on Google’s advertising sales and services operations, an overview of Google’s ad products and insight into the industry.

There are 45 places available to current university students who will graduate in Nov-Dec 2015, 2016 or 2017, from a university in Europe, the Middle East or Africa.  Students will be selected to participate in the AdCamp experience at the Google EMEA office in Dublin. Participants will get the opportunity to meet with Googlers and interns, compete in a case competition, participate in social activities and get an inside look into helping small and medium businesses thrive. The AdCamp program will be taking place from September 2nd to September 4th at Google’s office in Dublin, Ireland and Wroclaw, Poland (participants will be allocated at Google’s discretion).

Google have office headquarters located in regions around the world including EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa), United States, Southeast Asia & Australia/Singapore. This opportunity is only available in the EMEA office and students applying must be current undergraduates in the EMEA region also.  Applications for AdCamp in all other regions are now closed.


To Apply Students Must:

  • Be a current student pursuing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
  • Be a current student in a country in Europe, Middle-East or Africa.
  • Be graduating in 2016 or 2017. Students graduating in November – December 2015 are eligible.
  • Demonstrated experience or internships in sales, customer support, account management, marketing or consulting.
  • Demonstrate academic excellence.
  • Students who have participated in a Google program (AdCamp, BOLD, Google Student Ambassador programs) or Google internship in the past are not eligible to apply.
  • Be available to attend all three days of the program.
  • Be fluent in English, as all AdCamp program activities will be conducted in English.


Application Deadline – May 3, 2015, midnight GMT

Apply herePlease complete the form and include this unique invitation code: UA

Want to know more? Why not check out our AdCamp video or our blog post !

For any questions, reach out to the AdCamp team at

Study at the University of St Andrews

The Undergraduate Awards Partner University; University of St Andrews is located on east coast of Scotland and is a unique place to study and live. It is known that students of St Andrews often find themselves crossing golf-courses to get to class, or jogging along the beach after dinner. The University has a world-class reputation and offers a diverse range of academic and social activities (over 140 student societies and 50 sports clubs) including some interesting student traditions!

The University of St Andrews offers a broad range of postgraduate studies, with over 1,000 postgraduates currently studying across the four Faculties of Arts, Divinity, Medicine and Science. The University is committed to helping postgraduate students achieve great things after their course has ended. The ethos at St Andrews is that which combines the “cosmopolitanism of an international university with a strong sense of community derived from its location in a small and ancient town”.  This dynamic enables the university access to private and public funding which facilitates “path-breaking” research while still being small enough to provide individual attention to their students. “We believe we combine the best of the global and the local”.

Postgraduates at St Andrews can study either a taught postgraduate course, such as an MLitt, MRes or MSc, or programme of supervised research including an MPhil, PhD, DLang and DEng. These require either a good undergraduate degree for the Faculty of Science, or a Masters degree for the Faculties of Arts and Divinity. For more information on how to study at Postgraduate level at St Andrews, check out the application process here.

In other news:

In line with The Undergraduate Awards key focus on growing our inter-disciplinary, international community and fostering strong partnerships, this month in St Andrews is dubbed China Month. “As an ‘internationally Scottish’ university, we have been building partnerships with China, China’s universities and the brightest students from China for several years. Our shared values of scholarship, partnership and academic research are the basis of strong relationships between St Andrews and students from China. Our engagement with China includes: Chinese Ministry of Education, China Scholarship Council, Education Department of Chinese Embassy”.

The entrants to our Politics & International Relations Category will be interested to hear that renowned terrorism expert Professor Paul Wilkinson CBE was remembered at a special event at the University of St Andrews earlier this week. Professor Wilkinson was a world authority in International Relations and a pioneer of the study of terrorism and political violence.  A memorial lecture was given by leading expert in Islamic violence Dr Thomas Hegghammer. Dr Hegghammer is the Director of terrorism research at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) in Oslo and author and co-author of several books, including Jihad in Saudi Arabia (Cambridge 2010) and al-Qaida in its own words (Harvard 2008). His lecture, ‘Why Terrorists Weep: Socio-Cultural Practices in the Militant Underground’, followed those given by Bruce Hoffman (2013) and Ariel Merari (2014) in Professor Wilkinson’s memory.  This is the third memorial lecture to be held in Professor Wilkinson’s memory since he passed away in 2011.


Professor Paul Wilkinson CBE. Source: Press Office, University of St Andrews

Interesting to note:

The University of St. Andrews is to launch it’s own record label. The Sanctiandree label will profile St Salvator’s Chapel Choir under the direction of University Organist Tom Wilkinson. The name Sanctiandree comes from a document dating from the earliest days of the University, which indicates that students, described as “Choristi Sanctiandree”, sang at services.

