Student Sport Ireland is pleased to announce that the contract to undertake research to examine participation of third level students on the island of Ireland in sport, physical activity and related matters has been awarded to a joint partnership consisting of experienced researchers from Dublin City University, University of Limerick, University of Ulster and Waterford IT.
The decision to award the contract worth up to €120,000 was taken by Student Sport Ireland following a rigorous examination and assessment of all the tenders received in advance of the 30th October deadline.
The joint partnership includes researchers with extensive experience and expertise in working in third level education sector with specific expertise in undertaking research in exercise and physical activity. The research team will have a management committee of six people, consisting of Professor Marie Murphy from the University of Ulster, Dr Catherine Woods from Dublin City University, Dr Ciaran MacDonncha from University Limerick, Dr Niamh Murphy from Waterford Institute of Technology, Prof Alan Nevill University of Wolverhampton and Kyle Ferguson from the University of Ulster.
Prof. Murphy will be the research principal with Dr MacDonnacha, Dr Murphy and Dr Woods as co-investigators.
The research team has a record of collecting and analysing data in order to create an evidence base to inform policy development and practical implementations with a range of stakeholders. Woods, Murphy, Murphy and MacDonncha were appointed as academic experts on the National Physical Activity Steering group for the past 4 years and wrote the physical activity guidelines and physical activity plan for Ireland. The group are now represented by Dr Woods on the Special Action Group on Obesity, which directs national obesity related policy in government and currently advise Healthy Ireland on the final version of Ireland’s first national physical activity plan as part of the Health and Wellbeing Framework 2013-2025.
Murphy, Murphy and Woods are currently in receipt of CARDI funding to analyse data on the national longitudinal study of aging (TILDA), and are also collaborating on producing Ireland’s first national physical activity report card. Additionally, Murphy, Murphy and Woods are active at steering group and working group level in the European Health Enhancing Physical Activity Network, which is supported by the World Health Organisation.
The Third Level Research study, which is the first of its kind undertaken on the island, has been made possible through significant funding contributions from Student Sport Ireland member institutions, the Irish Sports Council and Sport Northern Ireland. Student Sport Ireland is also pleased that both ISC and SNI representatives are actively involved in the management and oversight of the research study.
Detailed planning and preparations for the study will commence in January 2014. The collation and analysing of data will be undertaken throughout 2014 and early 2015, with the study’s final report expected to be ready for publication in mid-2015.