The 2009 Irish Undergraduates Awards ceremony took place recently in the Royal Irish Academy. Forty-one students from seven Irish universities were presented with awards by President Mary McAleese. The Awards marked the acknowledgement of the best undergraduate project work produced this year across Ireland.
Trinity College Dublin students scored the highest number of awards overall, picking up 13 awards out of a possible 41. UCD students received a total of 11 awards (unlucky). Other Universities that fared well in the competition included NUI Galway, University College Cork, University of Limerick, NUI Maynooth and Queen’s University Belfast.
The Undergraduate Awards of Ireland were established last year to “recognise and reward Ireland’s most innovative young knowledge creators, to catalyse the development of the brightest undergraduates, and to inspire all undergraduates to achieve”. The awards are open to undergraduates across the island of Ireland’s nine universities. Submissions are drawn from papers, essays and dissertations produced as a normal part of coursework during each academic year.
This year, more than 1600 submissions were received in total across disciplines as diverse as chemistry, economics, linguistics, medicine, natural science, business and engineering. After a lengthy selection process only 614 submissions were shortlisted for the final round of judging. Of these, 121 submissions came from Trinity students, including SF BESS student Alex Mann’s essay on corporate social responsibility entitled “Business for Others”.
The winners were then selected through an academic review process by 33 separate panels made up of academics and industry professionals.
Trinity’s Winners were as follows: Ciara Barrett in Drama, Film and Music; Anne Byrne in Business; Grainne Conroy in Business; Michael Curran in Economics; Erika Dowling in Linguistics; Melanie Hayes in Classics; Megan Huxhold in Business; Michael McInerney in English; Thomas Morris in Philosophy; Eimhin Walsh in Religion, Theology and Ecumenics; Darren Fitzpatrick in Genetics and Microbiology; Cliodhna O’Connor in Psychology; Emer Walshe in Dental Science.
The Provost congratulated Trinity’s 13 winning students, stating: “The high standard of work produced by these undergraduate students is a clear illustration of both the quality of teaching and learning across all faculties and the calibre of our students.” He added that “our students should be very proud of their achievement.” The winners each received a gold medal and their winning essays will be published in an annual journal.