The ADAPT Recognition Awards celebrate and reward outstanding service, notable research excellence, contributions to society, and scientific collaboration and impact. This year we received an incredible response from the ADAPT community in the form of 67 nominations across the 6 categories. We are delighted to see ADAPT members recognise and rejoice in the success and hard work of one another. This year in total six awards were distributed to members who displayed these outstanding qualities:
Researcher of the Year Award
The ADAPT Researcher of the Year Award recognises those who have contributed greatly to scientific progress or who have had a significant scientific breakthrough.
Prof. Giovanni di Liberto, Assistant Professor in Intelligent Systems in the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin, won this year’s Researcher of the Year Award for his breakthrough on the study of language development in babies. The findings were published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications and received significant media attention, featuring in the national British television channel ITV, online news such as the Irish Examiner and University news.
The study could measure, for the first time, the emergence of linguistic processing in the brains of infants in their first year of life. This finding carries important theoretical insights, indicating that phonological processing starts emerging from about 7 months of age, supported by neural rhythmic processes that present much earlier methodological impacts. The study also represents an important methodological breakthrough in neural data analysis, as the framework demonstrated could potentially be used for early detection of language-related deficits.
Photo R-L: Giovanni di Liberto accepting the award from ADAPT Interim Director Prof. Dave Lewis.
The shortlist included:
Early Stage Researcher of the Year Award
The ADAPT Early Stage Researcher of the Year Award recognises an individual’s research breakthrough and its scientific importance, whether it has been presented or accepted for publication in a peer reviewed conference or journal. PhD Students or Postdoctoral Researchers within two years of their postgraduate are considered.
Dr. Camille Nadal, post-doctoral researcher at Trinity College Dublin, has won this year’s Early Stage Researcher Award for her work in conducting a clinical study on the acceptability of smartwatch-based monitoring in the context of iCBT treatment for depression and anxiety in routine care. This Randomised Controlled Trial, conducted in the UK’s national health service was a hugely challenging undertaking from a research design and logistical perspective, and required careful consideration of ethics.
Building on her previous work on the definition and theoretical modelling of acceptability of digital health technologies, the work impacts on the area of health by paving the way for wider deployment of these technologies in a mental health context. The work was carried out in collaboration with TCD spinout Silvercloud Health, contributing towards the innovation capacity of Irish industry. The research is published in the highly prestigious journal ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, impacting on Ireland’s reputation, adding to an extremely high quality publication profile for an early stage researcher, including three ACM CHI papers and high quality journal publications.
Photo: Camille Nadal
International Research Programmes Award
The ADAPT International Research Programmes Award recognises an individual who has made significant contributions in engaging with international research programmes, had significant success in winning funding or had a significant impact on the field of research or policy within such programmes.
Brendan Spillane, Assistant Professor in the School of Information and Communication Studies in University College Dublin, won the International Research Programmes Award for work on Vigilant, which kicked off in Nov 2022 and won significant backing from Horizon. Vigilant is set to equip the LEAs with technology to detect/analyse disinformation linked to criminal activity – thereby contributing a great deal to Ireland/ADAPT’s position within the field internationally. Brendan has also done an amazing job so far on Athena, which has a stronger focus on disinformation linked to foreign info manipulation.
Photo L-R: Brendan Spillane accepting the award from ADAPT Interim Director Prof. Dave Lewis.
Education & Public Engagement Research Excellence Award
The ADAPT Education & Public Engagement Research Excellence Award recognises an individual, or a teams, outstanding contributions to society by effectively engaging and involving the public in ADAPT research.
The SignON team won this year’s EPE Award for their work on the SignON project which aims to bridge the communication gap between Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing people through an accessible translation app.This group has been involved in a number of EPE events in Ireland over the past 3 years of the SignON project. Most recently, in November 2023 they were involved in a round table discussion on Sign Language and AI where the discussion included an overview of the SignOn project, ethics, the future of Sign Languages and AI, and a screening of a short film that combines Shakespeare with machine translation.
The group are members of two Irish partners (DCU and TCD) and includes Rachel Moiselle, Dr Shaun O’Boyle, Dr. Elizabeth Matthews, Prof. Lorraine Leeson, Aoife Brady, and Lianne Quigley.
Photo: Aoife Brady accepting the award on behalf of the SignON team from ADAPT Interim Director Prof. Dave Lewis.
The shortlist included:
Industry Collaboration Award
The ADAPT Industry Collaboration Award recognises successful industry collaboration by an individual whose contributions have significantly benefited the industry project or spinout.
Filip Klubicka, post-doctoral researcher based in Technological University Dublin, for his work on the NL2SQL Huawei project. His total commitment and dedication to ensuring a successful project outcome was demonstrated by his perseverance over many challenging months with outside stakeholders to ensure recognition of research results on the Spider leaderboard, which was crucial to the acceptance criteria by Huawei.
Photo R-L: Filip Klubicka accepting the award from ADAPT Interim Director Prof. Dave Lewis.
Outstanding Professional Staff Member Award
The ADAPT Outstanding Professional Staff Member Award recognises a professional staff member for their exceptional dedication and notable contributions within the framework of their role. This award seeks to celebrate those with a track record of outstanding commitment to their work.
Claire Whelan, International Engagement Manager and Deputy Head of the Research Development Team, won the Outstanding Professional Staff Member Award for her significant contribution to the NENC team within ADAPT. She consistently delivers exceptional results and is deeply invested in the nature and quality of the proposals she works with. Her suggestions, feedback and support make an exceptional difference to the centre and her team.
Photo: Claire Whelan accepting the award from ADAPT Interim Director Prof. Dave Lewis.
Congratulations to this year’s winners and shortlisted candidates and we look forward to seeing what we can achieve next year!