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SURE Network Wins Education Award

Posted: 22 February, 2019

Last month, the Science Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Network was awarded Best Academic Partnership at the 2019 Education Awards.

The Best Academic Partnership category seeks evidence of innovative, bold and creative strategies and initiatives that have been used to help the partners work together effectively to contribute and deliver improvement mutually. The award recognises the highest level of enrichment and growth between each partner over the past twelve months and is open to all academic partnerships worldwide.

The Science Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Network was established in 2016 to form a community of institutions and academics interested in enhancing practice in undergraduate research in Sciences. It is a disciplinary network with representatives from nine Higher Education Institutions and is aligned to the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Head of Learning Development, College of Sciences of Health at TU Dublin - City Campus, Ciarán O'Leary leads the project. 

The regional and national connections formed through the SURE Network have enabled the establishment of inter-institutional initiatives including the Annual SURE Undergraduate Research Conference Series and the SURE Undergraduate Research Journal. The inaugural conferences were held in 2018 across three SURE Network sites (TU Dublin City Campus, Waterford Institute of Technology and Athlone Institute of Technology).

Speaking after the ceremony, Network Chairperson Ciaran O’Leary said ‘The award is recognition for the excellent work carried out by Julie Dunne and the rest of the Conference Organising Committee and the members of the SURE Network in running the 2018 conferences. It’s also a testament to the hard work of students, supervisors and project coordinators who carried out the research presented at the conferences. We want to thank the National Forum and all our sponsors and partners for their support for the SURE Network and its activities over the past two years.”

Prof. Michael Devereux, Dean and Director of the TU Dublin College of Sciences and Health said ‘The SURE initiative has been a very innovative addition to the academic calendar, acting as a platform for engagement across the Technological Higher Education sector. The success at the education awards is well-deserved recognition of the hard work that colleagues across the consortium have invested, and I look forward to the next conference’.

Planning has already begun for the 2019 conference series, with conferences to take place in Dublin (TU Dublin - Tallaght Campus), Carlow (IT Carlow) and Sligo (IT Sligo).

The SURE Journal has also been launched, with Dr Barry Ryan from TU Dublin as the editor in chief.

The 2018 SURE National Conference Committee, chaired by Dr. Julie Dunne from TU Dublin, with membership from Dr. Therese Montgomery and Dr. Anne Marie O'Brien from Athlone Institute of Technology, and Dr Claire Lennon from Waterford Institute of Technology accepted The Best Academic Partnership Award on behalf of the SURE Network at a ceremony in the Ballsbridge Hotel.