News - 14 UCD Scholars Named Amongst 36 Fulbright Irish Awardees

The Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Niall Burgess and Chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Ireland, Mr Reece Smyth, today announced 36 Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2019-2020, 14 of whom are from UCD. Recipients were presented with Awards at a ceremony in Dublin Castle.

Academics, professionals and students from 13 HEIs and organisations in Ireland will go to 30 leading U.S. institutions to study and collaborate with experts in their fields. This year’s Fulbright recipients are from disciplines spanning technology, science, language, medicine and the arts. The Fulbright Awards celebrate diversity across topics, geography and backgrounds. Increased funding from both the Irish and U.S. Governments has allowed the Fulbright Commission in Ireland to support a wider range and number of exciting study and research awardees than ever before.

Niall Burgess, Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said, “I am delighted to extend my warmest congratulations to the Irish Fulbright Awardees for 2019 – 2020. Exchanges like the Fulbright programme play a crucial role in sustaining the unique and very close relationship that Ireland and the United States share. The Fulbright Commission and Fulbrighters, past and present, are testament to the best traditions of academic and cultural exchange and have an outstanding track record in representing Ireland. Every year Fulbright awardees have the exciting opportunity to study, work, and experience life in the U.S., to forge new relationships, and to represent the best of contemporary Ireland to the United States. I wish this year’s Awardees every success for their time in the United States.”

Dr Sarah Ingle, Chair of the Board of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland said, “The excellence and expertise of Fulbright scholars, students and foreign language teaching assistants continues to develop after more than 60 years of the Irish programme.  The new awardees are being provided with a great opportunity, but they also have a responsibility to continue Senator Fulbright’s vision of creating mechanisms for mutual understanding, collaboration and sharing of ideas. The Commission Board congratulates the awardees travelling to the U.S. in the coming year and wishes them a very enjoyable and successful Fulbright experience."

The Fulbright Programme in Ireland was established in 1957 and annually awards grants for Irish citizens to study, research, or teach in the U.S. and for Americans to do the same in Ireland. Since its formation, over 2,000 postgraduate students, scholars, professionals, and teachers across all disciplines have participated in the program between the U.S. and Ireland. The Commission is supported by the U.S. Department of State and the Irish Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It is also a registered charity.

The next round of applications for Fulbright Irish Awards will open on 28th August 2019, interested candidates should visit for more information.

UCD's Fulbright Recipients

Ms Kate Bermingham is a PhD candidate at UCD where she previously completed a BSc in Human Nutrition and a MSc through research in Nutrition and Metabolomics. Her PhD studies focus on investigating longitudinal variation in dietary, anthropometric and metabolic phenotypes using a classic twin design. As a Fulbright-Teagasc Awardee, Kate will visit the USDA ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Centre, Davis California where she will perform novel lipid profiling techniques to determine the impact of genetic and environmental factors on variation in human metabolomic profiles.

Mr Oisín Byrne is a PhD candidate at UCD, where he previously completed his B.Sc. and M.E. in Biomedical Engineering. His PhD research focuses on 3D printing medical grade polymers onto cylindrically shaped substrates with applications in coronary artery bypass grafting. As a Fulbright Student to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he will conduct research into ways to promote the mechanical coupling of medical devices to tissue.

Ms Maeve Casserly is a PhD candidate in the School of History, UCD and has an MPhil. in Public History and Cultural Heritage from TCD. Her doctoral research is on public engagement with history through commemorations during the Irish Decade of Centenaries. Her main focus is on engagement with women’s history during 2016-2018. Maeve’s research is informed by her work as a heritage practitioner - she is the current Dublin City Council Historian-in-Residence and works in the National Library of Ireland. As a Fulbright-Creative Ireland Fellow, and to mark the US centenary of women’s suffrage in 2020 she will research and lead public engagement with the rich collections of the Harry Ransom Center, Austin.

Dr John Greaney lectures and tutors in UCD and Maynooth University. His work has been featured in Irish Studies Review and Textual Practice, and he is co-editing Irish Modernisms: Gaps, Conjectures Possibilities. As an NUI-Fulbright postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, he will undertake research for his monograph, The Distance of Irish Modernism, which investigates the paradox through which the Irish modernist novel becomes both a container for national history and a mode of world literature. 

