Feb 12 2020 Posted: 09:57 GMT

Science on Screen, run by CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUI Galway and Galway Film Centre are once again offering funding to filmmakers interested in producing a short scientific documentary focused on cancer research.

Collaborating with the scheme this year are Precision Oncology Ireland (POI), a consortium aiming to develop new diagnostics and therapeutics for personalised cancer treatment, and the Patient Voice in Cancer Research, with financial support through the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund at UCD and other philanthropic funds. Precision (or ‘personalised’) medicine uses data about a person’s genes (genomics), along with additional information on their cancer, to understand the unique pathways of a disease or treatment response in that person. With this new science, doctors can prescribe the right treatment in a timely fashion, saving the wasted resources and time our current ‘trial and error’ method incurs, while greatly improving response rates.

The ‘Science on Screen’ scheme, a funding strand for creative documentaries set in the world of science, is now in its fifth year. The scheme will  fund one 26-minute film with a budget of €35,000 that promotes the public understanding of science. The scheme forms part of CÚRAM’s public engagement programme which supports the Science Foundation Ireland objective of having the most scientifically informed and engaged public. Please note that teams who have been in receipt of Science on Screen funding previously are not eligible to apply in 2020.

The Science on Screen Information Day will take place on Wednesday 26th February 2020 at the Palás Cinema in Galway City for filmmakers and producers. Both researchers and patients will give an overview of their research and involvement, followed by a Q&A and opportunities to discuss ideas with the speakers.

 The schedule for the day will include:

  • 10.30: Welcome by CÚRAM
  • 10.45: Speaker 1 Professor Walter Kolch, Director, Precision Oncology Ireland
  • 11:05: Speaker 2 Dr Roisin Dwyer, NUI Galway & POI Investigator
  • 11.25: Speaker 3 Professor Maeve Lowery, Trinity College Dublin & POI Investigator
  • 11.45: Patient/Lived Experience Panel [Perspectives from several cancer patients/family members] – chaired by Professor William Gallagher and Professor Amanda McCann
  • 12.25: Speaker 4 Professor William Gallagher, Deputy Director, Precision Oncology Ireland
  • 12.45: Speaker 5 Professor Amanda McCann, Chair, The Patient Voice in Cancer Research
  • 13:05:   Galway Film Centre – Application Guidelines & Q&A
  • 13:30:   Close

For interested filmmakers, a limited number of places will also be made available to attend a separate event the evening before the Information Day, the ‘Patient Voice in Cancer Research’ Dragons Den workshop on Tuesday, 25th February from 4pm-7pm, which is being held in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill.

For more information on this separate event, please contact Claire Riordan at CÚRAM on Claire.riordan@nuigalway.ie to book a place.

Science on Screen is a Galway City of Film initiative between Galway Film Centre and CÚRAM. Since 2016, five Science on Screen films have been produced. All have been broadcast on RTE and or TG4, screened at numerous international film festivals and scooped six international awards. The documentaries are used throughout the country at schools, for community screenings as well as at academic conferences and have reached an audience of over a million people to date.  

 Trailers for previously funded commissions are available here:

Science on Screen 2016

‘Feats of Modest Valour': https://vimeo.com/184564095

‘Mending Legends': https://vimeo.com/189779551

Science on Screen 2017  - ‘Bittersweet': https://vimeo.com/242714712

Science on Screen 2018  - ‘A Tiny Spark’: https://vimeo.com/291731458 

Science on Screen 2019  - ‘The Patient Effect’: https://vimeo.com/367628357

 For more information on Science on Screen see: www.galwayfilmcentre.ie  and www.curamdevices.ie



CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at NUI Galway is part of the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre Network, and aims to radically improve the quality of life for patients with chronic Illness by developing the next generation of smart, implantable medical devices. Clinical targets include cardiovascular illnesses, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease, musculoskeletal and respiratory illnesses as well as soft tissue and wound healing.  Read more at www.curamdevices.ie or follow us on Twitter @curamdevices.

About Precision Oncology Ireland

Precision Oncology Ireland (www.precisiononcology.ie) is a consortium of five Irish universities [University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, University College Cork and National University of Ireland, Galway]; six Irish charities [National Breast Cancer Research Institute, Breast Cancer Ireland, Breakthrough Cancer Research, Irish Cancer Society, National Children’s Research Centre, and The Oesophageal Cancer Fund]; and ten industry partners [Helsinn Birex, Bayer Healthcare, AstraZeneca, OncoMark Ltd., miR Scientific, Phion Therapeutics, Celgene Institute for Translational Research Europe, Cell Stress Discoveries Ltd., Fosun Orinove, and Genomics Medicine Ireland]. The Consortium is part-funded by Science Foundation Ireland under their Strategic Partnership Programme; led by Professor Walter Kolch, Director and Professor William Gallagher, Deputy Director and based out of Systems Biology Ireland at University College Dublin.

 About The Patient Voice in Cancer Research (PVCR)

The PVCR began in April 2016 when more than 100 cancer survivors and their families joined health care professionals, researchers, patient advocates, funding agencies and charity groups at an open forum in University College Dublin (see http://www.ucd.ie/conway/engagement/ and @PVCR_Ireland via Twitter). This initiative grew out of a clear unmet need to involve the voices of cancer patients within the scientific research process. Its main aim is to enable dialogue between patients and researchers, scientists, funding bodies and patient advocate groups so that the lived experience of cancer patients can enrich, inform and shape the research process. PVCR workshops give participants the opportunity to voice the questions and concerns that matter most to cancer patients and are likely to improve the relevance of cancer research. Today, the initiative has expanded considerably and the PVCR team run regular workshops around the country.

 About the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) at UCD

 The Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) is supported under the SFI-HRB-Wellcome Trust Biomedical Research Partnership, with matched funding from University College Dublin. A formalised approach to Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) is a relatively new concept and requires cultural change in the research community. In addition, to effect behavioural change and enable impact, there is a necessity to link with policymakers, patient groups and other stakeholders, activities that are not currently taking place on a significant scale (Grant ref 204844/Z/16/Z).


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