Postgraduate Scholarship for Funded Masters programme:

Opportunity for Graduates

Scholarship Title

Development of a cycling culture in Portlaoise: an evaluation of process, implementation and effectiveness

Reference number



Dr Niamh Murphy; Dr Barry Lambe

Research Group

Centre for Health Behaviour Research

Department / School

Sport and Exercise Science/School of Health Sciences


 24 months Research Masters

Status: Full-time / part-time

Full Time

Funding information

WIT Scholarship 2020/2021

Value of the scholarship

Stipend: €15,000 (TBA)[1] 

Fees: €4,500 

Research costs: €2,000 

Teaching requirement (if any)

Two hours of academic development activities per week during the academic year in line with scholarship requirements.

Closing date and time[2]

4PM (Irish time) on the 5th of Feb 2021 

Interview date


Commencement date

Q1 2021

Co Fund Industry Partner[3] (If applicable)

Laois County Council

[1] TBA_Pending announcement and increase from 12K stipend per annum to 15K stipend per annum.

[2] The RSU will attempt to preschedule these for all awardees so a marketing campaign can be arranges to support recruitment

[3] Please note all cofunded opportunities PhD/Masters position(s) are subject to funding contributions from the industry partner

Post summary

Applications are invited for this fully funded 2 year Masters programme, working with Laois Co Council to develop a cycling culture in Portlaoise. In many cities worldwide cycling is seen as a promising answer to a variety of urban problems, such as traffic congestion, urban pollution and transport carbon emissions. Most urban policies seeking to encourage cycling have focused on urban planning and design measures, and on the provision of dedicated cycling infrastructure but establishing a cycling culture is an essential element. This is an implementation science project which builds on knowledge gained from Kilkenny which has been cultivating a cycling culture in recent years. Critical components of implementation science include having an understanding of local context and participatory research approaches. The aim of this project is to translate the process of building a cycle culture in the city of Kilkenny to Portlaosie and measure the key implementation factors for success


  1. To identify public attitudes towards cycling related infrastructural, programming and policy measures amongst adults in Portlaoise
  2. To use digital storytelling to visualise potential intervention measures and understand the lived experiences of residents and visitors travelling around the town one means of communication in Portlaoise
  3. To identify the systems which would contribute to the building of a cycling culture in Portlaoise and build a collaboration between these systems and measure the implementation of the processes learned in Kilkenny.


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

·        Experience of working across systems or intersectoral working


Skills & Competencies


·        Very strong interpersonal skills

·        Very high level of academic writing

·        Personal organisational skills

·        Ability to work as part of a larger team


·        Knowledge of the vicinity of Portlaoise

·        Be willing to be based in Portlaoise town


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 any informal queries, please contact  Dr Niamh Murphy at

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



Application procedure

Download the Research Postgraduate Application Form and return completed applications to, quoting the reference number in the email subject line.

Please note that paper submissions will not be accepted.

The Institute may decide to interview only those applicants who appear from the information available, to be the most suitable, in terms of experience, qualifications and other requirements of the post.