Three Conway Fellows receive awards as part of collaborative partnership grants between UCD and Northeastern University


UCD and Northeastern University have extended their longstanding partnership with undergraduate education to research and doctoral education with the aim of strengthening their shared focus on global challenges in healthcare.

Following the recent signing of a bilateral memorandum of understanding in relation to their partnership, the two institutions announced a joint grant competition, funded equally by both institutions, to deepen their existing research collaborations and foster new cross-institutional relationships.

Conway Fellows, Professors David Brayden, Niamh Nowlan and Patricia Maguire are part of collaborative research teams that will be funded to promote inter-institutional academic relationships and engender long-term, substantial engagement between these two partners.

An image of 3 profile photos of Professors David Brayden, Niamh Nowlan and Patricia Maguire
From left to right - Professors Niamh Nowlan, David Brayden and Patricia Maguire

The successful applications were strong, interdisciplinary initiatives that align closely with both institutions’ shared ambition to drive mutual gains in health technologies research and innovation.

While in Boston on a United States trade mission Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris said, "I am delighted to welcome the exciting collaboration between University College Dublin and Northeastern University while in Boston, as they embark on new and groundbreaking research projects. UCD and Northeastern’s partnership reflects our commitment and tireless ambition to fostering innovation and advancing knowledge, ensuring a brighter future for both Ireland and the US through collaborative academic endeavours. It is undoubtedly through educational partnerships that we amplify both countries’ ties and embed our relationship into the 21st century." 

Three Conway Fellows receive awards as part of collaborative partnership grants between UCD and Northeastern University
Dr David Madigan, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Northeastern University welcomes Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D.

David Madigan, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Northeastern University, said, “Northeastern places the highest value on its exceptional partnership with UCD. Collaboration with researchers in Ireland plays a critical role in our intensifying transatlantic engagement with the European Union. We are delighted to support these exciting joint projects at the cutting edge of research on health and technology. Together with UCD, we congratulate the project teams and look forward to the future of collaboration between our institutions."

UCD Vice-President for Global Engagement, Professor Dolores O’Riordan said, “UCD has had a longstanding relationship with Northeastern University providing an international educational experience to undergraduate students. I am delighted that our partnership is now deepening and broadening into research collaborations. UCD was thrilled to see the level of interest from researchers at both Universities to conduct collaborative research. The five funded projects reflect the excellence of UCD and Northeastern researchers in digital technology and health. This funding will seed ideas that will in time blossom and with further investment lead to exciting collaborative outputs to impact global societies. Congratulations to the recipients.”

Niamh Nowlan, Full Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and Fellow of the Conway Institute at UCD and Sandra Shefelbine, Professor of Bioengineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and College of Engineering Associate Dean for Space and Special Initiatives at Northeastern University will work together on Mechanical Evaluation of Cartilage Hierarchy and Neo-Organisation.

David Brayden, Full Professor of Advanced Drug Delivery at UCD School of Veterinary Medicine and a Fellow of the Conway Institute at University College Dublin will work with Rebecca Carrier, Professor and Associate Chair of Research of Chemical Engineering, affiliated faculty of Bioengineering and Biology at Northeastern University on Examining the interaction of a silica-coated nanoparticle containing insulin with a human-derived intestinal organ-on-a-chip.

Sample Sleuth: Active Learning for Optimal Biomarker Sampling Strategies in Clinical AI is the project that Brian Mac Namee, Associate Professor of Computer Science at the UCD School of Computer Science; Patricia Maguire, Professor of Biochemistry at the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and Director of the UCD Institute for Discovery will work on with Justin Manjourides, Associate Professor of Health Sciences at Northeastern University with Akram Alshawabkeh, George A. Snell Professor of Engineering and University Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering Senior Associate Dean of Research and Global University Campus and Director of PROTECT Superfund Research Center at Northeastern University.

In total, five projects were selected from a pool of 23 applications through a rigorous review process and are the first initiatives funded through the new institutional collaborative relationship between the two universities. Each team awarded will work together over a six-month period to pursue larger external funding programs through EU and US sponsors.

The other projects are:

Probing Neurophysiological Mechanisms to Optimise Effectiveness of Multi-Path Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation

Collaborators are Brian Caulfield, Full Professor of Physiotherapy at the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science; Matthew Yarossi, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences at Northeastern University and Joshua Stefanik, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences at Northeastern University.

Amplifying Resilience: Digital Sustainability in DIY Music Communities

Collaborators are Jaime Jones, Associate Professor in Ethnomusicology at the UCD School of Music and Andrew Mall, Associate Professor of Music at Northeastern University.