Ms Siobhan Grayson is a PhD candidate at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, and the School of Computer Science, UCD. Her research focuses on aligning temporal networks extracted from online discussion forums in order to study quantitatively how participant behaviour changes over time. As a Fulbright Student to Harvard University, Siobhan will undertake research at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society where she will explore the dynamics of deliberation when instigated simultaneously across offline and pseudonymous online discourse spaces. 

Professor Margaret Kelleher is Professor and Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at UCD.  She is UCD academic lead for the Museum of Literature Ireland, a collaboration between UCD and the National Library of Ireland, and Chair of the Irish Film Institute. As a Fulbright Scholar, she will research the promotion and branding of Irish culture in America 1889-1922, drawing from archives at the Berg Collection, New York Public Library, and resources at New York University. Her research, and future monograph, will newly illuminate the activities undertaken by Irish artists who sought support and visibility from their American peers a century ago.

Dr Brendan Kelly is a Radiology Specialist Registrar at St Vincent's University Hospital and an ICAT Fellow at UCD. A UCD graduate of Radiography and of Medicine, Dr Kelly received his Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons in 2016, and MSc in Radiology from NUIG in 2017. As a Fulbright-HRB HealthImpact Scholar, he will visit the Stanford Department of Radiology and the Stanford Centre for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine and Imaging to investigate potential novel applications of AI to radiology, with the goal of establishing collaborations to achieve cutting edge clinical developments both in Ireland and the US.

Ms Patricia Kenny is a second year PhD candidate in UCD. Her current research, funded by the Irish Research Council, and the National University of Ireland Travelling Studentship prize, focuses upon the use of unusual stone in European prehistoric societies. As a recipient of a Fulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellowship, she will research this topic on an international scale in the Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.

Professor Kevin McDonnell has a joint appointment across Crops Science & Biosystems Engineering Department of UCD and his specialist interdisciplinary area of Agricultural Systems Technology addresses the sustainable use of bio-resources with a global perspective. His Precision Agricultural research area is enabling the development of a digital agricultural platform, which will be a key technology for Irish agriculture in the development of profitable sustainable farming practices. Prof McDonnell will work with the Ohio State University eFields team on digital data collection and analysis and use this work in conjunction with his own platforms to develop robust protocols for digital agricultural data collection, analysis and use in Ireland.

Ms Deirdre Murphy is a Primary school teacher in Temple Street Children’s Hospital School, Dublin. She has a BA International Degree in Irish and Geography from UCD and a Postgraduate Degree in Primary Education from Froebel College of Education. In her spare time, Deirdre enjoys drama, singing and participating in local choirs and musical societies. As a Fulbright Irish FLTA she will take classes and teach Irish at Gonzaga University, Washington State.

Ms Caroline Ní Ghallchobhair is from the Erris Gaeltacht in County Mayo. She has a BA in Irish and English from St Patrick’s College, DCU and spent a year studying communications and media in the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She also holds a M.A. in Scríobh agus Cumarsáid na Gaeilge from UCD. Caroline has worked with Gaelchultúr as a teacher and administrative executive. As a Fulbright FLTA she will teach the Irish language and take classes at the University of Notre Dame.

Mr Matthew O’Brien is a Ph.D. candidate based at the School of History at UCD. His doctoral research focuses on black power grassroots activism in Chicago from 1968-1983 through a lens of political education and is funded by the Irish Research Council. As a Fulbright student to the University of Illinois at Chicago, Matthew will conduct primary research concerning community groups and organisations who embodied black empowerment and progression in the 1970s. While at UIC, he will also orchestrate a series of oral history interviews that will further enrich the research topic.

Mr Conor Quinn is a Senior Cyber Security Consultant, specialising in Digital Forensic and Cybersecurity management with Deloitte Ireland. His work centres around investigating cybersecurity incidents to determine how they happened and to recommend improvements to increase security of organisations. As the first Fulbright-TechImpact Cybersecurity Awardee to Boston College, he will partake in the Cybersecurity Policy and Governance Masters programme and examine new methods to implement cyber security strategies.

Dr Suja Somanadhan is an Assistant Professor in Children's Nursing at UCD. She is spearheading rare disease research partnership model called “RAinDROP” to shape the future of research studies. As a Fulbright-HRB HealthImpact Scholar, she will examine the integrated care and services for the children, young people and their families living with Rare Diseases at the Center for Rare Disease Therapy at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. She will use this analysis to compare and improve the provision of such services for those living with Rare Diseases in Ireland and US. She will also explore the programme of work used to engage the Rare Disease patient community throughout the translational science process at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health.