Irish Rugby Injury Surveillance Expansion: Post-Doctoral Opportunity

The Irish Rugby Injury Surveillance (IRIS) project commenced in September 2016 and is funded by the IRFU and from internal University of Limerick funding from the Health Research Institute, Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences and the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences. This project is led by Dr Tom Comyns and Dr Ian Kenny and comprises a multidisciplinary research group. The aim of the project is to survey injury incidence, severity, type and nature in Irish amateur rugby and thus aid in the prevention of injury and the enhancement of player welfare. IRIS is the first long-term rugby union specific injury surveillance research project in Ireland.

Currently there are four PhD scholars on the IRIS project and they are involved in the surveillance of injuries in Irish male and female amateur clubs and in Irish male schools. Two club annual reports and one annual schools reports have been published together with numerous journal and conference papers. Both the reports and the published work can be located on together with information on the project’s steering group.

L-R  Dr Tom Comyns (PESS), Dr Róisín Cahalan (School of Allied Healt), Mairéad Liston (IRFU), Caithríona Yeomans (PhD Scholar, PESS), Rod McLoughlin (IRFU) and Dr Ian Kenny (PESS).

Through funding secured via the Succeed and Lead Fellowship Programme created by the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences in UL the IRIS project is expanding and presently looking to recruit a post-doctoral researcher (refer to the UL vacancies website for more information). The aim of the Succeed and Lead Fellowship Programme is to attract excellent, ambitious and talented post-doctoral researchers, create a supportive environment around them so that they can conduct excellent research and put them on a pathway towards independence and develop our next generation of research leaders. This new post-doctoral position with the IRIS project will aim to examine psychological factors associated with an evidenced-based link to injury over two full seasons among Irish amateur rugby teams comprising of 1,500 plus male and female players. Sleep quality, anxiety/ depression, coping skills and work-life balance/ stressors will be monitored. These data will be analysed alongside injury data from the IRIS project to elucidate potential associations between all variables. From this, the results will inform best practice policy and thus impact the health and welfare of Irish amateur rugby players.

Closing Date: 22nd January 2020

For further information on the position, contact either Tom Comyns ( or Ian Kenny (

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