Irish academics to jet off to US with Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar Awards

10 Jun 2022

Dr Angela Butler, Dr Moninne Howlett and Dr Eoin Whelan. Image: Fulbright

The three recipients of the 2022-2023 Fulbright-TechImpact awards work at Intel, NUI Galway and at a paediatrics hospital.

Three Irish academics have been awarded prestigious Fulbright scholarships to explore the power of technology.

The trio received their Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar Awards at a ceremony in Dublin’s Iveagh House on 9 June. They were among a total of 40 Irish Fulbright awardees on the night.

The Fulbright-TechImpact awards are specifically for technology. The research grants will enable the recipients to complete short-term, non-commercial projects and research in the US.

For her research, Intel Ireland programme manager Dr Angela Butler will jet off to the US to explore the degrees of connection that humans forge with AI. She intends to do this through an examination of three AI-led art experiences.

Dr Moninne Howlett, chief pharmacy information officer for Children’s Health Ireland, was awarded a scholarship to visit St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. While there, she will study ways to inform the planned implementation of closed-loop medication management in Ireland’s new children’s hospital. The plan involves an electronic health record and a number of auxiliary interfaced systems.

Completing the trio, Dr Eoin Whelan, professor of business analytics and society at NUI Galway, will visit the University of Colorado Boulder to determine if abstinence from social media is an effective intervention strategy for promoting a healthy way of life for teenagers.

Prof Diane Negra, chair of the Fulbright Commission Ireland board, offered her congratulations to the 40 Irish scholars.

“They are joining a very vibrant network and will benefit from the professional recognition of being a Fulbright awardee,” she said.

She added that the “excellence and expertise of Fulbright recipients continues to develop” after many years of Irish-US exchange.

The global Fulbright programme was established in 1946, with Ireland-US exchanges beginning in 1957.

The Fulbright Commission in Ireland is in charge of awarding grants each year for Irish citizens to study, research, or teach in the US and for Americans to do the same in Ireland. Since its formation, more than 2,500 postgraduate students, scholars, professionals and teachers across all disciplines have participated in the programme between the two countries.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic