Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Funded PhD: Dr Helen French and Louise Keating - Injury Surveillance of Schoolboys’ Level Rugby

This is an exciting and unique opportunity for an ambitious student researcher to join Dr Helen French and Louise Keating, School of Physiotherapy, RCSI working on Injury Surveillance of Schoolboys’ Level Rugby.

Project description 

High rates of injury in rugby for professional and amateur players are well documented but less attention has been focused on the injuries in schoolboys' level rugby. This prospective cohort study will describe the incidence, mechanism, nature and severity of injury sustained in senior school-based youth rugby. Schoolboy rugby teams will be invited to participate. A pilot study will take place during the 2018/19 season, followed by the main study's data collection during 2019/20. 

Demographic data will be recorded at baseline. Individual training load and players’ response will be recorded weekly and injury data will be recorded on a weekly basis for one season by the nominated person in the school using an injury surveillance app based on the validated Orchard Sports Injury Classification System (OSICS-10).  Injury rates will be presented per 1000 hours of training and match play. Multilevel models will be used to examine the role of contextual factors in determining individual risk.

  • Department: School of Physiotherapy
  • Tenure: Three years full-time
  • Keyword: sports research, cohort study, injury surveillance

Personal specification

  • Candidates must have a First-Class Honours or 2.1 Degree in one of the following disciplines: medicine, physiotherapy, physical therapy, athletic therapy or sport science.
  • English language requirements for candidates who do not speak English as their first language: an overall IELTS score of 6.5 or above
  • A post-qualification Masters in a relevant health-related discipline would be desirable.
Canditates should display
  • Experience of conducting research 
  • A good knowledge base, with evidence of interest in this research area.
  • A capacity to work collaboratively as part of a team as well as independently, in a non-structured environment.
  • A capacity for independent and critical thinking.
  • A professional work ethic.
  • Strong organisational and administrative skills with an ability to work to deadline 
  • Innovation and creativity.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills.
  • Willingness to undertake training and career development 
Scholarship Details
  • This position will commence in Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in October 2018. 
  • Stipend of €18000 per annum for 3 years 
  • Student fees for 3 years 
  • Structured Professional Development 
  • Project Consumables budget 

Application process and scholarship details

Please apply here with an up-to-date CV, a 500-word statement outlining your interest in and suitability for the position, and contact details of two referees.

Informal Queries to Dr Helen French or Louise Keating 


  • Department: School of Physiotherapy 
  • Location: RCSI, 123 St Stephens Green, Dublin 2
  • Tenure: 36 months
  • Proposed start date: October 2018 
  • Application deadline: Monday 3rd September at 10am
  • Interview date: Monday 10th September (afternoon)


Mentors Dr Helen French and Louise Keating