Hell & Back

PGS Go to Hell & Back!

“Hell & Back” is the largest and most popular obstacle course run in the country. Stunning private farm estates are converted into adventure playgrounds, where participants must complete a 10-15KM trail route crossing rivers and lakes, climbing hills and mountains and crawling through bogs and swamps.


Hell & Back
             Peter Brennan (PGS Chair), Rebecca Watkin (RCSI VP PGSU), Ricardo (PGS Secretary)


This year DCU PGS members, alongside friends from RCSI Sports & Social Club, braved the gruelling conditions in Killruddery Estate, in Bray, Co. Wicklow. It was a fantastic opportunity for postgraduates to socialise and keep active. Participants also hiked Bray Head after they recovered from ‘Hell & Back’. This is something we hope can be done again in the future. One of our many sporting to come!


Bray Head
                                                                  Peter, Dylan & Ricardo on Bray Head

SolarFest 2017

Solarfest is an event aimed at providing people to find out more about the Sun and its place among the other stars, as well as its crucial importance to Earth. This year it took place at the Dunsink Observatory between June 16th & 18th. DCU Postgraduate student Beronica Garcia was present at this years Solarfest, where she had the opportunity to interview some prominent astronomers and PhD students.


SolarFest is the celebration of Solar Astronomy for astronomers, astrophysicists, amateur astronomers, as well as for the general public. Dr Jonathan Mackey, an astrophysics research fellow in DIAS and one of the main organisers of Solarfest, comments: “The Sun is our nearest star, and our understanding of all other stars is based on how much we know about the Sun. Observations and models of the Sun and its wind are important for developing theoretical models of the atmosphere and surface conditions on planets that are being discovered around other stars.”

Michael O’Connell, an amateur astronomer from IFAS says, “Solarfest provides an excellent opportunity for Ireland’s finest scientists to come together with amateur astronomers and the general public to share their latest research in solar astronomy in the relaxed setting of Dunsink Observatory. Events such as Solarfest play a crucial role in promoting Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) and ensuring the next generation can explore and discover fulfilling careers here in Ireland.”


DCU Postgraduate Society EGM

We need to elect some new committee members until an AGM next October, we will vote at an EGM on June 15th at 5 pm in Albert College Park, DCU. We are planning on having a BBQ (weather depending), Pizza in the Park along with some fun outside sports activities. Also, we will vote on the new members of the committee. Information on the positions and what is involved is listed below. To view our current committee, click here.



We have reviewed the PGS constitution, and we are proposing amendments to certain parts of it to allow the society to function more efficiently for all. These will be voted on at the EGM on the 15th of June.

The following amendments are being proposed:

  • The addition of a Sports Officer to promote and organise social sporting activities for PGS members. 
  • We have reviewed protocols for calling meetings and have made the following proposal, to change 2 weeks notice of General Meetings to 1-week notice.  
  • For voting on Constitutional changes, it was seen that changing notice from 1 week to 5 days was more viable. 
  • Changes to the Treasurer’s role to accommodate for more dynamic banking services. 
Revised Constitution access available by request.



The positions that are to be voted on at the EGM include:

  • Treasurer:
    1. The Treasurer’s function shall be to administer the funds of the society and to maintain accounts and budgets.
    2. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the maintenance of accounts subject to the decision of the committee in compliance with the regulations set down by the Societies & Publications Committee of DCU.
    3. The Treasurer shall keep full records of income and expenditure of the society. The Treasurer shall also keep a record of who authorised various expenditures and shall issue receipts.
    4. The Treasurer shall sign all cheques and withdrawal forms for the Society’s bank account.
    5. Where the Treasurer is decreed as unavailable, another designated person may sign cheques and withdrawal forms for the society on consultation with the Societies & Publications Committee.
  • Sports Officer:

The Sports Officer shall actively promote and provide participation opportunities for all sections of the postgraduate society community in all kinds of sports activities.

  • Equipment Officer:
    1. The Equipment Officer shall be responsible for the fixed and current assets of the society in compliance with the regulations set down by the Societies & Publications Committee.
    2. The Equipment Officer shall maintain a record of all fixed and current assets belonging to the society and will report an inventory list to the committee at the start and end of the academic year.
  • One ordinary member

This event should be a great opportunity to relax and socialise!

PubhD June Podcast

Podcast: PodhD Episode 9

PodhD Episode 9 Podcast

PodhD is the podcast chronicle of the world of PubhD – a revolutionary mix of pub entertainment and high-level academic research. It is produced and presented by Guy Kiddey.

The latest PodhD podcast featuring, Richard Fallon on dinosaurs in Victorian Britain, and Nicola Blacklaws on the Poor Law and its implications for the modern welfare state.

Richard Fallon researches the history of palaeontology in Britain and the United States during the first two-thirds of the nineteenth-century has seen considerable contextualisation. Most recently, innovative studies reveal that cultural developments like Romanticism, the form of the novel, and vogues for visual spectacle were sewn into the practices and writings of the earth sciences from their very birth. Turning to the end of the nineteenth century, historians of science have documented in detail the fierce disputes over bounteous fossil discoveries made in the American West, and the groundbreaking visual strategies of display developed in exhibitions at American museums.

Nicola Blacklaws aims to re-evaluate the role of out-door relief, and consequently also of the workhouse, across the period of the new poor law. I will consider the forms that out-door relief took during this period, its extent and generosity, motivating factors in its use and how local actors within the system felt about it.


Dublin PubhD, Wednesday 7th June at 7 pm

Lie Detectors, Stubborn Cancers & Neuroimaging


Center map
Cancer Research

Video: Pizza & Research (Cancer Research)

Beronica Garcia interviewing the presenters of our Pizza & Research event in aid of the Irish Cancer Society about the latest Cancer Research being conducted in DCU.


Steven Lyons who is a second year PhD student. He is researching methods for early non-invasive screening of Melanoma using magnetic nanoparticles by locating specific biomarkers. This is early stage cancer research.

Fiona Skelly is a second-year PhD student, she is researching the effectiveness of it on physical, clinical and psychosocial outcomes from DCU’s MedEX programme. MedEx is a community-based chronic illness rehabilitation program which caters for a variety of chronic conditions. The program offers medically supervised exercise classes which are a mix of aerobic training and resistance training. She is studying characteristics of the physical activity and sedentary behaviour patterns of a chronic illness population. Also, the effects of an exercise intervention on physical activity and sedentary behaviour patterns of a chronic disease population.

Claire O’Connell, a PhD researcher at the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute in DCU, is developing an early detection test for cancer metastasis. She uses a fluorescent dye encased in glass nanoparticles which differentiate the cancer cells from the normal healthy cells. This technology can improve therapy and save lives. It can do this by detecting cancer cells in patients’ blood before spreading to other organs.