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Funding Success for School of Chemistry Staff

Sylvia Draper

Prof. Sylvia Draper

Dr Lyons

Dr. Mike Lyons

T Gunnlaugsson

Prof. T. Gunnlaugsson

Georg Duesberg

Prof. G. Duesberg

Professor Sylvia Draper, Dr Mike Lyons, Professor Georg Duesberg and Professor Thorri Gunnlaugsson have been awarded individual SFI Principal Investigator grants totalling €2.87 million.

This, when added to the School’s recent success in achieving other major research funding, brings the amount raised in recent months to €5.63 million.

MA degree conferred to Mr Fred Cowzer

Fred Cowzer

David McGovern (left) and Fred Cowzer (right)

An MA degree has been conferred on our colleague Mr Fred M. Cowzer, who has completed 42 years of service with the School of Chemistry. Pictured above Fred, together with David McGovern (also from the School of Chemistry) who was conferred with the PhD degree at the same Commencements ceremony. Congratulations and best wishes to them both.



Rachel Evans


10 June 2010 – A Trinity College researcher, Rachel Evans has today been announced as one of the final eight candidates short-listed for the 2010 L’Oréal UNESCO UK and Ireland For Women In Science Fellowships ( From this list, four outstanding female scientists will be awarded fellowships of £15,000 each at an awards ceremony, held at the Royal Institution in London on 30 June 2010. The four winners will be selected by a panel of eminent scientists, chaired by Baroness Susan Greenfield.

The fellowships, now in their twelfth year internationally, promote the importance of ensuring greater participation of women in science by offering awards to outstanding female postdoctoral researchers. The fellowships have been designed to provide practical help for the winners to undertake research in their chosen fields. Winners may chose to spend their fellowship on buying scientific equipment, paying for childcare, or what ever they may need to continue their research.

Rachel has been shortlisted for her work in electronics, specifically for creating small-scale organic electronic devices. If successful, she plans to use her grants to cover living costs and field research to enable her to continue her scientific research.

The awards are run in partnership with the UK National Commission for UNESCO, the Irish National Commission for UNESCO and the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

The prestigious 2010 shortlist

  • Dr Lourdes Basabe-Desmonts, Research Fellow, Dublin City University, to undertake research into developing a novel technique to analyse and screen stem cell differentiation and death
  • Dr Rachel Evans, Lecturer in Physical Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin, to undertake research into creating a novel method of creating small-scale organic electronic devices
  • Dr Dora Biro, Royal Society University Fellow, University of Oxford, to undertake research into understanding how knowledge survives within animal collectives by investigating how birds pass information to one another
  • Dr Rebecca Morris, Royal Society University Fellow, University of Oxford, to undertake research into whether rare species play a vital role in tropical forest ecosystems
  • Dr Catherine Heymans, Senior Fellow, University of Edinburgh, to undertake research to determine how dark matter is distributed throughout the Universe
  • Dr Pia Mukherjee, Research Fellow, University Of Sussex, to undertake research into determining the origin and potential fate of the Universe
  • Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, to undertake research into determining how effective terrestrial protected areas are in conserving the world’s major ecosystems
  • Dr Elva Robinson, Research Fellow, University of York, to undertake research into the nesting behaviour of Pharaoh’s ants using a novel radio-tagging system

Dr Nathalie Seddon, Tutorial Fellow, University of Oxford who was one of the four winners in 2009 for her research into the evolution of animal communication commented, “The international and unique nature of my research has previously made it difficult to get initial funding from UK research councils.  This of course presents some difficulties when your research material is the other side of the world.  The L’Oréal-UNESCO fellowship has provided me with the support necessary to set up a research centre in Panama from where I can really extend my scientific research of observing animal behaviour.”

She added, “With international research it is always a struggle to achieve a work life balance.  However the L’Oréal For Women In Science award has allowed me to have a family while continuing to pursue my career in science."

Julie McManus, Head of Scientific and Technical-Regulatory Affairs, L’Oréal UK and Ireland, commented: “We are extremely proud that the For Women in Science Fellowships have made such an impact on encouraging and promoting female scientists in the UK over the last four years. The awards continue to grow from strength to strength; this year’s entrants are some of the most impressive yet and we look forward to watching their careers flourish.”


The L’Oréal UNESCO For Women In Science programme ( was founded twelve years ago by L’Oréal and UNESCO on the premise that ‘the world needs science and science needs women’.  The awards programme is designed to promote and highlight the critical importance of ensuring greater participation of women in science, by awarding promising female scientists with fellowships to help them further their research. There are three distinct schemes:

  • The founding awards provide five leading female scientists, one from each continent, with a prestigious laureate of up to $100,000 in recognition of their groundbreaking achievements and contributions to scientific progress. The international structure of the programme ensures that the laureates are distributed among women who are working under a wide variety of conditions.
  • The UNESCO-L’Oréal fellowships are run internationally and have awarded 120 promising female doctorate or post-doctorate scientists up to $40,000 each, since their inauguration in 2000.  The fellowships help women scientists pursue their research in some of the world’s most prestigious laboratories.
  • National Fellowships, such as the UK and Ireland programme detailed below, run in 35 countries around the world.  Each National Fellowship helps students pursue scientific careers and have, to date, enabled 340 women to continue their research.

In total, over 900 women in 90 countries have been recognised for their research and received funding to further their studies since the programme was founded in 1998. 


The L’Oréal UK and Ireland Fellowships For Women In Science were launched in January 2007.  The Fellowships are run in partnership with the UK National Commission for UNESCO, the Irish National Committee for UNESCO and the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

This year, 4 awards of £15,000 will be offered to outstanding female postdoctoral researchers.  The judging panel is chaired by Baroness Susan Greenfield. 

The fellowships have been designed to provide practical help for the winners to continue in their chosen fields.  For example, winners may choose to spend their fellowship on buying scientific equipment or paying for childcare costs or indeed whatever they may need to continue their research.

This article has been provided by diffusionpr

CELLT (Chemistry: Enhancing Laboratory Learning and Teaching)

TCD Safety Workshop 2010

On 8th and 9th of June the School of Chemistry hosted the inaugural workshop for CELLT (Chemistry: Enhancing Laboratory Learning and Teaching) This is a new cooperative venture between a group of institutions in Dublin teaching Chemistry at 1st year undergraduate (or equivalent) level, and the participants came together from TCD, DCU, DIT, RCSI and UCD. Over two days, teams of academics and undergraduate students carried out, evaluated and provided constructive criticism of four experiments drawn from the laboratory courses in different institutions. The TCD representatives were Dr. M. Bridge, Dr. R. Baker, Ms Aoife Ivory, Mr. Michael Prunty and Mr. Sam Duffy

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11th Supramolecular Meeting in Trinity College Dublin-23rd April 2010


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Prof. John Boland

Congratulations to Professor John Boland, Director of CRANN, who has been elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy

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SF Broad Curriculum Final 2010

On Thursday March 11th 2010, the annual Senior Freshman Broad Curriculum Chemistry Final took place in the School of Chemistry. This event followed four intense heats from which four groups out of seventeen were chosen to battle it out in this year’s grand final. The finalists provided us with highly entertaining presentations which covered the chemistry of emotions, mythical creatures, pollution and a perfect murder. Everything from snakes and tarantulas, to vampires and ricin were used to captivate the audience. The winning team, “The Chemistry of Pollution”, used a theme of a panel of “experts”, including a professor of chemistry, a green peace campaigner, a mechanic and a farmer to highlight topical issues affecting us directly here in Ireland. The medals and perpetual trophy were presented to Olivia Fahy, Douglas Temple and other members of the team, as well as Prof. Graeme Watson, their mentor, by Ms Mary Mulvihill, popular RTÉ radio presenter and science writer. This year also saw the beginning of the first ever “Senior Freshman Broad Curriculum Awards” ceremony. This acknowledged the efforts of all the students over the last six months. The categories included “Best Actor”, Best Actress”, “Most Embarrassing Costume and “Most Terrifying Presentation”. The school would like to extend their thanks to the judging panel; Dr Seamus Grant (Managing Director of Henkel), Prof Clive Williams (Dean of FEMS) and Ms Mary Mulvihill, as well as the members of staff who mentored the students over the course of the programme.

Publication in Nature Chemistry


Congratulations to Stephen Connon who, along with his co-workers Aldo Peschiulli, Barbara Procuranti and Cornelius O'Connor, has had a paper entitled "Synergistic organocatalysis in the kinetic resolution of secondary thiols with concomitant desymmetrization of an anhydride" published in the prestigious and influential journal Nature Chemistry [DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.584].


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Ely Lilly Prize for Young Chemists


"A recent graduate of the School, Ger Doorley, has been declared the winner of the Eli Lilly-sponsored annual Prize for Young Chemists, through a competition to find best chemistry PhD thesis in Ireland that is organised by the Royal Irish Academy. Ger, who will now be Ireland’s representative in a further international competition organised by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, is soon to take up a postdoctoral research position at Georgia Institute of Technology, USA."

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2009 Erskine Fellowship Award to Prof. Thorri Gunnlaugsson

Professor Thorri Gunnlaugsson has been awarded a 2009 Erskine Fellowship ( from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. This prestigious Fellowship will enable Thorri to visit the Department of Chemistry at the University of Canterbury for 7 weeks between September and October this year where he will give lectures to both undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as participating in local research meetings and symposia. His host at the University of Canterbury is Professor Paul Kruger, a former member of the School of Chemistry here at Trinity College Dublin. He will also present the work from his Research Group in TCD at University of Otago, New Zealand, as well as at Sydney and Deakin Universities in Australia; but at Deakin University he will take part in the inaugural meeting of SCiNZaA (Supramolecular Chemistry in New Zealand and Australia), which is organised by Dr. Fred Pfeffer, a former lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at TCD.

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