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Student Experience

There are currently 118 Ad Astra Academic scholars in UCD, studying across a range of undergraduate programmes.

Each year, up to sixteen academic scholarships are awarded to scholars based on a combination of the application process and Leaving Certificate or GCE Advanced (A-Level) results.

Up to eighteen scholarships are also awarded to current students of UCD based on academic achievement and an application process (by invite only) at the end of Stage 1.

Learn more about our scholars and what they get upto during their time in UCD by browsing the scholar profiles below.

Emma completed a research project as part of the Student Summer Research Awards (SSRA) programme organised by the UCD School of Medicine. Her project titled “Unravelling the molecular effects of a novel leukaemia-related gene fusion” was supervised by Professor Jonathan Bond, Dr. Sharmila Biswas and Tânia Dias. Emma won the silver medal for Research Excellence in the SSRA 2023 final out of over 140 projects.

Emma Grady Medicine Stage 3

Eimer was selected for the 2023 Washington Ireland programme, and spent 6 weeks undertaking a legislative internship for Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer. Alongside getting first hand experience in the Capitol, Eimer visited the United Nations in New York, and got to meet several leaders, such as Dame Louise Richardson.

Eimer Conlon Social Sciences and Law (Alumni 2023)

Elle embarked on a volunteer programme where she was involved with local spay and neuter programmes in Sri Lanka and Thailand. Elle was able to have first hand experience with veterinary surgeries and got to practise her sills while also contributing to a worthy cause.

Elle Kohler Veterinary Medicine Stage 5

Connie went abroad to complete a summer internship in the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Read about her experiences working in the Diaz Heijtz Laboratory, where she studied the gut-brain axis and how antibiotic use influences the brain.

Connie Heather Neuroscience Stage 3

Sam had the opportunity to undertake a study abroad experience at the University of Otago for the Spring Trimester 2020. Unforutnately it had to be cut short due to COVID-19. Find out about his experiences by checking out his blog below.

Sam Totterdell Commerce Stage 3

Fiachra had the opportunity to undertake an Erasmus experience in the University of Edinburgh in January 2020. Mid way through his experience, the COVID-19 pandemic happened. Find out about his experience by reading his blog below.

Fiachra Robinson Mechanical Engineering Stage 4

Laura got a fantastic opportunity to Study Abroad in UCLA for the 2019/2020 Spring Trimester. What started as a great experience ended with COVID-19 and the race to return home, whilst continuing her UCLA studies from Dublin. Find out more about her experience by reading her blog below.

Laura Nagle Mechanical Engineering Stage 4 

In September 2019, Conor had the chance to undertake a Study Abroad trimester at the University of Edinburgh. Click on the link below to read his blog on how he found the experience!

Conor Dyson, Applied & Computational Maths Stage 4

Alex had the exciting opportunity to carry out a four-month research internship at the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces in Berlin, Germany, under the supervision of Dr. Oren Moscovitz during the summer of 2021!


It gave Alex the opportunity to experience a real-world research environment and meet top class scientists from around the world. He was able to apply many of the chemical concepts that he had studied in UCD, as well as learning many new concepts in biochemistry.

Click on the link below to read his blog on how he found the internship!

 Alex Burke Research internship at the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces in Berlin, Germany

Click on the link below to read about Eva's trimester at the University Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona, as part of the Erasmus programme in 2020.

 Eva Glynn Law Stage 4

Read about Laoise's experience of working with Dr Malgorzata Blicharska on a research project in Uppsala University, Sweden! As a result of this experience, Laoise was able to contribute to a literature review of papers relating to the LANDPATHS project.

Laoise Ní Mharcaigh BSc Sustainability Stage 3

Contact UCD Ad Astra Academy

Student Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4.
T: +353 1 716 3105 | E: adastraacademy@ucd.ie