UA News

The Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences Category

This category was established in 2014 to celebrate the excellent undergraduate research being carried out in these fields.

In the three since then years more than 350 research papers and peer reviews have been submitted to this category.

Spanning from quantum chemistry to drug development this category covers all aspect of physical, organic, and inorganic chemistry as well pharmaceutical sciences.

In 2016 the Global Winner in this category was David Evans from University of Southampton with his paper entitled Exploring organoboron catalysis in the N-formylation of amines and development of a one-pot pathway to access isonitriles”.

David is now undertaking a PhD in chemistry.

Previous winning papers have included research exploring carbine – carbene synergistic systems as carried out by Ying Kai Loh of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and the development of a Probe for Hydrogen Sulfide Sensing by Helen Farrants of University of Edinburgh.

David Evans, Global Winner 2016

Owen Priest facilitating a breakout session at the UA Global Summit 2016

We are looking forward to seeing the incoming submissions to the Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences category and seeing the cutting edge research that is done at the undergraduate level.

We are delighted to have Prof Owen Priest from Northwestern University as the Judging Chairperson of this category.

If you would like to find out how to submit click here.

DCU Hosts New Event to Celebrate Undergraduate Research

On the 2nd of February 2017, students and recent graduates from all over the Island of Ireland gathered in The Helix in DCU for the inaugural UPresent: Island of Ireland.

At this event, all Highly Commended Entrants and Winners in the 2016 Programme from the Island of Ireland, were invited to present their papers and to officially receive their certificates.

Susanne Wawra presents her project “Memento” – A Series of Mixed Media Paintings

Each of these attendees placed in the top 10% of their field globally in 2016 and The Undergraduate Awards wanted to provide an opportunity for them to share their research and celebrate this achievement with their friends and family.

Over the course of the day, the audience were treated to presentations on a diverse array of subjects and fields. Mahmoud Abukhadir from National University of Ireland Galway put forth a passionate case for the establishment of a international patent law, while Sayed Saeed from Dublin Institute of Technology walked us through his ingenious plan for reconstructing the Walkinstown Roundabout.

Shane Fagan from Crawford College of Art & Design presented his work The New 
, in which antlers, a symbol for masculinity, were shown to be changing and taking new forms. Another artist, Susanne Wawra from the National College of Art & Design, explained how her work was influenced by the desire to hold on to memories from her childhood in East Berlin. Cathal McDaid from Ulster University capped off the presentations with his fascinating discussion on Percy Shelley’s poetic attack on the hypocrisy and authoritarianism of the time.

Rachel Hanley from DCU, Highly Commended in Medical Sciences

Two Highly Commended Entrants from the host institution, DCU, also presented their work. Rachel Hanley, from the category of Medical Sciences, explained her thesis project on Cancer cell staining, which helps to detect cancer cells from healthy cells in the body.

Columb Doherty, whose paper was ranked the highest from the Island of Ireland in the Mathematics & Physics category, gave an accessible explanation of his complex work on the Kinetic Energy Ion Distribution of a Laser Generated Plasma. Columb even managed to teach us that the Statue of Liberty was not always green! Denah Fitzharris from DCU, who was Highly Commended in the History category, also attended the ceremony to receive her certificate

Panel on UA Adjudication

Following the presentations, four UA judges Dr. David Irwin (Institute of Technology, Tallaght), Prof. Mary Mc Colgan (Ulster University), Dr. Mary Kelly (DCU) & Dr. Kenneth McDonagh (DCU)  participated in a panel discussion to give the attendees an insight into the adjudication process through which they were selected.

Dr. Ken McDonagh Department of Law & Government, DCU

Each of the judges mentioned the high-quality of the submissions they received.

Dr. McDonagh remarked that “I was very impressed by the standard of submissions the first year that I participated, and so I was eager to do it again the next year.”

