Three UCD undergraduates were honoured recently with gold medals presented by President Michael D. Higgins having won at the Undergraduate Awards ceremony.

On November 10th, the 2012 Undergraduate Awards came to a close with a three-day Summit in Dublin. On the 9th, three UCD students; Karen Gibney, Deasún O’ Riain and Robert Nielson (pictured above respectively) received gold medals from President Michael D. Higgins for outstanding academic achievement in their works.

The Awards, founded in 2008 by Paddy Cosgrave and Oisin Hanrahan, have successfully pioneered a programme of recognising top scholars in the world as well as those in Irish Third-Level Institutions. There were 20 categories this year, covering a wide range of subjects from the arts to the sciences and UCD were proudly represented. Robert Nielson, a final year Economics and Politics student won the Business and Economics Category for his essay: “Do Generous Welfare Benefits Lead To High Unemployment?”; Karen Gibney (a graduate as of June 2012) was meanwhile honoured for her undergraduate project: “An Investigation into Progeny Performance Results in Dual Hemisphere Stallions”; and Deasún O’Riain for his piece: “Is Mór Idir Filíocht an Ríordánaigh agus Filíocht an Direánaigh” in the Irish Language and Literary section.

The President commended the students in attendance on their remarkable achievement, praising the “great wealth of innovative and imaginative talent that exists amongst our young people- the leaders, policy makers and scientists and artists of the future.” With 2,890 submissions from institutions around Ireland and remarkable universities around the world, the competition had increased but confidence was resolute with Louise Hodgson, the Programme Director: “Every year the Undergraduate Awards has recognised outstanding students and graduates, but I think our winners today are the most impressive bunch so far. Congratulations to them all! I know they’ll go on to be leaders and pioneers in their fields, and I’m glad the Undergraduate Awards can be one of the first to recognise their work.”

The UA which receives thousands of top-marked projects within coursework each year. The 2013 awards have been from October 1st this year and are available for all students across Ireland and those in the top 100 universities around the world. More information on this year’s awards and the events they hold is available on