View Full Version : Funded research opportunities in University College Dublin

06-12-2008, 12:14 AM
Dear Biomech-L Subscribers,

I would like to draw your attention to some funded research opportunities
that are available in University College Dublin:

1. Research Associate position available for suitable candidate to work on a
multi centre randomised controlled trial - the SWIFT trial. Further details
at the end of this email.

2. PhD studentships available in the field of Obesity and the Built
Environment. Further details available at
http://www.ucd.ie/agfoodvet/food_health_adastra_scholarsips.htm and at the
end of this email.


Dr Brian Caulfield

Head, UCD School of Physiotherapy & Performance Science

Institute for Sport and Health

University College Dublin

Dublin 4


UCD School of Physiotherapy and Performance Science, Institute for Sport and

An outstanding opportunity is available to gain excellent research training
and experience within a large scale Multi-centre randomised controlled trial

SWIFT TRIAL - Supervised Walking In comparison to Fitness Training for Back

The successful candidate will join the dynamic international
multidisciplinary research team for this HRB-funded project in conducting
research in the area of physical activity and low back pain. The appointee
will be based at the School of Physiotherapy and Performance Science and the
Institute for Sport and Health, University College Dublin. Research
development opportunities including registration for a postgraduate degree
and teaching experience are available.

The successful applicant should have a high honours standard primary degree
in the health or sports science field. Excellent interpersonal,
communication, organisational and computer skills are essential. Previous
experience of physical activity and fitness measurement would be

Further details and application procedures from Dr Deirdre Hurley-Osing,
Senior Lecturer, UCD School of Physiotherapy and Performance Science,

Tel: + 353 1 7166515

Email: deirdre.hurleyosing@ucd.ie

Closing Date for applications: 11th July 2008

Start Date: September 2008

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

1. Support principal investigator in the running of the SWIFT randomised
controlled trial

To include:

* Responsibility for accelerometer data collection, storage and

* Responsibility for accelerometer equipment maintenance, delivery
and return from subjects

* Follow-up of subjects in clinic and by post

2. To undertake other research activities related to the project

To include:

* Writing up of findings

* Presentation of findings at relevant conferences

3. To complete relevant research training courses

Selection Criteria

Selection criteria outline the qualifications, skills, knowledge and/or
experience that the successful candidate would need to demonstrate for
successful discharge of the responsibilities of the post. Applications will
be assessed on the basis of how well candidates satisfy these criteria.


Evidence of Primary Health or Sports Science Degree at 1 or 2.1 standard

Computer literacy - ECDL or equivalent

Excellent interpersonal, communication and organisational skills

Fluent in written and spoken English language

Current Driver's License and own transport to travel to clinical sites in
Dublin area


Experience in physical activity and fitness measurement

Previous research experience preferably involving completion of a relevant

Publication in peer-reviewed journal(s)

Conference presentation experience

Particulars of office

This is a three-year temporary position.


Development of Sensor Network to Monitor & Promote Physical Activity within
the Built Environment.

UCD Institute for Food and Health

This proposal is led by Dr Brian Caulfield (School of Physiotherapy
& Performance Science), Barry Smyth (School of Computer Science and
Informatics) and Prof Colin

Boreham, UCD Institute of Sport and Health.

Further details are available from Dr Brian Caulfield (b.caulfield@ucd.ie).

This proposal is based around the work required to develop the use of
wearable sensor technology and social networking to enhance people's energy
expenditure and motor behaviour profile within the existing built
environment and to compare profiles in different environmental
contexts. Physical activities such as walking and (particularly)
stair climbing are very efficient methods of expending energy in
that they can be incorporated into habitual daily activities and
are socially unobtrusive. However, the trend over the past number of
years has been to engineer these activities out of our lifestyles. In spite
of this, there remains ample opportunity to incorporate walking and stair
climbing into daily routine in occupational settings - particularly in a
campus like UCD. We are proposing to develop and investigate innovative
strategies that can be employed to maximize peoples' level of physical
activity within their work environment. A secondary aim of the
research would be to compare the impact of these strategies in
different occupational environments and to investigate the effect of
modifications to physical infrastructure and/or health promotion
programmes on their impact.

The programme of research would comprise the following elements:

Development and validation of wearable (in belt or shoe) sensors that can
be used to quantify the amount of steps taken on the flat and stairs as well
as the time spent in different postures throughout the day.

Extrapolation of sensor data to estimates of energy expenditure .
Development of communication platform to enable storage of sensor data on
users' mobile telephones with automatic upload to online database at regular

Recruit user groups and build online (via PC and/or mobile phone)
social network where users can share and compare experiences and
even compete against each other based on uploaded sensor data. Network can
also be used as a platform for delivery of health promotional material.

Compare experiences and physical activity profiles from user groups
working in different geographical regions and occupational environmental

Investigate the impacts of environmental modification or personal
messaging on activity levels. For example, impact of modifying IT or
printing services in office environments, use of Bluetooth signature
of phone to trigger personalized messages when a user approaches a
lift/staircase in a building.

The successful candidate will require a background in computer science to
work on the software and electronics required to build the sensor network
and would also contribute to physiological validation of sensor data