Dr. Irwin told the audience that “One thing that struck me about the essays was the breath of knowledge and the discipline of structure…I don’t like to use the word brilliant, but they truly were brilliant. Once we were down to the last ten we were wondering how we could separate perfection from perfection”

The final speech of the day was given over to Prof. Ellen Hazelkorn, an Advisor to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and a Director of the Higher Education Policy Research Unit (HEPRU). Prof. Hazelkorn spoke on the topic of The Role of Higher Education in the Age of Populism. Prof. Hazelkorn discussed the challenges facing Global Higher Education in the current political climate. She explained that “Colleges that have prided themselves on working across borders and between cultures now find themselves dealing with governments which have campaigned to keep out foreigners.” She concluded her speech, and the day as a whole, with the argument that “There is a responsibility on Higher Education to use all its resources, human and capital, to re-articulate its commitment to the public good and reach beyond its campus.”

DCU has been a Partner Institution of The Undergraduate Awards since February 2016, and has had a long and active relationship with the programme. The UPresent day during the UA Global Summit 2015 was held in The Helix, and we were delighted to be able to return to the venue for this event. During his opening remarks, Trevor Holmes, Vice President for External and Strategic Affairs DCU, remarked that he was delighted to welcome top undergraduates to the university, which has had a busy few years, having grown to now encompass three educational campuses, making it Ireland’s fastest growing university.

If you are interested in submitting to The Undergraduate Awards the 2017 Programme is now open. 

UA Announces Prof. Ellen Hazelkorn as key note speaker for UPresent: Island of Ireland

The Undergraduate Awards is excited to announce Prof. Ellen Hazelkorn as the key-note speaker for UPresent: Island of Ireland, which is taking place on the 2nd of February in The Helix in DCU.

Ellen speech is entitled ‘Higher Education: Internationalisation and Civic Engagement’ and we are fascinated to hear what she has to say, considering her expertise on this topic.

Ellen is a Policy Advisor to the Higher Education Authority (HEA), and a Director of the Higher Education Policy Research Unit (HEPRU), Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland). She is an International Co-Investigator at the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), UCL Institute for Education and also a Visiting Professor at Boston College.

Ellen has worked as higher education policy consultant and specialist with international organisations and governments for over 15 years (e.g. EU, OECD, World Bank, UNESCO, US National Academy of Sciences). She is a member of various advisory board, including the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (UK), and Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (Sweden).

She has strong connections with DIT, serving as Vice President of Research and Enterprise and Dean of the Graduate Research School from 2008-2014. She was also the Vice President and Founding Dean of the Faculty of Applied Arts at 1995-2008. Ellen was President of EAIR (the European Society for Higher Education) from 2013-2016.

Ellen was awarded a BA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a PhD from the University of Kent.

Ellen is internationally recognised for her analysis of the impact and influence of rankings: Rankings and the Reshaping of Higher Education: The Battle for World-Class Excellence, . She has edited Global Rankings and the Geopolitics of Higher Education, co-edited Rankings and Accountability in Higher Education: Uses and Misuses, and co-authored, Rankings in Institutional Strategies and Processes: impact or illusion?

UA Announces New Event – UPresent: Island of Ireland

The Undergraduate Awards is excited to announce the inaugural UPresent: Island of Ireland!

Yasmin Hanif presenting at the UA Global Summit 2014

On the 2nd of February, all Winners and Highly Commended Entrants from the Island of Ireland are invited to present their papers and to officially receive their certificates at The Helix in DCU.

Wayne Egan from IT Sligo presenting his research on Enniscrone Beach

The Undergraduate Awards’ mission is to level the global playing field for awarding top undergraduate research around the world and we want to take this opportunity to celebrate the UA Highly Commended Entrants from the Island of Ireland and their achievement of being placed in the top 10% in their field globally in 2016.


The day will involve Highly Commended Entrants presenting their innovative work in under 3 minutes each. Each attendee will summarise their research for the diverse audience and hopefully make everyone else as passionate about their work as they are! Academics are also invited to attend the presentations and sample some of the top undergraduate research accomplished on the Island of Ireland today.

Andre Cleaver, US & Canada Regional Winner 2016 in Engineering presents his work.

This event is designed for top-performing students and graduates to share their own academic passions, and more importantly, to learn from other high-performing students. We hope all attendees will leave the day with a new understanding of different disciplines and topics.

This event is free of charge. If you are a Highly Commended Entrant, Winner or academic, who is interested in attending, please get in touch with Fíodhna on for more information.

