President praises validity of work by undergraduates


TRINITY COLLEGE Dublin and UCD together accounted for more than half the winners in the inaugural Undergraduate Awards of Ireland, presented yesterday by President Mary McAleese.

Some 41 students from seven third-level colleges collected the awards, set up to recognise the best undergraduate project work throughout the island.

The winners included 13 students from Trinity, 11 from UCD, six from NUI Galway and five from UCC. The University of Limerick claimed three awards and NUI Maynooth two, while one student from Queen’s University Belfast was honoured.

President McAleese said the awards marked an important step forward in acknowledging the role played by undergraduates in advancing Ireland’s ambition to be not just a smart economy but a just, decent and sophisticated society.

“These awards encourage our top undergraduates to believe in the validity of their work and in their entitlement to a public place of respect within scholarly discourse,” she said.

The winners were selected through an academic review process by 33 separate panels made up of academics and industry professionals.

More than 1,600 submissions were received in total across disciplines as diverse as chemistry, economics, linguistics, medicine, natural science, business and engineering. They were sponsored by a number of organisations, including The Irish Times.

The winners each received a gold medal and their winning essays will be published in an annual journal.