ADAPT Researcher awarded as prestigious Fulbright Scholar

19 January 2021
ADAPT Researcher awarded as prestigious Fulbright Scholar

Posted: 11/06/18

An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney TD, and Chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Ireland, Mr Reece Smyth, announced 37 Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2018-2019, including ADAPT researcher Emer Gilmartin.

Students, academics and professionals from 13 HEIs in Ireland and Europe will go to 33 leading U.S. institutions to study and collaborate with experts in their fields. This year’s Fulbright recipients are from diverse disciplines spanning science, languages, technology, medicine, literature and the arts.

The Fulbright Programme in Ireland has been a key driver in cross-atlantic collaborative research for over 60 years. As a Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar, Emer Gilmartin, in the School of Computer Science and Statistics, at Trinity College Dublin, will visit Carnegie Mellon University to develop an automatic language tutor for refugees and migrants.

An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney TD said: “I am delighted to extend my warmest congratulations to the 37 Irish Fulbright Awardees for 2018 – 2019.  People are at the heart of the extraordinary relationship between Ireland and the United States, and the Fulbright Commission has an unrivalled record in selecting the very best people as Fulbrighters. This year’s Awardees will have the exciting opportunity to study, work, and experience life in the U.S., to forge new relationships, and to represent the best of contemporary Ireland to the United States.  I wish this year’s Awardees every success for their time in the United States.”

Emer’s work focusses on spoken dialogue technology. She has been involved in language provision to refugees since 2003. As a Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar, she will work on the integration of spoken language technology into an automatic language tutor for refugees and migrants. The system will use voice and text to deliver language activities relevant to life in a new country and include virtual interlocutors to provide spoken dialogue practice and tuition through automatic speech recognition and speech synthesis. The curriculum will be based on European Language Portfolios for Migrants Learning the Language of the Host Community created at Trinity College Dublin. The work will be carried out in collaboration with the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.

Dr Sarah Ingle, Chair of the Board of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland said: “The high standard and expertise of Fulbright scholar and student award recipients continues to increase after more than 60 years in Ireland.  They are being providing with a great opportunity, but also a responsibility to continue Senator Fulbright’s vision of creating avenues for mutual understanding and sharing of ideas. The Commission has full confidence in the new awardees and wishes them every success in their Fulbright experience.”

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