Patrick Liu reflects on the UA Global Summit 2016

Patrick Liu from Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois was Highly Commended in the Psychology category of The Undergraduate Awards in 2016. Patrick attended the UA Global Summit in November and here he reflects on his experience:

“As a pre-medical student studying psychology, neuroscience, and biological sciences, I am obviously entrenched in a STEM bubble at Northwestern, and rarely do I have the opportunity to interact with and be inspired by an incredible array of global scholars outside of such a bubble. Throughout the week-long Global Summit, I only met a handful of students who studied topics within STEM and even fewer from America. Yet the moment I arrived, I felt an instant connection with the other attendees because of our similar yet so beautifully diverse passions for academic work.

Patrick chats with other Attendees at the Gala Dinner in St. Patricks Cathedral

It is not hard to imagine that when over 150 scholars from 25 disparate concentrations around the world blend together, world-changing ideas and thought-provoking conversations will flourish. However, what amazed me the most was not the immense skill and passion embodied by everyone there, but rather it was their commitment and motivation to utilize their talents to make the world better. The degree of collaboration displayed at UCollaborate on the final day galvanized me to strive to contribute my best to help foster global innovation, empathy, and compassion.

Patrick speaking with representatives from Western University

The Global Summit gifted me a lot. It offered me the chance to explore Ireland for the first time on a university sponsored trip, and it also allowed me to dive into other students’ cultural backgrounds vicariously through their stories and experiences. However, the aspect that will remain with me the longest is the people I met. Despite only being there for a few days, I am fully confident that the friendships I formed will be life lasting. The number of people there was overwhelming at times, but even as a massive introvert, I forced myself to make the most out of the summit by socializing with as many people as possible, knowing full well that I would have plenty of time to recharge after.

The moment I got off the plane, I met a man from London studying computer-brain interfaces. His research lies at the intersection of neuroscience, computer science, and electrical engineering. We immediately bonded over our mutual interest in neuroscience, and we coincidentally ended up being randomly paired as roommates for the duration of the summit. By the end of the summit, he knew much more about the molecular and cellular components of neural activity, and I the engineering perspectives.

Patrick receiving his certificate at the Awards Ceremony

In another instance, after hearing a brief presentation by a student with a background in philosophy and linguistics on the “dangers of generalization and dangerous generalizations”, I decided to strike up a conversation with him. His work applies to how stereotypes form, so I was able to draw from my psychology background on heuristical thinking to provide new insight into his research and point him to a psychology professor at his university who won a Nobel Prize on this topic. I had never considered his perspectives on stereotypes, and he did not know much about mine, but now we both have a much greater appreciation. Only now am I truly starting to understand how the humanities and arts are the guardians of modern society and culture; they answer the questions of if and why things occur, whereas the STEM fields predominantly focus on how.

The anecdotes of the marvellous people I met are endless. So many other friendships started with a spontaneous hello and quickly delved into much deeper conversation regarding academia, the state of the world, and future career aspirations. There was truly no boring moment, and even within my own field, I was both challenged and inspired.

Prof. Ian Robinson speaks to Attendees at The Colloquium

One of my academic heroes and an internationally renowned neuroscientist, Professor Ian Robertson, was invited as a guest speaker. I cannot recall the last time I have had such childlike glee in conversing with someone. Many other prominent individuals were also invited, such as the CEO of Blackrock, though my excitement was virtually nonexistent in comparison to the business students’.

In all, I have not much else to say besides that I am truly humbled and thankful to have been able to attend such a beautiful and life-changing conference. Thank you to all my professors and mentors at Northwestern who continually push me intellectually; to Dr. Civetta, Dr. Haarlow, and the rest of the relevant administration and faculty who sponsored the trip; and to The Undergraduate Awards staff.

I will certainly be applying again while I am still eligible, and I look forward to remaining involved with The Undergraduate Awards.”

UA Launches New Alumni Portal

At the UA Global Summit 2016, UA launched an exciting new project: The UA Alumni Portal!

We will be contacting Alumni through the email that they used when submitting to The Undergraduate Awards. If you are an Alumni and no longer use this address please get in touch on so that we can update your details.

Who is the UA Alumni Portal for?

