Supporting Local News

Galway quartet among 37 academics on programme to strengthen Irish/US bonds

Four University of Galway academics are among 37 Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2023-2024 – offering them the chance to study and work with prestigious US institutions over the next twelve months.

The four – Dr James Britton, Associate Professor Tom Felle, Shauna Ní Dhochartaigh and Seán Ó Coistealbha – were presented with Awards at a ceremony in the US Ambassador’s Residence this week.

Dr Britton is an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in the Physiology Department, College of Medicine at the University of Galway. His Ph.D. focused on neural tissue repair and regeneration strategies and biomedical device development.

As a Fulbright-NUI Scholar at the Chalasani Lab, Salk Institute, California, he will investigate the use of Sonogenetics to modulate the electrical firing of neurons and how this technique can be used to treat neurological conditions.

Tom Felle is Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Galway. He worked as a journalist and foreign correspondent in Ireland, the UK, Brussels, Sydney and Beirut before transitioning into academia.

As Fulbright Scholar-In-Residence he will work on creative writing, journalism, and internationalisation projects with East Los Angeles College, California.

Both Shauna Ní Dhochartaigh and Seán Ó Coistealbha Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants.

Shauna Ní Dhochartaigh is a Bachelor of Arts in Gaeilge and History student at the University of Galway. A native of Rann na Feirste, in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht, she is a native Irish speaker. She will be a Fulbright FLTA at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

Seán Ó Coistealbha is a native of An Spideal, and a graduate of Irish and history from the University of Galway. He is a published poet and has had numerous stage film appearances as an actor. He is passionate about the Irish language, archaeology, heritage, culture and all matters pertaining to the Irish diaspora. Seán will be a Fulbright FLTA at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Another of the 14 Fulbright Irish Scholars is Dr Ailbhe Nic Giolla Chomhaill, a lecturer in Irish in the School of English, Irish, and Communication at the University of Limerick. Her doctoral thesis on folklore and oral traditions of the Joyce Country, was funded by the Irish Research Council.

Her first monograph to date, An Chaora Ghlas agus Scéalta Eile as Seanadh Farracháin, is a study of international folktales collected in Seanadh Farracháin NS in 1937-38, under the auspices of The Schools’ Folklore Collection. Seanadh Farracháin is on the Galway side of the Mayo border, just north of Lough Na Fooey.

As a Fulbright Irish Scholar based at Indiana University, Bloomington, her research project will analyse Irish and Gaelic language folktales narrated by female storytellers from Ireland and Scotland during the 20th century.

In all, academics, professionals, students and Irish speakers will travel to 17 states across the US embedding themselves in institutions ranging from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Poets House New York and The University of Hawaii to The Smithsonian Institution in Washington and East Los Angeles College, the largest community college in California.

Fulbright Irish Scholars, Students, and Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) will also engage with U.S. society and share their knowledge and expertise when they return home.

The Fulbright Programme in Ireland was established in 1957 and annually awards grants for Irish, and EU citizens resident in the Republic of Ireland for five or more years, to study, research, or teach/lecture in the US and for Americans to do the same in Ireland.

Since its formation, over 2,500 postgraduate students, scholars, professionals, and teachers across all disciplines have participated in the program between the US and Ireland.

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


For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

More like this:

Sign Up To get Weekly Sports UPDATES

Go Up