PhD studentship – Irish Rugby Injury Surveillance

Location: University of Limerick, Ireland
Deadline: 17.00 Irish time (GMT+1) 19th of November
Interview date: Tuesday 7th of December
Start date: January 2022
Duration: Four years full-time (structured PhD)

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship funded by the Irish Rugby Football Union to start in January 2022. The project will be based in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Limerick. The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr. Tom Comyns, Dr. Ian Kenny and Dr. Kieran O’Sullivan from the University of Limerick, in collaboration with the Irish Rugby Football Union Medical Department. The aims of the PhD will be:

  • Support the research programme team to maintain implementation of their injury surveillance system (IRISweb) for the schools’ game in Ireland which allows for the collection, tracking and trend analysis of injury patterns (incidence, nature and severity), in order to identify possible injury casual factors and prevention strategies.
  • Expand the injury surveillance system (IRISweb) within the school cohort in Ireland.
  • To enhance the health and welfare of Rugby Union players across the schools game in Ireland by providing information on injury patterns that can impact on IRFU policy regarding injury prevention measures and by researching the impact of injury prevention strategies on the injury profile of Irish school players.

The research will involve working with schools and medical teams to survey and measure the incidence, nature, severity and prevention of injury within the youth game, and conduct on-going monitoring of injury trends. The research will implement injury prevention interventions at the school level based on findings and determine the impact of these interventions on injury patterns within the schools game.

The University of Limerick (UL) with close to 16,500 students, including 2,000 international students and 1,300 staff is an energetic and enterprising institution with a proud record of innovation and excellence in education, research and scholarship. The dynamic, entrepreneurial and pioneering values which drive UL’s mission and strategy ensures that we capitalise on local, national and international engagement and connectivity. The reference to UL as ‘Ireland’s Sporting Campus’ is very much as a consequence of the University’s strategy to create a world class sporting infrastructure. The building infrastructure is complimented by leading research facilities and staff from all aspects of sport and exercise sciences, and clinicians from UL’s Health Research Institute (HRI).


  • Students will normally need to hold at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Sports Science, Physiotherapy or a related discipline. A relevant Master’s degree will be an advantage, as will experience in completion of a major research project.
  • Proven research experience and involvement in the Rugby industry will be an advantage.
  • The PhD candidate will be required to travel independently to Rugby schools both locally and country-wide.
  • The candidate must possess excellent written, verbal and presentation skills for both specialist and non-specialist audiences; excellent interpersonal skills; ability and experience in collaborating effectively in teams; familiarity with advanced statistics; an ability to work independently and with initiative at a high level of self-motivation; high level attentiveness to detail.
  • This position is subject to Garda vetting and foreign police clearance.

For informal enquiries about the project, please contact Dr. Tom Comyns or Dr. Ian Kenny


To apply, please send applications directly to the following e-mail address:
The application must comprise two documents:
1. One-page cover letter briefly outlining applicant suitability and motivation for the PhD research topic, and education, employment and research experience.
2. Curriculum Vitae (CV) including names and contact details of at least two referees.

General information about the Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, the
University of Limerick and the IRIS project can be found at , and respectively


Tax free stipend of euro €18,000 per annum plus tuition fees at the EU rate. International (non-EU) students may apply but will need to self-finance the balance of the non-EU fees. Funded by the Irish Rugby Football Union.

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