  • The UA Alumni Portal is for anyone who has ever been recognised as Highly Commended or a Winner by The Undergraduate Awards.
  • On the 13th of December, all Winners and Highly Commended Entrants were invited via email to join the platform. In January, UA will gradually be adding all Alumni by year group, starting with 2015.

What does the Portal do?

  • This is a bespoke platform that allows UA Alumni to update their location in order to connect with members of the network in their city or country.
  • The platform is purpose-built to centralise communications between UA Alumni for many years to come.

 What are UA’s goals for the Portal?

  • To provide UA Alumni with a space to share ideas and collaborate.
  • To facilitate the network in offering support and advice to one another.
  • To connect UA Alumni who are at different stages of their research or career.
  • To encourage generosity and reciprocity within the network.

 Why does UA want to stay connected with our Alumni?

  • The Portal will allow the UA Team to inform the network about UA news, events, meetups and everything in between.

Any Questions?

  • Please review our Alumni Portal FAQ here.

We are so excited to see how this project develops! 

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Advice for UPresent with Fiona Malone!

This week we have a special issue of ‘Where Are They Now Wednesday’!

On the 9th of November, UA will be hosting UPresent as part of the 2016 UA Global Summit. At UPresent students present their papers to their peers in under 3 minutes! This can sound daunting but Fiona Malone, UA Winner 2014 in Engineering and Mechanical Studies, is here to help. Fiona was the overall winner at the 2015 National ‘Thesis in 3’ Final so is an expert in how to present research in a succinct and engaging way.  Her tips below are a must-read for anyone planning on participating in UPresent or interesting in improving their presentation skills in general!

What has Fiona been up to since she was at the Summit? 

“Prior to the UA 2014 Global Summit, I moved from Limerick to Galway to study for a PhD in Biomedical Engineering in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. My PhD concerns blood clots and their impact on stroke risks. I’m in my final year now and hope to have everything submitted in 2017 (any candles lit for me would be greatly appreciated!).

Over the course of my PhD, I’ve done a little travelling for conferences around Europe. I’ve also been busy showcasing my research to a wider audience. Being a female engineer in academia, you can sometimes suffer from that infamous “imposter syndrome”. I felt it a lot of it in the first year of my PhD, but UA gave me the reassurance and confidence that academia is the right area for me and has given me the drive to be better. I absolutely love what I do and I hope to be in a position to keep on doing it for as long as I can. I’d love to lecture someday.

I do still chat with a lot of the gang whom I met at the UA Global Summit. Although we come from numerous different walks of life, there is nothing but absolute appreciation and respect for everyone and their work. If anyone in the UA family finds themselves in or around the beautiful west of Ireland, let me know se we can meet for chats and pints!”

How did she find UPresent and what is her advice for this year’s students? 

“One of my favourite parts of the Summit was UPresent. We had to learn how to communicate our research clearly and effectively in a short period of time, to people who knew nothing about our area of expertise. Not an easy task by any means!

As a result of this, I have developed skills that have been put to good use since that November afternoon in 2014. I have travelled to conferences in Ireland, Scotland and Prague discussing my PhD research and in November 2015, I won Thesis in 3. This is a national competition for Irish STEM research students to showcase their research in just 3 minutes using only 3 slides. A few months later, I presented another 3 minute presentation, this time without slides, at ResearchFest, a feature of the InspireFest Fringe festival.

Public speaking and presentations are never easy, but UPresent really did help me with my confidence and my overall presenting technique. I would encourage anyone attending the UA Global summit to get up on that stage and give it a go! Some of the best presentations came from the people who were so nervous that they initially had no intention of speaking, but then changed their minds after seeing how much fun everyone else was having during their presentations. Everyone supported each other and listened respectfully to each other. It was wonderful to listen to everyone speak so passionately about their work and it sparked some very interesting conversation afterwards, which after all, is the main goal of UA!

