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Congratulations to David Nolan (Dublin City University), who is the winner of the USI-IRC Why Research Matters 2022 video competition. Congratulations also to the competition’s two runner-up prize winners, Ailbhe McGurrin (University College Dublin) and Antonia Egli (Dublin City University). 

Now in its third year, Why Research Matters is a joint campaign by the Union of Students Ireland and the Irish Research Council that invites postgraduate students to submit a video explaining their research and why it matters. Video entries are judged on the communication of the research project, how they engage the viewer, and in the originality and creativity of their presentation.

David Nolan was judged the overall winner. David’s video, ‘Sex Differences in Adaptation to Exercise,’ explains their doctoral project at the School of Health & Human Performance, Dublin City University. The video focuses on the broad area of sex-differences in adaptation to exercise, focusing on female specific considerations which we study through the lens of female rugby.  

Why Research Matters Video Competition 2022 – David Nolan 

Ailbhe McGurrin, a PhD researcher at the School of Agriculture and Food Science at University College Dublin, has been awarded the ‘Most Informative’ prize. This prize is awarded to a researcher who has communicated the nature and aim of their research project in a clear and engaging manner. Ailbhe’s project focuses on the medicinal properties of Irish seaweeds. Ailbhe’s research is important to protect against a future where ‘superbugs’ (bacteria which have evolved to survive all antibiotic medicines) will be a huge danger for humans. 

Ailbhe McGurrin | #WHYRESEARCHMATTERS | USI-IRC Video Competition 

Antonia Egli, a PhD researcher at the Dublin City University Business School, has been awarded the ‘Most Creative’ prize. This prize is awarded to a researcher who has demonstrated exceptional creative ability in presenting their research. Antonia’s project examines the vaccine-related stigma expressed online and its implications on the intention to vaccinate amongst hesitant users. This research is unique in its analysis of stigmatising content shared on social media within the vaccine discourse before and during a pandemic. 

#WhyMyResearchMatters:  Implications of Stigma on the Decision to Vaccinate against COVID-19 

Huge congratulations to the other five finalists for their outstanding contributions: 

  • Lughan Odlum Deane, Dublin City University 
  • Maíra Theophilo de Souza Amaral, Technological University Dublin 
  • Pragyaa Chandel, Dublin City University
  • Rachel Healy, University College Dublin
  • Tammy Strickland, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland 

The Union of Students Ireland and the Irish Research Council congratulate David, Ailbhe and Antonia on their exceptional videos and to all the finalists and participants for their commitment to communicating why research matters in Ireland and in the world today.