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Combining Community and Home-Based Exercise Delivery for Sustainable Health-Related Benefits in Older Adults (Ref No. WD (SERD)_2020_66_WSCH)


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  Dr B Kehoe, Dr M Harrison, Dr Ciara O'Hagan  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Post summary

Applications are invited from suitably qualified graduates for a PhD scholarship funded by the SERD Scholarship Programme 2021. The progamme of research aims to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a novel combined community and home-based exercise intervention for older adults compared to a community-based only model. Maintenance of independence is a key element of healthy ageing, for both the individual and society. A physically active lifestyle that slows decline in muscle strength can contribute to this, but most older adults in Ireland do not meet the recommended levels of activity, particularly in relation to muscle strengthening exercises. While there is strong evidence of benefits from engaging in supervised exercise programmes, these are generally resource-intensive and the sustainability of the effects beyond programme completion are unclear. This research will investigate whether a physical activity programme involving a period of community-based exercise training followed by a step-down to supported independent exercise can result in sustainable changes in muscle strength and physical activity behaviour in healthy older adults. The research will involve a series of studies, which will i) develop a theoretically-informed and patientcentred exercise intervention for older adults in both a community-based and combined community and home-based delivery model; ii) assess the feasibility of the implementation of the two exercise delivery Postgraduate Scholarship Information Sheet RSU V2.0- Scholarship Call 3 models; and iii) compare the effect of the programmes on muscle strength, physical activity level and other physical and psychological outcomes in older adults.

Person specification

Qualifications - Essential:

  • Honours Degree (minimum 2:1) or equivalent in Exercise Science, Physiotherapy, Nursing, OR a related discipline (In line with WIT PG regulations)

Qualifications - Desirable:

  • Masters Degree or Level 9 equivalent in Exercise Science, Physiotherapy, Nursing, OR a related discipline
  • Exercise/fitness instruction qualification

Knowledge & Experience - Essential:

  • Previous research experience with understanding of research processes and methods

Knowledge & Experience - Desirable

  • Work or research experience with older adults or special populations
  • Experience in exercise programme design and delivery
  • Knowledge and experience of mixed methods research

Skills & Competencies - Essential:

  • Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see WIT’s English Language Requirements for details.

Skills & Competencies - Desirable:

  • Assessment of health and fitness outcomes
  • Statistical analysis using appropriate software
  • Conduct and analysis of qualitative interviews
  • Skills to engage with multi-stakeholder groups

Further information

For any informal queries, please contact Dr. Bróna Kehoe at email: [Email Address Removed]

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.

Website: www.wit.ie

Application procedure

To apply please click this link Research Postgraduate Application Form & refer to the paragraph “Funded Research Postgraduate Programmes”.  Download the Research Postgraduate Application Form contained within this paragraph and return completed applications to [Email Address Removed], quoting WD (SERD)_2020_66_WSCH in the email subject line.  

Please note that paper submissions will not be accepted. 


Funding Notes

Research Group Centre for Health Behaviour Research
Department / School Department of Sport & Exercise Science, School of Health
Sciences, WIT
Duration 48 Months PhD
Status: Full-time / part-time Full Time
Funding information SERD Scholarship 2020/2021 (WSCH)
Value of the scholarship Stipend: €16,000
Fees: €4,500
Research costs: €3,000
Teaching requirement (if any) Two hours of academic development activities per week during the academic year in line with scholarship requirements.
Closing date: This Competition will close at 4pm Irish time on the 13th of August 2021.
Interview date: TBC
Commencement date: Approx. October 2021
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