My advice? Don’t go into extensive detail about your methodologies or experimental set ups. I think it was Einstein who said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”. Give some background information on your topic overall and mention some of your major findings or results. You want to engage your audience and discuss what you are talking about and why it might concern them (or why it concerns you!). Stand up and be proud of your work, you’ve gotten this far! Enjoy every second”

The Undergraduate Awards 2016 Medal

We are delighted to announce that this year The Undergraduate Awards medal will feature the pioneering Irish mathematician and physicist, Sheila Tinney (neé Power). Described by Erwin Schrödinger as “among the best equipped and most successful of the younger generation of theoretical physicists in this country,” Tinney carved out a remarkable academic career at a time when women were almost totally excluded from the study of Mathematics and Science.


Sheila Power Tinney

In 1935 when Sheila Tinney sat her Leaving Certificate (the final examination in the Irish secondary school system), she was one of only 8 girls to be awarded an Honours in Mathematics, compared to 126 boys. Undeterred, she went on to study Mathematical Science in University College Dublin and graduated first in her class. She received an MA from UCD the following year and was then granted a scholarship to study for a PhD at the University of Edinburgh, which she completed in 1941. Eight years later, Tinney was one of the first four women to be elected as members of the Royal Irish Academy, the main society for academic research and excellence in Ireland.

Tinney spent most of her life researching and teaching in UCD, where she worked until her retirement in 1978. However, she did take one leave of absence in 1948 to work at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. There she collaborated with some of the most renowned mathematicians and physicians of the time, including Nobel laureates Erwin Schrödinger and Hideki Yukawa, as well as the famous German physicist Walter Heitler. She also rubbed shoulders with other greats, such as Albert Einstein, who was then a professor at the university. She is reported to have always enjoyed reminiscing to her students about her time in Princeton, casually queueing up for coffee with Einstein.

Sheila Tinney with Paul Dirac and Arthur Eddington

Sheila Tinney with Paul Dirac and Arthur Eddington

Tinney’s work is largely concerned with the field of quantum theory. In Edinburgh she worked under the Nobel laureate Max Born, a German physicist who fled the Nazis in 1933, and is known for his role in the development of quantum mechanics. Tinney was a key contributor to his research on the stability of crystal lattices and was the co-author of two of a series of papers on the subject. She also published a very influential paper on Compton scattering while working in UCD in 1944.

Photograph taken in Dublin in 1942, and showing in the front row (left) theoretical physicist Dr Sheila Power (later Tinney), with Nobel physicist Paul Dirac (3rd from left), who shared the 1933 prize with Schrodinger; Taoiseach Éamon de Valera (centre) and Prof Erwin Schrodinger (second from right).

Photograph taken in Dublin in 1942, and showing in the front row (left) theoretical physicist Dr Sheila Tinney with Nobel physicist Paul Dirac (3rd from left), Taoiseach Éamon de Valera (centre) and Prof Erwin Schrodinger (second from right).

For her entire career, Tinney struggled to overcome the limits that were placed on her because of her gender. She was often over-looked for promotions, which were instead awarded to her less qualified male colleagues. She gained a reputation for supporting young female academics who found themselves dealing with similar difficulties. Her sympathetic but practical advice to one such woman was to “Keep that big smile on your face, put your head down and write another book.”

Sheila Tinney was a trail-blazing and brilliant academic, who achieved astounding success through self-belief and determination. She is the perfect candidate to feature on the Undergraduate Awards medal, which will be presented to all 25 Global Winner at a ceremony in Dublin this November.

Performance of UA Regions in the 2017 programme

There are currently seven UA Regions: Africa & Middle East, Asia, Europe, Island of Ireland, Latin America, Oceania, US & Canada. A Regional Winner is the highest-performing Highly Commended Entrant from a UA region in their category.


Africa & Middle East

Architecture & Design – Marwah Osama | American University of Sharjah

Art History & Theory – Katharine Gordon American University of Beirut

Earth & Environmental Sciences – Opeyemi AJimati | Obafemi Awolowo University

Economics – Saif Alhammadi | American University of Sharjah

Engineering – Georges Khalil | American University of Beirut

History – Farheen Hasan | American University of Sharjah

Languages & Linguistics – Itamar Shatz | Tel Aviv University

Life SciencesSandra Das | Qatar University

Literature – Avishai Green | Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Philosophy –
Asor Watzman | Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Politics & International Relations – Naila Tariq | American University of Sharjah