The CD entitled Salvator Mundi – The Purcell Legacy was recorded last year by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir and the Fitzwilliam String Quartet. It includes work by Pelham Humfrey, a teacher of Henry Purcell, and charts a history of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century composers associated with the Chapel Royal. It finishes with the world premiere recording of a work by William Jackson of Exeter.  The Santiandree label was officially launched with a free concert at St Salvator’s Chapel, as part of the Scottish student arts festival “On the Rocks”.

St Salvator's Chapel Choir

Tom Wilkinson & St Salvator’s Chapel Choir. Photo credit: Oli Walker.

The University of St Andrews has been affiliated with The Undergraduate Awards since 2012.  St Andrews was one of our first Partner Universities  and the Dean of Science Prof. Al Dearle sits on the academic advisory board who meet annually to advise on the academic rigour of the awards programme.  If you would like your University to become affiliated with The Undergraduate Awards please contact Owen at for more information.

James Fogarty Making Music through Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering graduate, James Fogarty of Cork Institute of Technology has created a system to enable people with disabilities to play and record music.

James was highly commended in the Category of Engineering & Mechanical Sciences in The Undergraduate Awards 2014 programme.  His paper was on the “Design and Development of an Assistive Technology Music System for Sufferers of Cerebral Palsy – Music-ability”.  It was supervised by Lecturer, Sally Bryan, and carried out in conjunction with the SoundOut organisation.

In a recent interview, James explained how he arrived at his idea: “I play in an Irish traditional band with my two older brothers. Music has always been part of our family and culture. I became a biomedical engineer so I could help people. When the opportunity came up to use the two things that I loved, I jumped at the chance. Music is something we take for granted and there is extensive research into the health benefits for people with disabilities to play music. The project strives to bridge the gap for people with sever disabilities to express themselves musically through a viable method. ”

“The hardware and software system effectively converts head and arm movements into corresponding notes and sound effects. Through extensive liaison, feedback and approval from the subject and music teacher, the created assistive technology music system is optimised and tailored for unique wants and needs,” James writes in his paper.

Jenny, who has cerebral palsy, has enjoyed using James’ system. Her mother said: “It gives her that outlet. Whenever she is moving her head and hand, she will actually hear the music that she is making, which is great for her. She can’t exactly play a piano, but she can play a piano using something like this, because it can give her the piano sound.”

James added: “First of all, it was suitable for Jenny with cerebral palsy, and it can also be used for stroke victims or for people with muscular dystrophy. I hope to see it in music sessions and classrooms, and I hope it really makes a difference.”

This year, James has also won the Vicon: Best Medical Engineering Undergraduate Project Competition at the Healthcare Technologies Student and Early Career Awards 2015 Finals in London.

At his graduate internship in Abbott Vascular, Clonmel, James is hoping to develop his Music-ability system further: “Irish engineers and designers are at the forefront of developing new assistive music making technologies. These technologies, which are being constantly developed and clearly embraced by the next generation of budding engineers, not only enables these musicians to compose and perform independently, but also in an inclusive environment with other musicians.”

We look forward to hearing more music from James and Jenny!

Watch video here.

If you would like to submit your work to The Undergraduate Awards 2015 programme you can do so here on our UA Form or simply save your details to our UA Form and submit your paper at a later date. (we have 25 different categories!)

UA Welcomes Western University

PrintThe Undergraduate Awards is delighted to announce a 3 year partnership with Western University (The University of Western Ontario, Canada). The UA is always looking to expand its global reach and now Western joins The Undergraduate Awards network along with our other Partners from around the world; Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, University of California Berkeley in the USA, University of St. Andrews in Scotland and King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia.

Founded in 1878, Western is among Canada’s oldest universities and ranks in the top 1 per cent of universities in the world. Western is a destination of choice for bright minds seeking the best learning experience at a leading Canadian research university. It is home to 38,000 students, including 3,200 international students from 117 countries.

Western creates, disseminates and applies knowledge for the benefit of society through excellence in teaching, research and scholarship. Researchers at Western are global leaders in fields such as neuroscience, imaging, wind engineering, economics, literature, philosophy, and psychology. The 270,000 alumni are global citizens whose education and leadership have propelled them to successful careers in Canada around the world.

Previously an Affiliate of UA, Western has increased their commitment to help us identify and encourage the best undergraduate research around the world.  As a University Partner, Western will have a representative sit on our academic advisory board and will help the organisation in its aim to bring together the brightest students from around the world, including Canada.  Western share the UA vision of shared knowledge and the importance of inter-disciplinary research.

