Call For Applications – Science On Screen Commission

The Science on Screen programme in partnership with the National Talent Academy for Animation is delighted to offer new opportunities to collaborate with CÚRAM* researchers on a series of short animations. This is a paid commission.

Project Overview

 The objective is to create a series of easy to understand, short animations that present scientific concepts currently being explored through research projects at CÚRAM. There are 4 shorts in total with each individual / team being awarded 2 shorts.

Project Details

Individual shorts will:

Have a budget of €4,000.

Be a minimum of 40 seconds in length.

Target a lay / public audience.

Provide a platform to explain fundamental scientific concepts used to develop effective treatments for chronic illnesses. 

Give audiences the opportunity to gain a better understanding of these concepts.

Provide a tool for scientists to engage with the public on the core concepts involved in their research and its relevance to future treatments.

Concept will be developed in collaboration with a CÚRAM researcher.

Candidates can avail of NTAA mentorship in key areas.

Application Requirements:

1.A cover letter explaining why you are the best candidate for this project.

2.A project outline.

3.CVs and showreels of core creative team / individual.

4.Proposed production budget breakdown.

5.Notes (including any producer / director notes, project vision, style, tone, etc).

Send applications to

Application Deadline: October 21st at 5pm

Delivery Date: Late February 2023

Additional Information

The first four research projects to be considered for animation are described below

Project 1 overview:  

This project aims to create a patch device to deliver drugs (macromolecules) across the cheek. These types of drugs normally have to be injected into the body. If we can create a patch to get them absorbed across the cheek, they can avoid the liver, where they would be broken down if given by mouth. The patch will be created with a layer-by-layer design with drugs in the first layer. It will have a backing and will stick to the cheek. It will be made by 3-D printing. We would like to be able to show how the patch will work and the convenience of the patch as opposed to using needles. This will be a one-time application that can be swallowed when it dissolves. 

Project 2 overview: 

Osteoarthritis of the knee is very poorly treated. Injections of steroids or lubricant (hyaluronic acid) only last a month and pain relief is low. This project is creating a nanoparticle containing a long-acting steroid with  lubricant in the same system. We want to be able to inject longer-lasting molecules that last for 6 months. The animation should show a needle being delivered to the damaged knee joint that slowly releases the drug from a nanoparticle and gives pain relief.  We would like to show the benefit to patients, who want knee injections that really work and that they only have to take twice a year. 

Project 3 Overview

This project is creating a device that provides reliable access into the wall of the colon, specifically the submucosa, under the mucosal lining, for injection. We would like to explain how this new device will allow clinicians to provide more efficient, effective and repeatable injections  for patients by showing how the device attached to the colon tissue and how this compares to standard needle insertions into the colon at the moment. 

Project 4 Overview

This project aims to create a new way to treat chronic hypertension caused by tumours on the adrenal gland. Without surgical treatment, patients with these benign tumours are required to take harsh medication with severe side effects for the rest of their lives to control their blood pressure.  Our device involves a needle being delivered to the adrenal gland and delivering energy to a small region of the gland containing the tumour. A key attribute of the device is the ability to protect healthy tissue in the gland.  We would like to show that the risk with this treatment is over-treatment (damaging important healthy tissue in the gland). So we deliver a very targeted treatment that only destroys the tumour tissue, and maintains the healthy tissue of the gland. 

CÚRAM Background:

CÚRAM is a world-leading research centre funded through Science Foundation Ireland, with expertise in medical device technology. With ten partner universities and multiple industry partners, CÚRAM’s aim is to improve the quality of life for people suffering from chronic illnesses like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and Parkinson’s disease. 

Medical device research and development is based on multidisciplinary research involving  basic or discovery-oriented research through applied and translational science. Given the complexities involved, communicating about this research to public audiences can present a challenge for researchers. 

Education and Public Engagement (EPE) is a core activity at CÚRAM and the EPE Team is involved in a variety of innovative programmes aimed at engaging all audiences with its research. Science on Screen (a partnership between CÚRAM and Árdan) is one of these programmes that provides opportunities for collaboration between our researchers and creative artists. These collaborative projects help create a better understanding and awareness of CÚRAMs research and its importance in and for society.

Since 2016, Science on Screen has produced seven short-form science documentaries based on the research being undertaken by CÚRAM researchers. These films have reached an audience of over one million people worldwide, earned six international awards and have been screened at over 30 film festivals in 17 countries.