Visual Arts – Nada AlMulla | American University of Sharjah


Architecture & Design – Tin Yui Pang | University of Hong Kong

Art History & Theory – Yi Kwan Chan | University of Hong Kong

Business – Eileen Chen Yee Ling | Nanyang Technological University

Education – Wing Wu | Chinese University of Hong Kong

History – Jia Yi Rebekah Lim | Nanyang Technological University

Languages & Linguistics – Fu Cheung Chow | University of Hong Kong

Law – Chun King Leo | Chinese University of Hong Kong

Life SciencesSoon Keong Wee | Nanyang Technological University

Literature – Arin Fong Nanyang Technological University

Music, Film & Theatre – Faezah Zulkifli | Nanyang Technological University

Philosophy –
Shalom Shaleni Chalson | Nanyang Technological University

Politics & International Relations – Kwan Ho Samuel Liu | University of Hong Kong

Psychology – Scarlet Leong Xin Min | Nanyang Technological University

Social Sciences: Sociology & Social Policy – Cui Min Lim | Nanyang Technological University

Visual Arts – Kamarulzaman Bin Mohamed Sapiee |Nanyang Technological University


Art History & Theory – Eleanor McCullough University of Edinburgh

Business – Maxmilian Tichy | University of Strathclyde

Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences – Connor Thomson | University of St Andrews

Classical Studies and Archaeology – Scott Gordon | University of Birmingham

Computer Science – Samuel Martin | Cardiff University

Earth & Environmental Sciences – Elizabeth Jewitt | University of Sheffield

EngineeringZiqing Liew | University of Cambridge

History – Nishant Raj University of St Andrews

Languages & Linguistics – Kia Marie Hunt | University of Birmingham

Law – Shannon Russell | University of Edinburgh

Life SciencesUtkarsh OjhaImperial College London

Literature – Heather Smith | University of East Anglia

Mathematics & Physics – Elzbieta Gradauskaite | University of St Andrews

Medical Sciences – Paulina Werner | Karolinska Institute

Music, Film & Theatre – Emma Kavanagh University of Cambridge

Nursing , Midwifery & Allied Healthcare – Charlotte Gatherer | The Open University

Philosophy – Noah Kidron-Style | University of Edinburgh

Politics & International Relations – Jack Hunnaball University of Sheffield

Social Sciences: Sociology & Social Policy – Ewin Jackson | University of Sussex

Visual Arts – Antonios Kotsonias | University of Sussex

Island of Ireland

Architecture & Design – Jade Yeates | National College of Art and Design

Art History & Theory – Bronwyn Berkeley | Trinity College, University of Dublin

Business – Daragh Griffin | Dublin Institute of Technology

Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences – Aisling Ryan | Trinity College, University of Dublin

Computer Science – Seán Jennings | Dublin Institute of Technology

Earth & Environmental Sciences – David Madden Trinity College, University of Dublin

Education – Lucy Coburn | Stranmillis University College

EngineeringMichael Shaughnessy | Dublin Institute of Technology

History – Leon Kohl | Trinity College, University of Dublin

Languages & Linguistics – Aoife Ní Chroidheain | University College Dublin

Law – Diarmuid Hickey | Trinity College, University of Dublin

Literature – Jasmine McCrory Queen’s University Belfast

Mathematics & Physics – Joey O’Brien | University of Limerick

Medical Sciences – Ryan SterrittQueen’s University Belfast

Nursing , Midwifery & Allied Healthcare – Lisa Butler | St Angela’s College, Sligo

Politics & International Relations – Patrick Gaynor Trinity College, University of Dublin

Psychology – Eimear Bane | National University of Ireland, Galway

Social Sciences: Anthropology & Cultural Studies – Niamh Donnelly | Trinity College, University of Dublin


Architecture & Design – Mohan Ni | University of New South Wales

Computer Science – William Gale | The University of Adelaide

Earth & Environmental Sciences – Claire Brace | Monash University

Economics – Thu Hoang | The University of Queensland

Education – Aime Sacrez | La Trobe University

EngineeringSamuel Kuys |The University of Adelaide

History – Nellie-Mae Godwin-Welch Monash University

Life Sciences – Andre Mong Jie Ng | The University of Queensland

Literature – Calvin Fung Monash University

Medical Sciences – Preksha Ashok The University of Adelaide

Music, Film & Theatre – Sian Mann | Monash University

Nursing , Midwifery & Allied Healthcare – Vivienne Chong | The University of Adelaide

