SSRA Final 2012
The Student Summer Research Awards 2012 culminated in an eagerly anticipated competitive final, which took place on Thursday 4th October in the debating chamber of the new UCD Student Centre. Co-hosted by Dr Amanda McCann and Professor Cormac Taylor, the SSRA final represents one of the highlights of School's calendar - bringing together students, academics and patient advocate groups from across our clinical and academic network.
Clockwise [L-R]: Mark Savage, SSRA finalists, Carol Chan
In her opening remarks to a packed chamber, Dr McCann said:
I want to congratulate not just our eight finalists, but all of the students who gave up their time to participate in the student summer research programme 2012. As well as the invaluable hands-on experience that each student gained, many of these projects will now be submitted to peer reviewed publications, to be read and referenced by like-minded investigators in the future.
Dr Denise Connolly, a recent graduate of the UCD medicine programme and a past participant in the SSRA programme, addressed the audience and had the following words of wisdom for the eight finalists:
I have no doubt that this summer will mark the beginning of your own personal research journey, in which you will realise your ability to develop the evidence base on which we develop our clinical practice. Through this programme, you have been given an incredible opportunity to develop a lifelong skill set that will resonate throughout the rest of your career
Each of the eight finalists was then invited to present their research to the adjudication panel and assembled guests. Each finalist had six minutes to present, before fielding questions from the panel and from the floor. This intense, dynamic session tested and interrogated the depth of students' understanding, as well as descriptive skills and communications prowess.
Clockwise [L-R]: Brendan Cummings, Aoife McTiernan, Sean Owens, Alanna Byrne, Elisa D'Arcangelo, Christian Cawley
Following a break, during which the adjudication panel made their deliberations and agreed on the medallists - tired finalists, proud families and assembled guests gathered for the results. Professor Bill Powderly, who announced the winners, reminded students of the context and relevance of the SSRA programme:
Medicine is a science. Much of the teaching that we impart during your time with us will be improved upon, developed and ultimately replaced by advances in the body of medical knowledge, to which you all - as practitioners and medical scientists - will be expected to contribute. We are a research intensive university: the SSRA is such an exceptional and valuable demonstration of that ideal. It is almost a shame, in a sense, that we need to speak about winners, because there are no losers here tonight. You should all be proud of what you've achieved - it bodes well for kind of professionals that you will become.
With that, Professor Powderly announced the SSRA 2012 medallists:
[L-R]: Professor Bill Powderly and SSRA gold medallist Elisa D'Archangelo | Sean Owens (bronze), Elisa D'Archangelo (Gold), Mark Savage (Silver)