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An ecological approach to informing the cultivation of a cycling culture in Irish towns

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  • Full or part time
    Dr B Lambe
    Dr N Murphy
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Post summary

Cycling is an accessible form of health enhancing physical activity. However, it is also an efficient means of transport in towns and cities. Increasing the number of people cycling as a means of transport in urban environments has a positive effect on health, retail, tourism, emissions and congestion. However, few studies have evaluated the impact of cycling initiatives in a real-world setting and the evidence is particularly limited in countries without a specific cycling culture.
Kilkenny County Council are committed to increasing the proportion of residents cycling for transport in the city. They plan to introduce a range of infrastructural, policy and programmes related to cycling to achieve this. The aim of this research is to inform and assist with the implementation of these measures.

Specifically, the objectives of the research are;
1. To identify the cycling-specific infrastructural, policy and programming needs of key stakeholders in the city.
2. To estimate the actual, potential and perceived economic benefits of increasing the number of people cycling in Kilkenny City.
3. To design, implement and evaluate a workplace-specific cycling intervention in the city.

The PhD student will be based predominantly in Kilkenny.

Standard duties and responsibilities of the scholarship

• Work alongside Kilkenny County Council and Kilkenny Recreation and Sport Partnership to identify key stakeholders and target population groups
• Use novel qualitative research methods to ascertain the barriers and facilitators to cycling in specific population groups
• Use intercept surveys to quantify the economic value of cyclists travelling into Kilkenny and the economic value of bike parking.
• Use qualitative and quantitative research methods to examine the perceived value of increasing cycling in the city according to shoppers and the business community.
• Implement and evaluate a cycling intervention in appropriate workplaces in Kilkenny City
• Establish links with other stakeholders related to cycling promotion nationally and internationally
• Present at national and international conferences

Person specification



• Applicants should hold or expect to attain, as a minimum a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in Exercise and Health Science, Recreation/Leisure, Health Promotion, Public Health, Planning, Transport, Built Environment OR a related discipline
• Hold an MSc/MA degree in one of the above disciplines

Knowledge & Experience


• Research methods, research design and evaluation methods


• Relevant experience working in a community or workplace setting
• Knowledge of settings-based physical activity or health promotion
• Statistical analysis using appropriate software
• Collection and analysis of qualitative data
• Design, collection and analysis of quantitative survey data

Skills & Competencies


• Very strong interpersonal skills
• Very high level of academic writing
• Personal organisational skills
• Ability to work as part of a larger team
• Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see WIT’s English Language Requirements for details.

Further information

For queries relating to the application and admission process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office via email [Email Address Removed] or telephone +353 (0)51 302883.


Application procedure

Please download the Research Postgraduate Application Form from the WIT Website and return completed applications to [Email Address Removed] quoting WIT_PhDCoFund_2019_24 in the email subject line. Please note that paper submissions will not be accepted.

Any queries relating to the application process should be emailed to [Email Address Removed].

Funding Notes

Four year full-time structured PhD programme

Stipend: €12,000 p/a
Fees: €4,500 p/a
Research costs: €2,000 p/a

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