Politics & International Relations – Rose Iles Fealy Australian National University

Psychology – Tassia Oswald | The University of Adelaide

Social Sciences: Anthropology & Cultural Studies – Elmie Janse van Rensburg | Australian National University

Social Sciences: Sociology & Social PolicyKotryna Celikaite | Monash University

Visual Arts – Tessa Ma’auga | Massey University

US & Canada

Architecture & Design – Yuna Kim | University of California, Los Angeles

Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences – Theodora Bruun | University of Toronto

Classical Studies and Archaeology – Sierra Roark | University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Economics – Christopher Cummings | University of British Columbia

Education – Isaac Kim | Brown University

EngineeringJake Song | Northwestern University

Law – Emily Csiszar | Western University

Life Sciences – Natasha Tang | University of Toronto

Mathematics & Physics – Adam Bowman | Princetown University

Medical Sciences – Camilla Giovino University of Toronto

Music, Film & Theatre – Canny Lam | University of California, Berkeley

Philosophy – Grace Field | University of Toronto

Psychology – Hunster Yang | Western University

Social Sciences: Anthropology & Cultural Studies – Emily Schwartz Brown University

Social Sciences: Sociology & Social Policy – Melanie Matthews | Western University

Visual ArtsDevon Guinn | Harvard University


Mae Jemison Announced as Keynote Speaker for Global Summit 2016

We are honoured to announce Mae Jemison, physician, professor and NASA astronaut, as the keynote speaker for The Undergraduate Awards Global Summit 2016.

Mae Jemison in July 1992

Mae Jemison in July 1992

As the first African-American woman in space, Jemison is credited with paving the way for women and people of colour in science and space exploration during the 1980s and beyond. Moreover, her pioneering innovation in diverse disciplines and professions has made her a crucial voice for the promotion of an interdisciplinary approach to research and activism.

Despite the barriers African-American women faced at the time, Jamison never doubted her ability to realise her dream of space travel:

“As a little girl growing up on the south-side of Chicago in the ‘60s I always knew I was going to be in space”

In pursuit of this childhood aspiration, she entered Stanford University in 1973 at the age of only 16 and graduated 4 years later with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, while also having fulfilled the requirements for a B.A. in African and Afro-American Studies. She then shifted the focus of her study to Medicine and obtained a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1981 from Cornell Medical School.

Jemison has always been hugely committed to providing medical services to those most in need and during her time at Cornell travelled to Cuba, Kenya and Thailand. From 1983 to 1985 she worked with the Peace Corps and was responsible for the healthcare of Peace Corps Volunteers serving in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

In 1987 her dream of becoming an astronaut become a reality when she was accepted on to NASA’s astronaut training programme, as one of only 15 successful candidates from over 2,000 applicants.

Mae Jemison talking to UA students at the Global Summit 2013

Mae Jemison chatting to UA students at the Global Summit 2013

She flew her only space mission from September 12-20 1992, where she conducted research experiments on bone cells, weightlessness and motion sickness. She also had the opportunity to look down on her home from thousands of miles above:

“The first thing I saw from space was Chicago, my hometown. I was working on the middeck where there aren’t many windows, and as we passed over Chicago, the commander called me up to the flight deck. It was such a significant moment because since I was a little girl I had always assumed I would go into space.” 

Jemison has never limited herself to the fields of science and medicine but rather is enthusiastic about a huge variety of subjects including education, dance, art and activism. In Stanford she served as the President of the Black Students Union and has used her platform to speak out about social issues in the US, healthcare in the developing world, as well as to promote a message of “reconciling and re-integrating science and the arts.”

Jemison was previously a speaker at The Undergraduate Awards Global Summit 2013 and we are extremely excited for a new generation of UA students to be inspired and moved by her passion and intelligence, because, as she put it herself: “Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t just have a dream, he got things done.”