Our global Partnerships allow students the opportunity to compete in an international arena and access our network of prestigious Universities from around the world.  Our Affiliates work with the UA in promoting the programme each year on campus and with their student population. If your institution would like to affiliate itself with UA, please contact Owen, our International Engagement Officer for further details.  You can reach Owen at

King Abdulaziz University signs 3-year partnership with The Undergraduate Awards

The Undergraduate Awards are delighted to announce their latest partnership with King Abdulazziz University (KAU) in Saudi Arabia.

The university, located in the city of Jeddah in west Saudi Arabia, was established in 1967. KAU has since grown dramatically with a faculty of over 2000 and more than 40,000 undergraduate students. KAU is known for its dedication to scientific and theoretical fields of study. It has evolved to become especially distinguished in the research fields of disciplines such as Seas Sciences, Geology, Nuclear Engineering, Medical Engineering, Meteorology and Aviation and Mineralization.

The mission of KAU is “To enrich society through cultural prominence, scientific acumen and pioneering research”. To enable this the university not only has a large traditional undergraduate students program but also offers an external program to allow access for all students to get higher education. It has established the Deanship of Distant Teaching to cope with the development in learning and teaching technology.

KAU has agreed a 3- year partnership with The Undergraduate Awards:

It is a matter of great pride that King Abdulaziz University (KAU) is a partner of The Undergraduate Awards. KAU fully recognizes the importance of interdisciplinary research and will contribute as much as possible to make this partnership successful, especially in its promotion to reward the brightest and most innovative students to encourage their development and inspire all undergraduates participating in such initiatives.

As a University Partner of The Undergraduate Awards KAU is part of our network of innovative universities, identifying and encouraging the best undergraduate research around the world. A representative from KAU will sit on our academic advisory board and will help the organisation in its aim to bring together the brightest students from around the world inc. Saudi Arabia.  KAU share the vision of shared knowledge and the importance of inter-disciplinary research.

A note on the KAU logo:

King Abdulaziz University

In 1966 KAU held a competition to design their logo.  Submissions from local and international artists were considered.  The winning emblem design was submitted by Abdul-Halim Radwi a local artist from Jeddah. The main colour of the selected design was originally blue but it has since been changed to green to resemble the prevailing colour of the Saudi flag.

The emblem is ship’s hull on which the name of the university is written. The ship represents the sea port of Jeddah, the university’s home city. The logo also contains an open book to symbolize the Holy Qur’an and a minaret topped with a felt-tipped pen to signify the values of education and knowledge.

The emblem represents the following values:

  • Dedication: to substantially boost education and knowledge.
  • Responsibility: to identify and address the needs of the Kingdom in a world of mixed cultures and educational values.
  • Patriotism: to build a modern and civilized society yet that which adheres firmly to its traditions and customs.
  • Ambition: to graduate leaders, thinkers and intellectuals of the future.
  • Quality: to ensure all the university’s activities, facilities and services are compliant with high quality standards.
We do our best work at the edges of our fields and at the intersections of different fields” winner 2013.

If you would like to submit your undergraduate coursework to us you can do so here.  This is a unique achievement for students at undergraduate level and an exclusive opportunity for Irish & International students.  Submissions for the 2015 programme are open to all undergraduates around the world, graduating in years 2014,2015 & 2016.

A note on the interesting logo of King Abdulaziz University:


The UA Global Summit 2014 | | Submit your work to our UA Form here or simply save your details to our UA Form and submit your paper at a later date.

Uversity Deadline Extended April 10th

Deadline April 10th:

Undergraduate Awards summit partner Uversity, a new postgraduate institute focused on the Creative Arts has has extended the deadline of their exciting scholarship opportunity for creative scholars.

The Creative Impact Scholarship for Uversity’s Master of Arts in Creative Process offers graduates the opportunity to study and live in Ireland for 12 months and soak in the creative culture and atmosphere that Ireland is renowned for all over the world.

Uversity is founded by 24 of Ireland’s leading universities, institutes of technology and independent colleges and puts students in control of their education within a learning framework that promotes individuality and creative difference.

The programme is a world first in which students get to design their own degree from a choice of 100’s of modules in:

  • Art and Design
  • Cinema and Broadcast Arts
  • Creative Cultural Industries
  • Creative Writing
  • Dance
  • Drama and Theatre Studies
  • Literature, Arts and Culture
  • Music

The innovative programme launched in September 2014 and you can read how the first students are getting on so far on the Uversity blog.

Applications are are open until April 10th, so if living and studying in Ireland for a year at your choice of universities sounds like your thing then get to applying! Full scholarship details are available here.

You can follow Uversity on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with their latest news and announcements.

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