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  Utilising AI and GPS data to determine forces for subconcussive impacts on injury risk exposure in contact and collision sports to inform strategies for brain injury management and recovery.


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  Dr Ed Daly, Dr Michael McCann, Dr Lisa Ryan  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Postgraduate Research Programme Translational Health Research Innovation preVention & Equity (THRIVE) offers 12 PhD research scholarships to commence in 2024. Each project will include an enterprise placement of minimum 12 weeks duration.

PhD Project Title: (THRIVE 9) Utilising AI and GPS data to determine forces for subconcussive impacts on injury risk exposure in contact and collision sports to inform strategies for brain injury management and recovery. 

In contact and collision sports, the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies allows us to understand the subtle, and yet impactful forces exerted during subconcussive impacts in contact and collision sports. AI can assist in modelling the brain and assist in processing the vast amounts of data collected by GPS sensors worn by athletes. These sensors track the players' movements with precision, providing a comprehensive picture of their interactions on the field of play. 

By deciphering patterns and correlations within this data, AI algorithms can identify and quantify the forces involved in subconcussive impacts, and measure those impacts below the threshold of causing knock out blows causing concussion. The PRTP project could allow those involved in sport (i.e., amateur, and professional) to gauge and monitor injury risk exposure more accurately. Coaches and medical staff can then tailor training programs, implement preventive measures, and make strategic decisions to minimize the cumulative impact on players' health. In essence, using a combination of AI and GPS in sports science empowers practitioners to quantify player dynamics, therefore fostering a safer environment where athletes can thrive while minimizing the long-term risks associated with repetitive subconcussive impacts.  

Objectives of the research project:

1. The primary objective of developing the PRTP focused on utilizing AI and GPS data in contact sports is to advance our understanding of subconcussive impacts and injury risk exposure. The research aims to develop sophisticated algorithms in conjunction with Headhawk technologies which analyse data from wearable GPS sensors, providing insights into the forces exerted during these impacts. 

2. This research not only contributes to the field of sports science but also addresses critical gaps in current athlete safety. The PRTP program seeks to produce groundbreaking insights, methodologies, and preventive measures, ensuring a safer environment for athletes and making substantial contributions to the evolving landscape of sports-related injury reduction.


A minimum of 2.1 honours degree (Level 8) in a relevant discipline.

Project Duration:

48 months (PhD)

Preferred Location:

ATU Galway Campus


Application Form / Terms and Conditions can be obtained on the website:

The closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm, (GMT) Monday 29th April, 2024.

Only selected applicants will be called for an online interview (shortlisting may apply).


Computer Science (8) Sport & Exercise Science (33)

Funding Notes

TU RISE is co-financed by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the ERDF Southern, Eastern & Midland Regional Programme 2021- 27 and the Northern & Western Regional Programme 2021-27.
Funding for this Project includes:
• A student stipend (usually tax-exempt) valued at €22,000 per annum
• Annual waivers of postgraduate tuition fee
• Extensive research training programme
• Support for travel, consumables and dissemination expenses
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