Watch Mae Jemison at the Global Summit 2013:

Global Winners 2016

Congratulations to this year’s Global Winners in the 25 categories of The Undergraduate Awards 2016 programme. We look forward to presenting you with your gold medals at the UA Global Summit in Dublin.


Art History, Music, Film & Theatre

From “Delightful” to “Barbarous”: The Decline in Canonic Writing and the Rise of Functional Harmony

Ming Wai Tai | University of Hong Kong


Built Environment

Stadtbildung-Bildungsstadt. The Transformation of Munich under Ludwig I of Bavaria (1786-1868)

Philipp Heckmann-Umhau | University of Cambridge



Momentum Strategies: Returns From Trend-Following, Data-snooping, and Market Efficiency

John Zhou | University of British Columbia


Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Exploring Organoboron Catalysis in the N-formylation of Amines and Development of a One-pot Pathway to Access Isonitriles

David Evans | University of Southampton


Classical Studies & Archaeology

Modern Appropriation of Past Material Culture: Fostering ‘Soft’ Nationalisms in Mediterranean Europe Through Meaning, Memory, and Identity

Alicia Núñez García | University of Edinburgh


Computer Science

Identifying Mood by Analysing Keystroke Dynamics

Tomas Higgins | Dublin Institute of Technology


Earth & Environmental Sciences

To Assess the Impact of the Bellawaddy River on the Microbiological Quality of the Bathing Waters of Enniscrone Beach, Co. Sligo, Ireland

Wayne Egan | Institute of Technology Sligo



Modeling the Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Labor Market Supply in the United States

Danielle Dobos | Stanford University



Comparing Cyberbullying Perpetration on Social Media between Primary and Secondary School Students

Angelica Ng | Nanyang Technological University



Development of Shape Memory Zirconia Particles and Powder Compacts

Sheng Rong Fang | Nanyang Technological University



The Diffusion of ‘Porcelaine des Indes’ in Eighteenth-Century France: from Lorient to Paris and beyond, 1720-1775

Emilia Antiglio | University of Warwick


Languages & Linguistics

Does developmental social pragmatic intervention for children with autism influence parent language use?

Mary Wang | Western University



The Enforcement Regime of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) under Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act: Reform Required

Jacqueline Williams | Australian National University


Life Sciences

Are Amyloid-Beta Mediated Degenerative Changes Dependent Upon Tau In A Novel Mouse Model Of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Sadaf Sohrabi | University of Edinburgh


Literature: English

“Too Many for the Jury”: Pip’s Multitudinous Narration

Naoise Dolan | Trinity College Dublin


Literature: Non-English

Jorge Luis Borges and Translation: A Comparative Study of Translated Borges Stories in English

Stephen Cox | Trinity College Dublin


Mathematics & Physics

The Role of Anisotropy in Nonlinear Elastic Models of Skin

Jamie Hargreaves | University of Manchester


Medical Sciences

Developing an Ultrasound Phantom Using 3D Printing for Practicing Minimally Invasive Intracardiac Procedures

Maniragav Manimaran | University College London


Nursing & Midwifery

Does the Utilisation and Knowledge of Fetal Movement Counting Interventions and ‘Kick Charts’ Enhance Maternal Awareness of Fetal Movement Patterns and Reduce Stillbirths in Pregnancies ≥28 Weeks’ Gestation?

Shauna Callaghan | University College Dublin



On the Interrelation between Phenomenology and Externalism

Ilpo Hirvonen | University of Helsinki


Politics & International Relations

Perverting the Panopticon: Feminism, Peace, and the prospect of a ‘new Totalitarianism’

Natalia Beghin | University of Manchester



Effects of Sleep on Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease

Tan Jun Liang Jonathan | Nanyang Technological University


Social Sciences: Anthropology & Cultural Studies

Political Action from Spaces of Bare Life: Situating the Figure of the Refugee/Asylum Seeker in Power Analysis

Eoin O’Leary | Trinity College Dublin


Social Sciences: Social Policy

Critically Assess How Far ‘Lad Culture’ Can Be Perceived as an Example of a Moral Panic About Youthful Sexuality and Behaviour

Caroline Breeden | University of Leeds


Visual Arts & Design


Mohammed Sami Al Amili | Ulster University

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