150 ‘junior Nobel Prize’ winners in Ireland for Global Summit

10 Nov 2015

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, pictured with some of the winners of the Undergraduate Awards

Undergraduate students from 49 universities across the world arrived in Dublin today for the Undergraduate Awards Global Summit.

The Undergraduate Awards, founded and based in Ireland, is the world’s largest academic awards programme, recognising innovation and excellence at undergraduate level. It is prestigious enough to be referred to as the ‘junior Nobel Prize’.

At the welcoming ceremony, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “The Undergraduate Awards is another great Irish success story, which highlights Ireland’s reputation in higher education globally. And this year’s winners, who come from all over the world, will be the success stories of tomorrow”.

The winners will receive their gold medals from President Michael D Higgins tomorrow (11 November), in a gala awards ceremony at City Hall.

The Awards recognise leading creative thinkers through their undergraduate coursework, and provide top-performing students with the support, network and opportunities they require to raise their profiles and further their careers.

Awards span categories from arts and humanities, the environment and politics, to computer science, engineering and maths.

The Undergraduate Awards 2015

Some 5,117 submissions were received by the Undergraduate Awards this year, from undergraduates in 255 universities across 39 countries.

Louise Hodgson, executive director of the Undergraduate Awards, commented: “This is our largest and most diverse cohort of extraordinarily bright students and graduates from around the world”.

The Global Summit gathers the 25 winners and 125 other top performers in Ireland ahead of the awards ceremony, in a bid to encourage cross-discipline and cross-border collaboration.

“We intend to act as a magnet that attracts the world’s top students to Ireland,” said Hodgson.

As part of the Summit, the attendees will sit in on talks and workshops from philosopher AC Grayling, genome sequencer Craig Ventor, Guinness World Record holder for World’s Youngest University Professor Alia Sabur, and noted astrophysicist – and Inspirefest 2015 speaker – Jocelyn Bell Burnell.

The Summit will span four days.

Kirsty Tobin was careers editor at Silicon Republic