May 22 2023 Posted: 09:00 IST

Four original short animations created by Irish animators to explore and explain science research have recently been completed. The short films were created through a strand of the highly successful Science on Screen programme, a partnership between CÚRAM Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre for Medical Devices and Ardán.

The animations (which can be viewed here) are the product of a new strand of CÚRAM and Ardan’s Science on Screen Scheme and were launched in 2022 in association with the National Talent Academy Animation (NTAA).

About the 2022-2023 programme

The project invited animators to apply to create one minute long, easy to understand animations that present scientific concepts currently being explored through research projects at CÚRAM.

Swansong Films (Niamh Heery and Eric Dolan) and Studio 9 (Joe Coveney and John O'Connell) were selected and have each made two animations for the scheme.

The films explore such topics as a new delivery system for the treatment of diabetes; how to effectively deliver pain relief to the site of osteoarthritis; a novel coating for stents used in the gastro system and a targeted approach to combatting hypertension caused by tumour growth on the adrenal gland.

Feedback from the participants

"Working with CÚRAM was a fantastic opportunity for us at Studio 9. Their work is fascinating, and it was a wonderful challenge to help them communicate their research with a broader audience. The team at CÚRAM gave us enough creative freedom to produce something that inspired us visually and allowed our way of working to show through.  There was fantastic support from the team - with good communication and excellent feedback." - Joe Coveney of Studio 9

The highlights were the soundscape mentoring from Pa Lynch lined up by NTAA. The organisation of the whole project was great, CÚRAM had Dr David Brayden from UCD, Dr Eoin O'Cearbhaill from UCD, and Claire Riordan, the CÚRAM Education and Public Engagement Manager on hand to help with any questions we had. From a management perspective, Ardán was brilliant to help with all the contracts and documentation and generally being able to bounce ideas off each other in terms of managing the types of documentation that might be needed for the project.” - Niamh Heery of Swansong Films

CÚRAM Scientific Director Professor Abhay Pandit said: “The product of this collaboration between animators and CÚRAM scientists has been hugely valuable in creating clear ways to inform the public about what we do and its value.”

The resulting animations are highly effective in conveying complex ideas in an easy-to-understand way and have shown the role which both film and animation can have in engaging with the public and meeting the goals of the Science on Screen scheme.

About Science on Screen

Science on Screen is a partnership project run by CÚRAM (the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at University of Galway) & Ardán (formerly Galway Film Centre).

The partnership began in 2016 and aims to facilitate, promote and increase the inclusion of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) content in Irish film and TV production through the production of documentary films that incorporate current research at CÚRAM and its partners.

Since 2016, eight Science on Screen films have been produced, covering such topics as developments in precision tailored cancer treatment, Parkinson’s Disease, living with diabetes, and the newest documentary which focuses on the Home Health project on Clare Island, investigating how digital healthcare can improve patient care on the island.

Interested in getting involved?

CÚRAM and Ardán in association with National Talent Academy Animation hope to do more animations in the future, animators can keep in touch with future projects by following CÚRAM, Ardán and National Talent Academy Animation on social media and subscribing to the Ardán newsletter at

Watch the completed animations here:

‌Title: Macromolecules Delivery Patch for Cheek
Animated By: Swansong Films
Researcher: Dr David Brayden

Title: Extended Pain Relief for Osteoarthritis
Animated By: Studio 9
Researcher: Dr David Brayden

Title: Development of new Stent Coating Technique
Animated By: Swansong Films
Researcher: Dr. Eoin O’Cearbhaill

Title: Adrenal Gland Targeted Energy Delivery
Animated By: Studio 9
Researcher: Dr Martin O’Halloran


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