Become a Student Leader

Boost Your CV & Develop New Skills

Applications are now closed for 2019/20. We will re-open applications for the 2020/21 term in January of 2020.

What’s It All About?

CÉIM student leaders are 2nd year/3rd year students in relevant disciplines who have made it through 1st year and are keen to help new 1st years adjust quickly to university life and get up to speed with their coursework.

Student leaders work in groups of three or four to facilitate CÉIM sessions every week for 1st years throughout the academic year.

It’s important to note that student leaders do not teach.

Instead, they support 1st years to figure things out for themselves – to learn how to learn.

Group of students

Research shows that student leaders often gain as much as 1st year students from taking part in CÉIM. Benefits of being a CÉIM leader can include development of key transferable skills, valuable experience to use on CVs and in interviews, an expanded social network, improved grades and much more.

Why Become A Student Leader?

Increased employment prospects

  • Receive intensive skills training
  • Develop and practice valuable transferable skills, including leadership, facilitation, communication, organisational, teamwork and active listening skills
  • Gain relevant work experience to enhance your CV and talk about at interviews
  • Take part in a CV and interview skills workshop for Student Leaders specifically focusing on articulating skills acquired via CÉIM
  • Be awarded a CÉIM certificate and a digital badge by the College/School and the Students’ Union to recognise the training undertaken, commitment demonstrated and new skills learnt
  • CÉIM Leaders have automatically completed 3 of the 5 stages of the NUI Galway Employability Award
  • Be awarded the NUI Galway President’s Award
  • Get reduced rates on Students’ Union Life Skills courses

The Feel-Good Factor

  • Gain the satisfaction of helping 1st year students to develop their skills and settle into university life
  • Be part of piloting peer learning at NUI Galway
  • Increase your confidence


  • Hoodie
  • Free locker

Social/team building

  • Expand your network by working closely with other students and staff members
  • Welcome Party
  • Christmas Party
  • End-of-year Party

How much time is involved in being a Student Leader?

CÉIM will run for around ten weeks in semester 1 and ten weeks in semester 2.

Student leaders spend on average 2 hours each week they have sessions working on CÉIM:

  • Running the CÉIM session (1 hour)
  • Taking part in the weekly debriefing session (30-45 minutes)
  • Preparing for next week’s session (15 minutes – but this could take less time or more time depending on you)

Total commitment is therefore around 2 hours per week over 20 weeks of CÉIM sessions. In addition, all Leaders must complete 2.25 days of training.

What type of people make good Student Leaders?

All sorts! Specifically, we are looking for students who are committed, reliable and enthusiastic, who get a buzz out of helping others, who enjoy working with other people and who can think of creative ways to facilitate learning.

What exactly is the role of student leaders in a CÉIM session?

The goal is for 1st year students to drive the agenda for what will be covered in CÉIM sessions.

In the first few weeks of CÉIM, 1st year students may sometimes be hesitant to suggest content to focus on, so student leaders need to be prepared to prompt the 1st year students and to potentially suggest content to cover in the first few weeks.

The student leaders’ role is to devise meaningful and creative ways for 1st year students to gain greater insight into the coursework they wish to focus on.

Student leader with other students

This involves getting input from 1st year students, planning in advance with fellow leaders, structuring the session so it easy for 1st year students to work together in small groups, and devising effective learning activities that reflect the needs of 1st year students. Being a CÉIM leader is about listening and asking questions. It is not about teaching. Find out more about how CÉIM sessions work.


For 2020/21 CÉIM leaders, training will take place over 2.25 days. There will be 1 day of training in the period Saturday, 3 April – Monday, 5 April and 1.25 days in the period Thursday, 3 September – Saturday, 5 September.

The training is highly participative and is based on group discussion and experiential learning. Former CÉIM student leaders have rated this training highly. Topics covered in the training include:

  • Background to peer learning
  • Facilitation
  • Communication
  • Icebreakers
  • Structuring group discussions
  • Questioning skills
  • Effective listening
  • Group dynamics
  • Creating an inclusive learning environment
  • Difficult incidents/challenges
  • Boundary setting
  • Benefits of group work
  • Thinking, learning and mindsets
  • Process – session planning, session topics, weekly meetings
  • First year experience
  • Student supports
  • Referring to support services
  • Health and wellbeing

The CÉIM Coordinators also do their best to organise additional training as requested by the student leaders. In previous years this training has focused on CV/interview skills, placement, online identity, and report writing skills.

Skills Development

Becoming a CÉIM leader is a way for students to develop highly transferable skills (sometimes called Graduate Attributes) in leadership, facilitation, communication, teamwork, planning, chairing meeting and taking minutes, using professional IT tools and much more. Student leader training is the start of the skills development process for leaders, and this then continues throughout the year as leaders run weekly sessions, reflect on progress, and participate in debrief meetings. It’s learning by doing!

What is expected of you

All student leaders are asked to read and sign a Code of Conduct document at the start of the academic year. This document clearly outlines what is expected of leaders and covers topics such as child protection and GDPR.

Garda Vetting

All successful applicants must satisfactorily complete an online Garda Vetting process in order to progress to becoming a CÉIM Leader. A substantial number of 1st year students studying at NUI Galway are under the age of 18 and Garda vetting of all CÉIM leaders is part of the CÉIM child protection process. Please note that in order to comply with new national legislation, all volunteers in Ireland who work with individuals under the age of 18 must be Garda vetted.

Apply Now

Applications are now closed for 2019/20. We will re-open applications for the 2020/21 academic year in January of 2020.
If you have any queries please contact the CÉIM Director, Amber Walsh Olesen and the CÉIM Adminstrator, Órla O’Donoghue, via

CÉIM Benefits

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Who’s Involved

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